Highlights Aplenty for NFL Reporter From LCF

Erin Coscarelli

Every afternoon at 4 p.m., Bob and Linda Coscarelli pull up a chair, take their seats in front of the computer and log on to Twitter.
It’s the kind of appointment viewing they could not have anticipated in 2004, when their daughter graduated from La Cañada High School and enrolled in USC’s Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism.
Even Erin Coscarelli couldn’t have fathomed it.
But, with the 2018 National Football League playoffs in full swing, it makes so much sense.

Photo courtesy NFL Network
La Cañada High School graduate Erin Coscarelli hosts “NFL Blitz” on Twitter five days a week alongside Marc Istook.

Erin, an ever curious extrovert, is in her element co-hosting “NFL Blitz,” a live digital show that airs five days a week on the NFL’s official Twitter account. Along with fellow host Marc Istook, Coscarelli delivers a fun, fast-paced medley of breaking news, highlights, fantasy projections, matchup analysis, player interviews — all accented by relevant social-media chatter.
The show is the latest of the NFL’s shows that Coscarelli has helped host. Her previous credits include “NFL AM,” “NFL HQ” and “Fantasy and Friends” on NFL Network.
This latest digital venture, the result of Twitter’s multi-year agreement with the league, is a fine fit for Coscarelli, who has nearly 50,000 followers on Twitter and 92,000 on Instagram.
“How we get content is changing thanks to this lovely device here,” said Coscarelli, holding up her cellphone. “Everyone is figuring out ways to get their content more conveniently, concisely and figuring out ways to save money in the process.
“People are cord-cutting. They don’t need to buy giant cable packages. But we knew people still want content — and obviously the younger generation is figuring out savvier ways to get it, so we just had to figure out what the new way is that people are going to start consuming it. How we get this giant platform of the NFL and how do we tailor it to that younger audience?”
Coscarelli said “NFL Blitz,” which debuted this season, seems to be succeeding in answering those questions. The show, she said, has added viewers as the schedule progressed.

Photo courtesy Erin Coscarelli
Erin Coscarelli’s interviews aren’t limited to football players — she chats on set with halftime performer Lady Gaga before Super Bowl LI last year in Houston.

“It’s something different; it really caters to my personality. I feel like I want to represent the fan,” said Coscarelli, who grew up playing volleyball, softball and soccer in La Cañada Flintridge, the youngest member of an athletic family who always wanted to impress her big brothers, Craig and Ted.
“My older boys, they loved sports, and I think they shared that with her,” Linda said. “And I think that was the best thing for her; it kept her busy and it turned out it was really helpful in her career.”
Still, when Erin arrived at USC, she did not envision a career in sports broadcasting.
“I didn’t come out of the womb like some people saying, ‘I’m going to do this!’” she said. “I had no idea this thing even existed. I just knew I loved watching the games. I always loved stories and I always thought I was going to be a journalist, I just didn’t know it was going to be in front of the camera.”
But then a classmate suggested her outgoing personality would work for sideline interviews during Trojan football games, inviting her to try it for Annenberg TV.
“I said, ‘Sure, why not?’” Coscarelli said. “And it was like the dream job. I went from being a fan to being on the sidelines during practice and during the games.”
She went from interviewing superstars such as Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart and coach Pete Carroll in college to covering the World Series of Poker and X Games for ESPN and a season of the Professional Bull Riders circuit for NBC Sports.

Photo courtesy Erin Coscarelli
Erin Coscarelli interviews New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler on camera last year before Super Bowl LI in Houston.

Then she was hired to cover Bay Area professional sports teams for Comcast SportsNet.
“I was doing a Niners report and the morning show producer for NFL Network who was from the Bay Area and was a 49er fan had that channel on and said, ‘Wow, I really liked her report,’” Coscarelli said. “So he said, ‘Let’s audition her.’
“Getting the opportunity to come down here and work for the NFL Network, the most popular pro sport in the country, to me that was just a dream come true.”
Getting to move back home to L.A. — she regularly visits her parents in the LCF home where she grew up, often bringing sweet treats she’s baked — is big part of what’s made the NFL portion of her career so fulfilling.
“She’s a very outgoing person, very easy to get along with,” said Linda, who believes her daughter’s good attitude has benefited her career.
Erin agrees.
“It just seems like I very rarely auditioned,” she said. “It’s more that I’ve made friends and they’ve liked me. It’s if you do a good job and you also should be really nice to be around.”
But you’ve also got to be tough, said Linda, who climbed the ranks within in L.A.’s Parks and Recreation Department — another traditionally male-dominated arena.
“When I see her, it reminds me a lot of me,” Linda said. “My past accomplishments weren’t the big break type of situation that she’s dealing with, but you see it and it makes you feel really proud to see what she’s been able to do.”
Erin said she loves going to work every day in Culver City, where she works “with the nicest, most creative people in the world,” as they navigate NFL news that ranges from playoff predictions to bloopers to controversies such as the national anthem protests.
“They ask me to be myself, to be true to ourselves and also to maintain our integrity as journalists,” she said. “So we’re at a place right now where we get to contribute what we think is important, and they really value that. It’s a pretty cool place to be.”

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