As host of the Canadian Football League, Brodie Lawson has a front row seat to all the action the CFL has to offer. She interviews the league’s top players and shares behind-the-scenes moments through her weekly video series on the CFL’s YouTube channel. Brodie is a passionate and enthusiastic football fan, and I had the pleasure of meeting with her at the CFL’s downtown Toronto headquarters, where I got to witness that passion first-hand as she shared with me the moments that led her to the fulfilling career she has today. I’m so very excited to introduce you to Brodie!
Growing up with a championship quarterback grandfather and raised by a father who played in the American Hockey League certainly had its influence on Brodie, and she developed a love of sports early on in life. An athlete herself, Brodie skied competitively all through high school, and attended the National Ski Academy in Collingwood in her final year. Brodie expected that she would go on to receive her post-secondary education at a school in the United States that allowed her to focus on her skiing, but she surprised herself when she made the decision to attend Western University in London, Ontario. She ended her skiing career but she didn’t leave the sporting life - while studying for the honours degree that she received in Information and Media Studies, she volunteered with the university’s sports webcast as well as hosting and producing live television content in the sports division for Rogers Communications.
Brodie had planned on going to law school after graduating from Western, but surprised herself again when she instead took on a position with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, hosting and doing video editing. While working with the Ticats, she was asked by the CFL to fill in as host of the 2013 Grey Cup in Regina, Saskatchewan. As fate would have it, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats ended up facing the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the championship game! Though officially in Regina to host the Grey Cup and relieved from her regular hosting duties with the Ticats during the big game, a dedicated Brodie found time to produce content for both. The next defining moment in Brodie’s career was a temporary assignment filling in as sports anchor of the Winter Olympics for the CBC; following her Olympics gig, she was brought back by the CFL, joining the league as their full-time host and video content creator and producer.
Even though Brodie grew up in Canadian football culture, it wasn’t until she hosted the Grey Cup that she truly got a sense of how passionate the fans are and how much the game means to them - Roughriders fan get really into it! - and her passion for the game grew exponentially from there, and it fuels her to keep bringing her best content to the fans. Brodie speaks intensely and excitedly about the on-air pieces she produces as host of the CFL, and her genuine love for the sport, the players and the fans radiates out of her. Brodie is as fun, energetic and down-to-earth in person as she comes across on-air. In the spirit of full disclosure, I will admit that I don’t know all that much about football, but Brodie had me hanging onto her every word because she speaks so passionately about it. Spend just five minutes with her, you can see how much heart goes into what she does. Brodie has a way of putting her interview subjects at ease, and her favourite interviews are the ones that are fun and playful, where she can bring out a different side of a player’s personality, sharing with the fans what the players are like off the field. The most rewarding part of her job is when she receives an overwhelmingly positive response from fans to the pieces that she had the most fun producing. Brodie has a charismatic and animated personality that translates naturally to the screen - she is engaging to watch and a delight to be in her presence. Check out her interviews on the CFL’s YouTube Channel, which also includes her Brodie OT web series for a behind-the-scenes look into Canadian football.
Want more? Here’s what #WeWantToKnow about Brodie, direct from the host herself:
I can't start my morning without…Coffee! I sometimes look forward to my mornings with coffee as I am falling asleep! I try and get up an hour before I need to start the day and have coffee, watch the news, read and catch up on CFL.ca content. Mornings are precious and I savour them!
I have a weakness for…Shopping, of any variety! For others, for myself, online, in stores – it’s a thing. If I have down time on work trips I try to find cute local boutiques. My favourites: Mad About Style in Winnipeg and Uforia Muse in Regina.
Most people don't know that I…Am usually happier to stay home than to go out. I am a bit of a homebody and it’s taken me a while to be okay with that and not feel like I’m always missing out. I love to go out and eat great food, visit with friends and travel – but when I have a quiet night I can just hang at my place, it totally delights me.
Currently reading… Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, it has been a great addition to those coffee filled mornings.
I want…To live in a world with more kindness, empathy, peace and love for one another. There is so much hurting I hope we can work towards healing ourselves and help heal others.
Thank you, Brodie, for participating in #WeWantToKnow - it is a pleasure to feature you!