If some skeezy Silicon Valley nerds were to pull a Weird Science and computer generate the “perfect woman,” she still wouldn’t hold a candle to Brodie Lawson. Funny, smart, confident, strong, totally obsessed with sports — Brodie is the beau ideal.
After getting her start in broadcasting while still a student at Western University, Brodie is finally tackling the big leagues as an on-air host for the CFL. And she’s only 26. “I signed up to work for Mustang TV; they basically broadcast and live stream Western varsity sports,” she says. “I signed up just to kind of have it on my resume and learn a few skills and didn’t really think much of it. I ended up doing it for the rest of the season.”
The experience from Mustang TV gave her the opportunity to go to Rogers TV, and that opportunity led to Ticats TV Live. After gaining the experience she needed in the competitive media landscape, last year she landed her current hosting gig with the CFL.
It wasn’t just ambition that led Brodie to success. We talked about authenticity when it comes to interviewing people. “I want to have an authentic conversation…I’m not interested it getting the best sound bites or talking points,” she says. That sentiment showed through in our conversation as well. She’s authentically herself — the real deal — and that’s what makes her shine in this industry.
You have a degree from Western in Information and Media Studies. Was the goal to get into sports broadcasting or did it just kind of happen for you?
It totally evolved. When I went to Western I was pretty sure I wanted to go into law. I come from a family of lawyers, so I thought I’d get this great degree in media and maybe I’d specialize in media law. Then I had the opportunity through my time at Western to volunteer at the local television station. I worked at TSN for a summer, just interning, and realized really quickly I wanted to go into television. And more than that, I wanted to go into sports. It’s the ultimate cliché but I grew up in a super sporty family and sports were always on so it was really natural for me to want cover that.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Oh my gosh! Uhh… my gut is to say I would live in Florida. [Laughs.] Just because there’s great football. But I think I would like to live in Calgary because I love to ski and there’s CFL football in Calgary, which is obviously my jam and I could get out to the mountains on the weekend. But to be honest, I think the reason I hesitated is because I actually love living in Toronto. I really love it here; I grew up in Oakville, so I spent a lot of time in the city growing up. I live downtown, I work downtown, my life is here, my friends are here, and to be honest, I’m kind of living my dream. I don’t care if that’s a cliché. I love it here.
If there were a movie about the CFL, who would you want to play you?
[Laughs.] I ask this question to players all the time! Ah, I wish I thought of the answer… Jennifer Lawrence! She is so great. She’s badass and hilarious and talented. I would want her to play me. [Laughs.] She’s cool!
What is your ideal day off?
If I can get out of the city, I will either to go skiing or I’ll go up to a cottage somewhere. If I’m in the city, it’s to get up, have a great workout, go for breakfast, go shopping. [Laughs.] Um, meet up with friends, go to a great restaurant — there are so many good restaurants in the city. I constantly feel like I’m trying to keep up with everyone else. I’m pretty simple, I like to chill!
What’s one regret you have from your university days and one thing you appreciate that you learned early.
Oh my god. I went to Western, so the stories are endless! Okay, one regret I have: I was the president of my sorority one year and I was feeling really great about myself and life and I wanted to look sexy at this formal, so I got a spray tan. It was an orange spray tan and it was so bad and none of my girlfriends said anything to me. Sometimes it will show up on my Facebook as a “memory” and it’s so bad! It’s a silly trivial thing, but a) why didn’t my friends say anything, and b) why did I feel the need to do that?! [Laughs.] That was a regret. There are many from university but that’s an easy one that’s LOL.
Something I appreciate that I learned early: I was always involved in sports and through that I always had a lot of confidence. I really think that’s where that comes from. I’ve worked really hard to be strong and feel like my body is strong and my mind is strong. I think all that came through sports at an early age.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I really don’t. But I think something people don’t really know about me is that I did ballet for 12 years. So even though I’m like six feet and lanky and not at all the body of a ballerina, I did proper point ballet. Yeah! That’s sort of a hidden talent I guess. [Laughs.]
So you definitely live an active lifestyle, what is one extreme sport you always wanted to try?
I’ve never been heli-skiing. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do!
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
This is going to sound so cliché, but it’s getting to meet and interact with the players and coaches of the league. They have amazing stories and to be a part of getting to tell them is something I don’t take lightly or for granted. There are great men and women who work for this league and I am really passionate about making sure people know those stories and know these people for who they are and not just the guys on the field. In addition to that, the fans of this league are the best in the world. They’re kind, they support each other, and I think that’s what makes it really unique. There’s this family vibe and I feel a part of that family and it’s really cool.
Well, now I have to ask: what’s your least favourite thing is about your job?
[Laughs.] I didn’t have to do it last year, but a couple years ago I had to do the losing locker room interviews at the Grey Cup. Which means whatever team lost, I was assigned to that locker room. So I had to go in with the rest of the media and put up a microphone in a guy’s face and ask, “What went wrong?” It’s a really painful experience and it is by far the worst part.