LAS VEGAS — The Super Bowl will be a broadcasting family affair.
Veteran radio play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan and his daughter, sideline reporter Olivia Harlan Dekker, will become the first father-and-daughter duo to cover and call a Super Bowl.
“You think of it like the accolades of your career that will end up meaning anything, when all of this is said and done and something you’ll tell grandchildren about and that they’ll tell grandchildren about, and that’s really something to be proud of generationally,” Harlan Dekker said. “No one will care about the midseason games you work or how many seasons you even work. But everyone will remember this in our family. So it means the world to me and to make history doing it. I like to think that there’s some little girl out there that is going to catch wind of this story in some way, and just think: ‘I never thought of that.’”
The 30-year-old Harlan Dekker, who previously covered the NFL and NBA for ESPN, CBS and Fox Sports, now works for Sky Sports’ and Westwood One Radio’s NFL and NCAA coverage as an in-studio host, presenter and analyst as well as a sideline interviewer.
The 63-year-old Harlan, the son of former Green Bay Packers executive Bob Harlan, is completing his 39th consecutive season as an NFL play-by-play announcer, and is in his 37th season doing NBA play-by-play.
Olivia Harlan Dekker and father Kevin Harlan calling the Super Bowl for their respective outlets.
The Chiefs-49ers Super Bowl on Sunday will be his 14th consecutive for Westwood One Radio. He has been the lead NFL radio voice for Westwood One and “Monday Night Football” since 2009. He also does television play-by-play for CBS and calls preseason games for his hometown Packers.
Harlan said he sensed his daughter would have a career in broadcasting when she took a keen interest in the profession growing up. Once she got to the University of Georgia and he saw her work ethic, he knew she’d make it.
“I told her, I said: ‘You’ll be judged on a different scale than the men. They’re going to look at your earrings and your lipstick and your hairstyle and what you’re wearing, as opposed sometimes to what you’re saying, and so you’ve got to be a great reporter,’” Harlan said.
“She would miss a lot of social events at her sorority and would be involved in covering games, but not just games, equestrian, swimming, all the events, male and female, that were going on in that campus. And she was a tireless worker and was a perfectionist. She’s always been a perfectionist.”