Pam Oliver has been a veteran NFL sideline reporter at Fox Sports for 25 years. She’s covered multiple Super Bowls and is one of the most respected reporters in the business. During Saturday’s playoff game at Lambeau Field between the Green Bay Packers and LA Rams, something appeared to be off for Oliver during her sideline report to start the second half. And fans noticed as Twitter lit up with comments about her condition and whether or not she might be in the middle of a medical emergency.
Pam Oliver has been a pioneer in sports broadcasting
After making her national network debut at ESPN in 1993, Pam Oliver jumped to the rivals at Fox Sports in 1995. She was a top sideline reporter for the network’s NFL coverage and part of the network’s No. 1 crew with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman until 2014.
That year executives surprised Oliver when they informed her they no longer needed her services. Oliver and her agent worked out a one-year deal with Fox executives, and she stayed for the 2014 season. After the network looked bad for the inexplicable move and Oliver handled it so professionally, she was brought back permanently.
Pam Oliver is in her 26th season covering the NFL and continues to work the sidelines as part of Fox’s No. 2 team with Kevin Burkhardt and Daryl “Moose” Johnston.
She’s had health issues in the past
The 59-year-old Pam Oliver has had her share of health issues during her career. She told Yahoo Sports that back in her 20s, she had issues with fibroids “every two years, like clockwork.”
Debilitating migraines resulting in vomiting, nausea, and intense pain have also tormented Oliver for years, sometimes during the middle of a game. They’ve gotten so bad she hides out in stadium tunnels to avoid noise, lights, and pyrotechnics if at all possible.
Oliver has been proactive in treating migraines, learning progressive muscle relaxation to relieve tension. She also self-administers two shots of medication every month. “You just jam this thing in your thigh,” she said, describing her shots.
It didn’t help back in 2013 when she was hit in the face by a ball during pregame warmups of the New York Giants-Indianapolis Colts preseason game and suffered a concussion. She admitted she consumed between three and six Excedrin Migraine pills at a time to cope with the pain.
Impressively, Pam Oliver has, according to her own estimates, missed just four games in her 25-plus years with Fox.
Pam Oliver’s speech concerns fans during Packers-Rams game
Pam Oliver stood on the sidelines at Lambeau Field Saturday for the divisional round matchup between the Green Bay Packers and LA Rams. It was 36 degrees, or balmy by Lambeau standards in January. Early in the third quarter, Kevin Burkhardt called on Oliver for an update on the Packers coming out of the half.
She started her report and sounded sluggish and slurred. When talking about what Packers coach Matt LaFleur said at halftime, she struggled to enunciate the word “absences” when describing how the Packers planned to take advantage of Aaron Donald not being on the field.
Oliver’s entire report sounded garbled and very unlike her, and numerous people noted it on Twitter, some suggesting she might be having a medical emergency like a stroke.
“I legit think Pam Oliver is having a stroke? Somebody needs to check on her immediately, that sounded concerning,” wrote Matt Soper. Another comment suggested it might be her migraines. Several reporters spoke from experience and offered it was the cold conditions at Lambeau.
Pam Oliver returned later in the broadcast and conducted postgame interviews with Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones, and had similar issues. Whether or not it was because it was too cold, she was having a migraine episode, or something else, no one knows for sure. One thing is certain — you can expect to see Pam Oliver back on the sidelines whenever she’s next scheduled.