Despite being a child of the 80s, I hadn’t “met” Amy Trask until seeing her on Twitter one day. “Hi!” “…and hello!” “Thank you so much!” Amy seemingly responded to every NFL-related question that came across her timeline, ending her comments with friendly quips. And these weren’t “blue checks” — these were your ubiquitous users with 29 followers.
Trask’s trailblazing days in the Raiders’ front office had her in a special class in the NFL industry. But once I heard her moniker — “The Princess of Darkness” — my morbid curiosity sent me down a path of learning more about a football pioneer. Was there more to this friendly stranger on Twitter? Was The Princess of Darkness the fuel of the Black Hole’s hell-raising nature?
(Editor’s Note: The Amy Trask More Than Football episode on YouTube was filmed 12/13/2021 not 12/13/2022.)
Who Is Amy Trask, and How’d She Get Her Start in Football?
Trask grew up in sunny California, admittedly magnetized to the warm climate. While her early childhood education didn’t quite have the same sunny nature (she got the “problem kid” label), she attended UC Berkeley and pursued a degree in political science.
Intrigued by the game of football and the chess match of individual battles, she began watching the sport more. While in law school, Trask interned with the Raiders (1983). She must have made quite an impression during that internship — four years later, she’d get a call from the organization to join them full-time.
Breaking Down Barriers
Being the first female CEO in the NFL may have seemed like it required an uber-formal occasion, but in Amy’s interview with PFN, she told a story about how the NFL was pressing the Raiders to name a CEO. Although they weren’t big into titles, they obliged. Raiders owner Al Davis said to Amy, “Just tell them it’s you.”
But how did she get in Al’s good graces, so much so that he’d nonchalantly offer up one of the most powerful positions in the organization, seemingly on a whim?
By working her butt off, having the answers when Al had questions, and challenging him in a passionate but respectful way. The environment she entered was a “don’t ever challenge him,” or so her peers told her. And what did she do? Challenged him.
And before you knew it, Trask became a prominent voice in too many conversations to be ignored.
Trask’s Time With the Raiders
Trask served as Raiders CEO for nearly 16 years. She understood the team’s owner in a new light and collaborated with him in a way others before her didn’t (or couldn’t) do.
As her mother told her, “to thine own self be true,” and she did that. Trask carved a niche so necessary to the fabric of the Raiders that she was called the glue that held the organization together when she resigned in 2013. And she did it all in her own way.
What Does Trask Do Now?
While still making football appearances on CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network, Trask also found time to author a book, You Negotiate Like a Girl, giving a peak behind the curtain of her unique experience.
Additionally, Trask serves as Big3’s Chairwoman of the Board, a pro basketball league featuring 3-on-3 play. She initially served as CEO during the inaugural season. It’s likely she can still shoot 75% from the free throw line in her 60s.
In addition to filming “More Than Football On Location” with PFN’s very own Trey Wingo, Trask has been recognized by several outlets for her accomplishments in the sports industry and beyond (2017 WISE Woman of the Year, 2018 Campanile Excellence in Achievement Award by UC Berkeley Foundation, to name a few).
To speak to her impact on the game, as part of the NFL’s 100-year commemoration in 2019, Trask was named one of the “Top 100 Greatest Game Changers” in NFL history.