The text message from Olivia Harlan Dekker to the family chat thread let everyone know that she had been assigned to work her first Super Bowl.
A few minutes later, she received a call from her husband, professional basketball player Sam Dekker.
“He was like, ‘Why didn’t you tell me first?’ ” Harlan Dekker said with a laugh. “It’s been on my vision board forever to work a Super Bowl. I just didn’t really think it would be in conjunction with my dad.”
Harlan Dekker and her father, play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan, are set to make history Sunday as the first father-daughter duo to call and cover the same Super Bowl.
Harlan will announce the game between the Chiefs and 49ers for Westwood One radio, his record 14th consecutive Super Bowl behind the mic and 15th overall. Harlan Dekker will be at Allegiant Stadium as a presenter for London-based Sky Sports, which owns the NFL television rights in Great Britain, after previously working for NFL and NBA sidelines for CBS, ESPN and Fox Sports.
“This is the career highlight for sure for me, and I think he would almost say the same just because we’re sharing it,” Harlan Dekker said. “This is something we couldn’t have written if we tried. We are both big dreamers; we didn’t even dream this one up.”
In 2018, Kevin and Olivia became the first father-daughter broadcasting team in NFL history. Harlan Dekker was the sideline reporter for Westwood One’s broadcast of the “Monday Night Football” game between the 49ers and Green Bay Packers, while Harlan was in the radio booth with analyst Kurt Warner.
They made history again in 2022 as the first father-daughter pair to call an NFL playoff game when they worked the AFC divisional matchup between the Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers.
“She’s a pro’s pro,” Kevin Harlan told the Green Bay Press Gazette. “(Westwood One) told me point blank, we have hundreds of people lined up to do these jobs if she can’t cut it. She’s become one of their main sideline reporters.”
Known for his exuberant calls, Harlan also announces football and basketball for CBS and Turner Sports and recently was honored as the National Sportscaster of the Year for the third time by the National Sports Media Association. In a reader poll conducted by website Awful Announcing, Harlan and CBS partner Trent Green were voted the third-best NFL broadcast team for the 2023 season.
Harlan Dekker relocated to London after her husband signed to play in the British Basketball League in 2022. After initially worrying whether she would be able to continue her career while overseas, Harlan Dekker has found a home at Sky Sports covering the NFL.
“There is such a hunger for NFL here,” Harlan Dekker said. “I couldn’t have ended up in a better city to continue my work. It feels really gratifying doing it here, too, because you’re almost educating at the same time.”
Harlan Dekker, who also hosts BetMGM’s NFL preview show “Inside the Lines” on YouTube and Stadium television, grew up in the Kansas City area and likes the Chiefs to win their second straight Super Bowl. She also believes the game will stay under the total of 48.
“I don’t think anyone’s beating the Chiefs right now,” Harlan Dekker said. “I’m going against everything I’ve been saying for 18 weeks about the Chiefs that this isn’t their year. … Doesn’t matter. If you have Patrick Mahomes, that’s kind of all you need.”