updated 03/14/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 03/14/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST
During halftime of the emotionally charged Alabama-Auburn football game last fall, TV fans were startled to hear Alabama's coach, the late Bear Bryant, bark curtly at his interviewer, cutting off a question in mid-sentence. But Anne Simon, 31-year-old ABC sports commentator—and the only female network sportscaster to rise through the ranks—didn't bat one lovely eyelash. "I said he obviously had a lot on his mind," she recalls. "Perhaps his actions spoke louder than his words." "Hey, way to handle the Coach," an impressed Joe Namath told her. Simon has had the right blend of moxie and brains from the start. The daughter of schoolteachers in Lake View, N.Y., she moved from news to sports at WKBW-TV in Buffalo, graduated to writing and producing her own in-depth shows, covered the Lake Placid Olympics, and made the network last fall. "ABC Sports is it and I'm just starting—who knows where I can go?" she says happily. "If you were a news correspondent, you could get stuck at the White House."