Amanda Pflugrad strives for more than human approval

Amanda Pflugrad: “I’ve come to learn by trials that I have gone through that God always has plans for something better. His plans are far greater than our dreams.”

Amanda Pflugrad is covering the New York Jets during the NFL season. Photo by Bruce Yeung.

Amanda Pflugrad is covering the New York Jets during the NFL season. Photo by Bruce Yeung.

One of the best things about college football is getting to know people over time. Amanda Pflugrad came to everyone’s attention while cheering for the University of Oregon. She graduated and moved into the media covering college sports including assignments for Fox Sports Arizona, CBS Sports Network and the PAC-12 Network. During football season, you’ll find her covering the New York Jets this season. Amanda Pflugrad was kind enough to take time earlier this year to answer a few questions about her life, career and how her faith is an important part of who she is.

Capstone Report: You’ve had a busy year. Last year we checked in and you were covering college football and basketball. Now, you have started a new job covering the biggest sport in the country—the NFL. And you are doing it in the biggest city—New York. Tell us about your work with the New York Jets and how fans can watch keep up with your work?

Amanda Pflugrad: This past year has been a whirlwind to say the least but enjoying the ride. Working for The Jets has been such a wonderful opportunity. I couldn’t ask for a better group of players, coaches, and staff. The fan base has been so inviting as well.

My responsibilities with the team include delivering daily reports after practice, conducting sideline and locker room interviews, as well as our Jets Talk Live pre and post game show with Eric Allen. We also have a Jets Talk Live show that airs every Wednesday at 10:30 am EST that previews the upcoming matchup that week.

Our content can be found on NYJETS.com, our New York Jets App, and the NFL Now App. A special feature during all of our Jets Talk Live shows is that fans are able to call in and ask Eric and myself questions. We love interacting with the fan base, and this offers us another way to connect with them.

CR: You also cover volleyball. Tell us about how you got started working that beat?

Amanda Pflugrad: My agent, Debbie Spander, approached me with this opportunity. She told me that the AVP was interested in using me as their sideline reporter for CBS Sports Network. Of course, I jumper at the opportunity, no pun intended.

This is my second year covering the tour, and I love every minute of it. The athletes are phenomenal to watch and I enjoy building relationships with them. It’s not every day that you can see the athleticism of Olympic athletes playing right in front of you. The squares have so much heart and it clearly shows on and off the court. I love what owner Donald Sun has done with the tour, in making it a family fun environment for all to enjoy.

CR: When and where can we watch your volleyball coverage?
Amanda Pflugrad: The men’s and women’s volleyball finals air Sunday on CBS Sports Network. The quarterfinals and semifinals are streamed live on Saturday and Sunday on AVP.com and CBS Interactive.

Amanda Pflugrad is covering the New York Jets during the NFL season. Photo by Bruce Yeung.

Amanda Pflugrad is covering the New York Jets during the NFL season. Photo by Bruce Yeung.

CR: There is no doubt you are a hard worker. You had to be to be a success as a student and a college cheerleader. It takes lots of preparation work for sports reporters working on video. One of the things that I noticed is that on your social media sites Instagram, Twitter, etc. you have this Bible verse posted: Colossians 3:23 –how does that influence your approach to work?

Amanda Pflugrad: This verse really influences my approach to not only work but to life in general.

(Editor’s note: The verse reads, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”)

It’s a good reminder to never be held captive to human approval. Sure it’s a lot easier said than done, but there is something so peaceful about releasing the need for approval. The verse is a reminder that it’s okay to be yourself, God made you exactly as he saw fit. We should live to try and do right by Him, and not stress over the need to be accepted by the outside world.

I’ve come to learn by trials that I have gone through that God always has plans for something better. His plans are far greater than our dreams. When we are down to nothing He is always up to something.

CR: What other influences does your faith bring to your life?

Amanda Pflugrad: Faith, to me, just helps to put everything into the perspective of what is truly important in life. Relationships with our loved ones, doing right by others, and using Him to guide us through our struggles. I think it is always important to know your self-worth and to love yourself. Take pride in your flaws, because everyone has them.

CR: You are a big college football fan. So, will you get a chance to see any college games while covering an NFL team?

Amanda Pflugrad: I usually get a little free time on Saturdays, so that day is spent glued to the TV watching college football.

You can follow Amanda Pflugrad on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.