Episode 84 features my conversation with Michele Tafoya of NBC Sports. She’s one of the best sideline reporters of all time and a pioneering woman in sportscasting. Topics of discussion include:
- Her experience covering four different Super Bowls and how it’s not like any other game.
- Finding the people she wants to interview on the crowded field after a Super Bowl.
- Covering the Super Bowl in her home town of Minneapolis a year ago.
- When she knew she wanted to go into journalism.
- How she stumbled into sportscasting.
- Landing her first job in Charlotte under the air name Mickey Conley.
- Moving from Charlotte to the Twin Cities.
- Making the decision to start in radio as a path to TV.
- How she learned on the job how to be a great sideline reporter.
- Stepping on Jim Nantz during a big call in the 1995 Fiesta Bowl. (In which the Nebraska Cornhuskers pummeled Florida).
- Making the jump from Twin Cities radio to working with the networks.
- Jumping from CBS to ABC/ESPN.
- How Al Michaels helped her land on Monday Night Football.
- What makes Al Michaels great.
- She explains what makes a great sideline reporter.
- Learning how to self edit to become a better storyteller.
- What of feedback she receives from her producer Fred Gaudelli at NBC.
- Where she keeps her Emmy Awards.
- Who makes the decision as to what stories are told on air.
- Coming up with interview questions.
- Her personal Greg Popovich stories.
- Why she never identified herself as a “woman in a man’s world.”
- Covering Gary Kubiak’s collapse on the field.
- Being on the floor with Kevin Garnett when he shouted “Anything Is Possible!”
- Why sending a thank you note led to her getting access to Michael Jordan.
- Dealing with the elements on the sideline.
- Deciding to quit her NBA work while watching her son at a pumpkin patch and balancing work and family.
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