Michele Tafoya responds to Lisa Guerrero

Lisa Guerrero is opening up about her time on Monday Night Football and the traumatic experience of suffering a miscarriage on live TV. But her story doesn’t sit right with Michele Tafoya.

Guerrero released her memoir titled Warrior this week. In the book, the former NFL sideline reporter detailed her tense relationship with the sports media industry. Guerrero was ABC’s Monday Night Football sideline reporter for one season in 2003, Tafoya was her successor and has a very different opinion of the industry and especially of their shared colleagues.

“People who knew what was going on with [my boss] Freddie (Gaudelli) and who read how I was being treated in the media already looked at me with such pity,” Guerrero told People in an interview about her book. “I was a shell of myself. And I felt such shame and embarrassment that the last thing I was going to say is, ‘Oh, and by the way, I just had a miscarriage.’ Most of my best friends will learn about it by reading the book.”

The miscarriage Guerrero referenced was suffered during a live Monday Night Football broadcast. But feeling the pressure of being in her first season in a not so forgiving industry, she hid the health emergency and finished the game. Guerrero stated that even some of her best friends are just learning about the miscarriage now. On a recent episode of her Sideline Sanity podcast, Tafoya responded to Guerrero’s decision to release a tell-all decades after working in the industry.

“I think what she’s doing is wrong and I think that her motivations are not pure,’’ Tafoya said of Guerrero’s memoir. “It’s a tough business and it’s what she signed up for. You either cut it or you can’t. I contend she wasn’t tough enough.”

Maybe being a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football wasn’t for Guerrero, but it’s hard to question her toughness. After leaving sportscasting, Guerrero made a significant career pivot and worked her way up to becoming the chief investigative correspondent at Inside Edition. Her toughness in that role and skills as an investigator helped solve a cold case, leading to the conviction of a Nebraska man who killed a toddler.

But Tafoya’s issue wasn’t just with Guerrero’s opinion of the sports media industry, or their shared colleagues such as renowned producer Gaudelli. Tafoya also questioned Guerrero’s decision to open up about her devastating miscarriage 20 years later.

“I’ve had multiple miscarriages,” Tafoya said. “I’ve talked very openly about my struggles to have a baby, about my adoption of my second child. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Losing a pregnancy between eight and 12 weeks is not uncommon. If it was such pain that she’s carried for 20 years, and her best friends still have to buy the book to learn about it? I see a disconnect there. It’s her story to tell, but having been through similar things, trust me when I tell you, my best friends knew.”

Tafoya proceeded to recount two frightening pregnancy stories of her own. The first being when she was pregnant with twins and covering the Pro Bowl. While in Hawaii for the game, Tafoya spent five hours between two emergency rooms and learned that she sadly suffered a miscarriage. After receiving the devastating news, Tafoya called her producer to say she wasn’t going to do the game, she was going home. Tafoya also recalled a health scare while covering the NBA and pregnant with her son. During the game, Tafoya informed her producer that something wasn’t right and she was urged to immediately go to the hospital.

Being that Tafoya was open about her health emergencies and received support from her colleagues, she was confused as to why Guerrero kept her story quiet for 20 years.

“Trust me when I tell you that all my best friends knew about that,” Tafoya said of her health emergencies. “I don’t know why you would wait to publish a book 15 years after the fact to reveal this to your best friends. And so, I have my hesitation about, was this truly a devastating miscarriage?”

People deal with trauma and health emergencies differently. It’s one thing to question Guerrero’s opinion of shared colleagues. But questioning the level of devastation she experienced from a health emergency seems narrow-minded.

[Sideline Sanity]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com