Michele Tafoya will work her final NFL game this Sunday. She will be on the sidelines of the Super Bowl for the fifth time in her career. After that, she is stepping away from sports for an as-yet-unnamed opportunity.
On Monday, Tafoya and the rest of the NBC team covering the game met with the media. She was asked what it meant to her to be less than a week away from her final NFL game.
“I don’t want to be part of the story necessarily, but I do appreciate, more than ever this opportunity to do a fifth Super Bowl, to do it with this crew,” She answered. “I’ve worked a lot with this crew, and they are a family of mine.”
Michele Tafoya mentioned that while she is happy to be able to spend less time on the road and more time with her family, it is hard to say goodbye to so many people that have been a part of her life for such a long time. Leaving them will not be easy.
“I’ve been talking to guys this week that I’ve known for so long and sharing stories and just talking about how that’s going to be the hard part.”
During a conference call to announce the end of her tenure with NBC Sports, Tafoya acknowledged that she had initially planned to leave the sports world behind before the 2020 NFL season. Once Covid-19 became a factor, she felt like NBC needed as much stability as it could possibly have during what was sure to be a strange NFL season.
At the time, Michele Tafoya and her NBC colleagues insisted that she was not being forced out. She reiterated on Monday that she had come to a point where she felt she had accomplished all she needed to in the sports realm.
“We were all talking about how you get to a certain point, and you’ve chased what you wanted to chase, a particular arena in your life, and there are other things you want to chase, and that’s how I feel, and I feel strongly about that.”
Joe Buck: ESPN Is Letting Us Set Tone For Monday Night Football
“It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”
While Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be calling football games on Monday nights for ESPN instead of Sunday afternoons for FOX this year, fans shouldn’t expect the broadcasts to be that much different, if at all, than what they’ve been used to over the last 20 years.
Buck was recently a guest on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast and said that ESPN knows that he and Aikman have to be comfortable in order for Monday Night Football to be a success.
“I know we are in the honeymoon phase. I’m not dumb. That stuff wears off after a while. They are like ‘however you guys have always done a game, that’s the way we want you to do a game whether it’s with regard to meetings vs. conference calls or when you guys show up, how you like the booth set up. However you want it, we are going to do it your way’ and that’s to their credit. It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”
Buck and Aikman are obviously already very familiar with each other. Buck said that it will be important not to take that for granted or second guess what they already know.
“I think the one thing Troy and I have to avoid is trying to be different than we’ve been. They hired us based on what we’ve done and who we are and how we relate to each other and the way we see a game,” said Buck.
Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys
The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.
Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.
But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.
Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:
Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.
Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”
Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.
The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.
Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.
“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”
Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”
He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.
Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.