Thu. Sep 20th, 2018

Michelle Tafoya: Don’t Be Afraid To Be Great

When Michele Tafoya drops her young daughter off at school each morning, the NBC sideline reporter says, ‘Don’t be afraid to be … ” and allows Oliva to finish the sentence: “…great.”

For Tafoya, the fun exchange with her daughter is more than that. It’s a message she lives by – as a reporter, as a wife and as a mother.

Tafoya spent much of her sports broadcasting career not wanting to be singled out because of her gender, but if there’s one thing she’s learned in her life and hopes to impart to others, it’s “put one foot in front of the other – even when sometimes you can’t seem to pick up that one foot.”

The youngest of four children, Tafoya felt a drive early on to follow her dreams, set goals and achieve them.

“Take advantage of every opportunity that is ever placed in front of you,” Tafoya’s father told her.

And she has.

“My whole focus was to get to the NFL sideline,” Tafoya said. “I wanted to work with the NFL.”

From producing, to a radio job in Charlotte, North Carolina, to the Vikings sidelines, to a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football, Tafoya never took her eyes off her goal.

She never stopped moving forward, and the Emmy-award winning reporter now works alongside play-by-play announcer Al Michaels and color commentator Cris Collinsworth on Sunday Night Football, the most-watched show on prime time television during the NFL season.

Anyone who has watched Tafoya as a sideline reporter understands the passion she has for her job; anyone who knows her as a wife and mother understands she has an equal passion for her family.

“I end up at NBC, I end up marrying the man of my dreams, I end up with these two children, and suddenly I don’t want to work anymore,” Tafoya said, laughing. “I don’t want to leave the house – it’s like, ‘I love this.’ But I also love my job. It’s all about finding balance, and that’s become the new focus of my life: making sure I’m listening to my priorities.”

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