Monday Night Football's decision to sack buxom sideline reporter Lisa Guerrero and bring in ESPN vet Michele Tafoya may not go over too well with the broadcast's young male viewers. But you don't have to tell Tafoya that. "I know I'm not a pinup," concedes the 39-year-old NBA fixture. "I'm just a no-nonsense reporter who is really, really passionate about sports."
It's a distinction true football fans can appreciate — especially coming off of last season's on-air fiasco. Guerrero's brief gridiron gig was universally panned by critics, many of whom blasted ABC for shamelessly emphasizing sex appeal over substance in its pursuit of that ever-elusive younger demo. For her part, Tafoya doesn't blame the network for hiring actresses to play broadcasters.
"TV is a really visual medium," she says. "Really beautiful people get you to stop and watch and that's just the way it is; that's natural. Believe me, if I could have it all I would. If I could be the thinking-person's reporter and [look like] Jennifer Aniston I'd take it, too!"
That's not to say MNF producers aren't going to try and have their touchdown and extra point, too. As Tafoya reveals, she'll undergo a mini-extreme makeover prior to kickoff in September. "They're hiring me a stylist and we're going to pull a [new] look together," she says. "And I really love clothes, so this is gonna be fun!"