Source - This season is expected to be “Sunday Night Football” reporter Michele Tafoya’s final one on the sidelines, The Post has learned.
Sources said it is Tafoya’s decision to step away from the field. She has been on network TV at CBS, ABC/ESPN and NBC for nearly three decades.
NBC declined comment, while Tafoya could not be immediately reached.
In recent days, Tafoya, 56, has been in the news because she has missed three games, which NBC describes as “bye weeks.”
She was on ABC’s “The View” in early November, where she made headlines when she compared COVID to the flu, saying the “flu kills people.” She also countered the idea that Colin Kapernick was not on an NFL roster because of kneeling for the anthem.
After “The View,” she went on to work the sidelines for the rest of that month until taking off after Thanksgiving and the past two Sundays.
I don't think I'm alone when I say this, but if I had to put a number on it, I'd say that over the course of a football season I maybe 3.5 minutes in total paying attention to the sideline reporters. Whether that's Michele Tafoya or Armen Keteyian or whomever, they're more or less human versions of the Fox Bots. They appear not long after certain commercial breaks and move around for a moment or two while you check your phone for Tweets and Fantasy updates and nothing they do to try to engage you resonates.
Also like CGI cartoon robots, they're also utterly interchangeable. I mean, I haven't missed a Sunday Night Football game since it was created. But before reading this, if you'd asked me who the sideline reporter is working with Al Michaels & Cris Collinsworth, I would've had to wrack my brain to remember it's Michele Tafoya. And wasn't even aware she'd missed those games and was replaced by Kathyrn Tappen. No offense to her; it's just the nature of the Sideline Reporter Beast. You could be the greatest talent in the history of the medium, and you're still saying "I spoke to Andy Reid about what his team needs to do ... " or sharing some throwaway human interest anecdote about some face of some franchise player. They're empty calories in a stylish winter coat.
All that said, conventional wisdom is that this is the comments that got Tayofa shoved over the rail of the SNF ship:
Which was confirmed by on Bill Simmons podcast earlier in the week:
Source - “There’s some good conspiracy stuff going on about this,” Simmons said. “Because she hosted ‘The View’ in the beginning of November. She was in the conservative seat, then a couple weeks later, all of a sudden, just on a bye. Taking a break.
“It would be one thing if the show was on 52 weeks a year, but it’s only on 17 weeks a year. Do you need three weeks off during a 17-week season?”
That's a point well taken. And a question that might have occurred to all of us if we actually paid attention to who Al & Cris toss it to so Al can check if his NBA parlay is covering. If you work 17 Sundays a season, what do you need a Sunday off for unless somebody wants you out of the picture?
And based on the timing, it seems logical that the reason someone wants Tafoya gone is because they don't like what she said on "The View." Which one, would be one of the most ironic firings in the history of employment. She stated her opinion that Colin Kaepernick didn't lose his job for stating his opinion, and in turn lost her job.
Whether or not you agree with her take, you have to admit that's a shitcanning paradox of the highest order. Tafoya is a career sports broadcaster who is quite literally boots on the ground
every most NFL Sundays, she talks personally to her sources within the league just about every day of her life. She then gets invited onto "The View" to interact with those cackling hens. An actual NFL story comes up, so she lends her opinion based on the information she's actually been given first hand. But Joy fricking Behar is the expert here. So Tafoya not only gets shouted down, she ends up losing the NFL job. Go figure.
Assuming Simmons is correct and Michele Tafoya was brought in to be the "conservative" voice, I'd strongly recommend that the next woman brought in to sit in that particular chair tell Behar and Whoopie Goldberg to so fry ice next time they're invited on. That is, if they've got a career they'd like to keep.
P.S. File this story away for the next time someone tells you Cancel Culture is not a thing.