The aggregators get together!
Bill Simmons hates it when people take theories from his podcast and report them as facts, so when he postulated that secondary reporter Michele Tafoya’s absence from Sunday Night Football could be linked to his time as a braggart in the conservative chair on The sight, it was either because he had a cerebral fart or he craved some masochism.
The one thing that lent that idea more credibility on Tuesday was the network’s announcement that this year would be his last on SNF. They even told them everything Sunday night football the talent has been taking breaks periodically this season – both Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth have taken a break – and that Tafoya will return for the Saints-Bucs game this weekend.
An NBC spokesperson told Deadspin in an email:
Michele will be back on the bench this weekend. As we have done repeatedly, we are giving our announcers goodbye weeks again in 2021 and we intend to do so in the future as well. Michele’s free weeks, which were determined ahead of the season, have all been in cities with cold weather after Thanksgiving, and her last free weekend of this season comes January 2 in Green Bay. Any other speculation about his free time is patently false.
My guess is that it was two friends who fooled around on a podcast, and Simmons thought the theory was too outlandish to have a basis in reality, but what do I know? I’m just a guy who listens to his show and really enjoyed cousin Sal’s recurring line “Collinsworth in search of Tafoya”.
However, it’s interesting that Simmons, who routinely complains about being attached, is so distracted. (Anything to laugh at, but I laughed too, so who am I to judge.) He had to know it was going to be picked up, especially after he was running into the podcast for a while.
If conspiracy were a real possibility, it would be pretty funny, though, because we all know where NBC is leaning and going to an ABC show for defending anti-vaccinists, confronting COVID with the flu, complaining of critical race theory, and disparaging that there are two sides to the NFL’s horrifying handling of Colin Kaepernick’s situation tilts a lot in the opposite direction. Or maybe the NFL has called because it wants to keep politically polarizing figures away from its broadcasts in an effort to prevent sports from mingling with the real world. Considering how do you speak? the NFL speech (and he did it on The sight), it seems unlikely.
Simmons also said that skipping four games on an 18-week NFL schedule was suspicious and that he wouldn’t want a potential replacement to receive live rehearsals. Being fired or not being renewed for pushing claims that have been scientifically proven wrong sounds plausible, right? When you consider that nowadays it counts as being conservative, it is a little less credible and resides in a legal area that is apparently ripe for legal action.
It could simply be a reshuffle due to SNF’s alleged turnover. Mike Tirico is expected to replace Michaels after this season, and Michaels is rumored to be the favorite to become the voice of Amazon. Thursday night football, although he may still call some NBC games. (I assume they would be the ones Tirico sits down.)
Honestly, I hadn’t noticed that Tafoya hadn’t been on the sidelines for the past four weeks, and I didn’t know she had appeared on The sight or that there was a conservative chair on The sight or that Megh has become fulla McCain while in it. People, as well as those who watch The sight, even know of Tafoya’s locations if Simmons hadn’t highlighted them in his podcast? Sure, but probably not up to this point.
I’m not saying she’s a complete victim here because going galaxy right-wing jerk on a well-known TV show is fucking stupid, and she opened her up to that. conspiracy theory, but news of his departure from the SNF and timing, right or wrong, will be clouded by Simmons’ claims.
The lesson in all of this? The home internet always wins.