Lisa Guerrero on MNF trauma, being trolled by Tafoya and the Playboy Mansion’s dirty little secret I The Rush

Investigative reporter and former sports broadcaster Lisa Guerrero is on The Rush, chatting with Minty about her new memoir, Warrior: My Path to Being Brave, her tumultuous season as the sideline reporter on Monday Night Football, how she broke barriers for women in sports broadcasting, what the Playboy Mansion and MLB clubhouses have in common and why she’s rooting for Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII. Plus, Lisa reveals her surprise upon learning that another former MNF sideline reporter, Michele Tafoya, trolled her on Twitter and in a recent podcast.

Video Transcript

LISA GUERRERO: I think it was important that as much as I endured and there was a lot of trauma that later I endured on Monday Tonight Football and ABC, early on, I think my success in terms of ratings and getting that attention really helped other women have a platform that was pretty hard-fought for me.


MINTY BETS: What's up, everyone. I'm here with former sports broadcaster current investigative reporter, and the author of the memoir, "Warrior-- My Path to Being Brave," Lisa Guerrero. Welcome to the show, Lisa.

LISA GUERRERO: Thanks for having me, Minty. Good to be here.

MINTY BETS: So your book is titled, "Warrior-- My Path to Being Brave." What was your bravest moment as a sports reporter?

LISA GUERRERO: You know, I think any time that I entered a locker room early in my career, when I was the only woman covering that team, those were brave moments. I think when you're a woman in sports, especially going back to the '90s when I started, there were a lot of people that said, you can't do this. You're not good enough. You didn't play sports. You can't possibly know how to report sports. But more importantly, I think I was ultimately opening the door and the opportunity for other women, later, to speak about sports and to have those opportunities in sports.

MINTY BETS: A trailblazer indeed you write in the book about losing your job as the Monday Tonight Football sideline reporter, and you briefly mentioned that Michele Tafoya took over the role after you left. We here at "The Rush" read your book and you said nothing negative about her, yet she attacked you on Twitter and in a podcast. How surprised were you to see that?

LISA GUERRERO: Well, I've never met the woman, and I was very surprised. I will say this. I am incredibly grateful that she didn't endure the trauma that I endured on Monday Tonight Football. I dealt with a boss that was very verbally abusive to me. I dealt with a lot of criticism from the media that wanted to label me a bimbo, or a cheerleader, or an actress, or model and instead of recognizing that I had 10 years experience as a sportscaster before I got Monday Tonight Football.

What happened to me was real and it was traumatic, and it led to a lot of depression and anxiety, and a real downward spiral in my life. I hope that she reads the book, and I wish her well. I hope that-- my book really is a love letter and a cautionary tale for other young women in the business.

MINTY BETS: You write at length about spending time in the infamous Playboy Mansion and in MLB clubhouses. What is more intimidating, the Playboy Mansion or a baseball clubhouse?

LISA GUERRERO: I think I was around 20, 21 when I went to the Playboy Mansion for the first time. I was represented by Playboy Models. I wasn't a playmate, but I did swimwear modeling and a lot of fitness modeling through the agency. And I was required to go to the Playboy Mansion, and I remember being so freaked out at the sight of these older men, and these young women, and all the drinking and the carrying on. I was really into-- I never had done any drugs and I had never even drank any alcohol at that point in my life. So I was really intimidated.

But I was curious and I poked around and I went down to the grotto, which shockingly was really gross, and it smelled kind of like a combination of both mold and bleach. It's like they had just tried to clean it, but it was kind of gross and crusty. Like the whole thing was crusty to me. It was yucky. But then MLB locker rooms are also similarly gross and crusty in different ways. I think what most people think of when you're a woman in the locker room they think, oh, that's all these hot billionaires, and it must be fabulous. It was disgusting. It smells like mold and farts and gross, dirty towels and mildew, and you don't know where to look. And you're there to do your job, get in and get out. And so I think there's this kind of romance about what it must be like for women in a locker room. It ain't that. It ain't that.

MINTY BETS: So you're born and raised in the LA area and you used to be a Rams cheerleader. With your home team out of the running, who do you want in the Super Bowl, the Chiefs or the Eagles?

LISA GUERRERO: Chiefs, come on. I mean I'm such a Patrick Mahomes fan. Actually, I have a funny story. His dad, Pat Mahomes, a former baseball player, is a family friend of mine, and my ex-husband, Scott Erickson was his teammate. So when Scott and Patrick Mahomes' dad, Pat played together, we remember Patrick as this little kid running around in baseball locker rooms around the country, and being too shy to ask me for a hug.

He would look up at me, and Pat, his dad, would go, he has a love crush on you, Lisa. And he'd be like, you want to hug, Patrick? And he would be like, yes. So those are my Patrick, my Patrick Mahomes memories is him besides being a shy little cutie pie.

MINTY BETS: Well, Lisa Guerrero congrats on the new memoir, "Warrior-- My Path to Being Brave" which is on sale now. Thanks so much for rushing with me today.

LISA GUERRERO: You're welcome so good to meet you, Minty.