NBC’s Melissa Stark again on sideline, 1st time in 20 years


The final time Melissa Stark was frequently on the sidelines, Tom Brady was a one-time Super Bowl champion, and Matthew Stafford was a freshman in highschool.

As Stark returns to sideline obligation for the primary time since 2002 after beginning a household, Brady continues to be within the league and has added six extra rings to his Super Bowl assortment. Stafford is a part of the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

Stark shall be reporting on each quarterbacks this week for NBC. The Rams start protection of their title in Thursday evening’s kickoff recreation towards the Buffalo Bills, whereas Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers go to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday evening.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine my life would come full circle this way,” stated Stark, who changed Michele Tafoya after she determined to depart sports activities broadcasting. “Being part of hosting a live show in a studio is one thing, but being part of the action and being on the sidelines in the middle of the game is totally different. And that’s what I love.”

Stark was the sideline reporter on ABC’s “Monday Night Football” from 2000-02. She spent 4 years with NBC News (2003-07), together with stints as a nationwide correspondent for the “Today” present and an MSNBC anchor, together with overlaying three Olympics for NBC Sports.

Stark left the enterprise for just a few years when her household grew to 4 kids, together with twins, earlier than becoming a member of NFL Network in 2011. She hosted Sunday morning protection through the season, was a reporter, contributed to NFL draft protection and did some sideline reporting when the community produced video games in London.

Stark began on “Monday Night Football” when she was 25 and returns to primetime soccer at age 48 with 4 youngsters.

“I’ve always said to my husband, ‘I’m going to be replaced by someone younger.’ And he’s always said, ‘Stop thinking that. No, you’re not.’ To be able to come back with a family is very validating and an important message for women,” Stark stated. “I think it affords a lot of opportunities to women and shows they can find a way to navigate to have that family but also have a career.

“I feel so honored that (NBC NFL executive producer) Fred (Gaudelli) thought of me. I feel privileged to be able to come back and do that.”

When it involves how sideline reporting has developed over the previous 20 years, Stark cited extra sources, together with having somebody within the truck to instantly relay info to the producer.

“The access to the storylines and research has also increased tremendously. Ultimately, the job of the sideline reporter is to be the eyes and ears on the field. So we can have a story here or there,” she stated.

Stark isn’t the one workers shuffle on “Sunday Night Football,” which has been the top-ranked primetime present for the final 11 years. Mike Tirico turns into the first play-by-play announcer after Al Michaels moved to Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” package deal. Rob Hyland takes over as coordinating producer after Gaudelli moved into an government function at NBC in addition to producing the Amazon video games.

Cris Collinsworth returns for his 14th season as an analyst. The crew labored final month’s Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.

“If I learned anything in Canton, it’s that my instincts are to be trusted. We’re going to be fine. Everybody communicates. Everybody connects, gets along. Similar-minded folks,” Tirico stated. “We haven’t done a regular-season game together, but I know what (director) Drew Esocoff thinks and does, certainly Rob. Cris, I don’t have to look over and see, ‘hmm, what is he thinking?’ I’ve listened to Cris. I’ve worked with Cris. I have a sense of exactly where he’s going and what he wants to say, and the same is true with Melissa.”

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