Lisa Guerrero has often been called “the luckiest woman in sports” after landing her dream job as a secondary correspondent for Monday night football in 2013. In his new book Warrior she reveals how the role turned into a nightmare that led her to a dark place.
Producer Freddie Gaudelli hired Guerrero in an effort to change the landscape of sports broadcasting by incorporating a journalist who also dabbled in entertainment, Guerrero explained in an excerpt published by Sports Illustrated. But it was ultimately outside opinions about her appearance, knowledge and value as a sports journalist that became a point of contention between her and her employer.
“‘Just a teleprompter reader.’ “A new ridiculous low for ABC.” ‘Another example where looks trump talent.’ “A bimbo. ‘A blow to women.'” Guerrero listed some of the responses to her hiring announcement. “What had I done to trigger such anger? I was stunned, hurt and completely bewildered by the media reaction.”
As audiences put aside Guerrero’s decade of experience as a sports journalist, they honed in on what they called his “controversial past” as a model, actor, and cheerleader. In the end, photos of the journalist were published, which caused her to start Monday night football at risk.
“I did a photoshoot for FHM, a men’s lifestyle magazine, which was due to appear at the start of the football season. It had been a strategic decision to promote my brand and increase my profile while I was at [The Best Damn Sports Show Period]. But when the media caught wind of the photos of me in black and white lingerie, it reinforced their idea that I had been hired on Monday night football For all the wrong reasons.”
Guerrero recalled that Disney executives were “angry” when they discovered the photoshoot and questioned its place on their “family show.” However, she attributed the reaction to a “mock shock” as the company’s advertising department allegedly ended up negotiating with FHM to put it on the cover.
“Then, for the show’s promotional photos, I posed in a powder blue blazer next to [co-hosts Al Michaels and John Madden]. Yet the photos that made the cut, including on a Times Square billboard, weren’t from that official ABC photoshoot,” she continued. “Instead, without my permission, they superimposed a photo of me wearing a gold sequin tube. top and a look that comes here – that was taken from a modeling gig I had done years earlier. “
While Guerrero believed she was originally hired for her qualifications, she noticed that the negative publicity had an impact on her working relationships and the trust her producer placed in her to do the job.
“A lot of eyes would be on me too – judging me, writing about me, commenting on me. Anything missed would be magnified. My outfit and makeup – even my lip gloss – would be scrutinized,” she said. said about the time. in the first regular season game of Monday night football. And despite all his preparation, his producer asked him to memorize the words he would write for her and not to improvise.
“I thought I knew what was behind this request. Freddie may have been embarrassed by the media’s description of me. I felt he couldn’t fire me because I was his first recruit,” a- she writes. “So instead of firing me, Freddie would micromanage me. Maybe he thought he’d be the mastermind behind the bimbo.”
Guerrero continued, “I had been writing my copy for a decade, but suddenly I felt reduced to a dummy of a ventriloquist. When I said Freddie’s words, it felt unnatural. It just didn’t sound like me. I felt like an actress playing a role that I wasn’t supposed to play. And there were critics who picked it up. They said I looked uncomfortable, that I was staring too much at my notebook. But I had been instructed by Freddie to deliver his script verbatim. If I didn’t, I’d get bored.”
She remembers Gaudelli screaming into her earpiece as she broadcast live and suffering under the pressure to excel at her job with everything against her. This suffering accompanied him at all hours of the day and night, even in his happiest moments.
Now an award-winning investigative journalist, Guerrero can’t believe how gloomy he has become, as she writes about her engagement to baseball player boyfriend Scott Erickson, embittered by the undercurrent of depression . “Who decides to get married while also considering suicide? she remembered thinking.
She also opened up about having a miscarriage during a live sports broadcast.
“I didn’t see that I was in a dangerous downward spiral. I didn’t see that I had become completely detached from reality. I didn’t see how sick I was, mentally and physically. I was completely controlled,” he added. she wrote.
After this experience, she decided to take a stand.
“I thought of everything I had lost on those sidelines: my dignity, my courage and now my pregnancy. There was nothing left to take. At that moment, I swore to ‘stop letting Freddie have so much control over me,’ she said. said. “Over the past few games, I’ve stopped memorizing Freddie’s notes. I was speaking in my own voice. I took my earpiece out during my reports. That way, if Freddie yelled at me, I’d never know. “
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, call 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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