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Michele Tafoya works 200th game on NFL sidelines Sunday as Patriots visit Texans on NBC's 'Sunday Night Football'

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Tue, Dec 8th 2015 10:20 pm

When NBC's "Sunday Night Football" kicks off this Sunday, Dec. 13, with the New England Patriots visiting the Houston Texans, Michele Tafoya will serve as the sideline reporter for her 200th NFL game (regular season and postseason games included).

Sunday marks the 27th Patriots game Tafoya will work, tied with the Dallas Cowboys for the team she has covered most in her 12 seasons on the sidelines (2011-present with NBC, 2006-10 with ESPN, 2004-05 with ABC).

Among Tafoya's 200 NFL games: three Super Bowls, one NFL Divisional Playoff, six NFL Wild Card Playoffs, and 190 regular-season games. In all, her NFL regular season and postseason sideline reporting has taken her to 35 stadiums.

"There is no way I could have made it through all of these games without the incredible support I get from the best crew in sports television," Tafoya said. "Beyond the obvious names, I would point to Charlie Brown, who does too many things to have one job title. He does everything from wiring me up to my audio communication with the truck ... to making sure I don't get run over by a speeding running back on the sideline ... to smuggling hot chocolate onto the field when we're freezing. Charlie has been at my side every season I've worked with Fred Gaudelli's crew. He's an unheralded guy, but in my book he's indispensable."

This week's NBC "Sunday Night Football" game marks Tafoya's sixth visit to NRG Stadium in Houston and her ninth time covering the Texans.

Following is a report on Tafoya's time on the sidelines:

Most Memorable Game: Oct. 5, 2009 - Minnesota QB Brett Favre passed for 271 yards and three touchdowns as the Vikings defeated the Packers 30-23 in Minneapolis. It was Favre's first career game against Green Bay, the team he quarterbacked for 16 years (1992-2007).

"Favre was now the starting QB for the Vikings, a division foe. The game was in the Metrodome, and that building was electric even before a single fan arrived," Tafoya recalled. "I was told before the game that, if the Vikings won and I got Favre for the post-game interview, I could have as much time as I wanted. You never hear that as a sideline reporter! 

"The Vikings did win. I did corral Favre for the post-game interview and he was fantastic. One of the questions was (and I'm paraphrasing), 'You're the first QB to defeat all 32 teams in the NFL. What does that mean to you?' Brett responded, 'Well, I guess we all have to be remembered for something.' Classic Favre."

Coldest Game: 2 degrees at Soldier Field in Chicago on Dec. 22, 2008. Robbie Gould kicked a 38-yard field goal in overtime as the Bears defeated the Green Bay Packers 20-17.

Warmest Game: 93 degrees at Texas Stadium in Dallas on Sept. 19, 2005. Mark Brunell threw 39-yard and 70-yard touchdown passes to Santana Moss in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter as the Redskins defeated the Cowboys 14-13. It was Washington's first win at Texas Stadium in 10 years.

Tafoya has visited the Superdome in New Orleans 14 times. She's seen the Cowboys and Patriots 27 times each.

A two-time Emmy Award-winner for Outstanding Sports Personality - Sports Reporter, Tafoya has been nominated for the award in all four years of its existence. In 2014, she won the Gracie Award for Outstanding On-Air Talent in a Sports Program for her work on NBC's "Sunday Night Football."

The No. 1 primetime show for the past four television seasons, "SNF" is again primetime's most-watched program, this year averaging 23 million viewers through Week 13 of the NFL season.

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