Lisa Guerrero Breaks the Rules

The female sports broadcaster is not a fish out of water

Published on LatinoLA: December 5, 2003

Lisa Guerrero Breaks the Rules

An accomplished actress and ex-Los Angeles Rams Cheerleader, Lisa Guerrero is breaking all the rules in sports broadcasting. After eight years as a sports announcer on different networks, Lisa was hired in one of the most envied positions in sports broadcasting as the sideline reporter for ABC Monday Night Football.

Q: Are you from L.A.?

A: I am originally from San Diego and Orange County areas but I?ve lived in Los Angeles for I?d say the last 15 years.

Q: And your parents?

A: My mother is from Chile, South America and my father is from the United States. They both met when he was going to the University of Chicago. She was 17 years old and she only spoke Spanish. He was 22 years old and only spoke English. So of course it was perfect match. They got married right away and here I am.

Q: What is it like for a woman to cover sports? Have you encountered any major obstacles?

A: Well, you know, traditionally it has been like being a fish out of water. When you are a woman in a man?s environment in business or in sports, in my case, you have to work harder to earn credibility and to show that you belong there. When you are a sportscaster, on your first day of work, they don?t hand you a microphone and say: ?here is your microphone and here is your credibility.? That is something that you have to earn covering games, day after day, week after week, month after month.

People in Southern California have seen me covering sports on three different networks now for seven or eight years. So it is a little bit easier for folks in Southern California to get used to seeing me talk about sports. But nationally I think the image of sportscasters, in terms of women, has tended to be: look like guy, as much as possible, act like one of the guys, cut your hair short don?t wear lip gloss, don?t smile too much, don?t be too feminine, etc. And I think I broke a lot of those rules as a broadcaster. One of the first things they told me was to cut my hair. And I wouldn?t do it. I said, 'I am a Latina, this is my look, this is how I feel comfortable. I am not going to give up my femininity in order to cover the guys in terms of sports. I don?t need to be one of the guys to cover the guys.'

Q: Tell us how the NFL offer came about?

A: I?d been with CBS, I had been with FOX as a broadcaster doing sports and when my FOX contract ended last year I had an opportunity to do a film as an actor so I thought, ?I am going to go ahead and do this film and get into acting for a little while because that was something I had missed.' As luck would have it, I was on the set in New Orleans to do this film and they went on hiatus to restructure the way they were going to, basically, [how] the film would be budgeted and the way that the film would be marketed. So I was stuck in New Orleans with nothing to do for two weeks and during that window ABC called for Monday Night Football. I flew to New York and interviewed. It was a long process. It went back and forth and they saw my tapes, they saw my resumes, they saw articles I had written, articles people had written about me. About three months later I got the job. process.

Q: It sounds like fate. A lot of things just happened beginning with your mom?s death that just kind of led you to this point in life. Do you believe in fate?

A: I believe in God and I believe that there is a destiny and a path and a plan for everybody and although we at the moment might not see it through tragedy or through conflicts of career, or conflicts in families we don?t really know what takes you to this specific place.

For more on Lisa Guerrero and other ?Latinos at the Top of Their Sport? watch ABC7?s Vista LA this Sunday , December 7 at 11:00am. Vista LA airs Sundays at 11:00 am on ABC, Channel 7

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