Ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers-New Orleans Saints game on Monday Night Football, I thought it'd be a good time to rehash a conversation I had with ESPN's Michelle Beisner-Buck when she joined Playmakers at the end of last season.
She has such a unique path to her role in the sports broadcasting industry and her hard work along the way has certainly contributed to her success.
Beisner-Buck currently works for ESPN as an NFL features reporter, with her stories airing on Monday Night Countdown. Prior to ESPN, she worked as a studio host and field reporter for NFL Network from 2006-14.
She prides herself on getting big interviews and doing memorable storytelling with emotional range. Her stories can make you laugh, like last season's feature on the Seattle Seahawks' touchdown dances. Others might make you cry, as was the case with her piece on Bill Johnston, the Chargers former director of public relations, and his wife, Ramona, who battled Huntington's Disease before passing away in 2019.
"I think it's really great to be able to take the helmet off, get rid of the uniform, and see a person standing in front of you," Beisner-Buck said. "You get to actually humanize and make this person's struggles, triumphs, and adversity real. When you can do that, it all of a sudden becomes relatable.
"I have to be accountable and responsible and completely invested in my work and the person that I'm sitting with. That person that you are interviewing has to be the most important person you've ever sat with. You have to make them feel that way. You have to be committed from start to finish in making sure that you are allowing them to tell their best story."
Beisner-Buck's career originally started on the sidelines - but not in the way you might think.
She was a Denver Broncos Cheerleader for six seasons serving as a captain of the squad for five. Growing up dancing and then dancing professionally, Beisner-Buck admitted her background in the performing arts had an influence on her transition to broadcasting.
"There is definitely a performance aspect of what we do," she said. "And a cadence and tone and a rhythm a choreography to the way you deliver a lead-in or a tag, the way that you sit with someone, interact, the way you ask your questions, the way you navigate and dance through a feature."
While cheerleading, she recalled seeing Melissa Stark reporting from the sidelines during Monday Night Football and realized that career was her dream job.
She remained determined and committed to her job pursuit which led her to her first opportunity as an NFL reporter. From there, she continued to take advantage of opportunities that came her way.
As for her advice to those wanting to pursue a career in this industry?
Versatility is key.
"I can write, I can edit, I can produce, I can be on live TV," she said. "It doesn't freak me out. Those kinds of people are what everyone is looking for."