On Sunday night, Andrea Kremer was forced to interview the second level players of the game as a clearly perturbed Bill Belichick found no puppies to boot on his way to the locker room after the New England Patriots' first close contest in... well, recorded television memory, anyway. As she attempted her second question with wide receiver Wes Welker, Welker looked past her to the sideline and then let Kremer know that his coach needed him in the locker room.
Welker tried to be polite about an impolite request to leave mid-interview, making an earnest attempt at humor and looking sheepish. Still, Kremer was left with her mic in her hand and a second shaft for the road, staring blankly into the camera. (And good for Al Michaels for standing up for his co-worker, shifting to a childish falsetto to mock Welker: "Coming, Mommy!")
If this had been Monday Night Football, Suzy Kolber could have knelt behind Belichick while Michele Tafoya shoved the coach in the Flashdance costume over. However, that's about as much satisfaction as any sideline reporter could hope for these days.
Sideline reporters have been given the short end of all sticks in the last few years. All interviews have been strictly regulated by the NFL, limited to the head coach blowoff at halftime and a player mumbling platitudes. Injury information must come from the NFL and route through the producers in the truck. MNF's Tafoya has been busted plenty by the NFL for working a little too hard back there.
Tafoya is all alone at field level these days, too, with Kolber likely on maternity leave (mazel tov!). After going through a tough pregnancy herself, Michele appreciates the caution but might like having someone to hold down Belichick while she knees him in the groin until a fine paste is produced.
There is one way Kolber could help, taking a page from working mothers with more traditional offices: telecommute. Set up her living room for a satellite feed, package her in a flattering pant suit that slightly reveals her matronly state, and point the camera at the interviewee on the field for their Nightline-style closeup.