If Blackmon learned about TV at Georgia State, she learned about sports at home. Blackmon’s father, Don Blackmon, moved the family to Atlanta to join Dan Reeves’ Atlanta Falcons coaching staff in 1997 after coaching stints with the Giants, Browns and Patriots. Don had been drafted in the fourth round by the Patriots in 1981 and spent his entire playing career — seven seasons — with New England. (Tiffany was born in Attleboro, Mass., about 40 miles from Boston.)
After a year in Lake Charles, Blackmon moved to Waco, Texas, a much larger television market where she was the sports director at KXXV-TV, then to Oklahoma City, where she was a member of a four-person team at KFOR-TV, before landing in Houston at the short-lived Comcast SportsNet station in that city.
Two years after Blackmon arrived, new ownership and a reorganization left her without a job. By then she had gotten to cover the Rockets and the Texans, but perhaps more importantly, forge friendships with reporters and producers that would give her the encouragement and contacts she needed a few years later.
From Houston, Blackmon moved back to Atlanta without a job, recalling that her mom and dad had dropped her off in Lake Charles in a U-Haul, and just a few years later picked her up in another.
The setback didn’t last long for Blackmon, though, and within months she landed a role reporting for the NFL Network, which made her the first Georgia State alumna to sign an NFL contract.
From her homebase in Atlanta, she traveled across the country to cover games and file stories.
After five years, she left the NFL Network to work for the Major League Soccer expansion team in Charlotte, N.C., under the same ownership as the Carolina Panthers. It seemed like a great fit, she thought. She’d gotten to know team officials while working for the NFL Network (“Everything is relationship-based, and I made relationships with everybody I covered,” she said), and she looked forward to the opportunity.
She moved to Charlotte March 1, 2020, but by the middle of the month, the COVID-19 pandemic had shut down in-person sports along with much of the rest of the country. It was the second major blow to her career and one that could have ended it.
“They kept me on as long as they could, but they did furlough me,” Blackmon said.
While she continued looking for work, Lericia Harris, a friend at ESPN she’d met in Atlanta, recommended Blackmon for a one-off gig covering a college football game in the fall of 2020. According to Blackmon, it didn’t go well.
“It was horrible. I felt like I was absolutely terrible,” Blackmon said.
By December 2020, Blackmon had moved back to Atlanta and begun to imagine getting out of TV entirely. She confided in fellow journalists who encouraged her not to give up.