ESPN, Tirico re-visit New Orleans this week to telecast NFL, NBA games

It’s a great time to be a sports fan in Louisiana. In the span of five days, the state is home to three sports showcases. ESPN has production crews at each one.

Saturday, College GameDay Built by The Home Depot originated from Baton Rouge, La., site of the SEC showdown between defending national champion Alabama and host LSU. Alabama won, 21-17, in a rematch of the Allstate BCS National Championship Game that ESPN aired from New Orleans just 10 months earlier.

The rematch also will be the focus of ESPN The Magazine’s upcoming “1Day1Game” issue. Here’s a photo slideshow preview of what was captured.

Monday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, ESPN Monday Night Football will air the Philadelphia Eagles’ visit to play the host Saints (8:30 ET).

And Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, the Philadelphia 76ers visit the host Hornets in the New Orleans Arena. Dave Pasch and Hubie Brown will call the game, which is expected to showcase Hornets rookie Anthony Davis, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft. Davis, however, is recovering from a concussion suffered last week and missed the Hornets last game.

In the photo gallery above, we share just a few of the many sports events ESPN has aired from New Orleans over the years, including the Saints’ 2006 Monday Night Football return to the Superdome a year after Hurricane Katrina.

ESPN’s Mike Tirico called the play-by-play of that MNF between the Saints and Atlanta Falcons and will be calling the Eagles-Saints game tomorrow.

He shared some of his thoughts on the Crescent City with Front Row:

“New Orleans has a special place in my sports life. I will never forget being there to see my alma mater Syracuse lose the Final Four championship game in 1987 and then win 16 years later in the very same building. Calling the Monday Night game post-Katrina, the signal to America and the world that New Orleans was open for business again, remains the most emotional, significant game I have had the honor of calling.

“New Orleans residents love to party and it shows at the sporting events in town. From NBA playoffs to Sugar Bowl and everything else in between, there is a different charge to the crowd; emotional highs and lows seem more pronounced. Loyal and loud best describes the New Orleans fans who create a great atmosphere for any game we call down there.”

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