My parents instilled within me a love for the game at an early age. They named me after my grandmother’s favorite Twins player, took me to my first football game when I was five weeks old, blasted the Minnesota rouser from ’70s-style speakers and used athletes’ names like “Lombardozzi” when teaching me how to talk. By the time I joined ESPN in 2008, I had a sports fan’s passion and a competitor’s heart. I started my career in Operations where it was my good fortune to work among ESPN’s Monday Night Football family. After three seasons, I moved to the Communications department as senior publicist with a focus on NFL coverage. I am a loyal Twins fan and University of Minnesota alumna.
posted by Allie Stoneberg on May 10, 2013 12:03 PM
Pittsburgh Steelers star safety, ESPN ‘intern’ Ryan Clark reflects upon his four days as rookie NFL analyst
Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark has been on TV many times, but this week was different.
Appearing in a suit and tie instead of a uniform, Clark was invited to ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus for a four-day “internship” as a guest NFL analyst. In between appearances on SportsCenter, NFL Live and NFL32, Clark spoke to Front Row and discussed his experience as an analyst-in-training. continue reading…
posted by Allie Stoneberg on April 25, 2013 3:30 PM
The phrase “there’s no ‘i’ in team” is referenced often in sports.
When it comes to ESPN’s coverage of the NFL Draft, this idiom certainly rings true, especially within the research department. continue reading…
posted by Allie Stoneberg on April 25, 2013 12:16 PM
Custom hashtags, images, live voting and BINGO part of ESPN Social Media’s enhanced NFL Draft coverage
For the first time in ESPN’s 34 years of televising the NFL Draft, the company’s Social Media group will have a presence at Radio City Music Hall. You might say they’re ESPN’s newest expansion team.
With hopes of engaging fans across multiple screens during the three-day telecast — beginning tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN — Senior Manager of ESPN Social Media Jason Romano detailed the three major initiatives his group is planning this week: continue reading…
posted by Allie Stoneberg on April 25, 2013 8:00 AM
ESPN often opens a game or coverage of a major event with a “tease,” a two-to-three minute prelude serving as an a mood-setter and customized for special events or telecasts.
Tonight, the tease for ESPN’s NFL Draft telecast (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET) will introduce fans to the top prospects in this year’s class, while also reminding them of one of the great stories from last year. continue reading…
posted by Allie Stoneberg on April 11, 2013 12:20 PM
ESPN college football and NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay appears as a guest on the “Front & Center” podcast to discuss the 2013 NFL Draft. Providing insight on his preparation behind the scenes, McShay talks about the nearly year-long evaluation process, how he transitioned from scout to TV analyst and a possible post-Draft get-together at Fenway Park with fellow analyst Mel Kiper.
Note: This afternoon, ESPN announced its commentator team for the 2013 NFL Draft (April 25-27). McShay will be paired with host Trey Wingo, Trent Dilfer and Kiper on the main set at Radio City Music Hall on Days 2 and 3. He will also be part of draft coverage throughout Day 1 from the ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn.
posted by Allie Stoneberg on April 4, 2013 5:45 PM
posted by Allie Stoneberg on March 12, 2013 12:45 PM
ESPN analyst Bill Polian is no stranger to NFL free agency. The six-time National Football League Executive of the Year — who was honored by the Touchdown Club of New Orleans this weekend with the Pete Rozelle Award for his longtime contributions to the game — helped build multiple successful franchises during his 24 years as a general manager.
Having moved from the front office to the analyst ranks last March, Polian now serves as ESPN’s GM, analyzing the free agency process, player acquisitions, and more on television, radio and for ESPN Insider.
In anticipation of the start of free agency (today, 4 p.m. ET), the Front & Center podcast above offers a conversation with Polian, who discusses how his business philosophies changed though the years and the best free agent decision he ever made.
Polian and many other ESPN analysts and insiders will have all the latest free agency news throughout the day. (Fans can also stay updated by using ESPN.com’s Free Agent Tracker.)
posted by Allie Stoneberg on March 6, 2013 2:08 PM
NFL’s free agency period begins next Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET and the buzz surrounding who will go where is beginning to simmer over.
In an effort to gain some perspective on how free agency affects coaches and general managers, Front Row queried ESPN analysts Bill Polian (former GM of Buffalo and Carolina and former President and Vice Chairman for Indianapolis) and Herm Edwards (former Kansas City and New York Jets head coach).
Additionally, in the SportsCenter video above, former Cleveland and Jets coach Eric Mangini shares his own free agent recruiting story involving Brett Favre.
On evaluating players during free agency:
H.E.: You always look at the guy’s age and his production. And obviously, if he’s coming off injury, that was a concern. Players make most of their money in their second contract. If you’re getting a guy after his second contract, you’re very hesitant of paying a veteran player — because he’s going to want a long deal.
If you get him when he’s 31 and you look at his shelf life, he might only be a two-year fix, and you don’t want to be caught with a guy for four years when he only really has two good years left. It hurts you on the salary cap. If you cut him, the money goes on your cap and now you lose the player and you still have the money so that affects your football team down the road. There has to be a plan and you can’t panic. And the organizations that go about free agency in that way — that have a good plan — they never get themselves in a bad way.
B.P.: In free agency, you’re looking to fill a need. In free agency, you’re absolutely looking at the finished product. Those players are not going to get any better than they are now at 26 or 27. They’re at their peak. They’re not going to get better. They are what they are. So as I looked at free agency as a general manager, what I’m looking for is the finished product. Whereas with the draft, no matter where you take them, they’re not the finished product.
On a decision you would have liked to revisit: continue reading…
posted by Allie Stoneberg on February 3, 2013 10:00 AM
Former NFL official Gerry Austin, who just completed his first season as ESPN’s Monday Night Football Rules Consultant, is no stranger to Super Bowl games in New Orleans.
Austin worked for the NFL from 1982-2007. During that 25-year span, he was a part of three officiating crews that called the Super Bowl, two of which were played at the Superdome, site of this weekend’s Ravens-49ers game.
Austin was a side judge for Super Bowl XXIV (San Francisco versus Denver) and the referee for Super Bowl XXXI (Green Bay versus New England). continue reading…
posted by Allie Stoneberg on January 31, 2013 9:30 AM
When San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss declared himself the best ever to play the position during Super Bowl XLVII Media Day on Tuesday, ESPN was in a unique position to react to those comments.
After all, Jerry Rice — a Pro Football Hall of Fame member who many consider the NFL’s greatest player, regardless of position — is an ESPN analyst. Hall of Fame finalist Cris Carter, a mentor to Moss and a former teammate, is also an ESPN analyst.