Recently, at a big divisional meeting, was surprised to see my name atop a list recognizing ESPNers who’ve been here 20 years. Whew!. … been a good run so far, enjoying and/or surviving Super Bowl weeks, championship boxing matches, World Series and NHL games, and touring guests and media through on-site production trucks…. Perks of working on SportsCenter -- not just ESPN’s “flagship news and information” program, but what could be considered America’s sports news and information program -- has let me meet some celebs taping those great “This is SportsCenter” promos, including Sean Payton and Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees of my Saints… More importantly, in promoting our Emmy Award-winning story telling and news breaking operation, I’ve been privy to the heart and soul of SportsCenter, Outside the Lines -- the incredibly hard-working folks who make those show must-watch TV for sports fans.
Off the books it’s music, sports and beer (maybe not in that order) and packaging them together for vacations (preferably in warm weather),
Joe Davis grew up in Potterville, Mich., the son of a football coach, dreaming of becoming a sportscaster.
Joe Davis preparing to call the 2013 NCAA Women’s College Basketball Championship for ESPN2. (Photo courtesy of Beloit College)
Yesterday, he visited ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. headquarters for the first time, a full-time play-by-play commentator for the company. The photo gallery chronicles the meeting-filled day on campus from Davis’ perspective. continue reading…
Nancy Mello watches as Mike and Mike’s Mike Golic gets waxed on the set. (ESPN)
“Wear your white coat,” was the only instruction Nancy Mello received before leaving for Friday’s on-site assignment at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. She’s both a guest of Mike & Mike (simulcast from 6-10 a.m. ET on ESPN Audio and ESPN2) and the first “Mess” responder that might be needed when the Mike & Mike The Mess portion of the program begins at 8:30 a.m.
Both the site and assignment are among the unique responsibilities Nurse Mello’s undertaken since joining ESPN as its Occupational Nurse in 2006. “I would never have expected some of (the duties) to be in my job description,” she says. continue reading…
This morning’s edition of Mike & Mike — simulcast on ESPN Radio and ESPN2 — showcased a routine worthy of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars — or at least a collection of hilarious DTWS outtakes.
“Getting a Jayson Stark trivia question correct happens so infrequently, the dance was the perfect celebration,” Mike & Mike’sMike Golic said after his impromptu cardiovascular routine — captured in the video above beginning at the 1:30 mark — broke up the show’s staff and, no doubt, members of the listening/viewing audience. continue reading…
Listeners know Mike & Mike co-host Mike Golic is an excitable individual, whether it’s about Notre Dame, his kids’ athletic accomplishments, or even doughnuts.
Mike Golic Jr. (Photo courtesy of Mike Golic)
His son Mike, Jr., a Notre Dame offensive lineman entering this past weekend’s NFL Draft, expresses excitement differently. Moments after signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a free agent – after going undrafted — Mike Jr. Tweeted: continue reading…
About 5 a.m. ET each weekday morning, a large black insulated Pelican case is wheeled into Studio E of ESPN’s Digital Center. Once at the Mike & Mike in the Morning set, the top is cautiously opened and the contents are carefully removed as if they are treasures from a faraway land. continue reading…
ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi hustled to Fort Myers, Fla. from Orlando where he was covering Tiger Woods.
Programming Note: Today’s Outside the Lines (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2), looks into “Dunk City” and Florida Gulf Coast’s coach, Andy Enfield, who have truly put the madness in March.
At 10:30 p.m. ET Sunday night, ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi expected to wake up on Monday and cover Tiger Woods’ attempts at eagles in the weather-delayed final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla.
But by 10:45, Rinaldi was researching the Eagles who he’d instead be covering Monday, 200 miles away in Fort Myers at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). continue reading…
The Herd QB Bracket kicked off today at ESPNradio.com
ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski was positively giddy talking about the very golfable 60-degree weather forecast for the Philadelphia area and his opportunity to break down Colin Cowherd’s “QB Bracket” — announced officially Monday morning on ESPN Radio’s The Herd.
Jaws’ enthusiasm was tempered a bit when the 17-year veteran NFL quarterback and former Philadelphia Eagles star realized he was on the wrong end of a 1-16 match-up in the “JaMarcus Russell Region.”
“You’re killing me,” he said, upon realizing he was paired against top seed Johnny Unitas. “He was my boyhood idol.”
Confirming his affinity for Unitas, Jaworski noted the framed photo he has in his den with Unitas and Jaws side by side.
Ever the gamer, Jaws still provided Front Row his promised bracket analysis: “Unitas advances, barely, edging me in overtime — make it double overtime,” he said.
The NFL’s 1980 MVP had one more quibble before completing his bracket: “They have Jake Plummer as a 15th seed ahead of me?”
A pairing in the Ryan Leaf Region brought back fond memories for Jaws, as he was roommates with both No. 8 Roman Gabriel (Los Angeles Rams) and No. 9 Randall Cunningham (Eagles). He picked Cunningham to advance.
Ron Jaworski’s official QB Bracket entry.
The Russell Region’s No. 3 seed, Bart Starr, gave Jaws pause as well. continue reading…
A quarter century ago – to the day – ESPN.com senior writer Greg Garber was covering Super Bowl XXII in San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium for the Hartford Courant. Feature producer Michael O’Connor was seven years old.
“I remember watching the second quarter and being delighted because I could write my story at halftime,” said Garber, 55, recalling the Washington Redskins’ 42-10 romp over the Denver Broncos.
ESPN’s Michael O’Connor. (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)
“If I watched the game, I sure don’t remember it,” said O’Connor, 32.
Today, Garber and O’Connor are finalizing their Sunday NFL Countdown (Sunday, 10 a.m. ET, ESPN) feature on that game and more specifically, on MVP Doug Williams, who not only led the Redskins to victory, but made history in the process. Williams became the first African-American Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
Earlier today, ESPN producer Scott Turken did something he usually doesn’t do at 2:30 a.m. ET — he e-mailed his bosses.
He ended the note by writing: “Hopefully the story has legs and he can be a guest on SportsCenter.”
The “he” being referred to is Owen Groessner, who before last night was just a Rochester, Mich. middle-school basketball player who had not seen any playing time this season as his team’s final home game entered the closing minutes.
At 12:45 p.m. ET today Owen and his father, Chris, will be on SportsCenter — as co-anchor Kevin Negandhitweeted this morning — just hours after Owen made his national debut on the 11 p.m. ET Wednesday SportsCenter.
Here’s what happened in the course of a few hours.
“Pretty cool story on Wednesday night,” Turken explained. “Shortly after 11 p.m. [ET], I started noticing a lot of mentions for the hashtag, #GetOwenOnSportsCenter. We discovered a middle schooler with Down syndrome hit some threes in a game and many fans were tweeting to try to get it on the show with the hashtag #GetOwenOnSportsCenter.”
With more than 90,00 tweets including that hashtag, the story was “viral” in mere minutes.
Turken included a link to the original Tweet that got the news room buzzing: It described how eighth-grader Groessner made his season debut and hit two 3-pointers in the closing minutes of Van Hoosen Junior High School’s game. continue reading…