I joined ESPN in April of 2011 as the Director of Communications for Content Development & ESPN Films. I grew up in the big apple and graduated from Siena College in Albany, NY. I came to ESPN by way of the bunny-head having worked for years at Playboy Enterprises as VP of Communications for the Playboy Entertainment Group. I have also held senior communications positions at MTV and AOL. I have always been a huge sports fan so I’m thrilled to be part of the ESPN family, and I will always remain a passionate Jets/Yankees fan.
Jay Jay Nesheim
posted by Jay Jay Nesheim on April 24, 2013 12:12 PM
posted by Jay Jay Nesheim on April 23, 2013 12:00 PM
posted by Jay Jay Nesheim on February 27, 2013 11:13 AM
The story behind the world’s most famous baseball card is showcased in today’s debut of the next 30 for 30 Short, Holy Grail: The T206 Honus Wagner on Grantland.
The story of the T206 Honus Wagner is told by directors Nick and Colin Barnicle through interviews with baseball card experts and enthusiasts, including former SportsCenter anchor Keith Olbermann. Front Row caught up with Colin Barnicle to see why this story caught their attention.
What made you think this story about the T206 Honus Wagner card would make a good 30 for 30 Short?
There was certainly the shock factor. Jeff Siegel, producer of the film, Nick and I were up in Cooperstown when Nick stumbled upon “The Card.” He had to point out this century old baseball relic that was no bigger than a credit card but cost about 3 million dollars and had Wayne Gretzky’s name attached to it. This just seemed like the perfect synthesis of culture and sports. What really got our production company, Prospect Productions, thinking about a 30 for 30 was when we heard the rumors this multi-million dollar cigarette card had seemingly appeared out of the ether and may have in fact been doctored to make it “Holy Grail of baseball cards.”
You and your co-director brother Nick grew up in Boston and the Red Sox are known for having a rabid fan base. Did you guys grow up in a culture of baseball card collectors?
Opening Day for the Red Sox is a national holiday in our household. No school. No work. Our dad [veteran journalist Mike Barnicle] always said he had a great collection before his mother tossed it out, which inside baseball is like saying your dog ate the homework. Everyone has that story. So we were crazy about everything and anything baseball-related and like many brothers, we did most things competitively. Thus, card collecting to us was a way to show the other one up. Rip a pack, zip through them and then show off that you got a Ken Griffey Jr. and he only got a Mark Lansing.
Did you learn anything from making this short that you didn’t already know about the sports collectible business? continue reading…
posted by Jay Jay Nesheim on February 1, 2013 3:00 PM
NEW ORLEANS — This is the perfect city for an on-location shoot for ESPN2′s quirky afternoon show, SportsNation.
The local crowds and funky vibe of the city add an extra level of excitement to what is already a high-energy show. The Super Bowl also brings many athletes and celebrities to the host city, so guests such as Eli Manning and Bill Romanowski took some time to head to SportsNation’s French Quarter set.
Front Row spent some time chatting with the cast and crew of the show, including host Marcellus Wiley, coordinating producer Whit Albohm, associate producer Danny Corrales and senior project coordinator Jeremy Frankel, to learn what it takes to produce SportsNation on the road.
Video produced by Tonya Malinowski
posted by Jay Jay Nesheim on January 16, 2013 11:06 AM
Director has familial ties to Ali: The Mission, latest 30 for 30 short film, debuting today on Grantland.com
Ali: The Mission, narrated by musician John Legend, debuts today on Grantland.com and delves into perhaps one of the most important, but least known, feats of Muhammad Ali’s remarkable life.
In 1990, the boxing legend negotiated for the release of U.S. civilians taken hostage in Iraq. On Jan. 16, 1991, only six weeks after Ali brought 15 hostages back home to their relieved families, Operation Desert Storm commenced on Iraq.
The director, Amani Martin, had a personal reason for his interest to make this film and he shared his heartfelt story with Front Row’s Jay Jay Nesheim.
When I got the opportunity to direct Ali: The Mission, I jumped on it. How often do you get a chance to tell a story few people know about one of the 20th century’s most fascinating and well-documented people?
And it happened to be a story that illustrates so much of Muhammad Ali’s greatness outside the ring: his deep humanitarian convictions, a willingness to take on risk to uphold his principles, and a knack for embedding his voice and aura into major historical events.
But making this film also held a powerful, personal allure. continue reading…
posted by Jay Jay Nesheim on December 24, 2012 1:47 PM
Colin Cowherd’s final show as a host of SportsNation will air this evening at 6 ET on ESPN2.
Cowherd has been a co-host since the show launched more than three years ago. As the show is moving to Los Angeles with co-hosts Charissa Thompson and Marcellus Wiley, Cowherd will remain at ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. headquarters and focus on his nationally syndicated ESPN Radio show.
Front Row caught up with Whit Albohm, SportsNation’s producer, to get his thoughts on Colin’s farewell and the future of the show.
Do you have a favorite Colin moment on SportsNation?
There have been so many funny moments through the years with Colin that it was really hard to narrow it down. Today’s show will highlight the best of the best: from Colin getting pranked by Brock Lesnar to being mocked by Will Ferrell. It will showcase his greatest moments and his favorite clips from the last three-and-a-half years.
Does SportsNation have any type of special “year-end” show planned? continue reading…
posted by Jay Jay Nesheim on December 7, 2012 12:00 PM
ESPN.com editor looking forward to learning more about Auburn hero in
30 for 30 film, You Don’t Know Bo
Following Saturday’s Heisman Trophy presentation (8 p.m. ET, ESPN), ESPN Films will conclude the Fall slate of 30 for 30 documentaries at 9 p.m. with You Don’t Know Bo, about sports icon Bo Jackson. The film explores the feats of the former Heisman Trophy winner from his childhood to his early days at Auburn University and through his career as a professional baseball and football star.
ESPN Recruiting Nation associate editor and Auburn alum Alecia Hamm actually does know Bo — or more accurately she knows a lot about Bo.
Front Row caught up with Alecia recently to get her thoughts on Bo and the upcoming documentary.
What is Bo Jackson’s legacy like at Auburn?
Bo is just an absolutely incredible athlete. To give an idea of who he is to the Auburn faithful, in 2010, when Cam Newton was in the middle of his Heisman Trophy campaign, I remember watching an SEC game in the student section when Bo walked onto the sideline, everyone stopped watching the game and started saying “Look, there’s Bo. Bo Jackson is standing over there!”
posted by Jay Jay Nesheim on October 23, 2012 12:02 PM
ESPN Films’ latest 30 for 30 premieres Tuesday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) with Benji – the tragic story of Ben Wilson, the first high school player in Chicago’s history to be ranked as the nation’s top recruit and his senseless murder in 1984.
Front Row spoke with directors Coodie Simmons and Chike Ozah to ask about Benji and what it was like to premiere this film at the Chicago International Film Festival this past week.
Why did you want to tell Ben’s story through ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series?
Ozah: ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series gives directors like ourselves a lot of creative liberties, thus creating an ideal environment to tell a story the way we envision. We were honored to be a part of this series as we were fans way before we even had the opportunity to participate as directors. A year back, we actually attended a Tribeca screening for Catching Hell and I can remember feeling like “man, it would be so cool if we could have the opportunity to direct a 30 for 30 film.”
What do you hope that people learn from Benji?
Simmons: I’ve said from the beginning that one of our main goals with this film is to make even the thugs cry. What happened to Ben was so senseless and there is so much violence on the streets of Chicago still today. If we can make one less kid carry a gun, or think before he pulls a trigger, our hopes will be realized.
posted by Jay Jay Nesheim on October 18, 2012 8:00 AM
As the MLB playoffs unfold, Front Row caught up with Grantland baseball writer Jonah Keri to chat about getting into sports as a kid and breaking into sportswriting. Keri’s work can be found here. Follow him on Twitter @jonahkeri.
How did you become a baseball analyst?
I was a baseball nut as a kid, so much so that my dad bought me my first “Bill James Abstract” when I was 8 years old. But when I graduated from college, baseball was still mostly the domain of newspapers, and no one except Bill James appeared able to eke out a living writing about baseball in an analytical way. So I became a business writer instead, and tossed my dream away. Until, that is, I started reading Rob Neyer. By the late 1990s, Rob was already doing amazing work at ESPN.com. Rob’s writing inspired me, and his early recommendations for an up-and-coming site called Baseball Prospectus helped me find a way into the industry.
Do you follow other sports as closely or do you focus mainly on baseball?
I grew up playing basketball, not baseball (couldn’t hit a fastball to save my life), and watched hoops from an early age. continue reading…
posted by Jay Jay Nesheim on October 17, 2012 12:08 PM
ESPN’s new series All-Access Kentucky will premiere tonight at 7 ET, offering an inside look at the lives of the University of Kentucky Wildcats as they prepare for the upcoming NCAA men’s basketball season.
The show follows the day-to-day activities of Coach John Calipari and the Cats as they attempt to repeat as Division I national champions — minus last season’s starters.
All-Access Kentucky goes behind the scenes at pre-dawn workouts as new recruits work to learn the Kentucky system and get to know each other, the coaching staff and the returning players. ESPN’s cameras follow Coach Cal from his kitchen to the court, from the airport to the office.
Episode 1 focuses on freshman Nerlens Noel, the top 2012 recruit in the nation according to ESPN. The 6-foot, 10-inch center is trying to get acclimated to the team while fans draw comparisons to last year’s Wildcats center, No. 1 overall 2012 NBA draft pick Anthony Davis.
ESPN’s VP of Original Programming and Production Jamie Horowitz has been on-site at the University of Kentucky and recently spoke to Front Row about the series. continue reading…