Front Row caught up with Kurt Busch – something many NASCAR drivers find difficult to do – Wednesday during his ESPN Car Wash in Bristol, Conn.
The 2004 Sprint Cup champion is in 10th place with only Saturday’s race in Richmond, Va (7 p.m. ABC) remaining before The Chase (10-race playoff featuring 10 teams and two wild card entries) begins.
Pit stops for Busch — on campus for a Car Wash without his No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet SS — included SportsCenter, NASCAR Now, and an ESPN.com chat.
In the video above, Busch talks about his favorite This Is SportsCenter spots — besides his own with SportsCenter anchors Jay Harris and John Anderson, respectively; the ESPN personality he’d most like to ride shotgun on a 200 mph track tour; and he shares an idea for a Tony Stewart-oriented This Is SportsCenter spot. It involves an inflatable shark.
Our ESPN Images group provide photographic coverage to all kinds of sporting events, ranging from the BCS Bowl games to the X Games competitions.
While those are examples of some of the larger events our photographers cover, we also love documenting the “Car Washes” on ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus. The “Car Wash” is what happens when an athlete or celebrity visits ESPN and appears on various shows and platforms.
None of this happens without the help of our colleagues, the ESPN Talent Producers. They book the guests and coordinate the guests’ schedules with various ESPN departments.
In 2012, ESPN Images captured more than 50 Car Washes, many of which were profiled on this site’s “Captured On (and Off) Campus” feature.
Although we capture great moments on the set of shows such as SportsCenter and First Take, some of the best moments happen when the television cameras aren’t rolling.
We’ve assembled 24 photos featuring behind-the-scenes shots from the Bristol Car Wash, 12 that are featured in this post. We’ll unveil 12 more Tuesday, Jan. 1 on Front Row.
Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones completed the ESPN “Car Wash,” appearing on several shows including SportsCenter and Outside the Lines. The show Lolo was most excited to appear on? SportsNation.
In the video interview with Front Row above, Jones shared her thoughts on ESPNU’s SEC Storied: Lolo, the unique place she turns for inspiration and the guest she’d most like to interview if she was a host of SportsNation.
Also, as you’ll see in the video below, Lolo had time to fit in “speed dates” with UNITE hosts Reese Waters and Danny Kanell. UNITE, ESPNU’s late-night entertainment show, debuts Monday, Aug. 27 at midnight ET.
Diehard Oakland Raiders fan Ice Cube directed the ESPN 30 for 30 film Straight Outta L.A. that documented how Los Angeles reacted to the franchise’s move there between stints in Oakland, Calif.
Cube’s legendary Los Angeles-based rap group N.W.A. was influential in the Raiders’ growth in popularity around the world.
During his visit with Front Row on our Bristol, Conn. campus on Wednesday, Cube reflected on his favorite 30 for 30 films and other aspects about ESPN.
In the video above, check out what he has to say about former Raiders coach Jon Gruden as an ESPN Monday Night Football analyst; Chris Berman’s impending regular-season debut as an MNF play-by-play announcer on a Chargers-Raiders’ game; his thoughts on ESPN The MagazineFantasy Football Issue cover subject Arian Foster and much more.
Ice Cube was a guest on First Take, one of his many ESPN Car Wash appearances on Wednesday.
When you hear the name Mario Chalmers, several things might come to mind:
He’s the 26-year-old point guard for the Miami Heat who had a big Game 4 performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals last month en route to the Heat’s title.
He’s a former Kansas standout whose three-point field goal with 2.1 seconds left in regulation in the 2008 NCAA title game helped the Jayhawks eventually edge Memphis for the crown.
The Anchorage native is perhaps the most accomplished basketball player ever from Alaska, with even more credentials than the man he idolized in the 1990s, former Duke star and fellow hometowner, Trajan Langdon.
Recently, “Mario Chalmers” was name-checked as part of Saturday Night Live comedian Jay Pharoah’s hilarious impression of ESPN First Take commentator Stephen A. Smith.
However you identify Chalmers, there’s no doubting he’s one of the NBA’s rising stars. As such, he visited ESPN this week for the Bristol “Car Wash.”
In the video above, he discusses — among other things — what it was like to debate First Take commentator Skip Bayless, his efforts to fight breast cancer and his thoughts on Pharoah’s routine.
In light of what Wes Welker has accomplished in his pro football career, it seems stunning that he was not selected during the 2004 NFL Draft.
Since joining the New England Patriots prior to the 2007 season, the speedy wide receiver has caught 554 passes — including 122 last season.
Yet only one team — the Chicago Bears — invited the former Texas Tech star to a pre-draft workout in 2004. Welker eventually joined the San Diego Chargers as a free agent, only to be waived shortly after making the roster, and played a few seasons with the Miami Dolphins before being traded to the Patriots.
INDIANAPOLIS — Throughout Super Bowl week, ESPN Talent Producers Jason Romano and Audrah Cates, along with ESPN Radio Talent Producer Shaun Wyman, have been busy planning for a host of live shows that originate from Pan Am Plaza.
When you see the quarterback of your fantasy team break down film with ESPN analysts on NFL32, our Talent Producers set it up.
When you hear your favorite player call in to Mike & Mike In The Morning to discuss the team’s recent victory, our Talent Producers set it up.
And when you gain new perspective watching NFL guest analysts on SportsNation . . . you guessed it.
They readily admit their job involves long hours and hectic days — their phones close at hand to coordinate show schedules with athletes and their agents — and then smile and say this is how they prefer it.
Proud to be a part of ESPN’s Super Bowl XLVI team, Romano and Cates took Front Row behind the scenes for a look at how they make it happen.
Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse came to ESPN’s Bristol campus to talk sports, “kick it up a notch” with ESPN’s employees and to discuss the Gulf Coast Seafood and Tourism Bash presented by BP.
A native of Fall River, Mass. Emeril now spends most of his time in the bayou and has developed a love for the New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers.
The Tourism Bash will be showcased in New Orleans at the wildcard playoff matchup as the Saints take on the Detroit Lions on Sat., Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. and the Allstate BCS National Championship between LSU and Alabama on Mon., Jan. 9 (ESPN, ESPN3 8 p.m.). It was also featured at the Nokia Sugar Bowl this past week.
During Lagasse’s “Car Wash” on Jan. 4, Front Row caught up with him to discuss what makes good gumbo, who he’d like to co-host a show at ESPN with and much more.
Check out the video above as Emeril’s cooking skills were only matched by his love and knowledge for sports.
In November, actor Donald Faison visited Bristol for an ESPN Car Wash to help promote his new TV Land sitcom The Exes.
Faison not only made numerous visits with outlets such as First Take and ESPN Radio, he brought his own camera crew to document the tour.
You’ll see the results above, including an excerpt from his taping an episode of Both Sides Of The Ball with SportsCenter anchors Mike Hill and Jay Harris.
Faison starred for nine seasons on the acclaimed sitcom Scrubs and in numerous movies including Clueless.
Among the familiar faces appearing in the Faison video include college basketball analyst Digger Phelps, First Take regulars Stephen A. Smith, Jay Crawford and Skip Bayless, ESPN.com’s Page 2 editor Lynn Hoppes and fantasy experts Nate Ravitz and Matthew Berry.
At the beginning, TV Land cameras caught a small world moment: Former NFL wide receiver and current Kendra reality series star Hank Baskett bumps into Faison at the entrance of Building 4.
It seems Baskett recently had auditioned for a role on The Exes to play a client of Faison’s character, sports agent Phil Chase.
The Exes airs Wednesday nights at 10:30 ET/9:30 CT on TV Land.