posted by Kristie Chong-Adler on December 4, 2013 12:55 PM
A screen grab of ESPN.com’s story package on NHL fighting. (ESPN)
ESPN.com launches a two-day series today that takes an in-depth look at fighting in the NHL. The comprehensive package of stories covers a variety of perspectives and opinions on the topic from current and former hockey players to ESPN experts and analysts, as well as fans. ESPN.com deputy editor Paul Grant spoke to Front Row about how the package came together.
What prompted ESPN.com to dive deeper into this issue? continue reading…
posted by Andy Hall on December 4, 2013 8:00 AM
Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part feature that takes Front Row readers behind the scenes of the daily ESPN2 program, Highly Questionable. Part Two will appear on Front Row tomorrow.
ESPN2’s Highly Questionable, a half-hour program in which ESPN Radio host Dan Le Batard, his father, Gonzalo “Papi” Le Batard and sports commentator Bomani Jones sit in Papi’s Miami “kitchen” and humorously answer questions about sports, presents a unique challenge for executive producer Erik Rydholm and his team.
Highly Questionable, which airs at 4 p.m. ET daily and has seen a 38 percent jump in ratings since Jones joined full time in May, is actually created in two places that are more than 1,000 miles apart. The set for Papi’s kitchen is located in a TV production facility in Miami, while Rydholm and the show’s other producers and editors are based in Washington, D.C. continue reading…
posted by Kristen Hudak on December 3, 2013 5:13 PM
The seventh annual Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research begins today with a simulcast of Jim Valvano’s iconic 1993 ESPYS speech across all ESPN platforms at 7 p.m. ET. The two-week initiative runs through Tuesday, Dec. 17, concluding with the Jimmy V Women’s and Men’s Basketball Classics. Tonight’s “roadblock” will feature an introduction by cancer survivor, Good Morning America host and the 2013 winner of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, Robin Roberts.
In addition, Roberts and a variety of athletes, coaches, celebrities and ESPN personalities also will appear in public service announcements following the simulcast, reciting Valvano’s speech and encouraging supporters to make a donation to The V Foundation. The PSAs and Jimmy V Week content and graphics will appear across ESPN programming throughout the initiative, including in Monday Night Football, NBA on ESPN games and college football games on ABC.
Front Row spoke to Vice President, Corporate Outreach, Kevin Martinez to learn more about this year’s initiative:
Why was Robin Roberts selected to introduce Jim’s speech this year? continue reading…
posted by David Scott on December 3, 2013 2:30 PM
EDITOR’S NOTE: After this post was published, it was determined that Ron Burgundy’s appearance would not take place.
This statement was issued on Wednesday, December 4, 2013, at 8:20 p.m. ET:
Ron Burgundy’s scheduled Thurs. appearance on @SportsCenter has been cancelled in light of the potential implications of any news from the State Attorney’s press conference in Fla.
As of this time, there is no rescheduled date for Burgundy on SportsCenter.
As if there weren’t enough reason to watch Thursday’s 6 p.m. ET SportsCenter – a huge weekend of college football and NFL games on the horizon – the show’s anchor desk will include two “characters,” in every sense of the word.
“When the opportunity presents itself to have the quintessential ‘Anchorman’ guest host SportsCenter,” said Jack Obringer, senior coordinating producer for the show, “you take advantage of it. I don’t know how to put this. . . but he’s kind of a big deal.”
So, in addition to regular anchors John Anderson and Lindsay Czarniak, the SC studio will welcome KVWN Channel Four News anchor Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and the station’s sportscaster, Champ Kind (David Koechner). continue reading…
posted by Susan Landry on December 3, 2013 8:00 AM
(Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)
Editor’s note: Welcome to Off Camera with. . ., a Front Row series that introduces you to some of the studio anchors who have recently joined ESPN. Today, we meet Cassidy Hubbarth, who joined ESPN in August 2010 as a studio anchor and host for college football, basketball and NBA on ESPN3.
Favorite Team/Sport Moments: I am a die-hard Chicago Bulls fan. I grew up during the Michael Jordan era. We were that family screaming at the TV that you could hear from down the block whenever the Bulls were playing. My favorite Bulls/Jordan memory is when he won his fourth title in 1996. It was the first championship since his return and first since his father was murdered in 1993. Led by Jordan, the Bulls capped off the best season in NBA history on Father’s Day. The shot of Jordan lying on the locker room floor sobbing, in my opinion, is one of the most iconic sports images of all time. continue reading…
posted by Bill Hofheimer on December 2, 2013 4:51 PM
Mike Tirico sits down with New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. (Chris Wondoloski/ESPN)
Coaches often talk about dividing the 16-game NFL schedule into quarters – four-game stretches for each month of the fall season.
If that’s true for broadcasters, ESPN is kicking off its home stretch and arguably most exciting four games of the season tonight when Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints (9-2) visit Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks (10-1) on Monday Night Football (8:25 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN).
CenturyLink Field (Chris Wondoloski/ESPN)
Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will call this matchup of the NFC’s top teams with sideline reporter Lisa Salters from CenturyLink Field. The Saints enter the game with a nine-game MNF winning streak while the Seahawks have won seven straight on Mondays. continue reading…
posted by Dan Quinn on December 2, 2013 1:00 PM
Former heavyweight champion and recent Broadway star Mike Tyson (“Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,” his one-man show) visited ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center last Wednesday to be a guest on SportsNation.
“You never know what’s going to happen when you’ve got Mike Tyson on live TV — this was the champ’s second visit to SportsNation this year and he certainly didn’t disappoint,” said SportsNation coordinating producer Wade Beckett. “Tyson is always a fan favorite and took time prior to the show for pictures with the SportsNation audience.” continue reading…
posted by David Scott on December 2, 2013 9:42 AM
Thanksgiving Weekend 2013 had no shortage of compelling sports storylines, maybe none moreso than Saturday’s Iron Bowl where host No. 4 Auburn beat No. 1 Alabama in thrilling fashion.
Here, ESPN stage manager Mike Ruhlman explains how the College GameDay set got constructed on-field amid a chaotic postgame scene:
As the small group of ESPN Staff and freelance crew prepared to set up for postgame coverage of the Iron Bowl Saturday evening, none of us could have predicted that we would be in the middle of an unbelievable and historic scene.
With a few minutes left in the game, we staged the desk just off the field against the end zone wall in order to be able to move quickly into place once the game ended and to potentially go live (if the game result turned out to be compelling enough!) once CBS coverage concluded.
We would set up as quickly as possible, knock out a couple of segments and those of us that had flights that night would scurry off to the airport. continue reading…
posted by Front Row Staff on November 29, 2013 8:00 AM
Darius Rucker and Frankie Antonelli, son of Debbie Antonelli
(Photo courtesy of Debbie Antonelli)
ESPN college basketball analysts Jay Williams and Debbie Antonelli on set
(Photo courtesy Debbie Antonelli)
Editor’s Note: The staff and family of Front Row and the ESPN Communications Department wish everyone the happiest of holiday seasons. We share this post on Thanksgiving weekend in hopes you will be motivated to make your own “Hootie” moment in the days and weeks ahead.
“Darius said it was one of the best moments of his musical career,” said ESPN basketball analyst Debbie Antonelli.
Considering “Darius” is none other than long-time “Friend of ESPN” Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish fame, makes the moment all the more special.
On Nov. 20 in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Frankie – one of Debbie and Frank Antonelli’s three sons – performed a surprise duet on the Wando High School stage with Rucker. Usually at school talent shows, Frankie, 16, does his own versions of tunes from Rucker’s vast catalog that now spans a successful turn as a country artist. continue reading…
posted by Mike Humes on November 28, 2013 8:00 AM
Ole Miss and Mississippi State’s rivalry game returns to a Thanksgiving Day slot on ESPN. (Matthew Sharpe/WireImage)
Millions of people enjoy a smorgasbord of turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing and dozens of other traditional food options on Thanksgiving every year. For the first time in a decade, they can add some Egg Bowl to the menu with the return of the Ole Miss and Mississippi State showdown to ESPN’s Thursday night college football lineup (7:30 ET). continue reading…