Around the Horn celebrates its 10th anniversary today (5 p.m. ET). (ESPN)
This week marks the 10-year anniversary of ESPN’s Around the Horn, which debuted on Nov. 4, 2002.
The popular daytime sports talk and debate show will celebrate the milestone today at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Host Tony Reali — who penned this for Front Row yesterday — will be joined by an expanded group of panelists including show regulars JA Adande, Kevin Blackistone, Tim Cowlishaw, Israel Gutierrez, Bomani Jones, Jackie MacMullan, Woody Paige, Bill Plaschke, Bob Ryan and Michael Smith.
A special guest will also make an appearance.
In recognition of the anniversary, Front Row asked a few of the ATH regulars for their thoughts on the show, its success and the experience of being part of it the past decade. (Note: No points were awarded for these answers and no one was muted.)
Bob Ryan, the legendary Boston Globe sports writer, who has been part of ATH since the very first show:
“What is amusing to consider is that what we are the most successful spin-off of its kind ever. We exist because of PTI’s success. I sense that we skew a bit younger, and that one of the keys to our popularity is the idea among kids that the young guy controls his elders, even to the point of muting, as well as judging. A younger host is essential, and Tony is ideal.
“Whether it was [original host] Max [Kellerman] or now Tony, this is the hardest hosting job in the history of TV, period. You need to keep things moving with perpetual ad-libbing, all while working the levers. And they both have made it look so damn easy, when it’s anything but. I know I’d never want to do it.”
Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News, who made his debut on ATH’s second show (Nov. 5, 2002):
“The first person who contacted me about the show said it was probably going to be called ‘Zones’ or ‘Time Zones’ because they wanted a show where columnists from four time zones argued about sports. I was also told one of the ideas was that we would try to break news for the other cities — in other words, I would go on the show and tell Bob Ryan something that’s happening in Boston that he wouldn’t know. I thought ‘This is going to be a very difficult show.’”
Jackie MacMullan, ESPNBoston.com columnist — and one of ATH’s two female panelists, along with Jemele Hill — who debuted during ATH’s second week (Nov. 12, 2002): continue reading…