Who says you never get a second chance to make a first impression? A year ago, ESPN features unit manager Denny Wolfe was scheduled to be a producer for President Barack Obama’s now-annual bracket completion exercise with ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz. But a 2012 Selection Sunday hockey game left Wolfe with a concussion and strict orders from his wife and his coordinating producer not to travel. continue reading…
Tagged: ‘Barack Obama’
posted by Mike Humes on March 20, 2013 3:29 PM
posted by Andy Katz on November 8, 2012 4:45 PM
Editor’s note: For the second time in as many presidential elections, ESPN’s Andy Katz was invited to play in the President Barack Obama’s traditional Election Day pick-up basketball game. In 2008, Katz was invited to play in the game by then-Senator Obama, whom he had interviewed for ESPN prior to the election. This year, Katz was asked to participate in the game again. Katz, who is in Germany for Friday’s Sears Armed Forces Classic from Ramstein Air Base, discusses this year’s experience.
I was the first one in the gym to get up some shots, just like in 2008.
It wasn’t that I needed the work (well, it didn’t hurt), but I had no other place to go. And the anticipation of being in one of the most unique pickup games made it hard to stay away any longer.
It was 11:30 a.m. CT, and the president wasn’t due for another 90 minutes at the West Side Chicago gym. Over the course of the next hour, various players started to trickle in led by former Chicago Bulls Scottie Pippen and Randy Brown.
President Obama’s close friends from Chicago made their way into the gym. So, too, did former Illinois state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. (There were 20 players all together.)
Three referees were in attendance, too. Four years ago, there were four teams, no officials and no sense that there was a set order to the games.
This time, there was one game of 48 minutes, with fouls, a clock/stat crew and two benches, draped with towels and stocked with Gatorade.
Oh, and like in 2008, there were reversible jerseys donated by Obama’s good friend Marty Nesbitt, who ultimately would be opposite the president as a player-coach. continue reading…
posted by David Scott on November 5, 2012 8:54 AM
Tweetback: Presidential candidates to appear on MNF; ‘Bama survives #1Day1Game; WatchESPN comes in handy post-Sandy
Front Row knows you have better things to do all weekend than check your social media feeds, so we do it for you.
Here, from the ESPN PR universe, are some of the Tweets, posts and other commentary you may have missed.
You can thank us later!
But first, some background information on tonight’s planned Monday Night Football halftime interviews with the presidential candidates:
Presidential candidates’ interviews nothing new to ESPN
In what has become a regular occurrence during recent presidential elections, both major party candidates are scheduled to appear on ESPN as the nation prepares to vote in Tuesday’s Presidential Election.
Pre-taped interviews with President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, conducted by Chris Berman, will be aired during halftime of tonight’s Monday Night Football game (Philadelphia at New Orleans, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
According to ESPN Senior Vice President and Director of news, Vince Doria, this marks the second time the interviews have aired during MNF. Then-candidates Barack Obama and John McCain discussed sports topics with Berman on the eve of the 2008 election, at halftime of the Pittsburgh at Washington game (the Steelers won, 23-6).
In prior presidential election years, interviews with candidates had been conducted on the campaign trail, according to Doria.
“As most news entities have done when offered the opportunity to interview the presidentaial candidates, we thought it would be a good idea to do it in the past and this year as well,” Doria said. “Obviously we take a certain sports-related tact with it and we don’t focus on the typical issues of budgets or foreign policy. Our audience ins’t looking for those type of questions from us.”
The interviews with the candidates are slated to take place Monday afternoon and will then be edited into approximately three minute segments to air at halftime. continue reading…
posted by Bill Hofheimer on October 30, 2012 3:06 PM
It’s long been said that Washington, D.C., is a city with two passions: politics and the Redskins.
During the U.S. Presidential Election every four years, these passions remarkably intersect through a phenomenon known as the “Redskins Rule.”
Steve Hirdt, the executive vice-president of Elias Sports Bureau, who has worked on Monday Night Football longer than any other person — 31 seasons as the show’s Director of Information — discovered this unique statistical occurrence, which correlates the outcome of the most recent Washington Redskins home game to the U.S. Presidential Election.
Hirdt was in a D.C. hotel room on this very day, Oct. 30, in 2000 preparing for ABC’s MNF game between the host Redskins and Tennessee Titans, when he uncovered the rule. It was the last home game in the nation’s capital before that year’s election (on Nov. 7). Hirdt hoped to find an election-related note for commentator Dennis Miller to use during the broadcast.
“I started looking through the Redskins’ press guide where they list all the scores in the back,” Hirdt recalls. “I was making a list of the last home game before the election because that was the game we were covering. I tried to align it with the Democrats or the Republicans and then looked at the incumbents.
“I was shocked to see it lined up exactly right, that whenever the Redskins won their last home game prior to the presidential election, the incumbent party retained the White House, and whenever the Redskins lost their last home game prior to the election, the out-of-power party won the White House.” continue reading…