posted by Laurel Daggett on December 12, 2013 9:30 AM
Editor’s note: Welcome to another edition of Front Row’s #TBT: Throwback Thursday.
Earlier this week, we celebrated ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale’s start of his 35th season with the network. The slide show above depicts Vitale with some of his many courtside partners.
In his book “Vitale,” he credited former ESPN play-by-play announcer Jim Simpson with being a mentor for his transition from basketball coaching to television. In a 1993 “Omaha (Neb.) World Herald” article, Simpson recalled a particularly effective coaching moment. continue reading…
posted by Rachel Siegal on December 10, 2013 8:00 AM
Analyst Dick Vitale called his first college basketball game for ESPN on Dec. 5, 1979 – DePaul vs. Wisconsin – on the newly-formed 24-hour sports network.
Now in his 35th season and more than 1,000 basketball games later, Vitale will call his latest tonight: Kansas versus Florida (7 p.m. ET, ESPN, WatchESPN). He has become synonymous with the sport. Known for his knowledge, passion and unique style, the former high school, college and NBA coach has received many accolades, including the sport’s highest honor in 2008 when he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor. continue reading…
posted by David Scott on December 9, 2013 6:00 PM
Jon Sciambi (l) and Fran Fraschilla took a pre-game photo that will serve as a reminder of their historic call of the Kentucky-Baylor women’s game.
Saturday morning, when basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla ducked in for a (much-needed) coffee at his local Starbucks, a gentleman in a Baylor Bears hat approached him with a simple message.
“Thank you for covering our Bears, Fran,” the man said.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Fraschilla said late Sunday, two days after calling the highest-scoring Division I women’s game in history, a 133-130 quadruple overtime win by Kentucky over Baylor. “We knew we had a good game, we had no idea it would become historic.” continue reading…
posted by David Scott on December 9, 2013 9:25 AM
Patrons at a Buffalo, N.Y.-area Tim Hortons recently discovered why the Buffalo Bills’ Stevie Johnson is a receiver – because he’s not so hot at giving (things like “Timbits” or tea).
Johnson went undercover as drive-thru window server “Drew Mcelvein” for a piece on yesterday’s Sunday NFL Countdown. Asking customers if they wanted cheese on items that clearly didn’t need cheese, quoting absurd prices, or telling patron’s that Canada’s largest fast food service had no coffee, Johnson left many Buffalonians, well, buffaloed.
“People were confused at first on how their order was being taken, and when some got around to the drive-thru window, they were not fond of the price quoted,” said associate producer Terrell Bouza. “Others still just wanted their orders, but Stevie would continue to joke with them — before finally revealing who he was. Overall, the reactions (captured on three hidden cameras) were really funny and people seemed to enjoy the interaction.”
posted by Hannah Worster on November 23, 2013 12:12 PM
ESPN’s Samantha Ponder published an essay regarding “Truth and Twitter” on the www.prothirtyone.com blog.
The NFL’s bullying scandal has dominated headlines for much of November and spurred debate. The subject of harassment also has sparked reflections from several ESPN personalities about their own bullying incidents, past and present.
• Dick Vitale, college basketball analyst, shared his experience with cruel taunts that have followed him for years.
• Matthew Berry, senior Fantasy analyst, wrote that he can relate to Miami Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin’s reaction to being bullied. Berry recently shared reader reactions to his bullying column.
• Samantha Ponder, College GameDay reporter, weighed in on how social media amplifies the spotlight — and criticism.
by Sheldon Spencer
ICYMI: Highlights from the past week on Front Row
• The Lineup: 11 ESPN ‘selfies’ celebrating the 2013 Word of the Year.
• ESPN Digital Media launched an all-new SportsCenter app this week for both iOS and Android smartphones. Learn more about the features of the new app. continue reading…
posted by Laurel Daggett on November 21, 2013 12:36 PM
Editor’s Note: Welcome to another edition of Front Row’s #TBT: Throwback Thursday.
Earlier today, ESPN Digital Media unveiled an exciting new SportsCenter app. Filled with personalization options, the next-generation app delivers live scores, breaking news, video highlights, feature stories, native social integration, in-line alert settings, GameCast access and more. Basically, it’s a real-time companion to keep you abreast of ALL the sports news, anywhere in the world.
Let’s rewind to a day when updates were delivered at a little slower pace.
The ESPNet To.Go pager once was the ideal thing for the sports fan, at least according to a 1997 ESPN Holiday Gift Guide. The pagers were updated with scores and news every five minutes. (As Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen illustrate in the video below, technology – and fashion – sure have come a long way.)
One of those hip 16-year-old pagers now hangs with a group of artifacts on a wall here on ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus, preserved for future generations to see (see gallery above).
Another holiday gift suggestion from 1997 is still available on cassette or CD via online shopping outlets. Jock Jams 3 was the latest release from ESPN and Tommy Boy. It featured an introduction by college basketball analyst Dick Vitale and more high-energy dance songs played at sports arenas throughout the country.
posted by Laurel Daggett on October 3, 2013 8:00 AM
As Front Row was preparing a post to commemorate ESPN2’s 20th anniversary earlier this week, we found some gems in the archives that we thought should see the light of day once again.
As part of Front Row’s Throwback Thursday (#TBT) feature, here’s a gallery of some of the “grunge” graphics and shows that filled out the program schedule in the early days of the network.
posted by Beth Albert on July 16, 2013 2:50 PM
The 13th annual ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic with (L-R) ESPN Executive VP Norby Williamson, The V Foundation President Emeritus Nick Valvano, J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans, ESPN Executive Chairman George Bodenheimer, CEO of The V Foundation Susan Braun, soccer player Hope Solo and ESPN commentator Stuart Scott. (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)
With the 20th Anniversary ESPY Awards Show airing tomorrow night, we are reminded of another anniversary: the inspirational speech delivered by Jim Valvano at the initial ESPY Awards ceremony. That led to the establishment of The V Foundation and ESPN’s 20-year relationship with this incredible charitable organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer.
The V Foundation has awarded $100 million in the fight against cancer in the last 20 years to 100-plus cancer centers nationwide. Grants have been awarded in 38 states and Washington, D.C. The V Foundation funds research for all types of cancer and awards grants through a Scientific Advisory Board.
Front Row spoke to Susan Braun, Chief Executive Officer of The V Foundation, about the Foundation’s special relationship with ESPN. continue reading…
posted by George Bodenheimer on June 11, 2013 12:00 PM
Editors’ Note: Monday night, ESPN’s Dick Vitale was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in Salisbury, N.C. ESPN Executive Chairman George Bodenheimer introduced Vitale for this prestigious award. Below are excerpts from that introduction.
It’s a great honor to introduce a living legend. Dick Vitale is a colleague but we are also friends who have a long history together. We first met at ESPN 32 years ago. I was starting as a driver and Dick was still a relatively new TV commentator . . . Our relationship has progressed from there and we’ve been great friends ever since.
In terms of his on-air skills, Dick has a special gift. He makes games bigger by his very presence. His energy, passion and love for the game are unrivaled. His vocabulary — as crazy as it may sound at times — has become our vocabulary. The sports fans’ vocabulary. . . Vitale-isms have invaded our thoughts and we simply don’t know a sports world without them. continue reading…
posted by Josh Krulewitz on May 29, 2013 12:00 PM
It’s almost 5 p.m. on Friday, May 17 and not surprisingly, Dick Vitale is a bundle of energy a few hours before his event starts.
As he arrives at the Sarasota, Fla. site of the 8th annual Dick Vitale Gala to support The V Foundation for Cancer Research, he’s overwhelmed with anticipation, pride and nerves. The Gala, which he and his wife, Lorraine, launched as a small gathering at their house less than a decade ago, has grown into a hotel ballroom-filling, celebrity-laden, night of inspiration and philanthropy. continue reading…