That’s exactly what Monday Night Football’s HeroCam is doing this fall by showing the unique perspective of some of the game’s top players, using GoPro® point of view (POV) camera technology. continue reading…
During tonight’s Monday Night Football matchup between the Dolphins and the Saints (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN), fans may see someone on the sideline with a uniform different than the rest. Instead of a helmet, a fedora or beret usually sits atop his head; and instead of a football, he holds a brush in his hands. Who dat, you ask? It’s famed New Orleans artist Frenchy, a longtime friend of the MNF family.
Frenchy was first introduced to the ESPN crew in 2003 (when the network televised Sunday Night Football) after meeting producer Jay Rothman in the Big Easy. In the years since, he has traveled to more than a dozen ESPN NFL games – and he spent time at Super Bowl XLVII in his home city – to document the work that takes place on the field and behind the scenes.
In an exchange with Front Row, Frenchy recounts some of his favorite memories of ESPN and MNF:
In the time you’ve spent at MNF games, what have you learned about the crew?continue reading…
The NFL’s new wave of fast-paced offenses promises to keep ESPN’s MNF production team busier than ever. (Allen Kee / ESPN Images)
The NFL continues to get more and more fast-paced. No-huddle, up-tempo offenses are quickly becoming the norm.
Factor in the early success of the high-powered spread offense that Chip Kelly has brought from the University of Oregon to the Philadelphia Eagles, and this trend seems sure to continue.
Teams are getting to the line of scrimmage faster and running more plays. For fans, that potentially means more action, excitement and scoring. For the folks who televise the games, it means something else entirely. continue reading…
On Saturday, ESPN’s Jon Gruden celebrated his 50th birthday. Monday night, he started to feel his age a bit.
During halftime on Monday Night Football’s Pittsburgh-Washington game, booth partner, Mike Tirico, helped in presenting both a birthday cake to Gruden and a card he can proudly carry in his wallet – or at least in the trunk of his car. continue reading…
#Hashtag of the year for 2012:
#Olympics. It was a breakthrough Olympic Games for women around the world: 1) Every single country was represented by at least one female athlete. 2.) The US Women were dominant — winning 65 percent of Team USA’s gold medals. 3.) Young girls and women across the globe were inspired by such achievement. Personally, I had the opportunity to attend my first Olympic Games and I was in awe of the event in its scope and magnitude.
#Hashtag of the year for 2013:
#IOCprezNawal. Nawal el Moutawakel from Morocco becomes the first female President of the IOC. The election takes place in Buenos Aires in September 2013.
A big prediction for your property in 2013:
There will be more of espnW on TV. Viewers will see espnW content being featured more and more across ESPN networks, particularly within all live women’s sporting events. — Posted by Diane Lamb
Editor’s Note: With this two-week series — the Front Row Forward/Rewind, 2013/2012 — ESPN’s Communications Department takes the pulse of content executives throughout ESPN for their views on what’s ahead across ESPN for 2013 and some of what transpired in 2012. The snapshots provide a look at where ESPN has been, where it’s going and how it plans on getting there.
Best off-camera moment:
U.S. Marine Sgt. Zach Stinson, a 23-year-old who lost both legs on a tour of duty in Afghanistan and spent the past two years at Walter Reed Hospital, spoke to our group at our morning production meeting in Pittsburgh before the Chiefs-Steelers game. He walked in and received a standing ovation. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. His words were inspiring and having him in our meeting gave us a true appreciation for Veterans Day.
Favorite segment or interview:
The Hail Mary touchdown on the final play of the Packers-Seahawks game in Seattle was the play of the year on MNF and a defining moment of the NFL season. The overwhelming controversy surrounding the call was the ultimate in “water cooler” talk, and just a few days later it was the end of the replacement officials. Amidst all the confusion, our crew had that play covered from every angle.
The 1996 cult film Swingers had the hip Big Bad Voodoo Daddy provide its film soundtrack. Tonight, Monday Night Football will strike a similar cord with Shiny Lapel Trio.
The Connecticut-based swing band will highlight the open for the big Houston Texans-New England Patriots AFC clash on ESPN (8:30 p.m. ET).
MNF producer Jay Rothman heard Shiny Lapel Trio perform at The Red House restaurant in Deep River, Conn., while on a night out with his wife in May.
He knew right away they would be perfect for a MNF open.
“They just have this fun swing, rockabilly sound, and they play everything from Sinatra to Stray Cats to Dire Straits,” said Rothman.
“Their sound is feel-good fun, and they completely look and dress the part.”
The Trio, which is actually a foursome: Tiger Marion (vocals), James Alio (guitar), Marc Iacobellis (bass) and Rich Talarzyk (drums), plays locally in the Connecticut shoreline area. They’ve cut some CDs and had some commercial work, but the opportunity to be a part of MNF is unlike anything they’ve done before. continue reading…
(L-R) Mike Tirico, Zach Stinson and Jon Gruden. (Jay Rothman/ESPN)
ESPN’s Monday Night Football crew has seen its share of All-Pros this season, but there isn’t an NFL player who has impressed them more than Zach Stinson.
A 23-year-old U.S. Marine Sgt. from Chambersburg, Pa., Stinson was honored, along with other military veterans, by the Pittsburgh Steelers two weeks ago on MNF in a special pre-game National Anthem ceremony.
In anticipation of covering that event, MNF producer Jay Rothman wanted to ensure his production team understood the importance of Veterans Day.
“I reached out to the Steelers community relations office to arrange a special visitor to address our Monday morning production meeting and offer perspective,” he said.
“I didn’t tell anyone about it because I wanted it to be a surprise.”
After discussing the X’s and O’s and reviewing all the graphics for the MNF game, Rothman quietly slipped out of the hotel meeting room.
Veteran Zach Stinson during the National Anthem ceremony. (ESPN)
Minutes later, he returned with Stinson.
The wounded veteran, who lost both legs, his right thumb and parts of his left thumb and two fingers while leading his squad on a foot patrol in Afghanistan almost two years earlier to the day, made his way into room with his wife, Tesa, and Rothman. continue reading…
Few people will have the opportunity to play in the NFL, but as ESPN’s Monday Night Football director Chip Dean has found, there’s still a way to be involved in the game.
A former safety at Arizona State in the late 1970s and a member of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications’ Alumni Hall of Fame, Dean returned to his alma mater Friday while in town to cover tonight’s San Francisco 49ers-Arizona Cardinals game (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Dean and his MNF teammates — play-by-play voice Mike Tirico, sideline reporter Lisa Salters and producer Jay Rothman — participated in an hour-long panel discussion that capped ASU’s inaugural “Cronkite Day”. Together, they discussed the world of sports television and offered advice to the students in attendance.
Dean, who has been with ESPN since its first year in 1979, talked about the way technology helps turn a game into a movie: “At the end of the day, it’s about a shot or a story or a replay — something that touches your heart, makes you laugh or makes you cry.”
Rothman, Dean’s production partner of 23 years, described the crew’s mantra of approaching every Monday night like it’s the Super Bowl. continue reading…
When it comes to knowing the game of football, Gerry Austin is by no means a rookie.
He is, however, seeing the game from a different angle this year as Monday Night Football’s new Rules Consultant.
A 16-year NFL official (1982-2008) and the current Supervisor of Officials for Conference USA, Austin worked with the MNF crew on the Outback Bowl in January. After seeing the value he brought to the telecast, producer Jay Rothman offered Austin a position in the MNF booth alongside Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden.
Austin, who worked three Super Bowl games as a game official — including two as the referee — will travel to the game site each week to provide insight on NFL rules and explain on-field enforcement.
Fans will see and/or hear Austin during game telecasts when situations warrant, and Tirico underscores the value his new booth mate: “To have as great an expert as Gerry Austin, with his on-field experience to pop in when something happens to clearly and concisely explain what is going on, is a great addition to our Monday Night team.”
While Austin admits there is a learning curve, the North Carolina resident finds one glaring similarity to his previous job: “The goal is still to get the call right.”
And with the NFL set to use replacement officials until a collective bargaining agreement is reached, Austin’s role will be even more important.
In the video above, Austin discusses his new role on MNF and offers his perspective on replacement officials, their preparedness and the impact they will have on the game.