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 Jay Jay Nesheim on October 22, 2013 8:00 AM
ESPN Anchors Takes on “Big Shot”
“You don’t have to be a hockey fan to appreciate the ‘you know whats’ of John Spano as he almost pulled off the biggest heist in pro sports history. Fabulous story told and directed by lifelong NY Islanders fan [actor] Kevin Connolly where we learned in the case of Spano, ‘If you say it, it must be true.’” – Linda Cohn
, “SC” anchor. For more from Cohn and Connolly on “Big Shot,” download the latest “Listen Closely
“The NHL just couldn’t catch a break in those days, no matter how hard they tried to be like their big brothers the NFL, MLB and NBA. This was a real punch in the mouth for a league used to taking shots in the jaw, a real embarrassment especially when you consider it was a team in the NY media market, some 30 miles from NHL headquarters, and a franchise that enjoyed one of the sport’s richest histories. I can’t imagine the NFL falling for the old banana in the tailpipe trick. The cherry on top is that it is directed and narrated by “E” from “Entourage” fame (don’t call him E, he hates that), the real Kevin Connolly who is a real-life, die-hard NY Islanders fan still to this day. He must’ve choked on some of the words. But you don’t have to be a hockey fan to be amazed by what took place behind the scenes of a major sports organization. After watching “Big Shot,” you’ll be amazed that this happened in real life.” – Steve Levy, “SC” anchor
In 1996, the once-dominant New York Islanders were in serious trouble. Poor performance and management issues were driving away their once loyal fan base. Then along came a Dallas businessman named John Spano, who agreed to buy the NHL team for $165 million dollars.
Things began to turn around for the Islanders, but the apparent improvements were all smoke and mirrors. “Big Shot” the new 30 for 30 film premiering tonight (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET), features the first interview Spano has ever given about the Islanders’ deal. It tells an unforgettable tale of a dream that became a lie – and how a scam of such epic proportions initially went undetected.
Front Row spoke recently with Spano regarding this thoughts about the film:
Understandably, this isn’t your favorite topic to talk about it but you agreed to participate in the film. Why? continue reading…
posted by David Scott on October 21, 2013 9:30 AM
Some of what you may have missed over the weekend from ESPN:
1. Jon Gruden’s “Gruden Extra” interview with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round pick, quarterback Josh Freeman, will air during the Monday Night Countdown pregame (ESPN, 6:30 p.m. ET). Freeman will make his first start for the Vikings on Monday Night Football against Eli Manning and the New York Giants (8:25 p.m. ET, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN).
Jon Gruden and Minnesota Vikings QB Josh Freeman talk in advance of tonight’s Monday Night Football game. (Chris Wondoloski/ESPN)
posted by Sheldon Spencer on July 16, 2013 11:00 AM
This badge is positively not transferable and will not be honored if presented by a woman or child. It is subject to the rules of the Commissioner.
The passage above reflects the language on the back of a pro sports press credential, circa the 1970s, seen in Let Them Wear Towels, the Nine for IX documentary premiering tonight (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET). The film presents how female sports writers battled for equal access to male locker rooms, a crusade illustrated by vintage 1970s and 80′s-era footage, sound bites, photos and even editorial cartoons.
Towels also provides present-day interviews with pioneering journalists, including Claire Smith — a noted baseball writer for the likes of The New York Times before joining ESPN’s television production team in 2007 — and Michele Himmelberg, who before becoming a Disney public relations executive covered the San Francisco 49ers for the Sacramento Bee. continue reading…
posted by Kristie Chong-Adler on June 17, 2013 12:40 PM
ESPNBoston.com and ESPNChicago.com
The Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks are not the only ones working overtime in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. The staffs at both ESPNBoston.com and ESPNChicago.com are busy working extra shifts delivering quality coverage for fans in both hockey-mad cities.
Through blogging, columns, post-game videos and more, reporters Scott Powers (Blackhawks) and Joe McDonald (Bruins) will be at home and on the road serving fans the latest from all the action on the ice, which through two games has produced two sudden death finishes. Additionally, colleagues from ESPNChicago.com — Jesse Rogers, Jon Greenberg and Melissa Isaacson — and ESPNBoston.com – Jackie MacMullan and James Murphy — provide additional coverage and analysis. continue reading…
posted by Diane Lamb on June 3, 2013 3:50 PM
Chris McKendry (L) and John Buccigross on the SportsCenter set.
(Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)
With more than 150,000 Twitter followers, ESPN’s John Buccigross @Buccigross often takes a different approach to his social interactions. His popular #bucciovertimechallenge has spawned fans far and wide and his creative use of hashtags offers an entry into the sharp mind of the 11 p.m. SportsCenter anchor.
Front Row went into OT with “Bucci” as he prepares to watch tonight’s NHL Eastern Conference Finals’ Game 2 between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins, for some perspective, some tips and some translations.
How did the #bucciovertimechallenge come to life? continue reading…
posted by Jay Jay Nesheim on June 3, 2013 12:00 PM
Former NHL goalie Clint Malarchuk’s devastating injury is revisited in “Cutthroat,” ESPN’s newest 30 for 30 Short.
Vic Morren, now a senior manager in production at ESPN, was working as a production assistant on SportsCenter on March 22, 1989. This was the night Buffalo Sabres’ goalie Clint Malarchuk had his carotid artery severed in a horrific in-game accident. The incident is the focus of the latest 30 for 30 Short:Cutthroat published on Grantland. [Warning: This film contains graphic footage of the injury.] continue reading…
posted by David Scott on May 9, 2013 12:00 PM
Monday night was a typically busy one on the sports calendar. NBA and NHL playoffs, MLB regular season and even Ultimate Frisbee highlights were all included in the 11 p.m. ET SportsCenter.
But SportsCenter viewers are accustomed to more than just highlights. Day in and day out, those video re-caps do more than just replay key moments or pivotal plays. The compilations often bring greater context and insight into why one team lost or how an athlete accomplished his or her feat. continue reading…
posted by Amy Phillips on January 23, 2013 12:00 PM
Editor’s note: The Swedish Chef stayed “in character” throughout this interview.
The NHL returned to the ice last weekend and to celebrate ESPN introduced a new This is SportsCenter spot featuring New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and his fellow countryman, The Swedish Chef.
The spot, which also features SportsCenter anchors Steve Levy, Robert Flores and Linda Cohn, debuted last weekend and marks the first time a member of The Muppets is featured in the long-running franchise campaign.
Front Row was able to get a few minutes with the chef for an exclusive behind-the-scenes interview:
What did you think about visiting ESPN and about working with Henrik Lundqvist?
Hun dee EESPYENNEN ees maken der shoots, svern dee Henrik is okey dokey!! Und, dee room fer dee washen dee wiggly fingees, ees voory, voory cleeeen.
Were there any funny stories from the shoot? continue reading…
posted by Sheldon Spencer on January 9, 2013 8:00 AM
When birds meet glass, the outcome is no laughing matter.
When people dressed as giant birds purposely run into glass windows, however, the imagery is going to generate some smiles.
The latest “This Is SportsCenter” segment stars anchors Chris McKendry, Stuart Scott, the Boston College Eagle and the Temple Owl mascots.
A.J. Mazza, Manager, ESPN Marketing, fills Front Row in on how the latest ad in the classic series was conceived.
“Birds” seems like a simple concept. How did the idea come about?
We often find that the simplest spots that hone in on something relatable resonate the most with our fans. This came together at the 11th hour, really. We try and do a few “This is SportsCenter” shoots per year, coming away with about six new spots each round that we roll out over the course of a year. We were hoping to get six spots out of this particular shoot, but a couple athletes had to cancel at the last minute due to personal circumstances. Our agency did some quick thinking and came up with what we think is a pretty clever, relatable concept. And, of course, we always love when we can incorporate mascots. Fortunately the birds were available last minute, and were great sports. We also need to thank Stuart and Chris, as they moved around a few things last minute to participate.
How did you select the mascots?
We started by making a list of all of the major “bird” mascots and then we began making calls to see who might be available. Within 30 minutes, we had a few on board. We made their travel arrangements and brought them out to Bristol.
How many takes were involved? Any funny stories behind the practice runs? continue reading…