MidWeek — December 12, 2012

NFL

NBA, REGIS ON FIRST TAKE, SUMMER ON espnW & MORE…

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ESPN’s Monday Night Football: Tennessee Titans Host New York Jets
contact: allison.r.stoneberg@espn.com

The Tennessee Titans host the New York Jets on Monday Night Football on December 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Since the organization moved to Tennessee in 1997, the Titans are 9-5 on MNF and have won the last three games. Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will call the action with sideline reporter Lisa Salters.

Televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, MNF will also be available at WatchESPN.com (computers) and via the WatchESPN app (tablets) for those who receive video subscriptions from an affiliated provider.

Providing pre-game news and information, Chris Berman hosts the two-hour Monday Night Countdown at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN with analysts Cris CarterMike DitkaTom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. On-site host Stuart Scott, analysts Trent Dilfer and Steve Young, columnist Rick Reilly and Salters will join the studio crew from the stadium.

 

Sunday NFL Countdown:  Conversations with Steelers’ Big Ben Roethlisberger and Broncos’ Von Miller; and More
contact:  mac.nwulu@espn.com

Chris Berman, Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, Suzy Kolber, Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski will preview week 15 games on Sunday NFL Countdown Presented by IBM on December 16, at 10 a.m. NFL Insider Adam Schefter and senior analyst Chris Mortensen will report the day’s news, and comedian Frank Caliendo will contribute his impressions of ESPN and NFL personalities.

The three-hour program will focus on Sunday’s six marquee matchups between teams with winning records, a rare occurrence on NFL Sundays this late in the season.  Countdown correspondents –  Josina Anderson (Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears) Sal Paolantonio (Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens), Rachel Nichols (New York Giants at Atlanta Falcons), Bob Holtzman (Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans), Ed Werder (Pittsburgh Steelers at Dallas Cowboys) and Colleen Dominguez (San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots) – will report from each one of the games. The last time a NFL Sunday included six games between teams with winning records was Sunday, Dec. 7, 2003. Other highlights:

  • A Conversation with Big Ben:  Last Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger returned from a shoulder injury to quarterback the Pittsburgh Steelers in a surprising home loss to the San Diego Chargers in a game symbolic of the team’s roller coaster season. Countdown’s Merril Hoge sat down for a one-on-one conversation with Roethlisberger.
  • Von Miller Interview:  The Denver Broncos defense, led by second year linebacker Von Miller, shares as much credit as quarterback Peyton Manning and the offense in the Broncos eight-game win streak. Countdown’s Tom Jackson, a former Broncos linebacker, travelled to Denver for a sit-down interview with Miller, the AFC Defensive Player of the Month in November.

Countdown will also feature a live look-ins at quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Jay Cutler and Matt Ryan, running backs Arian Foster and Ray Rice, and linebacker Ray Lewis in their pre-game routines leading into the 1 p.m. games; Kenny Mayne in his self-titled segment – the Mayne Event; Cris Carter’s “Where You At?”; and Jaworski and Hoge’s Xs and Os “Eye in the Sky” segment.

 

 

Snickers NFL Matchup – Patriots Play-Action Passing; Giants Red Zone Offense; Broncos Blitz Schemes; and More
contact:  mac.nwulu@espn.com

NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge will preview the weekend’s key matchups by taking viewers inside the film room with X’s and O’s analysis Sunday, Dec. 16, at 6:30 a.m. on ESPN (ESPN2 at 8:30 a.m.).  Highlights:

  • Blitz Breakdown – Roethlisberger Pressured:  Hoge shows two blitz concepts by the San Diego Chargers from last week that overwhelmed the Pittsburgh Steelers pass protection and forced a sack on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
  • “X and O Files” – Tony Romo Interception: The Cowboys battle to make the playoffs continues at home against the Steelers, who have the best defense in the NFL. Jaworski uses an interception quarterback Tony Romo threw against the Washington Redskins to show how Romo was confused by a disguised coverage.
  • “Between the Lines” – Giants Red Zone, Manning to Bennett:  Jaworski uses the telestrator to show how the New York Giants dictate successful one-on-one matchups between tight end Martellus Bennett and opposing linebackers in the Red Zone.
  • Hoge Breakdown – Kaepernick 50-yard Touchdown: Hoge explains how the San Francisco 49ers have added the read-option into their offense to create extra dimensions to their run game.
  • “Coaches Clicker” – Bears’ Struggles in Run Defense: After allowing 141 rushing yards per game in the last five games, Hoge shows how the Chicago Bears defensive struggles result from poor linebacker play.
  • Shot Play – Patriots Play Action Pass: Jaworski describes how the New England Patriots use multiple tight ends and run action to influence the safeties on a play-action that resulted in a touchdown to wide receiver Brandon Lloyd.
  • “Game Changer” – Broncos Blitz Sack:  The Denver Broncos have 15 sacks from blitzes this season.  Jaworski shows a successful blitz with linebacker Von Miller coming off the edge to get to Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
  • “The Money Down” – Andrew Luck to Reggie Wayne on Third and 17: The Indianapolis Colts lead the league in third and 10-plus yards conversions. Jaworski explains how Andrew Luck’s quarterbacking attributes allow him to move in the pocket and convert downfield throws on crucial third-down situations.

 

 

NBA: Doubleheaders Wed. & Fri. – Two Boston Games, Gymnast Gabby Douglas in Studio
contacts: ben.cafardo@espn.com and kristen.m.hudak@espn.com

ESPN’s action-packed week of NBA games continues on Wednesday, Dec. 12 when the Boston Celtics host the Dallas Mavericks, at 8 p.m. ESPN’s lead crew – Mike Breen, analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Doris Burke — will provide commentary. At 10:30, the Western Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs face the Utah Jazz with Terry Gannon handling play-by-play duties and Chris Mullin providing analysis.

Friday’s doubleheader will again feature the Boston Celtics with Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo as they take on the Houston Rockets led by James Harden and Jeremy Lin at 8 p.m. Mike Tirico will call the game – his second Boston v. Houston game of the week (Monday Night Football, saw the Patriots defeat the Texans) – while Jon Barry will provide analysis. In the nightcap, the Memphis Grizzlies face the Denver Nuggets at 10:30 p.m. with commentator Terry Gannon and analyst Chris Mullin.

KIA NBA Countdown precedes each doubleheader at 7:30 p.m. On Wednesday, Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas will be on the set to introduce analysts Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons, Mike Wilbon and Jalen Rose.

Date Time (ET) Game Commentators Network
Wed., Dec. 12 7:30 p.m. KIA NBA Countdown Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons, Mike Wilbon, Jalen Rose ESPN, WatchESPN
8 p.m. Dallas Mavericks at Boston Celtics Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Doris Burke ESPN, WatchESPN
10:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz Terry Gannon, Chris Mullin ESPN, WatchESPN
Fri., Dec. 14 7:30 p.m. KIA NBA Countdown Bill Simmons, Mike Wilbon, Jalen Rose ESPN, WatchESPN
8 p.m. Boston Celtics at Houston Rockets Mike Tirico, Jon Barry ESPN, WatchESPN
10:30 p.m. Memphis Grizzlies at Denver Nuggets Terry Gannon, Chris Mullin ESPN, WatchESPN

 

Regis Philbin Visits the First Take Debate Desk Friday
contact: jayjay.nesheim@espn.com 

Television personality Regis Philbin will visit ESPN for First Take on Friday, Dec. 14. A self-proclaimed fan of the show, Regis requested an opportunity to debate Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless on the day’s hottest sports topics. College football is certain to be a topic of discussion as Philbin is an alum of Notre Dame, and the native New Yorker will also want to discuss the Giants and Jets.  First Take airs weekdays at 10 a.m. on ESPN2.  Follow First Take on Facebook (facebook.com/firsttake) and Twitter (@ESPN_FirstTake). Photos of Philbin will also be available in the ESPN Images library shortly after the show.

 

espnW.com: Summer (Sanders) on the Run, The Great Lung Run and This Week’s Top Shots
contact: Amanda.decastro@espn.com

espnW.com has launched a 12-week video and blog series, Summer on the Run, that follows former Olympic swimmer and avid runner Summer Sanders on her training journey  for Disney’s Princess Half Marathon on February 24. Sanders offers training tips, motivation and advice as she prepares for her 13.1-mile run. In addition, contributor Sarah Spain shares the inspirational journey of Kelcey Harrison, who ran from Times Square to San Francisco, logging 30 miles almost every day for four consecutive months, in honor of the best friend she lost to lung cancer. espnW.com also shares this week’s Top Shots in women’s sports.

 

Men’s College Hoops: Holiday Hoops Week Continues; Boeheim Aiming for Win #900
contact: michael.c.humes@espn.com

ESPN’s Holiday Hoops Presented by Kay Jeweler’s will continue through early next week with 19 games over three days (Monday, Dec. 17, through Wednesday, Dec. 19). The schedule includes telecasts of two of the top four ranked teams: No. 2 Duke against Cornell on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m. on ESPNU and No. 4 Syracuse vs. Detroit in the Gotham Classic on Monday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. With a Syracuse victory over Canisius on Saturday, Dec. 15, head coach Jim Boeheim will be at 899 career wins and going for his 900th victory against Detroit.

In addition, ESPNU and ESPN3 will each cover a home game for No. 22 Notre Dame: against IPFW on Monday, Dec. 17, and against Kennesaw State on Wednesday, Dec. 19, both at 7 p.m.

Commentator Mike Couzens will receive the overtime award, calling a game on three consecutive days, each with a different analyst. In addition to working both Notre Dame matchups, he will call Ball State at Purdue on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Mon, Dec 17 7 p.m. Gotham Classic Detroit vs. No. 4 Syracuse (Regional)
John Saunders & Doris Burke
ESPN2
  Louisiana-Monroe at Florida State ESPN3
  IPFW at No. 22 Notre Dame
Mike Couzens & LaPhonso Ellis
ESPNU
  Maryland-Eastern Shore at Connecticut
Bob Picozzi & Bob Wenzel
ESPN3 & BIG EAST Network
  9 p.m. Cornell at Vanderbilt
Dave Neal & Dino Gaudio
ESPNU
Tue, Dec 18 7 p.m. Richmond at No. 9 Kansas
Mitch Holthus & Stephen Bardo
ESPN2
  No. 19 Michigan State at Bowling Green
Jim Barbar & Tim McCormick
ESPNU
  Ball State at Purdue
Mike Couzens & Darrin Horn
ESPN3
  7:30 p.m. Old Dominion at College of Charleston ESPN3
  9 p.m. Stanford at No. 25 NC State
TBD & Sean Farnham
ESPN2
Wed, Dec 19 7 p.m. Xavier at No. 11 Cincinnati
Bob Wischusen, Dan Dakich & Andy Katz
ESPN2
  Cornell at No. 2 Duke
Tom Hart & Doris Burke
ESPNU
  Clemson at Coastal Carolina ESPN3
  Kennesaw State at No. 22 Notre Dame
Mike Couzens & Sean Kearney
ESPN3
  Morehead State at Virginia
Byron Kerr & Glenn Consor
ESPN3
  8 p.m. Alabama at Texas Tech
Mike Gleason & John Harris
ESPN3
  9 p.m. No. 21 North Carolina at Texas
John Saunders & Jimmy Dykes
ESPN2
  Oakland at West Virginia
Dave O’Brien & Bruce Pearl
ESPNU
  11 p.m. Ole Miss at Loyola Marymount
Roxy Bernstein & Miles Simon
ESPNU

 

30 for 30 Shattering Ratings Records for Documentaries on ESPN
contact: jennifer.j.cingari@espn.com

This Saturday’s 30 for 30 film You Don’t Know Bo was ESPN’s highest-rated documentary with a 2.6 rating. In its current run, the 30 for 30 films are averaging a 1.5 rating through six telecasts. Two of the top five highest-rated documentaries ever have aired this fall — You Don’t Know Bo and Broke. Top five:

Rank Telecast Date Rating

1

You Don’t Know Bo December 8, 2012 2.6

2

The Fab Five March 3, 2011 2.1

3

Broke October 2, 2012 1.9

4

Pony Exce$$ December 11, 2010 1.9

5

The U December 8, 2009 1.8

ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series will return in 2013 with another slate of films.

ESPN The Magazine: “Hall of Fame” Issue
contact: carrie.b.kreiswirth@espn.com

Ahead of ESPN The Magazine’s Hall of Fame “Voter Confidential” newsstand release (Friday, Dec. 14), Outside the Lines broke down the verdict when The Mag asked 48 anonymous voters how they would cast their vote on the MLB Hall of Fame ballot. According to the voters polled, Barry Bonds does not appear to be a first-ballot selection, and voters weren’t sure they would ever let him in. Roger Clemens didn’t fare much better, and according to voters, Sammy Sosa may never get in. Meanwhile, more than half of those polled said they would vote for Pete Rose if they were able to. Today, Outside the Lines (3 p.m. ET) discussed the complete findings from the latest ESPN the Magazine’s Confidential.

 

 

Special PROFILE:60 Shows from E:60
contact: carrie.b.kreiswirth@espn.com

E:60 presents PROFILE:60, three new half-hour episodes with NFL stars Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots, Victor Cruz of the New York Giants and Arian Foster of the Houston Texans.  The shows will premiere Thursday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively on ESPN2.

 

ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine Present the Hall of 100
contact: ben.cafardo@espn.com and kristen.m.hudak@espn.com

ESPN debuted a new baseball-themed collaboration between ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine entitled the Hall of 100. The project recognizes the top 100 baseball players of all time based solely on performance. Nos. 26-100 were unveiled earlier in the week. The final 25 will be named on Thursday, Dec. 13, during a live chat on ESPN.com.

The content will be supported with essays, articles and videos by Steve Wulf, Matt Meyers, Dan Szymborski, Jim Caple, Christina Kahrl, Jerry Crasnick, David Schoenfield, Tim Kurkjian, Peter Keating, Eric Karabell, Jayson Stark, Doug Glanville, Mark Simon and Buster Olney.

#Hallof100 is the official hashtag across social platforms for the series. The Hall of 100 is part of ESPN The Magazine‘s comprehensive Hall of Fame issue, scheduled to hit newsstands Friday, December 14.

 

Bowling on ESPN – PBA Alka Seltzer Plus Cold Cheetah Championship on Sunday
contact: allison.r.stoneberg@espn.com
ESPN will televise the PBA Alka Seltzer Plus Cold Cheetah Championship on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 1 p.m. Lon McEachern and PBA Hall of Famer Randy Pedersen will be on site in Las Vegas, Nev., to call the action.

The stepladder finals begin with Bill O’Neill, winner of the 2010 U.S. Open, facing Chris Loschetter for a chance to move to the semifinal match and take on No. 2 qualifier Jeff Roche. Roche or the challenger will then contend with four-time Tour winner Mike Wolfe in the championship match. Schedule

 

Reebok CrossFit Games Marathon Sunday on ESPN2
contact: stephen.mcdonald@espn.com 

ESPN2 will reair 12 episodes from the Reebok CrossFit Games on Sunday, Dec. 16, from 4:30 p.m. to midnight. Sunday’s episodes will highlight the Games Men’s and Women’s competition with: Camp Pendleton Endurance Test, Chipper, Double Banger and Elizabeth, Isabel & Fran. Each episode will also be available on WatchESPN.

Date Time (ET) Competition Network
Sun, Dec. 16 4:30 p.m. Camp Pendleton Endurance Test (Men’s & Women’s) ESPN2, WatchESPN
  5:30 p.m. Camp Pendleton Obstacle Course (Women’s) ESPN2, WatchESPN
  6 p.m. Ball Toss & Track Triplet (Women’s) ESPN2, WatchESPN
  6:30 p.m. Medicine Ball & Handstand Pushups (Women’s) ESPN2, WatchESPN
  7 p.m. Sprint & Rope Sled (Women’s) ESPN2, WatchESPN
  7:30 p.m. Clean Ladder & Weightlifting (Women’s) ESPN2, WatchESPN
  8 p.m. Chipper (Women’s) ESPN2, WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. Double Banger (Women’s) ESPN2, WatchESPN
  9 p.m. Elizabeth, Isabel & Fran (Women’s) ESPN2, WatchESPN
  10 p.m. Chipper (Men’s) ESPN2, WatchESPN
  10:30  p.m. Double Banger (Men’s) ESPN2, WatchESPN
  11 p.m. Elizabeth, Isabel & Fran (Men’s ESPN2, WatchESPN

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