Weekly Updates

MidWeek — October 31, 2012

Posted by





ESPN’s NBA Season-Opening Doubleheader Friday: Heat/Knicks, Lakers/Clippers
contact: [email protected] and [email protected]

ESPN will begin its 2012-13 NBA regular-season schedule Friday, Nov. 2, with the defending NBA champion Miami Heat visiting the New York Knicks at 8 p.m. ET. Mike Breen will provide commentary with analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Doris Burke. In the nightcap, the Los Angeles Lakers will take on the Los Angeles Clippers at 10:30 p.m. Mike Tirico and analyst Hubie Brown will call the game with Chris Broussard reporting. ESPN’s NBA season-opening games are part of the Kia NBA Tip Off. 

Additionally, the new-look Kia NBA Countdown pre-game show will debut prior to the doubleheader with a special one-hour telecast at 7 p.m. The Countdown quartet – NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose and Michael Wilbon – will discuss and debate the most compelling stories in a lively, free-flowing roundtable format. 

Date Time (ET) Telecast Commentators Network(s)
Wed, Oct. 31 9 p.m. NBA Coast to Coast Kevin Connors, Bruce Bowen, Chris Broussard, Steve Javie, Tim Legler, Flip Saunders. J.A. Adande ESPN, WatchESPN
  1:30 a.m. NBA Tonight Todd Grisham, Bowen ESPN2, WatchESPN
Fri, Nov. 2 7 p.m. Kia NBA Countdown Magic Johnson, Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons, Michael Wilbon ESPN, WatchESPN
  8 p.m. Kia NBA Tip Off: Miami Heat at New York Knicks presented by State Farm Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Doris Burke ESPN, WatchESPN
  10:30 p.m. Kia NBA Tip Off: Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers presented by State Farm Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Broussard ESPN, WatchESPN
  1 a.m. NBA Tonight Jonathan Coachman, Flip Saunders ESPN2, WatchESPN



Flip Saunders, Antonio Davis Join ESPN
contact: [email protected] and [email protected]

Former NBA head coach Flip Saunders and former NBA All-Star Antonio Davis reached multiyear agreements with ESPN. Saunders and Davis will serve as studio analysts contributing to SportsCenter, NBA Coast to Coast, NBA Tonight and additional news and information programming. Saunders is scheduled to appear Wednesday, Oct. 31, during NBA Coast to Coast, and make his official debut Thursday, Nov. 1, during the 9 a.m. SportsCenter. Davis will debut Thursday, Nov. 8, during the 9 a.m. SportsCenter.



ESPN’s Monday Night Football: Saints Host Eagles; Chris Berman Expected to Conduct Halftime Interviews with Presidential Candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
contact: [email protected]

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints will host Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football on November 5, at 8:30 p.m. Both quarterbacks have a history of memorable performances on MNF. Brees, who has won his last seven games on Monday night, threw five touchdown passes in one game (Nov. 30, 2009) to tie a MNF record, while Vick accounted for six touchdowns (four passing and two rushing) and more than 300 yards (Nov. 15, 2010). Play-by-play voice Mike Tirico, analyst Jon Gruden and sideline reporter Lisa Salters will call the game from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, site of Super Bowl XLVII. 

Chris Berman will host the two-hour Monday Night Countdown pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. Analysts Cris CarterMike DitkaTom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will join Berman in studio, while host Stuart Scott, analysts Trent Dilfer and Steve Young, contributor Rick Reilly and Salters will contribute from New Orleans.  

On the eve of the U.S. Presidential Election, the MNF halftime is expected to include conversations with both candidates. Berman is scheduled to conduct one-on-one interviews with President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney in one of the final national television appearances for both before the nation casts its vote the next day. 

MNF is televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. The game is also available on computers at WatchESPN.com and on tablets via the WatchESPN app for those who receive video subscriptions from an affiliated provider.



Sunday NFL Countdown: Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger – Class of 2004; Jumping the Route with Asante Samuel; Brandon Marshall; and More
contacts: [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected]

ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown Presented by IBM with Chris Berman, Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, Suzy Kolber, Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski will preview week nine on Sunday, November 4, at 10 a.m.  Adam Schefter, ESPN’s NFL insider, and senior analyst Chris Mortensen will report the day’s news and updates.  Comedian Frank Caliendo will contribute his witty and unique impressions of key ESPN and NFL personalities. 

Correspondents Sal Paolantonio (Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles), Rachel Nichols (Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants), Josina Anderson (Arizona Cardinals at Green Bay Packers), George Smith (Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins) and Bob Holtzman (Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals) will report from game sites.  Highlights:

  • Quarterback Class of 2004:  As quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers visit Eli Manning and the N.Y. Giants on Sunday, Countdown relives the 2004 NFL Draft that changed both franchises.  The feature includes a look at the confluence of events — Giants acquiring Eli Manning via a swap with the San Diego Chargers for Philip Rivers — which produced two leading NFL quarterbacks who have won four of the last seven Super Bowls.
  • Jumping the Route:  Atlanta’s Asante Samuel is one of the NFL’s best at jumping routes and breaking up passes. Analyst Darren Woodson visits the 7-0 Falcons cornerback to unmask the art of jumping a route and making a pick, while explaining why life for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo on Sunday against Atlanta will be a challenge.
  • Brandon Marshall:  Countdown will include an exclusive E:60 report by Lisa Salters examining how Chicago Bears star wide receiver Brandon Marshall, diagnosed with “Borderline Personality Disorder” after several off-the-field incidents such as domestic violence and drunk driving, has refocused on turning his life around. 

The three-hour program will also include: Jaworski and Hoge’s Xs and Os “Eye in the Sky” segment; Soundtracks with Texans defensive end JJ Watt; a look at Philadelphia Eagles future after three straight losses; and live look-ins to quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton in their pre-game routines leading up to the 1 p.m. games.  



Snickers NFL Matchup – Peyton Manning vs. Quarter Coverage; Jason Pierre-Paul – A Defensive Force; Falcons and Multiple Wide Receiver Screens; and More
contact: [email protected]

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, Nov. 4, at 6:30 a.m. on ESPN (ESPN2 at 8:30 a.m.).  Highlights:

  • Blitz Breakdown – Wesley Woodyard Sack/Fumble: Jaworski explains a Denver Broncos defensive scheme which fooled the New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, defeating the Saints pass protection via a delayed blitz from Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard.
  • Hoge Film Room – Drew Davis Touchdown Catch:  Thanks to in-depth analysis of game tape from week one vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, Hoge points out how the Atlanta Falcons used wide receiver screens in the red zone to set up Drew Davis’ first career touchdown catch against the Eagles in week eight.
  • ‘Jaws Playbook’ – Manning to Thomas vs. Quarter Coverage:  With Demaryius Thomas emerging as one of the top receivers in the league, Jaworski digs deeper into the Denver Broncos’ playbook to analyze a route combination that was designed to get the wide receiver open deep on a post against Quarter Coverage.
  • Ben Roethlisberger’s Pocket Movement: Hoge shows how Ben Roethlisberger’s mobility has allowed the Pittsburgh quarterback to beat defenses that appear to have the upper hand by extending the play.
  • Jason Pierre-Paul Sack:  After an all-pro performance in Dallas that included a sack and an interception returned for a touchdown, Jaworski highlights the attributes that make New York Giants Jason Pierre-Paul a force in both run and pass defense.
  • ‘Between the Lines’ – Aaron Rodgers to James Jones:  Jaworski uses the telestrator to show how Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ pre-game preparation allowed him to make a pre-snap adjustment that opened up wide receiver James Jones for an easy touchdown throw.
  • ‘Coaches Clicker’ – Chicago Blitz: With the Chicago Bears having the top ranked defense through Week eight, Hoge pulls the clicker to explain the intricacies and facets of the Bears pressure defense.
  • ‘Hoge X and O Files’ – Sean Weatherspoon’s Sack:  Hoge identifies some of the Eagles’ issues with pass protection by highlighting a delayed blitz last Sunday by the Atlanta Falcons Sean Weatherspoon that led to a sack.



College GameDay Headed to Death Valley
contact: [email protected]

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot will originate from Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday, Nov. 3, the site of Saturday’s SEC showdown between No. 1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0) and No. 5 LSU (7-1, 3-1). The set location will be in the northeast corner of the Parade Field. 

College GameDay, in its 26th year, will make its ninth visit to the home of the Tigers and its first since October 10, 2009, when Florida beat LSU 13-3. Lee Corso is 6-2 with his LSU headgear picks in Baton Rouge. 

College GameDay will air live at 9 a.m. on ESPNU and 10 a.m. on ESPN with host Chris Fowler, analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack, and host/reporter Samantha Steele and Tom Rinaldi.



Around the Horn Celebrates 10 Years on Friday
contact: [email protected]

This week marks the 10-year anniversary for the weekday sports talk and debate show Around the Horn, which debuted November 4, 2002. Based out of Washington, D.C. (with Pardon the Interruption), ATH features a daily panel of four sports writers representing different areas of the country, most notably Boston, Dallas, Denver and Los Angeles. Each sports writer offers his/her opinion and insight while being scored – and often muted – by host Tony Reali. 

ATH will recognize its 10 years on Friday, Nov. 2 (5 p.m., ESPN) as Reali will be joined by an expanded group of panelists including show regulars JA Adande, Kevin Blackistone, Tim Cowlishaw, Israel Gutierrez, Bomani Jones, Jackie MacMullan, Woody Paige, Bill Plaschke, Bob Ryan and Michael Smith. A special guest will also make an appearance. In addition to discussing the top sports news of the day, the program will highlight special flashback moments in the show’s history. Some of the flashbacks will also be posted via social media on Around the Horn’s Facebook and YouTube pages.



NASCAR Now Surrounds Texas Sprint Cup Race
contact: [email protected]

ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now will preview the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in the one-hour edition on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 8 a.m. Host Mike Massaro and analyst Ricky Craven will be joined by reporters Marty Smith and Ryan McGee at the track. Massaro and Craven will review the race Sunday night at 10 p.m. while analyst Rusty Wallace joins on Monday’s show at 11:30 p.m. ESPN will have a live telecast of the race Sunday with NASCAR Countdown at 2 p.m.



espnW: ING New York City Marathon Preview and a Week in Women’s Sports through Photos
contact: [email protected]

espnW.com coverage of the ING New York City Marathon will include several pre-race features, a “Why I Run” page dedicated to several of this year’s marathon runners and more. In addition, relive all the photo highlights in this week’s Top Shots, including the WTA Championships, U.S.-Germany soccer friendly and more.



All-Access Kentucky Rescheduled to Thursday on ESPN2 Due to Hurricane Sandy
contact: [email protected] 

The third and final episode of All-Access Kentucky will air November 1, at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2. Fans who missed last week’s show can watch episode two at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 that same evening. Additionally, all three All-Access Kentucky episodes will air back to back on Sunday, Nov. 4, starting at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN2.