Weekly Updates

ESPN ThisWeekend – October 16, 2014


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College Football, NASCAR, NFL

MLB, 30 for 30 and more

College Football: No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 2 Florida State includes Use of Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries”
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ESPN will continue to incorporate the recently released Fall Out Boy single “Centuries” – the featured track for its inaugural College Football Playoff game and studio coverage – into select regular-season games, including the ABC Saturday Night Football matchup between unbeaten No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 2 Florida State October 18 at 8 p.m. The song will be featured in a lead-up to the Saturday Night Football open and on transitions in and out of commercial breaks.

Fall Out Boy bassist and founding member Pete Wentz said, “When we wrote ‘Centuries,’ the idea was that any kid could become a legend. That it just takes one song or one touchdown, one game – we are all one amazing moment or insane mistake away from infamy or infinity. We have always dreamed of writing rock anthems that could be played in stadiums. ESPN seemed like a natural partner for us on this.”

ESPN announced in early September that its inaugural coverage of the College Football Playoff will showcase the song from the critically acclaimed and multiplatinum-selling band in its game and on-air promotions throughout the season. “Centuries” also continues to be a central part of the regular-season marketing efforts to promote the top college football matchups across ESPN’s networks each week.

Fall Out Boy and ESPN also collaborated on a video for exclusive use in the network’s New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day tripleheaders – the “New Year’s Six” – showcasing the semifinals and four additional premier bowls and the first-ever College Football National Championship on January 12. Beginning with this Saturday’s matchup, ESPN will include short portions of the video in select game telecasts leading up to New Year’s Six debut.


Hamlin to be In-Race Reporter at Talladega
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Denny Hamlin, one of the drivers trying to advance to the next round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, will be the In-Race Reporter during ESPN’s live telecast of the 500-mile race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, Oct. 19. Hamlin will speak with analyst Dale Jarrett on the race’s pace laps and during caution periods to bring additional perspective and information to viewers. Chase Race No. 6 of 10 is extremely important as four more drivers will be eliminated from championship contention, leaving eight. NASCAR Countdown airs at 1 p.m. with the race’s green flag at 2:19 p.m. Also from Talladega, NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying will air on ESPNEWS on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 4:30 p.m. The 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway is the largest track in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing.


ESPN’s Monday Night Football: JJ Watt and the Texans Visit Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers
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JJ Watt and the Houston Texans visit Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on October 20 at 8:15 p.m. ET. The Steelers enter the matchup with the longest MNF home win streak in the series’ 45-year history 15 games.

The MNF team of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters will call the game from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The NFL’s week seven finale will be televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and available via WatchESPN for those with video subscriptions from affiliated providers.

Monday Night Countdown begins at 6 p.m. on ESPN. Suzy Kolber and NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young review Sunday’s games and preview the MNF matchup from Heinz Field. Studio host Chris Berman, NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter join the show from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn.

Monday Night Countdown highlights:

  • Soundtracks: Best of J.J. Watt: The Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, J.J. Watt’s dominating performance this season has his name being mentioned in MVP discussions. This week, Countdown features the best of Watt’s in-game audio in Soundtracks.
  • Gruden’s Grill Session with JJ Watt: Monday Night Football’s Jon Gruden visits with Texans All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt in this week’s Grill Session.
  • A Conversation with Lisa Salters: Sideline reporter Lisa Salters will sit down for a one-on-one conversation with one of the stars (TBD) of the Houston – Pittsburgh Monday Night Football
  • Rick Reilly’s Feature – Bill O’Brien: Family and football is a tough balancing act for any head coach. Rick Reilly tells the story of how Jack O’Brien, the son of Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, helped give his father a renewed perspective on pressure and life beyond football field.


Sunday NFL Countdown: Peyton Manning’s One-Hit Wonders; Smashing Records – The DeMarco Murray Story; and More
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Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis will preview week 7 on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 10 a.m. The three-hour program will feature reporter/host Wendi Nix during select segments, while NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report the day’s headlines and news.

ESPN reporters at game sites:

  • Bengals at Colts (Lindsay Czarniak and Ron Jaworski)
  • Saints at Lions (Sal Paolantonio)
  • Panthers at Packers (Bob Holtzman)
  • Giants at Cowboys (Ed Werder)
  • 49ers at Broncos (Josina Anderson)


  • One-Hit Wonders: Seven players have caught only one touchdown pass from quarterback Peyton Manning, the Broncos signal caller who has 506 touchdowns and needs three more to surpass Brett Favre’s record 508. Reporter Jim Trotter tracks down and interviews some of the seven.
  • Smashing Records: Breaking rushing records is in DeMarco Murray’s DNA. The Cowboys running back is on the precipice of several NFL rushing records this season, including Jim Brown’s record for six consecutive 100-yard games to open a season. Murray broke Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith’s Cowboys single-game rushing record with 253 yards in October 23, 2011, vs. the St. Louis Rams. In college, at University of Oklahoma, Murray set several records surpassing Sooner greats Billy Simms, Marcus Dupree and Adrian Peterson. Greg Garber reports on Murray’s history with breaking records.
  • My Brother’s Keeper – The Joe Haden Story: Browns cornerback Joe Haden has always shared a unique bond with his younger brother Jacob, who has special needs and is unable to communicate verbally. That bond was further strengthened when Joe, at nine years of age, dove into their Aunt’s swimming pool to save Jacob’s life. Josina Anderson reports. (Ed note: This piece was moved from last Sunday’s show to this week.)
  • Soundtracks – Earl Thomas: Safety Earl Thomas, a leading member of the Seahawks’ vaunted “Legion of Boom” defensive unit, wired for in-game audio last Sunday, during the team’s loss at home to the Cowboys, will be featured on Sunday’s Soundtracks.


NFL Matchup – Colts Play Action; Cowboys Run Game; Struggling Seahawks Offense; and More
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NFL Matchup host Sal Paolantonio and analysts Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge preview the weekend’s key matchups via film-room X’s and O’s analysis on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN2 (re-air on ESPN, Sunday at 3:30 a.m.). Highlights:

  • Jaws Playbook – Colts Play Action: Jaworski takes viewers through a play-action pass that the Colts offense will execute against the Bengals defense on Sunday.
  • Inside the Matchup – Chargers Bunch Formation: Jaworski explains how the Chiefs man-to-man defense can be nullified by the Chargers’ bunch formations.
  • Coach’s Clicker – Cowboys Run Game: Hoge illustrates the staples of a versatile Cowboys run game, giving the Cowboys a more balanced offense that wears down opposing defenses.
  • X and O Files – Jets Defensive Game Plan vs. Manning: The Jets defense was able to slow down quarterback Peyton Manning’s decision-making process by playing a variety of defensive coverages, something the 49ers will look to replicate this weekend, argues the NFL Matchup
  • Hoge Breakdown – Suh to Disrupt Drew Brees: Hoge explains how the Lions will rely on their defensive line, led by Ndamukong Suh, to create pressure on quarterback Drew Brees and slow down the New Orleans Saints passing attack.
  • Let’s See it Hoge – Struggling Seahawks Offense: The Seahawks offense is having trouble on third downs and when defenses are able to keep quarterback Russell Wilson in the pocket, Hoge explains.


ESPN Audio: College Football & NFL Weekend Game Schedule
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ESPN Audio’s college football coverage will continue Saturday, Oct. 18, when No.14 Kansas State visits No.11 Oklahoma at 11:30 a.m. Bill Rosinski will call the game with analyst David Norrie and reporter Joe Schad.

Two exciting quarterbacks will meet Sunday, Oct. 19, when the Detroit Lions (4-2), helmed by Matthew Stafford, host the New Orleans Saints (2-3) and Drew Brees on ESPN Radio. Ryan Ruocco, Bill Polian and Ian Fitzsimmons will be on site for the broadcast. The pre-game show will begin at 12 noon with the game at 1 p.m.


ESPN Radio: Wainwright, Bumgarner Duel as Cardinals Face Elimination in NLCS Game 5
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ESPN Radio will continue its 17th consecutive Major League Baseball postseason today – Thursday, Oct. 16 – when the San Francisco Giants and Madison Bumgarner try to advance to the World Series as they host the defending National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals and Adam Wainwright in Game 5 of the NLCS. The Giants lead the series 3-1. Sunday Night Baseball’s Dan Shulman will join analyst Aaron Boone for commentary at 7 p.m.

Baseball Tonight continues throughout the week with nightly analysis and highlights on ESPN2, generally at midnight or following the final game of the day.


Date Time (ET) Game/ Commentators Networks
Thu, Oct 16 7 p.m. NLCS: St. Louis Cardinals at San Francisco Giants – Game 5Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone ESPN Radio
  12 a.m. Baseball Tonight presented by ChevroletKarl Ravech, John Kruk, Barry Larkin ESPN2, WatchESPN
Fri, Oct 17 12 a.m. Baseball Tonight presented by ChevroletHakem Dermish, Eduardo Perez ESPN2, WatchESPN
Sat, Oct 18 3 p.m. NLCS: San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals – Game 6*Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone ESPN Radio
  2:30 a.m. Baseball Tonight presented by ChevroletHakem Dermish, Eduardo Perez ESPN2, WatchESPN
Sun, Oct 19 6:30 p.m. NLCS: San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals – Game 7*Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone ESPN Radio


*If necessary


ESPN Images: Michael Rapaport, Director of “30 for 30” Documentary
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Actor, New York native and sports fan Michael Rapaport directed a “30 for 30” documentary surrounding his beloved Knicks and the glory days of Madison Square Garden. Rapaport will be in Bristol Thursday, Oct. 16, to promote When the Garden Was Eden on several ESPN programs. Photos of Rapaport on Mike and Mike followed by First Take are available in the ESPN Images library. When the Garden Was Eden will debut on ESPN Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 9 p.m. Follow ESPN Images: @ESPNImages (Twitter) and @espn_images (Instagram).


30 for 30 films Now Available on Netflix
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Fans can now stream all of ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 documentaries on Netflix. The critically acclaimed and award-winning sports film series, which launched in 2009, is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month. Films in the 2014 fall slate, which began last week with “Playing for the Mob,” will be available three weeks after their broadcast premiere. Netflix is the exclusive home for all 30 for 30 films.


MLS and Mexican Soccer on ESPN Deportes & ESPN2
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Soccer on ESPN Deportes continues with MLS and Liga MX, including the Houston Dynamo taking on the New England Revolution, Thursday, October 16 at 8 p.m. on ESPN Deportes and ESPN2. ESPN Deportes’ Liga MX weekend coverage will kick off Friday, October 17, at 8:25 p.m. with a doubleheader: Monarcas de Morelia vs. Tiburones Rojos followed by Xolos de Tijuana vs. Gallos de Queretaro. Full schedule of soccer coverage this weekend:


Date Time (ET) Program Networks
Thu, Oct 16 8 p.m. MLS – Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
Fri, Oct 17 8:25 p.m. Liga MX – Monarcas de Morelia vs. Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio, WatchESPN
  10:25 p.m. Liga MX – Xolos de Tijuana vs. Gallos Blancos de Queretaro ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio, WatchESPN
Sat, Oct 18 5:50 p.m. Liga MX – Puebla FC vs. Leones Negros U de G ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio,  WatchESPN
  9:00 p.m. Liga MX – Club Leon vs. Guadalajara ESPN Deportes Radio
Sun, Oct 19 8:30 p.m. MLS – LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders FC ESPN 2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio, WatchESPN



World of X Games: ASP Surfing Stop No. 9 Quiksilver Pro France
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World of X Games: ASP Surfing Stop No. 9 Quiksilver Pro France will air this Sunday, October 19, at 5 p.m. on ABC. The one-hour episode will highlight many of the in-depth stories and non-stop action that took place at the Quiksilver Pro France, the ninth stop of the World Championship Tour. Fans crowded the shores of Hossegor’s Le Gardian to witness the world title race take place among the likes of Hurley Pro runner-up John John Florence, 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater and current ASP World number 13, Josh Kerr.

The Atlantic Ocean offered fast-breaking 8-to-10-foot barrels throughout the week, providing many of the world’s best surfing professionals a crucial opportunity to re-qualify for next season’s tour.

The World of X Games series features a variety of X Games and athlete-focused content. For the most updated schedule and information on World of X Games, go to www.xgames.com. Check local listings for additional details.


ESPN Tips Off the College Basketball Season with Midnight Madness
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ESPN will tip off the 2014-15 college basketball season with Midnight Madness from 11 campuses, including seven men’s programs in ESPN.com’s early top 25, on Friday, Oct. 17. ESPNU Midnight Madness at 6 p.m. will bring fans a three-hour start of the season celebration from six schools, including the 2014 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Division I National Champion UConn Huskies. The ESPNU special will also involve five more teams from the 2014 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship: Arizona, Florida, Gonzaga, Kentucky, and San Diego State. This is the ninth year ESPNU Midnight Madness has presented the annual college basketball tradition. SEC Now, the nightly news and information show on SEC Network, will feature highlights of Kentucky’s “Big Blue Madness.”  In addition, SEC Network will produce and air a separate one-hour recap show, Big Blue Madness airing Friday Oct. 17, at 11 p.m.

ESPN3 will also cover Midnight Madness on Friday, Oct. 17, carrying six college basketball programs’ Midnight Madness celebrations in their entirety. In addition to UConn’s “First Night” at 7 p.m., ESPN3 will have Harvard’s “Crimson Madness” at 6 p.m., Mercer’s “Mercer Madness” at 6:10 p.m., Kentucky’s “Big Blue Madness” at 7 p.m., NC State’s “Throwback with the Pack” at 8 p.m. and Florida Gulf Coast’s “Dunk City after Dark” at 9 p.m. Full release is here.


Nine Rated High School Players, Including Florida State Quarterback Commit, in Matchup of Florida Teams
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Nine players in the ESPN 300, including the No. 1 cornerback and the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback, will be in action when Trinity Christian Academy (Fla.) takes on IMG Academy (Fla.) on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 on ESPNU.

Trinity Christian Academy is led by five players in the ESPN 300, including senior cornerback Kevin Toliver II, who is top-ranked at his position, No. 5 overall and verbally committed to LSU. Other Conquerors in the ESPN 300, all seniors, are linebacker Jeffery Holland (No. 41 overall), offensive guard Kendrick Norton (No. 78), safety Ben Edwards (No. 157), and safety Deontai Williams (No. 196), who has verbally committed to Georgia. Trinity Christian Academy is 4-1.

Quarterback Deondre Francois headlines a IMG Academy team which boasts four players in the ESPN 300. Francois is the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback, No. 55 overall, and has verbally committed to Florida State. IMG Academy’s head coach, Chris Weinke, won a national championship and Heisman Trophy as a quarterback for the Seminoles.  Francois’ teammates include fellow seniors defensive tackle Hjalte Froholdt (No. 99 overall), who has verbally committed to Arkansas, and offensive tackle Tyree St. Louis (No. 234), who has verbally committed to Miami.  Junior wide receiver Tavares Chase (No. 205) also suits up for the Ascenders.  IMG Academy is 7-1 and looks to avenge last season’s regular season loss to Trinity Christian Academy.

Trinity Christian Academy vs. IMG Academy is part of the 2014 GEICO High School Showcase.

Date Time (ET) Matchup / Commentators Network
Thu, Oct 16 7:30 p.m. Trinity Christian Academy (Fla.) vs. IMG Academy (Fla.) Jason Benetti, Craig Haubert

  • Rematch from the 2013 regular season which Trinity Christian Academy  won


  • Trinity Christian Academy has five players in the ESPN 300: Senior cornerback Kevin Toliver II (No. 5 and LSU verbal commit), senior linebacker Jeffery Holland (No. 41), senior offensive guard Kendrick Norton (No. 78), senior safety Ben Edwards (No. 157), and senior safety Deontai Williams (No. 196 and Georgia verbal commit)


  • Suiting up for IMG Academy are four players in the ESPN 300: Senior quarterback Deondre Francois, (No. 55 and a Florida State verbal commit), senior defensive tackle Hjalte Froholdt (No. 99 and Arkansas verbal commit),  junior wide receiver Tavares Chase (No 205) and senior offensive tackle Tyree St. Louis (No. 234 and Miami verbal commit)


League of Legends World Championship Final Live on ESPN3
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ESPN and Riot Games have agreed to distribute the League of Legends World Championship final between Samsung White and Star Horn Royal Club live from South Korea on ESPN3 on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 2:30 a.m. (late Saturday at 11:30 p.m. PT).  ESPN will also integrate video highlights from the competition across its digital platforms.  The World Championship will be taking place in front of a sold-out audience of 40,000 fans at the Seoul World Cup Stadium. Imagine Dragons will also be performing live with their hit new song “Warriors.”

ESPN3 is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.  The network is currently available to 95 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.