Weekly Updates

ESPN MidWeek — November 14, 2012


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NASCAR Now Surrounds Sprint Cup Season Finale
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ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now will surround the final race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 18. The battle between Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson for the championship will be previewed in the one-hour edition at 9 a.m. ET. Host Mike Massaro will be joined in the studio by analyst Ricky Craven with reporters Marty Smith and Shannon Spake at the track. Massaro and Craven will review the race Sunday at 10:30 p.m. with more on Monday’s show at 2:30 p.m., including an in-studio appearance by the new champion. Sunday’s race will air on ESPN with NASCAR Countdown at 1:30 p.m.



ESPN’s Monday Night Football: First-Place Teams — Bears vs. 49ers
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In an NFC contest between first-place teams, the San Francisco 49ers will host the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football November 19 at 8:30 p.m. This matchup highlights the No. 1 (14.1 PPG, 49ers) and No. 2 (14.8 PPG, Bears) ranked scoring defenses in the NFL. This game also marks the 35th time a MNF game will be played at Candlestick Park – a record among NFL stadiums. 

Play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico and analyst Jon Gruden will call the game with sideline reporter Lisa Salters. Studio host Chris Berman will anchor the pre-game show Monday Night Countdown (6:30 p.m., ESPN) with analysts Cris CarterMike DitkaTom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Joining the Countdown crew are on-site host Stuart Scott, analysts Trent Dilfer and Steve Young, columnist Rick Reilly and Salters. 

Fans can watch MNF on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, as well as on WatchESPN.com (computers) and via the WatchESPN app (tablets), for those who receive their video subscriptions from an affiliated provider.



Sunday NFL Countdown: The Colts are Feeling Lucky; When Legends Talk; Painting Manning’s Comeback Win; and More
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Chris Berman, Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, Suzy Kolber, Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski will preview week 11 on ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown Presented by IBM on November 18 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. 

Correspondents Ed Werder (Cleveland at Dallas), Bob Holtzman (Green Bay at Detroit), Josina Anderson (Philadelphia at Washington), Sal Paolantonio (Indianapolis at New England) and Rachel Nichols (Baltimore at Pittsburgh) will report from game sites.  Highlights: 

  • Feeling Lucky: Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck has turned the Indianapolis Colts, who won just two games last season, into a playoff contender. He sets the tone with his arm and, surprisingly, with his tackling. After throwing an interception last week, Luck tracked down and tackled Jacksonville safety Dawan Landry. Countdown examines the message Luck is sending his teammates by not shying away from confrontation and delivering some unexpected big hits.
  • When Legends Talk: Whether it’s Joe Namath, Joe Theismann, or Roger Staubach, it is not uncommon to hear NFL legends criticizing their former teams in the press. What impact do comments by the legends have on the teams?  How frustrating are these comments for coaches and players? Reporter Greg Garber explores how these comments more often than not serve as distractions.
  • Painting Peyton Manning’s Comeback: During ESPN’s October 15th Monday Night Football game, quarterback Peyton Manning orchestrated an incredible comeback against the San Diego Chargers. Down 24-0 at the half, the Broncos scored 35 points and Manning threw three touchdown passes, pulling off the fourth biggest regular-season comeback in NFL history.  On Countdown, an artist paints a portrait of the victory that turned Denver’s season around. 

The program will include live look-ins at quarterbacks Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Robert Griffin III, Nick Foles and Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson during their pre-game routines leading into the 1 p.m. games. Additional segments include DJ Porter spinning his take on the wild season in the NFC East, Jaworski and Hoge’s Xs and Os “Eye in the Sky;”and Cris Carter’s “Where You At?.”



Snickers NFL Matchup – 49ers Struggle in Run Defense; Steelers Blitz Schemes; Saints Run Game
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Snickers 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. 11, at 6:30 a.m. on ESPN (ESPN2 at 8:30 a.m.). Highlights: 

  • Hoge Breakdown – 49ers Run Defense: Hoge shows the problems with the San Francisco defense, which has allowed more than 100 yards rushing in three of its last four games, by breaking down Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch’s run.
  • “Between the Lines” – Calvin Johnson vs. Cover 2:  Jaworski uses the telestrator to show how Detroit’s offense utilizes wide receiver Calvin Johnson’s physical abilities with specific route combinations designed to get him over the top against a “Cover 2” defense.
  • Blitz Breakdown- Steelers Blitz vs. Baltimore’s Ray Rice in Pass Protection: The Pittsburgh Steelers defense is incredibly effective at dictating matchups with pre-snap alignments. Lined up on the other side of their game Sunday was Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who struggles in pass protection. Hoge shows a successful Steelers blitz designed to get linebacker Larry Foote one-on-one against Rice that led to an easy sack.
  • “Jaws Film Room” – Joe Flacco vs. Steelers: Jaworski revisits a film review session he had with Joe Flacco to discuss how the Baltimore Ravens quarterback was able to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers with last-second touchdown passes in their last two meetings.
  • “Coaches Clicker” – Chris Ivory Run vs. Eagles: Surprisingly, the New Orleans Saints are averaging more than 140 yards on the ground in the last two weeks. Hoge, using the “Coaches Clicker,” shows how running back Chris Ivory broke free for a 22-yard touchdown run on Monday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • “Inside the Matchup” – Peyton Manning/Demaryius Thomas: The Denver Broncos epic Week 6 comeback on Monday Night Football started with a Peyton Manning touchdown pass to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. Jaworski goes ‘Inside the Matchup’ to show how the route combination on that play was designed to get Thomas one-on-one with the corner.
  • “Jaws Drop In” – Wes Welker’s Play-Action: While leading the league with 28 Red Zone touchdowns, New England maintains a balanced attack that has produced 14 rushing touchdowns as well as another 14 through the air. Jaworski explains a play that uses play-action to get wide receiver Welker open for an easy score.
  • “Hoge X and O Files” – T.Y. Hilton Reverse: Hoge emphasizes the depth of Bruce Arians’ play design in Indianapolis by examining a reverse to wide receiver T.Y. Hilton that featured a unique blocking concept involving tight end Dwayne Allen and offensive tackle Anthony Castanzo.
  • “Beyond the Film Room” – Peyton Manning Wire: Through 10 weeks, quarterback Peyton Manning has the highest completion percentage of his career, which could easily be attributed to his pre-snap adjustment.  NFL Matchup goes “Beyond the Film Room” to show how Manning managed the game against Carolina last Sunday.



NBA Doubleheader: Jazz at 76ers, Knicks at Grizzlies
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ESPN will present an NBA doubleheader Friday, Nov. 16, beginning with the Philadelphia 76ers and Jrue Holiday hosting the Utah Jazz and Mo and Marvin Williams at 7 p.m. Terry Gannon will call the game with analyst Jon Barry. In the nightcap, the currently undefeated New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony will visit the Memphis Grizzlies and Marc Gasol at 9:30 p.m. Mike Breen will provide commentary with analyst Hubie Brown. Both games are also available via WatchESPN on computers, smartphones and tablets.

Date Time (ET) Game Commentators Network(s)
Wed, Nov. 14 7:30 p.m. KIA NBA Countdown Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, Michael Wilbon ESPN, WatchESPN
  8 p.m. Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder Presented by State Farm Dave Pasch, Doris Burke ESPN, WatchESPN
  10:30 p.m. Miami Heat at Los Angeles Clippers Presented by State Farm Mike Tirico, Jeff Van Gundy, Lisa Salters ESPN, WatchESPN
Fri, Nov. 16 7 p.m. Utah Jazz at Philadelphia 76ers Presented by State Farm Terry Gannon, Jon Barry ESPN, WatchESPN
  9:30 p.m. New York Knicks at Memphis Grizzlies Presented by State Farm Mike Breen, Hubie Brown ESPN, WatchESPN



Men’s College Hoops: Early Season Tournaments Highlight Schedule
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ESPN’s men’s college basketball schedule will be highlighted by extensive coverage of seven early season tournaments: Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Charleston Classic Presented by Foster Grant, 2K Sports Classic, Hall of Fame Tip-Off, EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, Edward Jones CBE Hall of Fame Classic and Progressive Legends Classic. Overall, ESPN networks will cover 60 games from Thursday, Nov. 15 to Tuesday, Nov. 20. 

ESPN’s annual Feast Week Presented by Lowe’s – celebrating all of the men’s matchups surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday – will begin Monday, Nov. 19 and conclude Sunday, Nov. 25. Schedule



ESPN’s BracketBusters: Pool of 122 Eligible Teams
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The 11th annual BracketBusters — a two-day, men’s college basketball event pitting potential NCAA Championship hopefuls against each other February 22-23 — will include 13 games shown nationally across ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3. The NCAA hopefuls will be selected from a pool of 122 teams from 15 conferences, including Ohio University, which made a run into the Sweet Sixteen last season. 

ESPN2 will televise five BracketBusters games, while ESPNU and ESPN3 will each house four games. The 13 BracketBusters matchups will be announced Monday, Jan. 28, with dates, times and networks. The televised matchups are selected by ESPN, while a Committee of Conference Commissioners determines the additional non-televised games. Full Release



Soccer: MLS Western Conference Final Sunday; Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur Saturday
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ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will present the second and final match of a home and away Major League Soccer Western Conference Finals series with the Seattle Sounders hosting David Beckham, Landon Donovan and the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 9 p.m. Adrian Healey, Taylor Twellman and sideline reporter Mónica González will call the game.  Host Max Bretos and analysts Kasey Keller, Alexi Lalas and Venezuelan National Team player and Chivas USA forward Alejandro Moreno  will provide on-site studio coverage. Additional post-match commentary by Bretos, Keller, Lalas and Moreno will be available on ESPN platforms including ESPNFC.com. 

The match between two London clubs – Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur – will be on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 a.m. Lead soccer play-by-play voice Ian Darke and former Liverpool FC legend Steve McManaman will call the match.

  • On Monday, Nov. 19, at 2:55 p.m., ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes will also televise the Barclays Premier League match of the day – West Ham United vs. Stoke City – from The Boleyn Park in Upton Park, London, England.



30 for 30: ESPN Films Releases Trailer for Bo Jackson Documentary
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The fall slate of ESPN Films’ critically acclaimed 30 for 30 series will wrap up Saturday, Dec. 8, at 9 p.m., after the Heisman Trophy presentation, with You Don’t Know Bo directed by Michael Bonfiglio. The film trailer can be viewed on the 30 for 30 website. 

Bo Jackson hit 500-foot home runs, ran over linebackers and — for a small window — was the best athlete many had ever seen. You Don’t Know Bo is a close look at the man and marketing campaign that shaped his legacy. Even without winning a Super Bowl or World Series, Bo redefined the role of the athlete in the pop cultural conversation. More than 20 years later, myths and legends still surround Bo Jackson, and his impossible feats still capture our collective imagination.



Cricket on ESPN3: Bangladesh vs. West Indies Tour through December 10
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ESPN3 continues its live coverage of premier cricket events with the ICC World Twenty20 champions, the West Indies facing Bangladesh.  The first leg of the Test-series will continue live from Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur through Friday, Nov. 16.  The series will move to Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna to complete the second Test-series. The event will conclude with the T20 on Monday, Dec. 10, at 6 a.m. 

Date Time (ET) Match-Up
Wed-Fri, Nov 14-16 10:15 p.m. 1st Test: Bangladesh vs. West Indies
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
Tue-Sat, Nov 20-24 10:15 p.m. 2nd Test: Bangladesh vs. West Indies
Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium, Khulna
Thu, Nov 29 10 p.m. 1st ODI: Bangladesh vs. West Indies
Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium, Khulna
Sat, Dec 1 10 p.m. 2nd ODI: Bangladesh vs. West Indies
Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium, Khulna
Wed, Dec 5 3:30 a.m. 3rd ODI: Bangladesh vs. West Indies
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
Fri, Dec 7 3:30 a.m. 4th ODI: Bangladesh vs. West Indies
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
Sat, Dec 8 3:30 a.m. 5th ODI: Bangladesh vs. West Indies
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
Mon, Dec 10 6 a.m. T20: Bangladesh vs. West Indies
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur

In-depth pre- and post-coverage following the Bangladesh vs. West Indies series will also be available on ESPNcricinfo.com.

ESPN3, ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, delivers thousands of live, global sports events annually. It is available in 74 million households nationwide at no additional cost to fans who receive their Internet or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.



espnW.com: Women’s Hoops Signing Week, State of the WNBA, Sports through Photos and More
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Beginning today, espnW.com will have complete coverage of this year’s top high school girls’ basketball seniors as they sign their national letters of intent. Features include an A to Z guide and a commitment tracker

Other highlights include a state of the WNBA Q & A with President Laurel Richie, extensive women’s college basketball coverage and NCAA women’s volleyball power rankings. Relive last week’s highlights from the Carrier Classic to Lolo Jones’ World Cup bobsled debut in Top Shots.