The Faux-Drama: when big sports stories break, they send their poor reporters to camp outside an athlete's house for days searching for non-news. Looking at these poor people who are used to sitting behind a desk with a script struggling to find something new to say leaves me in awe. Like when Aaron Hernandez was still a suspect in murders and no news was coming out? These guys made every segment look like a breaking story.
Via. What were y'all expecting, him to come out and confess?
Mike and Mike in the Morning: One is a journalist, the other a former football player, and they run ESPN's morning radio show, which is also televised. They have ridiculous bets every year during March Madness in which the loser has to do something humiliating (this year they had to learn and perform a Dancing with the Stars routine) so even if you don't know who they are, they are highly entertaining. Andrew and I both read Mike Greenberg's first book, Why My Wife Thinks I'm an Idiot (ladies, if your significant other is a sports fan and you don't get him, it's worth a read. I really liked it!) and his second book is a novel about a woman with cancer and all profits are going to cancer research. Just hearing all of that, don't you want to like these guys already?
Heart-tugging stories: OMG ESPN, I completely cannot stand Rascal Flatts' "My Wish" but when I hear it on your network, I know I am going to see a burly athlete playing catch with a sweet child with cancer and the waterworks start flowing. And then they get autographs and tickets to the game and to go in the locker room too? It is always so precious. And Outside the Lines - the recent episode about the wrestlers where one had no legs and his legally blind teammate carried him and you followed up with them? Amazing. And don't even get me started on the July 4th Soldiers Coming Home Tribute which had me bawling like a baby. I can't even... ESPN brings me to tears regularly with some really great stories.
SportsCenter Commercials: They are often hilarious and if you don't watch ESPN, you don't see them. They are laugh out loud, rewind the DVR funny. This old one with the Manning brothers is a favorite of mine.
The Jimmy V Speech: ESPN works closely with the Jimmy V Foundation which was named for former NC State Basketball coach Jim Valvano, who died of cancer. After his diagnosis but before his passing, he was awarded an ESPY and his speech was completely amazing. There is always a Jimmy V week on ESPN where they replay the speech multiple times and it is so, so good, not just from a humanity standpoint (the man was dying! He doesn't care that his speech is running long, he has a message to leave!) and from a speechwriting standpoint (hi, I'm Lauren and sometimes I'm still a communication nerd). Watch it. Again, with tissues. But hey, the main point of his speech was to take time every day to laugh, to think, and to cry. I am just really helping you out with the crying part today.
See? If you thought ESPN was all stats and analysis, it definitely is sometimes, but it can be so much more. I love the humanity that it brings to athletes, especially famous ones. For a network whose audience is more male than female, they definitely know how to get you feeling emotional. Do you watch ESPN? Do you like this stuff as much as I do?
Linking up today...