While my dream is to one day call games all over the country, it is hard to say that I wouldn’t want to work in Bristol after spending the day at the ESPN studios yesterday. Thanks to the kindness of ESPN soccer analyst Tommy Smyth, I took the hour drive from Westport to Bristol with my WFUV colleague Jake Kring-Schreifels.
One of the main reasons why Jake and I visited ESPN is that we are starting a brand new show called When the Microphone is Off. The 30 minute podcast will feature interviews with the leading voices of the sports industry and feature an in-depth look into the lives of the people you listen to each week.
Smyth is just one of the many people who will be on the show. Today marks Tommy’s 20th anniversary at the World Wide Leader in Sports and ESPN’s platform has allowed him to become the face of soccer analysis across the globe. Smyth’s newly created soccer debate show Press Pass is seen around the world six nights a week. He is also a major fan of WFUV which is a nice added bonus. My conversation with the pride of Ireland will be available next week.
There were a few things that I learned at ESPN yesterday. For starters, Michelle Beadle is hilarious. The 36-year-old has really come into her own ever since leaving the YES Network for Bristol. Beadle’s outgoing personality and great chemistry with co-host Colin Cowherd make Sports Nation a must watch each afternoon. From a five-minute conversation with Beadle, it became immediately apparent that Michelle loves her work and that her coworkers throughly enjoy her company.
I also found it interesting that like a high school cafeteria, the ESPN Cafe has its cliques. The on-air personalities of each show sit with each other. For example, while I was eating my lunch, NFL Live host Trey Wingo sat with the jocks Mark Schlereth and Tedy Bruschi at the table to my left discussing the thing they know best in football. Then across the way sat the latest edition to the popular table Mr. Michael Smith and Charissa Thompson, the hosts of ESPN’s newest show Numbers Never Lie.
The show that features 30 minutes of sports statistical analysis made its debut this past September and can be found on ESPN2 each afternoon at 3:30. This is a show I will definitely be watching more of in 2012 as Smith’s strong journalism background gels perfectly with Thompson’s easy to like personality. Not sure if numbers never lie but I am sure that ESPN has a winner in this show.
Finally I have to give a shout out to my man Tommy Smyth. Despite battling a cold, Tommy spent three hours of his busy day with me and for that I am truly grateful. Smyth proves that there are some people at the top of their game in the media world who are egoless. Plus, spending the day with this guy made me want to like soccer (not sure if I can say I really do).