ESPN debuted its “future-proofed” new SportsCenter set on Sunday night, the crown jewel in a massive new digital facility that cost a reported $125 million.
Stuart Scott and Steve Levy anchored the first broadcast on the shiny new set, surrounded by dozens of video monitors and accompanied by a reworked SportsCenter theme. The pair joked about the cavernous space, with Scott making echo noises during one segment to reflect his distance from Levy.
But the futuristic set may have been overshadowed on Sunday night by the debut of ESPN’s revamped Bottom Line. While the set is out of view during highlight packages and taped pieces, the ticker is omnipresent, scrolling throughout the show.
The new look is sharp and clean, with obvious inspiration from Apple products. It features a new, bigger font (called Swiss), brighter colors for team logos and a smoother scroll. The same font and style is also being used for graphics packages.
The old Bottom Line and SportsCenter graphics were perfectly acceptable, but this is a clear upgrade.
For more visit USA Today where this story was first published.
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Evan Roberts: Tony Romo Is Trying To Make Every Game Historically Significant
“He’s in the end zone and immediately Tony Romo instead of talking about the throw, the play, goes into a soliloquy about Michael Jordan.”
CBS Sports NFL analyst Tony Romo drew some criticism on social media on Sunday during coverage of the AFC championship game.
Romo caught heat for the second straight week trying to make comparisons of the quarterbacks in the NFL games he’s covering to the likes of Michael Jordan.
On Carton & Roberts on WFAN on Monday, host Craig Carton said he thought it was interesting how the perception of Romo has shifted a little bit recently.
“People are really down on him now,” Carton said. “Like he was all hot to trot, and now people think he’s not.”
Roberts said trying to compare Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow to Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler was quite a stretch.
“He’s in the end zone and immediately Tony Romo instead of talking about the throw, the play, goes into a soliloquy about Michael Jordan,” Roberts said. “I didn’t think the timing of that made any sense. It’s like what are we doing?”
That was precisely the reaction many had to Romo’s third quarter comments. Evan went on to say even with the comparison not really making sense, it was just the completely wrong point in the broadcast to bring something like that up.
“In the middle of a game – that doesn’t end the game – it’s a touchdown to put them up seven mid-third quarter – should not be moment where Tony Romo is pontificating about where this ranks in sports history. It was out of place,” Roberts said.
“Can we find an NFL reference? Is that possible?” Carton responded.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Scott Zolak: Who At FOX Thinks Rob Gronkowski is Good?
“You’ve morphed into Lou Holtz!”
Rob Gronkowski has been on a bigger stage since the NFL Playoffs started. FOX has put him on the FOX NFL Sunday set alongside its Hall of Fame crew of analysts. Scott Zolak of 98.5 The Sports Hub says it isn’t going well.
Zolak and Rob “Hardy” Poole broke down the former Patriot’s performance from halftime of Sunday’s NFC Championship game. Both immediately noticed how much trouble Gronk had pronouncing names and words as he tried to preview what he thought could be the keys to the day’s later game in Kansas City.
In trying to explain the prowess of the Cincinnati defense, Gronkowski pronounced Buffalo as “buffle” and “rattle Mahomes” as “rabble Me Homes”. That last one, Hardy says, made Gronk sound like a leprechaun.
“You’ve morphed into Lou Holtz!” Scott Zolak said listening back to the audio.
The entire Zolak and Bertrand crew remarked on how unnatural and uncomfortable Rob Gronkowski’s delivery is. That led Zolak to wonder why he is in the role in the first place.
“Who at FOX thinks this is good?”
While the show had plenty of laughs at Rob Gronkowski’s expense, Scott Zolak did stick up for him a little bit. He said he actually felt bad for Gronkowski because what some people online were using as evidence of his stupidity isn’t even what was actually happening.
“The sad part is people are ripping him saying he can’t read off a prompter,” Zolak said. “That’s not a prompter.”
He theorized that producers had worked with Rob Gronkowski to understand the window of time available. To Zolak, the mealy-mouthed delivery sounded like someone rushing through talking points they put together in their head.
Bob Fescoe: ‘Steven Spector Did More For Boomer Esiason Than He Ever Has For Us’
“If you and I were doing this, we’d be walked out.”
The NFL Today crew was on location Sunday for the AFC Championship Game. With Boomer Esiason stuck in Kansas City overnight, there was no way he could be in studio at WFAN Monday morning, so he connected with Gregg Giannotti and crew from Audacy’s Kansas City building. He left an impression, too, by stealing plenty of food from the company break room.
Audacy Kansas City has an honor system in place that allows employees to take the food they want and pay on a machine in the room. Esiason, never having seen that sort of set up before, assumed all of the food was free and claims to have taken ten items before 610 Sports Program Director Steven Spector said anything to him.
Giannotti called Spector this morning to confirm that Esiason was indeed a thief. Not only did Spector say he would cover the cost of the items the WFAN host took, but it was also revealed that he arrived at Esiason’s hotel this morning to drive him to the studio at 4:00 AM.
“Spector has done more for Boomer Esiason in one day than he has ever done for us,” Bob Fescoe told Josh Klingler on 610’s morning show. “If you and I were doing this, we’d be walked out.”
The guys listened back to audio of their boss on the air in New York. Fescoe noted that Spector sounded more like a fan than a colleague.
“There you go, Mr. Boomer! And a ride!”
Klingler said he expected the prices of everything in the break room to go up to make up for Boomer’s theft. Fescoe agreed and said that was a reason not to cover for the former NFL quarterback.
“I would have had the authorities here!” he said.