Love to Interrupt
The DiGeorge Files
Last season, Mike Hall outlasted
11 others to win the holy grail of sports fans' dream jobs...
a one-year stint at the Sportscenter desks.
Now the dream continues for 12
more potential sportscasters.
Recaps by Chris Wolvie, GSNN
Host: Stuart Scott
Judges: Al Jaffee, Stephen A. Smith, Kit Hoover, Woody
EP: Mary-Jane April, Mark Shapiro
Packager: Jumbolaya Productions
Airs: Tuesdays at 7pm ET on ESPN
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Episode 2 - September 21
The search for the next ESPN SportsCenter anchor
continues on Dream Job! 11 contestants remain to face
the wrath of Woody Paige, Kit Hoover, Stephen A. Smith,
Al Jaffe and the American viewing audience. Only one
will walk away with a one-year contract for ESPN and a
Mazda 6 5-door SUV.
In THIS episode, the six that DIDN'T strut their stuff
last week get their chance at "My SportsCenter". This
time, the contest is "Top 5s". Every morning, the
SportsCenter anchors count down the Top Ten Plays of the
day. Since these guys are working TOWARDS the job, they
only get five plays (each set of five of different
themes) to bring creativity and personality. They'll be
judged on writing, delivery, sports knowledge and
First up is Jason Horowitz, who is backed up by his
grandfather who was as big a sports fan as Jason is.
Jason's theme is "great catches" and he drums it up with
talk about Willie Mays and hockey goalie Dominic Hasek.
He goes through a World Cup Hockey game, a catch in the
Bassmaster championships, a college football game, a
double play started by a stop by a pitcher and a
one-handed grab in an NFL game. He was more about stats
than creative writing, but at least he finished on time.
He gets led by Stuart Scott to the "Circle O' Doom" to
face his critics. Woody thinks the writing was solid,
but the excitement level - which he was told was Jason's
strong point - wasn't there. Kit thought the info was
great and natural. Stephen A. thought he was nearly
perfect... except for repeating "ridiculous" once during
the highlights. (Picky, ain't he?) And Big Al puts it
simply: "Another week, another Syracuse student (like
Arnish was last week), another 'home run'." Can you say
"NEW early favorite"?
Our next victim is Whitney Scott, who was a cheerleader
in a small town in high school... but who can't do a
cartwheel for love or money. Fortunately, she only
has to somersault her way through five plays about "big
shots". Her intro is fine but not very enthusiastic. She
goes through a 152mph tennis serve by Andy Roddick, an
OT goal by Canada in the World Cup Hockey tourney, a
table tennis point, a long shot in college basketball
and Barry Bonds' 700th career homer (which she calls
"the #1 hit in the last 31 years"). She overshoots a
little but, again, it's solid. Kit says the writing and
transitions was good, but she missed the score of the
college basketball game. Stephen A. says the lead wasn't
energized and the excitement level was rather low. Big
Al agrees it was a solid performance, but things COULD
use improving... although she did a good job on the hard
names. And Woody had problems with the writing but calls
it "an exceptionally good
And now, Wendy's Wild Card winner David Holmes, whose
favorite moment in sports was the come-from-behind Ryder
Cup victory for the US in 1999 (too bad they couldn't
duplicate it THIS year). He has "top blocks" and intros
it with talk about Lincoln Logs and Lego's (creative, no
doubt). He goes through a blocked punt by Notre Dame
over Michigan (which I'm STILL mourning over), a blocked
home plate that shook-up Alex Rodriguez, a game-winning
block in the WNBA, a blocked field goal in the NFL that
lead to a touchdown and an NBA highlight with "like Dick
Cheney, SERIOUS blockage"! I like him... he just might
be the first Wild Card to survive. Big Al liked most
things but he needs to build to the top play. Woody
noted a stumble at the end and would have liked better
writing... though the Dick Cheney ref saved him. Kit
said the writing was clever and hit each highlight.
Stephen A., who David called his least fave analyst (and
I don't blame him), said he lacked energy and emphasis
but that he was "better than average".
Half-time again and time for "Fact Or Fiction". Every so
often, one or two analysts play this game, in which they
are given a statement and discuss whether it's fact or
fiction. The six contesti will split into pairs and
they'll discuss topics tossed by Stuart. They can both
choose the same way, but the one that goes second MUST
be better than the one who went before him in that case.
They'll be judged on persuasiveness, knowledge and
First comes Jason H. and David. Their first topic is
whether Oscar de la Hoya should retire after being
trounced by Bernard Hopkins last weekend. Jason says
"fiction" because, though Hopkins is a good fighter, the
"Golden Boy" still has some good fight in him. David
says "fact", though, because he got KOed and his best
years were ten-to-twelve years ago. The next topic is if
Roy Williams will be the NFL Rookie of the Year. David
says "fact" because the other heavy contenders are out
with injuries. Jason says "fact" but claims the TEAM
will help him get that honor.
The next pairing is the diminutive Winston Bell and
Whitney, who get started with the topic of if the Kansas
City Chiefs (who lost their first two games) won't make
the NFL Playoffs. Winston says "fact", using history
(60% of 0-2 teams don't make it) and the fact that KC is
playing lousy. Whitney says "fact" because they didn't
make changes in defense. When it comes to whether she
thinks the U.S. will win the Ryder Cup in 2006, Whitney
says "fiction" since the U.S. "team" are all rivals.
Winston claims "fact" as they'll learn through their
The final pair is Stephanie Rich and Jason Ashworth.
Stephanie say it's "fact" that Donovan McNabb is the
most valuable quarterback in the NFL and proves it by
saying only one other QB from the '99 draft is still
starting. Jason A. says "fact" as well, but says it has
more to do with him leading his team (the Philly Eagles)
to three straight NFC Title games. Jason A. then goes
"fiction" when asked if the NBA's Toronto Raptors will
trade their star, Vince Carter, claiming he's too
valuable to let him go away. But Stephanie says "fact",
saying that the Raptors need to keep him happy (She
stumbled through the argument.)
Time to rake them across the coals. Woody says Jason A.
is the best with persuasion and facts and Stephanie was
the worst for struggling. Kit agrees about Stephanie,
but thought Whitney's arguments were right on. Stephen
A. says Jason A. was cocky... but backed it up... and
ditto of Kit and Woody on Stephanie. Big Al says the
same yet again about Stephanie... but thought Jason H.
was the best for his good arguments.
OK, enough debating, let's get back to "Top 5s". Next
victim is Stephanie Rich. She developed her sports
passion from watching his brother's high school football
games. She does "best dives" and compares them to the
soaps. She's SLOW on the intro... and not much better
going into a college springboard dive, a record
head-first skydive, a diving shot during the NCAA
Lacrosse Championship game, a diving goal in an NHL game
and, of course, the Derek Jeter dive into the stands
after catching a pop fly. She's slow, uninformative...
and blows just about everything. And the judges agree.
Kit says the writing was weak and slow but got more
comfortable as she went along. Stephen A. has NO love
for her, having been lost from the start and KNOWING she
was reading. Big Al didn't like it at all since it
lacked energy. Woody, however, know she was TRYING her
hardest... and said she finished strong.
Another Jason joins us: Jason Ashworth. He's a Philly
sports junkie from day one when his dad put him in an
Eagles jumper. His Top 5 is "top saves", comparing and
contrasting the word "save" to Webster's definition. He
goes smoothly through a basketball player saving the
ball from going out of bounds with a leap, stumbles
through "Joe Iginla" getting his shot stopped in hockey,
a soccer defenseman kicking out a potential goal (and
getting it in the 'little soccers'), a baseball fan
catching a foul ball with a full beer in his hand and a
Manny Ramirez home-run robber (ending with "a'hank'ye"
[ah-thank-you]). He's a bit more energetic than the
others (which isn't saying much) and he had good info.
Big Al doesn't care for the "Webster's" deal and
comments on a wrong score, but he SOLD it. Woody says
the same thing, with more emphasis on the facts. Kit
says the energy was the best so far and great transition
and had fun. Stephen A. says, "Style without substance
doesn't count for anything." He rags about the missed
facts and stumbles.
One more "dead anchor walking": Winston Bell. Yeah, he's
"vertically challenged" but he loves the Cleveland
Browns. He has "top hits"... and compares the five hits
to the Jackson Five (rather innovative), who had LOTS of
hits. He goes through Cleveland Indians' Omar Visquel
getting 6 hits against the Yankees in the infamous 22-0
shellacking, a New York Giants' punter getting creamed
with a tackle, Eli Manning getting laid out in the same
game, a boxer with a nice left hook for a KO (with a
"down goes Frazier"-like comment) and a WICKED hockey
check that leaves the victim so dazed he can't stand.
He's a bit FAST with the highlights (not enough
material, I think) and there's an awkward pause before
he signs out saying, "If there is love, I'll be there."
(Another Jackson Five song, people.) Woody liked the
beginning and end... but the writing got weak in the
middle. Still, he was impressed with the enthusiasm. Kit
loved the "Jackson Five" ref but thought the pacing was
slow. Stephen A. liked the lead-in, but the pauses, the
lost facts and the lack of smiling hurt him... though
the end was nice. Big Al marks the goofs on the
teleprompter reads and the bad Cosell imitation.
Well, the competition is over and the polls are closed.
Time to see who hits the locker room in shame. Each
judge gets one vote, as does America via ESPN.com and
Verizon Wireless services. Let's see who's toast.
America cuts... Stephanie.
Woody Paige says Whitney stumbled but knew she could
improve, David is overconfident... but one is
overmatched. He cuts... Stephanie. One more
and she's history.
Kit liked how the group was, wants Whitney to tighten up
and Winston should lighten up. But she cuts...
Stephanie, since she had a BAD
That's it and that's all for Steph... but Stephen A. and
Al got paid to speak here tonight so... let's hear THEIR
Smith says Winston should smile and Jason A. should not
be so cocky. He also warns the OTHER five contestants
who had watched this whole show that they're "on notice"
because of this week's group. But he cuts...
Stephanie... though he doesn't like doing it.
Al Jaffe liked everyone. He doesn't want Jason H. to
slow down and Winston to stop the Cosell imitations. But
he cuts... (surprise, surprise)... Stephanie.
It's a clean sweep. Stephanie has been black-balled from
the Dream Job. But at least, as a travel coordinator,
she can find the best flight home.
10 remain... which TWO will be cut NEXT?