DREAM JOB:
Season 2
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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


FACT FILE:
Host:
Stuart Scott
Judges: Al Jaffee, Stephen A. Smith, Kit Hoover, Woody Paige
EP: Mary-Jane April, Mark Shapiro
Packager: Jumbolaya Productions, EOE
Airs: Tuesdays/Early Wednesdays at 12am ET on ESPN


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Episode 3 - September 28/29
 

Now at a later time after SportsCenter (otherwise known as the time slot where ESPN reality and game shows go to die), it's another edition of Dream Job, the show where one person will get a one-year contract as a SportsCenter anchor and a Mazda 6 5-door SUV.

The ten remaining contesti compete in "My SportsCenter" contests... and THIS week, they compete as teams with "Co-Anchor". A random draw was done and whoever drew #1 got to choose his/her partner. Then #2 and so on until five teams are formed. They must each write a news story leading into a highlight and then, together, they must interview a baseball player (via satellite) from a playoff-bound or a playoff-fighting team. They were given their stories and shot sheets and were allowed to write their stories on their wireless computers and practice with their partners. They will be judged by Woody Paige, Kit Hoover, Stephen A. Smith and Veep of Talent Big Al Jaffe on writing, interaction with each other, interview skills and accuracy.

Now, remember, they may be WORKING as pairs, but they'll be JUDGED as INDIVIDUALS. It's very possible that the two kicked out tonight will be from two different pairs. And the American viewing public will each get one vote apiece, but the top TWO vote-getters will get the cut votes.

The first pairing is Valerie Hawrylko and Jason Horowitz, who will be interviewing New York Yankees' outfielder and MVP candidate Gary Sheffield after their highlights. They each have an IFB (Interruptible Full Back) in their ear, which is their link to the producer in the control booth (the producer will only let them know when it's time to wrap up the interview this time). Val's lead-in to the Oakland Raiders-Tampa Bay Buccaneers football game about the twin brothers Tiki and Ronde Barber writing a kiddie book together was a BIT long, but her highlights were solid enough. She over-ran them, but she knew to look up before the camera on her turned on. Jason H. talks about the Montreal Expos potential move to Washington (which was made official later in the week) and then went into a Yankees/Boston Red Sox highlight. The news wasn't too bad and the highlights were near-perfect.

Then they go to Sheffield in his home in New Jersey. Val asked him what he felt about Pedro Martinez calling the Yanks "his daddy" (throwing a few "umms" in there) and Jason H. asked him confidently about the differences between the Sox and Yanks from last year (more intensity, he replies). Val then asks (a bit more sure of herself this time) what the Yanks need to do when and if they face the Sox ("Shef" is not too worried) and Jason H. asks if the MVP shot has any importance with Gary (he prefers the World Series ring). After they let Gary go and sign-off, it's time for the judging. Woody says Jason H. was steady but not spectacular and loved his follow-up question, but Val was only SLIGHTLY improved from last time... and also little interaction. Kit thought the two weren't having fun as they SHOULD be having, thought Jason H. should avoid "double questions" and Val needs to work on everything. Stephen A.... lowered the boom (as usual), saying they didn't give emphasis on an interception, Val did improve a little... and that Jason H. was great! And Big Al though both were OK... but Jason H. COULD have mentioned the Orioles' objection to the Expos' move... and Val's lead-in was too long and she had no context in the highlight.

Next up is Jason Ashworth and Brian Startare. They get to talk to Chicago Cubs' relief pitcher Kent Mercker later on but, first, they have to get through their news and highlights. Brian goes through a "red" intro to Jason A.'s Washington Redskins story (LaVar Arrington [whom Stephen A. replaced on the Dream Job judging staff] getting knee surgery). This lead to the 'Skins facing the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football. He, like Val, over-shoots the highlights but looks up and gave good stats during the reel. Brian then talks about the Cubs going into the game vs. the Cincinnati Reds and the future of long-time Red Barry Larkin. The highlights of the game include the catch-phrase, "I'll have what HE'S having" for a back-to-back home run deal. For his outro, he throws some cliches (like "controlling their own destiny") before helping lead into the interview.

It's a corny intro into the interview with Mercker from Wrigley Field, but it works. Jason A. asks about is relationship with his former teammate Larkin ("he's a great guy") and Brian follows with who his CURRENT teammates are feeling as we head down the home stretch of the MLB season (Kent talks about the momentum they have been getting). Jason A. asks about what the team has done to stay in contention despite numerous injuries ("we play together", he replies) and Brian asks the "last question": what can the Cubs do to "exorcise the curse" (there a belief that the Cubs haven't won the Series since 1945 because a man was refused from the park that year from bringing a goat into the stadium that he bought a ticket for; Kent says they can just "do what they can do"). Kit says they looked good but Brian should just ask the questions, not say "I hate to put you on the spot"... and Jason A. worked well but his question weren't short enough. Stephen A. thought it was a good opening, but they didn't need to repeat Mercker's name before the interview. He liked the talk about Larkin, though. Big Al says Brian improved greatly with energy (thought the "Friendly Confines" cliche has to go) and Jason A. fumbled with the interview intro and would rather he had asked about CURRENT events instead of Larkin. And Woody is ALSO glad for the improvement on Brian... but was uninspired with Jason A.'s questions and comments.

No time for any half-time game this time. Let's get to the Wendy's Wild Card team of David Holmes and K.C. James, who get to chat with Minnesota Twins' first-baseman Justin Morneau... right after they get their highlights and news out of the way. David talks about the Philadelphia Eagles' Terrell Owens and his refusal to talk smack about his former coach Steve Mariucci... and it's kinda short leading into the Eagles-Detroit Lions game. He stumbled a little through the highlights ("T.O." has five TDs for the SEASON, not the GAME) and adds in a corny "Eagles soar 30-0" at the end. K.C. talks up about Cleveland Indians' Omar Visquel's possible last game before free-agency against the Twins... and is slow about it. He likewise stumbles and bumbles through the highlights with quite a few stoppages for breath, over-shoots and does NOT look up in time.

To Yankee Stadium we go to talk with Morneau and David starts off asking him what it takes to beat "big-market teams" like the Yankees and Red Sox (Morneau says pitching has a lot to do with it). K.C. actually looks at his sheet to read off HIS question about whether any of the team does things off the field together (Morneau says they already know each other rather well from the minor leagues... but doesn't really answer the question). David asks if the rookie gets blasted by the vets on the team ("no more than any other rookie") and K.C. asks if his manager, Ron Gardneheiner (sic), is the A.L. Coach of the Year (and, of course, he says yes). The sign-off is a little lame and... well, I don't think one or both of these guys will be seeing another show. Stephen A. says David was decent (but should've mentioned the celebration penalty in the highlights) and K.C. has a LOT of issues (reading on-camera, bad questions, "This is K.C."). Big Al agrees with the "blah" performance, specifically the "softball" questions in the
unimpressive interview. Woody says, "Call your mamas and tell them to
keep the front porch lights on 'cause... you'll be going home soon." ('Nuff said.) Kit actually had GOOD things to say: they had the best chemistry of the teams so far and closed nicely... though they DID have individual problems (thank you, Paula).

Before moving on, host Stuart Scott shows footage of this week's "U.S. Air Force Wingman", a veteran SportsCenter anchor giving advice to the wannabes. This week's Wingman is Season 1 winner Mike Hall and he says that, "Less is more. Less style, less jokes... it really goes a long way."

Onward and upward (or, at least, just onward) to Arnish Shroff and Whitney Scott. They get the privilege... nay, the HONOR to speak with Los Angeles Dodgers' all-star pitcher Jose Lima right after they get their highlights and news done. A weak, WEAK sign-on ("She's Whitney" "He's Anish" "This is SportsCenter" "No, really, it is") leads to Anish's story about Ricky Williams' having to repay the Miami Dolphins his contract money for retiring early. He goes into a Jacksonville Jaguars-Tennessee Titans game highlight and, though a little weak, did include a nice catch phrase (with Chris Brown scoring for the Titans, he says, "What can Brown do for you?", the motto of UPS). He also says about the last-ditch (and failed) effort to re-enact the "Music City Miracle", "The sequel is never as good as the original" (Whitney: "What about Terminator 2?" Anish: "What about Bring It On Again?" Whitney: "Touche." [didn't Mike Hall just TALK about that!?]) Whitney talks about the woes of the Los Angeles Dodgers and leads into their game, hosting the Colorado Rockies. She goes through the highlights smoothly but, when Milton Bradley of the Dodgers hits the game-winner, Anish comes in with, "Pass 'Go', collect $100", which I felt was unnecessary
since there are PLENTY of jokes about his name (and, besides, it's $200 to pass 'Go')!

They fumble into the feed with Lima at Dodger Stadium, as if they didn't know who would start the interview. Whitney starts (and gets caught reading) with a question about how hard it'll be for him to watch the final weekend series against the San Francisco Giants (he hopes the pennant race doesn't go that far) and Anish (after wishing Lima a happy early birthday) asks how his fractured pitching thumb is (he's been throwing well enough, he says). Whitney keeps her head up this time to ask about the criticism that the bullpen is holding the team up (he thinks the starters can carry the games to the point where the bullpen can rest a bit more) and Anish finishes up by asking Lima for a "Believe it!" (Don't ask; I don't know, either.) Weak, weak, WEAK!! Stuart applauds them for not panicking about the mess-up before the interview... but Big Al thinks they were trying too hard and were so-so (though he liked the "Brown" phrase). Woody thought Anish took a step backwards from his first "My SportsCenter" and Whitney was slipping after a decent start. Kit likewise applauds the lack of panic on Whitney's part and liked that Anish's personality is starting to appear. Stephen A., however... thought Whitney was better, was disappointed by Anish and thought the interview was "bad"... adding, "I could say 'horrific', but I'm trying to be nice.

The final duo is "Hah-vad" grad Grant Thompson and the short-statured-but-big-hearted Winston Bell. Their interviewee is Houston Astros' catcher Brad Ausmus, but let's start with the usual, shall we? Grant gets introed into his news story by Winston's "Ah, the power of cheese" comment (which he MUST have stolen from John Anderson). Grant talks about the massive amount of Green Bay Packer fans who descended on the RCA Dome for the Packers' game against the Indianapolis Colts. Short, but informative and bright. The highlights of said game... they were interesting... but Grant keeps forgetting to update the score before each segment. He finished strong, though, since he asked of the fumble in the fourth quarter, "Can I make that a Top Play Nominee?" (SportsCenter anchors always do that during the morning shows.) He also had good stats to end with so... that may save him. Winston talks about the legal controversy about who got Barry Bonds' 700th home run ball in the stands. He stumbles at the end, but makes his way into the St. Louis Cardinals-Astros highlight. He's smooth through the highlights - even with the "scary moment" when Tony Womack was hit in the left arm by a pitch - but we don't hear a final score.

Speaking of the Astros, let's join Ausmus in Minute Maid Park (formerly Enron Field). Grant asks how the "highs and lows" of the team affected their season (he thought they could march to the Central title but they'll come on strong) and Winston asks how the un-retired Roger Clemens has helped (Ausmus says it's more than they expected... but they weren't surprised, either). Grant asks a good question about the pressure of winning and when it starts (he says it was in the middle of August this year) and Winston talks about how the difference between the two managers who coached the Astros this year, Jimmy Williams and Phil Garner (Ausmus played for Garner before and knows he doesn't care about egos). Grant ended on a funny note, saying, "Coming up, NHL players doing... pretty much nothing." (The NHLPA is on strike.) Stuart thought the teamwork "was there"... but his opinion doesn't count. Woody agrees with that... but they were trying to be "too cute" and they rose above their  stammering. Kit said they were having fun and did great... but warned about showing TOO much knowledge. Stephen A. says Grant "scared the hell out of him" with his rise from dull to highly animated during the segment and that the interaction between him and Winston was the best of the lot. Big Al thought they worked well with the team effort. He's happy that Grant stepped it up... but Winston COULD have been better.

OK, enough patting on the back jazz. It's time to make the two cuts.  Each judge will cut two and America, using ESPN.com and Verizon Wireless(TM) phones, will likewise cut two.

Woody Paige tells Brian that he was "given a second chance" and he earned another one, Grant stepped up, David underachieved and K.C. overachieved. He cuts... David and K.C.

Kit Hoover said they were all great and that Winston and Grant won the "Best Team" award... but two people didn't step up. She cuts... K.C. (for struggling with the interview)... and Valerie (didn't seem as natural). K.C. has 2 votes, Val and David have one apiece.

Stephen A. Smith thought Val did a decent enough job and that Whitney saved herself with her enthusiasm, Anish just had a "bad day"... but there was one "clearly devoid of their skill level" and one that wasn't focused or committed. He cuts... K.C.... and David. K.C. has 3, David 2, Val 1.

Mr. Al Jaffe says tonight was about teamwork... and they failed for the most part. Val has the work ethic but not the presentation, K.C. seemed lost and unmotivated and Jason A.'s interview stylings stunk. The Veep cuts... K.C.... and Valerie.

K.C. is gone with 4 votes because, oddly enough, he couldn't sell himself as a broadcaster. But both Val and David have 2. If America voted for one and not the other, the one is cut. Otherwise, it'll go to the producers.

America cuts...

K.C. James...

...and Valerie Hawrylko.

Val has 3 votes and she's gone to get some consoling of her own.

David says he thought he was a goner but promises to bounce back like
Brian and Grant did. And Anish promises to get his "A game" back next
week.

8 remain... which two will be cut NEXT?

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