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, 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
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
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
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
...and Valerie Hawrylko.
Val has 3 votes and she's gone to get some consoling of
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
8 remain... which two will be cut NEXT?