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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 at 9pm ET on ESPN


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Episode 9 - November 9
 

This ain't Jeopardy!, but now entering the Dream Job studios in the "Enn-Why-See" are tonight's three contestants. They'll have to have Ken Jennings-like reflexes and poise to make it to the final round and have a 50-50 shot at the year-long ESPN contract and the sweet ride of a Mazda 6 5-door.

First comes a little challenge called "Take Your Pick". Usually, during a season, an expert will be asked by an anchor to pick between two teams, players or scenarios and explain why. Here, it's a little different. Anyone can jump in with their pick...then either of the OTHER two can jump in and argue the point for or against.. They'll be judged (by the full compliment this time; Woody is feeling much better) on argument, debating skills and knowledge of various subjects.

First pick: "Curt Schilling or Roger Clemens?" After fumbling as to who should go first, Anish says Schilling due to Clemens' age. Grant agrees since he's a "big game pitcher"...but David says, "And Clemens ISN'T?!" "Carmello Anthony or LeBron James?" (two of the top three picks in the 2003 NBA draft) Grant says LeBron because he can "see the floor" so well and COULD be an MVP, David adds some stats to that and Anish says that, though Carmello has a better supporting cast, LeBron IS better. "Dale Earnhart, Jr. or Jeff Gordon?" Grant goes for Gordon since "Little E" doesn't run the last two NASCAR tracks too well...though he ADDS that Jimmie Johnson will actually be the one for BOTH to beat. Anish says Dale since he's WON "a couple of races" and Gordon hasn't. David says Gordon had the most poles and top 10 finishes this year.

"Ben Rothlesberger or Drew Brees?" David says "Big Ben" is the best to come out of the Mid-AMerican Conference and has the size and speed to back it up. Anish agrees, reminding him that the rookie IS 6-0 as a starter. But Grant says Brees can get the San Diego Chargers into the NFL Playoffs for the first time in YEARS! "Vijay Singh or Tiger Woods?" Sounds like a no-brainer and Anish thinks so, too. It HAS to be Tiger because he has 8 Majors under his belt, but Grant says he'd rather have Vijay since he IS the #1 golfer in the world right now. David agrees since Vijay made a LOT of money this season. Finally, "NHL or WNBA?" (Oooo...toughie...) David says he'd "rather watch women on any hard surface than men on ice". (Read into that what you will, folks.) Anish says that the WNBA doesn't sell - which gets David retorting that the NHL is selling EITHER now. Grant finishes it off by saying, since his satellite can't get Swiss or Czech hockey, he has to go to the WNBA by default.

The judges then talk about who's best and worst. "Around the Horn"'s and "Cold Pizza"'s Woody Paige says Grant was the leader by making all his points while the other two almost tied for last, but Anish gets that dubious spot. "Cold Pizza"'s Kit Hoover liked David's "women on hard surface"...but can't make up her mind which one was best OR worst. "NBA Shootaround"'s Steven A. Smith agrees about all three were good. Grant was best and Anish again was worst...but it's VERY close. And ESPN's Veep of Talent "Big" Al Jaffe says they were all excellent, Grant was a little bit better and David a little bit worse...and WARNS David about what he said about not knowing too many NHL players...as he SHOULD!

OK, this week's "My SportsCenter" task is called "Two-Minute Warning". And, no, it has NOTHING to do with the Kenny Mayne game show OR Chris Berman's NFL predictions. Each anchor wannabe will have to do a two-minute vignette about the college football season so far. Essentially, they're asked to, in two minutes, tell any college football fan who has been living under a rock for the last two-and-a-half month what they've missed. Afterwards, they get a few minutes to talk with college football expert and "College Gameday" analyst Kirk Herbstreet. Tonight, they'll be judged on information, interview skills and (of course) writing skills. They wrote lead-ins to the highlights on their laptop computers and are ready to rumble!

The first one up is David Holmes, who admits he's having fun...but he was NOT recognized by fans of the show. Let's see what he can tell us about the NCAA football season. Well, his piece is on college freshmen like Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma State's QB Donovan Woods, North Texas' Jamario Thomas (who David says "did everything EXCEPT save the Princess"), and Michigan's Michael Hart. O...kay...and...what about the 4000 OTHER football players, David?! You're not telling the newbies ANYTHING!

Well, he's going to STAY with this theme as he talks to Herbstreet via satellite from Columbus, OH. He asks him what other freshmen impressed him (Michigan's Hart and Chad Henny are his picks), will Peterson leave for the NFL this year like Maurice Clarett (Clarett's goof may prevent that) and would he be comfortable handing it off to a freshmen (as long as he does it consistently, he has no problems.) The interview was solid...but it might be the vignette that gives him trouble.

And it does...BIG time! Kit says the writing was clever, a good job following the highlights and a tight interview...but the vignette was too specific to give ANYONE an idea what's going on. Stephen A., direct as always, says, "It wasn't very good at all." Everything else was fine...but the piece itself blew. Big Al says David misunderstood the assignment, wishing they mentioned USC and the Florida teams bombing. And Woody pleads stupidity, but didn't hear anything clever. He thought it was "terrible".

The second period will consist of Grant Thompson, who is really getting used to playing himself on camera instead of acting like somebody else. He talks about the balanced offense (equal passing and running games) in teams in the NCAA...and he DOES mention USC, Oklahoma (including Peterson again), Auburn (and QB Jason Campbell), Utah, Wisconsin, Cal-Berkley, Kansas State...he's all OVER the map! He may not have told us EVERYTHING, he was a LOT broader than David was.

Now to talk with "Wise Man" Herbstreet. He asks what OTHER teams have balance (he says Grant already gave most of his answers), what Jason Campbell is doing to make him a Heisman candidate (utilizing "West Coast Offense", one of the MOST balanced plans in football) and even throws in a question about Clarett's legal hassles (which Herbstreet has NO idea when it'll all end). Afterwards, Stuart berates him about NOT mentioning North Carolina beating Miami last week.

Stephen A. says it was excellent, from the vignette to the voice-over to the interview. Big Al isn't that gracious, again saying that there wasn't enough information for those who have been out of town the full rundown. HOWEVER, the interview was great and the info WAS solid. Woody likes that he was having fun, the opening reeked, the interview and the story was good and the interview was great. Kit says he was smooth with his writing and interviewing...but wished he had talked about the Florida teams a little.

Anish Schroff takes to the ice for the final period. Anish feels he has a pretty good chance at making the finals...IF he has a solid performance tonight. Ironically, he DOES talk about Florida, Florida State and U. of Miami failing after great expectations. But...that's ALL he talks about: Florida St. possibly being out of the Top 10 for the 5th straight season, Florida's "lame duck" coach Ron Zook and Miami's bombing since joining the ACC this year. That leaves 114 teams out in the cold!

He stays on-topic while talking to Herbstreet. He asks about how working with Zook is doing with Florida (he says the players need to take ownership this season), how Miami's ACC move effected them (the ACC has a lot more speed than the Big East ever did) and "who's the guy" for FSU (he just spoke to coach Bobby Bowden that Wyatt Sexton will take over for Chris Rix).

Big Al thinks he must be in "Groundhog Day" because, once again, the assignment was blown! No USC, no Oklahoma, no Auburn, no NOTHING outside of Florida...what does THAT tell the newly-uncomatosed college football fan?! Woody focuses on Anish saying that Zook was fired AFTER the Georgia/Florida game (it was BEFORE)...and that ruined it for him. Kit thought the piece was GREAT...if all we wanted to know about was Florida college football. And Stephen A. - de rigueur - says, "That was one of the most ATROCIOUS pieces I've seen!"

Time for another cut. You should know the deal-io by now. Each judge has a vote as well as those Americans who vote on their Verizon(TM) phones on online, with the majority getting the final (and deciding) vote.

Woody Paige says Anish's choice of stories is befuddling him, David was so-so-so and Grant was the best of them all tonight. As Kit used to say, it just wasn't one person's night. He must cut... Anish.

Kit Hoover tells David and Anish dropped the ball on this assignment... while Grant ran into the end zone, through the tunnel and out to the parkway with it. She has to look at the overall performances to choose someone to let go. So she cuts... David. One each for David and Anish.

Stephen A. Smith apologizes to Anish for being so harsh (most likely a first for him)...but he WAS disappointed how he got. Grant had his "A -game" and David his "A-minus-game". He cuts...Anish. One more for Anish and he's gone.

Al Jaffe says Grant fooled him and DESERVES to be here despite him thinking otherwise. Anish and David blew their assignments this week, so, like Kit, he went for the overall worse person. As such, he cuts...David Holmes, tying the vote. If America votes for Grant, who knows WHAT'S gonna hapen? But at least he's safe.

America...

cuts...

Anish.

And he was SO promising at the start! I'm afraid he'll have to go back up to his beloved Syracuse U. and get into broadcasting the HARD way.

And, then, there were two. David Holmes and Grant Thompson will battle it out next week for the contract and the ride. When asked to describe how they feel in one word, David says, "Shaking"...while Grant says, "Holy crap". Which one will win their dream job? Find out next week!

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