Ok, we have almost caught up with the releases. I’m going to give you some stuff that doesn’t fit any particular category. As usual, most of them have to do with ESPN. They just keep sending the releases. Not that I mind, of course.
ESPN Radio tells us that Rescue Me star Denis Leary will co-host Mike & Mike in the Morning for the entire show next Wednesday.
Denis Leary to Co-Host Mike & Mike in the Morning
Five-time Emmy Award-nominated comedian/actor Denis Leary will co-host all four hours of ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning (6-10 a.m. ET, M-F) on Wednesday, Aug. 19. The show is simulcast on ESPN2 and streamed live on ESPNRadio.com. Leary, a big sports fan who says ice hockey is his favorite sport and the Boston Bruins are his favorite team, will join Mike Greenberg in ESPN Radio’s studios in Bristol, Conn. Leary, also a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, will be subbing for co-host Mike Golic.
ESPN2′s tennis coverage continues as it all leads to the U.S. Open in New York later this month. This week, it’s the US Open Series in Montreal and Cincinnati.
US Open Series Heats up: Nadal Returns with Federer & Roddick in Montreal;
Clijsters Starts Comeback in Cincy with No. 1 Safina & Williams Sisters
The US Open Series’ hardcourt action across North America continues to heat up the summer as the top players prepare for the US Open in New York, which starts Monday, Aug. 31, on ESPN2. This week’s action is highlighted by the return of Rafael Nadal, who has not played since his early exit from the French Open in May. Nadal will be in Montreal along with the other four top ranked male players: Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, and ESPN2 will have live telecasts tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 13, through Sunday, Aug. 16. Chris Fowler calls the action with analysts Darren Cahill and Brad Gilbert.
Meanwhile, the women, featuring the return to the WTA Tour by former #1 Kim Clijsters who won her opening-round match Monday, are in Cincinnati. The field includes current #1 Dinara Safina, #2 Serena Williams and #3 Venus Williams. ESPN2 will be there Friday, Aug. 14-Sunday, Aug. 16 when the final will immediately follow the men’s championship north of the border. Cliff Drysdale hosts with analysts Mary Joe Fernandez and Pam Shriver.
Thu, Aug 13
ATP Rogers Masters
Fri, Aug 14
ATP Rogers Masters
WTA W&S Fin. Group Open
ATP Rogers Masters
Sat, Aug 15
WTA W&S Fin. Group Open
ATP Rogers Masters
Sun, Aug 16
ATP Rogers Masters – final
WTA W&S Fin. Group Open – final
Another ESPN-related release regards a web-exclusive series related to tennis and hosted by Jennifer Williams.
ESPN.com Serves Up New Original Digital Tennis Series, ESPN Digital Serve
ESPN.com is covering all the tennis action on the court in its newest original digital series ESPN Digital Serve, a weekly Web-exclusive show that offers ESPN.com users highlights and in-depth analysis on the world of tennis. The show also provides a weekly roundup of all the latest tennis news every Monday.
Hosted by Jennifer Williams, the two-minute videos begin with Top Spin, a rundown of all the latest headlines and tournament action, followed by a look at the latest Power Rankings for the men’s and women’s circuits and concludes with Match Point, a highlight of the week’s top tennis story on ESPN.com.
You want another ESPN-related release? Sure you do. This is from Tuesday and a conference call regarding ESPN2′s coverage of this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Michigan.
Highlights from NASCAR ESPN Backseat Drivers Media Conference Call
ESPN2’s live coverage of the Aug. 15 CARFAX 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway will have a new and different approach as the telecast will prominently feature five former NASCAR champions and will be done without a traditional “play by play” announcer. ESPN’s “Backseat Drivers” telecast will engage NASCAR fans with the authenticity and experience of analysts Tim Brewer, Ray Evernham, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree and Rusty Wallace. With Brewer contributing reports and analysis from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, Evernham, Jarrett, Petree and Wallace will call the race from the booth. In addition to the five champions, the telecast will include pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, while Allen Bestwick will host. The race airs Saturday, Aug. 15, at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Wallace and Evernham participated in NASCAR’s weekly media video conference call today. Some highlight quotes:
General thoughts on the format of the telecast:
RUSTY WALLACE: Well, I’m looking forward to the idea. Myself and Ray and Andy and DJ, we’ve probably got a lot to talk about, that’s for sure. We’ve all won at
before and we’ve all got stories to tell. Michigan
I guess my biggest concern is that I don’t step over the top of each other and we don’t keep interrupting each other and stuff like that. I think once we get about ten minutes into the broadcast we’ll find our home and understand where we’re at. It’s going to be a different process for sure; instead of saying here they go, here they come, this guy is passing this guy or whatever, we’re going to be able to comment on how the race is going and from our past experience what we thing we should do to do win is race or what I would have done or what Ray might do. It’s going to be a different type of broadcast. I feel comfortable with it, I’m excited about it, and when it’s all said and done, it’s either going to work or won’t work and we’ll see what happens.
RAY EVERNHAM: I really enjoy the role on ESPN. After racing for years with DJ and Andy and Rusty, it’s like we’re all kind of doing the same thing still, so I get to see the guys. But as much as we’ve done together, we still have different opinions on things, and it’s great to be able to spar back and forth, and you’ve got DJ and Andy in the booth, and they’re kind of you know, they’re one way, more conservative, type of approach, and then you’ve got Rusty and I, we’re wide open, do, whatever, gamble, two tires, no tires. So I think it’s going to be a great deal and I’m really looking forward to it. Unlike Rusty, I really believe that we’re going to be talking over one another and stopping and saying, no, man, that’s not the way it is. But I think that’s what ESPN wants, and I think that’s what the fans are really going to enjoy.
On the subject of who among the analysts is going to be leading the show:
RAY EVERNHAM: As far as I know, when we drop the green flag we’re all headed towards the first corner together, so you know this group, someone is going to be trying to lead. I think I’m going to rely on DJ a little bit to help in and out and Allen Bestwick will really be traffic cop, but it’s going to be up to us. We’ve all been able to take tosses from the director, from (ESPN senior motorsports producer) Neil Goldberg, on when to pass to the pit reporters or when to go to break, so we can all kind of do that. It will be a bit of a different show.
It’s not really going to be a free for all because we really do have a conversation flow. I don’t know if you got to see the roundtable discussion that we did from the boxing ring for ESPN, but it’ll be a little bit of stepping over. But I think clearly ESPN doesn’t want a direction, they don’t want somebody in the lead. They want us, they want our personalities, they want us to be just like we’re sitting around a table at somebody’s house watching the race on television talking about it.
RUSTY WALLACE: I totally agree, I think DJ has been in the booth a lot the last couple years, and I think when it comes down to maybe trying to end a conversation or take it to a break or to commercial, Neil Goldberg our producer will tell him that, but we’ll be all hearing the same thing. This isn’t something that’s real hard. We’ve been doing this for a long time.
But one thing I think you’ll see that will be different, I don’t think you’ll hear a lot of numbers. You won’t be hearing a lot of statistical information. You’ll hear a lot of talk about what we’ve done in the past and what we would do or what we wouldn’t do and more of kind of an open table conversation. We won’t be talking about what city the guy grew up in, how many top 10 finishes he’s had, how many top 5s he’s had, all the number stuff that to me is really boring. I think we’re going to talk racing and try to call what’s on the track, and like Ray said, DJ will be a little bit of a traffic cop in there.
RAY EVERNHAM: You’ll probably hear some of, “Don’t tell me, I beat you in 2000,” or “Don’t tell me, I beat you in 2001,” and “you should have done this.” It’ll be a lot like that.
On the subject of Evernham’s role with ESPN and if he misses the competition side of the sport:
RAY EVERNHAM: I think you miss certainly certain aspects of it. I mean, I love cars, I love to work on them and I love to be in the race. But I don’t miss the 36 or 40 weekends a year and all the stress that went along with it.
I had a good career, and I’m happy with that. I don’t really feel like I’ll be looking to do something full time in Cup. I love to be involved, consult. As I said, I love the sport. I don’t ever plan on walking away from it, but I don’t really ever plan to get back up on the box full time, either.
I do enjoy my role with ESPN. I’m a very team oriented person, and I love to go to the racetrack with these guys. When you get there it’s a team atmosphere. You’re around a bunch of racing people in a relaxed mode. As I said, Rusty and DJ and Andy and I have all become good friends because we don’t have to compete against each other every week. Heck, there was a time you couldn’t keep Rusty and I from wanting to fist fight and now we travel around together. I do enjoy the ESPN role a lot. I do see myself somehow being involved either in NASCAR or from the mechanical side in the future but certainly not on a full time basis.
The analysts were asked how they will keep themselves from second-guessing the teams and drivers during the telecast:
RAY EVERNHAM: We’re not. That’s the whole reason for the broadcast. We’re going to second guess the teams, we’re going to second guess one another, we’re going to talk about stuff that we did, we’re going to say what’s good and what we think is wrong. I mean, we’re going to have fun with it, and you go out on a limb sometimes when you’re second guessing some strategy and find that you get taught something by some of these new crew chiefs. So I’m looking forward to it. I guess that’s the point is they’re hoping that DJ and Rusty second guess the drivers, and they’re opening that Andy and I are second guessing crew chiefs and that we’re second guessing Rusty and DJ and vice versa, no different than it really is on the radio between a crew chief and a driver. You’re always going back and forth. There’s going to be a lot of that going on from our side.
RUSTY WALLACE: I agree. We’re going to say what we think. We’re not going to go into the broadcast trying to say, okay, I’m going to disagree with you six or eight times just to try to spice the show up, none of that stuff. I’m going to say, look, when I won my four races at
, this is how I did it and this is what happens in the race. You’re going to qualify down low, you’re going to race on the top of Turn 3 and 4, you’re probably going to be on the bottom of 1 and 2. Yeah, it’s a wide racetrack, it’s one of the biggest racetracks out there. We’re going to say it’s in all the car companies’ backyards so there’s extra incentive to run.You’ll hear things like that. I don’t think you’ll hear a lot of emotional, he’s passing low, he’s passing high, like a play by play guy might do. Obviously we’ll do some of that, but there should be a lot of information flowing back and forth. Michigan
Let’s break the ESPN monopoly and promote two upcoming National Geographic Channel programs airing back to back on August 23.
Sunday, August 23 at 9PM ET/PT
Join leading astronomers on a visual journey beyond our solar system in search of planets like Earth. Using CGI animation, we’ll explore bizarre worlds that stretch our imagination: planets with iron rain and hot ice, with diamonds everywhere, and endless oceans of gas. Planets with abnormal orbital patterns and planets with no pattern at all that drift alone in the Milky Way. Planets so strange we never could have predicted them before. Could life exist there?
CGI: The runaway Planemo in a star forming region. (Image Credit: © SkyWorks Digital, Inc.)
Video #1 – Extreme conditions abound on planemos. But spring and fall are just right. Can life survive beyond the Goldilocks Zone?
Video #2 – Adrift in space with no star to keep them warm, some planemos still manage to support life.
Video #3 – “Planetary zombies” can orbit a pulsar, but radiation makes it impossible for life of any kind to survive on them.
On our ALIEN EARTHS program Website, you can also:
- Navigate the Planetary Investigation Lab and explore 3D life form rotations, videos, photos and high resolution concept art.
- Learn about current and future NASA missions, including the Keck Interferometer Telescopes, Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Kepler Mission.
- Check out a photo gallery of the planets, and more.
NAKED SCIENCE: HAWKING’S UNIVERSE
Sunday, August 23 at 10PM ET/PT
Stephen Hawking is one of the world’s most famous scientists. But ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, has left him almost totally paralyzed and it is progressing. Unable to walk, talk, or write, his only way of communicating is through a computer program that turns a small movement of a finger or the blink of an eye, into words from a vocal synthesizer. But Hawking remains determined to discover a theory of everything, a complete set of rules for the Universe. Where did the Universe come from and where is it going? What is the nature of time? Will it ever come to an end? This program will explore Hawking’s major contributions to the understanding of our Universe – from his revolutionary proof that our Universe originated in a Big Bang; to his ground breaking discovery that Black Holes are not completely black, but rather emit radiation and eventually evaporate and disappear, to his insights on string theory. Will he unlock the secret of creation before his time runs out?
Stephen Hawking at CERN 2006. Hawking is one of the world’s most famous scientists. He is on a quest to answer how the Universe came to exist. (photo credit © CERN/Maximilien Brice/Claudia Marcelloni)
Video #1 – No one’s found the Theory of Everything yet, but when Hawking discovers that black holes emit radiation, he gets very close
Video #2 – When Hawking loses his voice to a tracheotomy, new speech software technology keeps his research on track.
As usual, great looking stuff from NatGeo and thanks to Minjae Ormes for sending me the releases and links to videos.
All plans to do links have been shot to hell. I’ll do a massive link session tomorrow. Good night.