ESPN Anniversary logo
 Monday, September 6
Memories, milestones and more
 The three-hour ESPN 20th Anniversary Special on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. ET will review 20 years of sports, looking at the great games, memorable moments, major news and stories that touched our emotions, as well as the lighter moments, in a generation of sports.

Chris Berman now ...

"Like everything we do -- but this time especially -- this one's for the viewers," said show host Chris Berman, who joined the network in its first month of operation. "Not to copy Geraldo, but we'll take viewers into our vault, looking for the great sports memories we all share, along with some we would rather forget."

Berman will be joined by several ESPN commentators including ESPN original Bob Ley and long-time SportsCenter anchor Dan Patrick. Their segment introductions will be from various locales, including ESPN The Magazine, and ESPN Zone in Baltimore, as well as throughout the company's headquarters in Bristol, Conn.

The progam will include:

  • ESPN -- The early years: a review of ESPN's launch and the important early programming: college basketball (including the men's tournament), the NFL Draft, America's Cup, Australian Rules Football and more.
  • SportsCenter through the years: a montage of major news stories in sports, placed in context of the times, with Pete Rose, Magic Johnson, Len Bias, Hank Gathers, the 1989 World Series earthquake (with ESPN's first live national coverage), Mike Tyson and more.
  • The legends: tracing three careers that began, flourished and recently ended on ESPN: John Elway, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky.
  • ESPN Classic -- Before they were stars: Dick Schaap hosts a look at ESPN's early coverage of Mike Tyson (early pro career), Jeff Gordon (racing USAC midgets), Emmitt Smith (as a high school senior in 1986), Tiger Woods (before the fame) and Roger Clemens (in the College World Series).
  • Excerpts from features that touched fans' emotions, as well as Jim Valvano's speech at the 1993 ESPY Awards.
  • You heard it on ESPN: the best soundbites, including Mel Kiper Jr. vs. Bill Tobin, Jim Rome vs. Jim Everett, Jim Schoenfeld vs. Don Koharski and more.
  • Where are they now? an update on former SportsCenter anchors, focusing on Gayle Gardner, George Grande, Lee Leonard, Lou Palmer and Sharon Smith.

    The program also will include a review of the greatest games, climactic finishes, big rivalries, unbelievable comebacks, marathon contests, record-setting performances and championships aired on ESPN. Many of these will be accompanied by recent interviews with analysts reflecting on the moment.

    A partial list of these memories:
    McGwire -- #61
    ... and Chris Berman then. He joined ESPN in 1979.
    Cal -- #2,131
    Princeton takes Georgetown to the buzzer in the 1989 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament
    The Islanders and Capitals four-overtime playoff game in 1987
    The Vikings defeat the Bears 33-27 in a 1994 sudden-death thriller
    Virginia upsets #1 FSU with a last-second goal-line stand in 1995
    The 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup title is decided by 10 points as Richard Petty retires
    John McEnroe outlasts Mats Wilander in a 1982 Davis Cup quarterfinal
    The Phillies score nine in the ninth to beat the Dodgers in 1990
    After 54 years, the Rangers win the 1994 Stanley Cup
    In the 1990s, Tennessee and Connecticut become intense rivals in women's basketball
    Dennis Conner wins back the America's Cup in 1987
    Angels-Mariners one-game playoff in 1995, baseball's first in 15 years

    The show's lighter moments will include:

    Some of the more unusual events, including when the pace car was stolen, when fog stopped an NHL game, and when measles kept the crowd at home.
    Interviews with athletes who appeared in ESPN promos, including Grant Hill, Pete Sampras and Evander Holyfield, along with out-takes.
    ESPN commentators discussing the origins of their catch-phrases (e.g., Chris Berman's nicknames and "back-back-back", Dick Vitale's unique terms and Dan Patrick's "en fuego").
    Segments with Dan Patrick, Cam Neely, Juwan Howard and actor Denis Leary playing a fictional game based on the "Did You Know" segment of SportsCenter.
    SportsCenter anchor "tryouts" by Ray Romano, Rodney Dangerfield, Pamela Anderson, Jay Mohr, Bob Barker and Phyllis Diller.
    Comments from famous designers including Joseph Aboud and Alexander Julian on the changes in sports uniform fashions, along with a look at SportsCenter fashions through the years.
    Nick Bakay with his "Tale of the Tape" segment comparing New York, the media capital of the world, and ESPN's hometown of Bristol, Conn.
    A choir performing the SportsCenter theme song -- the Bristol Central and Eastern High Schools' Madrigal Ensemble.
    And, of course, bloopers featuring ESPN commentators.

    "Our goal is a program that will touch all emotions, including making the viewer smile and even laugh," said Bob Rauscher, ESPN senior coordinating producer. "This is our chance to present something special that will remind everyone that sports is fun and we've shared many good times over the past 20 years."


     Billy Crystal
    avi: 379 k
    RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN

     Chamique Holdsclaw
    avi: 374 k
    RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN

     Jerome Bettis
    avi: 374 k
    RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN

     Barry Larkin
    avi: 379 k
    RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN