Lenny Jacobson, Tim Scanlon, Chris Smith discussed on Nightcap with Ryan Gates
Doing something you wanted to be just perfect. You're thinking so much about it. You care so much about it, And after a while, it just becomes very natural. And it doesn't take long to get there to where? When that TV camera light goes on. Or you pop, but you're not even thinking It's just all natural. But you aren't thinking back then I wasn't thinking back then, and it takes a little bit of time to get into that spot where you're entirely comfortable. And your natural instincts take over. Correct. Yeah. I mean, I didn't know they knew what I was coming in. Because they saw my tapes from Seattle. I'd say I took a crazier at ESPN because I had more stuff that I could do, right. More resources and more opportunities at my station in Seattle. You know, I tried to do some fun things, but I was at a little local independent station there had one guy working with me, You know, I mean, like, just wasn't the same thing. But As an example, we would show the the baseball scores from around the league and I have my dog eating a baseball panting and we just put dog days of summer and the scores kind of scroll, though you know to us. That was different and unique as other guys weren't doing that. It wasn't that funny, but it was just cute. It was like, Oh, here comes up funny dog again, And here comes this work. Oliver Twist. Yep. And The funny thing is, I was already doing what we call ESPN shot sheets for those who don't know it's it's basically a shorthand description of a game. So first inning Griffey action Homer number 25 Mariners up three. Nothing right as an example if he doesn't play for them anymore, But that was my best, so I was kind of doing a shot sheet. My little station in Tacoma, right? I was already kind of do my version without even knowing what he expended. So when I made the transfer is like, Oh, yeah, well, it's kind already doing this model. I made that up on my own. I thought out and sell because a lot of people would write highlights, they would say. You know, type out literally type out the word in the first quarter of the session. Such team did such as and if you are ahead or behind, your highlight sucks, right. But if you do at the ESPN way or the way I was doing it You should be able to stay. You might fall behind you get ahead in your offers. Speed up. You know there's an art to it. Um, but, yeah, I got more comfortable with time. You know, you're always better on your second day than your first day and you're third in your second, your fourth or third and so on and so forth. 20 So 26 27 So when you look back now, over those 27 years, what will you remember most about them? It was like a Tom Rinaldi question. Music That's about as high a compliment. You could pay a man there, Kenny. Uh, well, the highest achievement. It's commingle the highest achievement. I was in on some Emmys with not myself, You know, like with a team like with counter it's worth her. But it was when Stevie Wonder's band members recognize me. And everyone loves me. Where was that? What happened? There was, uh, he did a concert tour where he was, um, playing songs in the key of life. That was the whole whole album was was the concert right? And I got to go. Got to go backstage. The highest moment was also with him. I went down. I don't know if you remember Tim Scanlon. He used to be in baseball. And and I called him up And I said, Hey, I don't have anything set up. But I want to try to get Stevie wonder to be in this thing for the All Star game. I was playing in the softball game right for a number of years. They have the celebrity softball game than the home run Derby. Then they're all thinking, and he's like, go for it, I said, But I don't have anything said I promise you like it's going to cost money for the camera. The hotel the flight like it may be nothing. Yeah, I think you'll pull it off. Good luck. Okay. That's kind of awesome. I want so I go to pit Pittsburgh. I'm sorry. Pittsburgh Philadelphia. And they're having this big concert. It was for relieving African debt. That was the point of of the show here in in in Europe is called Live eight. And Stevie Wonder's trailer is behind this fencing, and I'm trying to get anybody to get close. So I can kind of Hey, I'm with ESPN, and we're trying to set this thing up and I can't even get through the gate because I have no credential to do so and they're waving at people to come into his trailer to say hi like Will Smith goes in, and Natalie Portman Goes in and then the guys looking right at me, and I think they're asking me to come in. I'm like, How do they know who I am? This is a long time ago and all of a sudden Don Cheadle walks by me. They were waving to him the whole thing. But the good news is getting a lanyard from a Teamster. I ended up upgrading my access. I got to his guy, He said you pitching yourself and Stevie ended up doing his language was I can't be at the All Star game. I have a high ankle spring. That's the favorite thing I did 27 years, the Stevie Wonder moment stands out to you. Is there a story or a show that you worked on? That stands out to you? Why? I'd say it would be hard to just pick one. But you know we did. The main street comedy show, Aubrey Plaza and Allison Becker, John Glaser, Ben Schwartz, leaving out people. Chris Smith, Lenny Jacobson, all these people. We're in this thing that was supposed to be a version of my life at ESPN, and we obviously exaggerated you know, for the comedy aspect. All of them went on to parks and rec and many other things. So that was a great period of shooting. And you know, I didn't even take that much time. We put together a bunch of those the wider world of sports where I traveled to all the unique sports around the world. The years of doing the fake NFL stories. That was a great period. I love the horse racing of the magazine. It's funny. I'm putting SportsCenter behind, though just because I'm not really putting them behind. Necessarily. Just I'm listing it late because I kind of did that. You know, I mean, like I did that. And I did that. And I did that. These other things were shorter periods of time, more unique and probably more fun. Not that I didn't like SportsCenter. But you know, getting to go to Italy and cover the Palios more fun than a SportsCenter and you've done so many different things. Things and you've done a little late night SportsCenter's the regular SportsCenter's. And this and that, When did you know, though, that your time at ESPN was being noticed and recognized by others? When did you know that Kenny Mayne had landed on the Mac Kenny Mayne had become somebody noticeable? Thought I'm saying, like there are little moments there that I think all of a sudden, like ESPN is a pretty big place is a pretty big platform. Yeah. I mean, I think that was pretty early. I didn't think of it like I have some big ego because of that, you know nothing like that. Like I still think I don't have any ego. Really? At least I hope I don't show it. I'm very confident at what I do. I think I can, right. I think I'm not horrible as a communicator or on TV or whatever, but I don't think I don't go to places and dropping us. Hey, I'm with ESPN. Can I golf for free like So I mean, who does that tree window? I can't say but other people, probably maybe. Really, or who have used their Yes, PN thing. You know, for restaurants. Now, if somebody wants to welcome me and Oh, hey, we really love you. Come on in, you know, like I always feel worried about cutting the front line for anything like even Disney and we had a blind guy and a guy in a wheelchair. Now I still felt guilty. You know, we were like dual qualifiers. My nephews blind. You can look up. Uh, blind football announcer piece I did with him for funny or die. Um, And and my good friend marks and wheelchair some of the time anyway. Yeah, so I don't know. Like It was weird how you get notice because you wouldn't expect it sometimes when it happened, You know you'd be at, uh, whatever going through an airport or somewhere and people did. Oh, you're the guy, you know, sons. They don't know their name. They got me confused with Rich Eisen or tray. Um I even got a Stuart Scott once, and I thought the guy was being funny, right? I said all right, you Yeah. You know, I'm not stir. He says you can't fool me, man. I know you guys are they just get the names mixed up and they give you any name. You just rattled off a bunch of names there who was the most talented person you work with. And I'm not trying to put you and get you in trouble and and have you forget somebody, But is there one person that Stood out to you that you work with them that their talents left you breathless, so to speak. You know what? I don't think I'd want it. I'm not going to evade. I'm not saying I'm evading the quote. But there was so many was such different things. Yeah, exactly. Stewart with Stuart's Big ham, and we all recognize that we laughed about it like You know, we could be anywhere. I do the same thing. Maybe not quite as much as he did reminds me of my friend Mark where referenced earlier. Just you know, we're at a grocery store. I'm now going to do the stupidest thing possible slide down the aisle or something..