ESPN Releases Broadcast Schedule For 2016 Frozen Four Tournament

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2015 – 2016 college basketball season is all but wrapped up after Monday night’s men’s championship matchup between Villanova and UNC.  Tonight the women get their turn as UConn and Syracuse face off for their title.  College basketball may be getting all of the attention but it’s not the only sport that is wrapping up its season.  The annual “Frozen Four” tournament wraps up the 2015 – 2016 college hockey season this weekend.  And ESPN will have full coverage of the annual tournament.

Denver, North Dakota, Boston College, and Quinnipiac will vie for the NCAA college hockey title in this year’s Frozen Four.  The 2016 tournament will be carried across a number of ESPN’s platforms live from the site of the tournament, Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.  The tournament will be held this Thursday, April 7th and Saturday, April 9th.  Top-seeded Quinnipiac will take on Boston College in the first of the semi-final matchups Thursday at 5pm ET.  No. 3 seed North Dakota will take on the Pioneers of Denver in Thursday’s second game.  That game is scheduled for an 8:30pm ET start time.  The winners of those games will face off in the Frozen Four Championship match Saturday night at 8pm ET.

John Buccigross and Barry Melrose will have the call for all three of this weekend’s games.  Quint Kessenich will be between the benches for all of the games’ latest news and interviews.  Victoria Arlen makes her debut with the team this year.  She is a former Paralympian Gold Medalist.  She joined ESPN in 2015 and regularly reports for espnW, X Games, and SportsCenter.  All three games in this weekend’s Frozen Four Tournament will be carried live on ESPN2 and online via ESPN3 Surround.  The streaming option allows fans to watch the game from ice level via a trio of robotic cameras that are placed on the glass around the rink.  The trophy presentation will be carried online exclusively on ESPN3.

Along with the exclusive ice-level coverage via ESPN3 Surround, the refs in each game will be wearing mics, letting audiences hear from them at various points throughout the final three games.  On the studio side, Steve Levy will anchor ESPN’s studio coverage of this weekend’s tournament.  From ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, CT.  He will be joined by college hockey analysts Sean Ritchlin and Dave Starman for additional commentary.  Fans can also follow all of the scores, news, and more via Twitter at http://twitter.com/NCAAIceHockey and http://twitter.com/hashtag/frozenfour.  More information on this year’s Frozen Four tournament is available online now along with all of the latest college hockey news at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/college-sports

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNU

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Unveils Early MLB Broadcast Schedule For ESPN Radio

 

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The start of the 2016 MLB regular season is only days away.  And with Opening Day right around the corner officials with ESPN have unveiled the early schedule for ESPN Radio’s MLB coverage.

ESPN Radio will kick off its 19th season covering Major League Baseball with a World Series rematch between the Mets and Royals on Opening Night, this Sunday, April 3rd.  Adam Amin and Chris Singleton will have the call for the game.  The Yankees and Astros will face off on ESPN Radio on Opening Day in an American League faceoff.  Roxy Bernstein will be in the booth for the game.  These are just two of the seventy-four total games that are currently slated to air live on ESPN Radio this season as part of the network’s MLB coverage.  Along with its regular season coverage, ESPN Radio will also carry the Gillette Home Run Derby and 87 MLB All-Star Game from Petco Park in San Diego, CA on Monday July 11th and Tuesday, July 12th respectively.  ESPN Radio will also have full coverage of the 2016 MLB postseason from tie-breakers and Wild Card games right up to the World Series.

In addition to its extensive MLB coverage, ESPN Radio will also carry the first-ever MLB game from Fort Bragg military base on Sunday, July 3rd at 7pm ET.  The Marlins and Braves will take to the diamond in that game.

Each game this season will be preceded by Baseball Tonight.  ESPN Radio’s current MLB broadcast schedule is noted in whole below.  Additional games will be announced as the season progresses.

 

Confirmed schedule (additional games will be announced at a later date):

Date

Time (ET)*

Game / Commentators

Sun, Apr 3

7 p.m.

New York Mets @ Kansas City Royals
Adam Amin & Chris Singleton

Mon, Apr 4

12:30 p.m.

Houston Astros @ New York Yankees
Roxy Bernstein & TBD

Sat, Apr 9

Noon

New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers
Jon Sciambi & Singleton

Sun, Apr 10

7 p.m.

New York Yankees @ Detroit Tigers
Sciambi & Singleton

Sat, Apr 16

8 p.m.

San Francisco Giants @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Sciambi & Singleton

Sun, Apr 17

7 p.m.

San Francisco Giants @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Sciambi & Singleton

Sat, Apr 23

3 p.m.

Boston Red Sox @ Houston Astros
Sciambi & Singleton

Sun, Apr 24

7 p.m.

Boston Red Sox @ Houston Astros
Sciambi & Singleton

Sat, Apr 30

3 p.m.

San Francisco Giants @ New York Mets
Sciambi & Singleton

Sun, May 1

7 p.m.

New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox
Sciambi & Singleton

Sat, May 7

Noon

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Toronto Blue Jays
Sciambi & Dan Shulman

Sun, May 8

7 p.m.

Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees
Sciambi & Singleton

Sat, May 14

8 p.m.

St. Louis Cardinals @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Sciambi & Singleton

Sun, May 15

7 p.m.

St. Louis Cardinals @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Sciambi & Singleton

Sat, May 21

3 p.m.

New York Yankees @ Oakland Athletics
Sciambi & Singleton

Sun, May 22

7 p.m.

Chicago Cubs @ San Francisco Giants
Sciambi & Singleton

Sat, May 28

6 p.m.

Los Angeles Dodgers @ New York Mets
Sciambi & Singleton

Sun, May 29

7 p.m.

Los Angeles Dodgers @ New York Mets
Sciambi & Singleton

Sun, Jun 12

4 p.m.

St. Louis Cardinals @ Pittsburgh Pirates
Sciambi & Singleton

 

Follows

Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Francisco Giants
Sciambi & Singleton

Sun, Jul 2

6 p.m.

Chicago Cubs @ New York Mets

Sun, Jul 3

7 p.m.

Miami Marlins @ Atlanta Braves
(from Fort Bragg, N.C.)

Sun, Jul 10

7 p.m.

Arizona Diamondbacks @ San Francisco Giants

Mon, Jul 11

8 p.m.

Gillette Homerun Derby
Sciambi & Chris Singleton

Tue, Jul 12

7 p.m.

MLB All-Star Game
Sciambi & Singleton

Sat, Jul 16

3 p.m.

Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees

Sun, Jul 17

7 p.m.

Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees

* Windows include the pregame show

 

All games broadcast on ESPN Radio will also be available online via ESPNRadio.com and the ESPN Mobile app.  More information on ESPN Radio’s MLB coverage is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Cavs, Warriors Take The Spotlight In ESPN Networks’ NBA Coverage This Week

 

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN and the ESPN networks have another busy week of basketball ahead of them this week.

Officials with ESPN announced today the networks’ NBA broadcast schedule.  This week’s schedule kicks off tonight with a cross conference showdown between the Rockets and the Cavaliers.  LeBron James and the Cavaliers play host tonight to James Harden and the Houston Rockets in the Quicken Loans Arena.  The game will air live on ESPN Radio with Marc Kestecher on the call.  He will be joined by Jon Barry for additional commentary.  Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm ET.  Cleveland has already clinched the Central Division in the East, and also sits atop the conference, three games ahead of second place Toronto.  A win tonight for Cleveland will hold that lead while a loss will allow the Raptors to close that gap just a little bit more.  Tonight’s game means just as much for Houston.  That is because the Rockets currently sit at the bottom of the Western Conference’s playoff ladder.  A win could potentially keep them in the hunt for the seventh spot on the ladder.  That spot is currently held by the Jazz.

After taking a couple of days off, the action picks back up Friday with a double-header.  Up first Friday night is yet another matchup with huge playoff implications as the Cavs are on the road against the Hawks.  Atlanta currently sits third in the East eight games back from Cleveland.  It is sure to be an even matchup for both teams.  Atlanta is 24 – 13 at home so far this season while Cleveland is 22 – 15 on the road.  Mark Jones will have the call for the game.  He will be joined by Hall of Famer and analyst Hubie Brown for additional commentary.  Reporter Chris Broussard will be courtside for all of the game’s latest headlines interviews, and more.  The game will air live at 8pm ET on ESPN.

Friday’s second game will see Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors host Isiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics as the Warriors’ quest for history continues.  Boston currently sits fifth in the East while Golden State leads the West.  The Warriors have also already clinched the Pacific division in the West.  Mike Tirico will have the call for the game, which is scheduled for a 10:30pm ET tipoff on ESPN.  He will be joined by Jon Barry for additional commentary.  Reporter J.A. Adande will be courtside throughout the game for all of the game’s latest headlines and interviews.

Before the first ball goes in the air Friday night Sage Steel, Jalen Rose, and Chauncey Billups will have a preview of the night’s games on NBA Countdown charged by Mountain Dew at 7:30pm ET on ESPN.

Oklahoma City and Houston round out the week’s NBA coverage across the ESPN networks.  The Thunder and Rockets will face off live Sunday afternoon on NBA Sunday Showcase presented by BBVA.  The game will air live on ABC and ESPN Radio beginning at 3:30pm ET.  Mike Breen will have the call for Sunday afternoon’s game.  He will be joined by Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson for additional commentary.  Reporter Lisa Salters will be courtside for al of the latest in-game news and interviews.  Kevin Calabro and Jon Barry will cover the game for ESPN Radio.  Sage Steel, Jalen Rose, and Chauncey Billups will preview Sunday’s game on NBA Countdown presented by Straight Talk Wireless.

More information on the ESPN networks’ coverage of the NBA is available online along with all of the latest NBA headlines at:

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/nba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Alligator Records’ 20th Anniversary Tour Doc To Be Released Next Month

Courtesy:  MVD Entertainment Group

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

Alligator Records is one of the most important and iconic labels in the world of the blues.  The label has been home to some of the greatest blues artists of all time since its inception more than forty years ago.  Those artists include the likes of: Charlie Musselwhite, Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Johnny Winter, and so many greats both past and present.  Next month blues fans will get to experience some of those artists when MVD Entertainment Group releases the tour documentary Pride and Joy: The Story of Alligator Records.

Pride and Joy: The Story of Alligator Records will be released on Friday, April 22nd in stores and online.  It will be released exclusively on Blu-ray.  The recording presents a handful of performances from the label’s 20th Anniversary Tour, which was held in the spring of 1992.  The recording is a companion to the already released double-disc presentation of performances from the tour.  That presentation was released April 20th, 1993 via Alligator Records.  It can be purchased online direct via Alligator Records’ online store at http://www.alligator.com/albums/The-Alligator-Records-20th-Anniversary-Tour/.  The recording presented in the new Blu-ray presentation was held March 12th, 1992 at Philadelphia’s now-defunct Chestnut Cabaret.  Some of the songs featured in the recording include: ‘Pride and Joy’ and ‘Ed’s Boogie’ (Lil Ed), ‘Pussycat Moan’ and ‘Lord, I Wonder’ (Katie Webster), ‘El-Bo’ and ‘Beer Drinking Woman’ (Elvin Bishop), ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ (Koko Taylor), ‘Wife For Tonight’ and ‘I Want All My Money Back’ (Lonnie Brooks), ‘It’s A Dirty Job’ (Koko Taylor with Lonnie Brooks), and ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ (final joint encore).  Along with the main concert presentation the new Blu-ray recording will also feature “Alligator Tales – The Making of Pride and Joy: The Story of Alligator Records” as a bonus companion piece to the concert.  Audiences can watch the nearly eleven feature online now via Vevo at https://vimeo.com/146601598.

 

Alligator Records Making Of Clip

 

Pride and Joy: The Story of Alligator Records can be pre-ordered online now via MVD’s online store and via Amazon.  More information on this and other titles from MVD Entertainment Group is available online now at:

 

Website: http://ww.mvdb2b.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MVDEntertainmentGroup

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Crosses Conference Lines This Week In Its NBA Coverage

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN and the ESPN networks have announced their NBA broadcast schedule for this week. It kicks off tonight on ESPN with a double header that crosses conferences both literally and figuratively.

ESPN and the ESPN networks kick off their NBA broadcast schedule this week in Boston as Isiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics play host to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in a cross conference matchup. Tonight’s game will have major playoff implications for both teams as each sits third in its respective conference. A win for the Thunder could also mean the team finally clinches the Northwest Division in the Western conference. For Boston, which fell to Indiana Tuesday night 103 – 98, a win would keep the Celtics just ahead of Miami, which sits fourth in the Eastern conference. It would even more being that the loss was the second straight for the Celtics.   Both teams currently sit at 39 – 28 so far on the season. So a win for Boston is just as important for Boston as for Oklahoma City if not more so. Coverage for the game is scheduled to begin at 7pm ET on ESPN and ESPN Radio. Ryan Ruocco will have the call for tonight’s game between the Thunder and Celtics. He will be joined by analyst Doug Collins for additional commentary. Reporter J.A. Adande will be courtside for additional news throughout the game. On the radio side Marc Kestecher will have the call. He will be joined by Kara Lawson for additional commentary.

In the second of the night’s games Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers are on the road against James Harden and the Houston Rockets in a Western conference matchup with its own playoff implications. The Clippers sit fourth in the West while the Rockets are seventh in the playoff picture. Just as with Boston in its game, the Clippers come into tonight’s game looking to rebound from a loss Tuesday night. Los Angeles fell to San Antonio Tuesday night 108 – 87. It was the second straight loss for the team. The good news for Los Angeles is that it is statistically better on the road than Houston is at home. Los Angeles is 20 – 12 on the road while Houston is 18 – 14 at home so far this season. So even in the midst of a two-game losing streak the odds favor Los Angeles tonight. Coverage for the game is scheduled to begin at 9:30 pm ET on ESPN. Dave Pasch will have the call for the game. He will be joined by Hall of Famer and analyst Hubie Brown for additional commentary. Reporter Israel Gutierrez will be courtside for all of the latest in-game news and more.

After tonight’s double header slate the NBA action picks back up Saturday night on ABC’s NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by La Quinta with another Western conference showdown. Steph Curry and the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors will be on the road Saturday against Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs. Both teams have already clinched their respective divisions, essentially securing their spots in the post season. And both are in the midst of their own winning streak. Golden State has won five straight and San Antonio four straight. Both teams are relatively even at home. But Golden State is slightly better on the road at 29 – 6 versus the Spurs’ current 24 – 10 road record. Coverage is scheduled to begin at 8:30pm ET on ABC. Mike Tirico will have the call for Saturday’s game. He will be joined by Mike Breen and analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson for additional commentary. The game will also be simulcast on ESPN Radio with Dave Flemming anchoring that broadcast. He will be joined by Jon Barry for additional commentary. Reporter Lisa Salters will be courtside for all of the latest in-game news and more. Ahead of Saturday night’s game Sage Steel, Jalen Rose, and Doug Collins will have a preview of the game on NBA Countdown. That is scheduled to start at 8pm ET on ABC.

While this week’s NBA schedule across the ESPN networks is somewhat reduced in comparison to the networks’ previous NBA schedules, there will still be plenty of NBA coverage from ESPN’s NBA studio show The Jump throughout the week. The full schedule for this week’s NBA coverage across the NBA networks is noted below, including air times for The Jump.

Date Time (ET) Event/Commentators Network (s)
Tue, Mar 15 3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols, Marc Stein, Stephen Jackson
ESPN
Wed, Mar 16 1:30 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, P.J. Carlesimo
ESPN2
  The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols, Marc Stein, Stephen Jackson
ESPN2
  7 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Boston Celtics presented by State Farm
Ryan Ruocco, Doug Collins, J.A. Adande
Radio: Marc Kestecher, Kara Lawson
ESPN, ESPN Radio
  9:30 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets
Dave Pasch, Hubie Brown, Israel Gutierrez
ESPN
Thu, Mar 17 12 a.m. (midnight) NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Bruce Bowen
ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols,  Marc Stein, Stephen Jackson
ESPN
Fri, Mar 18 1 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Bruce Bowen
ESPN2
Sat, Mar 19 1 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Amin Elhassan
ESPN2
  8 p.m. NBA Countdown
Sage Steele, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins
ABC
  8:30 p.m. Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs presented by La Quinta
ABC: Mike Tirico, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Lisa Salters
Radio: Dave Flemming, Jon Barry
ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
Sun, Mar 20 1:30 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Amin Elhassan
ESPN2

Programming Note: The Jump will not air on Friday due to the airing of the BNP Paribas Open 2016

More information on ESPN’s NBA coverage is available online now along with all of the latest NBA headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/nba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Networks To Carry Extensive Coverage Of NCAA Div. I Women’s Basketball Tournament

Courtesy: ESPN  L - R: Kevin Neghandi, Kara Lawson, Rebecca Lobo

Courtesy: ESPN
L – R: Kevin Neghandi, Kara Lawson, Rebecca Lobo

March 13th, 2016 is one of the biggest nights in the 2015 – 2016 college basketball season.  That is because it is selection Sunday.  It is just one of the college basketball world’s big days.  On Monday, March 14th, ESPN will have exclusive coverage of “Selection Monday.”

The full 64-team field for the Women’s NCAA Division I college basketball tournament will be revealed on the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special Presented by Capitol One will air March 14th at 7pm ET on ESPN.  Kevin Neghandi will anchor the broadcast.  He will be joined by veteran analysts Kara Lawson and Rebecca Lobo for additional commentary.  Coverage doesn’t end after the last team is announced, either.  ESPNU will pick up coverage at 8pm ET with the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special Extended Coverage Presented by Capitol One.  Both shows will include special features and interviews and an exclusive interview with Chris Dawson during ESPN’s coverage during the 7pm hour.  Dawson is Chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee.

As an added bonus, ESPN will once again carry all 63 games in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship presented by Capitol One.  It all leads up to the NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four from Indianapolis, IN on April 3rd and 5th.  2016 marks the eleventh consecutive year that ESPN has carried complete coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.  ESPN and ESPN2 will carry coverage of regionalized telecasts with home protection through the tournament’s first two rounds.  ESPN3 and ESPN Full Court, ESPN’s pay-per-view service, will offer complete first and second round coverage as a supplement to the coverage offered by ESPN and ESPN2.  The tournament’s final 15 games, beginning with the Regional Semifinals, will have national telecast windows on ESPN and ESPN2.

Those wanting even more coverage of the 2016 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship can go online to espnW.com and ESPN.com as well as the SEC Network.  More information on this year’s coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship is available online now at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/womens-college-basketball

http://espn.go.com/espnw

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/espnW

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espnw

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Makes Big Plays With Its NFL On-Air Staff

San Francisco, CA - February 7, 2016 - Marina Green: Mike Ditka (l) and Chris Berman on the set of Postseason NFL Countdown during coverage for Super Bowl 50 (Photo by Peter DaSilva / ESPN Images)

San Francisco, CA – February 7, 2016 – Marina Green: Mike Ditka (l) and Chris Berman on the set of Postseason NFL Countdown during coverage for Super Bowl 50
(Photo by Peter DaSilva / ESPN Images)

Legendary NFL coach and ESPN personality Mike Ditka is going to have a new role with the worldwide leader in sports.

Mike Ditka has signed a new contract extension that will keep him with ESPN at least for the next two years. It also alters his role with the network somewhat. Instead of his regular role on the network’s NFL broadcasts the new contract makes Ditka a contributor on SportsCenter, the network’s flagship news and information program. The change in roles was apparently Ditka’s choice rather than that of the network. “This new role is really a blessing. It’s something I asked for,” he said. “After many years of weekend travel, I’m thrilled I’ll get to watch NFL games on Sundays and Monday nights in the comfort of my own home. I enjoy being part of the game and part of ESPN. I really do. So this is a great solution.”

Seth Markman is ESPN’s VP senior coordinating producer of NFL studio shows. He verified Ditka’s statement noting that “Mike talked with me late in the year about his role for next season. Thankfully we were able to come to an agreement that works for him and keeps him a part of our ESPN family. He went on to note his pleasure that the deal had been reached saying, “This announcement is great news for us and for our viewers, as Coach Ditka continues to be someone NFL fans everywhere respect and admire.” Ditka’s new deal takes effect this September. It will see him contributing to SportsCenter not just during football season but on a year-round basis. Ditka joined ESPN’s on-air staff in 2004.

 

Indianapolis, IN - September 15, 2014 - Lucas Oil Stadium: Matt Hasselbeck (8) of the Indianapolis Colts during a regular season Monday Night Football game (Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

Indianapolis, IN – September 15, 2014 – Lucas Oil Stadium: Matt Hasselbeck (8) of the Indianapolis Colts during a regular season Monday Night Football game
(Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

Just as ESPN has announced that Ditka’s role with the network will change later this year, it has also announced this week that veteran NFL quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will become the network’s latest member of the network’s on-air staff.

Hasselbeck announced his retirement from the NFL this week after eighteen seasons in the league. Over the course of those eighteen seasons he became a three-time Pro Bowler. He played his final season with the Indianapolis Colts in 2015. He started his career playing with the Green Bay Packers from 1998 – 2000 as the backup to NFL great Brett Favre. In 2001 he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks where he played over the next ten seasons. During that time he led the Seahawks to six playoff appearances and a Super Bowl appearance in 2005. In 2011 Hasselbeck joined the Tennesseee Titans but his tenure there was short-lived. He only remained there until 2012 before joining the Colts in 2013 for his last run in the league. That run lasted until 2015. Over the course of his time with those teams he threw a total of 36,638 yards, completing 60 percent of his passes with 212 touchdowns. A large majority of those numbers came during his 2007 season with Seattle. That season alone, he had 3,966 passing yards and 28 touchdowns. That same year he also led the Seahawks to the divisional playoffs and was named to his third and last Pro Bowl. He started his stint with the Colts in 2013 as a backup/mentor to then 1st Round pick Andrew Luck. But when Luck suffered a series of injuries in 2015 it was up to Hasselbeck to step up and take the reins. He went on to lead the team to a 5 – 3 record over the next eight games, winning his first four starts. That record put him in elite company, becoming only the third quarterback to have four consecutive wins after his 40th birthday. The other two QBs to do that were Warren Moon, and his former teammate Brett Favre. Hasselbeck’s 11 post season starts at QB ranks 16th all-time in NFL history. And it is just one of so many other records that he holds.

Having announced his retirement this week he won’t be out of the spotlight for long. Beginning this fall he will be part of ESPN’s NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown. In his announcement about his retirement Hasselbeck noted his love for the game of football and his respect for everyone that he came to know throughout his career. “As a kid, playing in the NFL was always my dream and it turned out to be way more fun than I could’ve ever imagined,” said Hasselbeck. “Throughout 18 incredible seasons, I had the chance to forge many relationships with teammates, coaches and staff that I will cherish forever. Those relationships made my playing career all the more memorable,” he said. He also noted the support of his family in his decision to join ESPN’s staff before again thanking everyone that gave him the chance to play in the NFL. He said of these topics, “With the support of my family, we’ve made the decision to embark on the next chapter. I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to have represented the NFL and so many great teams.” He added in regards to joining ESPN, “The exceptional opportunity presented to me by ESPN accelerated my decision to retire from playing football. “I’m excited for the chance to give everything I have to this new endeavor and share the knowledge I have with our viewers.”

Hasselbeck is ESPN’s second major NFL talent acquisition for its studio shows this offseason. The network recently announced that it had also signed NFL great Charles Woodson for its Countdown shows. Markman noted Hasselbeck’s years of playing experience in the decision to bring him to its studio shows as well as his personality. He also noted that the network had been watching him for some time as a potential figure that the network could use for its NFL programming. “Matthew has been on our radar for many years and we expect him to have an immediate impact as he transitions from the playing field to a marquee analyst role on our signature NFL shows,” he said. “Matthew experienced it all in his 18 NFL seasons, he has terrific insights on the game and a great sense of humor, and we are particularly excited to pair him with Tim [Hasselbeck], who already does such excellent work for us.” Tim Hasselbeck is Matt Hasselback’s younger brother. He currently appears on ESPN’s NFL Live and has been working with ESPN as an NFL analyst since 2008.

 

More information on ESPN’s recent moves on its NFL programs is available online now along with all of the latest NFL headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NFLonESPN

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.