ESPN NFL Programming Update – Week II

ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown logoSunday NFL Countdown Previews Week Two, Highlights the Manning Brothers

Week 2 of Sunday NFL Countdown begins September 15 at 10 a.m. on ESPN. Chris Berman hosts the three-hour pregame show with NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis. They will also be joined by senior fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry, NFL analyst Ron Jaworski and NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. In addition to those in studio, Sunday NFL Countdown draws upon the expertise of reporters in the field, including:

§  Suzy Kolber and NFL analyst Merril Hoge (Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers)

§  Sal Paolantonio (San Diego Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles)

§  Ed Werder (Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs)

§  Josina Anderson (Denver Broncos at New York Giants)

§  Colleen Dominguez (San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks)

What to Watch For:

§  Manning Home Movies: Before the week two matchup between Eli Manning and the New York Giants and brother Peyton and the Denver Broncos, Countdown reveals an excerpt from the upcoming ESPN Films documentary The Book of Manning, which includes dad Archie’s home movies of the star quarterbacks as children.

§  Russell Wilson’s Pump Fake: Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell once worked with Brett Favre on developing his pump fake. Now he schools Wilson on the same technique.

§  Fantasy Means Reality: In his recent book, Berry highlights one league that instituted a unique punishment for the last-place team: a tattoo with a design and location determined by the rest of the league.

The Redskins Name: Tradition vs. Racism

(Outside the Lines: Sunday, 8 a.m. ET, ESPN2)

They’ve been known as the Redskins for eight decades. Despite three Super Bowl championships, and a loyal following, this storied NFL franchise faces a growing movement to change a nickname that many consider offensive to Native Americans. Protests have arisen from Navajo nation in Arizona to the team’s Washington, D.C. backyard. But as Bob Holtzman reports, old school fans of the team are standing firmly behind tradition.

·         “There were bounties put on native people. As a way to show that they made their kill and to get paid for that, they had to present the bounty, which is the scalp.” – Amanda Blackhorse, Navajo community leader, noting that the scalp was referred to as a “redskin”

·         “If we are offending one person, we need to be listening and making sure we’re doing the right things to try to address that,” – Goodell, on Washington, D.C.’s 106.7 The Fan, Wednesday

Monday Night Football: The Bengals Host the Steelers

Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals host Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in an AFC North battle on Monday Night Football on September 16 at 8:25 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on ESPN and available via WatchESPN. MNF’s booth team of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will call the game from Cincinnati, and Lisa Salters will report from the sideline.

Leading into the MNF matchup, Stuart Scott will host Monday Night Countdown (6:30 p.m., ESPN) from Paul Brown Stadium with NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis, Steve Young and contributor Rick Reilly. Tirico, Gruden and Salters will be called upon throughout the show to offer insights. The two-hour pregame show also features host Chris Berman, NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka and Tom Jackson and NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, all of whom join the show from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn. What to watch for:

§  “Gruden’s Extra”: Gruden speaks with Bengals’ linebacker James Harrison, who was formerly a member of the Steelers.

§  Rick Reilly’s Feature: Reilly details how Steelers’ nose tackle Steve McLendon practices ballet to improve his agility (Link to Front Row story).

§  Bengals’ offensive coordinator Jay Gruden: Jon Gruden’s brother Jay is featured in “Soundtracks.”

§  Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin: Tomlin talks with First Take’s Stephen A. Smith.

§  C’Mon Man!: The Monday Night Countdown crew examines the best of the worst from the NFL’s Week 2 games.

ESPN Sets Season-Opening Ratings Mark with Monday Night Football Opener

Monday night’s special 2013 season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader helped ESPN win the night among all networks – broadcast or cable – in households, viewers and all key male and adult demos. The MNF games – Philadelphia vs. Washington and Houston vs. San Diego — ranked as the #1 and #2 telecasts of the night across cable and broadcast in those same categories, including the Eagles-Redskins opener which ranks as the highest-rated and most-viewed opening game since ESPN started televising MNF in 2006 (eight seasons). Full release.

Former Steelers Running Back Jerome Bettis Makes His ESPN Analyst Debut on Monday

Super Bowl champion and six-time Pro Bowl running back Jerome Bettis makes his debut as an ESPN NFL analyst on Monday, September 16, the same day his former Steelers team plays on Monday Night Football. The 13-year NFL veteran will appear on the 1 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter and NFL Live (4 p.m.). He will also be in studio for SportsCenter and NFL Live again on Tuesday.

Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver A.J. Green Featured in E:60 Season Premiere

(Tuesday at 7pm, ESPN)

With extreme physical abilities that make impossible catches seem routine, Adriel Jeremiah (AJ) Green is known to his Bengals teammates as “the easy button”.   But that moniker belies the difficulties Green encountered, and the work he put in, on the way to the NFL.  As a child in South Carolina and again as a teenager he tragically lost two of the people he looked up to the most. E:60’s Lisa Salters profiles the journey of a self-described country boy who juggled hardships — and just plain juggled — to become one of the NFL’s most electrifying players. Video clip

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