Kenny Mayne’s SportsCenter “Fan Feast” Essays Debut July 20
SportsCenter and ESPN.com’s four-week, fan-based celebration of the top sporting events to experience as a participant and to watch continues Monday, July 20, through Friday, July 24, with daily essays by Kenny Mayne, host of ESPN.com’s Mayne Street, on his top five events to see. The essays, one each day, will debut on SportsCenter at 9 a.m. ET and will be repeated on all editions of the program.
SportsCenter “Fan Feast” combines online (ESPN.com) submissions of 50-word essays by fans proposing their favorite sporting event to attend and favorite sporting event to participate in. On Monday, July 20, a panel of ESPN.com editorial staff will post the top 10 essays submitted by fans in each category on their best sporting event to play. The series will culminate in two winners – one for each category – to be announced the week of July 27 on SportsCenter at 6 p.m. Highlights of Mayne’s essays:
Click SportsCenter “Fan Feast” to access and download photos from behind-the-scenes at the shoot of Mayne’s essays.
Monday, July 20: Attend a Title Fight in Vegas
“Same day a title fight is announced: Get your flights, get your rooms, get your tickets … There’s nothing like being there. There’s an electricity on site that just doesn’t translate through your cable box … Whether you get halfway close or star gaze with binoculars from the rafters….you’re there…you’re in the same room with Denzel, Jack and not unattractive women.
“It builds and builds … The guy coming to the ring is either your fighter, or their fighter. This is war, man. You gotta take sides. They enter the ring. They stare each other down. They ignore the ref’s instructions. They want to attack…but not until Michael Buffer — Hold on. I think it’s copyrighted … And when they go at it, it’s like you feel every punch when your man is being pummeled. And you’re throwing haymakers from your seat when your man is on the attack … It’s one man defending himself against another … And you’re there to see your man rise…or fall.”
To preview, click: Attend a title fight in Vegas
Tuesday, July 21: Travel to a World Cup Game
“I mean my favorite is still our tackle football, but you gotta go with the world flow. You need to make the journey to a World Cup game. South Africa this next time, and no matter where it’s held, the whole world shows up. A missed goal, with all the action involved in the set up to the chance is more exciting than a lame one yard touchdown run in our football.
“The other countries had like a 300 year head start on us. But we’re getting there. Our soccer people are doing their damndest to give us something to root for. In the meantime, the spectacle is there for us to be a part of, to learn from even. Maybe one day our country will send fans who do something better than the wave.”
To preview, click: Travel to a World Cup Game
Wednesday, July 22: Visit Royal Ascot Racecourse
“It’s called ‘Ascot’ all the time. But when the queen shows up, it’s then referred to as “Royal.” And that’s been going on since 1711 … Breeders’ Cup would be my runner-up for a must-go horse event. But this place is something to behold. I’m not much for convention but there’s no going against the grain at Ascot. A suit at minimum, top hat and tails if you don’t want the queen looking at you sideways.
“I’d seen nothing like it before and nothing like it since. A day at Ascot is a day of make believe – except for the Queen. She remains Queen. But for the rest of us, it’s a chance to play dress-up, to feel a part of something with perfect structure, to be in a place where the past and present blend together perfectly, poetically.”
Thursday, July 23: Experience the Men’s 100M finals
“Guys…I need your attention. But only for ten seconds. Not even a full ten seconds … This is the biggest deal there is. Fastest man in the world … The fastest known men gather every four years at the Olympics. They weed out the relatively slow ones, and eight of ’em line up for the greatest (just under) ten seconds in sports.
“And it’s not just the finals race, it’s everything leading to it … They gather in the blocks, take their final stretch, and when the starter calls them to a set position, time stands still. Which is almost what the best of them are able to do once the running begins … Say, every four years, I want to know who the fastest man in the world is. There’s no other title quite like it.”
Friday July 24: Watch a Children’s Game
“The best entertainment, and the thing closest to the spirit of any sport can be found at any children’s game. Disregard the handful of pushy parents and coaches who think they’re the second coming of Vince Lombardi. Concentrate on the kids. You used to be one. Remember how it felt when you got your new glove? When someone gave you a football for Christmas? It was so simple then. You needed a ball and a friend. With more friends you had a bigger game. Wiffle ball all day, every day.
“There is a window of opportunity for everyone to play, to be a part, to go unjudged, to just play. Go watch. It’s free and it’s a break from all the rest that’s made us cynical. No talk radio’s gonna bring ’em down. They’re playing their games. They’re getting their ice cream. They’re throwing their uniforms down from the bath so mom can get them ready for the next time they go to play.”
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