The Monday Night Football Chalk Talk Series is back for its fifth year with five events during the 2011 NFL season, renewing a tradition that began in the 1970s with local luncheon events in the early years of sports television’s signature series. On-air personalities in town to cover the MNF game shared their insider perspectives with invited guests from the local community. ESPN and the NFL launched the Chalk Talk Series in 2007 to showcase the teams and host cities participating in the weekly MNF primetime games.
ESPN commentators Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski will participate in most events, along with prominent alumni players from the competing teams. ESPN’s New York-based bureau reporter Rachel Nichols will emcee most of the programs.
The Chalk Talk Series kicks off Monday, September 19, with an afternoon tailgate at 5:30 p.m. ET at the Timex Performance Center across from MetLife Stadium before the St. Louis Rams-New York Giants game. Nichols and ESPN analyst and former Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce will co-host the event. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Giants Chairman/Executive Vice President Steve Tisch, and ESPN Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing Sean Bratches are also expected to attend. Former Giants Amani Toomer and Rodney Hampton, and former Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce, will also participate.
The full schedule of 2011 MNF Chalk Talk Series events:
|Date||Host City||MNF Game||Luncheon Site||Time|
|Sept. 19||E. Rutherford, NJ||Rams at Giants||Timex Performance Center
at MetLife Stadium
|5:30 p.m. ET|
|Sept. 26||Arlington, TX||Redskins at Cowboys*||Cowboys Stadium||12 p.m. CT|
|Oct. 10||Detroit||Bears at Lions||Ford Field||12 p.m. ET|
|Oct. 31||Kansas City||Chargers at Chiefs||Arrowhead Stadium||12 p.m. CT|
|Nov. 7||Philadelphia||Bears at Eagles||Lincoln Financial Field||12 p.m. ET|
* Part of NFL’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration
Five hundred guests will attend each MNF Chalk Talk with invitations going to local civic and business leaders, sponsors and fans. Most events will take place late morning in the MNF cities on game days. (Note: The Rams-Giants tailgate will include 250 guests and will take place late afternoon.)
Individual event sponsors for the various Chalk Talk Series events include Bud Light, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dunkin’ Donuts, GEICO, Miller Lite and Pure Nautica Discovery Fragrance for Men.
In addition to celebrating the MNF matchups, Chalk Talk events will include an ESPNHS RISE Above Award segment where one male and one female student-athlete in each city will be honored with a student-athlete award. Deserving students will be identified by the MNF host teams, and the recipients will be selected by NFL Community Affairs, Team ESPN and ESPN High School, ESPN’s commitment to engage and elevate high school athletes by providing them with recognition, resources, information and inspiration to motivate them to improve their skills and achieve their goals on and off the field of play.
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