SportsNation (TV series)
|Starring||Max Kellerman (2013-present)
Marcellus Wiley (2013-present)
Charissa Thompson (2012-2013)
Colin Cowherd (2009-2012)
Michelle Beadle (2009-2012)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||1,456|
|Location(s)||Los Angeles, California|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original channel||ESPN2 (2009-present)|
|Original run||July 6, 2009 – present|
SportsNation is a sports-related television program that airs on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN America and ESPNews. The series is based on SportsNation, the fan forum and poll section of ESPN.com. The show is typically 60% material generated or suggested by fans, including videos from the internet, athlete Tweets, and online polling. The show had aired in occasional segments on ESPN and ESPN2 before becoming a fixture of ESPN2's weekday afternoon block in September 2011.
As of June 2013, the SportsNation hosts are Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley and is produced at ESPN's Los Angeles studios. From July 6, 2009 until December 20, 2012, SportsNation was taped at ESPN's world headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. The initial hosts were Colin Cowherd, who hosts the ESPN Radio midday program The Herd with Colin Cowherd, and Michelle Beadle, who joined ESPN from the YES Network. On June 1, 2012, Beadle left to join the NBC family of networks as a sports and entertainment contributor and was replaced by Numbers Never Lie host Charissa Thompson. Cowherd announced his departure from SportsNation in September 2012 to focus more on his radio work (and possibly because he did not want to make the move across the country; ESPN Radio does not have a west-coast base of operations), and his final episode aired on December 21, 2012. Wiley, who is a contributor to various programs on ESPN and who is based in Los Angeles, was announced as his replacement.
- 1 Notable segments
- 2 Special episodes
- 3 Video tournaments
- 4 Winners Bracket
- 5 College football edition
- 6 Audience
- 7 Guest hosts
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The A Block
At the start of each show questions posed to the viewers on the SportsNation website are shown. The hosts discuss each topic briefly, and then reveal what the Nation’s response was.
Did You Hear That?
A countdown of the best sound bites of the day referred to as the top 5 things the viewers "have to hear."
Colin draws pictures with a marker on white poster-sized paper to illustrate a concept to encapsulate his opinion about the stories of the day. After he draws the pictures, Charissa critiques his drawings and the audience cheers if they like his drawing and jeers or remains silent if their reaction is negative.
Interspersed throughout each show are the following segments showcasing good and bad plays of the day:
- Three Cheers – The three happiest or most exciting sports moments, such as a one handed catch, a 360 dunk or a bicycle kick. This is sometimes repeated during the show.
- Three Jeers – The three saddest or most embarrassing moments, such as a player getting whacked in the face with a ball, dropping a wide open pass in football or an easy dunk, or shooting an air ball
- Three Tears – Three worst moments of the day, such as a basketball player being punched where it hurts, a player missing a crucial scoring opportunity, or a fight between hockey players.
Fake Calls From Real Fans
Viewers call in to ask a question of the hosts, while pretending to be a famous sports figure.
Date, Marry, Dump
Presented with the helmets of four NFL teams with a common bond, like having the same win-lose record, or being in the same division, Colin must choose one to: “date”, one to “marry”, and one to “dump”.
Every episode one of several games is played, all revolving around predicting how the Nation responded to poll questions. The winner (if there is one) gets to pick a video of his or her choice to be replayed. It is announced with a little voice saying, "What time is it?," with crowd saying "Game Time!" followed by a grunt.
- B.S. Meter - A clip of a sports figure making a statement that could be seen as B.S. (Referred to as "Bull Shit") is shown, with Colin deciding how “B.S.” the statement is by placing the meter on either Not BS, A Little BS, BS, or Total BS, followed by the Nation’s consensus. If the statement is B.S. or Total B.S., the head of the person is put on the Liar Board.
- Number Crunch – A question asking what percentage of the Nation answered a question a certain way is shown, along with a three digit number representing two possible percentages; for example, “454” would represent both 45% and 54%. The hosts each pick the percentage they believe to be correct.
- Walk the Plank – One of the hosts is asked four or five questions by the other host that is dressed in pirate garb and making horrible jokes (which the crew still laughs at)most often Colin, as they must predict what percent of the Nation answered a certain way. For every percentage they are off, an animated version of the host must take a step towards the end of a pirate ship's plank, with more than 40 steps forcing them to jump off.
- Multi Poll Choice – Charissa is given four questions, each with four possible percentages as correct answers, and must predict how the Nation responded. For this segment, Colin wears a red coat similar to that of Ron Burgundy, while also mimicking his mannerisms which include drinking scotch and making horrible jokes (which the crew still laughs at).
- Pop Culture/Movie Game – The hosts are asked a question with two possible answers, one a sports figure and one a pop culture icon known outside the sports world. The hosts each attempts to match the more popular answer of the Nation. The movie game follows the same format, just with movies instead of the pop culture icon.
- Who Wants to Win a Pizza? - A parody of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? even though each time Charissa reports that any similarities with any show is coincidental. Colin is asked a question with four possible answers and pick the option he believes the Nation chose. His objective is to correctly answer all four questions, winning pizza for the show's whole crew.
- Were They Suspended? - A game made shortly after several violent incidents in the NFL that involves one host wearing suspenders and using a scraggly voice. The other has to answer whether a player was suspended, using footage of various NFL incidents from past seasons.? The game has only been played once, on December 1, 2010.
- Sportsnation Scale of 1-10- A segment in which the Colin and the guest host will rank on a scale of 1-10 on topics such as "Are the Heat better without Wade?"
Lock Em' Up
During the NFL season, Colin reveals his three NFL “locks” for the week. First is the Little Lock, going to the team he is fairly certain will win their game. Second is the Solid Lock, going to the team he is more certain will win. The final lock, the Master Lock, goes to the team Colin is the most sure will win. A variation of this segment is Colin's Lock of Love, staged like a reality dating show.
Winners and Losers
The hosts discuss smaller topics that have not already been discussed in that episode, declaring each subject a "winner" or a "loser."
Pulse of the Nation
A list of the top 5 buzzworthy stories of the day. Now the Pop Culture game is usually played during this time.
Weird Web Stories
Each day three videos from the internet are shown, they are unusual and often not sports related. Often, the last video will be paused in the middle to pose a multiple-choice question to the hosts about what they think will happen next. Although rare, some videos are fake.
The show will list who they believe are the top five in one of several categories. After revealing the list, they then show Tweets by fans listing who they believe the show wrongfully excluded. Common categories include:
- NFL’s Most Valuable Player candidates
- Best teams in the NFL, the NBA, the MLB, or in NCAA football and basketball
- NCAA players most likely to receive the Heisman Trophy
- Best NBA players
- Best NFL Draft prospects
Afterwards the hosts talk with the show's senior web wall producer, Gabe.
What We Learned
A recap of the results from the polls at the beginning of the show and the Weird Web Stories.
- October 5, 2009: To celebrate Brett Favre's first NFL game against his former team, the Green Bay Packers, the hosts declared it "Brett Favre Day" and attempted to break the world record for most mentions of Brett Favre in an hour. They ended the show with 203 mentions and the record.
- October 30, 2009: The last episode before Halloween. This set was dressed up as Christmas for Halloween.
- November 30, 2009: Both hosts dressed up as fans of the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints, and held a poll throughout the show to determine who would be put into a dunk tank outside at the end of the show. Colin lost and was dunked as a result.
- January 2010: While repeat broadcasts of the 2010 Australian Open were airing on ESPN2, the show was moved to ESPNU, ESPN's college sports channel. To celebrate, the hosts renamed the show "SportsNation University" and decorated the set to resemble a dorm room. The set even included a pizza that was opened early in the first week and left open in the studio to rot for 10 days.
- April 11, 2010: Coinciding with the final regular season game for the Cleveland Cavaliers, a LeBron James special took place culminating with Miss Cleo predicting that James would be playing for the Washington Wizards in the 2010–11 season. This was also known as the Lebron-a-thon.
- April 22, 2010: Avatar-themed special/Earth Day special on the day Avatar was released to DVD and Blu-ray.
- June 10, 2010: 2010 FIFA World Cup special featuring guest Pele.
- August 3, 2010: Brett Favre's retirement and Tom Brady's birthday party.
- August 10, 2010: Madden NFL 11 Special
- September 20–23, 2010: Big Ten road trip, including shows at Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and Penn State respectively.
- October 29, 2010: For the final show before Halloween, the set was dressed up to look like Pardon the Interruption's set, complete with Tony Kornheiser yelling at Beadle and Cowherd, costumed as Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady respectively, to "stop stealing [their] stuff!"
- December 23, 2010 and December 22, 2011: 101 Holiday Jeers
- January 31-February 4, 2011: On-location programming from Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas, about 20 miles west of Arlington, site of Super Bowl XLV.
- February 25, 2011: In contrast to the upcoming Academy Awards, the hosts handed out the "FAIL-y Awards," recognizing people in sports video clips who failed.
- March 8, 2011: To celebrate March Madness, the hosts presented various college basketball-themed countdowns, such as the all-time best buzzer-beaters.
- March 30, 2011: Top four special.
- April 27, 2011: At the end of the show, the hosts announced the cover athlete for the Madden NFL 12 video game. The final two in consideration for the cover, Michael Vick and Peyton Hillis, were in studio for the whole show.
- April 4, 2012: To celebrate Opening Night of Major League Baseball in the brand new Marlins Park and that night's Miami Heat - Oklahoma City Thunder game, the set was decorated in a Miami theme; complete with palm trees, Marlins and Heat decorations, and Colin and Michelle dressed up like Crockett and Tubbs from Miami Vice.
- April 25, 2012: For the second consecutive year, the cover athlete for the Madden NFL 13 video game was announced at the end of the show. The show was broadcast live from Times Square in New York City. The final two contestants, Calvin Johnson and Cam Newton were on set to play games throughout the show.
- June 1, 2012: For Michelle Beadle's last show, polls and games centered around her favorite moments from the show. At the end of the show, Beadle was shot out of a cannon as a final goodbye. As Beadle pulled out of the ESPN lot in a limousine, the SportsNation bus pulled into the lot and only the legs of the new co-host were visible as the screen read "To be continued June 4th".
- December 24, 2012: In a mock of the Kennedy Center Honors, a "SportsNation Honors", hosted by Charissa Thompson, celebrated Colin Cowherd's final show. Colin dressed up a delusional old man, and his favorite clips in the show's history were shown along with farewell messages from other media personalities.
During certain episodes, the hosts hold a tournament between 16 sports-related videos. Each match is voted on by the show's viewers. Since the beginning of the show, three such tournaments have been held:
- On December 23, 2009, the All-Valley Video Tournament was contested between the SportsNation crew's 16 favorite web videos of the year. Pool Domination won the event.
- On February 11, 2010, the Posterized competition pitted 16 "posterization" slam dunks against each other to determine the "second-greatest" posterization in basketball history (the greatest being one performed by Vince Carter during the 2000 Summer Olympics). Scottie Pippen won with a dunk on Patrick Ewing on May 20, 1994.
- On March 15, 2010, the 16 best "buzzer-beaters" in NCAA men's basketball tournament history competed against each other; the winner was by NC State's Lorenzo Charles, whose shot defeated the University of Houston in the 1983 championship.
In April 2010, the SportsNation crew created an ABC spinoff show called Winners Bracket, broadcast on Saturday and hosted by Michelle Beadle and Marcellus Wiley. The main focus of the show is a tournament pitting 16 highlights of the week against each other via fan vote. In addition to the tournament, the show also features a countdown of 20 "lowlights" of the week as well as web videos, many of which have been featured on SportsNation in the past.
College football edition
In September 2010, a college football-centric edition of SportsNation premiered on ESPNU. The program airs at 10 AM every Saturday during the college football regular season and (as of 2012) is hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth and Christian Fauria.
The average audience of SportsNation is very young (13–25 years) and mostly male compared to other ESPN programming. ESPN noted that the show's target audience is college students, men in their 20s, and teenage boys. These are demographics ESPN has been struggling to capture in years past.
If either primary host is sick or on vacation, guest hosts (usually SportsCenter anchors or ESPN reporters) fill in as needed. Regularly featured guest hosts include Dari Nowkhah, Dana Jacobson, Tim Keown, and Wendi Nix.
Beginning over the summer of 2012 for a series of college football preview special episodes of SportsNation and continuing through the season, ESPNews' Cassidy Hubbarth and ESPN college football analyst Christian Fauria have become the substitute hosts.
- "Michelle Beadle: Charissa Thompson Reportedly Set to Co-Host ESPN's SportsNation".
- http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2009/07/04/2009-07-04_fans_rule_on_espns_sportsnation.html Fans rule on ESPN2's 'SportsNation'
- http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/firstcuts/entry/view/28055/ESPN%27s_SportsNation:_About_What_You%27d_Expect/28055 The Sporting News:ESPN's SportsNation: About What You'd Expect