Mike McQuade, Vice President, Production
#Hashtag of the year for 2012:
#RoryMcIlroy. His emergence as really being the face and force of golf was a big story in 2012. His win at the PGA and the Ryder Cup at the end of the year and his new deal with Nike cemented his place as being the next “it” guy in the sport.
#Hashtag of the year for 2013:
#TigerWoods. At least for the first half of 2013, focus will be on whether Tiger can respond to Rory McIlroy becoming the new “it” guy. The questions that we as broadcasters of the sport are going to try to find out is will this elevate Tiger’s game and motivate him to make that last step in his comeback to start winning majors? I think it’s a critical year for Woods in that regard.
A big prediction for your property in 2013:
As we hone in on the majors — and that’s what we focus on in our golf coverage, our Big 3 that we do, the Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship — are at probably three of the most historic and venerable sites. I’m probably most excited about the idea of returning to Merion (U.S. Open), where everyone who’s ever won there is a legend in the sport. I think the combination of that and Murfield (Open Championship), where you also have legends win, in my mind it will add up to the potential of a great year in the sport. It doesn’t seem like there are fluke winners at either Murfield or Merion and seems like greatness rises to the top at both of those venues.
–By Andy Hall
Editor’s Note: With this multi-week series — the Front Row Forward/Rewind, 2013/2012 — ESPN’s Communications Department takes the pulse of content executives throughout ESPN for their views on what’s ahead across ESPN for 2013 and some of what transpired in 2012. The snapshots provide a look at where ESPN has been, where it’s going and how it plans on getting there.
Best off camera moment:
Brad Keselowski sat in our production truck for the Nationwide Series race at Richmond in September and it was both fun and interesting. He had been to Bristol a few weeks before that for a “Car Wash” and he was really interested to see what goes on behind the scenes. Toward the end of the race, we were involved in our replay sequencing after an on-track incident and he suggested to us on a particular angle if we started the replay earlier, he could help us understand how what ultimately happened was a result of what happened about three-quarters of a lap before that. We all walked out of the truck and said we should have him in there more often.
Favorite segment or interview:
The interviews after the incident between Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer in Phoenix. It really put a spotlight on what a lot of the drivers were feeling and how they thought they needed to take actions into their own hands. They were very real and transparent as both athletes and competitors on our air.
#Hashtag of the year for 2013:
There’s always multiple layers in NASCAR because it’s like an all-star event every week for 10 months. What kind of racing we’ll see from the new Sprint Cup car is something that we’re all curious about. #DaleJr didn’t finish the Chase the way he wanted to but he obviously picked up a lot of momentum and self-confidence, so to see what will 2013 bring for the guy who is still the most popular driver in the sport, will be interesting.
New Year’s resolution for NASCAR:
It’s not a New Year’s resolution but we’re always trying to be a little bit better tomorrow than we were yesterday.
What makes your group a family:
For all intents and purposes, we’re one single production unit and for most of the season we’re all together at a different track every week. So you couple that with the length of our season and the amount of time that we’re on the air each weekend from Friday through Sunday, inevitably we spend as much time with each other as we do with our families. And that makes us family.
Forward/Rewind logo by Samantha Baron