The plan all along for Mike Tirico’s two-games-in-one-day perfecta was for the veteran ESPN play-by-play man to take public transit from Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
When “Winter Storm Nemo” blanketed much of the Northeast, “Mike Tirico’s Excellent Adventure” made all the more sense.
So, after calling New York’s 102-88 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers alongside color analyst Hubie Brown, Tirico (and other ESPN colleagues, including long-time stats man, Marty Aronoff) got on the train and were courtside for New Jersey’s 111-86 loss to San Antonio (with Jon Barry as color analyst). Also pulling double duty on Sunday was director Mike Schwab, who filled in on the Nets game for Ken Dennis, who was ill in North Carolina.
“ESPN has so many employees across our operations, technical, production and talent departments who step up and ask ‘how?’ instead of ‘why?’,” coordinating producer Tom McNeeley said.
“We had backup personnel waiting to see if they were needed to drive to NYC from various points if others were snowbound, including commentators, directors, associate producers and associate directors. That ‘any time, any task’ attitude is a part of the company’s DNA.”
McNeeley also cited the valuable work of production assistant Adam Daly, who was able to dig himself out of his Connecticut home and filled in for a snow-bound producer in putting together the in-game “Wired” clips.