An all-new episode of ESPN’s award-winning newsmagazine E:60 airs tonight (7 ET, ESPN). One feature focuses on New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic, 24, of the New York Islanders, who sheds his on-ice tough-guy persona for a select few people off the ice.
In Jeremy Schaap’s “In The Name Of The Father,” Hamonic reveals how he copes with losing his father, Gerald, to a heart attack in 2000.
Front Row caught up with E:60 feature producer John Minton III on how the piece came together:
Why is it important for E:60 to tell this story?
We’re committed to finding stories that are unique and inspiring, both on or off the field – or the ice. Travis’ story is no exception. Even if Travis wasn’t a professional athlete, his story would still resonate with viewers.The trials and tribulations that he has faced are hurdles that everyone will eventually encounter in their own lives, mainly a sense of loss.
The most surprising part to me is how Travis has learned to cope with the pain, and the manner in which he now addresses it. He is mature beyond his years, and impacting the lives of others – particularly children – on a level that I don’t think many will expect. His story shows the power of the human spirit to overcome even the toughest of circumstances, while highlighting the inspiring abilities of a family forged through tragedy.
As an Islanders fan, how does it feel to play such an integral role in the first E:60 piece to feature the team?
More than anything, it’s been a privilege to have been trusted by Travis to tell his story. My personal interest aside, I’d have made an exception – even if he was a New York Ranger – to have been able to spend the time we did with him and his family. They were all extremely open and honest and a true inspiration to be around. It’s an honor to be able to bring their story to life.
Editor’s note: See a clip of E:60’s Travis Hamonic profile below. Tonight’s episode also includes an in-depth NFL profile of Tampa Bay Buccaneers All-Pro defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and a feature on former MLB pitching standout Randy Johnson on his new life’s passion.