ESPN History

Tangled up in Dylan’s SportsCenter

The 70th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s birth, today May 24, brings to my mind an episode of SportsCenter that aired on July 16, 1989.

That night, Dylan played across the street from ESPN at the Lake Compounce Amusement Park. In deference to Bob, SportsCenter hosts Chris Berman and John Saunders worked Dylan references or lines into their scripts 23 times, at least 16 before the first commercial break.

Nuggets like “It’s a hard rains a gonna fall in Cincinnati where Pete ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more” were easy to come by and rolled off their tongues.

Last week, Front Row caught up with Berman and Saunders at the dedication of the V Courtyard .  

Saunders said, “Dylan was playing across the street that night and we just decided to have some fun.”  

Berman added: “I can’t believe you remember that!  It was the 11 o’clock Sunday show and it remains one of our favorite shows 22 years later.”

What Dylan lyrics could you work into a highlight reel?

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