Behind The Scenes

Mike & Mike from a NJ backyard

Ah, the serenity of springtime in New Jersey.

Well, the birds and squirrels who called this home, and Jill Gilkeson who called it her backyard, witnessed a transformation from suburbia to “studio” Monday.

ESPN Radio’s “extreme makeover” made this backyard the site of Tuesday’s Mike & Mike in the Morning broadcast.

Last July, Gilkeson’s $50 donation entered her into a sweepstakes to have co-hosts Greenberg and Golic broadcast their show from the winner’s house as the featured item of the sixth annual “Don’t Give Up ESPYs V Foundation Auction.”

On July 12 at 9 a.m. ET, her name was selected in a random drawing of more than 1,500 entries.

Monday, an ESPN Radio 12-person crew prepped for Tuesday’s pay off.

“Everyone’s very happy with the layout, it’s a real nice home, and there’s plenty of room in the front yard for parking,” said Keith Goralski, ESPN Radio’s Senior Director, Operations & Events, upon arriving in Hillsborough, N.J.

He did note last week’s storm left several trees and downed wires in the yard, with some of the clean-up still underway.

Something else not usually seen in the yard, specifically at the end of the driveway, was a Porta Potty.

“Cars driving by slow down and look twice, but it’s so the crew doesn’t track dirt into the house,” Goralski said.

Such details are taken care of by Kelly Caray, ESPN Radio’s marketing events coordinator, who was joined at the house by operations manager Carlton Young, and operations planning coordinator Jahala Chrzan.

ESPN New York 1050 engineer Rodney Belizaire would arrive when the control board and set (similar to the one used on other “remote” broadcasts) were in place, as would Mike & Mike producer Liam Chapman.

The Gilkeson’s are also doing their part as good hosts.

“There may be a little noise very early in the morning,” they’ve told their neighbors, many of whom will attend the broadcast.

More importantly, at least for Golic, Jill will be serving up brat ‘n’ cheese omelets for breakfast.

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