With a steady rotation of flying and driving throughout the year, Fran Fraschilla is always in the need for downloading some fresh tunes on his iPod. But with a stretch of four games in five days starting Wednesday, nothing is more appropriate than some good traveling music.
I’m thinking Golden Earring’s Radar Love (or at least the beginning of it):
I’ve been drivin‘ all night my hand’s wet on the wheel
There’s a voice in my head that drives my heel
And my baby calls that she needs me here…
Of course, we would have to alter some words, particularly, the “baby” for “producer.” But you get the point. Fraschilla will be busy with a lot of time on the road from tonight through Monday morning.
The abridged version of his itinerary will feature the multifaceted basketball analyst (he works studio and games, men’s and women’s contests, the NBA Draft and international matchups) calling games in three different time zones from three conferences. And in the middle of this hectic run, he will also fit in some life part of his work/life balance values by attending two of his son Matt’s high school basketball games.
I know he’s not the only one hoping he doesn’t mix in the wrong teams during a telecast, similar to that dreaded gaffe I’ve heard from various bands over the years when they mistakenly give a shout out to the wrong city. But Fraschilla is a pro’s pro and seems buttoned up on this, giving me a rundown of his schedule off memory this afternoon.
He will head to Matt’s high school basketball game tonight in Dallas and then jump in the car around 9:30 p.m. (CT) for a 100-mile drive to Waco, Texas for the Kansas-Baylor game Wednesday at 6 p.m. (7 p.m. ET) on ESPN2.
“I’ll check into my hotel around 11:15 p.m. and catch some sleep,” said Fraschilla.
“I’ll do some game prep in the early morning before heading to the arena to see Kansas’ practice around 10 a.m. and Baylor’s around 12:45 p.m.”
Fraschilla will then do a little more work before heading back to the arena around 4 p.m. for the 6 p.m. tip-off. He and play-by-play partner Jon Sciambi will jump into the car at the end of the game for the 100-mile drive to a hotel by the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
|Wed., Feb. 8||7 p.m.||No. 10 Baylor at No. 6 Kansas
Jon Sciambi, Fran Fraschilla and Holly Rowe
|ESPN2 / ESPN3|
|Thurs., Feb. 9||9 p.m.||Colorado at Arizona
Jon Sciambi and Fran Fraschilla
|ESPN / ESPN3|
|Sat., Feb. 11||2 p.m.||Kansas State at Texas
Mark Jones and Fran Fraschilla
|ESPN / ESPN3|
|Sun., Feb. 12||1 p.m.||St. John’s at No. 11 Georgetown
Bob Wischusen and Fran Fraschilla
|ESPN / ESPN3|
Following a night at the hotel, they will take the same flight to Tucson, Ariz. where they work the Colorado at Arizona game at 7 p.m. MT (9 p.m. ET) on ESPN.
“We’ll land in Tucson around 10:30 a.m. and go straight to the arena to see the Colorado shoot-around, grab some lunch and then watch Arizona practice,” said Fraschilla.
“We’ll then head to our hotel room to check-in, freshen up and do some game prep before heading back to the arena around 5 p.m. for the game.”
Following the game, Fraschilla will grab a bite to eat before heading back to his room to call it a night. An early morning wake-up call for a flight back to Dallas awaits him.
“I’ll land in Dallas Friday, head home to get a change of clothes for the next part of the journey, pack the car and head out to catch another of Matt’s high school basketball games,” said Fraschilla.
At the conclusion of his son’s game, he’ll say goodbye to his family and head to the airport for a late flight to Austin for Saturday’s Kansas State-Texas matchup at 1 p.m. (2 p.m. ET) on ESPN.
“I’ll get to my hotel around midnight on Friday, but it’s great because I’ll get to see two of my son’s games in a week which I don’t always get to do,” said Fraschilla. “I’ll wake up Saturday, do some prep work and get to the arena around 10 a.m.”
Following the game, Fraschilla will head to the Austin airport for a flight to Washington (with a layover in his hometown Dallas airport) where he will work St. John’s against No. 11 Georgetown on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.
“It’s the homestretch now,” said Fraschilla. “I’ll hopefully get to the hotel in Washington around 1 a.m., get some sleep and be at the arena around 10:30 a.m. Then I’ll catch a 7 p.m. flight back to Dallas and be in my own bed for some sleep by midnight.”
Of course, the best laid plans have been foiled by overtimes, flight delays and traffic jams.