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Tony Reali, host of the popular Around the Horn who also moonlights as “Stat Boy” on Pardon the Interruption, joined ESPN in July 2000.
If you think he was originally hired for an on-air role, think again. His first job was writing and researching trivia questions for the quiz show Two Minute Drill hosted by Kenny Mayne.
Those are pretty humble beginnings for the guy who is now watched daily on two of ESPN’s most popular shows.
In this installment of the Front & Center podcast, Reali discusses office life in the ABC News Bureau in Washington, D.C., the small but close-knit ESPN outpost where PTI, ATH and Dan LeBatard is Highly Questionable are all produced.
He talks about the unexpected circumstances that thrust him into the ATH host chair in 2004, the show’s growing YouTube channel, and the daunting task of muting some of America’s most respected sports writers.
Oh yeah, he also tells the story behind the online video he filmed as an homage to the famous Copacabana scene in Goodfellas.
And, if you stick around til the end, you’ll even hear the maniacal laugh he plans to unleash as the villain ‘The Dark One’ in an upcoming episode of Disney XD’s animated Kick Buttowski.