Behind The Scenes

Which way to Foxborough? ESPN employee’s car makes The Mag

If Jason (Pod Vader) Soderberg, an ESPN Audio digital media producer, told you he drove a 1998 Chevy Cavalier, it probably wouldn’t grab your attention.

But if he showed you a picture of his car, it might.

Most sports fans put a bumper sticker with their favorite team’s logo on their car to show support. Soderberg has taken that one step further.

His decked-out New England Patriots-themed car is usually parked in a lot near the building that houses ESPN Radio. But now it can also be seen in ESPN The Magazine’s “The Age Issue” — on page 12 — in mailboxes on Wednesday, on newsstands this Friday.

The Age Issue features Angels star Mike Trout on the cover.

Front Row talked with Soderberg about his car and what it’s like seeing it in The Magazine.

When did you first put the stickers on and why?
I put the stickers on about two years ago. It was an old car that I knew I’d be trading in and a fan of one of the podcasts sent us these cools stickers. I didn’t know what to do with them and then my kids suggested I put them on the car. I thought it was a great idea so I put them on and my wife came home and said, “What have you done to the car?!”

What has it been like having the stickers on the car?
It’s been pretty fun. A lot of Patriots fans will come up to me at gas stations and be like, “Yeah, go Pats!” I play tennis and I had to drive through a group of school kids and they all started cheering for the Giants. So I have to deal with that too. No one has vandalized the car though, which I’m very happy about.

How did you end up getting your picture in ESPN The Magazine?
Someone saw my car and got in touch with [ESPN] security. They left me a message via email telling me they wanted to get a picture of the car for the magazine. It’s probably the only time a 1998 Cavalier would be valuable at this point.

It was so hot the day of the shoot. I was sweating profusely in that picture, but it was fun.

What are your future plans for the car?
We are currently shopping for a car now, which makes my son very upset. He wants me to keep it for when he’s 16, which isn’t for another eight years, so I don’t think it’ll last that long.

Jason Soderberg is an ESPN Audio digital media producer. (Credit: Hannah Worster/ESPN)
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