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The Monday Lineup: Kenny Mayne returns to SportsCenter tonight PLUS: Six ESPN moments from the weekend

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Kenny’s cohorts say:

“Finally, I get to work with someone who is my equal when it comes to sweating when seeing the name Nikolai Khabibulin on a highlight sheet. I can’t wait to see the look in his eyes!” – Neil Everett, Kenny’s co-anchor

“During his ‘observation day’ I think Kenny found it was pretty much like riding a bike — once he attended a couple of show meetings and we showed him the rundown, it all came back pretty quickly. Even though it was really just an observation period, he jumped in right away and started pitching story ideas which was a hit with the show group. Kenny is a perfect fit for the LA show — we like to take a few risks, so I see Kenny fitting into this mix extremely well. He will undoubtedly add an interesting twist and delivery to the SportsCenter product. –
Sandy Nunez, coordinating producer[/box] [box color=black size=small align=right]

Kenny’s Comeback Calendar

Mon. 11 p.m. PT w/Neil Everett
Tue. 10 p.m. PT w/Stan Verrett
Wed. 10 p.m. PT w/Neil Everett
Thu. 10 p.m. PT w/Neil Everett
Fri. 10 p.m. PT solo[/box]

Note: Kenny Mayne looks ahead to tonight’s 11 p.m. PT SportsCenter, which he anchors for the first time since 2008:

There’s some chance this is part of an ESPN step-down program because in addition to asking me to return to SportsCenter-LA part time, the bosses offered me an assistant starter position at the ESPN golf course.

That said, I’m thrilled to return to the show I grew up watching. Actually, I was 19 when the show started. But I hadn’t matured. Still haven’t. How mature can you be if your job is to watch sports for a living? The people in the LA office were very nice on my first day of orientation. One of them said hello.

Maybe it was like when a rookie hits a home run and the veteran players ignore him. I’m really feeling the love. Another LA employee showed me how to pay for a pop at the self-checkout pantry. I don’t think my credit card swipe worked, so the truth is I have stolen $1.50 worth of Coca-Cola from ESPN.

I hope I can find a way to repay ESPN for the beverage and for the opportunity to return to SportsCenter. I like soft drinks that much.

I asked the security guard at the front entrance if I need to sign up for a permanent pass to get in the building when I come down from Seattle to do the shows. He said he’d just let me in. I hope that guy is working Oct. 14th.

Dan Quinn contributed to this post.

1. Andrew Luck and Jon Gruden together again – last time they chatted, America – and Frank Caliendo – were introduced to “Spider 2 Y Banana.”

Jon Gruden's "Gruden Extra" segment on tonight's MNF game will feature Andrew Luck, who makes his MNF debut against the Chargers (8:25 p.m. ET). (Chris Wondoloski/ESPN).
Jon Gruden’s “Gruden Extra” segment on tonight’s Monday Night Countdown (6:30 p.m. ET) game will feature Andrew Luck, who makes his MNF debut against the Chargers (8:25 p.m.). (Chris Wondoloski/ESPN).

2. US Soccer got another pre-World Cup win.


3. Washington State’s famous flag flew at GameDay – even though it was in hostile territory. The GameDay crew returns to Clemson for Saturday’s ACC clash between the Tigers and Florida State (8 p.m., ABC).

4. A group of ESPNers were immersed in NASCAR again this weekend – and they loved it. Check back with Front Row this week for more behind the scenes from the immersion.

5. ESPN’s Nomar Garciaparra helped open the ALCS on Saturday night by throwing out the first pitch. That may have been a footnote after last night’s epic come-from-behind win by the Red Sox. But The Lineup still acknowledges its significance.

6. Tom Rinaldi again does what Tom Rinaldi does best with this piece on the grandfather of Washington running back Bishop Sankey.

Bill Hofheimer, Andy Hall and Kristen Hudak contributed to this post

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