The Monday Lineup: 7 ESPN moments from the weekend and for the week ahead PLUS: Life as a pregnant SportsCenter anchor

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Lindsay Czarniak with her husband, Craig Melvin

Later this morning, in Front Row’s kick off to a special week of holiday posts, we will share SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak’s first-person feature on her experiences as a pregnant SportsCenter anchor. Czarniak and her husband, Craig Melvin, are expecting their first child in March.

Here, as a prelude to that post, is the opening portion of Czarniak’s piece. Highlights from the weekend and a look ahead to Christmas Week with ESPN, begins after this sneak peek:

My husband, Craig Melvin (I call him by his last name and will do so from here on out) and I could not be more excited to welcome our first child this March . . . expected to arrive on St. Patrick’s Day, in fact.

We got the good news in July. Melvin had just gotten back from a business trip. He is an anchor and reporter for MSNBC/NBC News. One of my favorite moments early on was when he high-fived the doctor in the office when she confirmed that, yes, we indeed are having a baby.

Since then, we’ve been calling the baby SAM. It stands for “sexually ambiguous” because we have chosen to not find out the sex of our child beforehand. SAM has been with me now for seven months.

It really dawned on me how close we are the other day when Melvin looked at me as we stood in our nursery trying to visualize our color scheme (I was doing more of that than he was) and Melvin blurted out: “WE HAVE TO GET OUR (expletive) TOGETHER. THIS BABY COULD COME ANY DAY.”

I told him I’m pretty sure it’s not the man who’s supposed to be saying things like that. . . and that SAM certainly doesn’t need that kind of pressure. That being said, I probably had my most productive weekend of baby preparation beginning the next day.

For more of Czarniak’s experiences, check back with Front Row later this morning. Now, what you may have missed over the weekend and what’s coming up from ESPN:

1. Tonight’s “Gruden’s Extra” on Monday Night Countdown (prior to Falcons-49ers on ESPN t 8:25 p.m. ET) features Jon Gruden’s conversation with former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo. The pair spoke Friday at Gruden’s Tampa office.

Jon Gruden and former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo (Photo: Anthony DeVita)
Jon Gruden and former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo (Photo: Anthony DeVita)

2. Outside the Lines will be back on ESPN after the Super Bowl.

3. Wednesday’s Christmas basketball line-up on ABC and ESPN spans the entire day – and the season’s spirit is not lost on NBA Countdown’s Jalen Rose.

4. #Bowls4Bowls.

5. Once again, E:60 has a must-see feature. Look for #Longshot on SportsCenter.

6. Numbers Never Lie with a neat “Rap-up” of 2013.

7. ESPN’s Nancy Cooney, a member of the group that founded the Association for Women in Sports Media, is being honored with the 2014 Mary Garber Pioneer Award, AWSM’s highest honor.

Bill Hofheimer contributed to this post

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