Behind The ScenesSportsCenter

Eleven-minute tale: 2014’s SportsCenter Stories of the Year


SportsCenter Top Stories of 2014 recap includes:

• Michael Sam becomes the first openly-gay NFL player
• Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart shoves fan
• Derek Jeter’s retirement
• Donald Sterling banned for life by NBA
• LeBron James returns to the Cavaliers
• Little Leaguer Mo’ne Davis stars in Williamsport
• Post-race altercation between NASCAR drivers Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon
• Florida State’s Jameis Winston suspended for first half against Clemson
• Lauren Hill playing for Mount St. Joseph while battling brain cancer
• Ray Rice suspended indefinitely in wake of elevator video
• Adrian Peterson suspended after being indicted for negligent injury to a child
• Roger Goodell’s news conference addressing domestic violence
• Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness of ALS
• Bengals player Devon Still’s daughter Leah Sari suffers Neuroblastoma stage 4 cancer

It was a year when off-the-court drama seemed never-ending and when the tug-at-the-heartstring stories had all the more impact. From Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson to Pete Frates and Lauren Hill, sports once again gave us indelible memories spanning the spectrum.

And SportsCenter was there every step of the way as confirmed by the retrospective package, “Top Stories of 2014” (airing on SportsCenter throughout the next week).

SportsCenter has put together ‘Plays of the Year,’ ‘Sounds of the Year,’ and ‘Images of the Year,’ but with ‘Top Stories of 2014’ we were able to dig deeper into the various layers of the biggest stories,” said senior coordinating producer Michael Shiffman. “Here we’ve captured Adam Silver’s decision on Donald Sterling; the Ray Rice issue; and Mo’ne Davis highlights, and ended with a music montage of great moments, things that didn’t really fit in as stories – like the Odell Beckham catch – but that people were really talking about.”

The 11-minute opus aimed to include the best of the best and the most memorable of the memorable.

“We didn’t want to limit it to a Top 10 if there were more deserving stories, or stretch it if there were less than a designated number,” Shiffman said. “A certain length or number of stories would have prevented us from making it as strong as possible.”

Conceived by senior production manager Thomas Kintner, producer Jen Chafitz had the task of creating the fast-moving look back.

“This piece is really about all the hard work done by those who worked on SportsCenter the past 12 months, whether in Bristol, or reporting on the road,” Chafitz said. “What we did was compile their best moments and show how their collaborative efforts told the best sports stories of the year.”

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