The graphics you see on SportsCenter and the statistics the anchors share on live television have a lot to do with the work the Stats and Information team does behind the scenes at all hours of the day. Front Row sat down with the four current interns in the Statistics and Information Group (SIG).
Dylan Edwards, University of Mississippi, majoring in Journalism:
What has been the best part about interning at ESPN?
Being behind the scenes at shows I’ve watched all my life has been crazy. It’s still surreal to walk by those television personalities and realize we both are employed by the same company this summer. I also never really thought about how much work from so many people goes into a show. After observing how it’s done, it really gives a different appreciation when you turn on SportsCenter.
What has been the most challenging part?
Stats and Info has a broad range of resources. The most difficult part has just been becoming familiar with them all. It’s pretty easy to know what you want to find. You just have to select the most efficient way of finding that information.
Meghan O’Donnell, University of Delaware, majoring in Sport Management and Mass Communication:
How has it been working in the Stats & Info Group while covering a live event?
It’s been a great learning experience. It’s cool to be in that time sensitive situation and jump in there where you have to come up with a stat right away. Everyone helps you out too. It’s really a team environment.
What’s the most obscure stat you’ve had to come up with?
I got to help research a stat about how for the last 32 years the NBA champion has had a former teammate of Shaquille O’Neal on it. That was a cool one.
Douglas Jampol, University of North Carolina, majoring in Economics:
What is it like to work in statistics during a live event?
I work a lot of live baseball games monitoring the data feeds and updating the scoreboards. I do that every day. During the games I’ll also write game notes. For example, Dallas Keuchel became the first [Houston] Astros pitcher to record 10 wins before the All-Star break since 2005. So I sent that as a note and it got on the midnight SportsCenter twice.
Andrés Rodríguez, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, majoring in Mechanical Engineering
After your internship is complete, what are you hoping you’ve gotten out of this?
I’m studying mechanical engineering back home and I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my life yet. Working with the analytics is one of my main interests. This internship has been a learning experience and is a great start if I want to continue working with analytics and study math or statistics.