SportsCenter

SportsCenter on the fly: Tonight’s 6 ET show coming from Alabama’s campus

Last week in Tuscaloosa, Ala., SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak and producer Missy Motha (each circled above) were part of an all-female production crew. (Photo courtesy Jasmine Alexander's Twitter feed)
Last week in Tuscaloosa, Ala., SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak and producer Missy Motha (each circled above) were part of an all-female production crew.
(Photo courtesy Jasmine Alexander’s Twitter feed)

Until Monday night’s college football national championship game ended, Missy Motha didn’t know where she’d be for tonight’s 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter.

Motha, the coordinating producer for the program, spent the night in Charlotte, N.C., to give herself a head start on traveling to either Clemson or Alabama this morning. The overnight location was part of her planning process for anchor Lindsay Czarniak to host tonight’s program from Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Monday night in University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., Alabama defeated Clemson, 45-40, to win the national title.

“The simple challenges are travel and thinking ahead,” she said. “If Clemson was the winner, I’d have a two-and-a-half hour drive, and if it was Alabama, I’d jump on an early flight to Birmingham and drive to Tuscaloosa. It’s one of those things I’ve never had to do before. Literally, I was going to Charlotte to wait.”

The SportsCenter on the Road crews are small, and other members of Motha’s team for the Tuesday night show were following similar strategies in either Atlanta or Charlotte.

Motha had planned to watch Monday night’s game from a hotel near the Charlotte airport, making some rough plans for SportsCenter as the game was in progress but ready to start preparations in earnest when the game ended.

The first priority once the winner was known was scheduling travel, followed by alerting and scheduling the staff and then planning the show, as well as making requests for guests to help tell the story of the day after the big win.

She hopes Czarniak will be surrounded by a sea of happy Crimson Tide fans at Alabama.

“You hope being 6 o’clock at night the students will be out of class and they’ll come down to wherever SportsCenter is going to be and it’ll be rowdy,” she said.

“It’s a little bit awkward,” Motha said. “It’s like you can’t really plan anything because the whole show is dictated where we’re coming from. It sounds simple, but that’s a pretty big challenge to not know where you’re going.”

Lindsay Czarniak and SportsCenter return to Tuscaloosa, Ala., tonight in wake of Alabama's national championship victory. Last week, Czarniak interviewed Alabama quarterback Jake Coker on campus.
Lindsay Czarniak and SportsCenter return to Tuscaloosa, Ala., tonight in wake of Alabama’s national championship victory. Last week, Czarniak interviewed Alabama quarterback Jake Coker on campus.
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