Behind The ScenesESPN AudioInside ESPNStarting 5Team Player

“Team Player”: Adnan Virk with Dan Stanczyk

Virk and Stanczyk work together in the studio during a Cinephile podcast. (Michael Skarka/ESPN)
Producer Dan Stanczyk (L) with Adnan Virk.
(Michael Skarka/ESPN)

Adnan Virk is the classic five-tool player. From Major League Baseball and college football to ESPN Radio and podcasts, Virk’s on-air roles span the ESPN broadcasting gamut.

Virk’s standing as ESPN’s resident film critic is especially near and dear to his heart. His popular movie podcast Cinephile is available at the ESPN Podcenter.

In this edition of “Team Player,” Virk shines the spotlight on ESPN Radio producer Dan Stanczyk, whom Virk credits with the success of his self-described “passion project.”

ESPN Radio Producer Dan Stanczyk on working with Adnan:

“Working with Adnan is fun, engrossing and frenetic. His knowledge of – and passion for – films is incredible. Honestly, sometimes it’s like listening to Mel Kiper, Jr. Talk about interior lineman from UTEP. Adnan also does a great job of making everyone around him feel included.”

What makes Dan successful in his role?
I’m as astounded as anyone at the success of our podcast, Cinephile, and the credit for that more than anyone goes to my good friend, radio producer Dan Stanczyk. He’s the one who developed a framework for our twice monthly podcast. It’s one thing to say I love movies and can blab about them endlessly. It’s quite another to have someone smart enough to execute the plan in an engaging manner and still bust my chops about it as frequently as is needed on and off the air.

How does he help you do your job to the best of your ability?
Dan not only identified my personal passions but encouraged me to explore the podcast space as much as I like. He values not only my personal opinions on films, which he thinks is the essence of Cinephile, but also my personal tidbits and connections to films and the sometimes ridiculous amount of passion I have for them (like the time I drove 2-1/2 hours to New York and dropped my wife and kids off at Shake Shack while I devoured [director Martin]Scorsese’s “Silence,” last Dec. 23). He also challenges me on my film tastes with his own impressive pedigree and love of movies, which makes him the ‘People’s Champ’ or ‘Everyman’ of the podcast.

Describe a time when he went above and beyond to help you.
Whether it’s coming in on his days off, staying at work hours past his allotted shift (Dan is up at 2:30 a.m. for his work as a producer on the behemoth that is Mike & Mike – and doesn’t leave until 2 p.m.) or being willing to delay vacation if need be, I can’t find a more committed person to my passion project. He’s been invaluable to me in ways that words can’t detail and without him, Cinephile would cease to exist. He also works expertly with the dedicated people who form the Talent Office to get us the best guests we can. I only hope his dedication and hard work benefit him here at ESPN, perhaps someday landing in the front office of his beloved New York Knicks and pulls off the ultimate miracle and brings a championship back to that eternally hopeless franchise.