More than halfway through the Monday Night Football slate two things are clear: ESPN’s ratings are up and SportsCenter’s Scott Van Pelt is owning halftime.
Van Pelt has been contributing interviews with some of sports’ biggest newsmakers during the MNF intermission, longer versions of which run during his midnight ET SportsCenter, following the game. This week, in anticipation of Tuesday night’s Champions Classic (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET) Van Pelt will speak (separately) with Kentucky head coach John Calipari and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski during halftime of the Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers contest.
“As a kid in Pittsburgh I always dreamed of being on MNF like my Steelers,” Calipari told Front Row. “This isn’t exactly the way I envisioned it, but Scott is a pretty good alternative to Howard Cosell, I suppose.”
Van Pelt has been loving the opportunity to give fans ample reason to stick around during the break.
“These halftime spots are fun, but a challenge for me,” Van Pelt said. “Two or three minutes forces me to be brief, which isn’t my strength. These are typically the biggest names in sports and to get the chance to visit with them both at the half, then in longer form for our show has been great. Our guests have been very gracious with their time. Hopefully they see these as spots as a worthwhile place to be seen and heard.”
Bill Hofheimer and Andy Hall contributed to this post.