Saturday afternoon’s college basketball matchup on ESPN2 between Notre Dame and Syracuse may have been a loss for the Orange, but it was a huge win for ESPN’s Mike Couzens, who, following the telecast (off-air) – and at the broadcast table – proposed to Erin Beadle, his girlfriend of four-and-a-half years.
“I’d been trying to get her to take a basketball road trip with me for some time, and this game at Syracuse worked out perfectly,” said Couzens, a 2010 graduate of SU’s SI Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Earlier in the week, he shared his plans for the “post-game proposal” with a number of ESPN colelagues, including a blessing from ESPN college basketball coordinating producers David Ceisler and Shawn Murphy, game producer Thomas Morrissey, fellow Syracuse alum Ed Levine, color analyst Cory Alexander and Syracuse’s Director of Athletic Communications for men’s basketball, Pete Moore.
Mike Waters, the long-time Orange beat writer for the Syracuse Post-Standard and a friend of Couzens, also arranged for the newspaper’s photographers to capture the proposal.
In order to get Erin, a graduate of Miami-Ohio, to put on a headset and sit alongside Couzens postgame, Alexander, the former Virginia point guard, dished out yet another assist.
“Cory told Erin that we wanted to get her on headset to talk about her travel experience [she didn’t get to the game until halftime], because we were doing a short piece on how the weather had been,” Couzens said. “She didn’t want to do it at first, but being the convincing guy that Cory is, he gave her a look as if to say, ‘We need you in that chair’ and she obliged.”
“It was, like our telecasts, a total team effort,” Morrissey said. “Mike and I began discussing the game Tuesday morning, and he explained his plan and asked if we could put his pictures in order and play them while they were both at the desk after the game. In true television fashion, Mike had everything timed out.
“It was certainly out of the ordinary for us,” he said. “But I was glad we were successfully able to be a small part of a special and memorable day for them.”
The memory nearly got foiled by Syracuse’s renowned weather.
“It was a little nerve-wrecking on my part because I didn’t really have a good backup plan,” Couzens said.
Now, the planning must begin for the couple’s anticipated Spring 2019 wedding.
“After the production for the engagement, I think the only way we can go bigger is to have a MegaCast for the wedding. We’ll see if we can’t somehow incorporate ‘Dance Floor Cam’ into the festivities!”
Amanda Brooks contributed to this post.