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Good to the Bone: The Mini Oral History on the Making of a Memorable Feel Good Friday
"I think one of my favorite things from Jordan's story was people online saying he 'graduated on ESPN.' That's a pretty awesome takeaway."
Now, perhaps more than ever, we need things to feel good about. SportsCenter’s “Feel Good Friday” began well before almost anyone knew what a PPE was and has rounded into a cozy, safe, uplifting place within Friday SCs at noon.
Last week’s edition – seen in the video above – features anchor Randy Scott interviewing Detroit Piston (and former Tennessee Vol) Jordan Bone and his mom, Karen. The segment resonated in a very noticeable way, prompting Front Row to discover – in mini-Oral History format – how such memorable TV came together:
Jill Frederickson, Senior Vice President, Production & Content Strategy
“What made this story so special was we were able to create a memorable moment for a professional athlete and his mother, surprising them both and allowing them to show the raw emotion of what it meant for Jordan to graduate from college.”
Michael “Eppy” Epstein, Noon SC Coordinating Producer
“I think people realize how much we missed during this pandemic and quarantine, so it was nice to see someone celebrated with something he didn’t get a chance to experience – and really wouldn’t get the chance. The graduation experience is a one-time thing, and it wasn’t going to happen for Jordan.”
Randy Scott, SportsCenter Anchor
“Most of these stories come from something someone saw on Twitter, which let’s be honest, isn’t always the most positive place. And then the segments get life in social media, which I think we hope puts more of that positivity out there, too. [Talent producer] Allyson Turner is amazing, she’s the best at what she does, and she’s made so many of these segments possible by setting up the details and logistics of the interviews themselves.”
Allyson Turner, Talent Producer
“It started with a call from Eppy, who originally had the idea for UT to make this “official” for Jordan. From there, several calls with Eppy and then separate calls to [fellow Talent Producer] Kareem [White] to book Jordan and his mom and then a bunch of calls with people at UT. I counted easily 50 emails between producers for SportsCenter, Kareem, and UT personnel leading up to Friday. It took a ton of teamwork to make this a really special moment for him and his family and something they will always remember.”
Tom Satkowiak, University of Tennessee Assoc. Athletic Dir. for Communications
“That incredible ‘mission accomplished’ moment he shared with his mother on SportsCenter really caps Jordan’s legacy as a Vol.”
“We didn’t expect to have Vols Coach Rick Barnes and Chancellor Donde Plowman together to have them make it so special for not only Jordan but his Mom, too. Her emotions made it more impactful to the viewer because it wasn’t just Jordan who missed something; it was his Mom; it was his family. That sort of hit home for a lot of people, I think.”
Nicole Briscoe, SportsCenter Anchor
“Feel Good Friday is great because it’s the very basis of why we love sports. They make us feel . . . connected, loved, happy, excited. They give us hope, and sometimes they make us cry, too. Some of the very best “FGFs” have made us feel all of those emotions in just a couple of minutes.”
“I think one of my favorite things from Jordan’s story was people online saying he ‘graduated on ESPN.’ That’s a pretty awesome takeaway.”
Andy Hall contributed to this post.