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Inside The Veterans Day “Salute to Service SportsCenter Special,” Airing Tonight On ESPN And Sunday On ABC

ESPN coordinating producer and Navy veteran Michael Berggren: " . . . I understand what it is like to wear the uniform and what the personal sacrifices are for mission success."

Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman. ESPN and Sports Content, and Sal Paolantonio at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (Tom Engle/ESPN)

ESPN continues its annual weeklong Veterans Day tribute with the America’s Heroes  SportsCenter Special: Salute to Service from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Coast Guard Station New York. Hosted by SportsCenter anchor Michael Eavesthe hour-long program airs tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on ABC.  

The America’s Heroes tribute explores the intersection of service and sports from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCG) as it revisits the Coast Guard’s role during 9-11 and its current responsibility in protecting the waterways surrounding New York City. ESPN personalities including  commentators Elle Duncan, Marty Smith and Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content, Jimmy Pitaro , will also appear – highlighting veterans and active members of the U.S. Armed Forces.  

Jimmy Pitaro and U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Kelly
Berggren Shooting B-roll at USCGA Football Game

Michael Berggren, former Electronics Technician (ET2/SS) 2nd Class, Submarine Qualified U.S. Navy Veteran,has been a part of the ESPN’s Veterans Week coverage many timesthroughout his 15-year career at ESPN as coordinating producer. However, Berggren worked on the centerpiece SportsCenter  segment for the first time this year, and in three different roles. His personal experience as a Navy Veteran and submariner contributed to an authentic narrative, honoring veterans and troops. 

“As a former ET2/SS U.S. Navy Veteran, I understand what it is like to wear the uniform and what the personal sacrifices are for mission success. I jump at any chance I get to help show appreciation for active duty, retired military, or Veterans,” he said. 

With Berggren serving as lead editor, creative consultant, and contributing shooter on the show, the editors took on more prominent roles than ever to make this feature an honoring truth. They shot in New London, Ct., and Coast Guard Station New York, from USCG learning facilities, ships, helicopters, and more.  

“Almost five terabytes of content was captured on seven different types of cameras over six days of shooting,” Berggren said. “The editing process involved organizing a significant amount of footage and sound onto individual hard drives and shipping them across the country.” 


Berggren and Regime Ready for Take-off
USCGA Regimental Review

Berggren was joined by Julio Pazos and Nubia De La Vega, who served as creative studio editors and producer editor Lauren Vassallo, and audio design editor Jason Finberg, in collaboration with producer Tom Engle and several teams across the company, including SCEU, Features Unit, Marketing, and Studio. 

ESPN’s Veterans Week salute continues throughout the weekend and during Monday Night Football. 



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