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Crisscrossing the Continent: In 13 days, ESPN’s versatile PxP voice Mike Monaco expertly juggles myriad assignments, more than 10,000 miles of travel

Between April 16-28, Monaco will have called eight games involving three different sports in places like Tallahassee, Fla., Vancouver, B.C., and seemingly everywhere in between. Forgive him if he sets off the occasional hotel smoke alarm

As one of the industry’s most versatile broadcasters adept at calling games in a variety of sports, ESPN play-by-play voice Mike Monaco is no stranger to busy travel periods. But even for him, his latest ongoing stretch is one for the history books. 

Between April 16-28, Monaco will have called eight games in three different sports – NHL, college baseball, and football – crisscrossing North America and bringing fans everywhere the games they love.

And as he explains below, a recent attempt at in-room dry cleaning caused an alarming ruckus during one of his hotel stays.


But he journeys on, calling college baseball in Boston’s Fenway Park yesterday before visiting Washington, D.C. for a UFL game on Sunday, April 28 (12 p.m. ET, ESPN – see his itinerary below). 

From Vancouver International Airport in British Columbia, Canada, Monaco recently found some time to answer a few questions about what has prepared him for this stretch.  

Mike Monaco produced the video; Rich Arden created the illustration (ESPN)

(Bob Leverone / ESPN Images)


  • Mike Monaco is a versatile and accomplished play-by-play announcer for ESPN. Adept at calling a variety of sports, Monaco joined ESPN in 2019 and has called Major League Baseball, NHL, Little League World Series, basketball, college baseball, football, lacrosse, volleyball and softball events.
  • Prior to joining ESPN and the ACC Network, Monaco was with FOX Sports and the Big Ten Network from 2017-19, where he called football, hockey, basketball, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, volleyball and softball. Monaco also previously called college basketball for NBC Sports and four seasons of college basketball games at Western Michigan University..
  • In addition to his work with ESPN, Monaco also currently serves as the fill-in play-by-play announcer for Boston Red Sox broadcasts on NESN. He has also called games for the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox.
  • Born and raised in Cohasset, Massachusetts, Monaco attended the University of Notre Dame. While in South Bend, he served as a play-by-play broadcaster, reporter and host for his alma mater, including on nationally syndicated Notre Dame football shows.

Is this your busiest travel schedule to date?
I tried to self-impose a gag order on talking too much about my travel  – it’s kind of like talking about your fantasy football team – because far better announcers have probably had far busier stretches. But yes, this was one of my craziest stretches ever. 

I’ve had a bunch of games on consecutive days before, but never going from Florida to Western Canada and back to the East Coast. Shout out to our awesome Disney Travel team — they helped me through cancellations and delays. At one point or another I had a hotel room in five different cities for Saturday night because of flight cancellations. 

April 16: NHL: Chicago Blackhawks @ Vegas Golden Nights (Las Vegas)

April 18: College Baseball: UNC @ NC State (out of Charlotte studio)

April 20: College Football: FSU Spring Showcase: Tallahassee, Fla.

April 21: NHL Playoffs, Nashville @ Vancouver Game 1 (Vancouver)

April 22: NHL, LAK @ Edmonton Game 1 (Edmonton)

April 23: NHL, Nashville @ Vancouver Game 2 (Vancouver)

April 25: College Baseball, UVA @ BC (Fenway Park, Boston)

April 28: UFL Football: St. Louis @ DC (Washington, D.C.)

Where does your expertise in such a variety of sports come from? What sports did you play growing up?

I was a sports-crazed kid, and my favorite sport was whatever season it was. I played football, soccer, basketball, and baseball in high school — not very well, mind you — and it’s really all I cared about when I was young. I knew I wanted to work in sports, and when I went to college, I was really fortunate to get a ton of experience broadcasting different sports — everything from football to fencing at Notre Dame.

Who are some of the versatile broadcasters that you looked up to and have gotten advice from? 

There are so many incredible announcers I look up to and who have been mentors to me, and so many with great versatility that I admire. [ESPN commentator] Sean McDonough, Jason Benetti, Adam Amin, Brian Anderson and so many others have been incredibly generous to me with their time and advice. I heard [ESPN Monday Night Football commentator] Joe Buck once talk about how he’d manage his time and his prep when bouncing between the NFL and the MLB postseason, and that’s stuck with me.

What are your study habits on the road? How do you keep all of the names, stats and games straight?

I probably get some really weird looks on airplanes. I make color-coordinated flashcards for hockey to memorize names and numbers because the game moves so fast for me, so I’ll be quizzing myself on planes. Sometimes I’ll watch film on the treadmill. I listen to a lot of recent games of the teams I’m covering while I’m putting together my boards, so that helps me get familiar with them.

 I was really thankful on this trip for some really kind NHL coaches and PR directors who were flexible with their schedules so we could talk in the evening before games rather than in the mornings.

Mike Monaco reviews his NHL game notes in Vancouver. (Mike Monaco/ESPN)

What’s the story behind the hotel suit-steaming adventure and subsequent X post? 

When I left to go to Las Vegas on April 15, I only needed a suit for one of my games. When I found out mid-trip that I had three or potentially four more hockey games without going home in between, I had my family ship me a couple more of my suits to Tallahassee. 

Once I got to Vancouver, they were pretty wrinkled. I put the shower on in the bathroom to steam the suits, but I left the shower on too long and the smoke alarm in my room went off. It was blaring. My neighbors loved me, I’m sure.

[ESPN broadcast statistician] Blake Warye [on Monaco’s left in the picture] was with me in Vegas, worked remotely for the Charlotte game, in-person in Tallahassee, and then all three NHL games in Canada.

In addition to being an incredibly good stats guy and a great friend, he’s a workhorse. I think he’s working every single day through the end of May. 

Also, a shoutout to [ESPN NHL analyst] AJ Mleczko [on Monaco’s right in the picture], who had it way tougher than me having to learn six different teams with three different series in three straight days.

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