By Brian Spencer
We were flattered to be featured as the “Site of the Day” for the Friday, October 16, broadcast of ESPN2’s SportsNation, which has built up a relatively hardcore following in the 4 short months since it debuted. Credit some of the show’s success to its loose, conversational format that’s largely centered around fan-generated content (polls, Twitter posts, emails, etc.), but the driving forces behind its appeal are affable cohosts Michelle Beadle and Colin Cowherd, who do a fantastic job of keeping the show light and entertaining. (Recent Twitter posts include “Who do you want delivering your baby, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning?” and “What does it say about the Skins that a fake FG helped them to their best offensive game of the season?”)
Beadle was kind enough to sit down with us over email for a quick Q&A and talk about her experience on the show, her days as a sideline reporter for the San Antonio Spurs, and more. She’s also the woman behind the curtain of the growing Akron Hammer movement. Follow her on Twitter here.
SportsNation airs from Monday to Friday at 4pm & midnight on ESPN2.
ETB: With about 4 months or so under your belt as co-host of SportsNation, what’s been most challenging about doing an hour-long TV show 5 days a week?
Beadle: Honestly, it has been so much fun I’d be hard-pressed to say anything has been too difficult. Our crew works hard, but it’s always a good time. The hardest part has been moving from New York to Connecticut. That is still taking some getting used to.
ETB: How has the experience so far matched up (or not matched up) with your expectations coming into it?
Beadle: It has been even more fun than I expected. I met Colin for the first time on the day of my audition. I’d been prepped for this “character” that I’d be meeting. And he is certainly a character. But the guy works hard, and has such a way of looking at the world. I’m happy with the freedom ESPN has given us to do this show the way we want to. Very liberating.
ETB: When did you first know you wanted to get into broadcasting? How has the sportscaster job description changed since your first gig?
Beadle: I honestly had no idea that I’d be doing this for a living. It all came about almost accidentally while I was interning for the San Antonio Spurs. I was given a shot to do a story for the team’s children’s show. I was horrible. But they gave me another shot, and as it turns out I loved it. I honestly haven’t seen too many changes during my time. People still expect you to show up, having done your homework and prepared for the job.
More from SportsNation’s Michelle Beadle after the break…
ETB: During your time covering the San Antonio Spurs for Fox Sports Net and the New Jersey Nets for the YES Network, which players did you most enjoy interviewing, and why?
Beadle: Jeez, you’re going to make me pick? The Spurs seemed so long ago. I always appreciated Coach Pop and his dry sense of humor. Tim Duncan is cut from that same sarcastic cloth. As for the Nets, obviously Richard Jefferson always provided a laugh or two, even during the droughts. And Brook Lopez, unknowingly, makes for a good, goofy sound bite.
ETB: Who’s going to square off in the NBA Finals this year, and who’s going to win it?
Beadle: The easy answer would be the Lakers and Celtics. But I’m going out on a limb. Let’s do Spurs and Magic. Can you imagine? If the Spurs stay healthy, they’re definitely contenders. Magic win in 7.
ETB: With some of the NBA’s biggest stars becoming free agents next summer, what kind of an impact would it have on the league if a large number of those players switched teams?
Beadle: I find myself rooting more for individuals these days as opposed to being the fan of a team. There is a lot of player movement, whether through trades or free agency. When you follow a team and they lose their star player, it’s tough to swallow… especially for smaller-market teams when it is harder to replace a star talent.
ETB: Given the financial incentives to resign with their current teams, do you think most of these players will ultimately stay put? Outside of LeBron James, who’s the one free-agent-to-be you’d choose to build a team around?
Beadle: Brian Scalabrine – I’d build an empire around him. I’m kidding … no shock here, with LeBron out of the mix, I’d take Dwyane Wade. Done. He’s clutch, and amazing with the ball.
SportsNation airs Monday – Friday at 4pm and midnight EST on ESPN2.