Last week, a group of Foundation staff members took a tour of the local DC television studios of ESPN’s popular programs, Pardon the Interruption, Around the Horn, and Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable. Not only did we get a great tour, but we were lucky enough to sit in the studio and watch a taping of Pardon the Interruption, as well as talk to ESPN personalities Tony Kornheiser and Tony Reali.
Our afternoon began with a meet-and-greet of staff from all three shows, who share one large space for the three newsrooms. Meeting all of the staff was a great opportunity to get our message out to others in the DC sports world. I was initially surprised at the attention we received when talking about the Foundation and some of our programs, but I soon realized that we are all part of the DC sports community and using sport in a positive way is a relatable point for everyone.
Our group also had great discussions with both Tonys (Tony Kornheiser and Tony “Stat Boy” Reali) about the work we’ve done in DC, including our field-building initiative with KIPP DC and our Soccer for Success programs that are run in partnership with DC SCORES and United for DC. For the final portion of our afternoon, we were taken into the studio for a taping of the day’s PTI broadcast. Even though Mike Wilbon was taping the show via satellite from Los Angeles, it felt like he was right there with us. Honestly, the banter between Mike and Tony was priceless. The PTI staff was gracious enough to place one of our soccer balls on the renowned PTI desk, between Tony Kornheiser’s legendary penguins and the show’s most recent Emmy.
After taking a few pictures at the end of the taping, we retreated back to the office to watch our soccer ball’s debut on ESPN that evening.
Overall, it was a fantastic day. We were able to inform others in the sports industry about our organization, as well as see where the ESPN magic happens for a few really great shows. We look forward to staying in touch with our new friends down the street.