ESPN’s Weeklong Salute to Veterans Day

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ESPN’s Weeklong Salute to Veterans Day

2009 photos of ESPN’s America’s Heroes: A Salute to Our Veterans. Listen to SportsCenter anchor Josh Elliott’s most memorable moment from West Point in 2009.

Veterans_DayAmerica’s Heroes: A Salute to Our Veterans, Nov. 6-11

ESPN will honor veterans and troops of the United States armed services November 6-11 with America’s Heroes: A Salute to Our Veterans, culminating in special SportsCenter editions live from U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr Parade Field in Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 11. The schedule of programs will connect sports with military service and pay tribute to those who have served and do so today. Additionally, throughout the week, ESPN will carry messaging on its various U.S. platforms to drive donations to the USO in support of the troops, their families, veterans and wounded warriors.

Programming Highlights:  

On Saturday, Nov. 6, College GameDay (9 a.m. ET on ESPNU, 10 a.m. – noon on ESPN and ESPN Mobile TV) will profile Indiana University college football player Kevin Bush, a military veteran.

On Sunday, Nov. 7, Bob Ley will host Outside the Lines (9 a.m., ESPN) live from the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. The show will feature an essay by Ley on World War II vets who played professional sports. Another piece will take a closer look at the nation’s first golf course designed for disabled veterans, The American Lake Veterans Golf Course, located at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital near Seattle. The segment will include an interview with golf legend Jack Nicklaus, who volunteered to redesign the existing nine holes and design a second nine holes.

Sunday’s tribute will continue with stories about Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress and his son Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew Childress on Sunday NFL Countdown (11 a.m., ESPN), and about former NASCAR owner and decorated WWII veteran Bud Moore, recently selected in the second class of inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, on NASCAR Countdown (2 p.m., ESPN).

On Monday, Nov. 8, Jay Crawford and Dana Jacobson will host First Take live from the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier in Norfolk, Va. (10 a.m., ESPN2).  That evening, a special edition of Friday Night Fights will pit Heriberto Ruiz against Rico Ramos in a 10-round junior featherweight main event following two Marine Corps amateur bouts from the United States Marine Corps Air Station in Jacksonville, N.C. (8 p.m., ESPN2, ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV).

Monday Night Countdown (7 p.m., ESPN) will offer a feature about an event the Pittsburgh Steelers hosted for wounded veterans.  The pregame show will lead into Monday Night Football (Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals) at 8:30 p.m., which will include joint messages from the NFL and ESPN supporting the USO and in-stadium activities on the field. Earlier in the day, ESPN will also host a MNF Chalk Talk event at the Cincinnati Music Hall where 20 disabled veterans and 30 active duty military members will be present.

On Tuesday, Nov. 9, The Herd with Colin Cowherd (10 a.m. – 1 p.m., ESPN Radio/ESPNU) and SportsNation with hosts Cowherd and Michelle Beadle (4 p.m., ESPN2) will both originate from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

On Wednesday, Nov. 10, Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg of Mike and Mike in the Morning (6-10 a.m., ESPN Radio/ESPN2) will broadcast live from the United States Coast Guard Cutter USS Mohawk in Key West, Fla. The latest and current Mohawk (the sixth with this name) is an active vessel that will be returning from a three-week patrol. Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, the 1963 Heisman Trophy winner at the Naval Academy, who served in the Vietnam War before leading the Dallas Cowboys to five Super Bowls, will be a guest on that morning’s show at 9 a.m.

ESPN’s flagship news and information program, SportsCenter, will add to the special programming Monday, Nov. 8, with taped segments featuring anchors Josh Elliott and Hannah Storm from Grafenwoehr, Germany, and will culminate with a live edition from Grafenwoehr Parade Field, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11. Vignettes on army personnel in Germany will spotlight Major Keith Matiskella, and a pair of women in leadership roles, Captain Danielle Cork and Sergeant Alicia Anderson.   

Additional features and vignettes on ESPN programming throughout the week:   

  • “Salute to the Troops” and “Salute from the Troops” vignettes;
  • Rocky Bleier: the former Steeler and Vietnam War veteran discusses his military experience;
  • Danielle Green-Byrd: former Notre Dame basketball player who enlisted after graduation and lost her arm in action;
  • U.S. Navy Lt. Commander and SUNY Maritime College head football coach Clayton Kendrick-Holmes, who will be deployed to Afghanistan at the end of the season;
  • E:60 will profile 62-year-old Vietnam War veteran Mike Reeder, who at the age of 21 lost both legs in an explosion. Nineteen years later, Reeder took up golf and in August lived a dream playing the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland;
  • ESPN Films’ “A Fighting Chance” tells the story of Kyle Maynard, who was born without arms or legs. At 23 years-old, Kyle has already become a nationally-ranked wrestler, ESPY award-winner, motivational speaker and best-selling author. He shares his “No Excuses” philosophy to recovering military veterans and speaks about what life can be like when every day is a battle.

A year ago, ESPN’s America’s Heroes: A Salute to Our Veterans programming around Veterans Day featured live editions of SportsCenter from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Mike and Mike in the Morning broadcasting from the USS New York, and College Gameday live from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., among other highlights. Also, in September 2004, ESPN helped recognize servicemen and women overseas with the SportsCenter: Salute The Troops series originating from Camp Arifjan Army base in Kuwait.

Corporate Outreach:

In celebration of Veterans Week, Team ESPN, the corporate outreach program of ESPN, is launching a multi-faceted program, including driving donations to the USO on ESPN programming; employee collections of apparel and items at ESPN’s U.S. offices for troops, their families, veterans and wounded warriors; commentators’ and employees’ visits to Veterans Hospitals; and postcards to send to the troops during the holidays. 

 

America’s Heroes: A Salute to Our Veterans Schedule:

Date Program Time (ET)
Sat, Nov 6 College GameDay 9 a.m., ESPNU /10 a.m. – noon, ESPN and ESPN Mobile TV 
Sun, Nov 7 Outside the Lines live from The National World War II Museum in New Orleans, La. 9 a.m., ESPN
  Coverage from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway presented by GODADDY.com 3 p.m., ESPN
Mon, Nov 8 First Take live from the USS George H.W. Bush in Norfolk, Va. 10 a.m. – noon, ESPN2
  ESPN Films: “A Fighting Chance” 7 p.m., ESPN2
  Friday Night Fights special edition from United States Marine Corps Air Station in Jacksonville, N.C. 8 p.m., ESPN2, ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV
  Monday Night Countdown feature on the Steelers and wounded veterans 7 p.m., ESPN
Tues, Nov 9 The Herd with Colin Herd live from the United States Military Academy at West Point 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.,ESPN Radio/ESPNU 
  SportsNation live from the United States Military Academy at West Point 4 p.m., ESPN2
Wed, Nov 10 Mike and Mike in the Morning live from the United States Coast Guard Sector in Key West, Fla. 6 – 10 a.m.,ESPN Radio/ESPN2
Thurs, Nov 11 SportsCenter live from U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr Parade Field in Grafenwoehr, Germany 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., ESPN

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Bill Hofheimer

I oversee ESPN’s pro football PR, including Monday Night Football and NFL studio shows. Other programs I work on include ESPN soccer, Around the Horn and PTI.
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