Friday, April 13, 2012

Stephon Gilmore Takes ESPN

Working at ESPN, I often see athletes come through what we call the “ESPN Carwash”. Basically, the Carwash is when guests are cycled through a long day of visiting show after show…and answering questions for interview after interview.
It’s not very often one of my beloved Gamecocks makes it all the way up here to Bristol, CT. With three potential first round NFL Draft picks this year, though, our boys are getting some good national attention!

Having been a reporter for during my time as a student at South Carolina, I wasn’t about to miss an opportunity to ask Stephon Gilmore some questions – for old time’s sake – before he heads off to bigger and better things.

I got the chance to sit down with Stephon on Thursday night - and ask him some Gamecock worthy questions - during his visit to ESPN:

LG: What’s your impression of ESPN so far? Is it what you expected?

SG: It’s more than what I expected. I didn’t know it was this nice. They’re treating me well…and I’m enjoying my time here.

LG: What are your plans for Draft Day?

SG: I got invited to New York, so I’m going to the Draft. I have family coming…and I’ll just be waiting to hear my name called.

LG: You told me you just recently went to New York City for the first time…do you have any plans to sight see or do anything fun while you’re there?

SG: Yeah! It’s a lot...overwhelming! I’m gonna do a couple of things. They have me going to a lot of events down there…just gonna try to have fun and relax my mind, and go from there.

LG: Whose name do you think is going to be called first between you, Melvin, and Alshon?

SG: To tell you the truth, I think Melvin. (Laughs) I think Melvin will go first…and I don’t know between me and Alshon. It’s a toss-up.

LG: Have you talked to anyone who is surprised that the Gamecocks have three potential first round picks this year?

SG: I mean, I knew it was going to happen like that. It’s a good thought though – I mean, if the three of us go, there’s gotta be some good talent coming behind us. It’s setting up a good example for them…and for coaches to come to South Carolina and look at the players that are under us.

LG: How do you feel about being “the one” to start this recent trend of South Carolina’s Mr. Football signing with the Gamecocks?

SG: It’s a great feeling. I wanted to do something different than just go to Alabama or Florida…somewhere that was already good. I wanted to go to a team that was building… I think we did that at South Carolina…and I think my time there helped South Carolina’s future.

LG: Seems like a big part of why all of you guys chose to stay in state had to do with being close to your family – Mom, in particular. Is there a particular team your Mama would prefer you be drafted to? You, being from Rock Hill, I’m sure I could guess…

SG: She wants me to stay close to home…but I can’t be selfish and say “oh, I want to go here”. It’s whatever team picks me. She doesn’t really have a favorite team…so she’s just like, whatever…as long as I come see her, she’s alright. (Laughs)

LG: I’m sure you’ve been asked this way too many times…but I have to ask it. Why did you decide to enter the Draft as opposed to staying at Carolina another year?

SG: I turned my papers into the NFL Committee; got my grade back, sat down with my coaches — Coach Spurrier and Coach Ward — and they gave me some great feedback. Then, I sat down with my family and made the decision to come out of school.

LG: What are you going to miss the most about being a Gamecock?

SG: Running out to 2001. The smoke, the fans, getting chill bumps… (We laugh and high five). Just gettin’ out there and ready to play – that’s what I’ll miss most.

LG: If you end up getting drafted somewhere (that’s not the Panthers)…what, in general, are you going to miss most about the state of South Carolina?

SG: I mean…just South Carolina Football, in its whole. We’ve got GREAT fans. They come if we lose…they come if we win. They come if we lose to Clemson…but I never lost to Clemson. I never lost to Clemson in three years… (Another high five…Laughs). But like I said, just Gamecock Football as a whole. The great fans…always at games…always supportive. That’s what I’ll miss most.

LG: Anything else to tell Gamecock fans before you head to the NFL Draft?

SG: Tell them I’m gonna miss them. I really enjoyed my time there.

Repping the GAMECOCKS at ESPN!

On the set of NFL Live...

Demonstrating throwing skills on SportsCenter...

TV Segments from Stephon's visit to ESPN:
  • NFL Live Segment - Stephon talks to Mike Hill, Tedy Bruschi, and Marcellus Wiley about preparing for the NFL

SO proud of our boys, about to do BIG things! Always great to see a familiar face up here, so far from home. :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Going to make an attempt at re-starting this blog...

As you can see it's been a while since I have posted on here. Almost 2 years actually. Holy crap. Time FLIES!

A LOT has happened in the last couple of years...the details of which I will not bore you with. But, it has all lead to me to my current position as a Digital Media Production Assistant (and resident YouTube guru) here at the Worldwide Leader.

In short: I now produce and edit all the video you see on

I work in a pretty interesting place...and lead a pretty unconventional life. It's pretty much a recipe for great stories.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I knew this would happen...

See...I've gone an entire month without posting. I'm so bad at keeping up with this thing!!!
I need to do better.

Well, July 19 marks my first evaluation period in this PA Trainee program. I'm in the process of creating my "clip reel" to show my Prod Group members (the people that will vote for me to stay or not). The clip reel will include about 4 or so highlights I've produced--to show my progress in the first 3 months. At the end of my 7 month trainee period, the reel is a big chunk of what's gonna get me kept or not!
Thankfully, over the last month I've started to get WAY more comfortable doing highlights. I think it also helps for my sanity that I've been able to cut hils for a few games other than MLB. I like MLB...but the season lasts FOREVER. I'm ready for some freakin' football!

I'm proud of my World Cup hils because they are the first (and actually only) highlights I've done with absolutely no supervision. How did this happen, you ask? For the first couple of days of the World Cup I was put in charge of all the early World Cup games--being into work at 6:30am--supervisors don't come in until at least noon. SO, I had no choice but to get the hils on air for the 9a and Noon SportsCenters--with no one checking over my shoulder.
Those first highlights of the World Cup were 100% me. :)  I got no complaints about I guess no feedback is good feedback. Hopefully my Prod Group feels the same way...

The one highlight I am especially proud of (which I hope I can put up on here soon) is the one I produced for Game 1 of the CWS Championship...none other than South Carolina vs. UCLA. It meant a lot to me to be able to watch my team get one step closer to a national title (at WORK!)...and be able to show it on SportsCenter, exactly how I wanted the world to see it.
This highlight is definitely going on my reel. If you remember, game 1 was the game in which Blake Cooper held a no hitter through most of the game. I had Orel Hershiser feed me some commentary (from the booth in Omaha) on our pitching performance--and super imposed what's called a 'SOT Box' of him talking over video of Blake kicking ass on the mound.
Using things like SOT Boxes in my highlights will up the "production value" of my reel...and hopefully make it stand out.

In any case, this past week or so has been full of emotion for me. It sounds stupid, but I cried so hard when I watched my guys win the National Championship. For those of you who knew me during college, you know how involved I was in every aspect of Carolina athletics. I loved the Sarge...and for the last 2 years, I loved working every waking moment of Spring at Carolina Stadium. Whether it was working up in the press box with some of the best people ever, shooting the center field camera, hanging out in the dugout with the guys, doing features/interviews for the Tanner Show, bugging Kyle in the locker room, or getting into trouble with Jill in the luxury boxes...I got to know and love that team--and everyone involved with them. I hated being here (where no one CARES) and not with them. Or Columbia, for that matter. Definitely not in my room in Connecticut, clutching the jerseys Lipsey let me dig out of the equipment room before I left. hahaha
It also didn't help that Palmer, Alexander, and Dell had been in town for the days leading up to the Championship. Together we watched us rally against OU...and beat CLEMSON twice! watching us win without that little piece of home here with me was hard.
Thanks Andy, Lipsey, Paul, and Wes for putting up with my constant text messages... haha.

What a bittersweet feeling...

Here are some other pictures from the last month. They tell a better story than me. :)

Taking the guys on a tour of work...

The only people in the bar NOT watching the Yankees or Red Sox...

Freaking out in the middle of NYC...that gross girl and guy in the yellow are Clemson fans. HAHA

Cocks on Top of the Rock...

Showing off my Garnet and Black back in Bristol...

Random from the other day...Breesus was in Studio :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

View From the Prompter

Yup. 9am-12p...3 days a week, for now at least.
It's funny, because I've been on TV a bunch of times already--yet no one notices me! haha! When the anchors do the show opens, closes, and interviews in front of the huge monitor, I'm definitely behind the wall next to it. They're see-through, you just have to look for the computer screen and a person beside it!
Most people don't prefer prompting...but I actually don't mind doing it. For morning SC, I get to the newsroom at 7, drink my coffee, check e-mail/ENPS--basically just sit there and listen to the producer talk about what's going in the show--until it's time to print scripts. I'm pretty much left alone to observe what's going on around me--which is awesome, b/c if you know me, you know I'm not such a chatty cathy at 7am.
Scripts are the trickiest part. I have to sort them--which I explained in a previous post. Its not bad, unless we print late...then it sucks. The stacks of yellow and pink paper are each like 2 1/2 inches thick.
But anyway, once the Josh and Sage (or whoever it may be) have their scripts...I just sit and listen to the producer and scroll along with the show. I get to see how and why the producer makes the decisions he/she does...what goes down when there's breaking news...etc. It's interesting to me. Mostly because it's along the route of what I want to do. Not to mention my job is to follow along/PAY ATTENTION to SportsCenter. Torture I tell you... haaaaa. As IF! :)

Speaking of what I want to do...
I attended a Features Workshop on Tuesday (yes, my "Sunday") which demonstrated different types of lighting used in feature interviews. SO cool. I knew that lighting and natural sound added emotion to a piece, but I had forgotten how intense and dramatic lighting can be!! Shadows and colors in an interview shot can dictate the feeling of your interview. It's insane. We made this conference room we were go from bland white, to black, to a textured blue, to being outside in the sunlight, to a "living room" setting. These camera guys and lighting crews can make almost any room change into whatever the producer wants. I can't wait to get started on stuff like that. Stuff that I can actually invest my time in, day after day, and be proud of.
One day...

On a brighter note (pun intended)...the weather was GORGEOUS for my Monday/Tuesday weekend!!
My roomie Lauren and I got to the beach on Monday. It's nothing like being at home...but it's a beach with sand and water...and luckily on Monday, sun and 75 degree weather.

This cute kid was flying his kite next to us. :)
The beach we found is only about an hour away in Madison, CT. It's called Hammonasset State Park...and it's definitely on the Long Island Sound. Not the Atlantic Ocean. Weird.
There were no waves.
Oh well, I'll take what I can get. Closing my eyes and imagining being in Hilton Head or IOP will be fine for now! :)

I have an exciting next few weeks!!!! Starting Saturday I'm going to have visitors here through the end of June! :) Hobie is finally able to come visit.--Not only to see me, but to chat with his former employers at ESPN and meet with some Sports Directors at the local stations around here. It'd sure be nice to have him near by. :) :) :)
The day after Hobe leaves me...MY BOYS ARE COMING!!!!!!! I miss friends from home SO SO much. Even though it will only be for 4 days, it will be nice to GETTT WETTTT and RAGE with my boys. haha :)
But excited about all of them coming. I'm glad I'll have the chance to show them my awesome "office" and give them a first hand understanding of why I moved 14 hours away to middle of nowhere Connecticut. Although, I know they already know why. haha... It's gonna go by too fast!

At least I get to come home for a game this season! Have your tailgates and kegs ready! :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Not QUITE Chucktown...but I'll take it.

A couple of insignificant, but cool things happened this week. As I have been prompting a lot, I spend a ton of time sitting in the news room watching games. Of course on Saturday night, I had the West Conference Finals on one TV, the Stanley Cup Finals on another...and wouldn't ya know it, Roy Halladay has a perfect game going into the 7th. Time to tune in to that too! The entire news room (which consists of Talent--11p SC and 11-cl News guys at that point, producers, CPs, News Editors, etc...) was watching and debating and cheering as something happened. It's SO cool to be in a place where I'm not only watching history being made in sports--but sometimes I'm actually MONITORING for it! It was also just neat to be able to watch Roy pitch that perfect game--and see how my producer changed the run down to fit the breaking news. Talk about a learning experience!

As I was watching him finish out the game, I began to wonder--how close have any two perfect games ever been to each other? Dallas Braden JUST threw a perfect game like 2 weeks ago--so I'm thinking this has to be the closest ever. Wrong! The closest perfect games were the first two in 1880, 5 days apart from each other. The closest before this one in the "modern era" was in 1998 and 1999--a year and 3 months a part. Neat, huh? 20 Perfect games in the history of baseball.

Now, am I sad that I don't get to watch Steve Nash and the Suns anymore? You bet.

What a crazy f-ing white dude.

Memorial Day was a BEAUTIFUL day for a game at Yankee Stadium! :) So thankful I have Mondays and Tuesdays off right now so that I could spend the day outside in the sun--and actually get a little bit on my skin! haha
I'm not a Yankees fan at all--but I enjoyed their awesome new park, seeing A-Rod hit a Grand Slam, and hey--if I couldn't be in Charleston with all my best friends, at least I could get out of Bristol with some pretty cool people! :)

Did you know that A-Rod is now 5 for 5 in hitting Grand Slams after the opposing team intentionally walks Mark Teixeira to load the bases? Hilarious!

One more quick cool thing:
As I was waiting to print the scripts for OTL, they set up a flip cam interview for Colin Cowherd right in front of my SportsNation (I don't know when this particular one airs) but I'm definitely in the background of this interview. hahahaha

PS--Happy Anniversary to all my fellow Summer 09 interns!!! Can't believe it's been a YEAR! I miss you all and the interns that started today will be hard pressed to live up to our amazing-ness. ;)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fun In The News Studio

Nothing terribly new in my life lately...Thankfully, I have a short week this week after working two incredibly long ones (10 days and 8 days in a row!!!) It's funny...I feel like I am CONSUMED by baseball at work...and what do I do on my days off? Go to baseball games. I went with a group of friends to Citi Field yesterday to see Mets vs. Phillies...and will be going to Yankee stadium on Monday for their game vs. the Indians! I love visiting ballparks. :)

It was a gorgeous sunny day even got up to 100 degrees!!!! Not that the temp was gorgeous or anything...just felt a lot more like summer (and home). I need a date with a swimming pool asap.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Since I've been prompting in News a lot (my old stompin' grounds)...I thought I'd share a few randomly fun pictures from around campus and of me and the guys in the Studio... I'm so glad to be back with them for the time being! :)

Mike Hill and Max Bretos...should seriously have a "SportsNation"-esque show together. They are NUTS! I love them! :) I'm pretty sure I'm going to propose a "This is SportsCenter" commercial featuring these two...

So glad to be back with my girl Jacki! :)

Ducis with Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe...

PELE!!! I told him I've been a fan since I was 5... true story!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

One Month Anniversary

Yep, that's right. TODAY marks my first month of employment at the World Wide Leader.
How do I spend it? More prompting. haha!

Tomorrow is actually my first day prompting something other than ESPNews. I'll be in for the 4p NFL Live and the 11p SportsCenter. Hope it's the same routine and set-up...otherwise I'm gonna look like an idiot! :-/ See what I mean about being thrown in the fire??

But enough about prompting...

I flew home to G-Vegas on Friday morning for Kelly and Park's wedding!! It was super fun...and wonderful to spend the weekend with my family and best friends. I miss everyone so much up here!
...As a result of that...I mentioned in my previous post that I worked a 10 day stretch leading up to my 4 day weekend. Lots of prompting with a few highlight shifts thrown in.

OK. So random rant of the day..
Now, I am all for this "Going Green" and being "Eco Friendly" business. I think it's fantastic! Seriously. If your place of work lays out separate waste bins labeled: Compost...Bottles and Cans...Paper...Trash (Yes, ESPN has them in EVERY cafeteria, break room, hallway, newsroom, studio, etc...) I'm pretty sure I can take the extra second to sort my garbage into the right place. 

However, one thing is am NOT all for: Paper Straws.
Yes. It's like drinking out of a mini paper towel tube.
I am aware that I am drinking chocolate milk--Its FREE, ok?? But what I don't like is my PAPER STRAW melting into my mouth as I enjoy my wonderfully free chocolate milk.

Aren't regular straws plastic? Isn't plastic recyclable?