Marist and ESPN: One Happy Couple

Photo from Collective London

Marist has a great relationship with ESPN. I’ve been a sports fan since I was a little six-year old playing tee ball. Now as a college student (and still a sports fan), to benefit from this relationship with the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” is a dream come true.

Last Fall, I had my first internship experience with ESPN. Although it was only one day, it was a rarity in the internship world: it was paid.

My internship involved helping out with the live broadcast of an Army football game against Rutgers as part of ESPN’s Friday Night College Football. I arrived at the stadium in West Point a couple hours before kickoff, where I met several other Marist students (some I even recognized from my Communications classes) and two other students from SUNY – New Paltz. I was one of the lucky ones to get an enjoyable job instead of being a cable runner (people who follow the cameramen to make sure the cables don’t get tangled up). I was one of the people responsible for collecting audio from the field for the broadcast.

This is the parab mic I operated on the sidelines.

Sporting a fashionable navy ESPN vest on the sidelines, I held a parab mic (the dome shaped objects you people holding on the sidelines) that recorded those sounds. The experience was completely worthwhile. Although Tenney Stadium at Marist is great, it’s not quite like standing on the field of Army’s massive Miche Stadium filled with 40,000 fans. I surged with adrenaline from hearing the thud of the football being booted across the field, the crunch of the pads and bark of the quarterback in my headphones. I felt like I was playing the game myself. There was never a dull moment.

Another aspect that made the internship worthwhile was the community of ESPN employees. Each one was kind and helpful in guiding myself and the other interns in this unfamiliar territory. The ESPN employee who helped us with audio on the sidelines was casually talking to us about football and his experience shooting games at Army. It was a comfortable environment that I hope to one day work in after I graduate.

If you ever do get a chance to see an Army football game: Please do so. It’s an experience like no other. For the pregame ceremonies they helicopter-drop someone onto the field to deliver the gameball. Unfortunately this didn’t happen at my game due to the weather. Among the 40,000 in the stands, their is a sea of cadets in full uniform. All of them are required to attend the games dressed in full uniform. This mandatory rule doesn’t seem like it’s forced onto the cadets either. Each one of them is loud and passionate during every single cheer. For every touchdown or field goal a handful of the soldiers would run down on the field and do the appropriate number of push-ups depending on the score. And not to mention they shoot cannons after every touchdown or field goal. I felt compelled root for Army because their spirit was so infectious. If you were against Army it felt as if you were anti-American.

Despite all the cheering from the hometown crowd, Army lost the game, but they won in my eyes. It was an inspiring experience, and I became an Army football fan that night. I’m not the only one who has been a beneficiary of Marist’s great connections with ESPN.

Check out alumni that are now working for ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

One thought on “Marist and ESPN: One Happy Couple

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