ESPN25

ESPN25 was a special event conducted to mark the 25th anniversary of ESPN.

During the run-up to the anniversary date of September 7, 2004, the network counted down the top sports moments of the last 25 years (the "ESPN era"). Each Tuesday, a new 25-to-1 list was unveiled, as was the next headline in that 25-to-1 countdown. In addition, each day during SportsCenter, the next moment in the list of the top 100 moments of the ESPN era was shown. The celebration concluded by declaring the Miracle on Ice hockey game between the United States and the Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games the #1 moment, game, and headline of the last 25 years.

The Headlines

ESPN also had a weekly series, The Headlines, hosted by Bob Ley, counting down the top 25 stories since 1979, "stories that at some point jumped off the sports page, and onto the front page."

Old School Week

Several former ESPN anchors were invited back to co-anchor the nighttime Sportscenter broadcast with ESPN anchors of the time, during an "old school week".

Who's #1?

Immediately following The Headlines (before The Headlines in the early portion of the summer), Stuart Scott hosted Who's #1?, which counts down the top 25 of the last 25 years in some category. Who's #1 has since expanded into a weekly series on ESPN Classic, with additional categories and a new host, Trey Wingo. In the weekly series, only 20 items are revealed, and, in a post-show segment, the "Second Guessers" debate the choices.

Missing footage

Conspicuously absent from the entire ESPN25 series was all but a few seconds of footage from National Football League games. During the Headlines show about 9/11, ESPN aired the entrance of Dallas Cowboys defensive back George Teague entering Texas Stadium with the American flag when the NFL resumed play after the attacks; otherwise, it had to air still photographs whenever the league was mentioned. Neither the league nor ESPN explained why the footage was absent, but the network had just shown Playmakers, a weekly drama show about a fictitious professional football team called the Cougars. The show's blunt treatment of off-the-field problems drew criticism from NFL officials, and reports surfaced that the NFL threatened not to renew ESPN's television contract with the league if Playmakers was renewed for a second season. The show was not renewed.

1992 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament

The 1992 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament involved 64 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 19, 1992, and ended with the championship game on April 6 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A total of 63 games were played.

Duke, coached by Mike Krzyzewski, defeated the Michigan Wolverines, coached by Steve Fisher, 71–51 to claim their second consecutive national championship. Bobby Hurley of Duke was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Michigan subsequently vacated its final two tournament games as part of the University of Michigan basketball scandal.

This tournament is best remembered for the East regional final pitting Duke and Kentucky at The Spectrum in Philadelphia. With 2.1 seconds remaining in overtime, Duke trailed 103–102. Grant Hill threw a pass the length of the court to Christian Laettner, who dribbled once, turned, and hit a jumper as time expired for the 104–103 win. Sports Illustrated deemed it the greatest college basketball game of all time, and ESPN included it as number 17 on its list of top 100 sports moments of the past 25 years (see ESPN25). It is number one on the USA Today list of the greatest NCAA tournament games of all time. This tournament also saw darkhorse Cincinnati crash the Final Four en route to returning to national prominence.

1999 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1999 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 70th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 13, 1999, at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the home of the Boston Red Sox of the American League.

Fenway Park was chosen as host because the owners at the time were planning to build a New Fenway Park in a few years but were unable to get the project off the ground in time for the game. This All-Star Game is particularly notable as it featured the nominees for the All-Century Team as well as Ted Williams.In two innings, AL starting pitcher Pedro Martínez struck out the first four batters of the National League, becoming the first pitcher in history to begin the All-Star Game striking out the side. In all he struck out five of the six batters he faced, earning him Game MVP honors, becoming the second player in All-Star Game history to be named MVP as a member of the host team. The game resulted in a win for the American League by the final score of 4-1.

2002 Tampa Bay Devil Rays season

The 2002 Tampa Bay Devil Rays season was their fifth since the franchise was created. This season, they finished last in the AL East division, and managed to finish the season with a record of 55-106. Their manager was Hal McRae who entered his 1st full season and last season with the Devil Rays.

26th Sports Emmy Awards

The 26th Sports Emmy Awards honoring American sports coverage in 2004 were presented on May 2, 2005 at Frederick P. Rose Hall in the Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York City. The nominees were announced on March 9.

Brian Bosworth

Brian Keith Bosworth (born March 9, 1965), nicknamed "The Boz," is a former American professional football player who played as a linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks in the National Football League (NFL). And an on and off again film actor.

Bosworth played High school football for the Sunnyside Grizzlies, and was a two-time consensus All-American. He gained fame and notoriety through his flamboyant personality, controversial comments about the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and radical hair cuts. Bosworth was less successful in the NFL, and injuries forced him to retire after three seasons.

Frank Gifford

Francis Newton Gifford (August 16, 1930 – August 9, 2015) was an American football player, actor, and television sports commentator. After a 12-year playing career as a halfback and flanker for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL), he was a play-by-play announcer and commentator for 27 years on ABC's Monday Night Football.

Gifford won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award from United Press International in 1956, the same season his team won the NFL Championship. During his career, he participated in five league championship games and was named to eight Pro Bowls. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. After retiring as a player, Gifford was an Emmy Award-winning sportscaster, known for his work on ABC's Monday Night Football, Wide World of Sports and the Olympics. He was married to television host Kathie Lee Gifford from 1986 until his death.

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) North division. It is the third-oldest franchise in the NFL, dating back to 1919, and is the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team based in the United States. Home games have been played at Lambeau Field since 1957.

The Packers are the last of the "small town teams" which were common in the NFL during the league's early days of the 1920s and '30s. Founded in 1919 by Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, the franchise traces its lineage to other semi-professional teams in Green Bay dating back to 1896. Between 1919 and 1920, the Packers competed against other semi-pro clubs from around Wisconsin and the Midwest, before joining the American Professional Football Association (APFA), the forerunner of today's NFL, in 1921. Although Green Bay is by far the smallest major league professional sports market in North America, Forbes ranked the Packers as the world's 26th most valuable sports franchise in 2016, with a value of $2.35 billion.The Packers have won 13 league championships, the most in NFL history, with nine pre–Super Bowl NFL titles and four Super Bowl victories. The Packers won the first two Super Bowls in 1967 and 1968 and were the only NFL team to defeat the American Football League (AFL) prior to the AFL–NFL merger. The Vince Lombardi Trophy is named after the Packers' coach of the same name, who guided them to their first two Super Bowls. Their two subsequent Super Bowl wins came in 1996 and 2010.The Packers are long-standing adversaries of the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions, who today comprise the NFL's NFC North division, and were formerly members of the NFC Central Division. They have played over 100 games against each of those teams through history, and have a winning overall record against all of them, a distinction only shared with the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys. The Bears–Packers rivalry is one of the oldest in NFL history, dating back to 1921.

Heath Shuler

Joseph Heath Shuler (born December 31, 1971) is an American businessman, former NFL quarterback and former U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 11th congressional district from 2007 to 2013. He was a member of the Democratic Party and the Blue Dog Coalition.

During his years in Congress, Shuler was known for challenging the leadership of his party, which he believed had moved too far to the left. In 2010, he ran against Nancy Pelosi for the post of Minority Leader. He believed the challenge would add to his prominence as a leader of conservative and moderate Democrats. He was one of the leaders of the Blue Dog Democrats, whose numbers were severely reduced by Republican gains in the 2010 midterm elections. This left him with a lower profile in the national media than he had previously enjoyed.

Shuler's congressional district covered the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina; the largest city in the district is Asheville, which has voted strongly Democratic, in part influenced by retirees from northern and midwestern areas. On February 2, 2012, after the Republican-dominated legislature had redrawn boundaries of the 10th and 11th congressional districts, removing half of Asheville and making the district more Republican in terms of voter history, Shuler announced his retirement from the House. He did not seek re-election to a fourth term.

John Caparulo

John Caparulo (born September 22, 1975) is an American stand-up comedian. He is perhaps best known for his appearances on the late night E! talk show, Chelsea Lately.

Lew Carpenter

Lewis Glen Carpenter (January 12, 1932 – November 14, 2010) was an American football player and coach. He played college football for the University of Arkansas and professionally for ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL) as a halfback and fullback with the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, and Green Bay Packers. He played on three NFL Championship teams, with Detroit in 1953 and with Green Bay in 1961 and 1962. After his playing career ended, Carpenter spent 31 years as an assistant coach in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings (1964–1966), Atlanta Falcons (1967–1968), Washington Redskins (1969), St. Louis Cardinals (1970–1972), Houston Oilers (1970–1974), Green Bay Packers (1975–1985), Detroit Lions (1987–1988), and Philadelphia Eagles (1990–1994). Carpenter also coached the Frankfurt Galaxy of the World League of American Football in 1996 and at Southwest Texas State University. He concluded his 47 years of playing and coaching football at the end of the 1996 season. Scientific tests on his brain diagnosed post-mortem that he had an advanced case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

List of SportsCenter segments and specials

This is a list of current and former SportsCenter segments seen since that show debuted on September 7, 1979.

Mike Tyson

Michael Gerard Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1985 to 2005. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title at 20 years, four months and 22 days old. Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout or stoppage, 12 of them in the first round. He won the WBC title in 1986 after stopping Trevor Berbick in the second round, and added the WBA and IBF titles after defeating James Smith and Tony Tucker in 1987. This made Tyson the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and the only heavyweight to successively unify them.

Tyson became the lineal champion in 1988 when he knocked out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds of the first round. He successfully defended his titles nine times, which included victories over Larry Holmes and Frank Bruno. In 1990, Tyson lost the titles to underdog Buster Douglas, who knocked him out in the tenth round. Attempting to regain the titles, Tyson defeated Donovan Ruddock twice in 1991, but pulled out of a fight with then-undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield (who had defeated Douglas later in 1990) due to a rib injury.

In 1992, Tyson was convicted of rape and sentenced to six years in prison, but was released on parole after serving three years. After his release in 1995, he engaged in a series of comeback fights. He won the WBC and WBA titles in 1996, after stopping Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon. With his defeat of Bruno, Tyson joined Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, Tim Witherspoon, Evander Holyfield, and George Foreman as the only men in boxing history to have regained a heavyweight championship after having lost it. After being stripped of the WBC title in the same year, Tyson lost the WBA title to Evander Holyfield by an eleventh round stoppage. Their 1997 rematch ended when Tyson was disqualified for biting Holyfield's ears.

In 2002, Tyson fought for the world heavyweight title again at the age of 35, losing by knockout to Lennox Lewis. Tyson retired from professional boxing in 2006, after being knocked out in consecutive matches against Danny Williams and Kevin McBride. Tyson declared bankruptcy in 2003, despite having received over $30 million for several of his fights and $300 million during his career. At the time the media reported that he had approximately $23 million of debt.Tyson was known for his ferocious and intimidating boxing style as well as his controversial behavior inside and outside the ring. Nicknamed "Iron" and "Kid Dynamite" in his early career, and later known as "The Baddest Man on the Planet", Tyson is considered one of the best heavyweights of all time. Tyson holds the third longest unified championship reign in heavyweight history at eight consecutive defenses. He currently ranks No. 15 in BoxRec's ranking of the greatest heavyweight boxers in history. He was ranked No. 16 on The Ring's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time, and No. 1 in the ESPN.com list of "The Hardest Hitters in Heavyweight History". Sky Sports described him as "perhaps the most ferocious fighter to step into a professional ring". He has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

Mike Tyson in popular culture

Mike Tyson is an American former World Heavyweight boxing Champion. Tyson, ranked by ESPN as the #1 Most Outrageous Character in modern sports history has appeared in numerous popular media in either cameo appearances or as a subject of parody or satire.

Missing Link (TV series)

Missing Link was a retrospective sports program that aired on the American network ESPN Classic. It debuted on March 7, 2007 and aired every Wednesday night at 10 p.m. Eastern time and was hosted by the host of ESPN Radio's The Herd, Colin Cowherd.

Missing Link is best described as a version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon involving famous athletes, coaches, and other sports figures. Each end of the chain is seemingly the exact opposite of the other in some way, but are somehow connected. The length of each chain varies between five and seven names. In a television-worthy twist, one end is connected, then the other, with a middle link revealed only at the end, following a commercial break.

Missing Link was pre-empted on April 25 for a replay of the heavyweight boxing championship match between Lennox Lewis and Frank Bruno, but the show returned the following week, amidst a blog report that indicated that ESPN Classic would halt all original programs. It was then quietly dropped again two weeks later and did not return. ESPN Classic now fills the hour once taken up by Missing Link (it aired in a two-episode block) with various programs like Who's No. 1?.

Rudy (film)

Rudy is a 1993 American biographical sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite significant obstacles. It was the first film that the Notre Dame administration allowed to be shot on campus since Knute Rockne, All American in 1940.

In 2005, Rudy was named one of the best 25 sports movies of the previous 25 years in two polls by ESPN (#24 by a panel of sports experts, and #4 by ESPN.com users). It was ranked the 54th-most inspiring film of all time in the "AFI 100 Years" series.The film was released on October 15, 1993, by TriStar Pictures. It stars Sean Astin as the title character, along with Ned Beatty, Jason Miller and Charles S. Dutton. The script was written by Angelo Pizzo, who created Hoosiers (1986), which was also directed by Anspaugh. The film was shot in Illinois and Indiana.

The Shot (Duke–Kentucky)

The 1992 NCAA Tournament was highlighted by a game between Duke and Kentucky in the East Regional Final to determine the final spot in the Final Four. With 2.1 seconds remaining in overtime, defending national champion Duke trailed 103–102. Grant Hill threw a pass the length of the court to Christian Laettner, who faked right, dribbled once, turned, and hit a jumper as time expired for the 104–103 win. In 2004 Sports Illustrated deemed it the greatest college basketball game of all time, and ESPN included it as number 17 on its list of top 100 sports moments of the past 25 years (see ESPN25). It is ranked number one on the list of the greatest NCAA tournament games of all time compiled by USA Today in 2002.

Who's No. 1?

Who’s No. 1? is a sports series that debuted on ESPN25 in 2004 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of ESPN. Hosted by Stuart Scott, the show counted down a “Top 25 over the last 25 Years” list, counting down to #1, in such categories as Best Teams, Worst Teams, Biggest Flops, Greatest Records, Most Outrageous Characters, Biggest Controversies, etc. during the history of ESPN, which debuted on September 7, 1979. The final episode, “The Best 25 Games over the Last 25 Years,” was televised on September 7—ESPN’s 25th birthday. The show made its ESPN Classic debut on May 2, 2005 with Trey Wingo as host; this series is similar to its ESPN25 predecessor but has a Top 20 list and new features such as Best Masters, Best College Football Bowls, Greatest Game 7s, etc. and counts down to the top of all time, rather than the last 25 years. It also concludes with a "Second Guessers" segment where some of the rankings are questioned.

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