October 28, 2011
It’s the most recognizable theme song in sports.
“When you heard that you automatically know hey that’s Monday night,” says former Dallas Cowboy Tony Casillas.
Players and former players like Tony Casillas say it’s one of the biggest spectacles in football.
“Monday Night, it’s the grand stage,” says Casillas. “There is nothing like it. You always talk about when you are in college football or you’re in Pop Warner football what it would be like to play on Monday Night Football.”
Mike Tirico is one of the hosts for Monday Night Football and he says what you don’t see during the game is just as impressive.
“Well it’s a traveling circus every week,” Tirico says. “Which is fun. You know our preparation starts Tuesday morning for the next Monday night. It’s a national broadcast so it matters a lot to the legacy of Monday Night Football and to each city.
When Monday Night Football comes to town it’s like a mini city. There are about seven huge broadcast trucks that roll into the stadium.
“For this show we have about 250 audio sources,” says ESPN Operations Manager Steve Carter. “We have 35 cameras. All of our recording and playback devices are on digital disk recorders. We have 70 channels of digital disks, 30 are designated as playback.”
So in just seconds, every angle of a replay is ready to go from multiple cameras.
If this is the circus, Steve Carter would be the ringmaster as ESPN’s operations manager.
“As I tell people if you like stress you’ll love my job,” says Carter. “We haul all of our own gear and we generate all of our electricity. On Saturday morning we’ll power the trucks we’ll bring the crew in and start setting up. We’ll run all the cable we’ll need to run. We’ll set up all the cameras on Sunday. We’ll check everything. On game day we’ll credential upwards of 300 people for the show.”
So when you hear that theme music, you know Monday Night Football is going to be quite a production.
“The expectations are high,” says Carter. “Just ok isn’t good enough. It’s got to be right or it’s wrong.”