The other day, I posted a video here of TNT sportscaster Ernie Johnson winning an Emmy Award and graciously giving it away to the daughter's of the late Stuart Scott of ESPN. I also had a video of of his NBA star co-hosts on TNT talking about what a great guy Johnson was. Within the Emmy acceptance speech itself, you may have noticed how he references that ESPN had done something rare which he so appreciated -- doing a feature about him, even though he was on a rival network.
Over the weekend, ESPN re-aired that feature, on its show E:60. It was spectacular. Unfortunately, it's not available online yet, but I suspect it will be, since so many of the other features are. But here's how spectacular it was. This is how Mark Perner of the Philadelphia Daily News began his column last week about the feature when it originally aired.
"UP UNTIL EARLY Tuesday morning, I had looked at Ernie Johnson as the geeky guy on TNT who did an absolutely terrific job keeping Charles, Kenny and Shaq under control.
"In a span of less than 24 hours, my respect for Johnson reached a level that I cannot comprehend.
"At 2 a.m. on Tuesday, I watched an episode of ESPN's E:60 in which Johnson was featured. So I watched, and cried."
You can read the whole article here. And though I can't post the whole video feature yet, I'll keep looking for its appearance, and in the meantime this is a "trailer" for the show that gives plenty enough idea of who special Ernie Johnson is. And enough to understand, even in just one minute, someone saying, "My respect for Johnson reached a level that I cannot comprehend."
By the way, Ernie Johnson's wife Cheryl comes across as pretty darn special and heroic, too. Here's something that no one even watching the feature would have seen. It comes from an article on the ESPN website that promotes the piece by interviewing the producer. They ask him "What behind-the-scenes aspect didn’t make it into the overall profile?" He answers --
"When we went to film a family dinner – and because Ernie and his wife, Cheryl were not going to let us leave until we put our gear down and sat down with them – Cheryl had remembered from an earlier shoot that one of our cameraman has celiac disease and needs to eat gluten-free.
"Of the 15 people she was feeding that night, which included preparing and making five lasagnas – she also took the time to make a sixth, gluten-free lasagna for our colleague. It may not sound like much, but they never saw us as crew members who were working, they just saw and treated us as guests in their home. And Cheryl can cook!"
Here's the promo trailer. I predict that you will be bowled over by the guy in merely one minute. All I can say as that as moving as this mere trailer it, it only touches the tip of the full feature. I will keep looking for it to be available.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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