ESPN to Present Special Edition Of its Newsmagazine E:60 Tuesday, Dec. 11
Inside Access to Michael Vick’s Dogs; Profiles of O.J. Mayo, and
Bare-Knuckle Backyard Brawler Kimbo Slice, and Others
ESPN will present a special edition of its primetime newsmagazine E:60 on Tuesday, Dec. 11
at 7 p.m. ET. Features on the program will include:
* An inside look at the fate of the innocent dogs caught in the web of Michael Vick’s conspiracy to operate a dog fighting enterprise;
* Kimbo Slice – the meteoric rise of an underground, B-level South Florida backyard brawler to a celebrated mixed martial arts athlete;
* Who is O.J. Mayo?;
* Camp Death – an examination of a unique sport (BASE jumping) that requires its participants to write letters to their families alerting them about the fatal dangers of the sport.
The Vick Dogs
With Michael Vick serving time in federal prison ahead of his sentencing on December 10 for conspiracy to operate a dog fighting enterprise, the fate of his dogs is also up in the air. E:60 correspondent Jeremy Schaap explores what happened to the surviving 48 pit bulls and 12 other dogs seized from Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels in Virginia. The dogs include nine beagles and two rottweilers that rescue workers have named after Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. The pit bulls remain in federal custody, awaiting a ruling on their fate, which could include adoption or euthanasia. The other dogs, including the beagles, show no signs of having been used in fights and are being considered for adoption to private owners. E:60 cameras follow some of the dogs as they are placed in new homes.
His real name is Kevin Ferguson. That may be the only indisputable fact known about the man called Kimbo Slice, who overnight is catapulting from a B-list bare-knuckle backyard brawler to mixed martial arts phenomenon. “Kimbo is going to be an international star,” says Gary Shaw, president of Elite XC, a talent agency which has signed Kimbo to a long term contract to appear in professional mixed martial arts fights. “He is going to be the guy that we took from the Internet, from a computer on my desk, into stardom.” Kimbo Slice says he started fighting at age 13 in his hometown of Miami. He later parlayed his job as a bouncer into fighter-for-hire, appearing in underground backyard brawls. When his fights began showing up on Internet sites, a star was born. E:60 correspondent Rachel Nichols sits down – and spars – with Kimbo Slice.
When O.J. Mayo entered the University of Southern California this fall as the hottest name in the 2007 college basketball freshman class, he brought along myths that date back to his breakthrough season in seventh grade. Mayo’s myths include that his emergent career has been steered, sometimes off course, by a series of mysterious adult males, none of which is his father; that the USC shooting guard has a history of on- and off-court incidents; that he recruited himself to play for USC and his mother then refused to sign the letter of intent; and that he is expected to bolt for the NBA as soon as he finishes his obligatory freshman season – a scenario top NBA scouts think is likely from the number who cover his games. E:60 correspondent Lisa Salters talks to Mayo and those close to him, including his mother Alisha, about the extraordinary rise of a basketball protégé.
E:60 special contributor Bill Simmons “The Sports Guy,” in a giving spirit for the holidays, attempts to win a new car for a Los Angeles Clippers fan the old-fashioned way – trying to sink a half-court shot at halftime of a Clippers game. Simmons, whose previous two E:60 segments – creating an NBA video game and visiting a baseball card factory – featured participatory storytelling, enlists the team’s coaches and staff for a crash course, before taking a stab at a perfect mid-court shot in front of a live audience.
“Write a letter to your family explaining that you have died BASE jumping.” So Tom Aiello tells his hand-picked students at his week-long class on BASE jumping in Twin Falls, Idaho. BASE is an acronym for buildings, antennae, spans and earth – all fixed objects from which one can jump. BASE jumping is an emerging sport where participants leap from one of those four fixed objects in a freefall as long as possible before opening their parachutes. “It is very likely that you will be hurt BASE jumping if you continue to BASE jump over the long term,” says Aiello. “It is also very likely that you will see someone die.” Correspondent Tom Farrey reports as E:60 cameras follow Aiello and a group of campers through a free course that includes jumps off the Perrine Bridge, which sits just 486 feet above Idaho’s Snake River and gives the jumpers about three seconds to successfully pull their chutes.
Other elements on E:60:
* NEXT - Joba Chamberlain: In NEXT, a television adaptation of ESPN The Magazine’s signature brand, E:60 visits with Joba Chamberlain, the 22-year-old New York Yankees rookie pitching sensation. Chamberlain, a Lincoln, Neb.-native and member of the Winnebago Native American tribe, has been chosen by the fans as The Magazine’s 2008 NEXT athlete.
* The Most Exhausted Man in Sports: In conjunction with ESPN The Magazine, E:60 will feature “a day in the life of Dana John,” a 27-year-old shooting guard for Division III New Jersey City University in Jersey City. John, a fulltime student majoring in special education, has a fulltime job as a postal worker and co-parents his 4-year-old son. E:60 cameras capture a typical 24-hour day for John.
* “E:Clips” With Aaron Fotheringham: “E:Clips,” a recurring E:60 segment on the intersection of sports and the Internet, will feature 16-year-old Aaron Fotheringham. Born with spina bifida that left him paralyzed from the waist down and in a wheelchair, Fotheringham has turned his wheelchair into a skateboard and he performs inventive skating stunts such as the back flip. His stunts, now popular online, make him one of the newest stars in skateboarding.
E:60 debuted on Tuesday, Oct. 16 with four weekly editions. In its four episodes, the series
reported on enterprise stories ranging from Ray of Hope – the story of how the decision to be an organ donor by former North Carolina mascot save the lives of many, and high school football gone awry at Florida’s Miami Northwestern High School. Other features have included:
* Lost Boy – Macharia Yuot’s journey escaping ethnic cleansing in the Sudan war and his emotional return home, after 19 or so years, as an American distance runner.
* A look at the growing number of “Baby Bullfighters” migrating to Mexico where underage bull fighting is legal.
* Out of Africa – the trafficking of underage soccer players from West Africa to Europe.
Following the December 11 show, E:60 will go on a hiatus and return for five weeks beginning
in April 2008 and six weeks in June 2008. Updates on the show and additional content will be posted on www.e60.com leading up to the next series of shows.
Click http://espnmediazone.com/press_kits/E60 for releases, correspondents and executive production team bios and video clips.
For complete E:60 features and expanded versions of the reporter-producer meetings, click http://www.e60.com
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