For those of you who may not be ESPN-literate, here is a glossary of some of the terms used on SportsCenter, that TV network's thrice-nightly news roundup.
In your face: slogan for ESPN's coverage of any event.
Did you know?: an arcane, perhaps surprising fact or statistic.
Inside the numbers: graphic use of statistics to produce fascinating conclusions.
Get this: an unexpected or ironic bit of information.
Breakdown: statistics and/or video analysis used to produce insights into some play, event or individual performance.
The two-minute drill: a rapid-fire sequence of NFL tidbits.
Get This! On the late-November day when Bill and John embark on their excellent adventure at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., they are told that at 7 p.m. EST they will witness—Get this!—the 14,067th live telecast of SportsCenter since the program went on the air, on Sept. 7, 1979. Only one other TV program—The CBS Evening News, with 16,000 telecasts since 1948—has aired live more often than SportsCenter. Since there are three separate editions of SportsCenter broadcast each weekday, the number of SportsCenter, aired will exceed the total of that noble pioneer sometime toward the end of '95. At that point SportsCenter will become the most-televised live show in history. Got that?
Number 14,067: John is in the studio as anchormen Bill Patrick and Bob Ley do the show. At 7:17, seconds before a commercial break ends, Ley suddenly glances down at his desk monitor and cries out in mock horror, "Oh, no! Magic's coming back!" Patrick swings around in alarm and then realizes that Ley is kidding.
Number 14,068: For the same day's 11:30 p.m. SportsCenter, which lasts a full hour, Bill is in the studio watching the dynamic duo of wry Dan Patrick and acerbic Keith Olbermann. Instead of pulling Ley-like pranks during the commercial breaks, Patrick and Olbermann pull out little makeup compacts and powder their noses and chins until the camera is on them again.