MNT May 24, 2010
The kind and classy folks at ESPN hosted a very nice dinner tonight for the U.S. team at a local Italian restaurant called Salute. Great food, great ambiance, fantastic staff. As part of the evening, ESPN also showed the team some video, including the "This is SportsCenter" commercials featuring Jozy Altidore (we're sure you've seen it...sorry about that Italian shirt, Josh) and Landon Donovan, which has yet to begin airing. Also the players were each given a copy of "The ESPN World Cup Companion: Everything You Need to Know About the Planet's Biggest Sporting Event," an almost coffee-tabled sized tome that is 272 pages of soccer goodness. We suggest you get your copy ASAP and start reading NOW in order to be ready for the start of the tournament on June 11. Tomorrow, five players -- Tim Howard, Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Jozy Altidore and Landon Donovan will visit the ESPN Headquarters in Bristol, Conn. for the ESPN Car Wash. No, the boys aren't taking in their sweet rides to get them detailed, the Car Wash is when an athlete goes into the ESPN HQ where the network can shuffle them through the multitude of media platforms offered by the world-wide leader in a short period of time. Should be a lot of fun, and as we're sure you've noticed over the past week, there are a lot of media-type folks who want to chat with these guys. In case you haven't noticed, ESPN is BLOWING OUT this World Cup. They are doing such a good job of covering this tournament with a huge, warm, intricate and entertaining blanket that it almost makes us want to stay back and watch all the coverage on the ESPN family of networks instead of going to South Africa. Almost.