Never Been Told ESPN Stories from Network’s Beginning

The Early Days of ESPN

ESPN's original architecht G.G. Bray's line drawing of proposed headquarters building.

Architect G.G. Bray Line Drawing ESPN Proposed HQ 1978

The Early Days of ESPN Rocket Ride Chronicled by ‘SPNauts Who Flew It

CHAPEL HILL, NC, UNITED STATES, February 23, 2024 / — ESPN Founding artifacts and essays curated by its original executive producer and a band of fellow ‘SPNauts who took the network from idea to reality starting in 1978 will be released in June of 2024.

Published by Lyons Press, The Early Days of ESPN: 300 Daydreams and Nightmares is a collection of mini-memoirs and their preserved memorabilia, narrated by the network’s Founding Executive Producer Peter Fox.

“While we were at it, we were all so young we had no true idea we were birthing one of the greatest sports and business stories ever,” Fox says, adding “There were so many of us who never got any public kudos or credit that I felt it had to be done now before we all floated into ether.

ESPN’s Founder Bill Rasmussen encouraged the project and leads readers through an introduction, noting the effort will become the only other publication about ESPN written by people who actually did the work.

The 300 days titled significance traces the exhilaration the author counts backward from the full-time launch of ESPN on September 7, 1979, when he and the late ESPN personality Lou Palmer went on Rasmussen’s payroll as the first and second employees, respectively.

Architect G. Geoffrey Bray contributes original pencil sketches and line drawing of the ESPN studios and famous faces Chris Berman and Bob Ley are key contributors, Berman saying “We were like Mercury Astronauts” and Lee adding, “I still learned new things about us,” as he reviewed the early ESPN work.

In a parallel universe closing The Early Days of ESPN uniquely asks Google Bard artificial intelligence:

“When ESPN was founded satellite and cable television were in their infancy, much like AI is today, at least in terms of market acceptance, so how is a next technological advancement going to threaten AI, as streaming has done to cable?”

Fox retained film and television rights to The Early Days of ESPN: 300 Daydream and Nightmares.

“I’m too long in the tooth to take it on, but with all the sexy, drama, money, and politicking, these stories are full of the requisite emotions for cinema or serialization,” he predicted.

Peter Fox
Early ESPN
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