via press release:
ESPN Declares 2011 ‘Year of the Quarterback’ with Multiplatform Initiative
Steve Young, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski Among Others to Participate
Year of the Quarterback: Kick Off Special Hosted by Chris Connelly Dec. 14
ESPN will begin its year-long initiative, Year of the Quarterback (YQB) — an in-depth examination of one of the most critical, coveted and talked-about positions in all of sports – with content across all platforms including television, radio, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. YQB will include commentary and analysis from an all-star cast of specialists, including Trent Dilfer, Ron Jaworski, Jon Gruden, Jerry Rice, Lou Holtz, and Kirk Herbstreit, to name a few
The initiative kicks off Tuesday, Dec. 14, at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN with a one-hour show, The Year of the Quarterback: Kick Off Special. Hosted by Chris Connelly, the special will feature an unprecedented “quarterback roundtable” drawn from ESPN’s own stable of experts including Gruden, Jaworski and Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, as well as current and former NFL quarterbacks John Elway, Troy Aikman, Joe Namath, Aaron Rogers and Vince Young.
“The quarterback is a star-powered position played by many, but excelled by few, and we will dig down to examine why people are so fascinated with this elite group of athletes,” said Joan Lynch, vice president and executive producer, ESPN content development. “ESPN will create and produce extensive content throughout the year to establish 2011 as the ‘Year of the Quarterback’ – among fans, athletes and across the sports spectrum.”
YQB will delve into the topic to find a deeper understanding of one of sports’ most high-profile positions, including the leadership qualities, recruitment and issues of race from the “blue chip” high school recruit, the Heisman hopeful and the NFL legend. It will tell the story of the quarterback both on and off the field, presented across a range of content formats including documentaries, vignettes and series, and will be integrated into ESPN’s football studio shows over the year: NFL Countdown, NFL Live, College GameDay, college football bowl coverage as well as BCS and Super Bowl programming, and NFL Combine and Draft coverage.
Additional original programming:
- SportScience– Two half-hour specials covering the NFL Combine and the extreme conditions affecting the quarterbacks’ pass and vision.
- The Color Orange: The Condredge Holloway Story – Country star Kenny Chesney, a noted football fan, produces a one-hour documentary that takes a personal look at his boyhood idol Condredge Holloway, the first black quarterback at the University of Tennessee.
- Two for the Show – A four-part half-hour series following the career path of three top-tier college quarterbacks: Jake Locker (Washington) and Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech).
- Jon Gruden’s QB Camp: The Draftees – A one-hour SportsCenter special quarterback camp for the top draftees for this year’s class.
- Jon Gruden’s Elite 11 – Two one-hour shows – The Regionals and The Finals – searching for the top 11 quarterbacks at the high school level in the country.
About ESPN Content Development
ESPN Content Development, created in June 2007, serves as the incubator of original content for placement throughout ESPN, Inc.’s vast media portfolios. Based on the vision by John Skipper, executive vice president, content, to “surprise, excite and engage sports fans,” the unit is charged with developing and producing original content programming, which includes high quality, sports-themed documentaries, scripted and unscripted series and groundbreaking televised events.