Monday, November 10, 2008
When Todd Blackledge first starting doing his "Taste of the Town" segment during games he called with Mike Patrick, I thought the gimmick had been done so many times on air that people would just tune the spots out. Well it looks as if it's had just the opposite effect, and people across the country have been asking me what game he's calling each week so they can tune in. The Boston Globe even got a hold of him for an interview before the BC-Notre Dame game on Saturday, and he seems just as surprised at the response....
He [Blackledge] said he is stunned at the level of interest the segment has generated.I'm all for breaking into the game for a few segments, as long as they are relevant to either the Colleges or the teams on the field. Blackledge actually makes the segments pretty fun and has even got some funny one-liners out of Mike Patrick. Something I previously thought to be impossible. If people continue to respond like they have to them....keep them coming.
"The restaurant thing was an idea I had last summer," he said. "We had a seminar up in Bristol [Conn., at ESPN's headquarters] and they brought everybody in from college football. They were challenging us to come up with new ideas and not be afraid to try something different. I came out of that meeting and I told my producer Bo Garrett that I'd been sitting on it for a few years and it was something I'd like to try.
"I love to eat and I love a lot of these small, college towns I go to. I didn't want to do chain restaurants but some place that is indigenous to the place that I'm at that represents that school and campus. I try to find something with a connection to the university, to the football team, to the reason I'm there in the first place, which is the game.
"We tried it last year. We were in Clemson, S.C., and we did it from a place called Mac's Drive-In and the thing just took off. It was popular. It got to the point to where about midway through last season, everywhere I went, anybody who recognized me, nobody asked me about football anymore. It was, 'Where are you eating this week?' Or, 'The place you ate last week, was it really as good as it looked?' It's really kind of taken on a life of its own."
ESPN analyst has a lot on his plate (Boston Globe)