Recently, the Fox Broadcasting Company has created a 24-hour sports network, FOX Sports 1, in an attempt to challenge ESPN. A key cog in FOX Sports 1’s programming is its highlight show, “Fox Sports Live,” which network executives hope will compete with ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”
Along with host Charissa Thompson, “Fox Sports Live” features a panel of former professional athletes that includes basketball legend Gary “The Glove” Payton, tennis star Andy Roddick and ex-NFL players Donovan McNabb and Ephraim Salaam. Reports say these former stars still need help talking about sports they didn’t play.
I tried to get an exclusive sneak peek at a rehearsal session for the show, but unfortunately my emails to Fox were not returned. So here’s what I imagine would take place on the set:
Charissa Thompson: Welcome back to Fox Sports Live. Fellas, you know we love to play games here and it’s time to play another one called “Buy It or Sell It?”
CT: It’s simple: buy if you think this person’s stock is rising, and sell if you think it’s about to fall. Gary, let’s start with you.
Gary Payton: Give The Glove some love, baby!
CT: The Pittsburgh Pirates have a chance to make their first playoff appearance since 1992. Gary, are you buying or selling the Pirates?
GP: Baby, when The Glove was still getting his chops, I used to ball down on the pickup courts in downtown Pittsburgh. And those fools couldn’t stop me! When the chips are down, those guys ain’t got what it takes. Sell ‘em!
CT: Ephraim, Alexander Gustaffson will challenge light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones at UFC 165 on September 21st. Are you buying or selling Gustaffson’s chances for an upset?
Ephraim Salaam: Charissa, when it’s 3rd-and-2 with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, you’ve got to get lower than the guy across from you. I’ve seen Bones Jones get low — trust me, I wouldn’t want to play him one-on-one in a limbo contest! I’m selling as well.
CT: Alright guys, we need some buyers here! Donovan, the Indiana Pacers pushed LeBron James and the Miami Heat to a Game 7 last year in the Eastern Conference Finals. Are you buying or selling them as title contenders this season?
Donovan McNabb: Charissa, when I look at this team there’s just one thing missing: No one on the team is from Syracuse. Everyone knows I played quarterback at ‘Cuse, but did you know I was also a walk-on for the basketball team? Jim Boeheim would put me up top and tell the other guys, “Feed Don the ball.”
CT: Uh, that’s great. So buy or sell with the Pacers?
DM: And my crossover dribble, too. Man could I break some ankles! Even The Glove over here couldn’t keep me in front of—
GP: What did you say, fool? Don’t make the Glove strap on his high tops and—
CT: —Guys, please! Now Andy, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to Richmond, Va. this week for the last race before its Chase for the Cup begins. Jeff Gordon is on the bubble, are you buying or selling his chances to get a playoff spot?
Andy Roddick: Well Charissa, you know that only the top 15 drivers get in…it’s top 15 right?
CT: It’s actually the top 12.
AR: Right, that’s what I meant. And, I mean, you know, Jeff Gordon’s car number is 42.
CT: It’s 24 Andy. Remember our talk this morning? You can do this.
AR: Right, sorry.
CT: Maybe a bathroom break would help?
AR: Yeah, maybe. This is hard! Hey, do you still think I can get a spot in the U.S. Open?
Director: Take five, everyone.