Jeffords: "USA Today is running a Most Admired Man in America poll today. Magic Johnson won. Dad came in second."
Ley: "That'll make you clinically depressed...."
Other stories come up. There is lots of lively interplay. Then Nicol says, "O.K., let's go around the room and do a few Get thises." Everyone tries to outdo the others. Two Get thises will be chosen for that night's show.
Cohn: "Jimmy Johnson has the Cowboys playing so well that they are favorites to win the Super Bowl, but—Get this!—he also recruited 18 of 22 players who start for the University of Miami, which is the odds-on favorite to win the national championship!"
Nicol: "This weekend [Florida State coach] Bobby Bowden's alma mater, Samford, is playing in the Division I-AA playoffs, and—Get this!—the coach there is Bowden's son, Terry!"
Sedory: "Sounds like a great graphic: Samford and Son."
There are other Get this! suggestions around the table, until finally only one person remains to be heard from. He is Howie Schwab, and if there is an unsung hero at ESPN who makes the talent look good, it is Schwab. He's in charge of the network's research team, and his mind is a living sports encyclopedia. Everyone defers to him in matters of sports history and statistical trivia, and now everyone waits with bated breath for his Get this! contribution. He does not disappoint.
Schwab: "Everyone says how turnovers cost you games, but—Get this!—the Kansas City Chiefs have fumbled away the ball 21 times this year and have yet to give up a touchdown afterward. In the first eight games of the NBA season, Stanley Roberts has 19 rebounds and Muggsy Bogues has 36, but—Get this!—Roberts is seven feet tall and Bogues is five-three."
There is a collective sigh of admiration in the room, and the meeting breaks up.
Howie Schwab on His Finest Moment at ESPN: "One time during Baseball Tonight we were updating the Cincinnati Reds game when I saw on TV that Paul O'Neill had just hit a home run. I rushed into the studio and handed a card to the anchor so fast that he was able to tell the viewers about the homer before O'Neill had even crossed the plate."