12:46 a.m.: All goes well on the 11:30 show. The postmortem meeting lasts perhaps four minutes and includes no quibbles more significant than Williamson's question about Patrick's bunnies.
Who's Out There? During this excellent adventure Bill has asked the talent, one by one, whom they visualize the SportsCenter viewers to be. Old guys? Young guys? Families? Famous athletes? Barflies? Beered-up kids? Mom and Dad?
Mees: "I've been here 13 years, and I've never had any idea what to think about who's at the other end of the tube. It would sidetrack me if I thought about it."
Dan Patrick: "Well, I'm curious about who's out there. I see them as fanatics who expect to learn something new by watching us. We put on the show for people like us, I guess."
Cohn: "Oh, I guess there are fans and athletes out there. There are probably more women out there than before."
Ley: "I don't really visualize anyone in particular, but I'm talking to the ultimate sports fan."
Tirico: "I always switch my watch to West Coast time for the 2:30 show because it's 11:30 p.m. out there. So if I visualize anyone, they're probably in California."
Olbermann: "Our viewers are not couch potatoes or slugs. People who watch SportsCenter are engaged. They are like readers."
Who's Really Out There? The typical ESPN viewer is a male high school graduate somewhere between 35 and 49, with a household income of more than $60,000 a year.
A guy we know goes into Sneakers, the best-known sports bar in Seattle, 100 yards from the Kingdome. It is a few minutes before 8:30 p.m. PST, about the same time that Dan Patrick and Olbermann are making final fixes in their scripts and Saski is in full grip. Sneakers has seven TV sets scattered about, but the guy we know sees that every one of them is tuned to a rerun of Night Court—without sound. Our guy asks the bartender, "You going to have SportsCenter on at 8:30?"