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Q+A [JOHN WALSH]
Richard Deitsch
August 26, 2002
As ESPN's SportsCenter, which debuted in 1979, gets ready to celebrate its 25,000th show, we quiz the executive editor who's been its creative force since '88.
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August 26, 2002

Q+a [john Walsh]

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As ESPN's SportsCenter, which debuted in 1979, gets ready to celebrate its 25,000th show, we quiz the executive editor who's been its creative force since '88.

SI: When did you know SportsCenter had arrived?

Walsh: On Aug. 24, 1989, the day Pete Rose was banished from baseball, we had a half-hour show, and I asked programming to give us an hour. We did 42 straight minutes on Rose, and when it ended, the phone rang and it was [the famed NBC and ABC executive] Don Ohlmeyer. He said, "I just want to tell you, That's what SportsCenter can be." I knew then we were on our way.

SI: Who is the typical SportsCenter viewer?

Walsh: Someone who has sports as part of their DNA and with some on-air experience could work on the show.

SI: What would be your ideal Sunday Conversation?

Walsh: Jack Nicholson being interviewed by Hunter S. Thompson. And I could see that happening one day.

SI: Aside from Bill Murray and Kinky Friedman, what's the most impressive name in your Rolodex?

Walsh: My brother's favorite was Catherine Deneuve, who was in my Rolodex until we had a Rolodex-cleansing party.

SI: One could argue that the show's constant airing of dunks and in-your-face attitude has hurt sportsmanship. Is SportsCenter at all responsible for the behavior on the field?

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