ESPN “Fired Up” To Broadcast Vikings-Bears Game On Monday Night

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 18, 2010 – 4:46 pm

There’s been much consternation over the past week regarding the status and location of the Vikings-Bears game on Monday night, but everyone from the Vikings, the University of Minnesota and the NFL, plus many others, have pulled together nicely to be in a position to have TCF Bank Stadium ready to host a regular season NFL game on a national stage.

That national stage will be provided by ESPN, the network that has exclusive broadcasting rights to Monday Night Football.

The cast of hundreds of talented people who work hard to produce the Monday Night Football broadcast have been in town the past few days preparing for the game. ESPN Senior Coordinating Producer/Producer of Monday Night Football Jay Rothman took a few moments to speak with Twin Cities reporters about the upcoming Vikings-Bears game.

Asked if the change in venue from Mall of America Field to TCF Bank Stadium made it more difficult to pull off this broadcast, Rothman explained that things have gone smoothly and that the integrity of the broadcast has not been comprised.

“To be honest with you, I can’t say it’s been more challenging,” Rothman said. “In terms of the stadium, we’re doing our complete show.”

Rothman explained the only major adjustment had to do with SkyCam, the overhead camera that typically trails the action on the field from a “birds eye” point of view. SkyCam had not previously been flown at TCF Bank Stadium but engineers worked hard to implement the system and it will be operating this Monday night. Rothman also said some cabling issues needed adjustment but that for the most part it was a smooth transition.

“We huddled in Houston, our whole operations team, really going with the assumption that we were going to be doing the game here Monday night,” Rothman said. “And fortunately we have done college football games here, so we had stadium surveys, we had all the layouts in terms of the booth, the camera positions, the cable runs. So we got way out in advance on Sunday in Houston, the day before our Monday night game there, in preparation.”

Rothman cited the fact that the team is celebrating 50 seasons of Vikings football, is playing outside for the first time in 29 years and will be honoring the 50 Greatest Vikings of all-time as other reasons ESPN is excited to broadcast Monday night’s game. ESPN plans on covering the team’s “Celebrating 50 Seasons” event on Sunday night and incorporating parts of that event in the broadcast. In addition to that, ESPN will A) have a camera in the Presidential Suite to show some former Vikings greats as they enjoy the game, B) show the effort involved in clearing snow and getting the stadium ready to host an NFL game and C) aerial shots of the stadium to give viewers a look at the stadium.

“We’ve been privileged to do some different kind of games, not just a game,” Rothman said. “And I would never put this obviously on the same scale as doing the re-opening of the Superdome post-Katrina, but in that game it was more than a football game. Obviously it was an event. This is clearly not to that scale, but we are covering a unique event.

“We are very excited to do the game. I could feel the vibe when I was at baggage claim this morning with (Jon) Gruden and Jaws (Ron Jaworski) and Mike (Tirico) and everbody. There’s a lot of excitement on our end to do something really cool, really unique, different. It’s a big deal for us to do it, and we’re psyched to cover really a big event that’s gotten a ton of buzz this week obviously, for unfortunate circumstances regarding the Metrodome, but the collective effort of everyone involved to stage this game here is awesome. We’re fired up to cover it.”

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 38 Comments »

38 Responses to “ESPN “Fired Up” To Broadcast Vikings-Bears Game On Monday Night”

  1. By nathan on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    Vikes NEED to wear their throwbacks on monday!

  2. By SmileyStar on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    Agreed, Break out the Throwbacks!!

  3. By Arrow86 on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    Throwbacks and Solid Black shoes! As for ESPN, I’m really glad to hear everything is positive on their end of things. I think it makes for a great broadcast, and it will showcase a beautiful stadium! I’m glad they are doing some coverage on our 50 Greatest!

  4. By Bryan on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    I rember the last game at the Met. I watched it in my grandparents basement in Anoka. Geez, time flys by.

  5. By allen on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    Hoping the vikes will put on a show for the world to see on Monday nite.

  6. By nate on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    thank you to everyone who made it posible for this game to be played in minnesota! hoping and praying for 50 more years of VIKINGS FOOTBALL

  7. By Ricefield on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    The throw back jerseys is a great idea. The only thing I wonder is if Webb would respond well to added pressure of living up to the legends that wore the uniform before him. He could but I don’t think he needs the extra pressure.

    Anyway, it would be cool if they decide to wear the throwback uniforms.

  8. By Arrow86 on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    I think Webb will probably have enough on his mind, he won’t know if he’s even wearing a jersey. But, I do believe he has the confidence and poise to be successful Monday night and beyond.

  9. By Arrow86 on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    Nate and Bryan: You guys have the spirit. Time has gone by, but for a generation of Viking fans, they haven’t experienced outdoor football it’s best to have a positive view of this.

  10. By Ricefield on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    Does anyone know what material the older uniforms were made of? If it’s wool it could be even warmer that the materials they were today which would benefit the teams.

    Ha, this is the funny stuff I think about.

  11. By Titus on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    Ricefield. I may be wrong, but I think the throwback uniforms are throwback in appearance only, such as color and dimensions– the materials would be modern. Otherwise we would see leather helmets.

  12. By Arrow86 on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    Titus and Ricefield: What did you think of the throwbacks the Packers wore 2 or 3 weeks ago? Deion Sanders called them the “throw-ups.” They were the 28 Packers which were navy and gold, but they wore solid brown helmets to simulate the leather helmets. I’m all for throwbacks if they are within 50 years. You’d be hard pressed to find a Packer fan who remembers the 28 Pack!

  13. By Titus on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    I saw part of that game– highlight or what have you– and I was confused for a bit– I had never seen that uniform. They lost that game, didn’t they? Clothes make the man, they do affect your confidence, and those uniforms were not conducive to a winning spirit. That’s my three cents.

  14. By Titus on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    No wait– suddenly my fourth cent functioned– I think they may have won that game, I don’t know– am going to bed soon– tired all day long- –

  15. By Ricefield on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply


    Yeah, I was just reading about that. Did a little research after I asked the question.


    I don’t know, after watching the movie “Leatherheads” I like the idea of paying tribute to those guys that played virtually padless.

  16. By DRS on Dec 18, 2010 | Reply

    Leather helmets Precede the Vikings, but not the bears, I think.

  17. By DRS on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    Go Webb, win Vikings! Have fun one and all. Good night.

  18. By Ricefield on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply


    You’re right they predate the Vikings, but there was another football team that played in Minnesota during that era. Duluth possibly.

  19. By DRS on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    Could be. I do not recall. Can look it up though. Have a great night. Blog lat…

  20. By Titus on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    Hey, I forgot about that movie, Leatherheads– just requested it from the library– 10 copies and only one on the waiting list– I think it was set in Minnesota, wasn’t it?

  21. By Ricefield on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply


    Yep. It was a pretty good movie. It went comedic but there was a pretty good representation of what the game was like before there was a NFL.

  22. By Arrow86 on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    I’ll have to look into seeing that one. What’s the game to watch tomorrow? Pack vs. Pats, or whoever plays the Jets? It sounds like everyone in NY is freaking out over two losses in a row and Sanchez play. When you play a team has a lot to do with winning and losing. The Vikes should have beaten the Jets, but if they were playing now, I know the Vikes would win!

  23. By Ricefield on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    Re: Leatherheads

    It is a great “date movie”. Watched it with my wife and we laughed our butts off. Definitely more romantic/comedy than sports movie but like I said, there was a good representation of the game back then.

  24. By Ricefield on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply


    Yep, winning the Jets game could have changed the season. Stringing victories together only helps a team win the next one. Confidence is a powerful thing.

  25. By Arrow86 on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    Ricefield: I missed a few days, did Nova say what he was up too? I haven’t seen him on the blog much this week. BS&S had something put on in his name that was not his comments, so is he now DRS? This is getting as complicated as working at the CIA? HA!

  26. By chuck on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    I’m glad they will be playing football like it was meant to be played! In the elements not indoors. I hate how alot of Stadiums have either went indoors or added a retractable roofs which may as well be indoors. I remember groing up as kid watching my idols playing in snow,rain,windy,& cold conditions. I wish more teams would go back to traditional style stadiums when they build new ones. Thats one of my favorite things about football. Plus when your a team were the weather is cold & you build a dome you lose that big home field advantage over teams from the warmer south. I think that Minnesota should think about that if they build a new stadium. Bring back the true home field advantage!

  27. By Ricefield on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    I don’t know if DRS is BSAS, but the last I heard he quit the boards when someone posted under his screenname.

    I don’t know about Nova.

    As for me, I was busy for a night later this week I won’t be posting because I’m going to Oklahoma for Chr1stmas with my brother and his family.

  28. By Ricefield on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply


    I like the idea of outdoor stadiums too, but indoor games create homefield advantage through crowd noise so I don’t think we lose anything from having a roof other than the fact of the history of the game.

  29. By Ricefield on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    To add to my point (and please Arrow, lol) when the Rams were the “Greatest Show on Turf” teams hated coming to the Edward Jones Dome (then the Trans World Dome) because it was so loud. Quieter of course than the metrodome but it got loud enough when the scoring started.

  30. By Jollygreene on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    I watched games back in the 70’s during the old Met Stadium days and would love to bring that back to present and future generations. After every Sunday game, my friends and I would head outdoors to try and emulate our home-state team. Playing in the snow added extra excitement as we slipped and dove through the northern Minnesota snow. This is going to be the greatest game played in Minnesota in the past three decades. Skol!

  31. By desmond on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    Chilly is gone so is Tavaris and Bret .This team is going to look considerably different next year. Welcome to the Joe Webb era…..Go VIKES

  32. By James on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    The Duluth Eskimos was the team portrayed in Leather Heads.

  33. By Justin on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    Here’s hoping we can get through 1 game without a QB getting injured. We’re down to only Webb and the newly signed Ramsey. WE HAVE TO KEEP THEM PROTECTED! YOU HEAR ME, DEFENSIVE LINE????

  34. By Arrow86 on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    Ricefield: Safe travels to Oklahoma. I’ll be going through there next Saturday as well. There was a song once “Your the reason God made Oklahoma!” but I’m getting a little sappy now. I really like what I’m hearing and the positive vibe of fans for outdoor football!! Think of 98, do we honestly think the Falcons would want to come up here and play in the cold against that bunch? We maybe built a detour around the Super Bowl, instead of punching our ticket to the Super Bowl when the Dome was built. I know everyone is a little sore over the roof collapse, but has the dome roof ever been replaced? Roof’s on houses and other buildings rarely have last 29 years in this harsh climate.

  35. By skolpurpleandgold on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    excited to see some outside football in minnesota in december! I’ll be having flashbacks of the met. Wish i could be there. TY to all who shoveled snow at TCF and to everyone who has been working hard to get the stadium ready. Skol-Vikes

  36. By vikingsgod on Dec 19, 2010 | Reply

    well the vikings have a chance as long as that over rated farve dosent play he never was any good all he knows is throw the ball up for grabs and get lucky

  37. By ThePokerGod1 on Dec 20, 2010 | Reply

    The Vikings need to wear the EARLY METRODOME UNIFORMS to REPRESENT that era that SHOULD have been outside and those uniforms are great

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