what personal story best explains espn's worldwide influence?
robin roberts: i was in kuwait just before the iraq war in 2003. it was selection sunday for the ncaa tournament, the young troops were going off to war, and they're asking, "who will be the top seeds, robin?" so i'm getting them the latest updates, and seeing the sliver of joy i could give them was gratifying - all they wanted was to talk sports. they'd come up singing "da-da-da, da-da-da" right out there in the desert.
keith olbermann: my story is from 9/11 - it moved me tremendously. i was a radio field reporter - i'm a little anemic and not a good blood donor, but i had to do something. everywhere i went, cops and firemen acknowledged who i was. the importance of sports as a whole was never clearer to me. people would lean out of their apartments, with no electricity and this waste blowing around, and say, "hey, keith, thanks for coming down." the sense that your presence from a former show could cheer up someone, even briefly, was
charley steiner: i went down to ground zero with sugar ray leonard - it was still smoldering - to shake hands with the police and firemen. they were obviously thrilled to have ray there, but i got the same response from these guys caked in 9/11 soot and they're humming "da-da-da, da-da-da!" you start to cry.
on a lighter note, i was holidaying on the turks and caicos, walking on a beach with a friend, and we saw these two kids heading straight for us. i thought we were going to get rolled. but they break out laughing and ask, "hey, charley mon, what you doin' here, mon?" same thing - da-da-da, da-da-da!
of the thousands of sportscenters you did, which stand out?
roberts: for a personally dramatic moment, tennis great arthur ashe was a friend, and he passed away on a saturday night. i had to go on-air sunday, and it was the most painful experience. we started some highlights, and i had to apologize to the viewers because for the first time my heart wasn't in it. but we did get to honor a friend with some wonderful tributes.