Need more proof that a #1 ranked Notre Dame team is one of the strongest and most relevant brands in all of sports? Tonight at 7:30 PM ET, ESPN will air a half hour Pardon The Interruption special looking back at the show's last decade covering Notre Dame. Last month, Grantland posted a similar video with the first PTImeline about LeBron James that was well done and fascinating.
It's interesting that the LeBron James video was shown online and lasted just 15 minutes. The Notre Dame version will fill an entire half hour and air on ESPN primetime. ESPN has said this particular PTI retrospective will go all the way back to Bob Davie's hiring in 2001, through the Willingham and Weis eras (wow that makes me feel old), and up to the undefeated 2012 season.
To think that ESPN will devote a half hour of airtime to a team most associate with NBC shows the unreal drawing power Notre Dame still has. (Not bad for a team Rick Reilly suggested should be relegated before the 2012 season began.) This season, ABC aired all four of the Fighting Irish road games they had the rights to in the nationally televised Saturday Night Football. All of them. Even a game at crappy Boston College earned top billing from ABC. Now, ESPN is airing half hour specials for Notre Dame in what is sure to be just the beginning of the hype for the BCS title game, which could be the highest ever on cable.
But even if you're suffering from Notre Dame overload, this should be highly recommended viewing for the creative and compelling PTImeline. It's one of the most innovative programming ideas I've seen in the last year. Looking back at those real-time conversations as they happened on PTI is a one-of-a-kind way to follow the big picture story of Notre Dame football in the last decade as they yo-yoed in and out of the spotlight until finally returning to #1 in the polls. The original LeBron James PTImeline has 270,000 views on Youtube and if viewers turn out Tuesday night, hopefully we'll see more creative programs of this ilk in the future.