Where were you when your career changed forever? In the case of new ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Brian Griese, the answer was “on top of a mountain.”
Wait, what? Griese told the story on Monday’s edition of the Adam Schefter Podcast, revealing that he was hiking to the summit of Colorado’s Longs Peak and received a text from ESPN SVP of Production Lee Fitting asking for Griese to call him ASAP.
Here’s the full story, which starts at the 17:11 mark of the podcast.
“I decided to go with a couple of buddies and climb Longs Peak that Friday when the news came out. It’s a long hike – it’s a 12 hour hike. No way I would have Levy join me on that kind of a hike because he wouldn’t make it halfway. But we got to the top of the mountain at about 7 AM, and I took out my phone to take a picture from the summit, 14,000 feet. On my phone was one text message from Lee Fitting at ESPN and it said ‘hey, call me ASAP.’ Well, there was no reception at the top of the mountain, and there was no ‘hey, you got the job’ or ‘you didn’t get the job,’ and I was literally five hours away from any kind of reception.
So needless to say, when I got down to the bottom of Longs Peak, everybody else, as Levy said, in the world knew except for me. But it was actually a really cool experience.
But for me to walk down and climb down that mountain, with that kind of energy and anticipation…and it wasn’t lost on me that 11 years I’ve been calling games for ESPN. This is something that we all wanted. And it is the summit, and I just came from the summit of a mountain. So it wasn’t lost on me, the comparison, and for me, personally, it was the perfect way to find out.”
That’s pretty awesome. I’m assuming this hike came at the end of July, when the news about Griese, Steve Levy, and Louis Riddick was first leaked (on a Friday). ESPN officially announced the network’s new MNF crew three weeks ago, and they’ll call their first game (Titans-Broncos) as the full-time Monday Night Football team next week.
As for Griese’s comment about going from the summit of a mountain to the summit of broadcasting…well, hooray for metaphors!