Friday, April 25, 2003
Updated: April 26, 5:21 PM ET
The Mayne Event
By Darren Rovell
As the Worldwide Leader in Sports, we can say with confidence that no one has ever actively participated in sporting events involving NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., Indiana Pacers guard Reggie Miller, Boston Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez and Vancouver Canucks forward Markus Naslund in one day.
Now we're going to change all that.
Assuming all goes well, ESPN's Kenny Mayne will play a part in four different events from the four major sports in four different cities in a single day. And as Kenny's "4Play Tour" makes its way from city to city, coast to coast, ESPN.com will give you the behind-the-scenes play-by-play, live, as it happens.
As Kenny says, "Who wouldn't want to do what we're doing? Now hopefully you'll be able to live this adventure through us."
Kenny's journey will start shortly after 11 a.m. ET on Sunday in the Theatre at Madison Square Garden, where he will deliver the card revealing the first pick of the second day of the draft -- the Cincinnati Bengals' fourth round selection -- to Gene Washington, the NFL's director of operations. After the moment is captured live on ESPN, Kenny will depart by helicopter for a short trip to a nearby airport. Less than 30 minutes later, he'll fly to Boston and arrive at the FleetCenter in time to catch some fourth quarter action of Game 4 between the Celtics and the Indiana Pacers.
Kenny will suit up with the towel boys and do a little sweat-mopping when needed, with an ESPN2 audience watching. Then it's back to the airport for the trek to Anaheim, save the little fuel stop in either Kansas or Nebraska. We'll catch a couple pitches of the Angels-Red Sox game at Edison International, where those watching ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" telecast will be able to see Kenny on the field as a batboy or ballboy. Then it's a quick turnaround as he will head to Vancouver, aiming to be present for part of Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinal between the Canucks and the Minnesota Wild -- viewers might be able to catch him on ESPN2 working with the ice crew.
While Kenny says he obviously wants to be noticed, he says he doesn't want to stand out too much as he goes about accomplishing his tasks.
"I'm not there to interfere," he says. "I'm just going to try to blend in with the environment as much as I can.
Kenny says the toughest part of the trip could be going through customs once arriving in Vancouver.
"They could be our greatest enemy. Believe it or not, I've never traveled overseas, so I don't even have a passport."
Instead, he will be required to bring a birth certificate with a raised seal.
"I just found it and the seal is definitely raised," says Kenny. "I hope they think it's raised high enough to pass through."
Kenny says he is preparing to eat a very big breakfast just in case he doesn't have time to eat.
"The goal is to store food like a sports camel because one thing is clear," he says. "Eating is definitely not on our itinerary."
Darren Rovell is ESPN.com's sports business reporter and a contributor to Page 2.