Boston vs. New York: ESPN personalities to discuss rivalries on campus

ESPN personalities Stephen A. Smith, Jackie MacMullan P'14 and Bob Ryan.
ESPN personalities Stephen A. Smith, Jackie MacMullan P'14 and Bob Ryan.

Connecticut has been a sort of demilitarized zone between warring factions of Boston and New York sports fans, so it should be fun and provocative when ambassadors from each side descend on the neutral meeting ground of Connecticut College to debate the great rivalries past and present.

ESPN analysts Bob Ryan, representing Boston, and Stephen A. Smith, representing New York, will be on campus Sept. 21 for a lively discussion moderated by Jackie MacMullan P’14, an award-winning sportswriter and panelist on ESPN’s “Around the Horn.” The presentation is part of “A Night with ESPN’s Best: Boston vs. New York,” a fundraiser produced by MacMullan and Athletic Director Fran Shields to benefit the women’s basketball team (MacMullan’s daughter Aly Boyle ’14 will be one of the team’s captains this year) and a local nonprofit.

In addition to the Ryan-Smith fireworks show, attendees will enjoy food and drink as well as live and silent auctions of incredible items and packages, including:

•Shaquille O’Neal signed Boston Celtics jersey

•ESPN’s suite at Madison Square Garden for a New York Knicks game

•A concert in a suite at Boston’s TD Garden

•Boston and New York sports memorabilia and game tickets

•Mohegan Sun concert and hotel package

•Boston Red Sox mega-package including hotel, dinner, on-field pre-game VIP tour, front row seats and signed jersey

•Signed Jim Calhoun basketball and four tickets to a UConn basketball game

“The College is fortunate to have a parent like Jackie, who has mustered her colleagues and friends in order to make this event so special,” said Shields. “Bob Ryan, Stephen A. Smith and Jackie are world-class journalists who know how to entertain a crowd, and the auction items Jackie has secured are truly special. The evening will be one of the most extraordinary events in the history of Connecticut College athletics.”

“A Night with ESPN’s Best” will run from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, in the 1962 Room of the College Center at Crozier-Williams. Advance tickets are $35, student tickets are $25 and tickets purchased at the door are $50. Tickets for a VIP reception from 5 to 6 p.m. are $100 and include entry to the main event — the first 30 people to purchase VIP tickets will received a signed copy of “Shaq Uncut,” Shaquille O’Neal’s autobiography co-authored by MacMullan. Advance tickets are available here.

Some proceeds from the event will go to Camp Rotary, a summer program for New London middle school students.

September 3, 2013