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Volume 26 No. 178
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Weekend Plans With Big East Digital Network's John Fanta

The college basketball season is a busy time for Big East Digital Network's JOHN FANTA, who works dual roles as host of the weekly online show, "Big East Shootaround," and as a play-by-play announcer for Fox Sports. This weekend, Fanta will be in three cities in three days calling both men's and women's Big East matchups. Fanta: "What’s great about my job is the relationships. To call three games in three days is incredible because you’re interacting with six different teams, coaches and players and everyone has a different personality and story to share." Fanta recently caught up with THE DAILY to detail his jam-packed schedule before he winds down to watch the Super Bowl.

THE DISTRICT: On top of hosting "Big East Shootaround," I'm primarily doing a good portion of the Big East women’s package during this time of year for Fox Sports. I’ll be in DC on Friday, where I’ll call Seton Hall-Georgetown on FS2 at 7:00pm ET. I’ll fly in on Thursday night and then I’ll be at both teams’ shootarounds during the day on Friday. The first team will start around 10:00am and the other team will start around noon. I’ll talk to the coaches and players and get the latest updates from both schools at that time. Then, I’ll do some research for the broadcast and meet up with my partner, MONICA MCNUTT, who played at Georgetown, and our producer before the game. I’ll head back to the hotel after that, get ready for the game and, before you know it, it's already time to head back to McDonough Arena. Once the game's over, I’ll grab a quick bite to eat at The Tombs, which is about a five-minute walk from Georgetown’s campus and is normally open late. Then, I’ll head back to the hotel to pack everything up, reset and set the alarm for a 6:00am flight to Newark.

Fanta gets sent to Big East hoops games to enhance the coverage beyond just the Fox telecast
Photo: BIG EAST
Fanta gets sent to Big East hoops games to enhance the coverage beyond just the Fox telecast
Photo: BIG EAST
Fanta gets sent to Big East hoops games to enhance the coverage beyond just the Fox telecast
Photo: BIG EAST

GATEWAY CITY: Fox on Saturday will be running some pre-Super Bowl programming ahead of the game on Sunday, so the men's Xavier-Seton Hall matchup at the Prudential Center will tipoff at 11:00am. It's not common that a college hoops game starts that early, but due to the TV slot, that's the case this time. I'll probably land in Newark around 7:45-8:00am. Most times, I go straight home, but because of the early tip, I’ll probably just head to the arena from the airport. I will do a pre-game hit for Big East digital outlets -- Twitter, Facebook, BigEast.com -- around 10:00-10:30am to set the table for the day. There are four games happening on Saturday, so I'll tell our viewers what they need to know for those matchups later in the day. After the game, I'll do interviews with the winning coach and players. On the digital side, I'm typically at a lot of the games that are covered by big Fox on the weekends because the Big East has the most broadcast TV appearances. The Big East Digital Network sends me to those games to enhance the coverage beyond just the Fox telecast.

MY KIND OF TOWN: I'll head to the airport and fly to Chicago for a Sunday Big East Digital Network women's game. I don't always call digital games in the Midwest because they like to regionalize things, but I’ll be there to cover DePaul -- the best team in the conference and No. 11 in the country -- and Providence at 1:00pm CT at Wintrust Arena. After a whirlwind weekend, I intend to relax and watch the Super Bowl on Sunday night. I’ll be in Chicago for the game -- when I was given the Providence-DePaul assignment, I said I really would hate to be in the air during the Super Bowl, so I was allowed to stay for the night. I’ll then fly back Newark on Monday morning.

Know of someone who should be featured in Weekend Plans? Shoot a note over to lsmith@sportsbusinessdaily.com.