Former NFL stars Sterling Sharpe and Donovan McNabb take us inside the production room to give us a sense of how they get ready for the Super Bowl edition of their "Playbook" show on NFL Network.
At some point in the near future, John Smoltz will travel to Cooperstown to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Until then, all he needs to do to relive his baseball past is walk down the stairs of his Atlanta-area home.
Smoltz and his home were showcased on a recent episode of Million Dollar Rooms, an HGTV show which profiles homeowners and their upscale digs. Put simply, the 1996 Cy Young Award winner has a home that would make many grown men drool.
Smoltz literally has trophy cases built into the walls of his house. The display cases are packed with old memorabilia, trophies and even the torch that Muhammed Ali used to light the Olympic flame in Atlanta in 1996.
But as cool as Smoltz's personal museum is, perhaps the most impressive feature of his home is the vast backyard. He's got a baseball field, tennis and basketball courts, a golf course and much more on his 22 acre property. Smoltz estimates that he's spent at least $2 million on his backyard alone. He calls it "Disney World in the backyard," and it's hard to argue with that.
See for yourself:
As you might expect, Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin has a sweet set-up in his house for getting comfortable and soaking up the game action on TV. But it's an extra nice touch to see that Maclin has strong representation of his family and his college days in photos and memorabilia.
As center of the Jets, Nick Mangold is usually popping up on other people's big screens. But as you'll see, here's a man who values investing in quality electronics and also boasts of a secret ingredient in his chili, so he is also plenty prepared to host a gathering for the big game.
The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas always takes place right in the middle of the NFL playoffs. Coincidence? Please. If there is a driving force behind the demand for bigger screens and sharper pictures, it's coming from sports fans, and let's face it, the NFL is easily the most popular sport.
So you might have your place outfitted with a monster-sized HD TV, and while there's nothing wrong with it, that doesn't mean you can't do better.
And bigger and better is what manufacturers had on display at CES this year in the form of Ultra HD TV.
What exactly does Ultra HD mean? In technical terms, it offers a picture of almost 8.3 million pixels. To put it in simpler terms, that is four times the resolution quality of current HD TVs.
That upgrade in quality will cost you. Ultra HD sets start at about $10,000, but prices are expected to come down the same way they did with HD TVs. The Associated Press reported that "TV buyers spent a record-low average of $364 on flat-screen TVs during the recent holiday shopping season, according to research firm NPD Group."
There isn't much programming that was shot in Ultra HD available yet, so no need to rush out and grab a set now. But Engadget.com reports that "the 2016 Olympics are likely to be a big moment for Ultra HD, as worldwide events like this have typically been a motivating factor for providers to showcase new technologies like HD and 3D in the past."Full Story >>
New York Giants fans, now that your team's season is over and you've got some free time on your hands, here's some motivation to get moving on whatever project you've been putting off until the end of football season.
Don Martini, a 75-year-old grandfather from Blairstown, N.J., recently completed a scale model of the old Giants Stadium in his garage. It took $20,000 and two years, but Martini's model is one of the most impressive "do-it-yourself" projects you'll ever see.
The model is 20 feet long and 17 feet wide and has nearly the same number of lights and seats as the actual stadium did. Instead of scoreboards Martini installed two small TVs, one of which shows Super Bowl XLII on a loop and the other plays the 2008 NFC championship game.
Martini had to sell his antique car to clear space for the model in his garage. And the stadium is only the centerpiece of an extremely impressive space. Martini's garage also has a timeline of Giants Stadium on the wall, a wall-sized image of the New York skyline and autographed photos from each Super Bowl team.
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Lots of people host get-togethers for the big game, but some have elevated this to an art form. Rap star Memphis Bleek gives us an inside look at his home and explains the special vibe he tries to create. A member of the New York Giants secondary helps inject some additional star power to Bleek's place.
Shopping for a multi-million dollar home in Los Angeles, Miami or New York is something that most of us will never get to experience.
And that's why we have reality TV.
The newest real estate program is of special interest to sports fans, as it follows professional athletes on their quest for the perfect crib.
"Scoring the Deal" profiles mega agent Jason Abrams, known as "The Jerry Maguire of Real Estate," and his long list of well-known clientele. The first episode, which airs on Jan. 8 at 11 p.m. ET on HGTV, features former NFL running back Clinton Portis.
Abrams has been working with professional athletes for years, but after seeing the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary "Broke" he figured it would be a good idea to shed light on the real estate process. The documentary portrays all the ways athletes have blown their fortune, and poor real estate decisions are among the most common.
"I thought maybe a show about what I do could help educate people," Abrams told ESPN.com. "Guys get close to retirement, and thanks to trades and free agency, they have five houses in five cities. It’s like dying from the common cold. All the numbers add up. What are they going to do with all these houses they own?"
Abrams, the founder and CEO of The Abrams Team, flies across the country in order to screen houses for his clients. Last year he spent 309 days on the road, and this year he might top that. But it's hard to complain when you're inspecting the nicest real estate the country has to offer for some of the wealthiest people in the country.
Those who are familiar with HGTV's hit show "House Hunters" will recognize many of the aspects of "Scoring the Deal" -- the unbelievable digs, the struggle to find the right price and location, and the process of narrowing down a list of several possibilities.
However, HGTV general manager Kathleen Finch told ESPN that one characteristic of the show is unique to professional athletes.
"For the first time in all my years at looking at shows for HGTV," Finch said, "I've actually had to pull out shots because of talk about stripper poles."
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