When ESPN debuted with SportsCenter on September 7, 1979, the entire world of sports journalism was about to change. Now what happened off the field—greed, scandal, strikes, disconnected tragedy—would overshadow the action on it.
After ESPN turned 20, their sister network, ESPN Classic, decided to recall some of those disconnected tragedies as ESPN's SportsCenter had described them. The result was SportsCenter Flashback.
The first season of shows were raw assemble-edited SportsCenter segments wrapped around a host in the ESPN studio. During its second and third years, SportsCenter Flashback turned to the format that was proving successful for SportsCentury. These shows had no clips from SportsCenter, and more often than not, episodes were devoted to sad stories that predate ESPN.
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