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Inside the Mailman’s Studio: A Penn State Talk Show for the Big Ten Network

by on January 17, 2011 11:15 PM

Last week, after some friends and I attended a Penn State basketball game, we went out for pizza and reflected on an idea we pitched to the Big Ten Network a couple of years ago. Although nothing came of it (as of yet), we still have fun discussing it.

When the network first came out, it requested program ideas from all of the Big Ten schools that it could air to supplement coverage of sporting events. Headquartered in Chicago, it was the first internationally distributed TV network dedicated to covering more than 350 live sporting events from a single conference. An estimated 75 million households have this channel.

Knowing what a huge alumni and fan following Penn State has, I thought it would be great to submit an idea for the network. The show would fulfill one of those life experiences I’ve always dreamed of having.

My friends and I came up “Special Delivery,” a weekly sports entertainment/talk show from Penn State University.

The cast:
Me; Dr. Jon Nese; Dr. Spencer “Skip” Niles; my daughter, Marykate Herr; and David Price.

This semi-serious, always-upbeat show would focus on PSU and its fans having fun with the university’s sports. It would feature light-but-informative bits, involving past, present and upcoming events.  

The potential segments we came up with were:

  • Stamp of Approval: I would review who and what was hot and not for the current week in the Big Ten.
  • “Herr” Side of the story: Marykate would interview athletes with anything but the typically asked questions.
  • First Class: Skip, who currently is the head of his department of counselor education here at Penn State, would highlight specific academic achievements, volunteering, and charitable contributions by Penn State athletes.
  • Who Carried the Mail: Jon would discuss the best athletic performance of the week and, as a professor of meteorology here at Penn State, review the weather conditions for upcoming sporting events.
  • Speedy Delivery: David Price would update us on any game-breaking news regarding Big Ten athletics and universities in general.

Besides current Penn State athletes, some potential guests would include former Nittany Lion athletes such as Nate Althouse, Kyle Brady, Dan Earl, Tamba Hali, Michael Robinson and many many more; current coaches Russ Rose and Char Morett; sports psychologist Dr. Dave Yukelson; former USG President/Homecoming King/"Survivor" finalist Ian Rosenberger; and even Penn State President Graham Spanier.

Of course, we would always conclude with the cookie-of-the-week contest winner….fading out with the Nittany Lion mascot enjoying them.

The program would take place right outside the University Park post office, possibly in the HUB (or a set made to look like this area) in front of a live audience.

As we finished our pizza and were making our closing remarks with regard to that night’s basketball game, Jon, Skip and I realized that TV cameras or not, we already had an audience—one another! And with friends like these, we have already encountered some unforgettable life experiences.



Mike (The Mailman) Herr gives his stamp of approval to all visitors Monday through Friday at the University Park post office in the ground floor of McAllister Building, adjacent to the HUB. His views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Penn State University.
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