“Remember ‘ABC NBC’ — Always Be Curious, Never Be Complacent.“
– Bill Rasmussen
Bill Rasmussen (@bill_espn) is the co-founder of ESPN. He turned a massive gamble into an opportunity to create the 24-hour programming cycle used universally by networks today.
This episode comes from my new television show Fear(less), where I interview world-class performers about how they’ve overcome doubt, conquered fear, and made their toughest decisions. You can watch the entire first episode with illusionist David Blaine for free at att.net/fearless. (To watch all episodes, please visit DIRECTV NOW).
We recorded three hours of material and only one hour was used for the TV show. This podcast episode is almost entirely new content that didn’t appear on TV.
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear another podcast with a guest from Fearless? — Listen to this episode with Micahel Gervais. We discuss how to win the war against anxiety, some of the more effective (and less effective) ways to self-talk, behind-the-scenes stories of Michael’s clients, understanding mastery, and much more. (stream below or right-click here to download):
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QUESTION OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Connect with Bill Rasmussen:
- ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network): The Worldwide Leader in Sports
- Sports Junkies Rejoice: The Birth of ESPN by Bill Rasmussen
- Comiskey Park
- Chicago White Sox
- Behind the Picture: ‘Dewey Defeats Truman’ and the Politics of Memory by Ben Cosgrove, Time Magazine
- DePauw University
- Bill Rasmussen Went from Losing a Job to Creating ESPN by Bill Wells, MassLive
- Gordon Gekko’s Cell Phone by Sara Breselor, Slate
- Magic and Bird: A Rivalry Gives Way to Friendship, NPR
- When the Game Was Ours by Larry Bird and Earvin Johnson
- When Harry Met Sally
- Hurling — The Fastest Game on Grass
- The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War by David Halberstam
- The Scariest Navy SEAL Imaginable…And What He Taught Me
- How Renegade Filmmaker Casey Neistat Breaks Rules, Reinvents Himself, and Gets Thanked For It
- Amelia Boone on Beating 99% of Men and Suffering for High Performance
- Hartford Whalers
- Bill Rasmussen credits his grandfather with turning him into a rabid sports fan.[07:34]
- Bill remembers exactly where he was when Pearl Harbor was attacked and gives a fourth-grader’s perspective of WWII. [10:08]
- Our youthful baseball experiences were similarly disastrous. [13:26]
- Bill writes an essay that sends him to Washington for President Truman’s 1949 inauguration, where he meets one of his idols. [14:26]
- Professors who had an impact on Bill at DePauw University. [16:49]
- Bill’s brief stint as a weatherman — and how he found a way to incorporate sports into the presentation. [19:45]
- Cassius Clay (aka Muhammad Ali) and his place in the EPSN formation story. [24:35]
- Is “things happen for a reason” one of Bill’s core beliefs? [27:10]
- How would Bill approach teaching students to be more confident? [27:23]
- The Anheuser-Busch connection to ESPN’s inception. [28:20]
- Most costly missteps early on. [31:19]
- Bill presents an artifact from his past. [36:32]
- If the Bill of 2017 could give advice to his earlier self the day before ESPN launched, what would he tell himself? [39:18]
- Is Bill the Nostradamus of college sports? [41:09]
- To this day, ESPN’s mission statement is still six words. [42:13]
- How does Bill gauge his investments? [43:26]
- How has Bill managed his time differently from the competition? [44:46]
- On the layers of ESPN’s mothership. [50:12]
- What sports does Bill wish were more popular in the US? [52:18]
- On the random power of chaos. [53:14]
- One of ESPN’s early marketing stories. [55:32]
- Why did the US build submarines in Manitowoc, Wisconsin during WWII — and how should this inform modern society? [59:27]
- What does Bill consider one of his most worthwhile investments (in money, time, or energy)? [1:01:16]
- On reaching people circa 1979. [1:04:10]
- Harry S. Truman
- Omar Bradley
- Hiram L. Jome
- A.W. Crandall
- Muhammad Ali
- Sonny Liston
- Gene Petrillo
- Bob Ley
- Gordon Gekko
- Michel de Nostredame
- Larry Bird
- Magic Johnson
- Roger Goodell
- Bob Arum
- Don King
- Scotty Connal
- David Halberstam
- Jocko Willink
- Casey Neistat
- Amelia Boone
- George H.W. Bush
Posted on: August 9, 2017.
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Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.