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ESPN began as an outrageous gamble with a lineup that included Australian Rules Football, rodeo, and a rinky-dinky clip show calledSports Center.Today the empire stretches far beyond television into radio, magazines, mobile phones, restaurants, video games and more, while ESPN's personalities have become global superstars to rival the sports icons they cover. Chris Berman, Robin Roberts, Keith Olbermann, Hannah Storm, Bill Simmons, Tony Kornheiser, Stuart Scott, Erin Andrews, Mike Ditka, Bob Knight, and scores of others speak openly about the games, shows, scandals, gambling addictions, bitter rivalries, and sudden suspensions that make up the network's soaring and stormy history. The result is a wild, smart, effervescent story of triumph, genius, ego, and the rise of an empire unlike any television had ever seen.