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Outdoors at Silver Horn Entertainment

 

The decision by ESPN to drop most of their outdoor programming is bad news for vendors or packagers like Silver Horn Entertainment.  For the past decade, about 40 percent of our total production has come from ESPN and the series we produced for the network.  My favorite is Operation Outdoors, a 13 week series we created in 2007 and 2008, documenting our wounded warriors when they return to the home front and seek solace and rehabilitation in the outdoors.  We profiled a number of inspirational soldier/athletes in this series and you can see all of them HERE. Of all the series we’ve done, this is one that really exemplified the healing power of the outdoors and introduced the viewer to some incredible people willing to give back to our military heroes.  Of particular note is Phil Huston, a lodge owner from British Columbia by way of Nebraska, who opens his magnificent high country luxury lodge to select groups of wounded warriors each summer.  Cheers to Phil and the many other patriots who are doing something to honor the men and women who sacrifice for our freedoms.  Telling their stories is the least we can do.  If anyone reading this has an interest in resuscitating this series, please contact us at info@silverhornentertainment.com

 

In 2005 we made the pitch to ESPN that became BassCenter.  Unfortunately our concept of a mostly live program turned into a taped news show that missed the mark because it was not live and did not offer the immediacy of a news program like SportsCenter.   This is another example of a program that could be done – a live Saturday morning news show with reports from around the country on the current fishing conditions.  Considering the advent of Live VU and other Internet-based transmission technology, live reports from remote locations makes this a concept worth revisiting don’t you think? 

 

We created the features for the program and many of them are here on our site, some of the most memorable stories we’ve done on anglers, events and issues-related stories.  I  clearly remember the one about the FLYING CARP on the Illinois River? We’d never seen anything like the thousands of fish torpedoing out of the electrified water that day.  We went bass fishing in New York City's  CENTRAL PARK and DUCK CALLING with Trey Reid in Arkansas.  Then there was the time we showed up at KVD’s house, drilled a hole in his frozen lake in the dead of winter and watched him fish out a 2 pound bass!  

 

Every February we produce content for the BassMasters Classic.  We figured out we’ve been in the homes of most of the elite bass anglers and understand their intense dedication to the sport.  Certainly my favorite trip was to RICK CLUNN'S secluded Missouri-mountain home.  It is so remote a GPS won’t get you to his property, much less inside the series of locked gates down that obscure 10 mile long dirt road off an equally non-descript county blacktop.  But his home and his family would make for a good Henry David Thoreau novel.   The place is stunning.   Denny Brauer also has a fancy estate in Missouri – although he probably won’t have us back on the water after I nearly wrecked his new bass boat in 2008…but that’s another story…

 

In 2010 we did a mini-show for ESPN called THE EX-PLAN, it chronicled Kevin Wirth and Zel Rowland as they tried to quit smoking.  The series was sponsored by American Legacy Foundation, a non-profit group established from the settlement between the tobacco industry and the U.S. Government in 1999.  Sometimes TV is just for fun and sometimes it can be deadly serious.  In this case, this series may have saved Kevin Wirth’s life.

 

After his health assessment to determine his fitness at the outset of the series, he was diagnosed with COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.  The opportunity to quit smoking on a television series was a bold step.  The fact that he and Rowland are both non-smokers today is one reason why this job is so satisfying – we can make a difference and have a good time doing it! 

 

ESPN may have give up on the outdoors, but we are still hunting and fishing for the next great outdoor adventure.