Boston.com – He was like the Internet-famous Boom Goes The Dynamite kid, but for a national television audience of more than 10 million rather than a college station’s obscure newscast.
Sergio Dipp’s first sideline report for ESPN “Monday Night Football’’ Chargers-Broncos matchup in Week 1 was so bewilderingly awkward — punctuated with a meme-worthy reference to Broncos coach Vance Joseph “having the time of his life’’ — that there was no second sideline report. He did not go on camera again that night.
What he got instead was viral notoriety on the Internet that no serious person wants.
“I thought I was going to be fired,’’ he says now.
Dipp did not get fired. Perhaps unbeknownst to stateside viewers who figured him to be some wide-eyed novice who, in his second language, swallowed his words when the red light went on, he went back to doing what he did before.
Which happens to be staying very busy in a high-profile role for ESPN International and Deportes. He hosts “SportsCenter’’ weekday mornings for ESPN International as well as the “NFL Live’’ program on Sunday mornings. He also is the studio host for Mexico’s version of “NFL RedZone.’’
“You guys in the United States, you met me then out of nowhere,’’ he said. “New guy, new face, who is this guy? Out of nowhere. People wondered who I was and how I got there and what I was doing.
“But I’ve been working in sports media in Mexico for 10 years now. I’ve been at ESPN the last five. It was a new experience, being on television in the United States in my second language. But I was not a rookie.’’
Dipp has not been on ESPN since his one shot during that season-opening doubleheader. That will change this weekend when he reports for ESPN’s “SportsCenter’’ and “Sunday NFL Countdown’’ in advance of the Patriots-Raiders matchup at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, a game that will air on CBS.
Dipp acknowledges that the public response to what happened in the Chargers-Broncos game was overwhelming. But he said he is excited to have another chance in front of a stateside audience.
“I tried to understand the noise,’’ he said. “I think ESPN was happy with how I handled it, and I am happy to have another chance for ESPN in the States. It was a great experience for me before that happened, and it’s been my mind-set since. I’m looking forward to having another opportunity in front of the American public to have fun and do what I do.’’
Dipp said soccer remains far and away the most popular sport in Mexico, but football has gained an immense following since the turn of the century.