"The Mothership," "the center of the sports universe," "the really cold place in Connecticut where everything you know in sports is created."
This is ESPN's headquarters in Bristol, CT.
I have been fortunate enough to be a small part of the ESPN family since 2007 and have had a blast every minute I have been with them - even when I am branded with the nickname "boy wonder" within the company.
As I took this trip up North, I knew it was going to be a mad dash from newsroom to TV studio. On planes, trains, subways and taxi cabs, I raced across five states and ESPN was my second-to-last stop.
I was already feeling the effects of my travels by the time I made it to Bristol, but when I stepped foot onto campus everything changed.
The town of Bristol is just a part of ESPN - not the other way around.
Bristol is a town while ESPN's headquarters is a city. The campus spans dozens of buildings, housing some of the most advanced television and radio stations with the most impressive infrastructure I've ever seen.
Adam Richman, who is part of ESPN's IT team, works with almost every aspect of the company in Bristol. Improving the infrastructure between the many branches of the company, Adam's extensive knowledge of the workings of ESPN made this trip ideal.
When you have nearly 5,000 employees working on one campus, communication can be difficult. ESPN has mastered internal communications with terminals around campus where you can enter your employee ID and see your schedule on a flat-screen TV right in front of you. There are also various Cisco monitors across campus broadcasting information to employees throughout the day.
Visiting Bristol has been on my to-do list for years, and the trip was everything I hoped for. Working with so many talented people over the years has allowed me to grow as a professional and expand my business. When you have the four letters of ESPN attached to your business, in any way, doors can open and hard work pays off.
My first editor, Lynn Hoppes, at The Orlando Sentinel has since left the paper to work for ESPN in Bristol, running "Page 2" of their website. Lynn has offered invaluable advice in the past and it was great to see an old friend after a few years of e-mailing and Facebook posting.
Everyone at ESPN, from broadcast to public relations to the online team has been a dream to work with. It has been an incredible journey as "boy wonder" with ESPN, and I cannot wait to see what exciting project we will work on next.