Chat with Todd Blackledge
Food and football go hand-in-hand for Todd Blackledge.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, we'll be talking about the new college football season with ESPN analyst Todd Blackledge, whose new book "Taste of the Town" hits stores Tuesday.
Blackledge started at quarterback for Penn State for three years, including PSU's national championship in 1982. The Kansas City Chiefs selected Blackledge seventh overall in the 1983 draft and he played seven seasons in the NFL.
The "Taste of the Town" book spun off of the "Taste of the Town" segment Blackledge regularly does during his game broadcasts. The book focuses on popular college towns with top choices of places to eat, what to eat, with football stories mixed throughout. Blackledge also includes more than 100 recipes from the chefs and coaches from each college town, complete with behind-the-scene photos.
Send your questions now and join Blackledge Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
Todd Blackledge (10:59 AM)
We had a great opening week of college football. Looking forward to heading to Georgia this weekend for South Carolina vs. Georgia.
What are your thoughts on Christian Hackenberg's season opener, what he needs to do to be successful and progress throughout the non-conference/B1G slate, and whether (or not) Coach O'Brien will balance things up more on offense?
Todd Blackledge (11:00 AM)
I thought he had an outstanding first game. His numbers were very solid. Any time you get a win on the road in your first start, that's a pretty big deal.
Todd are you and Brad Nessler going to be working the florida lsu game october12th?your comments.
Todd Blackledge (11:01 AM)
We do not know our schedule beyond this week's South Carolina-Georgia game. I wish we knew more but that's all we know right now.
Fellow Penn Stater here...How good do you think Hackenberg can be? Do you think he can lead them to a potential playoff in a couple of years...especially since Braxton Miller won't be at Ohio State anymore. I hope they reduce the sanctions after this year to 1 more year.
Todd Blackledge (11:03 AM)
I think he's talented, he's going to be very well coached but it was only one game and it takes 11 on offense playing together to be truly successful.
Todd, What are thoughts on the Alabama and TexasA&M game in a couple of weeks?
Todd Blackledge (11:04 AM)
Its a much anticipated game. I think Bama will have solved some of there offensive issues by that game and they will be the better team on the field that day.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who is your Preseason Pick for the 2013-2014 National Champions in College Football?
Todd Blackledge (11:05 AM)
I don't normally pick games but I picked Alabama to beat Ohio State.
Jon (Bend, OR)
Do you think Oregon State can bounce back and have a good season?
Todd Blackledge (11:06 AM)
I think they can bounce back. Mike Riley is one of the best coaches in college football. It was a heart-breaking loss but it was only the first game of the season.
What made you come out with a book about food?
Todd Blackledge (11:08 AM)
I did taste of the town from 2007-2011 and I decided to writing a book would be a great way to put all my Taste of the Town experiences into one place. The book gave me the chance to do so much more than I can do in a 45 second spot on TV. I had a lot of fun working on it this past offseason.
Todd Pierce (casper Wy)
Why is the background game noise on the ESPN games football. louder than the announcers ?? I can"t even hear the broadcasters ??
Todd Blackledge (11:10 AM)
The noise in the stadium is part of the atmosphere of the game. Our audio crew does a great job of allowing us to hear ourselves over the loud crowd.
Carly (New Mexico)
Hi, Todd! My parents are both PSU grads ('75 and '76) and big fans of you and the Taste of the Town segment. My dad has enlisted my help in trying to track down an autographed copy of Taste of the Town for my mom for Christmas since I'm the computer savvy one. So...is there a store that will be getting copies, or will there be a book tour? Thanks for your response!
Todd Blackledge (11:11 AM)
I plan on doing book signings at campus book stores on the campus of games we do this year. I start in Athens, Georgia this week, however I don't know my schedule after that so we will have to just wait and see.
Brett (Conshohocken, PA)
Do you expect Bill O'Brien to unleash Hack a little more on third downs this week against EMU? We ran the ball a lot in third and long situations, it seemed.
Todd Blackledge (11:13 AM)
I think that will be an ongoing process. I think the more Christian Hecklenburg plays, the more of the offense Bill will put in his hands.
I am a fan of college football. But I was wondering why the ncaa do not merge all divisions? Of course there are a lot of schools to consider and the "policing" and so forth. I remember a time when on the EA college games you had Div. 1 and 2 that you could play with in the regular season. I just feel that the NCAA can't deny the rise of "smaller", unnoticed teams (Sam Houston St,Eastern ILL, etc.), and therefore should make their football season more like the baseball or basketball model where no matter what division you hail from, you get a fair chance. What do you think?
Todd Blackledge (11:16 AM)
In opening games like last weekend, it is always possible for smaller schools to pull the upset. Like ND State, Eastern Washington, etc. But as the season goes on, those teams do not poses the same type of depth across the board like the major FBS schools. Therefore, really football is quite a bit different than EA football.
Todd Blackledge (11:22 AM)
Thanks for the chat. I hope you enjoy the book "Taste of the Town." I am very pleased how it turned. It's mostly a cookbook featuring over 100 recipes from chefs and restaurants all over the country but it also captures the passion and pageantry of college football and its undeniable link with food. For any other questions and college football or "Taste of the Town," you can find me on Twitter at @todd_blackledge and check out the book "Taste of the Town" available wherever books are sold. And for all things "Taste of the Town" visit www.tasteofthetowntodd.com.