Boy Named ESPN to Get Visit From Network

A Texas couple who named their son ESPN (search) after the cable sports network will soon get a visit from the toddler's namesake.

An ESPN film crew is coming to the Panhandle town of Pampa next month to interview the family of 2-year-old ESPN Malachi McCall (search) for a feature on children around the country with the unique name.

ESPN (pronounced Espen) McCall is one of at least three youngsters in the United States known to be named for the sports network. A couple in Corpus Christi named their son Espn Curiel (search) in 2000, the same year Espen Blondeel (search) was born in Michigan.

"We don't have viewers. We have fans," ESPN spokesman Dave Nagle said Saturday. "And I guess there's no better testament than when someone names their child after your product. It just shows the bond we have with people."

Nagle said the feature will air Sept. 6 as part of a two-hour special celebrating the network's 25th anniversary.

Rebecca and Michael McCall said their son's name started as a joke after they heard on the radio about another couple naming their son "ESPEN."

"He looked at me and said, 'That's a cool name,'" Rebecca McCall said in Saturday's editions of the Amarillo Globe-News.

Rebecca McCall said she resisted her husband's idea at first, but the idea grew on her.

"I didn't like it until he was born," she said, adding that by then, she couldn't think of calling her son anything else.