On September 7, 1979, the Entertainment and Sports Program Network first went on the cable-TV "air", with coverage of a women's softball game.

Much like Ted Turner's Cable News Network that started out right around the same time. people laughed and scoffed at the idea that a 24-hour channel devoted at least mainly to sports would ever get off the ground.

Today, ESPN is part of the Disney empire, with seemingly a dozen networks or more, a radio network and several owned radio stations around the country, worldwide internet operations, a magazine, and a chain of restaurants.

I'd forgotten about tomorrow's anniversary until I turned on Sunday night Sports Center, and saw the three anchors with the longest service - Chris Berman, Bob Ley, and John Saunders - anchoring a very special program, which will be repeated until I believe 9AM Monday morning.

Monday is the actual 30th anniversary.

It certainly has become an integral part of my daily routine. And it's come a long way from the days of morning exercise programs, and a steady diet of motocross and truck pull shows.

Happy Birthday ESPN!