Ed Cunningham grew up playing football at Mount Vernon High School in DC’s backyard. His ability to play the game and play it well enabled a successful career as a professional football player and on-air sports analyst. The athleticism he exhibited on the field led Cunningham to a Rose Bowl Championship — that he won — in college before he continued on to spend time in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks in the 90’s.
Most recently, Cunningham finds himself working as a college football analyst for ESPN. And this weekend, ESPN is bringing Cunningham back home to call the Clemson at Maryland football game which is scheduled to air at 3:30 p.m. ET this afternoon.
What is it about DC that makes it home to you?
Now that I have lived away for so long, I think it is the accents of the people. There is such a unique way of speaking here, and it always reminds me of being a kid in such a great place.
Describe your perfect day in DC. Where would you go and what would you do?
It would be in spring or fall – I’m not good with the humidity or cold anymore – and would not stray far from the National Mall during the day. It would have to include a stop at the Air & Space, Natural History, and the other Smithsonian museums, and my wife would require at least 3 monuments…with Lincoln being the first. Then we’d likely go eat and shop in Adams Morgan.
What’s your favorite hidden gem of a location in DC? How did you find it and why do you love it?
The first time I walked through the park that houses the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, it took my breath away. I’ve taken people there without mentioning where we were going, and it always has the same impact. So understated and then a bit overwhelming. I found it without even looking for it, and so it felt like a discovery. If you are walking from behind the monument, it reveals itself as you walk around and is stunning.
Who’s your favorite DC personality and why?
I grew up listening to DC 101 and the mornings were dominated by The Greaseman. Hugely talented with a great work ethic, he is one of the best ever at creating 3-4 hours of topical radio every day. He’s a legend.
How would you describe the professional DC sports scene and how has it changed since you were growing up?
I don’t think it’s changed much, except a baseball team was added. We would have to gather groups and road trip to Baltimore for Orioles games, so taking the subway to a game would be sweet I imagine.