Before joining NESN, Dell worked at several different high-profile events and programs for ESPN, including MLB, Monday Night Football, NBA and NASCAR coverage.
We sat down with the Connecticut native on Thursday as she shared some thoughts on her past experiences and upcoming future position.
NESN.com: How’d you get interested in baseball?
Jenny Dell: I grew up watching baseball with my dad in Connecticut and he’s from Brooklyn, so he was actually a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, but he started watching the Yankees and the Mets. That’s what I grew up watching, just more to spend time with my dad than watch the Yankees.
When I went to college at UMass, that’s when I really got into baseball. If you weren’t a Red Sox fan at UMass, you were in trouble. I lived with girls that were from the Boston area, so they quickly taught me it was Red Sox Nation or else.
NESN.com: What was your greatest Red Sox memory?
JD: It’s got to be the whole 2004 series — Yankees and Red Sox. That was when I started enjoying baseball and to be at a school like UMass at that time, I completely bonded with thousands of people at UMass over those games in 2004.
NESN.com: What’s been your career highlight so far?
JD: I covered the 2010 and 2011 Super Bowls, and the opportunities that I got there are unbelievable. The people I got to talk to, the access that we had, it was one of those things — and I felt like this when I got this job — where you pinch yourself and you’re like, “Am I really here right now?” I was in Dallas at that amazing stadium watching the Packers run out, and you’re standing there and looking around at the thousands of people and it was incredible. The highlight of all of that was at the Super Bowl last year, when I got to interview [legendary 49ers quarterback] Joe Montana.
NESN.com: At the Super Bowl, who was your favorite non-athlete interview and why?
JD: I would have to say [rapper] Nelly. I got to interview him three times and surprisingly, he’s one of those guys that remember your name. The second time I interviewed him, he was like “Jenny, it’s good to see you again.” He’s just very laid-back and he talks to people like they are just one of his friends. I enjoy interviewing people when you can just sit down and have an actual conversation. It makes the interview better and a lot more fun. Another one was at the  Super Bowl, I interviewed [Black Eyes Peas group member] Will.I.Am and [rapper] Jermaine Dupri ran into the interview and said “I think the Black Eyed Peas need to play at the Super Bowl next year.” And they ended up doing that.
NESN.com: How does it feel to be officially back in your college city?
JD: It feels great, I have a ton of friends that I went to school at UMass with. I have a couple stepbrothers and family members in Boston, so you feel at home when you’re here, you know. Boston itself is an amazing city — the food, the culture, the people, the passion, everything. It’s alive and that’s why I love being here. It feels like I’m home, I love Boston.
NESN.com: What was the biggest thing you took from your experience at ESPN?
JD: The biggest thing I took was learning from all my experiences. Just learning how to work with a lot of different personalities. There were people that had been there since 1979, since it opened. Then, there’s people that are just out of college. So it’s kind of managing other people’s personalities and how to deal and work well with all various types of personalities. I was on the road a lot at ESPN, so I worked with people who have been in the industry for years and years. Just taking in and learning as much as I can from every single person, that’s what I got most.
NESN.com: Lastly, what was your most random experience or assignment?
JD: When covering NASCAR, I got to come over to Fenway — since one of the teams was sponsored by Fenway — so Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. were two really big names and they’re best friends and really close. So we made a series called “Ricky vs. Trevor” and I had to come to Fenway to produce a shoot for both of them. We were literally running around Fenway Park. On top of the Green Monster, we were throwing Frisbees trying to hit home plate. We had them in the bullpen and Wally held a speed gun to see who can pitch faster. It’s funny to look back on it now at NESN.
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