A few weeks ago, ESPN's newsmagazine E:60 featured a Philadelphia-centric double-billing, focusing its entire hour on Millville, N.J., native Mike Trout and Eagles center Jason Kelce (and his brother, Travis, who plays tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs).
Now, E:60 has directed its cameras toward Kelce's teammate, tight end Zach Ertz, and Ertz's wife, FIFA Women's World Cup champion Julie, for a new segment that will air this Sunday on ESPN.
"Philadelphia is a great sports town. It so happens that even this New York sports fan has noticed the recent successes," Andy Tennant, the executive producer of E:60 and Outside the Lines, told the Inquirer and Daily News last month.
E:60 co-host Jeremy Schaap handled the reporting duties on the segment, which begins with Zach and Julie as kids (with a healthy dose of home videos) and explores how they met and how they make their relationship work.
"I think the conversation started, like, 'Do you want to share some sunflower seeds?' or something like that," Zach told Schaap during one of the interviews featured in the segment, recalling the first time the future couple met.
"How did she respond?" Schaap asked.
"Oh yeah, she wanted some. She wanted some sunflower seeds," a laughing Zach responded.
ESPN spent six months off-and-on with the couple, shooting the segment from January through July. Jennifer Karson, who produced the piece, said the most surprising thing she learned about the couple was that both seemed happiest when they were hanging out at home in their sweats, enjoying a movie and a home-cooked dinner.
"Zach doesn't cook, but he does do the dishes," Karson joked.
Back in January, a video of Julie finding out from her teammates and coaches that Zach and the Eagles were heading to the Super Bowl went viral. It has been viewed nearly 1.4 million times (including one time by Zach, who cried watching Julie get so emotional).
"I do think it's weird that most people have seen me cry now," Julie told my colleague Anna Orso prior to the Super Bowl. "After the game, every emotion that I was kind of pushing aside before the game in order for me to focus kind of just came out at once. I was just so unbelievably proud."
Despite their love and affection, Zach and Julie are incredibly competitive with one another, especially when it comes to playing cards, Karson said.
"Obviously when we're competing against other people, we're a lot more respectful," Zach said in a segment that ended up on the cutting room floor. "It probably should be the opposite but it's just the nature of our relationship."
This isn't the first time ESPN has featured Zach and Julie. In July 2017, ESPN: The Magazine offered a truly revealing look at the power couple in its annual Body Issue, which the Ertzes posed for less than a week before their wedding.
"I've never seen anyone have glutes like that," Julie said of Zach's posterior. "He shows me how to squat, and I'm like, 'My glutes don't turn like that!' "
"My wife really wanted to do it. I did not necessarily want to do it," Ertz told my colleague Les Bowen following the photo shoot.