1. The NFL’s investigation into the Washington Football Team that led to the discovery of offensive emails sent by Jon Gruden between 2011 and '18 has now unearthed an email from ESPN’s Adam Schefter that is causing a big stir in the journalism world.
The Los Angeles Times reported that in July 2011, Schefter emailed a complete draft of a story about the NFL lockout that ESPN was publishing that day to then WFT president Bruce Allen.
“Please let me know if you see anything that should be added, changed, tweaked,” Schefter wrote. “Thanks, Mr. Editor, for that and the trust. Plan to file this to espn about 6 am ….”
While giving Allen the chance to change the story is bad, that “Mr. Editor” line is so cringe.
Most journalists will send quotes or an overview of a story to someone to give them the opportunity to respond on the record. Sending an entire story is totally unethical.
ESPN released this statement about Schefter’s questionable methods:
“Without sharing all the specifics of the reporter’s process for a story from 10 years ago during the NFL lockout, we believe that nothing is more important to Adam and ESPN than providing fans the most accurate, fair and complete story.”
I know I’m supposed to be outraged and have a definitive take on Schefter’s shady practice, but when I first read this story, all I could muster was a shoulder shrug.
I never considered Schefter some hardcore journalist who was doing investigative work. He mainly breaks news about signings, trades, hirings and firings. That’s not meant to be an insult. Schefter does it better than anyone in the NFL. But the news he breaks is mostly transactional. It has been obvious for decades that, he gets that information from agents and front-office people around the league.
It’s not exactly a shock that he’d have a chummy relationship with a team president.
I’ve seen a lot of people on Twitter say things like, “This is a bad look for Schefter” and “This is enough to get Schefter fired.”
Talk about your standard “prisoner of the moment” take. This story will be gone and forgotten by tomorrow. By Friday, Schefter’s 8.6 million Twitter followers will turn to him to find out the status of players for Sunday’s games so they can set their fantasy lineup.
Bad look? Sure. Significant discipline? No chance.
2. There was some good news for ESPN today. The company announced that it will air the Monday night wild-card game, starting this season, for the next five years. They also confirmed that the alternate broadcast involving Peyton and Eli Manning will be part of the coverage.
3. Shaq is awesome. Kelly Clarkson is awesome. This video is awesome. Clarkson performed her pop classic, "Since U Been Gone" at a charity event Shaq threw a couple of weeks ago and O'Neal couldn't help but join her onstage. And he couldn't have had more fun as evidenced by his dance at the 1:50 mark.
4. The NHL returned to ESPN last night, which means the old theme song is back as well. The song was the subject of this feature narrated by Justin Bieber.
5. I still don't know what an NFT is so I appreciated this quote from Bucs defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh.
6. The latest SI Media Podcast features a conversation with Good Morning Football’s Kyle Brandt.
Brandt takes us behind the scenes of his audition with Peyton and Eli Manning for the host role of their Monday Night Football telecast. Brandt also talks about the void left by Nate Burleson, who left Good Morning Football for CBS This Morning, how he and Peter Schrager put together GMFB’s “Wall Streeters” bit, why he doesn’t think Good Will Hunting holds up, the most prolific sports movie actor and much more.
Following the conversation with Brandt, Sal Licata from WFAN radio and SNY TV in New York joins the podcast for the weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. The big topic discussed this week is The Many Saints of Newark.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Larry David was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night and was hilarious as always.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.