Skip to main content

ESPN-on-ESPN Crime: Colleagues Take Anonymous Shots at Adam Schefter

Also in Traina Thoughts: Matthew Berry’s big move; radio host goes on epic rant; “new media” nonsense and more.

1. Adam Schefter is the subject of a big feature story in Tuesday's Washington Post.

The profile takes you inside the world of ESPN's top NFL newsbreaker and gets his take on several recent misfires, including controversial tweets about Dalvin Cook and Deshaun Watson and sending a story about then Washington president Bruce Allen to Allen for changes and referring to him as "Mr. Editor."

The piece gives off the vibe that it’s supposed to help Schefter win back some of the people he may have lost during recent controversies. He talks about all the standard stuff: learning his lessons, learning to slow down, learning to lean on editors.

Schefter also talks about his relentless work ethic. The story points out that Chris Mortensen once turned down a request to do a live ESPN hit on Christmas Day, yet Schefter agreed to do it.

Personally, I think Mortensen is the one comes out looking good there.

A theme throughout the story is Schefter's annoyance over having to take pictures for the feature. 

“I want you to get what you need,” he told the photographer, according to the Post. “I hope I never f---ing see them. I don’t need any more attention.”

The juiciest part of the feature story, though, is that some of Schefter's colleagues spoke to the Post anonymously about him.

”He is your preeminent journalist for the preeminent sport in America,” said one on-air ESPN personality. “I would hope that as a network you’re embarrassed by that, but I’m blown away that ESPN doesn’t seem to care.”

Also via the Post: “The Cook incident was the most serious, and multiple people who work at ESPN, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters, said they worried that it and the Watson reporting reflected a failure to understand the sensitivity of domestic violence allegations.”

Schefter, however, didn't offer a direct response to the criticism from colleagues, saying, “Are they going to go on the record?”

I have no way of knowing whether ESPN cares about getting embarrassed by Schefter, as the off-the-record ESPN personality claimed. But I do know this: Schefter reportedly makes $9 million a year; he breaks every big NFL story there is and is as valuable an asset as ESPN has on its payroll. It’s not shocking that ESPN and Schefter would just move forward, business as usual, no matter what controversies pop up now and then.

2. ESPN fantasy guru Matthew Berry stunned everyone on Monday by announcing that he was leaving the network. In an even more stunning twist, the New York Post's Andrew Marchand reports that Berry is expected to land at NBC. I would’ve bet every dollar to my name that Berry would’ve ended up with FanDuel or DraftKings.

3. If you like loud, over-the-top radio rants, you will love this clip from ESPN New York radio host Don LaGreca, who wasn’t happy with a caller who claimed that LaGreca was nothing without his partner, Michael Kay. Stick with the clip because it’s a slow build to the eruption.

4. I guess ”new media” means you're not allowed to offer your opinion on an athlete based on what you observe.

5. Grizzlies star Ja Morant, seemed to get a huge kick out of ESPN falling for a fake Ballsack Sports quote about Ja Morant.

6. The latest episode of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features an interview with ESPN NBA reporter Brian Windhorst.

Windhorst talks about his experience of going viral after a clip of him speculating about a possible Jazz trade on First Take went viral. Did he know Rudy Gobert was going to be traded when he talked about Utah’s “strange” trade of Royce O’Neale? Did producers say anything to him during his lengthy segment? What was his reaction when Gobert did get traded? Did he have a favorite meme?

Windhorst also discusses his relationship with LeBron James, the one question he’d like to ask LeBron, the one question he'd like to ask Kevin Durant, whether he feels competitive with Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania and much more.

Following Windhorst is the weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment with Sal Licata from WFAN radio and SNY TV in New York. Jimmy and Sal discuss Jimmy’s hatred of the hot-dog-eating contest, college realignment in college football, Kevin Durant’s trade request and Jimmy’s day trying New Haven, Conn.’s very overrated pizza.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on AppleSpotify and Google.

You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: I don't know why I found this funny, but I did.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.