From Spygate to Deflategate: Inside What Split the NFL and Patriots Apart
ESPN the Magazine
Interviews by ESPN The Magazine and Outside the Lines with more than 90 league officials, owners, team executives and coaches, current and former Patriots coaches, staffers and players, and reviews of previously undisclosed private notes from key meetings, show that Spygate is the centerpiece of a long, secret history between Roger Goodell’s NFL, which declined comment for this story, and Robert Kraft’s Patriots. The diametrically opposed way the inquiries were managed by Goodell — and, more importantly, perceived by his bosses — reveals much about how and why NFL punishment is often dispensed. The widespread perception that Goodell gave the Patriots a break on Spygate, followed by the NFL’s stonewalling of a potential congressional investigation into the matter, shaped owners’ expectations of what needed to be done by 345 Park Ave. on Deflategate. It was, one owner says, time for “a makeup call.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell broke his silence post-Deflategate with an appearance ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike on Tuesday, Sept. 8, to discuss his relationship with Robert Kraft, Tom Brady’s win in the Deflategate case, the league’s recent record in court and the system for disciplining players:
Dwight Freeney: Banking on Trust
Photo credit: Mark Phillips
Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m., ESPN2)
Once the highest paid defensive player in the NFL, Dwight Freeney wanted to protect his future. So, he entrusted his money to one of the nation’s largest banks and a financial advisor who said she’d protect him even after she left the bank. Instead, authorities say this advisor helped her alleged love interest squander $20 million of Freeney’s fortune. The two went to prison. But, as Steve Delsohn reports, Freeney believes the bank should also be held responsible.
“She worked for the bank. She brought him in. They had a master scheme to take advantage of me before I even got there, and it started to execute once I put my money in the bank.” – Dwight Freeney on the connection between his financial advisors and the bank.
“It’s the bank who’s responsible. They have to be held accountable for the people that they hire and things that happen under their watch.” — Dwight Freeney on why he’s suing Merrill Lynch and Bank of America.
ODELL BECKHAM JR.
Sunday NFL Countdown (ESPN, 11 a.m.)
Odell Beckham Jr.’s life since his famous touchdown grab last November has never been the same. But long before his meteoric rise to fame, he put on displays of brilliance in Louisiana that were a precursor to his future stardom. ESPN NFL Nation Giants reporter Dan Graziano sits down with Beckham to explore what has shaped him into the athlete he is today.
“It gets to a point where you get so much confidence in your hands that you have to try a way to challenge yourself.” – Odell Beckham Jr., on the origin of his signature one-handed catch.
“We were literally coming to the facility at 10 o’clock at night, nobody’s in there. Me and him, throwing passes at each other. Just trying to find ways to get better. And, man, it’s paying off.” – Dolphins’ wide receiver Jarvis Landry, best friend and former LSU teammate of Beckham.
Voices of the Future: Julie Johnston’s Rise
Julie Johnston’s World Cup performance was nine months in the making: a rigorous training regimen, ambitious goals and working out with Carli Lloyd transformed her from benchwarmer to indispensable defender. Voices of the Future is a five-part digital series hosted by espnW’s Julie Foudy, who will take a dive deep into the lives of young accomplished athletes.
30 for 30 (ESPN2, Friday, 7:30 p.m.)
On the night of October 30, 2001, President George W. Bush stepped onto the mound at Yankee Stadium to throw out the first pitch at Game 3 of the World Series, just seven weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks. With New York City and the entire country still trying to heal, the ceremonial first pitch that night meant more than just “play ball.” ESPN Films’ new 30 for 30 Short “First Pitch,” which premieres Friday, Sept. 11, will look at how important that famous pitch was to the nation, and how baseball helped be a part of the recovery after 9/11. Full details HERE:
The Sports Reporters
Sunday, 9:30 a.m., ESPN2
This week’s Panel*
John Saunders (host)
(subject to change)
ESPN.com’s J.A. Adande Honored
The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation has named ESPN.com senior writer J.A. Adande as its 2015 Sports Journalist of the Year. Adande, who covers the NBA, will be honored an awards ceremony on Oct. 24 at Santa Anita Park in suburban Los Angeles. The foundation is named for the legendary sports writer for the Los Angeles Times.
As Seen on ESPN Front Row:
Roll Call: Commentators who have worked at least 20 consecutive years with ESPN:
Behind the Glasses: A look behind the scenes of new midnight SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt: