Why Leonard Fournette Could Be One of LSU’s Most Legendary Players
ESPN the Magazine (“Being Out” Issue, on newsstands now)
VIDEO – A LEGEND IN THE MAKING
LSU running back Leonard Fournette is making history, but what will history make of him? ESPN’s Wright Thompson went to Louisiana to learn more about the college football phenomenon.
“Sometimes when you’re in the limelight you can really feel alone. Even though you have all these people around, you can really feel like everything is closing in on you. No matter what’s going on, he can always call us.” – Lory Fournette, Leonard’s mom
“It’s like a dream. It’s happening so fast. It’s not slowing down. I try to be cautious with every decision I make. I never thought I’d be one of the headlines of football.” – Leonard Fournette
“I explain it to him: ‘If it ever gets to a point where this is too much, I’m the bad guy.’ And I’m good with that. You should be able to go to college and not have all the distractions that are befalling you because of sudden fame.’ That will be an issue for him, but he’s got the immediate shut-off switch and that’s me.” – LSU coach Les Miles
Photo credit Michael Sciallo
Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN2)
Trash talking, brand building or simply expressing support or hate – athletes use social media to communicate with fans, rivals, even teammates. But this ease of communication has sometimes created embarrassment for athletic programs and angst for coaches to the point where some have banned platforms like Twitter and even demanded access to private posts on Facebook. While some athletes accept these restrictions as team rules, others – as Paula Lavigne discovered – oppose the restraint on their freedom of speech and what they feel is intrusive oversight.
“I thought that was extremely creepy that my coaches would want to see what I’m doing on my own personal time. I felt this was a situation where I definitely needed to stand up and say that this is not okay, and I’m not going to allow for this to happen.” – Megan Donahue, former Stevenson University hockey player who opposed her coaches’ social media rules
“I guess it’s true; that is your first amendment, but you have your team amendments as well, and you want to abide by those by any means necessary.” – Tajh Boyd, former Clemson quarterback on the school’s player-imposed social media ban
Save a Spot in Heaven
College GameDay (Saturday, 9 a.m., ESPN)
Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, Sid Ortis was a devoted college football fan – not of Alabama or Auburn, but of his father’s alma mater, LSU. When Tigers’ coach Les Miles learned last spring about Sid’s battle with aggressive bone cancer, he reached out to the teenager, and a connection was forged. In one of their last conversations, Miles asked the boy for a favor, telling him “When you get to heaven, save a spot for me.” Sid said he would. Miles offered Sid seats for this week’s game against Alabama, but the fight ended on October 31. Tom Rinaldi has this story of a coach, a boy, and a bond that touched both in ways that transcend football.
“I anticipated that this was a battle. That his body would lose, but his spirit would overcome. And that he’d have the opportunity to go to heaven.” – Les Miles, LSU head football coach
Face to Face: Chesley Sullenberger
SportsCenter (Wednesday, multiple editions, ESPN)
SportsCenter will air segments from the U.S. Air Force Academy on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, and in a “Face to Face” interview with ESPN’s Hannah Storm, Academy grad Chesley Sullenberger discusses the lessons he learned as a Cadet and how some of those lessons helped him in the most critical of times: when he land crippled USAirways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in New York City in January, 2009.
Storm: People have dubbed it the Miracle on the Hudson. Do you feel that it was a miracle? Was there anything miraculous about that day?
Sullenberger: You know, I’m not into the M word any more than I’m into the H word. It was not a miracle, but −
Storm: What’s the H word?
Sullenberger: Hero being shoved in my direction.
Storm: You were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder?
Sullenberger: Absolutely, all of us did, and I’ve talked to a number of people, some involved in handling our flight and some on the airplane, who still feel the effects of this and are coming to terms with it in a variety of ways, in very individual ways.
The Sports Reporters
Sunday, 9:30 a.m., ESPN2; 10:30 a.m., ESPNEWS
This week’s Panel*
John Saunders (host)
(subject to change)
ESPN “My Wish” Series Honored
Make-A-Wish honored ESPN’s “My Wish” series with the Douglas Kiker Award for excellence in media. The award, accepted by ESPN commentator Chris Connelly, host of the series, recognizes individuals and media organizations for their extraordinary efforts to extend Make-A-Wish stories to the public. Since 2005, ESPN has told 53 stories of wish children and the athlete heroes who made their wishes come true through the ESPN “My Wish” and “Mi Deseo” series.
VIDEO – ESPN “MY WISH” HIGHLIGHTS
From ESPN Front Row
WICT New England Honors ESPN Employees