Back in 2003 ESPN aired its first drama series called Playmakers, depicting a fictional professional football team. The show was great, gritty and realistic. Unfortunately it was too real. That’s why NFL president Paul Tagliabue put in a call to the execs at Disney and threatened to pull the NFL from ESPN’s programming if they didn’t cancel the show for portraying the nasty side of professional football. ESPN promptly dropped Playmakers and lost all semblance of independence as a “journalistic” entity.
Fast forward 10 years and ESPN is essentially running damage control for the NFL during Bountygate. After the penalties were first laid out and the Saints began to push back, the NFL began leaking information to ESPN to report to help their cause. For instance, you think it was a coincidence that the day the Saints went to appeal their penalty ESPN released the tape of Gregg Williams directing his defense to rip out Crabtree’s ACL and kidnap his firstborn? Or how about when ESPN ran a report (that’s since been proven false by the way) that Saints GM Mickey Loomis was spying on other teams locker rooms? ESPN has been diligently working to help make the NFL look as justified as humanly possible.
Enter the newest propaganda engine: an Outside The Lines exposé on exiled Saints coach Sean Payton. According to this video, he’s a total asshole that “changed” after winning his championship. Here’s a quick drinking game: take a shot every time ESPN says “unconfirmed sources” or “our sources” through the investigation or throughout the whole Bountygate reporting for that matter.
Anyway, here’s ESPN’s latest hatchet job on the Saints. Maybe their loyalty to Goodell will give them a less sh*tty Monday Night Football schedule this season.