1. ESPN’s Adam Schefter problem has flared up again.
“Problem” might not be the right word here, as ESPN has clearly indicated that it’s good to handle any controversy related to Schefter given that he has 10 million Twitter followers and breaks the majority of NFL transactions.
But every few months, Schefter finds himself embroiled in a controversy, and here we are again. On Sunday, the ESPN insider published a story in which he claimed “sources” had told him Deshaun Watson was making “progress” in a treatment program.
As you all know, Watson did not play at all in 2021 and has been suspended for 11 games this season after more than two dozen women accused him of sexual harassment and assault.
Watson returned to the field Sunday and was the starting quarterback in Cleveland’s 27-14 win over Houston.
After the game, Watson declined to speak about whether he felt any remorse for his actions. He claimed legal advisors and his clinical team told him not to answer questions on the subject.
But Schefter was keen to gauge where Watson stands with a piece of fluff that looks like an NFL or quarterback camp press release.
Before we get to the actual “column,” I tried to see how much Schefter writes for ESPN.com these days because obviously he’s more of a TV/social media personality than an author now. However, ESPN.com does not have an archive page for Schefter. However, a Google search reveals that Schefter last wrote for the site a week ago about Matthew Stafford’s status after he suffered a concussion. Schefter previously wrote about Cooper Kupp’s season-ending injury two weeks ago. Three weeks ago, Schefter wrote about where Odell Beckham Jr. could sign. He also wrote about Josh Allen’s injured elbow, Saquon Barkley’s contract situation and Minkah Fitzpatrick’s appendectomy three weeks ago.
In other words, injury updates, contract updates and transactions are Schefter’s specialty.
On Sunday, however, Schefter weighed Watson’s “progress” in a treatment regimen nobody knows about, with the basis for the story being a quote from a source.
“He’s making good progress and wants to continue with that and they feel it’s helping him. It just continues as needed, and it continues until it’s no longer needed. And I think it gave him a lot of help and support. But that can take time.”
Who are they? What is the treatment? Why does Watson need help and support if he is not the victim? Why is Watson even in a treatment program if he claims complete innocence?
Of course, Schefter didn’t go into that.
“Whimsical” is not a sufficient description of Schefter’s story. But this isn’t the first time Schefter has oddly carried water for Watson.
The fact that this would happen again after Schefter had to apologize in March because he appeared to be on Team Watson is amazing until you remember what I said above.
Schefter has the Jordan Rules at ESPN, particularly after signing a new deal with the company in July.
So this latest controversy will come and go, and we’ll be back here in a few months writing about another weird move by Schefter.
2. The best analysis I heard Sunday came from CBS’ Tony Romo on the flop.
3. Please do not harass Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin during games.
4. As celebration lovers, it’s important for NFL players to know that a good celebration can be over the top or understated.
This, for example, was a great performance from Vikings running back Alex Mattison, who was overplayed on Sunday.
However, the Niners’ standout defender Nick Bosa opted for a low-key but still highly amusing celebration following two of his three sacks against Tua Tagovailoa on Sunday.
5. Eagles’ star offensive lineman Jason Kelce didn’t just turn up for Sunday’s game…
…then he met head coach Nick Sirianni’s so-dressed kids.
6. This weeks SI Media Podcast features a conversation with the voice of Football on Sunday night on NBC, Mike Tirico.
Tirico, who took on the role of Al Michaels this year, talks about how he pays close attention to NBC’s flexible scheduling options, what goes into flexing a game, and the logistics of flexing. Tirico also shares the difference between doing as he watches games every Sunday Football on Sunday night and Monday night soccerhis attitude towards point spreads and over/under during games and much more.
Following Tirico, Jimmy is joined in New York by Sal Licata of WFAN Radio and SNY TV for their weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. This week Jimmy talks about Jim Nantz’s mention of his name on the Bills Lions Thanksgiving show, the sad state of Charles Barkley’s friendship with Michael Jordan, Spotify Unwrapped and more.
You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Google.
You can also look at those SI Media Podcast on Youtube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: For reasons unknown, today is National Bathtub Party Day. I don’t know why that is, but no one has ever summed up bathrooms better than Kramer.
be sure to Check out previous issues of Traina Thoughts and look at them Sports Illustrated Media Podcast moderated by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy Twitter, Instagram and tick tock.