HomeSportsOn the same day that the ESPN article attacked Bill Belichick, ESPN...

On the same day that the ESPN article attacked Bill Belichick, ESPN announced the hiring of Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick made a lot of news on Wednesday, in two different ways.

In the morning, Belichick’s failed job search for 2024 became the focus of a long article on In the afternoon, Belichick was introduced as an ESPN contributor to ESPN’s Pat McAfee Show.

In the meantime, McAfee’s show dropped a significant deuce in the ESPN report. The folks at have done just that collected the clips and quotes.

It’s a stark contrast to the days when the author of a #LongRead appeared on every ESPN show to discuss and promote it. None of the authors appeared on McAfee’s show to discuss or defend the reporting. Instead, the article was attacked and undermined, using words such as ‘nonsense’.

The main point in the report seems very thin, paper thin. The suggestion that Patriots owner Robert Kraft told Falcons owner Arthur Blank not to trust Belichick was not attributed to a source with direct knowledge of the conversation. Multiple steps were removed, where one source had two other sources and sources, sources, sources.

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I can’t recall any NFL-related report that is inflammatoryly linked to a complicated chain of people. So why and how did it happen?

Here’s a theory. Or at least a hypothesis. ESPN was certain Belichick would be announced as an employee on Wednesday afternoon. Maybe someone at ESPN decided that even though it would be an uncomfortable contrast if the report came out Wednesday morning, it would have been much worse if it had landed today, for example. Or tomorrow. Or next week. Or when purchasing had been tightened up enough to make such a large claim on less shaky ground.

So maybe, just maybe, they got it done and hit “publish” because they had to get it done, because it would have been a lot harder to get it done after Belichick was announced as a contributor to McAfee’s draft show on ESPN+ .

On one level, it’s refreshing to see ESPN making good on its promise to let McAfee and his team say whatever they want. On a deeper level, this is the kind of thing that creates hard feelings and lingering resentment that can become problematic for those charged with creating a true sense of team in the building.

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It will be interesting to see what the authors of the article will do about this. Will they just let it go? Will they push back internally? Will they push back from outside? These are all fair questions given Wednesday’s developments — and they add a pro-wrestling/soap opera vibe that could ultimately result in increased readership and/or viewership and/or engagement for ESPN and its various platforms.

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