How It's Playing: NFL Pregame Shows Tackle Bullying Scandal
ESPN, CBS and Fox each opened their NFL pregame shows today with coverage of the Richie Incognito bullying scandal. Meanwhile, NFL Network's "Gameday Morning" did not address the issue until 24 minutes into the show with a live report from Shaun O'Hara. NFL Network's panelists discussed the story on-set approximately one hour into the telecast.
ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" devoted the opening 14 minutes to the Dolphins' bullying scandal. Features included Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen on the investigation in the Dolphins' workplace. CBS' "The NFL Today" opened with a 12-minute segment on the Incognito-Martin investigation, which included commentary from Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason and Bill Cowher. Fox opened "Fox NFL Sunday" with a one-minute tease of Jay Glazer's interview with Incognito, followed by a brief panel discussion. The show then primarily discussed on-field issues until the full Glazer interview toward the end of the show. CBSSN's “That Other Pregame Show” opened with an 11-minute segment on the Inocognito-Martin investigation. The topic was covered seven times throughout the four-hour show, including input from Marino, Esiason, Cowher and Redskins LB London Fletcher (THE DAILY).
CBS' Jason La Canfora said if special investigator Ted Wells "finds negligence" in the Incognito-Martin investigation, that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "will not shy away from having swift and very significant discipline." CBS' James Brown conducted a roundtable discussion on the issue with Fletcher and former NFLers Bart Scott and Jon Jansen. Fletcher said, "I've played 16 years in the National football League, three teams; this is not the culture of the National Football League." Jansen: "This is an exception to the rules; this is not how the NFL locker rooms are in general" ("The NFL Today," CBS, 11/10).