In light of the report that 40 employees in the Redskins' business department have left since the end of last season, ESPN's Pablo Torre said, "This is a fallen empire, and now we're excavating and finding out, 'Wait a minute, there is dysfunction on every level here." ESPN's Bomani Jones: "I have never seen a team that was once more beloved have a fan base gradually start to turn on it in this way. It's not like there's been some inflection point that happened. ... They just got tired of it year after year after year" ("High Noon," ESPN, 8/1).
IN FOR THE LONG HAUL: Raiders coach Jon Gruden is entering the second year of his 10-year contract with the team, and ESPN’s Domonique Foxworth noted the unique length of that deal has "made it so Gruden’s timeline is different.” Foxworth: "Not very many teams get the opportunity to align their best interests of the team with the best interests of the coach because the turnover is so fast” (“Get Up,” ESPN, 8/2).
REDEMPTION SONG: Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer made headlines recently when he said he would consider changing the team's name, but ESPN's Dave McMenamin believes such a change in identity "would lessen the whole redemption story" if they are able to win an NBA title. McMenamin: "If Paul George and Kawhi Leonard deliver the first championship in franchise history, I want the Clippers to win" ("The Jump," ESPN, 8/1).