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ESPN dumps on ESPN "schism" report

There’s an interesting dynamic playing out lately in Bristol.  With so many NFL reporters and analysts under contract, ESPN is now using some of its on-air talent to break news — and other ESPN employees to debunk it.

In the case of the Vikings and the well-publicized “schism” in their locker room, the term was coined last week by Adam Schefter, who arrived at ESPN only 14 days ago.  In the current SportsCenter loop featuring a segment from the Monday Night Football crew wearing identically-tailored Tony Soprano shirts in Houston Texans white, red, and blue, Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden both pooh-pooh Schefter’s talk of a Minnesota schism.

Tirico was somewhat diplomatic, pointing out that, based on “the players we talked to,” there was no report of a “schism” regarding the quarterback position.

Gruden was less tactful. 

“I don’t know what a ‘schism’ is,” Gruden said, echoing Favre’s initial comments on the topic.  “I did ask several players [and] several coaches.  There is no schism there.  They are all very excited that Brett Favre is a Minnesota Viking.”

Of course, Gruden is hardly an objective observer.  He was an assistant coach in Green Bay early in Favre’s tenure there, and Gruden tried to get Favre a year ago when he was traded by the Packers.

Since Gruden has no apparent history with his new colleague at ESPN, it’s no surprise that Gruden opted to support Favre — and in turn to diss Schefter’s report.

UPDATE:  ESPN’s Ron Jaworski, who was silent during the videotaped segment featuring Tirico and Gruden talking “schism,” addressed the issue during a subsequent phone-in spot on SportsCenter.  (Sock puppet Robert Flores chuckled goofily at Jaws’ use of the Schefter-coined “S” word.)  “We saw absolutely zero evidence of that,” Jaworski said.  “We talked to players.  We talked to coaches.  We talked to administrators.  And there’s just a belief that a lot of it was somewhat fabricated.”  So, basically, Jaws is saying that his colleague made it all up, “somewhat.”

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39 Responses to “ESPN dumps on ESPN "schism" report”
  1. cannonarm says: Aug 31, 2009 11:42 AM

    Why are so many supposed college graduates proud to say they don’t know what the word schism means?

  2. SoCalSean says: Aug 31, 2009 11:42 AM

    Gruden’s all on Farves jock, but Schefter’s full of sh$t!!

  3. hrmlss says: Aug 31, 2009 11:44 AM

    Over/under on a Favre injury tonight?

  4. Rex Grossman says: Aug 31, 2009 11:44 AM

    Well Mike, ESPN blows.

  5. jrmbadger says: Aug 31, 2009 11:45 AM

    Well duh!
    ESPN probably doesn’t want to upset lord favre just like they didn’t want to upset ben roth.

  6. dakotah says: Aug 31, 2009 11:49 AM

    Gruden didn’t say “Schefter doesn’t know what the f@@@ he’s talking about”.
    For him, this counts as being tactful.

  7. gwinn1952 says: Aug 31, 2009 11:49 AM

    Adam Schefter was such a reliable guy when he was with NFL Network…..what happen? He goes in the same box as those reporter who site unnamed sources for their stories….. Whatever happen to having sources you could name and actually get the story correct.

  8. NagaSwan says: Aug 31, 2009 11:50 AM

    Maybe if Gruden doesn’t know what schism means he also doesn’t know what excited means.

  9. Twiz says: Aug 31, 2009 11:53 AM

    Its also no surprise that you, Florio, never lose any chance you can get your hands on to bring up Favre’s name in a negative light.
    Why don’t you do a blog about your mancrush on Vick and Favre?????

  10. RagnartheViking says: Aug 31, 2009 11:53 AM

    Jesus Florio!
    Will you just drop it? You take “unnamed sources” as gospel, yet Tirico and Gruden aren’t telling the truth?
    How many times do the players have to tell people there is no problems before you let this die?
    Whatever sells I guess , huh?

  11. FleamarketHustler says: Aug 31, 2009 11:53 AM

    Your buddy and fellow gossip…… I mean news columnist gets them wrong sometimes?

  12. Citizen Strange says: Aug 31, 2009 11:57 AM

    Tirico was somewhat diplomatic, pointing out that, based on “the players we talked to,” there was no report of a “schism” regarding the quarterback position.
    But was there any report of jism?

  13. The Coop says: Aug 31, 2009 11:57 AM

    Man do I hate ESPN.

  14. NFLJunkie says: Aug 31, 2009 12:09 PM

    So Florio, your method of using unnamed sources (Roy Williams) is superior? You really do have a very odd fascination with ESPN. I believe that deep down you wish you worked for them.

  15. BearNDesert says: Aug 31, 2009 12:22 PM

    “Schism” is a funny sounding word, so I doubt it’s in the vernacular of many football players, but give me a break. It’s a simple little two-syllable word. Everybody with a 9th grade vocabulary should know what it means.
    I swear, guys like Gruden make it hard to be a football fan. Why should I cheer these multi-million dollar morons?

  16. mnmaverick says: Aug 31, 2009 12:22 PM

    Shefter was the best reporter the NFL Network had. I’m sure there are a few players who don’t care for Favre. He just exaggerated the extent of it.

  17. AutumnWind999 says: Aug 31, 2009 12:25 PM

    Whatever the real story is I don’t care because I’m completely sick of the Favre coverage and I’m now numb to it. Favre could shoot a lightning bolt out of his azz to strike a massive Earth-killing meteor out of the sky and I couldn’t even get excited about it at this point.
    And is schism really that tough of a word guys. Come on. You just sound like complete dopes when you brag that you don’t know what it means.

  18. Junior says: Aug 31, 2009 12:27 PM

    Damn Florio, you continue to amaze me!
    Why is it that you think just because somebody either worked, coached or played with someone they can no longer be objective about that person? You continue to throw that little line out there to help justify your opinion.
    Most normal people can still look at a situation and give an objective assessment regardless of past situations.

  19. BrenstonBuckner says: Aug 31, 2009 12:28 PM

    Thank goodness it doesn’t rhyme with jism…could u imagine??

  20. VonClausewitz says: Aug 31, 2009 12:31 PM

    You know it’s funny reading this site. You have to wonder how many of these stories are simply exaggerations of things, written with the intent of creating controversy. Fair enough, it’s a rumors board right? Re: the schism. Obviously some players are going to express the not uncommon position that injecting a player like Favre into the QB spot is going to offend the team concept. I’m sure this thought has crossed the minds of everyone involved, Favre included. At the end of the day the Vikes have a tight window to achieve success. The players know this. And presumably the players want to win. But stories like this will only serve as motivation. The irony is that whatever differences of opinion exist on the Vikes will be overshadowed by the players reaction to the media’s collective attempts at injecting doubt in a championship caliber team. The only thing stories like this do is remind players that their professionalism and talent is being questioned by a bunch of homers who don’t want to see them win. We’ll lets see how that turns out.

  21. Pastabelly says: Aug 31, 2009 12:33 PM

    My money is on Schefter. He hasn’t had enough time at ESPN yet to be turned into a total douchebag.

  22. longrodvanhungendong says: Aug 31, 2009 12:38 PM

    “Of course, Gruden is hardly an objective observer.”
    Looks like Florio has something in common with Gruden!

  23. Lost says: Aug 31, 2009 12:38 PM

    Wow. Tony Kornheiser’s been replaced as live TV analyst who doesn’t know what the word ‘schism’ means.
    Should be interesting

  24. redmond05 says: Aug 31, 2009 12:44 PM

    this is rdiculous. why would the players in their interviews with these guys tell gruden or tirico there is a problem?

  25. Montana Tom says: Aug 31, 2009 12:55 PM

    I think you guys are all missing the humor in Gruden’s comment about not knowing the meaning of the word. Some history (from a Vikings locker room perspective): Favre last week came out publicly about the schism thing, and one of his first comments was “I don’t know what it means”. He’s known for his dry humor.
    That line of thinking took on a life of its own during that media session. Visanthe Shiancoe said “I thought it was an STD. And we don’t have no STD’s here, because everyone knows that we practice abstinence during training camp”…to the yucks of all the media.
    But the telling comments came during a Steve Hutchinson interview last week on the Dan Patrick show. He said that all the guys were having fun with it, and he said it was a lot more fun to play up the dumb jock idea and pretend nobody knew what it meant, than to talk seriously about it. Hutch is a Michigan grad, and Dan Patrick was giving him a hard time about the locker room being full of college graduates who claimed to not know the meaning of the word….Hutch intimated that it actually blew up in the face of Shefter, that it gave everyone in the locker room something to bring them closer together, and have a bunch of yucks that they could share.
    Gruden was just playing along on the same joke that the Vikings players were…some of you guys need to know when a joke is a joke.

  26. pkrlvr says: Aug 31, 2009 12:57 PM

    Love the site, but you do seem to have quite a bone to pick with Favre. Most reports are overwhelmingly negative, yet you and every other news organization cash in at every mention of his name and will also bitterly miss him when he’s gone…..as will I.

  27. Fan_Of_ Four says: Aug 31, 2009 1:01 PM

    BearNDesert said: “Schism” is a funny sounding word, so I doubt it’s in the vernacular of many football players, but give me a break. It’s a simple little two-syllable word. Everybody with a 9th grade vocabulary should know what it means.
    I swear, guys like Gruden make it hard to be a football fan. Why should I cheer these multi-million dollar morons?
    ————————————————-
    Try figure skating.
    Most players in the League wouldn’t be able to spell “schism” correctly much less know its meaning.

  28. jusford says: Aug 31, 2009 1:02 PM

    ESPN has been giving conflicting reports for years, just look at the articles between Sal Palinonio (sp) and Clayton. That way they are never wrong and can take credit for breaking news or “saying it” first.
    ESPN has become a f’n joke. Since when does Texas Hold’em become a sport to be aired in primetime?

  29. texasPHINSfan says: Aug 31, 2009 1:06 PM

    Gruden just basically announced how much of an idiot he is by that “i don’t even know what a schism is” comment. jest or not, saying that is stupid.
    and frankly Schefter holds more clout than all of ESPN put together.
    He basically increased ESPN’s credibility 1000% when they signed him.

  30. Rhode Kill says: Aug 31, 2009 1:26 PM

    This is why watching ESPN and all of these Sunday pregame shows is useless if you want the real story. Think about it. All of ESPN’s anchors are buttsniffers like Stu Scott who never want to piss off anyone that actually plays in these games for fear of losing future access. Then you get these hired guns that used to play or coach in the league who don’t want to piss off former teammates, former coaches, friends, ex-colleagues, etc. so they all say everything is nicey-nice and make sure not to offend.
    So what are you left with? Not much. I’ll promise you there are guys in that Minnesota locker room that don’t like Favre blowing off all of training camp because he doesn’t feel like working in the hot sun and grinding through two-a-days. Then flying in on Zygi’s personal jet to sign with the team for big bucks. Having “Chilly” chaffeur him around. And ultimately becoming the “story” around the Vikings. It’s human nature. Some guys in that locker room resent him and probably don’t like him. But you won’t hear that from ESPN. Too much sweeping under the rug and buttsmooching to get the real story.

  31. TrueFan says: Aug 31, 2009 1:31 PM

    I think some of you just don’t know how to interpret what people say. When folks say “I don’t even know what that means” they don’t mean “I don’t understand the word.” They mean I don’t know what that is SUPPOSED to mean. It’s such a stupid, baseless report they are trying to say, “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

  32. FlacAttack5 says: Aug 31, 2009 1:37 PM

    EPSN sucks. I’m traveling in person to both Ravens MNF games this year so I don’t have to listen to the lop-sided propaganda spewed by the world wide leader in agenda driven bullshit.

  33. spartyfi says: Aug 31, 2009 1:38 PM

    CanonArm: You asked “Why are so many supposed college graduates proud to say they don’t know what the word schism means?”
    Simple answer, because they didn’t go to seminary college and that term is used almost exclusively in terms of religion (and very rarely politics).
    Perhaps you are not college educated so you don’t know this, but they do NOT teach you every single word in the English language at college. I would venture a guess that there are a lot of words you’ve never heard before as well.

  34. Smush Rodrigez says: Aug 31, 2009 2:00 PM

    schism-gate

  35. RagnartheViking says: Aug 31, 2009 2:00 PM

    Rhode.
    Just like I bet some Packers didn’t want Favre traded, or Bears didn’t want Orton traded?
    This is overhyped story because Brett Favre sells.
    Damn near every story on here connected to Favre approaches 100 hits.
    Hell Florio basically “reprinted” the same story last week and it got over 70 hits both times.
    You don’t think Favre coming in late wasn’t all set up beforehand? Really?
    The guy hems and haws all summer and then Brad says now or never, give me an answer. 5 hours later and hes practicing. I’m sure this was put to the team and nobody had a problem with it.
    Excepting the QBs that is. Sure there is probably 2% of the team thats pissed, but winning games cures that.

  36. purpleguy says: Aug 31, 2009 2:31 PM

    So you’re reporting there’s a “schism” at ESPN?

  37. Philtration says: Aug 31, 2009 4:47 PM

    ESPN thought that “schism” was the stuff that Childress was wiping off his chin after signing Favre.

  38. Dewey Axewound says: Aug 31, 2009 5:36 PM

    RagnartheViking says:
    August 31, 2009 2:00 PM
    ….
    You don’t think Favre coming in late wasn’t all set up beforehand? Really?
    The guy hems and haws all summer and then Brad says now or never, give me an answer. 5 hours later and hes practicing.
    *I’m sure this was put to the team and nobody had a problem with it.*
    Excepting the QBs that is. Sure there is probably 2% of the team thats pissed, but winning games cures that.
    __________________________________
    Right.
    I’m sure front offices ALWAYS consult their players and get their “approval” before they make personnel moves.
    Your capacity for retardation is exceeded only by your ability to be an annoying wannbe know-it-all tool.
    Try shutting up for once–you don’t have all the answers,even when you think you do.
    Even when you just make them up.

  39. Bigskyvikes says: Sep 1, 2009 9:07 PM

    Hey dewey asspirate, when did Ragnar say that anyone asked for permission to change personnel? I think your retardation far exceeds whatever comes out of your mouth. Did anyone see Monday Night Football? All you Favre haters doubting his abilities just wanted him to fail because he is with the VIKINGS! All I seen was a QB managing the game, using audibles, and keeping the drive alive after 3 penalties that moved them back to the fifty yard line, and still scored!! I havent seen that from a VIKINGS QB since, oh I don’t know 10 plus years. Whats going to happen is what all true VIKINGS fans have been faithfully waiting for will come true this year! I will be celebrating and laughing at all you na sayers on here at the end of the year!! HAHAHA

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