NFL Nation Patriots reporter Mike Reiss on his manic Monday
Take us through how you were called into duty on Monday.
We were in the opening morning of the three-day agenda of our NFL Nation reporters gathering. We were in breakout sessions discussing ways we can improve our game-day online coverage when the news broke, and [senior coordinating producer] Tim McHugh
was with us. He came right over to me and asked, “How fast can we get you over to SportsCenter
At the same time, I was communicating with my direct editor on ESPN.com, Monique Jones, about our plan for online content specific to the ruling. Tim understood that my first responsibility was to have an instant analysis on the ruling for ESPN.com, and that took about 15-20 minutes. We quickly then hustled over to the make-up area and studio, and fortunately I was already in a suit and tie. Some of my NFL Nation colleagues had been playfully ribbing me about that earlier in the morning. No joke, the response I had was, “You never know what’s going to happen today. It could be the Brady ruling.”
In all, I was part of eight television segments (11 a.m. SportsCenter; two on NFL Insiders, three on NFL Live, 6 p.m. SportsCenter, 7 p.m. SportsCenter) and one radio segment (Russillo and Kanell) discussing the ruling.
So you get on-set and proceed to take part in a 15-plus minute segment with anchor David Lloyd and analysts Herm Edwards and Bill Polian. What was that like in the moment?
Invigorating. They quickly mic’d me up and gave me an earpiece, and when I turned the corner into the SportsCenter studio, I had no idea what the segment was going to be. There was an open seat alongside Lloyd, some quick hellos and then it was time to go.
We just started to talk casually, almost as if it was four people at the water cooler reacting to something that was still so fresh. The discussion flowed naturally and a big part of it was probably that no one knew what was coming next, which included bringing in analyst Damien Woody on the phone at one point. As someone who isn’t involved in that on a regular basis, I was impressed with how smooth David was in that setting.
Where does the Deflategate story rank and what have been the challenges of covering it for you?
Right up at the top, with Aaron Hernandez and Spygate. One of the biggest challenges has been understanding all the legal aspects of it. It has helped tremendously to have legal experts to rely on, because when you think about covering a football team, most reporters are going to be more comfortable when analyzing X’s and O’s compared to the district court and U.S. Court of Appeals. And then there is the science. When I signed up to cover football, I never thought I’d be brushing up on the Ideal Gas Law.
– David Scott