Journalism Showcase

ESPN’s “Journalism Showcase” – July 1, 2016

Sunday's Outside The Lines explores video game addiction among athletes.
Sunday’s Outside The Lines explores video game addiction among athletes.
Will Cain  (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)
Will Cain
(Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)

On Sunday’s edition of Outside the Lines (ESPN, 9 a.m.), former Michigan wrestler Marshall Carpenter tells host Will Cain that video games destroyed his wrestling dreams and forced him into rehab.

Carpenter isn’t the first athlete with such an issue: Former Indianapolis Colt Quinn Pitcock says he gave up his NFL career after becoming addicted to “Call of Duty.”

Cain found that Pitcock did not want to participate in a story. Cain also became aware of a video game addiction rehab center located on the West Coast.

“I was looking for someone who had experienced this, and of course this being ESPN, an athlete would be of particular interest to us,” he said,

Developing relationships with the facility, and with both sides respecting privacy laws and procedures, Cain and producer Michael Sciallo learned that an athlete was undergoing rehab. That athlete was Carpenter, who, with his twin brother Michael, had hoped for a Big 10 wrestling career at Michigan.

“We went about talking to him and seeing if he would participate and tell us his story,” Cain said. “He had to have an internal debate, which I think is very appropriate, whether or not sharing the story was something that he wanted to do considering other people would see it and it would be embarrassing and possibly people would judge him.

“But ultimately he decided that if he could help one person understand that this is a real thing that he had to deal with, maybe he could help other people avoid the same thing.”

When I do these stories, I’m very sensitive to the fact that these people, whoever we talk to, in whatever story, are really baring a lot to us.” OTL reporter Will Cain

Cain said that Carpenter made his decision after gaining a full understanding of what OTL was doing.

“When I do these stories, I’m very sensitive to the fact that these people, whoever we talk to, in whatever story, are really baring a lot to us,” Cain said. “They’re having to trust us to tell their story honestly.

“We’re also overcoming the challenge of our own industry, reducing their life down to a certain amount of time or the issue with this portion of their life down to seven, 10, 12 minutes or whatever it may be, and I think that takes a lot of faith and trust, and it’s not just on sensitive stories, it’s on any story, and that puts a lot weight on our shoulders to do a story right.”

If the video below does not play on your device, click here.

Journalism on Display

Annual Department of Defense Warrior Games

Army Veteran Staff Sgt. Matthew Lammers, who competed in swimming in the Warrior Games, is interviewed by Jon Stewart.
Army Veteran Staff Sgt. Matthew Lammers, who competed in swimming in the Warrior Games, is interviewed by Jon Stewart.

The annual Department of Defense Warrior Games, recently held in West Point, N.Y., is an adaptive sports competition for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans.

On Sunday’s SC Featured on SportsCenter, Chris Connelly reports on names to know and stories to hear from the Warrior Games. Approximately 200 athletes participated in eight sporting events, representing teams from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy/Coast Guard, Air Force, U.S. Special Operations Command and the United Kingdom (U.K.) Armed Forces.

The Warrior Games have the full support of Jon Stewart, former host of “The Daily Show,” who served as master of ceremonies for the opening of the Games. Stewart, who has campaigned for veterans, interviewed several of the athletes competing in the Warrior Games and speaks with Connelly in the SC Featured segment about the games and the warriors.

“The theme of the piece is ‘The Names We Should Know,’ that we should get to see, hear and appreciate these servicemen and women,” said Connelly. “Because in a dispiriting time of horror and chaos, the resilience and character of these wounded warriors can uplift and inspire us, and remind us that what Jon calls ‘Team Civilization’ cannot be defeated.”

The feature will debut in the 10 a.m. edition of SportsCenter and will re-air in other editions of the program throughout the day.

— By Andy Hall

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