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Bunk beds no more, Fainaru brothers vie for Sports Emmy in same category

Brothers and ESPN reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada (L) and Steve Fainaru are nominated in the same category in the Sports Emmys tonight in New York. (Photo courtesy of the Fainarus/ESPN)

Brothers Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada are two of ESPN’s most accomplished journalists. So it came as no surprise when they each received a nomination for a Sports Emmy this year.

Steve received one for his work reporting on “The Dictator’s Team” and Mark for his reporting on “Rickey Dixon.” Those two incredibly powerful stories that were told in both video form for E:60 and written form for ESPN The Magazine.

But what makes this even more interesting: They are nominated in the same category for “Outstanding Journalism” at tonight’s 2018 Sports Emmys, where ESPN is nominated for an industry-leading 54 awards. Bro versus Bro for an Emmy is certainly unique.

“Definitely an odd — but cool – situation,” Steve said. “Some people still think that Mark and I live together and have bunk beds, so maybe this will finally distinguish us as individuals. But we’re often confused for each other, so even if I lose a lot of people will still think that I won. Either way, we’ll tell our mom that we tied.”

Said Mark: “As for me, my sibling and this little Emmy scenario, here have been my reactions:

    1. This is really cool; our mom will be quite proud. Quickly followed by. . .

    2. [Expletive], I have no chance. Steve and [producer] Greg Amante’s Syria piece was phenomenal as was the Chapecoense piece by Sam Borden, Mike Johns and Mike Farrell, let alone the other two nominees in the category. So, fun trip to NYC with my hermano to see all our colleagues, and I have no worries about drinking before our category is called.

    3. The Fainaru contingent has a 40-percent chance of winning, so we’ve got better odds than anyone else in the building,” he said.

All jokes aside, “The Brothers” – as they’re universally referred to around ESPN – offered similar thoughts on the outcome tonight.

“As for my mood, seriously, just very happy/flattered to be there and, mainly, excited to have a chance to hang out for the night with our great friends and colleagues,” Mark said.

“Seriously, it’s really an honor, one that I would never have imagined would happen to me, and to be able to share it this way with Mark — my collaborator, editor, and best friend — is just awesome, even if we’re on opposing sides,” Steve said. “No bet. Win or lose, he’ll still have to bow down to his older brother.”