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‘Sunday NFL Countdown’ Goes Inside the Story of the “Accidental Insider”

"Holy ----! I beat Schefter." How the unlikeliest of NFL scoops came to be.

Adam Schefter is the NFL’s premier news breaker, but through guessing and luck and happenstance he was quote-unquote ‘scooped’ by an employee of Plaza Liquor in Kansas City,” says ESPN Associate Producer Gavin Cote.

This weekend on Sunday NFL Countdown (10 a.m. ET, ESPN), Cote and team take fans back to the workplace of this “accidental insider,” Katie Camlin, and into the home of Schefter to find out exactly how she got the news before ESPN’s Senior NFL Insider.

“I had the idea to approach this as sort of a satirical reenactment,” Cote says. “This was pre-scripted based on the actual real-life story. It is a narrative approach. . . I’ve never produced a feature in this style.”

Cote has also never produced features working so closely with his team while so geographically separated.

A six-year veteran of Sunday NFL Countdown, Cote values the teamwork and technology that made it possible to bring this feature to life in the midst of a pandemic.

It all began with Cote drawing up six pages of storyboards and communicating infinitesimal details about the framing, mood, style and camera moves he envisioned to Director of Photography Micah Brown, who Cote said “nailed the shoot” in Kansas City.

After the storyboarding process, Cote drove to Schefter’s home – his first time working in the field in six months – where he donned a mask and, from socially-distant locations, teamed up with Director of Photography Mike Bollacke to capture the scenes with Schefter. Cote said even though he was “on location” for the shoot, he was often watching the action from a monitor in another room in an effort to be as cautious as possible.

Then, to make the vision come to life, Cote partnered with Jeredy Cruchaga on the editing process. Cote says he hopes the finished product makes people smile and laugh.

“I think we’ve figured out a lot of effective ways to still do awesome work,” Cote says. “I give credit to everybody, including my managers Craig Lazarus, Jose Morales, and Greg Jewell. “This feature is an out-of-the box idea and a testament to them trusting us and letting us try new things.”

Adds Coordinating Producer Matthew Garrett, who oversees both of ESPN’s NFL Countdown shows: “Gavin’s piece is just one more example of the incredible work that our features unit produces each and every week of the season. We are incredibly lucky to have them as part of our team. With these less traditional pieces, their talent is very much on display.”

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