Miscellany

Debauchery in the ESPN Book: "Drunken Orgies" and Screwing in the Stairwell in the 1980s

Entertainment Weekly got a copy of the ESPN book and has revealed a smattering of the salacious details from the much-anticipated tome. The juicy stuff is from the 1980s, and no names are mentioned. Fortunately, there are over 700 pages in the book, and these blurbs are probably just scratching the surface.

– “The company would have Christmas parties up at some horrible place in Bristol [Conn., where ESPN is based],” says former general counsel Andy Brilliant. “A couple of them were drunken orgies…. It became like a big frat party. There were a lot of drugs being done in the bathroom. There was quite a bit of screwing going on afterward, a lot of it extramarital. But everybody went back to business the next workday.”

– “There was screwing in the hallways,” says onetime reporter Sal Marchiano of ESPN’s early days. “Okay, maybe not in the hallways, but there were a couple of stairwell stories…. There were drugs in the building, that I knew. There was one guy who dealt pot.”

– At one point in the ’80s ESPN kept an apartment in New York City. “I remember [an ESPN exec] coming in and saying, ‘We gotta get rid of this apartment…because the mail boys got a couple of our secretaries hooking over there,’” says former ESPN CEO Bill Grimes. “Hooking! That’s what he said…. ‘They’re making money after work when no one’s there. It’s getting out of control.’”

The sense I’m getting is that the actual history of the network will be detailed and terrific, but the debauchery you’re curious about will probably all be from the 1980s. I’m holding out hope that names will be named. We’ll know more tomorrow afternoon – that’s when I’ll be interviewing James Miller.

‘Those Guys Have all the Fun’: So what exactly is in that top-secret ESPN book? [Entertainment Weekly]

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