Senior Writer, ESPN
Seth Wickersham is a senior writer at ESPN whose primary focus is long form enterprise and investigative work on the National Football League. His stories have appeared across ESPN platforms, including the Emmy-award winning programs E60 and Outside the Lines.
In more than two decades at ESPN, he has profiled the likes of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Bill Belichick, John Elway, Odell Beckham, Jr., Bill Walsh, Jim Harbaugh, and Y.A. Tittle, among others, and he has written deep dives into strained relationships within the Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. Along with senior writer Don Van Natta, Wickersham has written critically acclaimed investigations on the NFL’s handling of the Spygate and Deflategate cheating controversies, the Rams and Raiders franchise relocations, the behind-closed-doors meetings on the inequality protests, the efforts by Jerry Jones to block Roger Goodell’s contract extension, the complicated tenure of NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, and the efforts of Donald Trump to interfere with Senator Arlen Specter’s Spygate inquiry.
Outside of the NFL, Wickersham has written about Alex Honnold, Gregg Popovich, race horse euthanasia, the plight of a fired college basketball coach, suicidal Kenyan runners in Alaska, and NCAA compliance officers. He also once suffered the laborious task of traveling to London to interview legendary Queen guitarist Brian May about “We Will Rock You,” the most-played stadium anthem ever.
In 2018, Wickersham was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Reporting, and has been part of a staff that has three times won the NMA for General Excellence. His stories have been anthologized in the Best American Magazine Writing, the Best American Sports Writing, Next Wave: America’s New Generation of Great Literary Journalists, and in Words Matter: Writing to Make a Difference. He has won awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and the Pro Football Writers Association. In 2015, he won a Folio Award for Best Single Story – Sports, and received a second-place National Headliner Award in Magazine Feature Writing.
In the fall of 2021, Wickersham’s book It’s Better to Be Feared: The New England Patriots Dynasty and the Pursuit of Greatness was released. It was a New York Times bestseller and was named Nonfiction Book of the Year by Sports Illustrated.
He is credited as playing himself in the 2014 movie Draft Day, though he regrets to inform that the scene was cut before it was shot.
Wickersham was born in Denver and raised in Boulder and in Anchorage, Alaska. He attended the Missouri School of Journalism, where he and ESPN writer Wright Thompson covered Super Bowl XXXIV for the Columbia Missourian. He was hired at ESPN The Magazine shortly after graduation in 2000. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.