ESPN’s award-winning prime time newsmagazine program E:60 will return Tuesday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. ET, for six weekly episodes. The stories, interviews and features for the season-opener will include one-on-one interviews with Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, a feature about Brock Mealer’s long road back from an accident that forever changed his family, and a profile on Paul Bedard, the alligator wrestler. Highlights of each feature:
Dan Snyder is a self-made billionaire, with all the trappings you would expect of the man who succeeded an icon Jack Kent Cooke as owner of the Washington Redskins and built the team into the second most valuable franchise in the NFL. He’s living the quintessential American Dream, but in 11 years since buying the team, Snyder has been a controversial figure, and arguably one of the most hated owners in the league.
In an E:60 exclusive, Rachel Nichols interviews Snyder, who considers every Redskins success a tribute to the father he lost in 2003. Snyder opens up about embarrassment over the mistakes he’s made, why he’s been a media target, and how owning the Redskins is a very personal dream-come-true for a boy whose father made him the team’s biggest fan.
Michigan’s Elliott Mealer
On September 4, Brock Mealer led the Wolverines out of the tunnel for the University of Michigan’s home opener. The older brother of offensive lineman Elliott Mealer, Brock walked to the middle of the field with the assistance of two canes and touched the banner to start the 2010 season. In that moment, his family was finally healed.
The Mealers were on their way to midnight mass when a 90-year-old driver crashed into their sports utility vehicle on Christmas Eve three years ago. The accident took the lives of Brock and Elliott’s father, David Mealer, and Elliott’s girlfriend, Hollis Richer. Elliott tore his shoulder trying to rescue Brock from the wreckage, but his brother was paralyzed in the accident. Doctors told Brock he had a one percent chance of ever walking again.
E:60 first profiled Elliott Mealer on October 6, 2009, after he came back from his shoulder injury and made his college football debut wearing the number 57, in honor of the year his father was born. A year later, the focus is on Elliott’s brother Brock, who spent the last year working out with Michigan’s strength and conditioning coaches trying to defy the odds that he was given. E:60’s Lisa Salters reports as Brock Mealer makes his own tribute at the Big House.
The Gator Wrestler
By all accounts, 42-year-old Paul Bedard should be dead. He’s been bitten 12 times by alligators, nearly lost a finger to a rattlesnake and has been clawed by a bear. The Massachusetts native is also an endurance athlete, torturing his body through endless hours of racing. It’s clear that Bedard feels pain differently than most people. He is the Gator Wrestler.
E:60 – ESPN’s first multi-subject, prime-time newsmagazine – features profiles, investigations and cutting-edge stories. The series, which debuted in October 2007, has won several awards, including two Sports Emmys in 2010 (for outstanding journalism and outstanding long feature), and an Edward R. Murrow Award for outstanding sports journalism, also in 2010. E:60 has traversed the world in search of compelling sports stories. The program has reported from Kenya, Sudan, Dominican Republic, Morocco, Mexico, Senegal, Philippines, Netherlands, Haiti, Costa Rica, South Africa, Ukraine, Serbia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Panama, Liberia and more. The featured reporters are Jeremy Schaap, Lisa Salters, Tom Farrey, Rachel Nichols and Michael Smith.