The Pat McAfee Show finished a notable week with the eponymous host calling out Norby Williamson by name as a possible saboteur from within ESPN. This was not inspired by ESPN’s handling of Aaron Rodgers’ comments earlier this week – more on that later – but on reports about the show’s ratings. The discussion took place after the ESPN-aired block ended at 2 p.m. ET and the show continued on YouTube. You can jump to the 1:58:30 mark in this video.

“Now, there are some people actively trying to sabotage us from within ESPN,” McAfee said. “More specifically, I believe, Norby Williamson is the guy who is attempting to sabotage our program. I’m not 100% sure, that is just seemingly the only human that has information, and then somehow that information gets leaked and it’s wrong and then it sets a narrative of what our show is. And then are we just going to combat that from a rat every single time? I don’t know, but somebody tried to get ahead of our actual ratings release with wrong numbers 12 hours beforehand. That’s a sabotage attempt. And it’s been happening basically this entire season from some people who didn’t necessarily love the old addition of The Pat McAfee Show to the ESPN family. There is a lot of those.”

McAfee then went on to name multiple publications that he felt had run negative stories about the show before circling back to Williamson, the Executive Editor & Head of Event and Studio Production, who has been at ESPN since 1985. According to McAfee, Williamson once ghosted him for 45 minutes in his office.

“So even with the enemy within our own camp, somebody that we don’t, I don’t like that guy. That guy left me in his office for 45 minutes, no-showed me in 2018 so this guy has had zero respect for me and in return same thing back to him, for a long time.”

So that’s McAfee on one of ESPN’s top executives.

Also on Friday ESPN’s Mike Foss told The Washington Post in an interview, “Aaron made a dumb and factually inaccurate joke about Jimmy Kimmel. It should never have happened. We all realized that in the moment.”

So Rodgers’ atonement for suggesting ABC’s premier late night talk show host had connections to Jeffrey Epstein was McAfee saying he was probably joking and ESPN saying it was “dumb” and “inaccurate” joke. Not that the focus will be on Rodgers after Friday’s show.

And in another incredible bit of timing, ESPN PR sent out an email early this evening with the subject, “The Pat McAfee Show Sees Steady Growth in December Garnering 886,000 Average Viewers Per Episode Across Live Channels.” That’s an increase from the numbers that were in Andrew Marchand’s column in the New York Post on Thursday, which may have sparked the entire conversation in the first place. While the numbers don’t match, the Williamson discussion today certainly goes with the crux of the article which asked if McAfee’s ratings were worth the headaches. Seems like this is a moment where we might find out.

UPDATE: This story has been changed to attribute The Washington Post as the source of the quote from ESPN about Aaron Rodgers’ statement.

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