Outside the Lines

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Outside the Lines
Outside The Lines logo.png
Starring Bob Ley
Jeremy Schaap
Mark Schwarz
T.J. Quinn
Kelly Naqi
Country of origin USA
Running time 30 minutes
Original channel ESPN
Original run May 1990 (1990-05) – present

Outside the Lines, or also referred to as OTL, is an American television program on ESPN that looks "outside the lines" and examines critical issues in mostly American sports on and off the field of play.

The primary host of the show, since it began, is long-time sportscasting veteran Bob Ley along with contributors and fill-in hosts to the show which include Jeremy Schaap, Mark Schwarz, T.J. Quinn, and Kelly Naqi. The program airs for 30 minutes Monday through Friday at 5:30 PM ET on ESPN2 and on Sunday at 9:00 AM ET on ESPN.


The show premiered in 1990 as a monthly one-hour program with Bob Ley as host. After a noticeable increase in television ratings, ESPN decided to expand the program for thirty minutes to their Sunday morning lineup at 9:30 am ET, where the show covered one or two of the more notable sporting news stories of the week.


All of the different versions of the show, whether OTL Sunday, OTL Nightly or OTL First Report, share the same basic design. Like the program's title, the show looks "outside the lines" at some of the most controversial and even inspirational stories in the sports world today. The program also often interviews story makers, such as members of Pat Tillman's platoon after he was killed in Afghanistan. The program also is joined by former players and sports writers to get all different opinions of the subject at hand.


Listed below are the numerous segments that appear throughout OTL First Report; note that for certain stories or sports news topics of heavy interest, the format is dropped and consists only of "At This Hour" followed by a debate segment with guests. They include:

  • At This Hour: This segment appears at the beginning of the program when the host goes over the latest information on some of the hottest stories from around the sports world.
  • Center Piece: During this segment a correspondent, such as Jeremy Schaap, Mark Schwarz or Kelly Naqi, delivers either an inspirational or controversial story.
  • Outside Opinion: At the end of the show, the host reads e-mails from viewers about their opinions on some of the stories covered throughout the program.
  • SportsNation Question of the Day: After going over some of the biggest stories of the day, the host poses a question related to one of the stories.

Stories covered[edit]

Over the past few years, Outside the Lines has covered several Sports Emmy Award winning pieces such as Finding Bobby Fischer, Ben Comen, and Rainbow Man. It also covered the NFL's concussion "crisis" in the Peabody Award winning piece NFL at a Crossroads: Investigating a Health Crisis.[1]

Some of the other memorable pieces the show has covered include: Two Man Band (about Patrick Hughes, a blind member of the University of Louisville band and his dad), The Jason McElwain Story (about the autistic high school basketball manager who came into a game and scored 20 points), Athletes Carrying Guns (about whether it is appropriate for athletes to carry guns), Katrina's Impact on New Orleans (prior to the Saints' first game back in New Orleans) and Steroids impact on the Little Leagues (and how much they affect them).

The program has also featured exclusive interviews with newsmakers such as: President George W. Bush, Senator John McCain, Pete Rose, Phil Jackson (after leaving the Lakers the first time) and the Army Rangers of Pat Tillman's platoon about what really happened. More recently, former NBA player John Amaechi appeared on the February 11, 2007 edition to publicly come out as gay, and the May 11, 2008 edition reported that former USC basketball star O. J. Mayo had allegedly received thousands of dollars in cash and merchandise from a runner for a sports agent dating back to his high school career.



External links[edit]