Spies on the Sidelines: How Much of an Impact Does Spying Have in the NFL?

While the phrase “three-letter agency” is a euphemism for American spook organizations such as the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and the NSA (National Security Agency), the NFL is a three-letter agency in its own right. Behind the game-day action of the NFL is a world much like the cloak-and-dagger realm of American intelligence agencies.

The NFL has its own history filled with espionage-related stories that sound like something right out of the Cold War:

Spies on the Sidelines: The High Stakes World of NFL Espionage book cover
Photo Courtesy: Kevin Bryant (Spies on the Sidelines: The High Stakes World of NFL Espionage book cover)

Spies disguised as reporters, military officers, and priests, and even a dwarf playing the role of a baby being pushed in a stroller; covert surveillance of targets’ movements;hiding draft prospects by shuffling them in and out of hotels in aliases; tapped telephones, signals interception, decoy signals, encryption, code-breaking, and radio frequency jamming; false flag operations; monitoring air traffic and airline passengers;

spies scaling rooftops and telephone poles and clandestine photography undertaken from high-rise hotels with long-lensed cameras; peepholes, secret listening devices, surveillance photos relayed by zip line and whispered conversations masked by running water; stolen documents and trash cans sifted for secrets; subversion of individuals mired in debt; and a hilltop secured by Navy SEALs.

Interview With Author Kevin Bryant

We’ve covered various “spying techniques” on interviews in the past, but this is the first time we dedicated a whole episode into “The High Stakes World of NFL Espionage.”

Kevin was a great guest and shares many stories throughout the history of the game.  You’ll definitely want to pick up his book that releases the same day as this episode to get all of the crazy stories.

Below are a few of the topics we get into during the interview:

  • An overview, elevator pitch about his book SPIES ON THE SIDELINES: THE HIGH STAKES WORLD OF NFL ESPIONAGE
  • His inspiration for writing this book and why he feels like he was the right guy to write it
  • How the book is different than Spygate by Brian O’Leary that covered the Patriots scandal
  • The difference between the terms PERMISSIBLE and ILLICIT
  • Where does the line get drawn in the NFL and how is it handled with the punishment over the years
  • How much of an impact on the results of a game has spying had over the years
  • Some of his favorite stories from the book and interviews
  • He “takes my DeLorean” back to his favorite moments in NFL spying history
  • Much more….

Kevin Bryant Interviews on SHN

Kevin Bryant Bio


Kevin Bryant is an Army veteran with over twenty years of experience safeguarding and gathering information for the Department of Defense, including thirteen years as a Special Agent during which he conducted national security investigations and instructed federal agents in training.

Kevin graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) with a B.A. in History, and graduated with top honors from American Military University with an M.A. in Intelligence Studies and an M.S. in Sports Management.

During his senior year of high school he was selected onto the East-West Ambassadors National Select soccer team, composed of elite high school players from across the United States, and in college he played NCAA soccer for UCSC.


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