The Electrician Who Shocked the NFL With the Videos of Urban Meyer

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How did the viral clip of the Jacksonville Jaguars coach come to the fore? He was posted by an Ohio State fan.

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“Were there two shooters in the club?” Byrnes thought.

that video, showing Mayer touching women’s backs, sparked even more controversy after Byrnes posted it to his Twitter account @freak_leader. On Tuesday, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan issued a scathing statement calling the conduct unacceptable and saying Mayer has lost the trust and respect of the team.

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And the most curious thing about the scandal that shook one of the biggest figures in coaching was the sleuth who uncovered it.

Byrnes, 34, has worn many hats. He once got in trouble for trying to rob some drug dealers in Montana. He took classes at Ohio State, though he never graduated, and still has roots for the football team. He ran for the Ohio State House of Representatives and lost, receiving just 24.5% of the vote. He currently writes a newspaper, rooster, which mainly focuses on local politics.

“It’s very, very niche,” Byrnes says. “Who can name his state MLA?”

Byrnes also spent years working for a popular Ohio State fan website called It was here that he wrote about and covered a football coach who led the Buckeyes to the national championship. His name was Urban Mayor.

He spent years covering the mayor and writing about Ohio State, but a few years ago he grew tired of it. He was not a fan of Meyer, especially his former wide receivers coach, or the school’s handling of the issue following a scandal involving alleged spousal abuse. He felt that the only accepted way for someone like him to cover the team was the equivalent of public relations work—and he didn’t want to do that.

“I have a reputation as someone who enjoys serving rich and potent no-nonsense cocktails,” he says.

After that, he started the roster, made his unsuccessful political runs and decided to become an electrician. But he still had a following and contacts from his days in the Ohio State universe. It came in handy last weekend.

Byrnes heard “rumblings” about Mayer’s night out at the Urban Chophouse in Columbus on Friday. He got the first video on Saturday. Soon, it was a firearm that raised even more questions: What was really going on? Why did Mayer take the highly unusual step of not going back to Florida with the Jaguars after Thursday night’s game in Cincinnati?

The mayor said on Monday that he had stayed to see his grandchildren. (Shelley Meyer, his wife, also tweeted a photo of his babysitting, including “#BuddyDeservedANightOut”.) Meyer said he apologized to the team and said it was “stupid.”

“There was a big group next to our restaurant and they wanted me to come over and take pictures and I did,” the mayor said. “They were trying to drag me on the dance floor, screwing around, and I should have left.”

Almost immediately after Mayer made the remarks late on Monday morning, Byrnes sat down at a table in the breakroom at his job as an electrician. That’s when another source reached out to Twitter with a direct message and an even juicier tip.

“Do you know of another video?” The message said.

Soon he had a video of another video pulled from Snapchat. It shows the mayor touching the woman’s back. After Meyer attempted to downplay the incident, Byrnes was eager to detonate it. It quickly solidified that evening and the scrutiny of a coach whose entire tenure at Jacksonville has been a bumpy one.

The mayor was in hot water with the Jacksonville owner.

“His conduct over the past weekend was unforgivable,” Khan said in a statement on Tuesday. “I appreciate Urban’s remorse, which I think is sincere. Now, he must regain our trust and respect.”

For Byrnes, this was particularly beneficial because some of his ideas had been destroyed in the past. After leaving, the website named one of his tweets “one of the worst times of 2018.”

Tweet: “I’m glad Urban is gone.”

Write to Andrew Beaton at [email protected]


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