Open Invitation with Stephen Brunt: Series debuts on Jan. 14

Stephen Brunt sits down with Toronto Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro.

Have you heard UFC president Dana White tell his tale of being threatened by Whitey Bulger’s henchman? Or listened to former NFL star Rob Gronkowski describe what it’s like playing with a punctured lung?

Take a rare glimpse into the lives of some of the biggest names in sports and beyond in Sportsnet’s new series, Open Invitation with Stephen Brunt.

Sportsnet’s award-winning journalist invites you to eavesdrop on intimate, casual conversations with a cast of fascinating characters as they swap stories and talk culture and sports. Guests include White, Gronkowski, Mark Shapiro, Peter Mansbridge and many more.

You can watch the first episode of Open Invitation with Stephen Brunt on Tuesday, Jan. 14 on Sportsnet’s YouTube channel, with new episodes dropping on Tuesdays.

Open Invitation guests include:

Dana White: From a scrub in Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s camp to the most powerful man in MMA and the face/matchmaker of the UFC, White goes one-on-one with Brunt in the first episode.

Rob Gronkowski: The retired NFL star peels back the curtain on the most fascinating team and most successful dynasty in sports history, and opens up about how he manages pain in his post-NFL life.

Ken Dryden & Scotty Bowman: Discussing the relationship between one of the most decorated NHL coaches ever and his greatest goaltender, how the game has changed and the adjustments Bowman had to make through his five decades as an NHL coach.

Ariel Helwani: A self-made Montrealer who went from blogger to an unrivalled journalist in his field. Topics include his feud with Dana White and his aspirations of being the biggest reporter in all of sports.

Brent Musburger: He had to speak in code to give you the betting line on national TV, but Musburger always had a way of letting bettors know what was up. Brunt chats with the architect of the NFL pre-game show and a voice of major sports for decades.

Ed Olczyk: The former NHL player and coach chats about his love and connection to Canada, selling the game to an American audience, his cancer fight, and how he was physically and verbally abused by coaches while playing in the NHL.

Peter Mansbridge: The face of news in this country for years, Mansbridge joins Brunt to discuss how the world gets its information, how it changed so quickly and how the Raptors have captivated Canada.

Mark Shapiro: The villain before even starting the job, the Blue Jays president and CEO talks about accepting the hate, building a winner in Toronto and why he’s so misunderstood.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.