Jeremiah Fennell is the 10-year-old reporter who went viral for interviewing Raiders’ wide receiver Devante Adams. Fennell, armed with stats and the poise of a seasoned journalist, unflinchingly interviewed the NFL star. The Raiders uploaded the video on Twitter, making Fennell an instant internet star.
Several weeks later, Fennell queried Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson about his first touchdown, describing the play as if he was watching it live. Jefferson responded exactly how most people watching Fennell’s videos have: “Whose son is this. How [is] he like this?”
“He was born like that,” his mother, Lorraine Golden, replied.
Fennell nearly lost his mother after she became critically ill
When Fennell was four, his parents informed him that he couldn’t play contact sports due to a detached shoulder bone and a rare brain anomaly. The openness helped Fennell accept reality and find another way to remain involved in sports: journalism.
“He just started practicing and practicing,” Lorraine told The Las Vegas Review-Journal, “simulating play-by-play and analysis while watching games since he was 4.”
Fennell fell for the Raiders after they featured in the first NFL game he watched. Lorraine denied Fennell’s initial request to create a YouTube channel analyzing the Raiders because they were based in California, too far away from the family’s Las Vegas home.
Fennell kept pushing and, crucially, performing well in school. After the Raiders returned to Las Vegas, Lorraine allowed Fennell to create the YouTube channel. Fennell told the Jennifer Hudson Show:
“That’s what started it, but what’s really driving me is because I wanted to make my parents proud at a young age because my mom very much has health issues and my dad is a senior citizen.”
The unspecified health issues almost killed Lorraine when Fennell was five. Fennell told Jennifer Hudson that he alerted his grandmother that Lorraine was in distress. He said that Lorraine would have died without his grandmother’s decisive action.
“They said that if she was there one minute later, she would have died,” Fennell said. “For a month I didn’t see my mom because she was in ICU, and those were the worst 30 days of my life. I had a long talk with God and I told him, ‘If you can bring my mom back, I would be the greatest son that I could ever be.’”
The Raiders rewarded Fennell with a ticket to the Super Bowl and a bag filled with Raiders’ merch. “When they first did the groundbreaking at Allegiant Stadium, he [Fennell] told me, ‘I’m going to work there,’” Golden told The Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Despite his apparent admiration for the stars he interviews, Fennell insists that he doesn’t get starstruck. After interviewing Davante Adams, Fennell told Fox News:
“I wasn’t starstruck or anything. I was there just talking to him like a normal reporter, you know? So I wasn’t really scared, because in the end, we’re all people.”