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Your Sportsballs are Infected (w/ Pablo S. Torre)

July 2, 2023
Notes
Transcript

Tim sits down with sportswriter and ESPN Daily host Pablo S. Torre to discuss how sports, the last unifying cultural touchstone in America, has started to be corrupted by polarization. They get into the cringy identity politics of both the left and the right when it comes to athletics, along with some NBA commentary and Denver Nuggets debate!

Plus, Tim breaks down his thoughts on SCOTUS ruling against Harvard’s and UNC’s affirmative action policies.

Watch Tim interview Pablo here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_x50CSNQRw

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This transcript was generated automatically and may contain errors and omissions. Ironically, the transcription service has particular problems with the word “bulwark,” so you may see it mangled as “Bullard,” “Boulart,” or even “bull word.” Enjoy!
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:09

    Hello and welcome to Secret Podcast. I’m your host Tim Miller. I was so excited to sit down with Pablo Torrey for the Sunday Show interview this week. He has been on ESPN on part of the interruption. Around the horn.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:20

    He’s also joining Dan Lebatard’s Meadowark Media, which is a super cool sports and culture podcasting and multimedia company and I think we talk a lot about how politics has infected sports, how you can’t get away from it, we get into the woke wars.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:36

    I think even if you you
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:38

    know aren’t into the nitty gritty of sports ball. I think you’ll enjoy the conversation how it relates to what’s happening in our culture. But before we get to Pablo, I wanted to try something a little new and just solo, just you and me, share a couple of my reactions to the Supreme Court rulings. Wanna address some of the commentary from the right and left that we’ve seen over the past forty eight seventy two hours that I disagree with. First I wanna discuss some of my friends on the right who are bristling at president Biden’s comment that this is not a quote, normal court.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:11

    Even some of
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:11

    the anti Trump conservatives
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:13

    got their back up about this, and the best good faith critique that I saw comes from this Twitter user I follow AG Hamilton. Not a Trump. He says Supreme Court rules against racial discrimination and college admissions of positions supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans, Biden responds by questioning the normalcy of the court, This is not a normal president. He goes on preparing for today and tomorrow has been the whole point of the recent campaign to try to undermine the legitimacy of the court majority they cannot defend their legal position so instead they do this and we get deafening silence for much of the Norm’s crowd. So I think we’re in the Norm’s crowd here
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:52

    at the Bulwark, and so while I don’t speak for everyone,
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:54

    I just wanted to respond to that critique. And I find it to be totally wrong. And I think that discussions of court reform are completely legitimate. They’re completely within the bounds of the norms of our country. And I think that it’s important when we’re having this conversation to just step back and think about the reality of this court.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:15

    The reality is that the GOP stole a Supreme Court seat. This might sound overwrought to put it so bluntly, but once you strip away all the bullshit, In any fair minded system, either Merrick Garland should have the gorseage seat or a Biden appointee should have the Kony Barrett seat. It was the same situation, cocaine Mitch pulled one over on Schumer and Obama, and the GOP got
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:38

    a seat that they shouldn’t have. Now if
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:40

    this were just an election where the left got another shot in four years, that’d be
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:43

    one thing. But those are lifetime appointments. So if you are a conservative who is happy with cocaine Mitch for the extreme links, norm breaking links he went to steal a Supreme Court seat that I don’t think you should be surprised when the left looks at ways within the law to try to balance the playing field. But in spite of this, in spite of the fact that Republicans deserve
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:04

    an eye for an eye, on court shenanigans.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:06

    That isn’t even what Biden suggesting. He said on Nicole Wallace yesterday. I think if we try to expand the court, we’re gonna politicize it, maybe forever. In a way that’s unhealthy, in a way that we can’t get back. What restraint from the president?
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:23

    What commitment to norms? What does this guy have to do to get credit from the dwindling right wing norms of idlers? When every time he has stood up against the more extreme suggestions coming from the left, some of which by the way I think are totally reasonable. But on the other hand, I also wanna address some of
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:41

    the fallout from the ruling, you know, and and some of the commentary we’ve seen left. This is something that I do think is worth mentioning that can conceivably affect my family as I’m about a decade away from having to shell out for college and I’ll have a daughter who’s a black applicant for school I’ll be monitoring how the universities respond to this with interest. I was generally even, you know, in my Republican days was generally more aesthetic to the idea of affirmative action than a lot
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:05

    of my colleagues. And yet, I still think some of
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:07

    the apocalyptic rhetoric on this misses the point a bit. When it comes to affirmative for college, we’re really talking about the very most selective schools. The top fifty, maybe seventy five schools. These schools, let’s be honest, are pretty liberal. Okay?
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:22

    Their world views are are gonna lean progressive except for at times when you know those world views are offset by their desire for money. See Kushner or come to Jared getting into Harvard. Just this was one example of this. I was on TikTok yesterday, like a couple hours after the ruling. And the president from Harvard, a black woman Claudine Gaye, already had a TikTok up.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:41

    They were prepared for this and she was assuring the school’s continued commitment to diversity. I don’t really have any reason to doubt her. I expect that through essays, through zip code analysis, they’re going to find ways to ensure they have a diverse student body, because that’s what’s best for these universities and they know And in the end, their own self interest will be what drives their actions. You know, let’s be also just think about who’s impacted by this.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:03

    The only people that admissions poli’s truly effect at at scale at
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:07

    the group level are lower income students. Whose studies show suffer disproportionate outcomes if they don’t get into schools. That’s really where the focus should be. If a rich kid from an elite high school gets rejected from Harvard and has to go to Canyon, or God forbid George Washington, raise high. They’re gonna be afforded many opportunities still in life.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:24

    They can work hard and go the Ivy League route for grad school, They can do what I did, smoke bowls, and hang out and still fall back on the network they have inherited from parents and high school and college and unpaid internships and find a career that they get fulfillment out of. Getting rejected for your dream school might feel like a tragedy I sympathize with kids worked hard and caught bad luck on this front then the grand scheme of things it’s really not the end of the world. It might be the end of the world for a low income kid. Be they Bulwark and from Algiers here Nola or Be they white and from Applelecia, my husband’s from. Those groups are who the IVs are doing a bad job serving as is.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:02

    So hopefully this ruling might have an unintended positive consequence of having the progressive universities being forced to do better by the students because using low income majority minority zip codes will be an obvious alternative workaround for race. Right? It’ll be very easy for them to see you know who is coming from an area that’s been discriminated against. California by the way has already been doing this. For a long time.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:27

    Voters of California voted down affirmative action a while ago. I think that there are some real also potential upsides for both our political and cultural life to removing this affirmative action canard as an excuse for white folks who came up short. From being IV quality. Like, it’d be nice to get rid of that, a little talking point and I liked President Biden’s framing. He talked about how schools should now move to advantaging kids who have overcome diversity.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:52

    Think that’s a good frame to put this in. Obviously, I think that’s gonna be a lot students of color disproportionately. I wish you would have also called out first generation Asian immigrants as part of that group because they’re part of the Democratic coalition and I think they’re feeling a little ostracized by this topic. So to sum it up, Yeah, I concur with BID. This is not a normal court.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:12

    Democrats should not be afraid to say it, particularly when discussing issues when the court is on the wrong side of the electorate.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:18

    But polls show that college affirmative action really isn’t that. There are plenty of winning issues
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:22

    out there that don’t center the problems of a tiny percentage of overachievers who make up fringe applicants for these elite DEMS do the best when they’re fighting for social justice for all rather than obsessing over high income high status quota. For some. So let’s all keep that in mind in the weeks ahead. It’s okay to criticize the court on the merits if you disagree with this decision but I was just trying to put in broader perspective that what we saw this week was maybe a lot more normal than anybody on either side wants to give credit for. So that’s where I fit in.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:54

    I’m here to give Joe Biden, president Biden credit for standing up for our norms for fighting for what he believes in on affirmative action. And I do not think that we need to catastrophize over what happened this week. Up next is public alright. I hope you all enjoy a wonderful fourth of July, a wonderful independence day. There’ll be a little bit of sport talk here, but I promise we can do a broader conversation.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:15

    You should enjoy it. We’ll see you back on Wednesday, even though it’s a holiday week, we’re grinding out in the content mills for you. We’ll see you back here on Wednesday with the next level. First, as always, our friends at Assetunk. Peace.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:27

    Happy Alright, guys. Welcome to the Buller to Next Level podcast. I’m here with my aspiring buddy and I guess kind of ish fellow Regus Alum, though you’re New York and I’m Denver. Pablo Torre of ESPN, meadowlark for our political nerd audience and just is a quick trigger warning for everybody. If you don’t like sports, the beginning is gonna be fun.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:07

    We got a lot political politics, culture stuff to do. Yeah. Me and Pablo are gonna really nerd out on the NBA at the very end. I’ll let you know you can tune out then if you don’t care what the NBA But for folks who don’t know, just give us a little penny tour through your life in this new venture you’re doing with Lebatard and give people up to speed.
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:22

    Yeah. So a long time ESPN Gasbag on television was a magazine writer, was Jesswood educated. Glad you did not bury the lead there, Tim, on the real core of me. But went to Harvard lived that insane caricature of an existence that I think people still maybe find most interesting about me despite the fact that I’m now sadly in the phase of, like, guys, I’ve done stuff since going to college, and I don’t just wanna be the guy I do have stories about Mark Zuckerberg, but that could be another podcast. Oh.
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:51

    But anyway, going from college to sports illustrated to ESPN now to Metal Arc where I have a show that I’m building from scratch. And I will do the very brief w w w dot pablo dot show. All of that shit will be explained there, but And now I’m with Tim. So I think the cast
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:08

    It’s a secret. We don’t exactly know what the show’s gonna be.
  • Speaker 3
    0:10:10

    That’s right. That’s right. It’s a secret. It has a bit of a sales pitch that I will spare you
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:15

    But
  • Speaker 3
    0:10:16

    mostly I wanna entice you to give me your email address. It’s free for the love of God. Thank you, empathetic plea. Yes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:21

    Well, our other, you know, Kevin Bacon connection is of your ESPN punditry. You were around the horn and part of the eruption guest. I don’t know what
  • Speaker 3
    0:10:30

    the official title was. Family member, a strange son who older than he looks. Yeah. All of that stuff. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:35

    Yeah. There he goes. High school, buddy of mine’s mom dated woody Page, growing up in debt. So that’s their other connection. I and I would so I’d go up to Wooddy’s condo or whatever it was.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:46

    Hoping to see him as the high school sports store use. Never around. The Meadow thing is thing is interesting. So we started doing these pawns that like weren’t as political for the Bulwark. And like the first one we tried out was with Billy Corbyn, who’s like super Michael.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:58

    It’s a Miami documentarian who did the Jerry Fallwell doc, and he’s doing some stuff for Metallark. So explain what that is. Like Dan Lebkhart’s a longtime radio guy, And now, it’s like this little sports media empire, but there’s some culture stuff like what’s happening over there?
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:14

    Yeah. So Billy is also my entree into in a way. He directed Broke, the documentary that was based on a story I did for sports illustrated, kind of the first thing I did at ESPN. And now I’ve just followed Billy Corbyn accidentally around.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:26

    Yeah. We didn’t talk about that one, actually, man. You know, when the pilot we talked about all these other documentaries that, you know, I guess didn’t feature yet.
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:32

    That’s a grave content strategy mistakes. I knew Tim. But Billy is incredibly political. Does a show called because Miami, which he basically muck rakes Miami politics which is to speak to the general premise of Dan Show, which is that he was Adias Pian. He’s in the lineage, I would say, of, like, the Bill Simmons tradition of, like, guys who had huge fandoms that were constrained inside of ESPN.
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:54

    So when you get out of ESPN, what do you do? And so they made their own sports media company that also does non sports stuff. And Dan and me, by the way, Dan’s a mentor of mine in ways that are both sincere and also you know, quite oppressive. I am sort of part of his family. And in a way, there is a hazing aspect to it.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:13

    So part of the non sports stuff does is kind of the reality show of his entire family, literal family, but also the show family. And I’m one of those people, but he also does politics. He does pop cult all of that sort of sports as one way to see culture kind of approach to content. I hate saying content unironically, but I’m gonna do it a lot today.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:34

    It’s tough. Yeah. You just gotta embrace it.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:36

    It’s real tough.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:37

    So how much shouldn’t your take on this? I guess the, you know, lebitart thing isn’t like explicitly political in the way that our friend maybe Clay Travis’s thing is, which we’ll get to in a second. But under I’m wondering your just assessment of I guess an outside observer to sports media. It’s like pretty weird that sports media is bifurcating along political lines, maybe bifurcating is overstating it but you have people who are explicitly, you know, kind of espousing brands that like embrace you know different part of our culture wars, maybe a better way to put it. Like, does that make you uncomfortable?
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:11

    Is that just necessary? Like, would you rather just kind of like get high and watch basketball and not have to like here takes about this stuff or, like, do you feel like it’s necessary to use the platform to talk about this? Like, how do you, you know, kind of assess the know, I guess the Michael Jordan versus Lebron James view of how athletes should should deal with the political world.
  • Speaker 3
    0:13:31

    Yeah. Ronald Reagan is my goal. Yeah. Ronald Reagan is my time. I’m glad we got to my real plank here.
  • Speaker 3
    0:13:36

    No. I think about this in the sense of okay. There are two levels to this. Right? On the one hand sports is kind of the only monoculture we have left in American life.
  • Speaker 3
    0:13:44

    Right. It’s kind of one of the few things. Maybe the MCU is up there, but I would say sports is a more sincere cultural institution where I will go to a sporting event and next to me will be a guy who listens, watches, believes, worships, nothing in common with me or the guy on the other side of him. And that’s just a rare thing. And so sports as just this big tent in which lots of people still gather to suss out issues of genuine conflict because those other disagreements tend to, of course, bleed into everything else.
  • Speaker 3
    0:14:15

    Like, That’s why I love sports, honestly, is that it’s not siloed. But what you’re describing and what has been incentivized economically in the fragmentation of media broadly, is, of course, the siloing of everything. It’s like, hey, we wanna sell ourselves directly as the exclusive truth teller And it just so happens that the truth we’re selling is your preferred version of. Right. Right.
  • Speaker 3
    0:14:37

    So there’s siloing of everything. And my goal whenever possible, is to avoid the algorithmic rut that suggests that I am now buying that version of news and information. But for me, I find myself amused by it because I also think it’s fascinating in the way that sports is just another lens to see the world through. I think looking at politics through sports, as I marvel at Tommy Tuberville senator, standing next to two female swimmers talking about how we need to save our girls. I’m just like, this is all very on the nose now.
  • Speaker 3
    0:15:13

    The idea that it’s all jumbled into this giant insane Where’s Waldo, in which people are pretending, actually, the real good ones are over there, but not over there.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:22

    Like the ability to hide from it’s impossible. You know, one of the most acute political moments I’ve experienced in the past eight years which has been a lot of acute political moments. I actually happened at a sporting event, so I’m at the LSU Clemson National Championship game and fucking Trump comes out. You know, just like, resulting my game, just like ruining my fun and you know, so we’re we’re sitting there in the stands Ron DeSantis Ellen Shoe Klemson. So a decent MAGa crowd there but it’s also a college educated cloud.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:51

    So, you know, this it cuts both ways. We happen to be in the section by a lot of the players parents. Oh, let’s use players parents. And so like Trump comes out and like my little group is you know booing him and then the MAG of people around us start to get pissed and they start to yell at them. And then a lot of the players parents, a lot of them are black.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:12

    Kind of like looking at us and like telling us to chill out. Like like we don’t want we don’t want this pipe know. Like, we’re trying to break out.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:21

    We don’t want to be the background characters on the TikTok that I did not want to participate in.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:27

    Yeah. And that just to me, like, was, you know, a a one minute moment that I kind of encapsulated just this new reality, which is like as much as I wanted deeply despite that I’m a political professional, I didn’t want to think about Donald Trump that day. I don’t want to think of as well as Joy Joe Burrow and the beauty of Joe Burrow to Jamal Chase and Justin Jefferson. You know? But like that you can’t.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:47

    Right? Like, and I feel like that is your daily life. Right? Doing sports stuff. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:51

    Like some days you can avoid it, but a lot of times it’s being thrust on you.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:55

    I would say that it really has and this is maybe just owing to the numbness him the deadening of my nerve endings, but it was so truly terrible in twenty fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, and then I think we got to this general point where we are now where just a collective exhaustion isn’t even Like, the algorithm isn’t even serving me Clay Travis anymore. Wow. You’re so lucky. I truly am like wondering, should Clay be mad at the Twitter algorithm? Or am I just doing better at not clicking on the thing?
  • Speaker 3
    0:17:30

    I intellectually know I shouldn’t click on. Am I just more disciplined now? But in terms of just the way that all of this pervades, yeah, it’s all one tank, man. Like, it’s all one premise of what happens when, certainly, like, the most famous influential american also likes to use sports as his hobby horse. And it turns out, by the way, that one consequence of that is not just that there are these intersectional boos coming out of a crowd at a football game.
  • Speaker 3
    0:17:58

    It’s also that he renders your hypothetical political coherence totally untenable. So, like, one of the funniest things to me looking back now is why no one talks about Capernic anymore. I’m just like, wait a minute. So Colin Kaepernickernic was like the biggest hobby horse for all of these people. And then suddenly, they pivoted maybe, I guess, to, like, free speech warriors in a way that is on its own merits, like, also ridiculous.
  • Speaker 3
    0:18:22

    But specifically through the lens of like our number one campaign issue was telling a guy he can’t do this thing that was a definitional free speech act. Because the president, the most powerful person in the country was like, get him the fuck out of this game. And just like, do you guys not bring up for that reason? Or is it for you just forget? Like, I’m just confused by that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:41

    Maybe it becomes a little more challenging to say that it’s un American to do to protest the American flag when your people are literally storming — Yeah. Name a goal in protest. All of a sudden, the Kaffronate protest doesn’t seem quite as it is. That’s a good point. By you.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:57

    The flag is, like, waving a confederate flag or an Trump flag and, like, flying it over the US capital. Turns out Docastically or directly killing a
  • Speaker 3
    0:19:06

    police officer to storm the capital makes it harder to be a big purity test guy when it comes to how to use and weaponize the flag.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:13

    Yeah. Maybe that’s it. So Clay’s been mentioned three times already, which I’m sure he’d love, which is fucking annoying. And so we gotta do it. Regret this.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:20

    Was the Michael Travis thing how you how we started doing it? The Twitter follow-up thing together was
  • Speaker 3
    0:19:24

    In that haze, it must have
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:26

    been. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:19:26

    That haze of that era.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:27

    Yeah. I picked up a ton of sports reporter follows right after I did a profile in this guy, Clay Travis people who don’t know. You want to g w with me. He started as just kind of a college football Right blogger and he’s a lawyer in the cultural blogger. And he would talk about politics because he’s from DC, but it was always kind of centrist like centrist bro politics basically.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:46

    And then essentially, he sees what we’ve been talking about in the lead up, which is this fragmentation of the sports media and how there’s Lane to be served, let’s just say. In MAGA sports commentary. And so he starts doing a lot of pro Trump, MAGA, you know, COVID denials and stuff. Since I wrote this profile now has a literal politics podcast in addition to his sports stuff where he’s along with this guy Buck sexton which is a real name, not a fake name, Buck By
  • Speaker 3
    0:20:13

    the way, went to Regis High School was at Regis while I was there. Clay? So oh, no. No. Buck.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:19

    Oh, Buck.
  • Speaker 3
    0:20:20

    Well, yeah. This is there are there are tendrils that how dare you? There are tendrils connecting us to all of these characters. It’s unfortunately
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:28

    Yeah. He would have never come to reach in Denver, but I could say, you know, that the New York regis. So anyway, I wrote a a basically a takedown of just how disingenuous this is, like, Clay is. Like, this doesn’t exist in the real world. People who are obama voters who like decided to go full MAGa but he saw this market opportunity.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:43

    Do you feel like there
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:44

    is a is Dan what you like is there right now a counter ban to that? Like, are we gonna start getting, you know, liberal Secret Podcast and, like, assess the clay situation for me?
  • Speaker 3
    0:20:57

    Yeah. I I would say that I am already regretting, again, doing the very thing that one seeks most in his position, which is the currency of attention. But, of course, this is the game and we’re all fated to play it. But I would also say that I see it through the lens of identity politics. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:21:15

    Like, the grand irony of all of this is that I hate identity politics so much, says fill in the Bulwark. Right leaning conservative sports commentator, that all I will do now is profit off of the most potent and persuasive use of identity politics in America. Like, the thing about it is that they are so much better at identity politics than the other side. Like, the other like, liberals are terrible at identity politics. There are fractured coalitions.
  • Speaker 3
    0:21:42

    There is this idea of like how can you possibly be monolithic if you’re actually trying to do justice to, like, all of these subgroups inside of these identities that we broadly categorized for the purpose of general ease of white people understanding. All of that is complicated. And then there’s the other side, which is like, essentially, it boils down to the very basic thought. And this is the thing that animates both trans, athletes protests and Bud Light, boycotts. It’s just that you will not replace us shit.
  • Speaker 3
    0:22:10

    And that grievance of like we are the real sports fans and you are the fake sports fans how dare you replace us by going woke and going broke or whatever it is. Like, that whole thing is wishcasting. You know, to use a a baseball nerd term, like, they want their value over replacement player. Their Vorp their Vorp value over replacement fan to be so infinitely large that they can readjust the tides of, I guess, just of grand cultural evolution. And so there is no political coherent philosophy at all.
  • Speaker 3
    0:22:49

    That’s kind of a function of Trump. But also a function of just all I’m here for is to be told that I’m important, and more important than people who are running these woke corporations want to admit. So when you see through that lens, it’s just sort of like, I’m kind of numb to it. Now I’m like, go do that. I get it.
  • Speaker 3
    0:23:06

    There’s no way of reasoning or shaming. Shame obviously doesn’t work. What am I gonna do with that? Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:11

    I kind of feel that way too. I was the most triggered by his stuff during COVID. Right? Because it’s like, people are actually dying because it’s like people and this is why I ended up writing article and like the sports reporters. I just I’ve never had so many DMs from random sports reporters I’ve been reading for years for Thank you.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:27

    That fucking guy, but like I can’t say it because of DV and I was like, yeah, I’m happy to do it. But like that was the one that really talked to me. Like if he’s gonna do the you know, conservative talk radio outrage of the day, I’m pissed at Budlight, I’m pissed at Bubba Wallless, I’m pissed at what I okay, I alright. Whatever. But the COVID thing, that was influencing people.
  • Speaker 1
    0:23:48

    You know, people were not getting vaccinated because of it. And the stuff lately has definitely felt like it carries less of a salience.
  • Speaker 3
    0:23:56

    I fell prey to the anger of the rising blood pressure just because the grift during COVID was so obvious. Yeah. The grift of like, I’m just gonna treat all of this as if I’m an expert. And this is why, like, in sports, I get it. I get it.
  • Speaker 3
    0:24:10

    I’m not bothered by the idea that you will never be held to account for any of your predictions.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:15

    Yeah. I’ve been holding some people to account for their nuggets but, yeah, they’ve maintained their job. Desirevably. Kendrick’s still on TV as best as I can tell.
  • Speaker 3
    0:24:22

    Kendrick Perkins is stronger than ever, unfortunately, for you. But that became, yes, exasperating when it came to, like, oh, by the way, I live in fucking New York. Like, the whole thing I mean, look, the very brief COVID take I have is that I understand the ability to abstract this out into generally, you know, treating COVID victims as if they’re all just the countless third world residents dying in a mudslide. Like, I get the number. I’m sure that’s probably right.
  • Speaker 3
    0:24:50

    I don’t give fuck about it. Right? I get that. But when you’re in New York and literally, like, we’re clanging the pots and pans and there are, like, refrigerated trucks. It’s just sort of, like, Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:25:01

    I’m gonna get my blood boiled a bit about that because if I don’t, it means that I’m just emotionally dead. And I’m just I wasn’t ready for that part yet.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:09

    I wanna get into a series of specific issues, but I’m I’m gonna take the clay travis side of this, we mentioned Kendrick for just one second. I wanna get your push back to it. Is there anything to be said? I think that you nailing him and his ilk on doing white conservative male identity politics is exactly right. Like, was there not a little bit of justification to the notion of, they’re turning on sports and like getting shit thrown in their face.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:32

    You know, the Phil Jackson thing about how in the bubble, like everybody’s wearing jerseys, you know, that have — Yeah. Yeah. — kind of pointless slogans on it. You know, it’s Group economics.
  • Speaker 3
    0:25:42

    You don’t have your group economics, Jersey?
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:45

    Hanging. Vote four milsap was the one I always remember. You know, and the Black Times vendors on the court. I mean, I think black guy, you know, and this doesn’t bother me, but is there something about how it was just oh, unnecessary in their face. And and the one that happened this year to mention Perkins’s is, Perkins goes on TV and starts doing the, oh, MVP voters are going for Yokits just because he’s white like argument which is like so absurd and got proven so wrong obviously in the months that followed.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:11

    But but if that kind of stuff, if they’re like doing that kind of liberal identity politics stuff, all the time on sports center, all the time on games, is there not a level of justification that there are people that feel like, well no fuck you. I’m gonna do the opposite actually and rub it in your face.
  • Speaker 3
    0:26:28

    I I I should admit, by the way, that, like, this is maybe dangerous to admit.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:33

    Oh, please.
  • Speaker 3
    0:26:33

    But, like, my group chats are full of just like making fun of clumsy liberal executions of, like, DI policies, where it’s like the equivalent of And
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:45

    Week the chat spot where let’s see. This is
  • Speaker 3
    0:26:47

    where I get hacked, and I’m just, like, the worst for even bringing no. It’s the idea of, like, we’re gonna spray paint and racism in the end zone. We’re gonna have jersey names during the bubble that are clumsy that are just it’s you’re memeing yourself. Right? You can imagine the board meeting full of people who don’t actually give a fuck about this stuff being like we gotta pretend to give a fuck about this stuff.
  • Speaker 3
    0:27:08

    It’s that toothless symbolic, Nancy Pelosi, kneeling, you know, wearing African garb kind of shit, where it’s like, this is not how I would have programmed this. And also, this is probably why I’ll never be asked to program this. There’s a lot of clumsiness, a lot of incompetence, and just bad takes. On not to both sides this, but like on both sides, truly. I’ve sort of like retracted into my shell on Twitter a little bit.
  • Speaker 3
    0:27:39

    I used to be in the wars. Right? Like, I was in the viral Trump tweet, Derby, for a long time. And then I was just like, The degree to which I am consuming, people on my side of the aisle ostensibly, just saying stuff that makes me cringe. Like, I don’t enjoy this either.
  • Speaker 3
    0:27:58

    And so the the perk on Yokic’s thing was a funny subgroup of this, a more recent one. But the reason that’s funny to me is because the only white guy even in commercials in the NBA anymore is Bulwark Marjiatovic. Right? Like the idea that the white man is it’s just like, guys, this I don’t think that’s it. I also think that when it comes to the specific nexus of what it means to be white and foreign in the NBA.
  • Speaker 3
    0:28:24

    We actually don’t really know how to talk about Eastern Europe and the absolute pipeline of great talent from Luca and Yokich, most notably, into Boban. But do they really read our our peep I mean, maybe maybe they’re getting white points on that subconscious sort of, like, unconscious bias level, but that’s not the story to be.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:47

    It undermines legit racism. Stuff. You know, and like this is the funny thing is, I I like that you said that about your group checks because by the way, I wish you would feel comfortable saying more than that so about loud because it’s healthier. Right? Like, I think about this in the gay pride context.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:00

    It used to be the case that it was Liberals that made fun of the corporations doing gay pride stuff. It was gay — Yes. — because they were like, this is phony. It’s b s virtue signaling. Like, actually show up and support us.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:12

    That’s great. Like, you know, the Exxon, you know, float at the gay pride parade like isn’t doing it for me, you know. Like that used to be the critique.
  • Speaker 3
    0:29:20

    I want raytheon to make me feel good about my private life, Tim. That’s where we differ.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:26

    Yeah. But, like, now, unfortunately, the threats from like the anti LGBT crew, the threats from like the MAGA right has like gotten so much that that, you know, people feel like they want to realize they can get Right. And so they feel uncomfortable like making that the criticism of the hacky efforts to do lefty identity politics
  • Speaker 3
    0:29:45

    So one thing I I should say that I’m interested in doing as I’m building this show outside of ESPN is finding ways to do exactly that. To find humor that actually does and it’s not because I want to appeal to the other side at all. It’s just because I do think an untapped vein of funny is just the stupidity of ways in which people are trying to be on the right side of history, but haven’t really thought through the logic of how they’re trying to get there. And so I agree with you and I will say, as a defense, I just try to be off Twitter as much as I can when it comes to, like, Not just because everybody feels like they’re a union rep now, where it’s like if I am seeding any inch of territory for my group they’re losing, there is that vibe, no doubt. Right.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:26

    And
  • Speaker 3
    0:30:26

    that’s a problem with the American politics writ large. And then there’s just the level of, like, now I have to fight two fronts And I’m like, that’s a lot I’m not paid for that shit, man.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:36

    You know, you’re a dad now.
  • Speaker 3
    0:30:37

    I’m a dad now. If I wanted to fund my daughter’s education using cross cultural meme wars that that maybe maybe I’d approach it differently. Alright.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:46

    Well, I wanna go through a few issues. I gotta call you out. Because you say you’re getting off the Twitter Wars, but in prepping for the show, I did go to your Twitter feed, of course, perusing your retweets. And I’m gonna read this one and just let you cook on it for a second. It was David or auth, his awesome great follow-up.
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:02

    You retweeted him. He wrote perfectly representative of our national decline and shameful on its merits that we’ve wasted so much time talking about a creepily self assured toxins in five g guy as a political candidate this is one of the easiest types of people to avoid the glass Joe of Coops. So you you have some conspiracy expertise. I wanna get an expedite let you cook on RFPs for that.
  • Speaker 3
    0:31:24

    It’s funny. I was I was filling in as a host of Dan’s show, and and it came across our transom. This was weeks ago before RfK peaked The request came in, do you wanna talk to Robert f Kennedy Junior? And I thought about this for a night. And I was like, Do I wanna talk to RFP?
  • Speaker 3
    0:31:43

    Because the upside, of course, is now evident. Right? Like, there’s a lot of content to be mined out
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:47

    of tension economy. The
  • Speaker 3
    0:31:49

    answer, spoiler alert was fuck no, I don’t. I don’t wanna do that because he’s the glass Joe of Kooks. What are we doing? And so some part of me is like, are like the Secret Podcast guys, the Silicon Valley guys? Are they just not doing the Googles ironically?
  • Speaker 3
    0:32:04

    Are they just not googling this enough? Or are they just in that realm of, like, today, my MVP is Nikola Yokic. Tomorrow, it’ll be Joe Ellen. No one will remember that I was an r f k guy. Is that just what the bet is?
  • Speaker 3
    0:32:17

    Because all it does is ruin the credibility of people who have any sense of who r f k junior is or what he’s about.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:22

    It’s none of that, man. There is an op. It’s an op. They’re a desantis. This is a bank shop way to attack Joe Biden.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:30

    We feel like you know we can do this performative. Well, you know, he’s just asking questions and and he might be making some good points you know, type of shit. It was it’s like level A. You know, like, they haven’t reached the clay trying to have this level of just like totally owning their magnus. Like level A of the troll op.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:48

    Is like pretending that they might be for, you know, the lefty complete kook. You know, I have the mitochondria leaking from my brain because I’m on WiFi guy.
  • Speaker 3
    0:32:58

    My blood brain barrier has been compromised. I just wanna be on the record saying that it is in fact
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:04

    your blood brain barrier just now that we’ve
  • Speaker 3
    0:33:06

    talked about
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:06

    R f kite junior? Poison. I would like to have seen Lev retard with them. Are you sure are you sure you shouldn’t reconsider? Debate me, bro.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:12

    I know that the debate has been challenged. The debate gauntlet’s been thrown down.
  • Speaker 3
    0:33:16

    I know. By the way, just skipping around all sorts of metaphors for how sports poisoned the blood brain barrier of the American political mind. But it’s sort of like, the debate me broke culture is so funny because I was ever you decide school, I was the Lincoln Douglas debate team captain. President president Tim.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:32

    Oh, wow.
  • Speaker 3
    0:33:32

    I’m your state champion.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:33

    Oh, I’ll model you in. Me.
  • Speaker 3
    0:33:34

    Well, that’s that’s embarrassing as a functionary of the global Illuminati, of course. But for me, I’m a Lincoln and Douglas. I’m an old school debater. Right? And so for me, Part of the premise was always and this is funny in the high school context because the neutral observer, the neutral judge was, of course, someone’s mom, But at least there was the premise of, like, the moderator being like a third party.
  • Speaker 3
    0:33:55

    And, of course, the number one problem with any debate between teenagers was we gotta define the terms of the debate. Like, we have to agree that what we’re talking about, the nouns are actually the same thing. And this, of course, has never been a concern in sports debate. I debate sports all of the time. I looked to Steven a Smith.
  • Speaker 3
    0:34:15

    I looked to all of these luminaries. And, of course, it’s entirely theatrical.
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:19

    Presico shove always has. Is it legitimately theatrical? Like, are you when you’re subbing for Kornheinz, are you in Wilbond going? I’ll take the pro Aaron Roger side. You take the anti?
  • Speaker 3
    0:34:28

    No. It’s a great follow-up. When I say theatrical, I mean that the goal is the theater of of conversation. Like, the takes my takes are authentic, which is why I don’t go viral as often. Always authentic?
  • Speaker 3
    0:34:43

    So are there days when it’s like, look, the cubs play the cardinals? What’s your take? And I’m like, I need to squeeze this take out of the driest towel inside of my brain because I got nothing on this shit. Yes. Absolutely.
  • Speaker 3
    0:34:56

    I’m ringing out I’m ringing out takes real constipated sometimes on the baseball take brain. But I’m not faking takes to take the other side. I know Kornheiser and Will Bond don’t. By the way, Steven A himself, I believe is just who he is. Like, that’s just him and the way he is animated by his opinions is sincere.
  • Speaker 3
    0:35:16

    Don’t think he’s strategically playing chess to do I’m gonna do this take, but I do think he knows that the main value of the enterprise is theater. And people who get this wrong, people who actually try to win by being a logical point by point reputation as you would do in a high school debate, or any sort of like parliamentary debate, you’re getting it Bulwark. Because the goal is not to actually be right, the goal is to ultimately entertain the audience and have them enjoy the time that they’re spending with you, whether or not everyone wants to admit that. In this shit, though, do I wanna debate RFK I just feel like there’s a layer of responsibility because I actually am concerned by the number of people who are subscribing to the sub stack of the Glass Joe of Coops, where I’m just like, I feel like I need to actually point by point refute what you’re saying. And if I don’t do that, then I’m going to be the character in the documentary who is nodding and giving terrible listening face while that dude is saying some shit that is unbelievably dumb.
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:20

    So this is interesting. You’re saying you’re using your sports the theatrical sports debate experience. You can’t actually debate r f k junior because the only way to beat him is in a manner that actually kind of helps him in the performative sense. Right? Like if you beat him on point you become the boring person delivering stats and he’s the one that still wins in the end because he’s not gonna strange by dealing with real facts.
  • Speaker 3
    0:36:45

    You know? Because he’s a rhetorical locomotive, and he is not going to take a pit stop to address the point I made, and so I’m just gonna lose the rhetoric war, the performance war, the theater of it. I don’t think I’m the right guy to do that. I think who would I send in to the coliseum of theatrical debate against Rfk? I hope it’s not somebody that we actually care about.
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:09

    You kind of want a suicide bomber, honestly. Like, I wanna seem to debate Eric Andre. Can we send him to debate RfK junior?
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:15

    This is the case for Chris Christie debating Trump. Right? Like, we need a suicide offer. We need someone that don’t. Like I I I could’ve sort of been against that because I hate him so much but like that’s the case for him.
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:25

    Right? We need someone that, you know, we wanna offer up.
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:27

    Yeah. Because unfortunately, your pushback on the merits of coherence, of consistency, logical, or scientific, or political, that’s not really the game that he’s playing. And again, if you don’t agree to the terms of the debate and you’re the guy trying to be parliamentary about know, I’m gonna write down the arguments and respond. It’s like, no, people just wanna see dunks. You know, I wanna see the suicide bomber, which is a thing you should not clip out of this podcast because that’ll terrible.
  • Speaker 3
    0:37:54

    But in context, I think you get my drift.
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:56

    You don’t get clip approval. I want to do just one thing though that just stuck in my brain of your sentence. So you did say Stephen a Smith take are always genuine. So when he predicted the Brooklyn Nets to make the finals this year and Kyrie to be an MVP candidate. I was just for the retweet It says it says authentic view.
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:12

    That’s of a concern.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:13

    So I believe well point well taken, but I also believe that Steven a no one in, I would say, culture. No one’s brain is organically suited better for the algorithm of memes. So the notion of, like, is this a chicken or egg thing? Like, who came first? Was it the take?
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:33

    Was it the incentive? Like, lots of people that we know far younger than Stephen have had to reconfigure and re strategize Pivot in the way that many people we’ve already referenced by name have. To feed and abide by those incentives. Steven A has changed fucking nothing. He’s been this way his entire life and his — He came out of
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:53

    the womb going
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:54

    viral, dude. He’s been viral from day zero. Just how he lives, just his face, like, all of that shit. He did no retinkering for the Internet. The Internet Again, there’s a whole, like no.
  • Speaker 3
    0:39:12

    Steven a is the Internet as much as the Internet is Steven a, and it’s a chicken or egg scenario on that, Felissette.
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:18

    A couple quick ones. I I wanna interested in your view on kinda how that these sports teams and leagues handled, you know, these issues. So the first one is, you know, the PGA, I was pretty riled up about this, you know, Rory’s my boy and those guys did the right thing and I kind of hit close to home. It felt like the never Trump thing like we did the right thing. Twenty fifteen Ron DeSantis and said no no no we’re not gonna throw in with this fucking corrupt buffoon and then he wins and so like the people that did the bad thing got rewarded I felt that way about this PGA, you know, kind of remerging with Live Golf, the guys that went along with Saudi got rewarded.
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:52

    And so what is your take on kind of what happened there and and whether there’ll be any you know justice for you know the people that did the right thing.
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:00

    Yeah. I read a fascinating Washington piece about just the genesis of this. And part of the case that was made by one of the experts quoted was that the intention was not sports washing. This was just because the guy running the Saudi private investment fund just loves golf. And I thought about this as a matter of, like, Maybe he just loves golf.
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:21

    Maybe there is a checkers being played, but the point that I keep on returning to when I watch and listen to these stories because I too got agitated on a bunch of levels because I feel like at some point you gotta take the sort of accounting seriously of the mudslide vic of the journalists who get murdered of the people who are not able to actually live free lives in Saudi Arabia as a matter of just like obvious policy and you gotta sort of be that guy on TV and I was that guy. And I was that guy because sports washing fucking works. Right? Like the whole notion of sports. The reason why it works is because inevitably, we’re gonna talk about the golf because we too love the golf.
  • Speaker 3
    0:40:58

    And so There is only as much shelf life for this critique on the level of Jamal Khashoggi and the LGBTQ community and all of this stuff. In so far as people have the oxygen to complain about it prominently because inevitably, we get to moving on to the next thing. And Jay Monahan, the head of the PGA, the fucking bad dad Bob of this whole story. Like, that dude was like, in weeks, in months, we’re not gonna be talking about this, and he was right. Like, that’s the thing.
  • Speaker 3
    0:41:30

    It’s a good bet to make. You bet on sports because we’ll talk about sports because ultimately we’re exhausted by the fact that the real world does force us to reckon with the fact that if you don’t care about shame anymore and this is really answering the question finally, as they ramble on you. It’s the shame of it. You had the most clear cut example of hypocrisy. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:41:52

    Literal nine eleven grieving families being propped up at Trump’s course sorry. To live, On the side of the PGA being propped up by the PGA, you have all of these people on record being so morally clear in ways that are obvious. And now you have just this reversal that just gives again another reminder that shame is not a guardrail. And so it was a bummer because it doesn’t matter what anybody even pretends to have convictions about. I just wish they had the courage of those fake convictions because without it, it’s even more apocalyptic than we thought.
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:30

    I’m gonna give them the Lindsay Graham.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:31

    I like the Baghdad, Bob, but
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:32

    I think to Lindsay Graham. He’s out there more lines in about the Saudis? Or just totally I I was sitting there. It’s going who is Jay Mona Charen in my Trump world? He’s Lindsey.
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:41

    It’s That’s right. Before my last politics question, I have to ask you about Phil Nicholson. Why is he dressing up like Rupert Manyon and Ted Lasso now? What has happened? Like, he’s just accepting that he’s an evil character.
  • Speaker 1
    0:42:51

    He’s like wearing black capes now. Like, can you can you explain that to me?
  • Speaker 3
    0:42:55

    It’s such a good point. Like, does I had not contemplated this till you you made that connection, but does Phil Nicholson have a stylist? Is a question that only now am I contemplating? Like, I watched like Steve Harvey rebrand. Right?
  • Speaker 3
    0:43:08

    The Steve Harvey suit used to be this just, of course, cultural artifact. So many breasts on that suit. So many buttons on those suits. Now he’s like, dressing as like a GQ Cosplay kind of thing. Is Phil Nicholson just being advised to just lean into being evil?
  • Speaker 3
    0:43:23

    Like, is that just his deal now? It’s it’s it’s a wise one, I would say.
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:27

    I don’t know. Do some sourcing on that and get back to me. Does he have Oh, this isn’t it seems like it’s intentional.
  • Speaker 3
    0:43:33

    This is a good story for my show. I’m gonna look into this.
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:35

    Yes. Thank you.
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:36

    It seems intentional. Phil was the guy I liked Phil Phil was the guy I’d stand to do
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:39

    when I was a kid. Fabulous. He would do signatures, you know, he’d hang out, like, you know, when he come
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:44

    to the course, like, and
  • Speaker 1
    0:43:44

    I was like, what has happened that that he did the complete he’ll turn anyway. Yeah. The Dodgers, you know, I don’t really care which side you fall down on the sisters of perpetual indulgence. You can give a take on that if you want. I’m more interested in your view on our team’s gonna start getting intimidated out of doing stuff like this now.
  • Speaker 3
    0:44:03

    Yeah. Look, this is the you will not replace us energy that I think, again, like, what a victory? The midterms, not a victory, the Bud Light protests. Major w for for people who are like, we matter. Like Internet brain culture, how do they actually put a thumb on the scale?
  • Speaker 3
    0:44:23

    This is the way that you can plausibly do it. And my hope, by the way, as an aside is that the midterm elections are like a harbinger of, like, The fact that most of America is not on Twitter, which is a good reminder, hopefully. That’s like a very just rare glimp of optimism into improved political conversation, which you’re right to woof me about as I as I digress on that. But look, dude, my take on this is as as I say, a jesuit educated member of the Catholic church is like, guys, maybe you don’t be the ones to protest pedophilia in this way. Like, maybe that’s not the block you wanna make that hot, just as a matter of my personal experience.
  • Speaker 3
    0:45:05

    Just like No. Just maybe leave that to another group to, like, pick another protest to to to mount.
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:11

    Like, look, if you can prove
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:13

    to me that you’re as mad, about the priest pedophilia as you are about the sisters, then I’ll allow it. I’m gonna need a picture of you at a protest, you know, outside of Cardinal’s house.
  • Speaker 3
    0:45:23

    Proof of proof of outrage, a newspaper with, like, data.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:27

    Under the editor that you wrote. I
  • Speaker 3
    0:45:29

    think two thousand three.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:30

    And then I’ll allow it. So I wanna do a little Pablo’s life to close out before we get into the to the nuggets Either two things I think you’re the most known for that I want to get your take your brain on are one, the picture of you in the shark suit. People see that’s your most memeable moment. You’re not Stephen A. You don’t have thousands of memes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:49

    You have one meme. That’s an Orca. Or you have
  • Speaker 3
    0:45:51

    one It’s an orca. It’s a killer whale.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:53

    You’re in a whale?
  • Speaker 3
    0:45:53

    I was into killer whales before it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:55

    The shark was the Super Bowl halftime. You’re in the killer whale. And and it was you were talking to Jesse ventura in the whale suit. Is that the origin
  • Speaker 2
    0:46:04

    of this?
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:04

    So I referred before to the oppressive nature of being in Dan’s family. And so the hazing like, there’s a football pool. We’d all draw teams. And if your team lost, you get a punishment in the grid of death. My grid of death punishment early on was to dress as an Orca whale and co host the show.
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:21

    What I did not realize and this did inform my own personal like desire to cover both sports and politics. What I did not know was that the Colin guest that day would be Jesse Ventura. And so I was Chorez Desidorca, as Jesse Ventura, pivoted to nine eleven conspiracies. And so that gift that meme is me in that moment realizing, I’m gonna explain this to my parents at some point what I did at work today. And it’s going to
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:47

    not be Not gonna make sense. Alright. So I’ve only seen the GIF or GIF, whatever. I’ve not seen the video. Does the video exist?
  • Speaker 3
    0:46:54

    This video was unfortunately wiped off of you.
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:57

    The video’s gone. And so what does Jesse’s nine eleven take? Was it the second tower thing? Is it Bush did it? Like, what is Jesse saying as you’re in the organization?
  • Speaker 1
    0:47:06

    Put me in the room. I
  • Speaker 3
    0:47:08

    I’m in my memory. He’s talking about jet fuel and steel beams. But in a way that’s so casual — Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:47:15

  • Speaker 3
    0:47:15

    that it was like, again, it’s that thing of, do I now have to respond to this seriously dressed as an Orca? It’s the RFP question but in miniature of, like, do I now need to stand up for non nine eleven truth because if I’m just nodding in an orcasuit, the complicitousness is is kind of undeniable. Spoiler alert, I did not object. I mostly looked around in that gift.
  • Speaker 1
    0:47:42

    Yes. Is that why the video is gone? You you had it scrubbed. You’re disappointed. They get it in the challenge.
  • Speaker 1
    0:47:48

    Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:47:48

    Lebron got dunked on at a Nike basketball camp once by Jordan Crawford had the video erased. I did the same thing because Jesse Ventura got away with, like, second tower shit. And I was like, don’t know what to do here.
  • Speaker 1
    0:48:00

    K. I’m clipping this from Mendelson. We’re gonna we’re gonna find the Jamal Crawford video. I just want you to regale us for one second. They’re DC guys.
  • Speaker 1
    0:48:08

    Right? There’s a lot of like I think political overlap with the PTI dudes. If I had a penny for every time somebody’s like, you should do PTI for politics. Like, that would be a great idea. Like, that’s everybody’s idea forever.
  • Speaker 1
    0:48:20

    How did you get in with those guys in the inner circle? I’m like, what’s their magic? Can you, like, put it into words for us? Like, why has that worked in a way? There have been like a million copycats that just didn’t play.
  • Speaker 3
    0:48:30

    Yeah. So a couple of funny things about is number one, they are a great example of being naturally authentically theatrical. So, like, they are who they are. They walk into the door that way, It’s two friends who are old and cantankerous have always been old and cantankerous. And they just have the experience of being as Tony Corniser has put it, not just smart and funny, being generalists.
  • Speaker 3
    0:48:52

    Like, they are a mile wide, but maybe occasionally admittedly an inch deep on stuff. But in sports, that’s okay because so too is the experience of being a sports fan who likes all of these things. And so for them, the magic is the chemistry and the relationship and the magic of me getting into their world is that around the horn was like my gateway into DC because around the horn was done out of DC when Tony Riali lived in PC. And Tony Riley was STATboy on PTI. And naturally, this guy, me, ended up being a natural substitute statboy And so I ended up doing that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:49:26

    The Harvard Asian guy, we’re gonna make a step away.
  • Speaker 3
    0:49:29

    It was almost too on the nose. And yet, I did it anyway.
  • Speaker 1
    0:49:32

    Did you dress the part? I remember Tony reality being step one. I think I’ve gotten into real life job by the time you took over Stackboy, so I don’t recall your you’re did you wear a bow tie? Did you do any of the things?
  • Speaker 3
    0:49:42

    Only on a substitute basis, but I did wear cardigans often, which was a cell phone in ways that I only recognize truly now. Years later. But what happened also on the nose was that Tony Cornhauser, like, came to like me, but But it became fearful that I could not co host PTI with him because I was so truly, like, over the top young looking. And nerd looking. And he his joke was and it wasn’t really a joke was that I will only cohost PTI with Pablo Torres.
  • Speaker 3
    0:50:11

    If he spray paints his hair gray and pretends that he’s older because this is far too existentially disturbing. Yeah. And eventually, I convinced him otherwise, and we became like truly, like, I love that dude. He’s ornery and he hates so many things, and I love it. And and so for me, the magic has always been in just are you in to who this guy is?
  • Speaker 3
    0:50:33

    These guys are? And for a lot of people, it turns out terrifyingly, the answer is yes, to the point, Tim. That when you said, can I do PTI for politics? I would say that PTI for politics exists in the form of every show in politics that stole the devices pioneered by PTI. The rundown on the side of the screen, the clock, the movement, the pacing, it was Internet, attention span theater before the Internet.
  • Speaker 3
    0:51:00

    And obviously, cable news took a lot from that in a real sincere way. It was a forerunner of so many of those devices.
  • Speaker 1
    0:51:06

    For sure. And the reason I couldn’t be a perfect thing is to to your inch deep point is like, Even though Caitlyn News does this somewhat, like, I’m not gonna do a show where I have to be an inch deep on Ukraine. Correct. I mean, like, you can do a show where you’re an inch deep on hockey. Yes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:51:22

    Because it’s not a big deal. But, like, you can’t do that for for politics anyway. Okay. Let’s do some NBA talk. You were the guy that were you the
  • Speaker 3
    0:51:29

    I believe you’re looking for a priest, high priest of the process. Is that what we’re going for? Pry priest? I was like, what is
  • Speaker 1
    0:51:36

    that word? Trust the process. Talk to me about trust the process of the six. There’s JBL my usual cohost is a Philly guy. I’m sad he couldn’t be here for this.
  • Speaker 1
    0:51:45

    The process hasn’t really worked out.
  • Speaker 3
    0:51:47

    Well, that’s a matter of debate. Is it? The one of the things I’m fascinated by is when sports arguments are actually kind of about sports in a real way, and it’s not about culture, it’s about sports. And in this case, the story of the process to me is about a human psychology problem that is so perfect for sports. It’s about do you ever trust the process of something?
  • Speaker 3
    0:52:09

    Or do you only care about the results. And so the idea of my plan was great, but this other thing happened. Do we ever have sympathy for the guy whose plan was great? Yeah. Turns out that in sports, the answer is go fuck yourself.
  • Speaker 3
    0:52:23

    We don’t give a shit about process. And so for me, when I say the process is a matter of debate, it’s that debate. It’s like, I could spend literal hours, and I don’t wanna do that to you or to your audience or to myself. But I would say that when it comes to what Sam Hinkie, the GM of the Sixers, who’s deposed by the league for being too dangerous, for talking about tank club even once when the rule of tank club is you have to talk about tank club. What he did was that he said, oh, there’s this incentive.
  • Speaker 3
    0:52:50

    The NBA has socialized their losses in the sense of the worst teams get the highest draft pick. And so he took that seriously in a again, I don’t have to explain all of this. You superstars matter blah blah blah blah. But the point is, he exploited that aspect of the game that the NBA is just hoping people are too polite
  • Speaker 1
    0:53:09

  • Speaker 3
    0:53:10

    Yeah. — to fully go in on.
  • Speaker 1
    0:53:11

    And didn’t draft Jason tatum with it. That was kind of a problem.
  • Speaker 3
    0:53:15

    That shit is infuriating to me because Sam Hinky was deposed before he could have drafted Jason Tatum instead of Markel Faltz who Brian fucking Colangelo traded up to there are many sliding doors moments in the process. You know,
  • Speaker 1
    0:53:27

    it’s interesting though. There’s been a process that’s kind of worked though, which is the Denver nuggets don’t skip steps process. That worked pretty well. Like, you know, you draft players, You let them get better. You stick with them.
  • Speaker 1
    0:53:40

    You trade a few pieces that complement the existing players that you’ve drafted. That’s a process. In a sense, don’t you?
  • Speaker 3
    0:53:46

    Can I can I just say the Denver nuggets to your point are are fucking fantastically run? However, The point at which you draft Nikola Yokich forty first overall during a commercial break, during a literal quesarito commercial
  • Speaker 1
    0:54:00

    — For quesarito. —
  • Speaker 3
    0:54:01

    when you become that team that gets to parade literally parade around, you guys lucked into Nikliokic. I’m sorry. As much as you should be celebrating the awesomeness of him, if you draft anyone during a commercial break, you sorry. You didn’t see the diamond in the rough. You stumbled on the diamond in the rough.
  • Speaker 1
    0:54:21

    We’re cutting rapid fire. We’re just doing the final three minutes on the nuggets. Okay. That is wrong. Alright.
  • Speaker 1
    0:54:26

    Because they drafted Youssef Nerkitsch and Nicole Yokic. And many people wanted them to stick with Narkic. Yokic was a tubalar drinking Diet Pepsi on the sidelines, and we saw the beauty and the majesty of running an offense around a fat point center. Like, that was once the nuggets identified in twenty seventeen. That’s what I identified watching an NBA League pass when I needed a break from the sadness that was my existed as an ever Trump Republican.
  • Speaker 1
    0:54:55

    And, like, so we have watched six hundred games of this because we knew. We saw what we had and we knew it. Plenty of people saw it you know, the Sixers had plenty of people that were pretty good and they they didn’t stick with them. That maybe Jimmy Butler comes to mind. They got rid of them.
  • Speaker 1
    0:55:10

    So that was not luck. It was a process that worked.
  • Speaker 3
    0:55:13

    You deserve to crow about this in all seriousness. The whole thing about the nuggets, the critique from, again, the theatrical debate sports debate industrial complex was, in a literal way, the debate about the nuggets became the nuggets, are they interesting? And to me
  • Speaker 1
    0:55:31

    Chris Manics.
  • Speaker 3
    0:55:32

    Yeah. No. I mean, I didn’t shout out to my former colleague at SI, Chris Manics. But it was just sort of like, the fact that that is a question is interesting. Like, there’s the meta level of, like, what the fuck are people not finding interesting about Nickelayokage.
  • Speaker 3
    0:55:46

    And then there’s the level of, like, It’s just interest I mean, it’s he, the glow up, somebody talk about people who definitely don’t have stylists. Nikali Yogich
  • Speaker 1
    0:55:57

    just He’s got a wife. He’s got a Serbian wife. It’s got him looking good.
  • Speaker 3
    0:56:01

    Hey. What is it? Like, He’s like a carriage racer. Like, I don’t know the type of horse
  • Speaker 1
    0:56:05

    horse racing. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:56:06

    Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. His vibes are immaculate, to be clear.
  • Speaker 1
    0:56:09

    When did you know? That the nuggets were gonna be the champions this year, when did you know that all of the takes had been wrong and that he can play defense and that they weren’t gonna be able to spam take and roll against him, that that wasn’t gonna work. Like, when did it click for you? Game two.
  • Speaker 3
    0:56:22

    Game two with
  • Speaker 1
    0:56:23

    the title.
  • Speaker 3
    0:56:24

    Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:56:25

    I was dude, I — No.
  • Speaker 1
    0:56:26

  • Speaker 3
    0:56:26

    dude, I I saw and this is where Game
  • Speaker 1
    0:56:28

    one of the Sun series. Game one of the Sun series. I was like, this is right here.
  • Speaker 3
    0:56:32

    A better answer. Over. It’s a better answer. No. When you look back, it’s like, oh, this team was challenged by nobody.
  • Speaker 3
    0:56:39

    That is real. The record, the run, exactly, all of that shit. Yokid having as good a post season as anyone has metrically had in human history. This is how my brain gets eaten. So I work for this company called Metolark, as aforementioned in Miami.
  • Speaker 3
    0:56:51

    And I go watch Jimmy Butler in person drop fifty six on the Milwaukee Bucks. And I’m like, I’m in the cult now. Like, number one, I resent the Sixers letting him go. Number two, I just watched this dude do that shit to fucking Yannis. And now I’m like, I can’t write this off until the very last moment the car is careening off the cliff.
  • Speaker 3
    0:57:11

    And if that was game too, but you’re right, that any sane person could have seen it when they wax the Phoenix Suns. That is a fair point, by
  • Speaker 1
    0:57:18

    Yeah, you were a little late, but that’s okay. We appreciate you finally got around Pablo. Everybody is late too except for my man big laws. Only NBA pundit that had arrived in the beginning. Okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:57:26

    We’re out of time, so we don’t have time for wrapping fire but I but I have to do too. So they’re super rapid fire. Your sports center anchor, Mount Rushmore. Go. Oh my god.
  • Speaker 3
    0:57:36

    Can I just cast Bill Walton as a sports center anchor? Because he’s never been one, but he is a one question and then he pops for seven hours. Yes. Love that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:57:45

    This could be the answer to your next question though. Sports figure that you would most like to see run for office.
  • Speaker 3
    0:57:51

    Oh my God. Is that also Bill Walton? I feel like there’s I don’t I don’t wanna pry too deep into, like again, when we talk about the blood brain barrier, I don’t wanna know if Bill has takes Jonathan Last, there’s a certain level of dead headedness where it’s just like, oh, I regret
  • Speaker 1
    0:58:07

    — Yeah. —
  • Speaker 3
    0:58:08

    spelunking into this cavern. But it is enticing to me. Yes.
  • Speaker 1
    0:58:12

    K. Well, my answers were Joe Burrow, moderate King Joe Burrow, who we love. We wanna see him run for office after he wins his Super Bowl. Your Short Center, Mount Rushmore, it’s SVP, Alb and Steve Scott. Any objection?
  • Speaker 1
    0:58:23

    Anybody you wanna kick off? No.
  • Speaker 3
    0:58:25

    Oberman, by the way, like, I filled in for him when he had
  • Speaker 1
    0:58:28

    a talk
  • Speaker 3
    0:58:28

    show on ESPN two. And I learned just about him and, like, how he does whatever you think of him now, give me a better TV essayist in the history of the medium than that guy, and you will not find him. So all that makes sense.
  • Speaker 1
    0:58:43

    Another thing stolen by by literally, by political Pablo, this is so good, buddy. Thank you for doing it. Good luck on the new when your thing comes out, we’ll make sure to promote that. Go to pablo dot show and get signed up for the list. Give my love to Billy Corbin and and, you know, we’ll hang out.
  • Speaker 1
    0:58:58

    Oh, holler at you. As long
  • Speaker 3
    0:58:59

    as again the blood brain barrier, you know, survives another day.
  • Speaker 1
    0:59:01

    We’ll talk about that. You know, as long as we don’t leak That’s the leakage. No. This could be Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:59:05

    That’s a problem. I regret this.
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