When people listen to former athletes talk on a podcast, they want to get to know the athlete beyond the playing field and relate to them on a personal level. That is the case with former Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens wide receiver/current NFL Network analyst Steve Smith Sr.
Smith Sr. was on the latest episode of the STUPodity podcast with Stugotz and Dan Stanczyk. In addition to talking about Smith’s interest in fruit preserves and how he could do if he played with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, Smith had the chance to talk about his podcast, Cut To It.
Stugotz asked him why he got into doing a podcast and originally, Smith Sr. was not on board initially to host one after his playing career was over.
“My team and good friends had said you should do a podcast for about 2 years. I’m like a kid. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to taste it. I was like no, I think they are stupid. They were like, have you listened to one? I was like no, I just don’t want to do them.”
However, there was one podcast he listened to that got him into wanting to host a podcast and it involved a famous athlete that he enjoyed watching as a kid and getting to know more about him as a person:
“So, right before COVID hit, someone said man, Mike Tyson’s podcast HotBoxin’ is awesome, so I listened to it, and the one that got me was the one with Mike Epps and they were talking about how when they were both incarcerated in juveniles (juvenile detention centers) in Indiana. Mike was talking about what he went through and I really connected because I saw part of Mike. I’ve always admired Mike Tyson because I grew up watching him. When I heard him talk and just got some insight on him, it really spoke to me.”
Smith Sr. wanted to host a podcast where he can learn more about the athlete away from the playing field because he is interested in other people and “what makes them tick, how they operate, why are you what you are.” The reason he said that was because he felt people “put me in a box and they don’t really know me.” Plus, he wanted to reveal the many layers that athletes have.
“Every businessman wants to be an athlete and every athlete wants to be a businessman. I also have survivors’ guilt because of where I grew up in LA, so I want to give back to my community. You combine all of these things and I really think there are so many layers to people that sometimes athletes don’t get to reveal them because they just want to know what it’s like to catch a pass?
“The game is not what’s intriguing, it’s all the little things that you go through day to day with these players when you are spending so much time with them. I said I will do one, but I will do it my way. I want to interview and learn about these individuals. I don’t want to root for the player, I want to root for the man or woman who just made the game-winning shot.”
While Smith Sr. might be more famous for his pass-catching and trash talking on the gridiron, the now media member is working on making sure people get to talk about their own stories and introducing the listener to a different side of a player.
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
Mike Francesa: George Steinbrenner’s Idea to Put Mike and The Mad Dog On YES Network
“It was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were.”
Mike and The Mad Dog is often cited as one of, if not the, best sports radio shows of all time. The show saw an expanded reach with its partnership with the YES Network beginning in 2002. During his podcast Tuesday, Mike Francesa gave all the credit to the simulcast hitting the air on YES Network to the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
“It was George Steinbrenner that came up with the idea of Mike and The Mad Dog being on the YES Network. No one else,” Francesa said.
“They came to us when they were negotiating a new radio deal with him and they said ‘Hey, we need a quick answer on this. Would you guys want to be on the YES Network every day, simulcasting? You know what Imus is doing with MSNBC? We wanna do it with you guys, but we need a very quick answer’.”
Francesa said the show airing on YES Network was a sticking point for the Yankees in negotiations with CBS Radio to continue airing the franchise’s broadcasts.
“Our first deal with them were not for a lot of money. Our later deals with them were for a very significant amount of money. But it was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were. Our joining the YES Network was part of the CBS Radio contract.”
Dave Portnoy Reveals Back-And-Forth With New York Times Reporter Who Claimed He ‘Did Not Provide Answers’
“You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
A story from The New York Times centered around “aging casino company” — Penn National Gaming — and its relationship with “degenerate gambler” — Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy — caught the eye of the face of the online outlet after the claim that he “didn’t provide answers”.
In the story, Steel claims “Penn and Barstool executives did not respond to repeated messages. Mr. Portnoy did not provide answers.” Portnoy brought the receipts to Twitter with a video of all of the correspondence he had with Times writer Emily Steel.
The alleged conversation takes place sporadically from May through November, with Portnoy offering to meet face-to-face with Steel for an interview that is mutually audio and video recorded, which Steel declines. She offered to meet Portnoy in New York for an audio recorded interview, which he declined, saying the interview needed to take place in Miami, because “I’m not running around to accommodate you at the 11th hour.”
He added “You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
Kareem Daniel Leaving Disney After Bob Iger Reassumes Role as Company CEO
“This is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney, and one of the first moves he made was to announce a company restructure. Part of that restructure includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, the chair of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED).
DMED was formed under now-previous CEO Bob Chapek. The division manages Disney’s streaming services which includes ESPN+.
Daniel was considered one of those closest to Chapek. Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees at DMED.
“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” Iger said in the memo. “As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro will join other company leaders in coming up with a new company structure that Iger hopes “puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.