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Hey, we launched a new podcast on the Ringer Dish Feed, it is called Every Single Album. Season one is about Taylor Swift. Your hosts are Nathan Hubbard and their and we're putting them up on Sunday nights and Thursday. So twice a week this week and then the next four, check it out every single album, only on ringroad ish.


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This episode is brought to you by both twenty four from the makers of Gatorade. It's both twenty four when it comes to advanced hydration. Both twenty four. It keeps it really real, with no artificial sweeteners or flavors and electrolytes from watermelon and sea salt. Both twenty four supports your athletic lifestyle no matter where your day takes you both. Twenty four keep it a real try. Both twenty four.


Today we're also brought to you by the ring of Dotcom as well as the Ringer Podcast Network. Put up a new Rewash Bulls on Monday night, which was New Jack City 30th anniversary. That was a really fun one. Even we created a new award. There's a performance in that movie that is so bonkers that we created new word for it. Also, I went on Zach Lowe's podcast. We did a home at home. He was on mine two weeks ago and then I went on his podcast.


So that is up. Now, if you want to hear me talk about basketball coming up, go talk to Bryan Curtis about the Cowboys and Dak, because he's a big Cowboys fan. We've got to do that. But then we're also going to talk about the NFL meteorites, what that could mean for our NFL viewing experience and then some trends as we head toward the year anniversary of the pandemic and the media. And then my friend Rachel Lindsay comes on, one of our hosts on higher learning to talk about.


The most controversial bachelor season ever and her role in it and her history with the franchise, and that is a really good one as well. So good podcast. Coming up first, our friends from Pearl Jam.


All right, the ringer's editor at large, Frank Curtis, is here with Dak Prescott of the Cowboys. I think one of one thing in my head, I can lead a podcast with that and people will listen because people love the Cowboys. No, Curtis, our national nightmare is over. We don't have to hear about that contract anymore. He finally has one. Where does the media do now? LeBron MVP? What do we do? It was amazing, wasn't it?


Because you could get so many takes out of this thing. You could get the cowboys are screwing it up, which is always a great take. That's kind of my go to take with anything you could get. Oh, are we in the midst of a divorce? You know, is like a horrible sports James Harden style NFL divorce you could also get. Is Dak Prescott really good enough to lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl? Right. Which I'm pretty sure is program like 1000 sports radio segments, undisputed segments, everything.


Well, and then the subset of that is Dak Prescott at least. Is he a top ten quarterback? So you had that whole thing, but then you also had. The the bounce back kind of take verses off the other takes of why do people think the Cowboys screwed this up? They actually offered him a lot of money. He turned it down, which led to the subset of DACs betting on himself. Good thing or a bad thing? It really if this was going back to, what, February twenty eighteen.


This is over two years of Daks contract. Yeah. And if you go back to Dallas, there's a lot of Romo truth or element in all this stuff too. Like they loved Romo, but they haven't quite accepted Dak as Romo's replacement yet. And that adds a whole nother layer to this, that's just really, to me, really weird. I love Tony Romo, but I'm like, really? You want Tony Romo back?


You want us to have the pander culture takes off. Just when that when that broke his leg, the people who are, like, genuinely distressed that he might have that might have cost himself money, that people feel the need to just go on social media platforms reacting like this is the Titanic fact. It's like that could be fine. Everyone needs a quarterback. He's still getting his 40 year cut, that it's going to happen with the Romo and the commentary for that game, too, that he said, yeah, that looks like a cramp.


Yeah. Experts pointed the other way. Oh, man, that's bad. So he got forty four. Forty four, four years in my initial reaction was that's too much. He just had a Gordon Hayward injury, basically. How do we even know he's going to be good in this year when everybody is just penciling him in for forty eight touchdowns next year? And then I went I made a list of all the best quarterbacks.


And he's somewhere between eight and 13, and when you think about it that way, it's like, oh, yeah, it's a 30 team league that had to do this. Absolutely.


Because what are they going to do? What are they going to do? I mean, one year it's hard to replace a franchise quarterback. And two, it's the Cowboys. Yeah. And they found one. And Romo, an undrafted free agency. They found this guy and the fourth round and they didn't even want him. They tried to draft two other quarterbacks ahead of them. So I don't trust the Cowboys to find another quarterback. Come on. Well, the other thing is, I think there's probably eight or nine teams in all of sports that it's just life makes more sense when they're good and they're in the mix and the Cowboys are probably leading the pack with that.


The Yankees are like that. I think the Lakers are like that. I don't know what the with the whole complete list is, but when the Cowboys clash shows it, it's kind of a drag. As soon as we brought in like Andy Dalton and all these crappy cubbies and we had like the awesome on Thanksgiving, they're kind of like a semi carcass. And it's just like this sucks, at least like being nine and seven and semi interesting cowboys.


Yeah. And because of the pandemic, Jerry couldn't shoot his mouth off in front of the locker room after every loss, which is great content. And let me tell you, first take was missing out on that Undisputed was missing out on that. We needed you just needed that sort of, you know, low to high level of controversy for 17 weeks in programs, everything. Well, I actually think that takes on the Cowboys thing are pretty easy.


Yes. They they probably handled the the dog thing correctly. So did he. He better himself. He made more money than he would have. Yeah. Dallas was right to kind of stringing along and they ended up paying him anyway. And yeah, they made a mistake giving all that money to Zeke. They just gave him too much money and they kind of panicked. And you know, to me that's going to be so much more damaging. And I don't know how you balance those two contracts.


And I know everybody's saying the cop's going to go way up. We have all this media money coming which are going to talk about the second, but just that the the paying for the running back thing. When you look at 30 years of Jerry Jones and how they really haven't been relevant as a true contender now for twenty five years, it's stuff like that. It's and it's stuff like KD Lang, we got the steal of the draft when they need help at nine other positions.


Whether that was a good pick or not, it's always like for the headlines and not for building a football team. And the proof's in the pudding. They've, you know, how many years has been like twenty, twenty three since they made the conference finals or something like that. Twenty four years, something like I don't even remember. I can't keep track. I was living in Boston, probably working on my old website last time they made the NFC championship game a year they made the Super Bowl right.


So. Twenty five years. Yes.


That's what ninety. I was like the Boston Herald. Oh wow. Yeah. He's fetching coffee and taking that Chinese food order covering high school volleyball.


You're taking scores on a summer on a Friday night. The it.


Yeah. Seriously it's so what is that. Walpole too low one.


Yeah. The the Jones thing. It's funny because I think he has been a great owner, but he's also been a terrible owner. It is been the most fascinating mix of visionary crossed with his own worst enemy. And I know you've been studying it and following it forever, but even just all this dark stuff recently kind of ties into it. Visionary, but not really. And he's incredibly fun. Just today. Jerry Jones is very fun to consume, even as a cowboy fan when he screwed everything up.


But I do find the one weird thing about the dak contract, which I have, which has not been explained to me, is why was he so ready to overpay all those guys you mentioned, especially Zeke, but he wasn't ready to get a dak contract done for two years, like what he needs to be. Yeah. Yeah. Are they totally bought in to Dak Prescott? And I think that's a really a genuine non debate show question, because they paid Zeke, they paid a linebacker, they paid their defensive end.


They paid their wide receiver. Gary Cooper paid all those guys huge money. And Jerry always taken care of all these guys. Right. That's is if anything, that's his weakness. But he waited and waited to do it with Dak. And I just and it's more money. You know, quarterbacks cost more money. I get that. But I've never it's never been explained to me what Jerry Jones and his son Stephen really think about Dak Prescott. Can we bring in conspiracy, Bill, for a second, please?


Oh, conspiracy, Bill, come on. Hey, Brian, what's happening? A conspiracy bill. Is it possible Russell Wilson has been on their radar for, like two and a half years and that there's been some quiet, quiet, winking going back and forth? I thought it was very interesting. When that list of for Russell Wilson teams magically emerged from the sky, not tied to anybody, and the list was Dallas, Las Vegas, Chicago and New Orleans.


Mm hmm. All right. Let's go through the list. New Orleans, he wants to go because he knows in that offense on turf, NFC South, he'd put up huge stats right that same way as Brady wanted to go there a year ago. They didn't have the cap space. They don't have the assets. They're not training for Dallas. That's America's team, and forced them to a whole other level. He becomes the most famous quarterback in the league.


Vegas. This sounds stupid, but I really think this is true, his wife can do those hosting things there in the casinos, right? Just bank money, because Vegas is like, why is Vegas one of your four teams? Then you go out because of his wife. She can make a lot of money. And then the other one was the Bears. And that was the one that threw me off. Why the bears Russell Wilson. Mhm.


Yeah. Why that team. But anyway, Dallas being on that list made me wonder like has there been some flirting, some, some some illegal flirting between Jerry and Russell Wilson. Prove me wrong. It could be. It could be. I do think the Joneses had a an idea that the Plan B would come along at some point. And I don't know if they thought it was Russell Wilson. Definitely maybe that occurred to him this offseason when that whole thing blew up when he was on Dan Patrick show.


But I just think that they thought maybe we like this guy, we can work with this guy for the time being, but something's going to happen and someone else will come along or some other situation will present itself. Maybe and maybe we shouldn't do this guy in huge dollars and we should wait for that other person, whatever it is to arrive. By the way, the Cowboys are on everybody's list. You'd be. Yeah, that's there. Yeah, that's fair.


I thought you'd you that the Giants weren't on his list. And then he picked the bears, the bears, when I just I can wrap my head around. There's got to be some sort of hidden explanation for that. Maybe it's like he knows he's the hero. If he goes to the bears. They've never had a good quarterback ever. But I sort of assume New York and I would have assumed, like the Chargers would have been on his list, too, because if you and I were in L.A., if you and I were NFL free agents, I'd just be like, just say, you want to play for the Cowboys, right?


Only good things will happen to you right here. You might overpay you. Someone else is going to freak out because they think Jerry is going over it. Just only good things will happen. Yeah, it's almost suspicious if you don't put the Cowboys on there. So when you look at a quarter of a century where the Cowboys have never really been a contender, so now you're thinking there's a child. Their last title is ninety five. So there's a there's a former child who is now thirty two years old who has no recollection of the Cowboys juggernaut.


Thirty two years old, that's probably half the is under 30. So here's the weird part with me. So the Cowboys won three Super Bowls in the 90s. Those three were three of my four years of high school. And the other year they lost the NFC championship game. So just imagine your sports fandom is building and building. You sort of understand the draft. You're all the way down the roster by the time you're like 14 and then they win three out of four.


I kind of felt like I was set. Do I want the Cowboys to win more titles? Of course I do, but I got mine if we can call the mine. And here's the other thing. Cowboys are just really fun to watch and consume as a product, even when they lose. Maybe there are people in Dallas who don't feel that way. They just tear their hair out. They hate Jerry. They just hate everything. I find them incredibly amusing.


That's why you don't see me doing the haunted fan thing on Twitter all the time like everybody else. I'm really not haunted. I'm like, I'm like, this sucks. I'm mad they lost to the Giants or Washington or whoever. But Jerry will do something really, really wildly interesting tomorrow and I'll just be like, OK, I'll just pay attention to that instead. I like that you feel like you've banked your titles and you're good. That's such like a Zen approach.


I wish I could have acted that way. I had so much good. Stuff happened through 86 and then from 86 to oh, it was dark, I really took it personally. I a lot of trauma and pain with losses. I would never call you a Zen fan now, but I got my three and I got Vince Young and Texas got one in five, my alma mater. And it's all it's all gravy. It's all gravy. Now, one of the many pieces I regret in my archives, wherever the hell they are, is the the one I wrote about the 20 rules of being a sports fan, which I wrote, I think before all basically every Boston title.


And it was really like the Yankee fans made me so mad because they'd won like four and five years. And then, you know, they lost to Arizona and the 2001 World Series. And so I was like, fuck you guys. You guys won four titles. You're not allowed to complain about anything. And I had all these rules and then over the next 20 years just proceeded to break most of them in their five year grace period. If you win a title, you're not allowed to be a dick.


I just I just went through and broke all of them. You lose your mind when your teammates, as soon as game had a bad game this year, you broke them.


You were you were pissed off. I heard all those podcasts. I did. Well, the good thing is I got to a good place with Brady that above gambling instead of being spiteful and resentful that he was doing well, I just gambled on him. And then everybody won. We were on the same side. We were super happy about it. Can we talk about NFL right stuff? Jurevicius on the tip of America's tongue. But I do think there's real ramifications here.


So we have a new TV deal coming. We have a shitload of suitors. We have stuff getting leaked left and right. We have breathless stuff being said with no verification, like they're going to get twice as much money. We have Amazon lurking. Yeah. And we have Thursday night. And then we have Sunday night. We have Monday night. First question, are we going to have more nights than that? Do you think? We're just going to have those three nights?


I would say just those three nights. OK, I think the NFL is happy with that second question. Are you a believer in the Amazon is going to swallow up Thursday night football theory for a ton of money? Absolutely, absolutely. So it seems like that's happening. The question then is how many of those games are just on Amazon and on streaming and how many are this weird sharing deal with the NFL Network that they've been doing on Thursday night forever?


Because, remember, the NFL needs the NFL Network to have a reason to exist. So you're going to put some of those games on the NFL Network. But, yes, I'm the Amazon thing is the most fascinating part of this to me by far. All right. I'm going to cover NFL Network and then go back to Amazon. So and Shoemaker and I talked about this last week, WB network they form formed in 12, 13, 14 range is like, holy shit, they're so ahead of the game, they're going to own their own content, subscribed on the other subscribers, and then we get to twenty, twenty one and they're like, cool, we're actually going to be a peacock.


Now we've kind of dumped the network. We're not really saying we dumped it, but we're moving our entire network to Peacock. Peacock is now the network because they paid us way more money than we would have made our own and it would have been a huge pain in the ass. And you know all that. We don't have to update the app. We don't have to have as many employees, all that stuff. So they moved to peacocke for more money.


Totally smart decision made sense. Football, they have the NFL Network and it's going to be like, well, this network, the cable subscribers will have to get it. We'll put games on there. Everyone will flip out if they can't get football, which is exactly what happened. Everyone flipped out. Wait, these games, I can't see them. It does well, I guess. And now it's twenty, twenty one. And cable subscribers and satellite subscribers are less and less meaningful.


What is the point of the NFL Network in its current incarnation when the whole reason they had it was to basically extort people for the fees? Because the football games? I'll tell you the second reason they had it, by the way, that worked brilliantly. It was to force ESPN to talk more about the NFL.


Oh, OK. Yeah, I just remember I thought that talking to people there and remember when the NFL Network said, you know what, we should make a show, the schedule release. Like, that's not even a thing. Like we're just going to make a schedule release, like a national holiday. I guess what ESPN did. Hmm. That's funny. You know, we're going to start covering the combine. That's what some guy is going to run in a straight line for 40 yards.


That sounds cool. Guess what ESPN, ABC's been covering last couple of years when we still had to combine the combine. So basically, you put pressure on ESPN to cover all these things even more than they were already doing. And I think that's actually the masterstroke. They turned ESPN into an advertisement for the NFL. And look at ESPN now. They can't lose the NFL enough, not just the games on Monday night, but the NFL is all over the schedule.


It's the first thing on first take every frickin day. Yeah, they lose not only the NFL, but the whole that whole Monday when they're basically the epicenter of the NFL for. 16 Mondays in a row, absolutely, coach firing day, the day after season. It's like a holiday on ESPN, too. So that's part of it. But I think if you're the NFL now with that network, you see the way cable is going. You see that.


You see the writing on the wall. Obviously, everybody does. But you're probably just trying to extract as much value out of that as you can right now. And part of that is keeping some games on there, keeping it on everybody's, you know, cable dial and just just pulling out as much money that as you can until the world changes. And then you'll do. Could you or could you see them sell the whole network to Amazon for five years to Peacocke?


Maybe, though, I think DirecTV would be the more excuse me, the Sunday ticket be the easiest thing to sell to one of those streamers? Or maybe it's all of it. Or maybe it's over. I, I have been a Sunday ticket subscriber since 2000. I've had some horrible experiences with DirecTV. This is not a DirecTV advertisement. I don't know if there's a more frustrating company that's been in my life for the last 20 years where, hey, my satellite doesn't work.


Hold on. We're going to put you on hold for seven hours. I love DirecTV. I love the I mean, I love the Sunday ticket, I like being able to put I have multiple receivers. I like being able to send different things. I like the ability to flip channels. The experience just has not been replicated in a way that I've been happy with, with the streaming stuff and, you know, you see it like the closest probably is the NBA app for what they've done this year, which I think has been a pretty good app.


Moves fast, you can you can move around the games, but you still can't, it's it's like more moves to flip around. And I think that's I don't know how you fix that on Amazon. And I don't I don't know if they know either, but it feels like league pass or season ticket is going to Amazon. I agree with you. Yeah. Or somebody that's going to give them a whole bunch of money for that, because that feels like the thing.


Like we can just go buy this and stick it in our streaming service and everybody's going to and everybody's going to want it. Yeah. Everybody wants so he is paying plus would be the other thing. Right. So he is paying for this deal with UFC. It seems like they overpaid. They did not. They're making money on it and they're probably going to have to redo the deal before it's done. And if anything, UFC probably sold too low and it's been the only reason people are going to ESPN plus as UFC.


I think in some college basketball it's like niche stuff, but really the only mainstream thing. So I would argue season ticket would be pretty good for ESPN. Plus would be interesting. Is Amazon reediting? He runs Amazon, who used to be at ESPN. And now it's like, you know, it's just it would be funny if she stole all the stuff from ESPN. I'll tell you the other Amazon thing. That's fascinating. So let's say they get Thursday Night Football.


They have to produce Thursday Night Football. Oh, well, that's interesting. You have to create a sports department from scratch. You got to go get producers. You got to get cameras, you got to get trucks.


And again, they could wind up doing this in a different way than what I understand right now. But going from zero to broadcasting football, that's a big lift. And can you name the last two times that has happened in the last thirty years where somebody has gone from, not broadcasting games to actually broadcasting games, was FOX in ninety five, which was great. And NBC when in the mid 2000s. Right. When they got was that one. Oh I got then I got a third one that former think former Today show host calling football.


Oh come on. NFL Network. Yeah. Yeah I was tough. So sort of a mixed card but like just imagine like if you're trying to do that again, this doesn't kick in until for a couple of years. But that to me is fascinating because one, they could just do something totally different with announcers. They could do different feeds, which are a lot easier to do on a streaming service. So you could have your conventional analyst game call or kind of feed and then you could have something a little more nerdy and interesting next to that.


Did you did you and I could play around with and go through a bunch of different things, but they could really put a stamp on that in an interesting way. And my theory has always been it should be a fun broadcast, right? Like Sunday should be a serious football. Anything that's not Sunday should be fun. Football should be bonus football. Well, it was our dream to have the multiple announcers for one game forever. Right. And then there's been some dabbling with that.


ESPN tried it was a big college football games. They had their fan broadcast for each side, stuff like that. But ultimately they're splitting up the sponsors and all these different. Broadcast, and that doesn't make them happy. Amazon, what do they care? They could have 10 broadcasts. They there they were kind of doing this with Dad Hannah and Andrea Cramer, right? Mm hmm. That's right. On their own feet, but then they would also have the playoff game, they had the normal game feed with whatever, whoever the announcers were, so they had two different announcing feeds.


Basically, they could have 10. Could lead to a NFL game, which I think would give Richard Deitsch an aneurysm. But if you want to put your stamp on right, that's how you could do it is like we're going to do something just completely different and let you consume NFL football in a way you've never done it that be cool. I'm available.


Oh, I would love to do it. Forget barstool. We upgraded. Let's no, let's just do let's just have rotating. Everybody gets a chance. It's like a pinata. We all get hit it cheder.


That's the game you get to do. One week we get to bring it out about everybody. Maybe they should have charity. People buy in, they get billionaires on there. I think the Amazon possibilities are my favorite piece of this new rights deal thing. I mean, we've already spent way too much time talk about race, but to me, it's like we have a chance to kind of at least try some shit. And if there's ten announcing teams for one game, that's fun.


If you had a better way to do league pass where, you know, I'm getting Patriots games, but I could have like local announcers doing my Patriots game recording in the radio broadcast, stuff like that. There's a lot of lot of fun wrinkles that at least they could think about. My guess would be they won't think about any of them and it'll just be the same product. But it's just fun to think like things might be different. And I hope they think of something because the rest of this is going to look like football does right now.


Going to be Fox and CBS in the afternoon on Sunday, it's going to be NBC on Sunday night, it's going to be ESPN maybe with a slightly better games, maybe with some ABC part of it on ESPN getting a Super Bowl at some point. Can you get a Super Bowl? ESPN could get had to have two, several hours. I mean, they've spent how many years now resetting the relationship with the NFL by putting the combine on by doing two different draft broadcasts, which I guess we're going to get again this year with with Greaney and Rece Davis on ABC.


And you're just like if it doesn't pay off and I'm even a little like I know for a fact their sites were their eyes were really big a year ago when when they were like, could we get Sunday night and Monday night?


Oh, yeah, could we get multiple packages? And now if it's just going to be a slightly better Monday Night Football. With flex games and they keep talking about flex games, a better games where these games are going to come from, everybody says, why want better games? Well, doesn't FOX and CBS want better games on Sunday afternoon, Sunday nights already a showcase where the good game is going to come from at some point.


Also, like, why aren't they involved on Thursday night? It's just too expensive. I think everybody just decided that was a really crappy deal because of the sharing with the NFL Network. It's really expensive and you have to do this sharing thing that they just weren't into. So you think the NFL Network sharing thing happens either way? I think it's got to maybe not for every game. So the question I think Fox had I can't remember the number I want to say it's around 10 games that they just did on FOX.


So let's you know, that they did not share his NFL Network game. So think about could those exclusive games go to just Amazon? Those we just purely Amazon games. And if you're in Boston and the Patriots are playing Thursday, it's going to be on free TV somewhere. They'll put it on television. So, yeah, then then that would be fascinating. I have one more fun wrinkle of this, but we to take a break.


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They don't even have the odds running on the bottom. And meanwhile, we had this the the what was that, Logan Paul against whoever fired a couple of months ago. And it was just gambling game. You and Roy Jones, Junior Tyson, they really own the odds part. And it was really fun. It made it more fun to watch the thing and especially with how gambling crazy everything's getting. I would think if the Amazon, one of those broadcasts was just like a pure gambling podcast, I mean, I broadcast in the announcers were versed in the language.


They had a third person who, you know, Cousin Sal is just like spouting out props left and right. And that would be like the crazy gambler broadcast. I think that would be the one I watched. I think we need to recreate the old NFL today. And Brent can do play by play and then Sal will be in the Jimmy the Greek scene. Yeah. And we'll just do it like that. I think that'd be fantastic. But no, that's a good idea.


Why not just get crazy?


It should just be it should be a bunch of different tastes for whoever is watching. Speaking of Brent, you wrote a piece recently, about 30 years ago when Brent got bounced from CBS, which was the most shocking media moment, probably a sports media moment of my lifetime. For me personally, I just couldn't believe it. He was doing every single CBS event and then they had a contract thing and they were like that. All right. Finally replace them with Jim Nance, Greg Gumbel, the rest was history and now nancies in a similar situation where at some point they're going to stare at each other and somebody might blink and then he might be leaving.


So you wrote that piece like, I don't know, a month ago. Is it does he say what happens because we had Masters coming up? This is going to be a big storyline. I think the biggest thing is. If I'm Jim Nantz, can you imagine going from Saturday, Sunday Masters to Thursday, Friday Masters? Is that really worth the money, ESPNU mean? Yeah, and then how did you how do you handle the Van Pelt thing if you're ESPN, like you basically already have Geminids?


Yeah, it's on. Yeah, I'm not saying he's going to replace Van Pelt, but just think of like, what would you do somewhere else if you're gymnast's or go to, I don't know, NBC and do their golf stuff. I just. I've always gotten the sense that not only is that stuff important to him, but he derives some of his gymnast's, you know, gravitas. This is nonsense from doing the final four. Right. And giving the ties and doing the job and doing the Masters and doing this and doing the Super Bowl.


By the way, where else is that going to be? I mean, I guess he could do that on the also.


By the way, Rome has been unbelievable for him. Oh, it's been it's been since seems we're a terrible team. The last two years, they were one of the worst broadcast teams and now Nancy has been rejuvenated. I asked it's about that the Super Bowl a couple of years ago. And he was like, you always have to kind of match your partner.


So if Tony is up here, Jim, I just about to fly out of the booth up.


So excited Jim has to come up there with Sims. You know, at that point, Sims, which was good for a long time, but he was just like it out here. And so just coming down here to match him. Right. He can't be too hot. No, I agree. I agree. And I just think. To me, that's the thing that gets gets it done at the end of the day, by the way, by the way, you know what the you know what the the Brent comparison would be if that happened today?


It would be Jim leaving CBS after Saturday at the Masters, but before Sunday at the Masters.


Oh, good call. Yeah, because because Brent was before the title game, that was the only thing that kept going. No Internet back then and they're going out Sunday to say goodbye. Wow. To do the Masters and then say goodbye to CBS and Butler Cabin. That's the only thing that could match what Brent did. And even then it would be it wouldn't even be as big a Brent.


It's just Brent just was way bigger and meant more just because we had less TV channels and less everything. And, you know, you'd have 20 million people watching NFL today with him and Feliciana. Of course, that never happened. Now, none of this stuff would like all the ratings stuff. It's hard to explain. There's this TV, there's this Twitter account. It's called like retro news now or something that I have bookmarked because I have, like, all these Twitter accounts bookmarked that I just go that I scroll through for info and they'll post the rating stuff sometimes.


And you see some of the ratings for these shows from like nineteen seventy seven where it was like the Love Boat. Sixteen million people per episode and things like that just really say, oh yeah, we didn't have anything going on back then. That's what Oprah got the other day. And that was a shocking for them for the the interview. Oh yeah. 17 million people. And that was like we were like wow, 17 million. That was such a unique oh my God, you have to be in front of a TV kind of moment.


That just doesn't happen anymore. No, everything is like an orchestrated version of that where it's like I don't really need to be on TV. It's like the one division season finale. I can stay up late and watch it or I'll watch the next morning that Megan Markle thing. People are having like watch parties for it. What does that happen? And if you went to a watch party and there's a bunch of people noted it was a huge undersell.


Yeah. They undersold how amazing that was because I sat down to watch it with my wife and she was like, I'm going to watch a few minutes of this and I'm going to go do some work.


There were like five bombshells per segment. Yeah. And even the Oprah tease, speaking to the Greaney tease, it was the Oprah tease, like where she would just ask the question right before the commercial and then you'd have to wait. It always paid off. Was it was it was a lot of people made this point, but it was a masterpiece from Oprah and it's funny because she really is like one of the all time Hall of Fame first ballot greats.


But when you've been successful for that line, there's going to be some backlash. And I think sometimes just people forget, like she's by far the best at this, you know, like that, like nobody's on her corner. That's how I always like to measure some of this stuff is like who's been in Oprah's corner? Who's taken some of her territory? If she was like, you know, Avon Barksdale, who is who's grabbing her territory when she went to I don't know which she disappeared for six months, nobody, because nobody else can do what she does.


Helen was a tiny bit on it, but Ellen couldn't have done interviews like that. Oprah had this journalistic side to her that I always thought was like really underrated. Like she her and Barbara Walters, I think, in the last 40 years are probably the two best people at. I'm going to get you to say stuff you didn't think you were going to say. Yes. And I would say Oprah has a genuine interest in other people that a lot of talk show host don't have a lot of those TV people that are really good at having fun for an hour.


But it's kind of like Letterman when the guest comes out and he's just like you like Letterman doesn't care what this person says. Letterman just wants to get a bit out of it. And, you know, I love Letterman Blade. Letterman didn't care. Oprah genuinely cares. And by the way, she sprinkled in just enough Oprah isms into that whole thing that congratulations if you have a good water.


She went back to, like, you know, Daily TV show Oprah. It was fantastic. I also love the the the set up. Where they were, I have no idea where they were, but it just seemed like the most peaceful, nicest place anyone's ever been. I said on the press box, I thought, they tape that at Downton Abbey because it was like perfect. It looked like it was the British countryside. It turns out it was Gayle King's house.


And it's quite a house. Yeah. Great job. Gehling Gayle King, kind of Oprah's show house really, really made a name for herself. Still hope for just. Oh, hey, it's been a year since the pandemic. Who, since that whole week when it all went down, we've talked about how stuff's changed, but now we're in this mode of like. First of all, does it seem like a year does it seem like five years or three months?


So it seemed like 10 years, like last summer between March in March and June. Now, I think it feels more like a year, weirdly, as we get toward the anniversary of the of the just under nine. I don't know, you know, it time has been so weird during this whole thing. And I feel like, you know, there are certain days where I just feel like I just feel like kind of awful and like I just I just get nothing's wrong with my life.


Actually, my life is great, but I just. You're sitting in your office. I can't go anywhere. I can't travel. I can't do the things I would normally do. And I just feel so weird and depressed. And then there are other times when you're just like, wow, that's only been a year like this. There was a worldwide pandemic that killed more than half a million Americans. And the one thing for those of us privileged enough to be in this category is we stayed at home for a year.


OK, you know, that that was that was actually probably pretty fast. So I don't know. I don't know. Time is weird during this whole period would. And any huge trends you've noticed from last year, this year with reporting and features and some of the work people have been able to do or not do as they have, we really been that affected? You know, one weird thing is I think we've sort of reinvented TV like. That Oprah special looked like old school TV or was all produced and it looked really pretty outside and it was lit perfectly.


But now, you know, I think television is kind of like, oh, look at that. It's like you and I talking here, a resume that looks pretty good. Now, that'll that'll do.


You know, it's a little fuzzy, but we'll just deal with it. So I think that's been one thing I think that's been the biggest the biggest one for me is. The networks and especially like places like ESPN. Realizing that maybe it doesn't matter as much how things look as they thought and executive tell me a couple of months ago, it's like we're all asking ourselves, why were we putting all that money into studio shows to make them look so good?


And at the end of the day, this whole thing made it clear that we were doing that for our own benefit as much as anything else. Viewers didn't care. I think I've told you this story, but that first charity countdown, they were changing the set and we said it was fine. It was like the KIYA said, so tiny bit dark. But we were on this roundtable. Pure magic was like six, nine. He could barely fit in this round table with his knees and stuff.


But it was fine, did the job, but they were like new sets coming at Christmas. And they were spent like, I don't know, one point two billion or one point one million is like the new set. It's going to happen Christmas blown out and then get in the set. And it was nice. It was higher ceilings. They had that big jib, the crane that comes in, and they're able to do some stuff there that the gibbs' going to come in.


And I'm like, I'm terrified to be on TV at the job does nothing for me. I just see this thing flying at me.


But they are like, come out and talk about the new set, like really have fun with it. So we come out.


We had to do the whole thing, like the new digs. Look at us and guess what? Nobody cared. Not one nobody in my life was say, hey saw. I said, whoa, wow. Tell me more about the set. Nobody cared. Not one person. So but they they did the same thing with SportsCenter. They spent with they spend like one hundred million on that SportsCenter set a million and it looks like they were doing something in this giant movie lot.


Hanga, you know, and you're going like what is going on. It made everything look terrible.


It's it's to me it's like a theory that I've had forever is sometimes especially when you have a bigger company. You have a lot of people in meetings and people and you have to have like an ideas, maybe it's like, all right, go around. Brian, what do you have, which I did today? And somebody be like, I had an idea, what if we blew up the sports center said made it, made it amazing and really made it more digital.


It's interesting. Can you write a plan and then all of a sudden, three months later, somebody is green. Letting one hundred billion dollars for a sports center said this is how the shit works. It's always somebody in some meeting who's like, I don't have anything today. What if what if we made a fancier sports center set? They didn't prepare. Like, that's the thing. When when Jim Miller writes the sequel to his ESPN book, just about the 2010s.


When when you're like on top like that, like they were in 2012 13. And you just have the kind of fuck you money that they had and the money's pouring in and it doesn't seem like there's any chance that that's going to stop. You start doing things like the hundred million dollars that. It's like, why wouldn't you? You're like, cool. All right, great. And then it's like, oh, first one's on our corner. Oh, watch this.


They're not getting anybody. And then and then it goes, but yeah, that would be a good book, Benjamin. Absolutely. I can't wait to read that as a as an employee of ESPN during that period, as somebody who a very small amount of that fucking money was flowing into my bank account.


I can't wait. Great. We'll get a chapter. There we go. Well, Jim is doing he's doing an HBO book right now. You know, the cover he did like a whole oral history. And HBO has been kind of quietly around for forty to forty four years. Forty eight years, I don't even remember.


And he's already finished it. It's like coming out. Suzanne gets people to see stuff. Any other trends for you as we head to the year mark here? It's a good question. I mean, I think. I just think I'm wondering how much TV will bounce back to its former state. I'm not saying like it's ratings stuff because who cares about that? But but. When we round this corner, if we ever round this corner, are we just going to keep doing things this way?


Is it so much easier that we just do things in the way you and I are doing it right now? And that's fine. I kind of think it will be, yeah. In terms of television, I also think it's weirdly more intimate to do it this way. You know, if you just remember that very first NFL draft on ESPN where we saw Bill Belichick and his dog sitting at the table, that was way more interesting than a shot of a bland meeting room and the Patriots headquarters that looks like every other meeting room in the world.


Right. And there's this intimacy. And I've just even noticed this as a as when I'm writing stories, it's like now I interview people all the time. I assume if it's like a fair profile or something like that, a lot of times that would have just been a phone call before. But now I actually see the person. I'm looking at them. I see the background. You know, if I was interviewing you, I'd see that Larry Bird book and I'd probably ask you about it over your shoulder.


And I Bill, why you got Larry Bird's Drive right there behind you and outside? Because it's the Bible.


But I just feel it's created this extra layer of intimacy of personal kind of nature that maybe we didn't have before on TV when everything was a set, everything was like a chair and a desk and a plant or, you know, inside team headquarters. And I think that's kind of interesting. And I think it's actually probably been for the better. Yeah, you know, I spent a lot of time thinking about how to over the last like seven, eight years how to make and this is when Grantland when Jacoby and I were doing all the audio stuff and we turned the electrical closet into a studio.


And that was something I was really passionate about because I had done some TV. And one of the things I didn't understand with TV was why they had these spectacular kind of soulless sets. Right. With a lot of lights. And it was almost like their goal was to make the town uncomfortable when the talent supposed to you're supposed to be personable. You're supposed to even have an earpiece in your ear. If somebody's talking to you as you're talking, you have cameras flying around and it's like you're almost like becoming a quarterback in a football game with things flying around.


You're just trying to complete a pass. And when Jacoby and I were talking about what we wanted to do and I was like, I really want like a podcast studio where we could film it. But the cameras don't move. There's nobody in there but me and the person, whoever my guest is, and we just go in there and we sit there and they won't even know they're being filmed. That's what that's what we've got to figure out. We did it and it was really cool like that, how intimate it is.


And then we tried to recreate it at the ringer, which I think we did. And the whole mindset was make people feel like they're not on TV. And I think what I've seen in the last year was some of this stuff as people are doing TV that don't necessarily feel like they're doing TV because is it any more different than doing a zoom? Mm hmm. True. And they're doing basically the same thing. So in a way, it's brought out I think it's heard some shows like I still feel like in Kornheiser will say this PTI, when they're in the room together, is just going to be better, you know?


And I felt that, too. That was why I didn't want to do it remotely, because I just I like being next to Kornheiser during that show, you know, so I get it. But I do think it's helped some of these other shows. And you realize, like, sometimes it's if you're doing a four person show, sometimes it's easier to just see the other three squares right in front of you as you're talking versus turning left, turning right, especially if in that middle seat fucking sucks this way out this way, like that Kenny Smith seat that is in.


You watch how he sits. He sits way back. He's kind of like on his back left butt cheeks so he can turn toward Ernie but has the ability to turn back to Charles. Like that seat sucks and it's really hard to be comfortable. Anyway, I just had a rant. Yeah, it's funny. I watch the a clip from The View that was going around Twitter today and I guess they're remote and it was like four boxes and it was a big argument.


And everybody was like, yeah, it's like four boxes of like maybe they do. They're like PTI.


They just need to be in the same place. Yeah. The talking over each other becomes really hard on those things. You see it in first take. I think it's actually hurt for steak because it's so much harder for them to jump in and out against each other. Yeah, you lose the body language and the kind of you know, here I feel the guy over here going like this, he wants to come in. So I'm going to stop and I'm going to let him or her come in.


Now, that's you know, that's really helped is the local shows like I think the like the Celtics pregame halftime post game. It's it's just less awkward because those local shows, they're always like it's a wide shot, the person sitting there, it's usually some sports writer who is terrified like me once upon a time, just trying to figure out how to set a narrative is just kind of hanging out on a zoom. Kendrick Perkins comes flying it off the top rope.


He's got energy. I feel like it's up to look. Once I heard somebody say I'd Twitter to the other day after Megan and Harry that why don't we do long form interviews on TV?


That was a question like this was now, again, you're not going to get the prince talking about the monarchy on every single interview. But it did remind people that that that used to be a thing. Now it's on podcasts, I guess. But that was a thing and it was a really good thing when it was done. Well, it was really, really good. I tried that.


I went down in flames. I remember I do feel like podcast replace. It's just easier to listen to a podcast. Like right now somebody is listening to us at one point, eight speed. Yeah, they're just flying through it for the next one, we couldn't do that with Tom Snyder back in the day, you just had to kind of listen on your television and watch on your television. That's true.


I have two things for your wheelhouse before we go. Sure. One is that Pluto? Has a bunch of channels that I like, I don't know if you know what Pluto is, but it's basically like a. It's an app that you go and it's paramount. It's all paramount programs and they have like the reason is they have a challenge channel, they have an MTV challenge. I started watching the pandemic, but then they said to it, channel, love boat, channel.


They have all these channels that are just you kind of flying through like, oh, wow. But they have a Johnny Carson channel and it's 70s and 80s, Johnny Carson and. You know, obviously, we're all homebodies, so sometimes I've floated over there and I've been watching some of these old Johnny Carson shows and it's like they might as well have been a hundred and thirty years ago. These guests come out. People are smoking. Yeah, they're there's multiple people in the couch.


Don Rickles comes on and says thirty eight things that would get him canceled. Now, the way Carson interacts, Carson is like genuinely interested in Angie Dickinson for like 13 straight minutes. And she's telling him about this new TV movie. She's film. I just can't believe that this was in my lifetime. These conversations. Ed's laughing in the back. He seems like he's on the phone to the bandleader. It's at a like a time where I really thoroughly recommend it.


Did you stumble across the seasons where Johnny had that lake seen behind him? You know, he had the city lights for a long time, but then he had the one where it was a lake. I haven't seen the lake yet. I'm going to look for the lake. It it's almost it's a really weird it's another one that you just can't imagine now, can you imagine? Like now it's like we turn on the Today show and there's just like a peaceful water scene behind them that would not be happening.


That would not happen. I do endorse Carson is a great time capsule. He was.


He was. I think he was the best. Oh, yeah, I don't I don't think that's a question I love just because but Johnny was about how he was able to navigate these 70s situations where it was always on the precipice of just completely falling apart. And he was just I don't know, I was just really impressed by having him actually depressed me because I was thinking, like nobody under 40 has even probably an opinion on Johnny, maybe under thirty five Zevin opinion on Johnny Carson.


This guy was this Titan and then it just kind of goes away and nobody thinks about him again. Like Bob Hope's another one. Bob Hope was on one of the shows I watched was like, wow, this is in the 70s, this was this massive moment. And that's like Bob Hope got an airport named after him. That was one thing I had for you. The other one is I want to read more old interviews because I bought all these old premier magazines that I've been just fascinated by reading some of the stuff.


So I wanted to read old Playboy interviews, and they have these different books of the Playboy interviews and they're separated by, like the director, the talents, all these different things. And I was reading the director book recently, and it's got interviews with like Spike Lee, John Houston, Francis Coppola, all the stuff. So riveting, and it made me think like people used to actually say in interviews. Yes, you read and you're like, oh, my God, I can't believe you said that, and it's it's ten times in each interview because they weren't going to they weren't worried about the repercussions of everything.


So you're actually getting this real glimpse into what this person was like, which I now feel like is impossible. Yeah, I feel like we get like Quincy Jones, you know, we'll be in New York magazine and we'll get that like every three years.


And it'll be, holy shit. You know, Quincy. Yeah, it's usually somebody who's older, doesn't give a fuck anybody. It's somebody on the Champions tour of life who is just like I'm just I'm ready to the person called me right at the right time and I'm ready to spew. I do remember aren't those Playboy interviews, isn't it? Like you read the fine print? It's like this interview was cobbled together over four different interviews lasting six and a half hours.


Yeah. So you kind of understand that there was a lot of chaff there. Yes. You know, and they were able to just distill it down. And I'm sure, again, I don't know Playboy, but I'm sure they were some, quote, massaging going on because I was read so well. You know, they just they read like they were written essentially. Well, what I was thinking was those were the first podcast, basically. Mm.


Those Playboy interviews. Where, yeah, it's like a legit long form hang, get a feel for the person, and I don't know, in the 70s and 80s, they were the single most important interview you could do. Yes, because you were CARSON. No, but the big caveat, Mike Douglas, none of that stuff. But if you really wanted. So the reason I got it was because Eddie Murphy gave this interview. He did a Playboy interview in like nineteen eighty nine, nineteen ninety.


And I wanted to read it before we did the coming to America by Toyota on eBay. Of course it showed up late, didn't show up in time, but I read it and he says so many things in it that I was just like, wow, I can't believe he said that or oh my God, I didn't realize that. I was like, I need more. I want to read off interviews. So they have these books that you could get them on eBay.


But it is the most interesting book binge I've done this year. What's been your most interesting book or book binge that you've been on? Oh, that's a good question. I feel like I've been so scattered during the pandemic and I'll try to concentrate on on one thing. I read a a detective novel that Shoemaker's a huge fan of the other day, but I just feel I've been unable to concentrate anything like that. I'm proud of you for being able to do it.


I have been doing what I'll do is I'll when I'll do like the Brent piece, I'm on newspapers. Dotcom, by the way, best hundred dollars I spend in a year because it's just like every newspaper ever and you can search by newspapers.


Dotcom, I believe that's the case. Tell me about this. You don't know. Oh, you've ruined my month now. So when you put it in the dates and put in Brent Musburger, you see like the Sacramento Bee that didn't have the full scannable pages.


It's wow. Yeah. And can you get the old Peter VSC all the ACMS bill. You can get everything you get. There's your hoopsters, your you can get everything. You can get that Mike Lupica one liners.


But that is my absolute rabbit hole. It's fabulous. And it looks like it's just got everything a billion. Just, just, just everything. You host a podcast called The Press Box. That's right. David Shoemaker, who you've known since you were little boys, since the cowboy medium sized boys. Yeah, fourteen. That podcast is twice a week. That's where you can hear Brian Curtis. You can also read him on a website called The Ringroad Outcome Was.


Good to see you. We got to do next time you come on. We got to do the sportswriter's with Jason, but with Dak was a special, special case. Absolutely. Thanks for having me.


Good to see you. This time last year, meeting up with friends for a beer was almost complicated. We used to have to worry about where we'd go, what where we'd invite. Remember that a lot of things have changed over the past year. He's now getting together for a beer. Feels more like it shared. No more worrying about the complicated stuff. Just you being yourself with your real friends in a classic Miller Lite, well, as the original Libia Miller Lite has always been about bringing you and your friends together for Miller time.


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The pride of Dallas is Rachel Lindsay. You can hear her on the Higher Learning podcast with my guy, Van Nathan, twice a week. She's also on a bachelor party. I've been many, many, many times been in the news a lot lately. And then then your team signed a quarterback. So that was exciting.


So exciting. And thank you for acknowledging that, Bill. Yeah. You know, it's Cowboys fans don't get the respect that we deserve. So thank you so much for saying that.


It's nice when the Cowboys that we don't have to read about this anymore. This is my big take. I'm tired of I'm tired of like two years of tax contract that we could just all move on. Now he can come back, throw some struggles. How about throw some touchdown passes? That's it. Listen, you know how it works with Dallas Cowboys. I mean, there's going to be something else that pops up now. They're talking about they can't afford him and Zeke.


So, you know, it's always in the news. People love to hate us, love to talk about us. It's good to be a Cowboys fan. All right, The Bachelor, we're almost over this. Is that a couple of bad bachelor seasons in zero? Yeah, I mean, I would say since back coup friend, they haven't been the same, we've had Kolten Hanah pilot Pete. Taisha was a good one. I thought Claire Taisha was good, and then we went back Yahaya on Claire Tatian, that was just Claire was too crazy for me.


Oh, it was just on. I sure as a spectacle was good. But as an actual show where you're invested in human beings, I come on, nobody's she's not ending up with anybody.


She's just that's why this is why it was so great, because I am not a traditional bachelor watcher. I started watching when I was on the show. So I like the fact that with Claire, you never knew what was going to happen each week. So I was fascinated by it because it was off the beaten path of normally what happens on the back.


So Claire intrigued me.


She drew me in in a way that none of the other leads do so or at least these past few leads have it. So I was into it as into it. I didn't see that at all. I I saw somebody who decided who she liked within two seconds, they'd obviously talk before she could say all she wants, but come on. And then.


No, I don't believe that, Bill. I will I will argue you down on that. I do not think that she talked about before.


OK, do you believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny? So I can give you this list.


Can you give me this? She had a lot of time in quarantine. All the bachelor bios are out, right? She can at least study up who's on the show. And she definitely studied up on that dude. And nowadays, unlike in 2004, everybody's got a social media footprint. So she could go through two hundred daily photos. Right. By the time she gets to the campus, she's ready to roll. She's like that. That's a guy.


That's a fact.


Clare, I knew of one person coming into the season before it started, and that was Dell because I'm cool with Clare. So she had done gone down a deep, dark hole, learning everything she could about him.


She was very into him before she met him that night that I admit to. All right. Well, obviously, she swear to secrecy that she never talked to him before the show, even though.


Who knows? Who knows with that? Clare, also that I felt bad about. He was so obviously on the show just to try to win. And then he was going to parlay it into whatever. I never believed that his intentions either. I kept him watch this show.


I listen, I love that you're a fan of the show, because if you hadn't been a fan of the show, I don't know if we would be here having this conversation, you know, if I would be working with you. And I'm so grateful for that. So I stop now. You can stop watching the show now if you want. No, I'm glad because led us to this. It's led to so much comedy with me and my wife.


It's one of the only reliable it's basically comedy. And that's what made this season so alarming, is this season wasn't a comedy. All of a sudden we go into this whole, you know, circus of reflecting the real country and all the fucked up shit that really started last year. And it's like, how did The Bachelor become our proxy for how fucked up our country is right now? And then somehow you're in the middle of it. It's like bonkers.


I just I thought this was the show.


I want to circle back to something you said about the show being pure comedy. So am I a joke to you?


No, no.


That's I guess you're right. That's fair, because it's OK now. But here's here's this is what I told you. What I met you. You never made sense as The Bachelorette because you're the most normal person who's ever been on the show. If anything, I was like, why is she on the show like she should be? I don't know. You're normal. Most of the people who go on this. There's there's one one piece of just one one tiny thing, there's some reason they're on that's bringing them there, maybe it's they want to be famous, maybe it's they've just, for whatever reason, had bad experiences finding a soul mate.


Maybe it's a combination of both. Maybe they're they need some sort of belonging to some sort of franchise, something. But with you it is just like, all right, this is a professional working person with a really good job who could easily find somebody. I don't know why she's on, but you explained during the season why you did it and it made sense.


I needed an escape. I think that's one thing. It took on a whole life of its own. But initially I was like, I need to break free from this current place that I'm in professionally with with the relationship. I just needed something different. And then, you know, I saw some things as I got deeper into the franchise that, you know, I that needed to change, you know, needing a little turning up.


Well, Wolf, you are so unfairly. I think you just at some point people get pigeonholed by certain whatever. And you're like first black bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay. But you were like way more talented that which was the frustrating thing watching you from afar. And fortunately, now we get to work together. But it is weird how people just get it's not even a stereotype. It's like a pigeonholing. It's like, yeah, if you're the first of something or you're known for this now, you kind of have to break out and move beyond that.


And that's a really hard thing to do. I remember seeing on ESPN and being like which is on sports radio shows, that was not The Bachelorette. What's going on? But you broke through it.


Well, I had to reinvent myself, which is something I didn't take into consideration when I started doing all of this. When I said yes to being The Bachelorette, I remember coming out and getting an interview at ESPN and thinking, oh, my gosh, this is it. They saw my resume. They know I was in sports management. I, I focused on sports law and law school. You know, I'm going to get my opportunity in.


The first thing they said was, we love you on the show, but, you know, you don't really connect to a sports audience.


So, you know, we'll slowly introduce you. And so it was a year later before I even got on radio because everyone said it, even when they put me on TV for the first time, it was The Bachelorette, you know, guest hosting first take and it was this whole bachelorette theme.


So it's it's kind of one of those things where I know I'll always be attached to the franchise, and that's fine. I was the first. I'm proud of it and the platform that it gave me. But, you know, there comes a point where it's like you guys that there's there's more to it. I was a whole person before I was a bachelorette.


But for some other people, they're cool with, like The Bachelorette. I was on the show and now I'm kind of I've spun that into my own little mini career, drafting the fumes off my bachelorette season, which is also funny because that's what they have to do professionally. But there are people out there that have done that.


Yeah, I think it's the people who didn't really have, gosh, maybe didn't have their own identity before, didn't have certain things going for them. So they used to the title of Bachelor Bachelorette to define who they are. And that's something I never wanted to do. It's something that I did in my life. It doesn't define who I am as a person.


Well, especially in those earlier seasons. Those are massive, massive audiences. You're talking early mid 2000s reality TV, where it's like 10, 12, 15 million people watching. Yeah, beginning episodes and final episodes like I think the first year Survivor, the final episode that would be more watched than any Super Bowl we've had in the last ten years. There's just things are different. Really.


Yeah. Yeah. I think there's like fifty million people or something. But then the bachelor is the same thing and then you know, gradually what is it now like five, six million people plus whatever we get on streaming and stuff like that. All right. So back to the Circus Maher thing. So this starts with the Hanabi season. With what does just the bachelor entering, entering the room, entering the chat room and entering the conversation with everything else going on in life, it starts with the Hanegbi season.


And that was the first time I didn't I knew you dealt with some stuff when you were The Bachelorette, but I didn't realize the divisions within this whole universe and how deep it was and kind of how crazy it was. And then when you told Juliet about it, I was like, wow, this had no idea. But now I think people know.


Yeah, I think, you know, when I was in my finale and I was sitting up there on stage and I saw it, I saw it happening to me where for the first time I felt stereotyped on the show. So of course, I was the first black bachelorette. It is what it is. But when I turn to Peter on stage and I said he told me, oh, you're living a mediocre life. And I said, no, actually I'm living my best life, just so you know.


Then I come back from commercial and Chris Harrison says, You seem upset.


And I'm literally just sitting there and he goes, I go now and he goes, You. I'm angry. I'm like, in my mind, I'm dying because I'm like, I've just become the angry black female without being angry. And I go, no, that's a strong word. I'm frustrated. It's hard to watch, you know, what just happened months ago and relive it. And then they turn to Peter and he goes, Well, I feel like you attacked me.


And at that point, I knew exactly what the narrative was going to be for me. And it's still a narrative to this day that I fight. Rachel is angry. I can curse on her, right? Yeah, OK.


Yes, she's a bitch. She's a bitch. She's always complaining about something. She's so negative. Those stereotypes have stayed with me from that moment on until now. Can I be those things? Absolutely. But it doesn't define me in that moment was the turning point when I saw the audience turn on me. And since then I've been outspoken about it. I mean, even the next year when I saw how they did Becca's finale versus my finale, you had me on stage for three hours in front of a live audience as if I was on display trying to get a reaction out of me because I'm very animated with Becca.


You protected her. She was backstage. You only had to come out on stage, which is the typical pattern you see only came out on stage and she had to talk to certain contestants. I saw how they protected the relationship that she had with Garrett despite his problematic social media behavior, behavior they they circled around him, gave and gave him an opportunity to explain himself and then did some of the explaining for him. I didn't get that when I was on the show.


And it was things like that that I started to notice where I was like, wow, in the words of Meghan Markle, I trusted them to protect me and they really haven't done that. So but I felt like they could they knew how to exploit me, you know, certain stereotypes of black people in the black community. And it was that stuff that I started to realize that led to the point of where I really started to see the division and how they treat certain contestants and certain leads.


Which leads you to the Hannah Brown season.


Well, there was like good at it. Bad at it. Right. This is not just for The Bachelor, but there was talk about, you know, I love the challenge on MTV. There's different things for how they're editing somebody. Oh, well, I love the challenge. The challenge. That's why I'm a half watcher. Are you do you have four shows? I know you love some of the Real Housewives shows. Absolutely. There is a half watch.


I never like just I'm here. I have no devices. I am enraptured with the bachelor like you. First of all, don't watch it live fast forward so you don't have to watch in the commercials. Then, you know, two thirds of the times you just kind of looking up when something's happening. Oh, yes, yeah, yeah. You got to have those shows though. Yes. That's my Bravo shows for me. I don't have to be fully involved into the show.


I got to say, I fully watched the challenge. I still really enjoy it. I still feel like it might be America's fifth fifth sporting of it. But there had to be six years ago for people, for people who don't know what happened. So shoot. Where are you from? Alabama.


Alabama, Tuscaloosa. And she became, I would say, polarizing, but not in the typical polarizing ways initially, right? She was. You know, re-explain the season well, she was the first time that they had, you know, they always make this this argument that they pick people from top the top four, which is used to be their argument as to why there had never been a lead of color. Oh, they just don't make it far enough.


Well, when they had options to pick a lead of color, they dipped back into the Hannah was like, I don't know, seven eighth or ninth person left on the season. And they reached back and they bring her in. And, you know, she's presented, as I would say, the quintessential lead, some white Southern Christian, and that she was this girl next door, the beauty pageant queen who really wasn't your typical beauty pageant queen.


She was billed as relatable. She's just one of the girls and she was just getting her chance at love. Mm hmm. OK, that's and that's that's that's kind of how it wasn't I remember even saying, hmm, you know, I feel like we might be taking some steps back here because I can't see this girl dating a person of color. I can't see men of color going far on her season. I don't know if she's had those type of life experiences.


And I was very vocal about this as well, saying I don't think that people, contestants, not contestants, I don't think we should have leads on the show who are figuring themselves out while also trying to figure out the journey. You were going to get that word in there of The Bachelor Bachelorette?


Yeah, it's too much. The show is a lot. And you can be so sure of who you are and what you bring to the table. But the show can make you question that because you're on this island all by yourself, detached from the outside world, friends and family.


So here you are with this young girl who's never really lived outside of Tuscaloosa, and now she's navigating love with different people from all walks of life for the first time on national television. This just isn't going to go well.


And it didn't, but then there was a weird backlash to the people who were detractors and then it was on, then it turned into there had to be defended, what did she do? She had like bad, bad social media in her past or was that she had some say and done so after her season was over?


You know, she's America's sweetheart, the most popular bachelorette on social media. People really do love her. They were rooting for her. Her season ended badly in that the guy that she chose, she was engaged to ended up having this girlfriend that he broke up with right before coming on the show, which is in question. We're not sure if he really broke up with her or not. Needless to say, Hannah Brown dumped them and now the whole world is on our side feeling so sorry for her and rooting for her to find her, her opportunity.


She's really on top of the bachelor world.


And then, you know, mighty is the fall because right in the middle of 20/20, right in the middle of when the country is in the middle of a pandemic and there's all this civil unrest and we're in the middle of this of racial really unrest as well. You see that Hannah Brown on an Instagram live says the N-word sings it in a song, Skip saying fuck to say the N-word, which made it even more problematic. And there was a huge reaction to it.


I think she admitted that she was a little inebriated when it happened. She kind of laughed through it, blamed it on her brother, and then the next day kind of woke up to realizing what a shitstorm it was. And so I woke up to the same thing. I reached out to her instead of, you know, calling her out publicly and kind of talked her through it. We talked on the phone all day. I told her I would support her.


This could be a learning opportunity. She is such a huge platform. And we could talk about how detrimental this word is, the weight of this word, the history of it. And I would go on Instagram live and support her through it will ultimately she decided to side with her PR and just put up a quick statement on her story that disappeared after twenty four hours and disappear from Instagram for two full weeks. And so I felt because I don't have that privilege being a black person, to just not say anything.


When someone I'm from the battered community and someone from the Barstow community has offended people of color, I decided I'm going to make a video and I'm going to talk about why this word is it's so wrong and why it was wrong that she said it and why she needs to come out and apologize. And the crazy thing is, Bill, I got more backlash for being disappointed in her saying the word than she got for saying the word. That's Bachelor Nation.


And that was a defining moment, that people were mad that I didn't give her new bachelor word here. Grace, they love to use that word now. I didn't give her the grace. And she just she was a poor girl that just made a mistake. And I always knew the audience that I was dealing with. But in that moment, I absolutely knew not just who I was dealing with, but how that audience saw me, how I was viewed to that audience that I couldn't be offended.


You know, I I was never given the benefit of the doubt, but Hannah just made a mistake. It was just an accident. She has such a great heart. OK, well, where's why can't I have a good heart? Why can't you understand that I'm hurt by the fact that she flippantly use this word and just disappeared without realizing how this affects people that look like me and my community, how she's offended so many people. And it was it was so alarming.


And, you know, it was at that point, too, that I was just frustrated with fascination. What was how the nobody really had my back. The franchise never said anything to that. I was kind of left out to dry, getting blamed for the fact that she had disappeared and left social media leads and contestants weren't really speaking out except for the ones of color. And I just eventually was like, you know what? At this point, I'm seeing everything that's happening in this country.


I'm looking at what I am affiliated with. It's on the wrong side of things. That's this franchise. And I don't want to be affiliated with it anymore unless they make changes. And that's when I made that statement. And then five days later, they chose Matt James.


I was going to say, wait, so go backwards because I want to get to the Matt James piece about this. But you're you're feeling this way for a while because I remember we talked about it even before the Hanegbi stuff. And I I was I just kind of never really thought about it in the way that you laid it out where you think like, oh yeah, we have fifty states. There's it's almost like it's going to parallel with countries like.


But as you laid it out, I was like, oh, and I guess part of my reaction listening to you is like, why does she still want to be part of. This franchise, which I think was something you were struggling with, so why did you stay? Why were you still involved even before the Hanegbi thing?


That's such a good question, because I get that a lot. A lot of people like, if you're so upset, just go away. Well, I have to go back to why I eventually said yes to being The Bachelorette, because originally I said no. And part of the reason I never thought I'd find love. I'm just fortunate that I found Brian and it worked out. But I did it because I knew I could do it right. I could do it well, and I could hopefully open up doors and pave the way for other people of color who wanted the same opportunity, who wanted their fairytale experience, who wanted their love stories told.


It shouldn't just be monolithic. And all the people look the exact same way and come from the same background and fit this prototype of who The Bachelorette and Bachelor should be in this franchise. And I thought I could I could really make a difference. But then shortly after the show. There was no difference made, we we went to Ari and Becca and Colton and Brown and then Peter and so I was like, I'm so frustrated because it was almost as if I was promised that to that, oh, you'll be the first and you'll make a way.


And and I know that there there are people who say, well, why don't you just start your own thing. But it's like, but why do we have to do that? You know, why do I have to say, oh, I'll just go out and she won't do this for me and my people and and other people of color, then I'm just going to go do my own show. No, like, this is not how it should be.


You've been doing this the wrong way for 15 years before I came along. And you've curated this audience that won't accept me, which is what was blatantly obvious in the Hannah Brown situation. The reason this audience responds to me the way that they do is because for 15 years before I was the lead, you curated an audience that was comfortable only seeing people who look like them, who acted like them, who came from their same walks of life.


And people don't like change. And so the moment that I came in and I was demanding change, people were upset about it.


And we've continued to see that happen. Yeah, that's why I stay in the franchise. My takeaway when we talked about this way back was you didn't overtly say this, but I could tell it's what you thought it's like if I leave the franchise. Who who replaces me, then what happens? What is the look? What is the franchise look like? You almost had like a moral obligation to stay, especially after you just listed six people that followed you.


And then they they tried to do your ratings for the season. They were I don't know. I don't remember what they were. I don't know if they were, like, spectacular, but I was sure that was always the rub with why they wouldn't have anybody other than a white bachelor bachelorette. Right. It's like, well, the ratings would go down. We'd lose an audience in that. How many seasons that they have before you like? Twenty five.


Twenty. Yeah. So I thought maybe I was right. That was the reason I think they were, they were afraid of the ratings, which is pretty disgusting. But you know. Yeah.


Well even Mike Fleiss, creator of the show, said that after Rachel's season, we learned something about our audience in a Trump ish kind of way. That's what he told The New York Times.


So they're very aware of who it is that watches their show.


And and, yes, to your point, if I if I left, then who would who would be the representative? But also like who would speak out right at the at the at the most at a time when we were having that conversation, we weren't seeing people speak out, which is why I think is what's so great about what's happening now is because the first time you're seeing contestants come together, the women from Match, James Matt James this season putting out a statement saying that we are disappointed in what we've seen, we're against it and we want you guys to know that.


And then it had a domino effect. The men from Tatia season did the same thing. Then other leads who weren't just of color started to speak out and condemn the franchise for being on the wrong side of this. And I think that this day and age, you can't continue in the way that you have. I can't remember who said it, but they were they said they were shocked. That had been Bill Moore that were shocked that The Bachelor survive survived the Metoo movement.


And I understand that that line of thinking, The Bachelor will not survive what's happening now with the Black Lives Matter movement if they don't get on board and evolve with the way that the country is evolving?


Well, we just started higher learning when that whole thing happened last June.


And it was like your fifth shows like, oh, we have new bachelor. And it was a clear were driving the bandwagon. They bring in Matt James, first black bachelor ever seemed like a really good choice. He had some history with the show, wasn't totally out of left field. His buddy Tyler was the most beloved bachelor man in the history of the ringer.


Right. People like Juliet Mallory still talking about him reverentially, but so they get mad, James. And you think, all right. All right, this will be good. Nice guy. He'll have a good season. They'll right the ship a little bit here. And then the ship hits like seven icebergs. And then somehow you're in the middle of it and it really goes south with Rachel, who is obviously going to pick up. Now, the show's not over yet, but it was she was the best choice from the first episode.


It was clear he liked her the most. Sometimes, you know, at the show, it's it's whoever is usually either the best looking or one of the best looking ones who's also just super easy going. No drama, doesn't talk about the other girls, just vibes with the guy. They always pick that person every time.


With a lot of those women, I would say I would venture to say mass entire top six were that way. Top five, at least three was like that, too. She was just. Yeah, I thought the she was Michelle Bri. She was the cutest one, though, in my opinion. Rachel Aubrey. Yeah. I thought Rachel was I thought from the first episode on I was like she's favorite. Oh Brie. And then when he gave her the first date, I was like, yeah, he's into Enderbury.


There's something automated about her. Even when he central point, it was something that's like obvious.


I'm disappointed, but I am so happy.


We went on this journey and I think that was it. There was some sort of chip missing that.


I just think he could invite people to kill for cool and like just chill doesn't seem to be swayed by the drama in the House or the other women.


She's one of my favorites to leave because Rachel was even killed, but also had the side where it's like I'm I just know bad things happen on those other two overnight dates. And they do.


And I'm going to give you the stink eye. But I meet you and I think you kind of like the stink eye. You know, it's a little more exciting. Yeah.


I mean, of the mid the bachelors are so obvious when they're into a girl, whoever they're choosing, it's the women in the house. Now, the producers know. The audience knows. It's like men can't hide who they're attracted to.


Well, and that's why they had to have her third on the overnights, which is that's that's the spot you don't want to be in. You really want to be first. Second all you take. But. It is like that's that's the short straw and it's brutal. I was surprised they stacked the dates, right?


Aren't they like within like four days, five days on a normal season when you're traveling, it's like Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or fantasy sweets and you get a day off in between. So if you're that last person, it's brutal. Like, you know, you're like, man, at this point he's with her.


Well, now I know what I mean. What are they doing? Well, when they come back, they make it like, all right, you two sit there. And then the one who is just on the overnight is going to walk back with a shady grin on her face that doesn't come in.


I wish they would have done that during our season. Oh, they didn't do that. And you're saying no, that's since quarantine.


I feel like. No, no, no, no, no.


Maybe Peter and Peter season was the first time. Really good thing. That's really smart. It brings another element with everybody in the room that I would say the whole time during next season, I kept saying, like we would dance in the house.


You know, there's not much you could do. And I would teach the girls how to, like, twerk and dance. And they would like Rachel. And I would say, well, why do you think I keep getting roses? So I would have taken that energy into the fantasy suite and out of it. And I don't even do anything with Nick. It's like known that I fell asleep because Trump was elected the day before and I got wasted and just passed out, but I still could have messed with them.


It's a mind game when you get to that point. It's a mind game.


By the way, how did you find out who is first?


They just tell you, like right away, like right before somebody first I must have asked because I knew I knew it was Raven, then me and then Vanessa was last. It's like a fantasy draft. It's like first pics. I didn't get Mahomes. I guess I'll take her. Let's see it that way.


I still asked you, did you get to pick. You as the lead, you get to pick based on whatever the date is, so it just kind of falls in whatever order.


All right. So you set the order.


You're like a man and basically is like, oh, that be great with Brian. OK, that's the last day. All right, great. So, Matt, I have way more questions about the fantasy suite, but I'm going to be with you and Van. I just every week I would I just know what I was like in my 20s, I just would drive me crazy if I was one of the three guys and I was third and the other two guys came back, I would just be like, especially if you're, like, really in love with with the with the lady.


That that's that sounds like that sounds like a nightmare. Yes, but nine weeks of not having any female interaction like that, you just like ready for it to be put in. Makes sense. Put me in, coach.


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The wheels come off. We find out Rachel who is the lead things that she she had some bad photos in her Interplast plantation party, which I could be honest. Like I don't even know what year the plantation party was horrifying. Like, how far do we have to go back? Twenty. Eighteen, apparently. I couldn't. But like, I went to college in the late eighties, we that we would have been horrified in the late eighties. I don't know what year it wouldn't have been.


So I had that whole thing I was confused by. But then it comes out, you know, we're going to get the apology tour, but somehow you're in the middle of it. And then Chris comes on extra and you do a fifteen minute interview with them and all hell breaks loose. And he handled it badly. He didn't have PR there and he just decided to kind of weighed in with, like, hear my case.


And it's like, no, Chris Harrison. No, please, no. You really like Chris Harrison.


No, I think at some point in your life right now, at some point in my life, yeah. I mean, I don't have a problem with Chris. I just and for those of you who did not watch the Chris Harrison interview, the reason I make the twenty eighteen joke is because that's what he said. It was OK in twenty eighteen. Yes. Which is why I'm saying that in regards to plantation antebellum parties.


Yeah. I mean, listen, Chris is when you're the lead, you get to know Chris in a different way because you're, you're traveling is staggered and so you travel with Chris. So there's a lot of downtime and you get to talking and we're both from Dallas and so we have that in common. So, yeah, I mean, I'm not as close to Chris as a lot of leads are. Several leads are really close. There's a respect there.


We're cordial when we see each other, but he's not inviting me to hang out of you know, we're not we're not on that level. We've just both come from the same world and there's that mutual respect. Uh, yeah. Listen, how did I get back in the middle of this thing? It's it's wild, Bill, that I was the one that he ended up saying that to in that interview. This what we do with Extra every Tuesday is interview someone about the show the night before to get their take on the episode.


The episode, let me be clear, not anything else. Never in a million years we were supposed to have Tyler Cameron. Come on, he didn't show up. We ended up having Chris. And I remember thinking, OK, like Chris is, oh, he was going to promote something. And I thought, you know, Chris, he's he's media trained. He's been the host for 19 years. We're not going to get him to spill any tea.


I ask a question I would have asked anybody that day. What are your thoughts on the allegations against Rachel? And from the way he started the conversation, I knew we were going down a road, that he had at least never traveled publicly with me publicly. I just was like, wow, he's really on one today. He's really in a talking mood. But the crazy thing is, is I couldn't but get a word in to kind of ask certain questions.


It was like a rant. You know, it was almost as if he was waiting for someone to finally ask him that question because he really had a strong take on it and he wanted to get his opinion across. And I think he conflated two different thoughts, which is what made it so much worse. I think he was trying to say, hey, people are judging Rachel before even hearing from her, but then START went down a path of defending what she did and he brought that together and that just messed everything up.


So, you know, since then, he's a let me let me go back to this. When it happened, I never thought it would spiral out of control the way that it has after the interview, I remember thinking, oh, like, people need to hear this all the way through. And we didn't even air it on extra. We let it live on YouTube and people picked it up. And then the reason it kept going is because then everybody was offended by it and it got noisy on Twitter.


And then Chris apologized. And then the next day you have the women from Matt James. The season put out a statement. Then the men from Tatia season put out a statement basically saying they're offended by it, they're disappointed and they won't stand for this type of these type of actions in Bachelor Nation. And then the next day, Chris announced he was stepping aside and then that took it to another level where you had coverage from one end of the spectrum to The View on The View to the other end of the spectrum, to Ben Shapiro and everybody, because it became council culture.


That's what it was being titled. So my name went from just being an interviewer. Doing my job to Rachel is now a part of council culture. She is perpetuating, you know, the canceling of Chris and this idea that he should be canceled, which I've never said I've never said he should be fired and I've never said we should cancel him. I don't feel like that's my place to speak on that.


Well, stand by it. The other weird thing is he stepped down, but then he was still on the show. Like, right after he he's hosting you, Chip, it's like Chris Harrison stepped out, it's like next week on The Bachelor, there's Chris Harrison and then it's like the After the Rose special. It's like they put a little disclaimer in the beginning and there's Chris Harrison for two hours interviewing everybody. And everybody was it's not like people were going crazy.


The whole thing was bizarre to me. I felt bad for you because I knew, you know, you would get pulled into it as Hannah Brown situation. You're the blame game thing. Well, over here, there's Rachel shit again with our franchise. So then that whole element comes up and then this is what I meant by the circus spirit. It. It goes and then is that now we have it's different people being assigned fault games and it's like, you know, he fucked up in the interview and he said dumb shit.


And he should have stepped aside and thought about I don't know if that means he should lose his job, but I guess he definitely should. All the all the events of. Yeah, let me take some time here and reflect on this, because that was a bad interview. Yeah, that's it. And that's where the story ends. But it didn't and it didn't end. And that's why I feel like it's not my place to say, oh, I think what's so frustrating and it does go back and maybe I didn't even think of it this way until I'm talking it out with you.


But it does go back to the way that I was treated with Hannah Brown, that Rachel must have done something to make Chris say that because I'm not given the benefit of the doubt, no one is realizing that I'm doing my job. It's that Rachel must have said something because Chris is a good man and he never would do that. And I think that's what's been frustrating with all of this, is no one's listening to what I'm actually saying. No one is doing the research on their own, which is also the society we live in.


People read headlines, they might see a tweet, but no one's doing the work to say, oh, she had this interview. Oh, he set this all on higher learning. Rachel explained what it felt like in that moment and why she was quiet. Well, Rachel Lindsey never said fire him. She never said cancel. She never, never, never even labeled him a racist.


So how is it all of a sudden that I am those things? It's because people look at me and assume certain things about me when it's a black woman versus a white man. And that's also the problem, which is that that it's not Chris versus Rachel, but somehow it's turned into that. I've never made it that and neither has Chris, but somehow it's black woman versus white man. And when you do that, there are certain preconceived notions and certain biases, biases that are attached to each one.


And I lose when I match up against a white man in this society. And that's that's just the sad reality of it.


Well, it also tied to a bunch of other missteps that show had. So the show, they they quickly decide we don't have black bachelor. It's it definitely seemed like a June audible. I don't know if that was the plan in May. Do we think in May that James was the bachelor? I do not.


I think that they decided to season twenty five. They were going to make it this big deal about twenty, twenty five seasons. Finally get a black bachelor. I do think that.


Oh so you think it was ahead of the game. OK, well I think first announcement jumped the gun.


First episode or maybe the second one, you did a good job of covering this in higher learning. Matt decides, oh, he's going to be women of black women and white women and, you know, I need to talk to somebody about this, like what? With the expectations of me as a black man, if, you know, I'm dating a white woman on the show, like I'm going to talk to Chris Harrison about this. This is guy I talked to.


They proceed to have this awkward four minute conversation. Meanwhile, his mom was on the episode earlier who is, you know, was white. And he seemed like that would have been the perfect person to have this conversation about now has it with Chris. But you could just tell that they're trying to have this important season with the black bachelor where he talks about stuff. He's going to things are on the table, but they didn't know how to do it because it's all white people running the show.


So it's like, hey, talked Chris. Yeah, great idea. Then later in this episode, oh, guess who's back his absentee dad? Well, he's going to come on and and they're going to make up for 20 minutes. It's like, why are you doing this? You wouldn't have done this with any other contestant. You must have been horrified by that.


I just don't understand how no one was in the room and said, OK, this is not a good idea. I remember when we went back to going back to Chris, having that conversation with Matt at the time, we thought that was as bad as it was going to get. At the time, we thought that was the worst thing. Here's Matt Jain's James explaining to Chris Harrison the pressures of being black. It could have been his conversation with his mom.


It could have been him in an item just explaining it. I think that's how they did it with me.


They could have brought me back to sit down and just have, like, lead to lead first to first, first and first, like kind of like a passing the torch thing. There's so many ways this could have gone.


I would have I would have picked his mom or you would have been my two choices.


I probably would have said no, because I would have been like, stop using me as a pawn. For the reason you have to keep coming back to me is because there's there aren't many of me there. I would have said no. But yes. So many different ways this could have gone.


And then. The fact with everything, all the drama that's surrounding Bachelor Nation and it has to do with race and the way the franchise has mishandled situations that involve race, you're going to have this conversation argued plenty of time to remove it, to figure out another way to do it.


And you say, you know what, basically it came down to it being good TV. And I use that with quotations because it's the first time we saw real emotion out of that. And that's been kind of like the same all the way through. We saw him cry. We saw him get upset. We saw him frustrated. We saw him nervous. These are emotions we haven't seen in nine weeks. Now we're getting all of this in this one conversation.


So I know why they wanted to do it. But you weren't protecting that in that situation. That felt super, super contrived. I just didn't like it.


And you're right, it did bring out a side of Matt we hadn't seen because Matt, I think, had been very almost like an actor playing Matt James, even though the fake laugh that he has with the fact that so and then and he just was presenting himself in this really confident actor way. And with the dad, it was like, oh, because, you know, Dixon, me and Jimmy's agent, who's known Matt forever and, you know, is best friends with his daughter.


And he was like, that's a great guy. That's an awesome guy. So he's so funny. And it's just on the show. I think it's really tough to be who you actually are. Right, because you've never been on before. Yeah. And you're just you're just going to be really careful tiptoeing, which I think is what he was doing. So that was always interesting with the dad scene was I did feel like that was the real Matt, but I also thought, like, man, this was so the wrong move.


We don't need to be like a.. Yeah. After all the shit that happened this season. And then you're going to take like the worst stereotype you could do and try to get fifteen minutes of good TV out of it. Like, no, don't do this. It is a stereotype that has still negatively impacts the black community, and I get that it's it's a real story, but this was this was something they could have edited it down to, not air out their dirty laundry.


Right. Matt saying saying the reasons that his dad wasn't there. We didn't need to see that. I get that this is a conversation maybe that they needed to have with one another. But it wasn't for America to watch, especially to an audience that, as we've seen, as we've talked about on this podcast, doesn't fully understand people of color.


This was not the time and place to have this conversation. And I think I think I know Matt was uncomfortable in hindsight, looking back and that this conversation was going to come to light. Well, so the defense of The Bachelor would be this is a franchise that thrives on the most uncomfortable conversations possible at any time. This is what it's been doing forever. Like what was the season when when the guys switched picks with your girl, Becca? Becca.


Yeah. And I was like, hey, we're going to we're going to go with you to her condo. So we're just going to keep the camera there and we're just going to document this like like we're filming an Oscar winning documentary about this person. The worst moment of their life is just going to unfold over the next two hours. Let's get out.


You're blocking the light. So it's not like the show hasn't taken advantage of people left and right. But I thought in this particular case, given everything that happens this season, I was very surprised you gave me the heads up. I think I would have been more surprised if I didn't know.


But, man, I think everybody, you know, it was I thought more people would get it. I thought more people would say, oh, my gosh, I feel so bad for Matt. But on Twitter, people were pretty outraged at the fact that they exploited this relationship for good TV, what they would consider good TV. It was it was just so uncomfortable. And yes, even during my season, I went on a home town with Dean and it was uncomfortable for Dean, you know, his father, they had an estranged relationship and his father was in a different type of religion.


And he was I can't remember what it was called, but it was it was tough. And we had, like, really uncomfortable conversations. But I think the difference is that that doesn't perpetuate a certain stereotype about a community. This is also the lead in a historic season. We don't know much about Matt, but now you're giving us this about his relationship with his father.


And you could tell his dad looked ambush like this is what you brought me here for. It was it was it was all wrong.


All wrong. Don't do it again. Natural franchise, probably.


Well, because I don't know when we'll see another lead of color.


Well, I'm sure there was a bachelorette or bachelor ad of the last 18 years and seasons that probably had in a strange relationship with their parent where they did not do this would be my guess. Yeah. Yes. I don't think everybody has a perfect relationship with with their parents. And yes, this we didn't see in this way. So let's. So poor Matt. Now I know you you can play dumb for this part because I know you know who he picked and probably how it ends up, because you know things because you're entrenched in the franchise.


So I'm sure you can just listen to me and not poor Matt like this couldn't have gone worse this season. Right? He goes on, I'm going to go find my wife. I'm going to, you know, make a little history in this weird reality franchise and maybe pave the way. And this will be great. And now he's going to emerge from this season. I'm guessing he picked Rachel, I picked Rachel. I'm guessing that's not going to work out.


The dad thing was it was just a bummer. I'm sure he doesn't feel good about that. I'm sure he doesn't feel good about being associated with the franchise. And I'm sure he wishes and I kind of wish I could do this right.


I don't know if I know that Matt is struggling with the way things have gone down. I mean, this is not what he signed up for when he agreed to be the first.


It's just it's just blows my mind how they have mishandled this. I mean, even during my season when they cast a racist, people were so upset about that and rightfully so. And I didn't know it until the show was over with. But look what has happened to Matt's season.


And so the question becomes, how do you make this right? You know, for Matt, for other people of color coming into the franchise, if they come in, I'm learning that people are dropping out of casting left and right because they don't want what happened to Matt to happen to them. They're uncomfortable and don't trust the way that this franchise is going to tell their stories or or or protect them or not at all. So it's it's definitely the question that that comes or the the the lasting thought, I feel like from Matt season is where do we go now?


What happens to this franchise? We know where we're going to go to another season because there's no way they're getting rid of The Bachelor.


They keep going.


But you're you're so you're kind of easing out of the universe. Yeah.


Where does Rachel go? Out the door. I just and, you know, a lot of people are like Rachel, because you're so critical, you're biting the hand that's feeding you and it's like. And a lot of ways I was I feel like the franchise had my back and they definitely did a lot for me, but in other ways they did it. And I just think for me, I have to I have to step aside and I need a break from all of this.


I need to gather myself before I figure out how I want to really move forward with this franchise and honestly to seeing contestants come together, specifically the ones of color. And putting out a statement lets me know that there are other people who are willing to speak out in ways that we haven't seen these last few years. And that makes me happy. And it doesn't it doesn't need to always be me. I think their statement even said Rachel may be the loudest, but she's not the only one.


And we feel the same way and we support her. But, you know, like we stand for this and I think that's so great. And they can carry it on and speak out and and against injustices or in guess against things that they don't like and really make a difference in the franchise. And that's all I ever wanted to see.


We left out. I didn't know how serious this got. I knew I knew it wasn't great. But when you deleted your Instagram, I didn't know what you're going through with some of the online abuse, which we didn't mention. But you did that, what, two weeks ago and you were on Instagram like you would do. You do ads on Instagram like it wasn't it was, you know, a part of your kind of portfolio.


And you were like, fuck it about, oh, I definitely lost money. I stopped podcasting with Pastor Happy Hour. I didn't go speak at a university. I wasn't posting ads. I've had to push those back. I had to hire PR. So it's like I come out losing money out of the situation. But I got off Instagram because I just needed peace of mind. Yeah, I was getting harassed. Yeah, I was getting death threats.


I'm used to getting harassed, you know, since my time on the show four years ago. But this was on a different level and I could tell that it was starting to weigh on me. And so I did it to protect myself. I didn't realize it was going to attract all this attention. I didn't even make an announcement. I just woke up and I was like, you know what?


Not today, disable. And then Van put out a video and got people all riled up and people like, Are you OK? Is everything OK? And it was it was really nice that people were checking on me, but I was OK. I did it because I needed to do it for me. But now that I'm back, I'm ready to be QVC rates as they call me.


You're you have whatever you want to do it. The ringer. Just tell me. Thank you. Before we go, though, before we go, though, we should talk about higher learning because we're headed toward a year.


Yeah. And you've talked about it on your show. But the whole story of this pod was a dated way back to like twenty nineteen. And we had a lunch and I was hoping you would have chemistry and you immediately had chemistry. And we were so excited to do this podcast. And then the pandemic hit and it was that we were going to start the pod with two weeks after the pandemic started. Yeah. That it was like to be like late last year.


Yeah. Yeah, we were.


Oh yeah. We're going to do like a video thing with guests and. Yeah. And the pandemic.


And it was like pause button and like a month and a half past. And we started doing all our pods on Zoom, and at some point I was like. We we should just even though they don't really know each other that well, I just feel like with the Zoome thing. I'd rather do the pad than not do it, basically. So we got to go in and what's cool is it works on Zoom. It's not what we envisioned initially, but we'll be back at some point the studio.


But then imagine the chemistry when we're in person.


Oh, my. Oh, my God. It's so much better. That's why for the re watchable, it's like people ask, like why we haven't done certain movies. Like I love doing podcasts in person. I'm not doing Pulp Fiction on fucking Zoom. I'm sorry. Right. That's why you're getting like the lower level level. You're not getting the OG movies, but in this case, like it's been cool that you form the chemistry.


But I think it's so funny that your relationship now because you you guys are like like family members now.


It's hilarious. I remember once seemed like it was five minutes ago.


Well I thought man didn't like me at the first, at the first, the first time we met and not because he was rude or anything. I think that was just my own insecurities. And he's like, I don't know why he thought that. I immediately told Bill, you know, like that he thought that I was I was great. But that's just something within my head. But it's funny because even even my friends who have known me forever think that I've known band for forever.


Sometimes you just click with people. I mean, just a couple of weeks ago, safely, Brian was in town and it was me, Brian, Kalika and Van, like just like kicking it. Like we've been doing it for years. And I love that I, I am so grateful to be doing higher learning. A lot of people think that we started higher learning in response to George Floyd and Ammad Aubrey and Brianna Taylor, because our first episode was released a week before George Floyd happened.


But we were still talking about Brianna Taylor in a Aubrey because we had just found out about it. Then the Hannah Brown situation happened all around that time. So people thought, oh, these two friends got together as a reaction to what's happening in the country. And it's just crazy how timing worked because that wasn't the case. But I'm so glad we had the outlet of higher learning to discuss how we were feeling to process some of those emotions. And I feel like that's what our listeners, our thought lawyers, as we call them, have developed as well.


It's like, you know, you can come to us. We're going we're not going to shy away from any subject. We're going to laugh. We're going to cry. We're going to give each other shit. And, you know, we're going to argue like brother and sister. But at the end of the day, you can expect honesty from us. And and just a realness that I feel like I listen to several podcasts that you're just not going to get from any podcast.


And so I can't believe, as I'm sitting here talking to you, that it's almost been a year. We're almost at one hundred episodes.


I know. I know. That's crazy. Hundred episodes. Yeah, I was when that pain and now it's been literally a year since the pandemic this week, March 11th, was when everything went sideways. And we had a couple of really good things planned, not just your part, but a couple other things. And then you just think like. Well, that's it. Yeah, I guess I guess we're not going to be able to do anything and, you know, like anything else, we figure out how to adapt and do stuff.


But I do look forward to the day you two are in a studio and all that stuff, but it's been really fun to watch it evolve. I thought you had a great month last month, too. We did a little bonus episode. Yes, yes. Yeah. We have some great guests. I really hot takes you. You have guests and sometimes it's like with Jack the other day. Sometimes you're not just going to sit there, just listen like you're like, oh like you'll it gets a little feisty on the show every once in a while.




If you know me, I don't back down. I love I mean I'm a I'm a former attorney so any time I can pretend that I'm entering the courtroom, I'm going to take advantage of that opportunity.


I did not know a lot about J academics. And as I was researching, I was like, you got to be kidding me. He said this. He said this. Oh, I can't wait for this. I'm jumping out the gate and I have questions for you. And I think even he was taken aback like that. You think you know who The Bachelorette is? A second. Let me tell you something different. I'm not afraid. I'm not trying to be your best friend.


I'm trying to I like I have questions. I want to talk to you. And I think that's also something special that we bring to the interviews, you know, we have and the topics we cover serious topics. We cover emotional topics. We tell personal stories as well. But then we have a lot of fun while doing it. And I think any guest that comes on our show has a really fun time. Like we make you feel comfortable, like you're sitting at the dinner table with us, you know, having a conversation and we're just kicking it.


We just happen to be miked up and recording at the same time.


I like that. It's a really honest show. Mm hmm. Mm hmm.


Like, both of you will go we'll go places, you know, like we don't want to right now, now. And but even about yourself to like Vance talked pretty openly about depression and stuff during the pandemic. I think that's that's been really valuable. But, yeah, I'm really proud of the show. I'm glad we have it. I hope you do more stuff with us. I hope the Cowboys don't make the playoffs. And that's what I'm going to do.


A Cowboys podcast just fully dedicated to the Cowboys.


Twenty four seven Dak, just by the way, if you did a Cowboys podcast, people enlisted because the Cowboys I mean, just look at first, take any chance they get to throw the Cowboys in one of the first three segments. It's happening. It's there's certain things that go.


You've done that show Cowboys makers. Yeah. Yeah. You know. My gosh. Yeah. There's the final touch points. The Cowboys, Lakers, LeBron. Right. Aaron Rodgers, Brady. Like, there's certain things you go to. All right. Rachel Chicot Higher, a higher learning Tuesday and Friday on the Ringer podcast network. Maybe some other stuff coming down the road that we haven't. That's right. Maybe some zest. It's good to see you.


Good to see you, too. Thank you.


All right, that's it for the podcast, thanks to Brian and thanks to Rachel back on Thursday with one more.


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