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Today's episode of the Bill Simmons podcast and the Ringer podcast network brought to you by ZIP recruiter, if you're an employer, you know how challenging it can be to hire. But right now, you face even more challenges. Mattsson resources. They could relate. They need to hire a seasoned senior Citrix administrator to provide I.T. support. So they turned to our presenting sponsor, Zipcar. That's how they found Peter Alcantara Jr. He was late afternoon covid needed to find another job quickly post his resume and zip code, or they identified him as a great match for the role.


And Mats and Resources hired Peter in less than three weeks. See how Zipcar can help you hire. Try now for free at Zipcar dotcom slash B.S.. We're also brought to you by the Ringer podcast network where we continue to announce stuff. Joining the Ringer podcast network are to see to the podcast of Tabatha and Ryan Rukia. They're coming up in a second after we hear from Pearl Jam later. But this pod's been around for a couple of years. It's excellent.


And and just in general, very excited that both of them in the ring are family. So we can talk about that and talk about what's going to happen with baseball. We're going to talk basketball stuff, you name it. It's all coming up. Also coming up, Jason Gay, our friend from The Wall Street Journal, one third of the sports reporters, which we haven't done in a while, we have to bring that one back. By the way, we're going to talk about the pandemic, what it's been like as parents, what it's been like as sports fans.


And we're here to talk about Regis Philbin, who passed away, who was just a really enjoyable guy to have in everybody's life. But Jason had a personal experience with him. He worked with them and and he came on to talk about that and a whole bunch of other things. So that is all coming up. First, our friends from Project.


All right. Out to Sea two has joined the Ringer podcast network this year, group goes there. They just recorded their new their new first podcast with Max Scherzer. And I mean, we'll talk about our tape. This it's almost three o'clock Pacific time. Sisi is pessimistic. Well, if I if I give you over under nine and a half days left in this baseball season, you go over under.


I'm going I'm going way under that. Under what would you do?


Would you be done at this point? You would be in your car driving home. Yeah. You know what? I would have I keep saying that I would have I wouldn't have started. But I know myself. I would have been out there with the guys. I would have been out there, my teammates. But this weekend, like after seeing what's happening now, like the Yankees going to Philly and then staying there two days, not playing, supposed to come home to play tomorrow, but then now we're going to Baltimore.


I would have definitely gotten my car and just drove the fuck home like I do. And it's like I'm like I can't like my bicycle to work like that. I can't do it.


Well, it's starting to happen in football where I lost some of my Patriots defense today. But I assume that I assume don't you guys think in baseball we're going to just see guys be like, hey, man, I'm good, I'm bad.


Just leave now. Yeah, yeah. That and that's it.


You know what I will say, Bill? I would have thought that until we talk to Max Scherzer, you had the most Pollyanna view of anybody I think I've heard from yet. Like he's the guy we knew. I mean, you guys, we'll hear when you hear the episode. But he's like he's a guy we kind of knew we were going to be dealing with this in some fashion at some point. So we've prepared to this and we feel like we can engineer around it.


So it actually it made me feel a little better because he's high up with the players union. So it makes me feel like that may be more of the consensus among the players than I realized it was.


Yeah, he made it. He made it. I mean I mean, he has a great attitude about it, but he loves baseball. He wants to pitch like he has to be out there. So he wants this to work. You know, I'm saying I mean, but, you know, I mean, you know, it is what it is. He knows he knows a lot more than I do about it.


But just outside looking in, I'm not I don't know what would it be like to be in that locker room, especially like, you know, you're in a clubhouse, but people are trying to stay within six feet of each other. You're on planes together. Like, just I would just say that would be so weird.


We spend so much time together on planes like, you know, the Yankees. We have breakfast together, like we do a lot of things, you know, all together. So to not really have to sit close to your teammates and like, you know, not be able to to to really hang out seems like going to be super hard. But like I mean, you know, like Max was talking about you here on the episode, you know, guys want this to work.


You know, everybody wants to get out there and play. So I'm sure everybody's following protocol as much as they can. But it's hard even when I'm down there, you know, I've got a special assistant job so I could go down in Yankee Stadium and you have to have a mask on all the time, like indoors, you know, playing. So that just makes it, you know, a little tougher. But it's something that, you know, we can do to, you know, get the season off and, you know, try to give these fans a real season.




C.C. loves baseball. And obviously he would talk himself into any scenario. You and I are just fans. Other you would do some announcing. Have you been shocked by how boring baseball is when you strip away a lot of the stuff and it's just thirty seconds between pitches and nothing else happening and nothing else to look at?


You know, it's funny man is I'm I'm actually I've been surprisingly happy with the crowd bikes in the way they've been or the fake crowd noise and the way they've been pumping it in. So I think that like my focus in between pitches has been more on like, oh, you know what? They kind of nailed that murmur like. Yeah, that sounds like the right crowd murmur.


So, like, I've been thinking of it more technically. So I've actually I've been good. I've been enjoying it. But, you know, I also I was actually thinking about it from a broadcasting standpoint. I'm like more than any other sport you do play by play for. And I do a ton of basketball and I do a good amount of baseball and I'll do some football and I do boxing like baseball. You need to have, you know, all this all these stories in the conversations and, you know, it's only about ten to twelve minutes of action.


So to your point, you take away, like, the ability to get those stories, to have those conversations for the most part, and then the other stimuli in between pitches. I was thinking about how often we're showing fans just kind of having fun. I don't know.


I don't remember exactly. I can go to Paul O'Neill like, oh, Paul, that looks good, doesn't it? Yeah, right. Let's get it all added up to the booth, you know, like that's gone. So to your point. Yeah. That that would be challenging. Like to be on air during that time especially. I've noticed the announcers and you could feel this with the bubble basketball too. They kind of as in basketball, they're not there.


So they have no feel for how to interact with the game. And in baseball, same thing. But now there's no fans, no noise, and the announcers are really overcome. And setting, and it's almost like they feel like they have to fill the air and they're just going to keep talking and it's like every day and it's like I would actually go the other way and scale back. So I'm interested when ESPN and Turner take over, when we actually have the real games, whenever the local announcers anymore, I'll be interested to see how they handle that balance.


Right, because you want to overpower it, but you also need to fill the void. So there's some there's some in between things. I don't know what it is. It is so funny you mention that man, because I called the WNBA is opening four games this weekend from studio in Bristol and I felt exactly what you're talking about. I, I like I call myself a couple of times like I am definitely.


And I talk a decent amount anyway, but like I'm like I'm definitely talking more than I normally would like, you know, because and in some sense you're like, well, because you don't want it to sound empty and hollow. Right. To the viewer. But in the other sense, where to your point, Bill, laying out could be better is they are hearing sounds of the game and effects that you normally wouldn't be hearing. Right. And there's a value to that for for the viewer and for the listener.


Less of baseball.


Yeah. Have you have you like the look of the NBA games, though? Because, Meeri, we're talking about that on the part, like seems like we're watching like a Broadway show. Like they're playing like it's a weird feeling. It's like it's like a stage almost like set up. You know, I'm saying I it's worked better than I thought, and I think they'll keep tinkering with it. But obviously it looks like the video game. It looks like.


Yeah, it does. It does. My son plays 2k all the time and it really the way they've done it reminds me of that. But you talk about the ambience like OKC played the Celtics last week and the announcers there is I don't know why, but there might not have even been announcers for a quarter and you could just hear the sneaker squeeze yourself.


But whatever they were doing, I could hear Chris Paul. And my dad was telling me in Boston, it became kind of a story the next day, like the Celtics weren't vocal enough. Chris Paul was so much more vocal.


The Celtics have a leadership program. Right? That's all from people listening to Chris Paul, just yelling at his teammates. And I was like, you know, I'm old enough to remember it.


We had season tickets and the seventies and eighties with the guard and they're just playing the fucking organ and that's it. And we could hear it. We were sitting close. We could hear everything on the court. And I kind of want that to come back. I part of me is thinking like, bring back the organ. We don't need any of the musical cues. Just have a good organist in there, just crank it away. But you must I know you're a huge hoops fan.


You must love hearing the guys talking to each other.


Yeah, I really enjoy that. I mean, in any sport when you can get like that inside and just hear things that you normally wouldn't as a fan, you know, we love that. So, yeah, I mean, of course. I mean, I love and I even love like the angles. Like you saw Chris Paul throw a pass on the baseline the other day. He normally wouldn't be able to throw because fans would have been in a way, you know, I'm saying he got a little back, made that pass on the baseline and like, you know, it turned it into a great pass.


So that type of stuff, you know, we'll get to see these guys be a lot more creative, you know, without, you know, with having so much space on the court.


You know what's funny about that, Bill? Like, there are so many times when I'm doing a game saying courtside and I like for some reason at one point or another, maybe I just like take the one year off and like, you listen in and you're like, oh, man, like, I forgot how cool it is. Like when you're hearing all these sounds and the interactions which like, you know, if you're sitting even though we have effects, maybe to a certain degree in our heads, that you just don't you don't hear them when you're here and like the game when you're calling it and you realize and see, you know, you sit courtside all the time and like the it's cool hearing them interact like that.


So I actually do think that'll be good for the fans here and some more of that this season. They'll have to tape delay.


Yeah. Yeah. There's so many things you courtside.


It's weird because depending on where you are, it's actually a really uncomfortable vantage point of the game. You you can't get a feel for a lot of it, but it makes up for it with the audio experience and hearing the guys mumbling under their breath for the refs because it's such a big part of it. I'm sure baseball is like this to the umps just don't want to be shown up. The referee is going to be shown up.


But if you're if you're doing that, hey, man, that call fucking suck fuck in your shirt over your mouth, like, you can kind of get away with it, but you could pick up all that stuff.


What would you want to hear from baseball, see if the Mike's like, because obviously you have the guy at first base.


You know what, I would honestly just like debating spring training games this year were the guys were actually miked up during the at bats. Like, I would love to hear that. I mean, obviously, you know, Brit through inning with with the mic on, like, I don't know how hard it would be for pitchers, but if we can get like Rizzo with a mike the whole game, like, I would pay for that. Like I you know what I'm saying?


Like some of those funny guys in the league, you just give them a mic for the whole game, let them go up to the plate. And, you know, he plays first base and he's, you know, real personable. So I think, you know. We can get those like how they did in spring training. I think that would be a lot of fun. Would you have worn them like never. They would have to bleep everything out if it had to be tape delayed by two hours.


You're the best guy ever for that would have been Pageau because he would have been screaming and swearing at everybody for 1/2 straight hours. You would be the umpires the whole time. So what do we do if baseball goes away?


What happens?


Fix it up for as much as baseball fans. We just we're going to have like a potentially a ten day season and then it's just gone. We have the champion nothing.


But see, that's why that's why I don't see it happening, Bill, because it's like I think now that they've committed to this, like, yeah, granted, I'm sure ideally they were going to avoid, you know, half a team getting it at one time. But I think once you're in it, you kind of have decided. I am. I'm going through with this unless, you know, whatever. You saw some ridiculous amount of cases like you have one hundred and fifty players, but, you know, they just got the results back zero of the other twenty nine teams.


Right. Had positive cases. So I just feel like it's going to be a fire drill. But if they're willing to like make up the schedule as they go, they're seemingly doing right now diverting teams to different cities. I think that shows me that they're just hell bent on finding a way to play these games, however many they can, and then they'll go to win percentages if they have to.


Yeah, but are you guys good with like with a fucking Baltimore place. Thirty five games and they win a lot of you know I'm saying like in a winning percentage is, is what they make into the playoffs. Like I don't understand like how they're going to figure this out of some teams only play 50 games, other teams play 60, you know some teams play 50 to like how how are they going to figure this out? And like, it just seems to be winning percentage, right?


Yeah. But I mean, the thing is, because we see this happen at the Premier League, the sample size is so small, basically anything can happen. And if it's a 50 game season or whatever, you can just have two people get hurt in a division and one other team gets hot for two weeks and then, you know, you're flying. Right. And you're not going to be surprised. I asked before you joined us when we weren't taping it, I was like, would you if you won if you won the title and this weird, goofy season with that count for you and he's like, fuck, yeah, that's a full time.


I don't know if you if you play live and you play in the playoffs, I don't give a damn what the scenario, especially this year, because it's going to be harder this year. This is this this is crazy. It's like unlike any other year we've ever experienced. So you win this one, you can put it right.


But it's still a fucking title in some ways to write. Like it's like where it could be harder is you have all these teams, to your point, Bill, that otherwise wouldn't even be factoring in probably that now all of a sudden do factor in like, you know, if you even with the expanded playoffs. Right. If you have to beat, like the Blue Jays in a three game series, you know, that you could easily lose to them at a three game series and be gone.


So I think it will I think I think his fans, the only time it may feel delegitimized is if we end up with two, like, weird teams in the World Series that otherwise we don't think ever would have gotten there.


And who are those weird teams, though? I don't know.


Well, even if you ended up with, like the Blue Jays and the Marlins in the World Series, like, you may end up feeling like an. Does this really feel like if it's the Yankees and Dodgers, you're going to feel like, oh, no, this is you know, this is real, but that ain't fair?


You know, I'm saying, like, I just can't get it. But it has to be a big market team to win. Like, I think I think I mean, I think it would be cooler if somebody else came out of this. You know, I'm saying obviously I'm a Yankee fan. I would love for us to be in the World Series. But I think it would be fun for the fan base of baseball if it was the Reds and whoever whoever else.


You know, I'm saying Ryan just revealed himself as a big market baseball guy. It's a baseball the small market. That's right on the money.


You know, it is. I was a huge fan of reading about the ABA back in the 70s, and they would have these seasons where, like, a team would just fold after eight games and then they would, you know, then they would figure out the schedule. The last season they played, they only finished the season, I think was six teams. And I think they started with like nine or ten. So it's more of like what we grew up reading about with some of the leagues that were trying to get going or trying to hold on, or you might have a baseball season where it ends.


If if you guys are right in this keeps going, it might be twenty four teams by the end or you know, you better have six teams just get suspended. But I think CCE made the key point. It's fits the Yankees or the Dodgers or the Cubs. If it's a real team that has to get suspended with real money and big stars and stuff like that. And they keep the season going after that. That's what yeah, that's when, you know, they're committed to the bitter end.


Yeah, you're right. It's a lot easier to stomach the Marlins dealing with this than if all of a sudden half the Yankees had it. No, no doubt about it. That that's very true. I do think, like, you know, we're always isn't it so funny now to we used to like to be like, can you can you add this rule? Like, baseball is such a traditional sport. Can they bend just a little bit to the idea of this?


And now it's like, well, you got no choice but to be malleable because the only way you're going to have a season. Right.


Do you think we'll get rid of the code finally, Sissy? I hope so. But I was watching MLB Network the other day and somebody was going to Anderson about bat flip, but I'm like, yo, let go of me. It's never going to be a fun game if you guys freak out about backflips like it is what it is like. I mean, I would love for them to get rid of the code. I would love for them to keep the runner on second base and in an extra innings, like, I would love for them to do that.


So you don't have to waste pitchers. I mean, you know, nobody wants to play seventeen, eighteen innings, you know what I mean? Like, let's get the guy on second base. I mean, even if it's not the same thing in then he put the guy on second base and we go from there.


Now the eighth inning games are for people like me in my 20s in Boston with nothing better to do getting home bartending and the Red Sox are the sixteenth. And this is great. I'll step in four o'clock, but those are the only winners with any games, right?


What was it like? I'm sure you've done this before, but now you're going to have to do it over again. What was it like to announce a game from a studio and try to have the same kind of energy, not just the fill in the spots, but just like you're basically narrating a TV screen?


Yeah, it's you know what's funny, too? Like, I had them we talked about like a whole monitor set up and I had them give us kind of like we have a couple of huge monitors that show the game. Right. Like what you're watching at home when you're watching the game. And then I had them give us like some different cameras as well just to see, like, because if I'm watching the floor, I'm seeing things at times and leading the director.


Right. I'm not just reacting to the monitor, but doing the game. It's like you really you can't even take your eyes off. At least maybe I'll adjust the main game because it's the only way you're really able to see the action happening. And that was you know, that was weird for me, just getting used to having that limited vision. But the thing that I felt good about actually was like I was wondering, am I going to be able to, like, get into a call, you know, like because it feels like such a sterile environment, whereas like if I'm courtside, there are times where I'm like standing up fist pumping.


You just like get your whole body into a call. And I was like, I don't know. And then Alli Quigley, in our second game on Sunday, she hits a go ahead shot to lead this like late comeback for Chicago, a three right off the bench with like fifteen seconds left.


And I'm like all into it, like I really like body and like and I was like, yeah. And Rebecca turns to me, she was like that, like it sounded real. And I was like, OK, good. Like I did feel, I felt invested. And I was wondering, I think actually having some of that sound in the arena, it helps like and even like them pumping into the fake defense defense, all the arena like sort of musical choices.


I think it helps you kind of simulate a little more of a real experience than I thought it would be. So I felt better about it then. I thought I was going to because that was my biggest worry, man. You know, you're sitting in a studio. Are you going to feel the you know, the stakes, right? Like, I don't know. Have you watching? I know you've only watched scrimmages so far, but even like watching the Red Sox, have you felt the stakes?


Have the game felt meaningful?


Do you get Bill now to basketball? Felt closer because. That just in general, it I'm just used to watching at least basketball in a closed environment like that from summer league so normal, the baseball, the fans were just a bigger part of it than I think I realized then. I knew it was a big part of it. But you just there's so much dead time, I can't get around it. But then when you see somebody hits a homer and they switch to that overhead shot and there's empty seats.


It's just hard not to think like, wow, this is weird, and I don't know when you get past that with the NBA, you don't really have to worry about it because they've gimmicked it. So you're not thinking about it in baseball. I don't I don't think about it, I'll tell you this, though, this is one chance to be a color analyst for baseball games because you have a right to student zoom.


Sounds good, but me around here, two innings of one of those summercamp games is no is no chance I can do a game without cussing. I can't go four innings without dropping the F bomb. So that's that's not looking too good for my future. Doing good. It's a special channel. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. That's what Sisi wants, man. He wants, like, you know, like a YouTube simulcast where you could you could cursing game.


Let's do that, Bill. You got you got to hook that up for us. If you if you do it, we could do a game and I could do it on here and we made him watch the game and I could just watch it. I think it would be funny. I think it'd be great. I'm going to make that happen because I would like to swear just as much so that we could do a Red Sox game game is what we said.


Oh, my God, not this year that the Red Sox that you would be our number two starter.


Right now we have a one one.


See, these things is he happens to know, like every famous athlete in every sport, what what's going on in famous athlete circles with the with the crowd and this whole world.


Give us take us behind the curtain as jailers would say what's going on in the famous world.


You know, I haven't really talked to anybody, man. I mean, oh, stop that. I know that basically. No way. I'm trying to think like I mean, I golf. We talk a lot. He lives over here. So I've been seeing him. You know, I talk to you every now and again. He's doing good. But I mean, you know, I don't I don't I don't really, like, try to the current guys, though.


What about like what about Mookie? You must tell them.


After I talked to him, I talked to them there every day. I talked to him all the time. Yeah. I mean, I talked to Aaron Hicks pretty much every day, John Carlo, all these guys. So yeah, these guys feel good about the season. What's it like? What's the vibe? I know, like I said, I mean, Mookie is like Max, you know what I'm saying? Like, he wants to play.


He wants to get out there. He just got the contract. He's in L.A. like he's super excited. You know, a few other guys are like, I don't know, what are we doing? Like, should I be playing? Like, I'm getting calls all the time. So it's, you know, guys on both ends of the scale just trying to figure out, you know, what's best. And, you know, but I think the most part, the the baseball, the guys that love the game want to get out there and play.


You know, Ryan, I had this fantasy that Mookie was going to use the Dodgers for a year and then come back to Boston.


And then when I talked to ask a couple of months ago. And he just pissed all over it and like to that he's out of his he's not living for his side with the doctors and that'll happen like every once in a while.


I remember she has been saying that about Buki for a while. We did a podcast last year with Mooki and Price. In season. Yeah, it was it was great. It was fun. Yeah, it was really fun.


It was also like there was something to it. Right. You have active Yankees. Kasese still playing an active Red Sox at the same time during the series, which you can imagine what some of the Twitter responses were to us, you know. Oh, yeah. Yeah, fraternising with the enemy. But like I remember getting done with that in the way Mookie was talking about Boston. And I was like, oh, I don't know.


C.C. was like, oh, he's out because he's got he's got.


Yeah, those were Kennedy to Rockefeller. Joe Kennedy is going to go to St.. Everybody's like, no, you can't do that. Katie is going to go to St. Ro like he wanted to play there. So he wanted to play in L.A.. You want to get out of Boston. So you know I'm happy for him.


How about Giannis which your Giannis prediction a year from now. A year from now. Yeah he's a free agent twenty twenty one. I keep hearing that somebody was saying that he was he was leaving but he's he seems like the type of person that will he want to stay in Milwaukee. You know, like he, you know, he got drafted by those guys. They have a good team around him. But you know what with this bubble like there's going to be some super teams coming out of this shit, like they're all at a youth camp right now.


They all hanging out. Guys are figuring out who they like, who they want to hang around. OK, I see my game with this guy. All right. Yeah. So you never know after what we're witnessing, what we're going through right now, what's going to come out of this. But my gut initial gut is that Janice will stay in Milwaukee. Milwaukee is a great place to play. Hey, let's take a quick break to talk about as we slowly adjust to a new normal, we still need to be smart about how we do business.


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Enter B.S. back to Ryan and.


Ryan, you also have the Knicks who have cleaned up yet again, brand new front office, and they picked the front office. I actually think this is the first smart front office they've picked where it's people who have relationships, right? Yeah, they have they have less. And they have this whole Kentucky pipeline. And, you know, the players, they have really good relationships all over the map. And if they were ever going to recruit guys to come to the next, that's kind of how you have to do it.


Can't be with grumpy old Phil Jackson talking about the frickin triangle. It's got to be guys who are on the ground. Yeah.


Who knew like Anthony Davis since he was 17 and shit like that. Right.


I agree, man. I agree. We've I mean, we've seen them try it over and over and over and over again in this city and not get it right. Right. This is the first time where I feel like they hired the right guys to try and run this, because it's also about like, OK, you know, if, you know, certain ingrained mouthpieces are telling me no, this time it's different. I'm not trusting that. Right.


Or, you know, or if you have Steve Mills hanging around for years and years and years and years and it's like, OK, you say it's different, but this piece is still there, like and he's still like, don't you need to change that piece this time? These guys, not only they have the relationships, but I think, you know, they've earned the trust of players around the league. So when they say, I'm telling you it's different, I'm telling you have we have control, I think they're believed.


I always think about this story that we were doing a Bucs Knicks game in like pausing is first or second year, I want to say. And Doug Collins and I are doing the game and we go in to interview KP and he's he's missed like a couple games and he's so excited to be back on the floor before any big injuries. It was like a tweaked ankle. He missed two games. He is so giddy love in life, like, oh my gosh, this is amazing.


And Doug turns to me, he says, you see how happy he is. Let's see how long it takes before this organization bogs him down and he's upset.


And all of a sudden that smile goes away forever. And it was like, you know, like two months after that, like and obviously then the rest of his tenure was a train wreck as far as the relationship between him and the organization goes. And I just think it became so predictable, no matter how excited guys were to be there, no matter what their skill set was, whether they could develop on their own or not, just the mentality you couldn't handle it.


So I think it takes somebody who, you know, kind of hasn't been there. Right, to to not have that weight on them anymore, to change the experience for the players that they are not. Here we go again. Because when one thing goes wrong, you know, Bill, it snowballs in this town. And then all of a sudden you start to feel that momentum from the fan base and that narrative that exists with the Knicks here in this city.


If Western Leon can't turn this thing around with the Knicks, then it's not going to get turned around. Shut it down. Shut it down. Because, you know, I've been doing this for 20 years. And, you know, Bill, you know, you friends with him to it, his relationships with everybody, like like you said, Ryan, if he's telling you something, this is the word. You don't say it like it's gospel.


So, you know, I mean, he's been great to me, you know, for 20 years. And and like I said, I mean, if these guys can't turn it around but the relationships that they have, then there's no turning around. I mean, guys love to play in New York. Look at the Dodgers with the Knicks. Right. And then he stays in New York, but he wants to be in New York. But he got to go to Brooklyn to go to an organization that's going to like, you know, take care of him and try to win and put them in the best situation.


So guys want to be here, guys want to play in New York. It's just, you know, you have to get the franchise right to be able to, you know, recruit the right players.


You're not being able to get KD when he wanted to come to New York, when his business was booming in New York and you still can't get him, that's that's pretty bad. We saw the same thing that that you just described at the Knicks, Ryan. That's what the Clippers were like until Sterling left, and I remember even making I did a draft diary the year they drafted Eric Gordon. And it was I think I wrote something like Great pic.


Perfect fit for them. I can't wait to watch the hope so they get drained out of his eyes and and it was literally exactly what happened. He came in wide eyed.


He's going toe to toe with Kobe, you know, and but within three years, he just has that look on his face and it's just the way it is. So I don't know. I don't I don't know if Dowling's Dolan's as bad as Sterling, but I know that's what the culture that was in there and that's what they need to change. So I think those guys can change it. Can we talk about how you guys got hooked up once upon a time?


Yes. And I'm doing a podcast together because it's three plus years old now. Yeah. You know, the relationship started bonding over hoops, man, when I was in his first year at the Yankees and I quickly learned I was twenty one doing stuff like Hosten for the scoreboard at Yankee Stadium the first year the new stadium. And I quickly learned like and you know, this bill, like if you're talking to athletes, they would much rather talk about anything other than their given sport.


Right. Like, you know, if you're trying to build relationships. And C.C. and I just kind of bonded talking basketball because at that time he was a Lakers fan.


All the things have changed at that time with the Lakers that. And so we were that was when they're in the finals in 09 and 10 and not against the magic. We were bonded over that. And then then when I was hosting my show on ESPN radio used to text me, see when I was on the air and stuff. And and then we would always talk about we ended up having, like common friend circles and we would talk about like, hey, we should do something someday.


And then like, oh, like we should host a show and then I stop hosting shows. I was like, oh, we should do a podcast. But you never know how serious someone is. And then I don't know what may I actually never ask, you see. But you called me then in the spring training of twenty seventeen and you were like, it's time, let's do this now.


I don't know what made you do it right then, but I just was like I had just came out of rehab that year before you know in sixteen and or fifteen but you played 16 and I just felt like I was old enough, you know, saying like I was seventeen years in the league at that point. And I was, you know, basically saying whatever I wanted to. So I just thought it'd be cool for me, you to be able to do it.


And one of the big things that you know me, let me have a lot in common. Obviously, we came from different backgrounds, completely different, but we like a lot of the same things. And I just I can feel that right away. And and I you know, I reached out and Texoma, I was like, man, we should we should just try and just start a podcast. And, you know, our our group text that we were in, like, is always like good conversation.


So I just felt like it will work. And I think the one thing that we both wanted was it to be upbeat and not like being down. People were going at people. And I don't like this guy and I don't like that guy. And, you know, I think it was you know, I think it was a conscious decision on both of our parts to make it a fun podcast where people can come on in and enjoy themselves and laugh and talk shit.




You know what, Bill? That was the thing, man. Like, we I remember us having that convo and we were just like, we don't want to make mountains out of molehills, you know, we want to hear guys come on and feel comfortable to like tell story, share perspectives, you know, like not be so like on guard you like but but really feel comfortable being themselves. And from hosting daily radio in New York for five or six years and growing up in this market listening like, you know, growing up in Boston, listening, I just doing it.


I got sick of that. Like I got sick of, like trying to make something into a big deal that I just knew wasn't and. Right. And this was an avenue for us to still have that sort of connectivity with an audience, but also like get to hear interesting insights. And our guests know, like you come on here, we're not we're not doing gotcha stuff. You know, we're like we're just going to give you the chance to actually express yourself.


I was talking to Joe in about two weeks ago, and I and and I said this to you, how much the conversation I had with you a couple months ago reminded me of when I talked to Jalen in 2010, where he wanted to have an impact on media, but not in the traditional course of how athletes are supposed to have an impact to media, where it's like, all right, put a suit on, sit behind the desk, move your hands, take your turns.


And Jalen was laughing because he is the one. You obviously guys have known each other for a long time, but it's like he's like, yeah, I knew he wasn't built for this life. He was doing get up and he had a suit on and he wanted to keep his hat on.


It was like, this guy is kind of, you know, I'm so glad I did that, though. Like, I'm so glad, you know, I'm grateful that they hired me and I got the chance to do that during my final year. So let me know that, like, I wanted to, like, do something less traditional, you know what I mean? Like, right. It's that's that's not something that I can really. They fit into it, like I said, I mean, I can't really probably do a baseball game either because I'm going to drop a F bomb at some point.


But, you know, this is what it is. So I like talking about sports like a regular person. And I'm a huge sports fan. And, you know, weather is my group text with Ryan and the guys that we're not weird or my guys from home. Like we have serious, passionate conversations about sports and sometimes they don't always clean it is what it is. And you know what? I want to get that across. You know, I'm saying just like everybody else in their circles have these conversations, this is what we talk about.


Well, I'm excited to have you for the for the basketball bubble. I think the basketball bubble is going to be amazing. My my my wife wanted to go see friends that we have in San, and that's this weekend. And I'm like, have fun.


I'm going to be in front of a TV for four straight days. You tell me how it goes. You know, we're just so ready. Yeah.


And I didn't think I would be, but I'm like even in scrimmages, I'm like into it. The scrimmages are good, like watching Bobo do his thing. Finally, it's been fun. And even like for me, I didn't think I would be a big baseball watcher, but I'm watching every game like like I'm watching my guys better watch Leicester Pitch last night, like I was semi pitch. I watched Bauer pitch like I'm having a good time just being an actual real sports fan, like I love it.


It's where we were all like Tom Hanks on the Castaway Island and then, oh, just waiting for something to show up on shore. Right. The FedEx packages, they skate and that's how I felt.


The baseball. I'm totally with you. I watch I always only watch Red Sox games. I'm sitting there and watched that. I watch the WNBA. It's like, oh, people are playing sports. And it did happen twenty five years ago. This is great.


Right? I know. It makes you wonder. Remember what we went through that brief period of time where we wondered, like, can we just on a daily basis watch old games? Like, can we can we go through this during this period of time? The answer is yes. For two months. Exactly like for for a brief period of time. It was like it was cool. I like watching game game five of the ninety six World Series.


I'm like, oh this is great that eventually I'm like, man, I need it. As soon as Ceria I came back I was like on every ceria our game, just something that's live and and if it feels good to have it, the NBA, I do think it looks good. And there's also something that you can connect with with like a basketball tournament. Right. Like even. Yeah, yeah. It feels there's like a legitimacy embedded in it also helps that we had seventy five percent of the regular season.


Right. Like so it makes it easier to accept. But I think it feels like just watching the scrimmages didn't feel like watching exhibition, it felt like very legitimate. No, the guys stayed in shape. I think it's fun that there's some teams that are different. You know Portland has Nurkic Back and Collins. Yeah. And are a completely different team now and a team that if they can get in the playoffs I think would actually be tough to play.


The Lakers lose Bradley they lose Rondo. Now they have to like really rely on Caruso. Yeah. Indiana loses Sabonis they have to figure out their new strategy. Philly's playing Simmons of power for the Celtics have Kemba who. Depending on who you talk to, like this is a really serious arthritis thing that he might have gone with this disease, like it's and it doesn't sound like it got any better over the last four plus months. So that's a huge wildcard.


And then you lose home court advantage and it's like anybody can beat anyone in this bubble, you know, whereas like for Milwaukee, it was such a huge advantage to be the one seed. And now it's like, what does that even mean? If they play Philly and round two in a bubble, who fucking cares? Who cares who's won and who's for it doesn't matter. So I don't know. I definitely think it's there's so many storylines going on.


Plus, you have LeBron, you know, this could be his last chance.


And I want to see Jokic like like right now he scares me. I don't know if he's doing that. Moving around like Denver is going to be really good too. I mean, I mean I want to see Luka in a in a series like I want to see him in a playoff series like he catches fire like he's going, he's going, he's going fuck up somebody a championship plants I'm telling you like it's going to be fun to watch. Yeah.


I was I was debating on him for first time NBA games, trying to figure out if I could squeeze him in. But over who?


Well, I ended up cheating a little bit. I put Davis at center so I could have yanase and quiet forward and then LeBron and Harden as guards. I put LeBron at guard.


That was my big point.


He played point guard. Yeah. Who did? I was just like, these are the best five guys I saw this year. I want to put them on the first team. This would make sense as a team if these five guys played together. They and so anyway. But, you know, it's crazy, like just thinking about it as a tournament style, like everybody keeps saying, like, watch out for Houston. Right. Because this feels like the kind of area where Harden could thrive.


But see, I've been thinking a little bit of what you've been thinking, too. Like, I think Luca is dangerous in this kind of setting, too. And there's I don't know. There's something I don't know. See, you tell me if this is a real thing. But it feels like in this kind of setting, there's some kind of, like, competitive switch that that can go on for certain guys in this setting where they're like, oh, no, no, this is you know, this is my tournament.


I can carry a team for a series. I can do that when I'm not playing on the road. There's something about that that feels real. I don't know why, but it does.


Yeah, 1000 percent. I mean, you even look at like Luca, but even looking like somebody like Jason Tatum, like Tatum can get in a bubble and just like go crazy. And then the Celtics win the championship. There is so many different guys that can kind of just go off in this tournament, kind of you setting that they're used to and really win this thing. So I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I don't think it's going to be.


And who we think is going to be in the finals, I think it's going to be I honestly think it's going to be Boston and Denver. That's who I'm picking. Wow. Denver. Yeah, I like that. I feel I always go like if my life depended on it. Who am I picking? I think the Clippers are the safest bet because they're they're all healthy. The team is is pretty valuable and a bunch of different ways. And I do feel like the Lakers, you know, they are going to have some issues on the guard standpoint where they're relying on like Caruso and Quinn Cook.


These are guys who have never been in big games. The same thing with Philly, whereas I know Shake Milton, they've figured this out and it's like Shake Mountains. He played for two weeks. He's never been in a big game in his life like everybody else is. This counts, you know, reps and pressure and just, you know, to to save Philly. And by the way, I'm scared of Philly because I'm Ebeid, but like.


All right, they just figured out that lineup right before the pandemic. And this is going to be what carries them to the finals. Like Sheikh Belton's going to climb on that shake Milton horse and rider before it's OK.


I just got here. So, yeah, I think the Clippers.


The Clippers, yeah. The defense, the malleability, the fact that the the the worst thing they had was no home court advantage because any playoff game, there's half the fans on the other team are in the building. So now that's taken away to get coach. Yeah I trust, I trust George is going to go off. Yeah. Yeah.


But I got to go the I like I trust Doc too with having the right touch for this unique setting, you know, like was like besides the fact that he's, you know, he's an incredible coach in a million different ways like I do. I think it's, you know, to be able to get the most out of your team and keep them also. Right. Mentally during this. I think that's going to be a little bit of a unique challenge for coaches.


And I trust Doc with that group. I I agree with you, Bill. I think the Clippers are the safest, safest pick. And in the East, I actually I love Milwaukee, but I like the Celtics. I love hearing this guy. Yeah. This just really such a great way to start our relationship. I like I'm a I'm a young legs guy in weird situations like this.


I was talking to my pide last week about. The ninety nine season, which was condensed and it really kind of favored like somebody like Duncan who is at that point second year in the league just running amok. Yeah, the next that can be in Houston and Sprey. Well, they just had this young energy to them, so.


JOHNSON Yeah, he was pretty. Yeah.


He was like but I mean that was the four point shot here though. Yeah. But that would seem to favor the Celtics. But yeah. You know that one of the things I'm worried about, my dad was talking about this with me last night was. Does Philly just say we're good at number six, we're going to stay here and then it's Celtics, Sixers round one?


Well, one where if Tice gets to fouls in the four minutes in the first quarter and now we have like a.. Cantare defending Embiid or Grant Williams like it gets dark fast for the South. So I would rather not see Philly anyway.


All right, so what about Miami. Because they were on fire right before everything stopped. Well, they just added Iguodala to yeah, yeah, I mean, the teams that are well coached that have to like Jimi but yeah. Tim here my. He'll show up for these things and he'll have a say, he'll carry himself a certain way and I kind of like that. I don't know. That's what's so great about this. It's like you could tell me any scenario like you through a Denver.


I'm like, all right, maybe good if Gary Harris got hot new, you know, and all of a sudden they're getting weird role player stuff and then Yokich is going off and, you know. All right. So your podcast. It's going to be like like one and a half times a week. Yeah, like that. Every every two weeks maybe. Yeah, I think that's where every week, every Thursday we'll have an app and then and then we'll be sprinkling in additional ones.


Yeah. And we'll get all these horribly biased NBA takes on the NBA.


I'm not biased. All right, Mike, I've been a Laker fan of Waterford now running with the Nets. So, you know, I just like good basketball. So you're just a bigamist. I just like this game is very NBA bigamists, these five teams.


What is their dream guest you're thinking about over the next six months?


Yeah, I mean, absolutely. See, well, we know what one year we decided like four. We do like a Christmas challenge for each other, like it has the gift the other one would have to get, you know, the other hosts prize guest on. And then we just we totally forgot about that idea. Never followed through on it.


But for C.C., it was Will Smith who he actually met this past year on the shop. But so I think that would be a dream Gaster ICC, definitely.


But I was too, like any time, like. I mean, like like I mean Shaq. I mean I mean Shaq. I see Shaq all the time and I say the same thing every time to him, like, oh man, I'm such a big fan. Can you take a picture like I like. Like so when I saw Will Smith I want to ask him on the pile but I just locked up man. I was just I was just excited to, like, be there with him and like, hear his conversations and stuff.


But I'm a huge, huge, huge Will Smith fan. So he would be him and Shaq would be two guys. I would love to have on the for sure. What's the secret tall guy? Yes, he is. Oh yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah. He's like six three. Six four. Right.


Yeah. He's like six four for sure. Yeah. Wow man that is big Ryan. You got to keep up on your secrets. All celebrities I've been lacking clearly exposed immediately.


And I've always said to Eminem is a guy I've always wanted on and see his friends with his manager, Paul Rosenberg. So we tried.


But it seems like he you know, he's a weird interview. But like, I feel like if you have enough knowledge, maybe you could leverage that to, like, get a little something out of him that you normally don't hear.


I feel I feel like he'd come on and be, like, standoffish, but like, you're such a huge fan that you would get to start talking. You don't appear like you were you were here with him. Said he just opened up. I feel like so. And then anything Star Wars to bail anything. Star Wars and are such huge Star Wars fans.


We're like, you know, we haven't yet had the Star Wars guest on yet, but that's like that's a goal to get in. So some big Star Wars folks, Harrison Ford, what's the goal? Let's do it. Absolutely. That would be so sick. Oh, my gosh.


Just don't tell him the fire's playing to your studio to do it. Why is he still flying?


I think he should be flying solo. Finemore. Harrison Ford would love you. We went before you were flying Harrison Ford.


Dude, he every time he flies, something wrong happens. We got. Oh, we've got to protect him for sure. Well, I've admired the podcast for a while. It's a pleasure to have it at the ringer. It's a pleasure to have you guys in in our circle. I look forward to all the good stuff you're going to do, and it's been fun getting to know you. Thank you for coming on today. Good luck with the podcast.


Thank you, Bill. Thank you, man. Love what you've done with the wringer, man. You're the podcast goat. So this is this is a huge step for us and we're pumped about him. Yeah, for sure.


It's a huge, huge step for us. Like you said, you are to go to the podcast. So we're excited to be here, man.


All right. Appreciate it. Thanks, guys. All right.


Before we get to Jason, wanted to mention C.C. collaborated with Roots of Fight, which is one of my single favorite places and a place that I get to buy t shirts, roots of Fight Dotcom. He collaborated with them on the official Negro League Baseball Centennial Collection, is actually wearing the Jackie Robinson shirt in the pod that we just did. But go check that out. I love it. It's a fight that I'm really like those guys. So there you go for that.


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We get to Jason Newberry watchbox went up with a ghost, me, Chris Ryan and Amanda Dobbins. And you get to hear my thoughts on whether this movie was an accurate depiction of what happens when people go to either heaven or hell. If some controversial takes on this, you can hear it. It's up right now in the watchable feed. Without further ado, Jason, get here.


It's all right. We're taping this on Tuesday afternoon. Jason Gay is here from The Wall Street Journal. Sports is in more flux than it's been. Really, in the last three months, I would say everybody was kind of expecting baseball to work and football to work and basketball I think is working. But the football stuff, guys are starting to go out with football. Now, we've seen multiple patriots leave and now it just seems like it's going to be a steady stream of that.


Do we have football this year? I'm more confident in professional football's ability to find a way than I certainly am when college football's ability I mean, college football, I mean, the NFL is like, you know, it's it's it's 32 teams. It's one commissioner. College football is like herding cats. I just can't imagine you can create any kind of structure where you're going to have no disruptions and you're seeing schools already and conferences already back away from sports all together.


None of the big, big, big conferences have done it yet, but we're certainly seeing adjustments with conference play and all that kind of stuff. I know I'm hedging here. I just the NFL is just such a operation, such a battleship that it's very hard to imagine that they will just not give it a full go. But you look at this last 48 hour stretch with baseball, and if you are not in a bubble, if you are not isolating, if you are not doing the kinds of things that the NBA or soccer has done in this country, you're exposing yourself to risk, no question.


Yeah. And when the Marlins had the big catastrophe this week with all their guys testing positive, I can't say it was a surprising news story, though.


Of course, you know, and it's I said this on Thursday is the worst run you are, the more trouble you're going to be and stuff like freakin virus and a pandemic. And the baseball I was actually watching when Manfred went on the first ESPN telecast and was doing his victory lap. So we're so proud of our guys. You know, this is a hard thing. And for guys like, what did you figure out? You didn't figure out anything.


You put those systems in place at all and you've left the door open for all kinds of terrible things to happen. And now, you know, it's already happened. And in general, he's you know, we're around the same age. Are you surprised by how the lack of urgency for baseball to come back? That was just the general public compared to how this would have played out forty years ago. You mean in terms of what the public wanted, like in terms of just like get us baseball, get us.


Yeah, people freaking out, they even remember in 94 when they went on strike and it was like, oh, my God, you guys are going away, what are we going to do? And I just haven't felt that way this time around.


Yeah, it's an interesting question. It also requires, like realizing that we're about 18 controversies and crises since when baseball had all this labor strife about whether or not they were going to actually come back and look for a minute that they were going to come back at all. It's also strange to realize that baseball was the first program to come forward with a bubble presentation. Remember that there was like a mirror and do the whole thing in Arizona. They're going to use the spring training complex as the players are going to stay in hotels.


And everyone thought that was really sort of space age and crazy. And, you know, baseball and basketball, we're kind of starting up at the same time. I know basketball got a few days still before the regular season starts, but they could not be more different in the approach. I mean, baseball effectively has a medical plan, an isolation plan, but kind of just shrugged his shoulders and said, look, we're going to regionalize here, but everyone's going to play in their home cities.


And I don't know, the organization that ends up looking the best in this whole thing is, is Canada. Canada was kind of like, yeah, no thanks.


We'll see you guys next year. Bluejays, we love you.


But you might have to play in the United States for this season or the British where they had the the open and they're like, cool, we're just going to take the insurance money. Well, we'll see it next year. And same thing for Wimbledon. The British were out immediately. They wanted no part of this.


How smart does that person feel? That person who checked that pandemic box on the insurance plan at one point at Wimbledon has given prize money to to athletes. They sort of rationed out a bunch of money to people who had been participating in the tournament, which tennis is a sport where we know how much the five, six, seven, eight top players in the world make. But people are in that top two hundred are barely breaking even sometimes. So, yeah, good for them.


I mean, look, a lot of this stuff is the kind of thing where, like, once these ships get moving and the situation shifts with the pandemic, it makes it very hard to improvise from that. I read today on ESPN the talk of like, well, is there feasibility for an NFL bubble? Can you actually let go and do, like, containments within three, two NFL cities and just contain the players like, say, the Patriots are all staying at a hotel in Foxborough and everyone's living within two miles of the stadium?


Can you do that? NFL teams? I mean, one NFL team has more personnel than the Eastern Conference. You know, just so many players. And also you're talking about a five month stretch, whereas the NBA was a buy in for like, OK, if you win the damn thing, you're going to be there for three months. But mostly everybody's going to be out there within a matter of a month and a half.


Are around that well, it seemed like. You know, you could do different parts of the country, right? Maybe you put. Four teams in each spot are eight teams in each bubble spot, but it still doesn't solve the problem of 16 games, 12 games, 14 games, whatever, and just having to play different teams that not being like baseball, at least you could play somebody for four games in a row. So I just don't know what the NFL does think.


A bit like Texas has facilities. They could they have the hotels, they could potentially in two or three different parts of Texas, try to have an NFL season there. But would you want to be in Texas with 32 teams right now? And that's that's been a hotbed like that doesn't make sense either. So I don't know what they do.


Yeah, I don't know either. And you make a good point with the hotbed part, which is that it's impossible to separate this conversation about sports from what's happening contextually in the rest of the country. And like you say, well, why does the right of the Premier League finish its season? Why did Bundesliga work? Why is baseball having all these problems? Like what? When European soccer was returning, their rates were significantly lower than what we're experiencing currently in the United States.


I mean, no one's had the funding that we've had. And so they were in a much better position when they return to normal. They're having conversations over there about returning fans. And it's a much more foreseeable situation over there that it certainly is here right now. And we're just kind of I just feel like we're just kind of gripping the wheel and hoping that we get through it. And but that's just not the way to go about this. That's certainly been the case in Los Angeles and the extended Los Angeles, where everybody was really careful for two months and then it became, all right, well, we're not going to just keep doing this right.


I got to you know, summer is coming. What are we going to do? And the mayor caved. The governor caved. And then all of a sudden we have restaurants opening and tattoo shops and bars and beaches. And by Memorial Day, it was like no virus was happening. It's like, what are we doing?


Who had never gone to the beach to get a tattoo or suddenly like that. Sounds great. Yeah. Great family. Let's combine all this stuff. Indoor bars on a beach where I get a tattoo.


Yeah, no, there's a lot of that. And I also feel like, you know, when you evaluate the meaning of sports, obviously sports is a much bigger production than simply the athletes who are on the field and the ownership and all that kind of stuff. There are great many lives that are impacted, economies that are impacted by it. But, you know, for me and I know you're in the same boat, you know, like five percent of Jason is worried about the NBA bubble.


Ninety five percent is worried about school September. But my children and those I mean, the fact that I don't know what my kindergartner is going to do, what my second grader is going to do, that's crazy. You know, and.


Well, I mean, that's I feel we have a lot of parents who have young kids like that. Yeah, I have a fifteen year old and a twelve year old. They could you can learn on Zoome from teachers and do homework and have 70 to 80 percent of the school experience. You miss all the social stuff when you start talking about younger kids. You can't it's just not going to work on Zoome anything fourth grade and below, you've no chance the whole point of fourth grade and below is social and now you're removing that and you can't tell a kindergartner to be like on Zoome with other other crazy six year olds, you know, like it's just not going to work.


And I feel really bad for that. For the kids, not just the parents. Like, that's such a shit. You only get to be in kindergarten once at such a shitty way to have a kindergarten. Yeah.


And I'm starting to sort of see that. And I'm probably you're probably saying that with your children, too, like we've had like a chance to give them some time with friends trying to be smart and wise about it. But that whole socialization of it, of their lives, which I feel is probably at my kids' age, a bigger part of their educational development than whatever they're doing with books and the computers and things like that, they're missing it. I mean, it sucks and it sucks to think of like a lonely seven year old kid, but there are a lot of them out there around the world.


Right? Well, and then the other piece of that, seven, eight, nine, 10. You know, there's a lot of stuff to do when you're alone and you get used to it, you know, and you think like. I have video games, I make my own schedule, I don't I don't have to have these interactions that might not turn out that well and then all of a sudden they get used to just being alone and they're not even 10 years old yet.


Yeah, you know, and I don't know why there's so many there's so many repercussions to this now that this has lasted so long. I think I've been thinking about it from the youth sports perspective, too, and these two kids that are just losing an entire year and depending on, you know, what sport it is, it could be the most crucial year you're going to have. Like if you're a 10 year old soccer player, that's probably the most important year you have in soccer where you really the field is starting to get bigger.


You're starting to put together concepts. And to just remove that for a year, I think has dramatic ramifications. You can't pick that up in your backyard. It's impossible.


Well, I can just say that I have thrown so much batting practice this spring and summer that I can't wait to see it. And I want to see some live pictures and see if there's any development for my kids. But yeah, I like they miss all that. And just any degree I mean, like, I saw something this morning where they were showing like Halloween candy starting to show up in like drugstores, like, what are we doing here?


Is that Halloween that's feasible? Now, that can't be I mean, I'd bet anything as Halloween being normal. Yeah. My younger my younger kid asked about that.


Like it's Halloween happening this year and I'm like, pretty positive. No, I can't I can't imagine a worse idea than Halloween. Like a crowded neighborhood. People walking around taking candy from people.


Yeah, twenty, twenty. Like every day is Halloween.


You know, I feel like that's really when the wheels could come off for a lot of this stuff because the election will be right around the corner. People will be probably home with their kids, I'm guessing, during a school year. Yeah, we won't have any college sports. The NBA will be on the tail end. We might not have football. We might have a death rate that's piled up to staggering proportions. God knows what's only going to happen over the next two months.


There's this whole divide between the two sides, the one side saying that it's not that bad. It's it's basically a worse flu season. What are we doing? The unemployment, all that stuff. And then the big thing lurking in the beginning, November, the election. And how that's going to play out, I remember being in meetings at the Journal a year ago when we were talking about stuff like, OK, what's going to be our plan for the Tokyo Olympics?


What's going to be our plan for the 20 20 summer? And looking at the whole landscape of we're going to have these conventions and Milwaukee, the Democratic Convention and the convention in North Carolina, for Republicans, it's going to be a crazy summer. Folks put on your helmets. And I mean, just none of us could have foreseen something as. How stressful is this, although I don't know. How you feel about it seems to me that you had someone said to you in mid-March, what are you going to be talking about?


In late July, if there's very little sports back and the sport would have been the Olympics, it would have been Olympics and that's it, right?


Yeah, no, but I mean, like I think that Sports Canada, I'm kind of proud of the way that I think the sports media has been over the last five months. I think they have been pretty diligent about covering these sports and what's happening in sports and certainly the social justice movement within them responsibly and interesting ways and putting forward voices at that. They weren't in the past. And I think that that's a good thing. And I wouldn't have predicted that there was that kind of agility for sports media because there was no games to evaluate.


What have you done, because you're right in this Wall Street Journal column that veers in a whole bunch of directions and you've had to make it much more of. A sports and life column. Yeah, and write about your own personal stuff and what it's like to be in the tri state area and all that stuff like your mix and all that stuff, and it's not really a sports column as much anymore.


Well, yeah. I mean, make it up as you go along. Kind of. I think that, like, there's no way to sort of plan it out because the situation seems to change, you know, with each passing week and month. But I think that, as you mentioned, I write a good deal in the first person, and I did that beforehand. But it's also interesting, sort of the shifting mood. I mean, like New York in March and April is not right.


It's grim. There was a very grim mood around here. And I think as time has gone on, obviously there's a great new dynamic happening in the city where, you know, I don't want to say like we're out of the woods or there's tremendous positivity. But the signs are hopeful. The buy in in terms of wearing masks is hopeful. I don't know. I just feel like the role of being a columnist is simply to tell your truth, your personal truth and.


As as simple as that sounds, I think that's that's the job and there are a lot of people, you know, there are stories that we've done that are completely apart from sports entirely, and there's no real connection to it. But I think we've found that readers are engaging with it. I think that there is a huge hunger for information, analysis, translation. And I have colleagues who are just doing amazing stuff all over the place. And also like, look, let's be candid about this right now.


There's like there's a lot of disinformation out there, right? Especially when you're dealing with a public health issue like this, the importance of really good reporting and skillful reporters and people who know they're, you know, as it is, is critical. Yeah, it's tougher and tougher to know who to believe and what to believe, depending on what source you're getting from and what the agenda is when they wrote the piece that it seems like it's very easy these days to skew a piece a certain way and to go into the piece before you even wrote it, knowing what the angle is going to be.


And I think because we're in this business for a living, we can kind of spot when when something was clearly intended to be a certain way. And I find just the the down the road journalism has been more and more interesting than people who are still trying to do that, you know, especially when they're talking about the government and some decisions that are being made that anybody with an IQ over eighty five would be like, what the fuck are they doing to try to write about that in a balanced way is really hard.


Yeah, no, I think that this is like, you know, put into sharp relief some of the chronic issues that have been going on for a really long time with regards to, you know, accuracy and biases and things like that.


Because when you're it's one thing if you're talking about pure politics, but when you're talking about the public health, you're talking about people's livelihoods, both physically and economically, being correct and being honest when you don't know which part of it is so integral. And my one where one line answer is read the newspaper. You know, I think the newspapers in whatever newspaper it is is a generally good source, edited, reported source of information, whatever newspaper it is, because I'm a big believer.


What do you see for the next four or five months in New York? How does it play out in this city? What's it like there now, what's it going to be like there in October and November? Well, I think, again, it's not as dire situation as it was in March and April, certainly I live in an apartment building with my downstairs neighbor, is a works at a major hospital in the city. And we'd sort of like breathlessly hang on his reports every day about how many people are coming in, how many people are going.


As that number kept climbing in the spring, it was terrifying and things have settled down quite a bit. You know, I'm not somebody who's covering the day to day in New York City of Coronavirus, so I hesitate to put myself forward as any kind of expert on it. But it does seem like here in the city, there's been some stabilization, some embracing of this big version of normal. You see now, like all the restaurants have overtaken both the sidewalk and the street area.


And so the streets in the neighborhoods look like, you know, European streets in a funny way. There are a lot of activity. Look, mass, you know, not everybody is wearing a mask, but I think they're a good good chunk of people are certainly more people in Boston. Not social distancing rules seem to be being respected. And then there's this very, very vibrant and still very active protest scene in New York City, which continues through this through the summer.


And there's constant stuff happening there. So it is quite a summer for this city. But New York is not alone in that. This is a national, if not international thing.


Well, that one thing with New York City's you think about elevators, subways, cabs, Uber. Yeah. All these all these, they just people, 20 people on a street corner waiting for the walk sign to go and things like that.


Where in L.A., you know, it's a lot of people are in their cars and there's an Uber I think to some degree. But I was just thinking, like, if you live if your office was in the 16th floor of some building or if you're in an apartment building on the 12th floor, whatever, you're going to be in an elevator. You're going to be in an elevator with four other people. And just that that constant. Oh, shit.


I got to have my mask on. Why isn't that guy. I have a mask on. What the fuck's going on? Like, all that stuff is in play.


And that's a huge question and that's a good point, that that's sort of that city office life has yet to return. There was this piece in the journal the other day about just sort of midtown office buildings. What you know, how many people are back in those because some offices are coming back. So that and actually some of the 10 percent I was like, that feels like a lot. That feels like a lot of people are right. It's just a crazy thing to say about a 10 percent vacancy, 10 percent occupancy rate.


But yeah, that whole part of New York City life of just taking the train to your office job and getting your hot dog on the street and what that whole culture is like. I mean, that's, you know, changed. And there have been 50 billion columns about what it means for office life. And I actually think and I'm curious what you think I like that, you know, when this began and there was all the conversation about, OK, now we all work from home if we can or if we're lucky enough to work from home, OK, now we can do virtual learning.


If we're lucky enough to have access to virtual learning, I thought, OK, this is the great disruption. We've been waiting for this moment to happen for a very long time. There really didn't seem to be a case for like paying sixty thousand dollars, send your kids to college, like we're going to really disrupt it. But I feel like over time the in-person case has really made itself the case for in-person learning has been made very strongly, like the idea of community and the idea of like what you get from being in an office setting and talking to people.


And I know there's all kinds of like non essential nonsense that happens when you're in an office. And I'm one of those people who finds it very hard to work, you know, at a desk in an office has to be away from that. But you miss that socialization. And I think that you're seeing and there was another piece in the journal about this that like the people who are like the work from home growers are suddenly saying, like, yeah, maybe there was something to the idea is taxing everybody into an office and what kind of creative osmosis you might have there.


But it's not coming back soon. You just saw Google's big announcement, about two hundred thousand employees. You know, they're not expecting anybody back for months and months and months and months. And I think everyone's going to follow along.


Yeah, the the spit balling that you get from being around in office. I really miss that. Especially like some of the ideas we're able to generate was always like at least a few people in the room, something I was always really good at.


And she's not college age, right? She's out. She's ninth grade.


But like I was talking to a relative who is in college and they're talking about what their college plans are for coming back. And they're like, well, twenty percent of the campus is going to be occupied. So, like. 20 percent of the students that are normally they are going to be there and they're probably going to give priority to the freshmen and sophomores and like it sounds like it sucks.


That does sound like college. I know I've been talking to a lot of people about that. Some people are just deferring for a year. People who are going to college, they're just like, well, why would I want to spend my freshman year doing this? So that'll be interesting to see how they manage that. And then from an office standpoint, I did. You talked about a disruption. And I think this is something that has popped up over and over again with people I've talked to who are either in The Decision-Making part of this or just are in an office where the office used to be a huge part of it.


And then everybody kind of realized, oh, maybe we didn't have to do some of the things we were doing in the past. And maybe when we come out of this, whenever that is, maybe I don't have to travel to New York and Chicago and L.A. or wherever I'm going once a month, maybe I could do some of this stuff on Zun. Maybe I don't have to be in the office every single day. Maybe I could be in the office three out of the five days.


Maybe we could arrange it. So only 50 percent of the office is full each day. And then on Thursdays, that's when the meeting happens. I do think people are going to start thinking outside of the box on this stuff over the old way of just like, hey, come to the office Monday through Friday. This is what we do. I don't know if you do anymore. And I think for New York, it could be a game changer.


You know, if people only had to go in the office three days a week or living in Connecticut, in New Jersey or whatever versus five, then there's less cars on the road.


And, you know, there's a lot of good benefits is good for the atmosphere, for health, all that stuff.


But I think there's a more existential question then becomes like, do companies want to even be in New York? What's the point of that? If you're only having people come in for two days a week or three days a week, why are you spending all this money for office space? And why are your employees spending all this money to live in this expensive part of the country? Like if we're going to go virtual, let's go all in and just decentralize everyone and let everyone go where you might see that happen?


I mean, I honestly might be where it goes. I know in New York and L.A., the commercial real estate people are panicking. Yeah. Because, you know, if you have the sixty eight floor office building in New York City that you just finished building and it's going to be available on November twenty twenty, how are you going to fill all those floors. Yeah. Who's like, oh sign me up, give me floor thirty two to thirty eight.


Like that's not happening. Yeah.


And I admit that my faith in New York City is nothing more than my faith and my faith is like, OK, you know, New York, you know, we've been knocked around before and came back really strong and like and I just feel like, you know, there's this wave of like stories like, you know, they left New York City for the suburbs and they say they're never coming back. And I just feel like in 18 months we're going to see the they hate the suburbs.


They can't keep back to get to New York City.


But I don't know that I'm hoping that will happen because it's happened in the past. We saw people leave and then come back because they miss that whatever thing New York City gave to them. But what this period has proven is we don't know.


We're old enough to remember each trend as it happened. Right. Like in the nineties, that was a big move to the suburbs. Get out of the city, you know, want to be in the city. You want to be, you know, living in a town near the city. And then starting in the mid 2000s, moving back to the city became a big thing, especially for people who are in their 50s and 60s. It was definitely like that's why Boston, downtown Boston took off.


I think downtown New York was the same thing where people kind of wanted to be where the action is. Know when I was growing up in Boston in the 70s, early 80s, like the goal was always to get to west western Wellesley. Any suburb that was away from the city by the mid 2000s was the opposite. People wanted to actually be where the action was, where the restaurants were, all that stuff. So I don't know how it plays out now.


While I was my mother still lives in the Boston area. And like I was back there and like, it is a weird town without students. I mean, when you think about how many colleges are there and how many students are there, and even in the summertime when there's not as much college happening, there's still a ton of students around. And we were walking around Harvard Square and it felt like an abandoned mall. And like I was just a bizarre thing.


It's like basically downtown D.C. now. My dad was my dad said, because they've also closed all the bars. So you have no students and you have no bars, which were probably the number one and two things you would think of when you when you're in Boston, especially like in October. Sure. It's people are just doing stuff and now it's like people are on Paradoks and what, you know, just kind of everybody's got their headphones on with putting their mask on.


When somebody gets 15 feet away, take the mask off. If there's some daylight for a while, what do you do for exercise? You ride your bike, like, what are you doing?


I've been riding my bike like a mad person. Yeah, it's like that that has been something that has kept me sane. And I'm very happy that I'm doing that. But I find that. Even the people who found their little niche during this like, oh, I'm going to teach myself how to cook or I want to be a bicyclist or I'm going to lose weight or I'm going to be a hiker, like we're all kind of over that. We just got to get back to whatever amalgam of things that we used to do before.


And like, you know, we've watched all the TV shows, we've read all the, you know, what are we going to do?


Well, I've noticed people either got in better shape or worse shape, but there's no in between. Nobody said the exact same shape. They put on 10 to 20 pounds or they got an awesome shape and they're bragging about it.


This is where I am. I have ridden my bike more this year because I keep the data than I have in 12 years, like since before I got married and had children and I have not lost a single pound. So I think, wow, yeah.


It's tough when you're older.


Well, yeah, it's tougher when you're older, but it also just like there's a lot of incoming, you know, the exercise going on.


Well, the other thing is, you know, speaking of just where we are in twenty twenty, it's so easy to monitor every aspect of what you're doing. Yeah. So everybody's kind of on their own. But like I have a group, I have I have my my iPhone which tracks stuff and I've been walking all over the place and I'm like looking at my steps. What respiratory rate is on the woop. You could find out like how much REM did I get last night, how much REM sleep, how much deep sleep.


And you're just like assessing yourself like you're LeBron James or something. And it's just like, you know, we're just us. It's not like we're professional athletes when you go for a walk.


And I think I heard you say you'd like to do calls on a walk. Would you like to have the mask, like know with you in case you run into a bunch of people. But like, can you do the phone call with the mask on, which you see a lot of a New York City which looks really funny, like someone just heard talking.


You can it doesn't sound great. So you got to do that mix. Match. I do stuff. I'll be making work cause this happened to me a couple of weeks ago and I just ended up like. In this deep part of Beverly Hills and I realized I was too far away from where I live and I was like, how am I getting back home? And I had to walk to my mom's house to get her get a ride back. Seriously, sometimes you get a car, you just get lost and thought, and I'm so used to walking now, I'm not even sometimes even concentrating on where I'm going, but also, like isn't I mean, it's not really a part of L.A. culture to begin with.


Two and like. No, think of like, you know, you see someone walking around but really isn't like what are they lost. Where are they going to see that guy's car breakdown? Lucy talking to, like, the weirdest outcomes in L.A..


Everybody walking, which the only way I could compare it to, like for somebody from New York to understand, is if everybody was just on hover boards that levitated six feet in the air and we're just traveling that way. And you're like, wow, that's weird. That's what it's like to see people walking, you know, because nobody walks. Er and then the atmosphere is that the sky and the air is just cleaner. Yeah. And you can actually see things from far away.


And you didn't realize how how damaging basically how our day to day life was. Have you been on an airplane. No I have not. Me neither. It's not on my list. Just like a big step. Yes. None. My let's let's let's talk about your friend Regis. So one of my favorites. Really an amazing career, like the definition of a late bloomer definition of a late bloomer. Yes.


Where he's. I don't want to say bouncing around because he was doing better than that, but had a series of jobs, you know, for the first 15 years of his career, by the time he's in his early 40s. He's basically a morning show guy in L.A. He's with Cindy Garvey, Steve Garvey's wife, and Eva, and it's probably his sixth or seventh gig at that point, maybe eight. He had been the sidekick of the Joey Bishop Show way back when he had taken over the Steve Allen Show, other stuff.


And then he becomes kind of this belated morning show phenomenon. But it's still local. Ends up in New York. Teams up with Kathie Lee, who's, I don't know, she was married to Frank Gifford, but I don't think she was I think she was Kathie Lee Johnson initially. And then then they just it's lightning in a bottle. That takes off, that goes national. All of a sudden, he's famous, he's one of the big daytime hosts we've had, then Kathie Lee leaves and it's like, well, that's not going to work.


They bring in Kelly, who's like a unicorn, and it goes to another level. And then as all of this is happening, Michael Davis has this idea, Who Wants to be millionaire? Regis becomes the host. And at in his 60s, he becomes one of the biggest stars in America. Yeah, yeah. And then you got to know him later, which we can go into in a second. But I don't really remember another career like that.


No, no, and you're absolutely right. The late bloomer part especially I mean, this is a guy who went to college and was in the Navy. He didn't really even win until his late 20s. He was a page for Steve Allen. He worked on The Tonight Show behind the scenes. And, yeah, it was sort of knocking around. And he only got on camera really for the first time in San Diego at Regis Philbin show, where you just would like people like who's in San Diego today.


They would just come on the show and passing through town doing a show. We go on Regis, his show, and he built up a little bit of a falling reputation there. But it was certainly, you know, not what he would find later in his career. And like it is an unusual TV arcare, because usually you find that, you know, lift off period happening in your 20s, 30s at the latest, you're 40s by Regis.


Great ascension didn't really happen until his 50s and 60s and even a 70s. I mean, millionaire. He was in his late 60s, I think, when it was starting. I have a very hard time, though, with this 20th anniversary for things that are from year two thousand. There's a rash of them going around now and it makes me feel a thousand years old like that. Like almost famous.


Is having a 20th anniversary survivors, another one. Yeah, I agree with you. It's because it does seem like it happened yesterday. The Internet was in shape at that point, like wasn't that much different than now. It's hard to believe 20 years ago.


But Millionaire was like this, like classic or not classic, but just like sort of like genre breaking show in that it became this phenomenon pretty quickly, like overnight. Oh yeah. And then they're like, we're just going to put it on all the time. It's going to be on every night. And not only is going to be on every night, it was the number one show every single night for months and months and months and months and months.


It just was like I've never seen anything like it. Nothing. There's nothing that compares to it now. And also it was like there hadn't been game shows in prime time and generations when this thing happened. Right.


It's what we growing up, we always heard how important game shows were in primetime, but we never saw the first table and we never saw that happen again.


And Regis is sort of like and I wrote this in the thing I wrote about him the other day, but just like he was, you know, the consummate host, it was not a guy who came on to show us to pontificate or be a blowhard provocateur or anything like that. He was just somebody who could give the wheel. And you get it from point A to point B and A, calm people down. They liked him. And, you know, I Michael could do a much better job of telling the origin story of how he got that job on Millionaire.


But like. It doesn't you know, you didn't wasn't a natural idea, Regis, prime time, you know, a quiz show. I mean, like, you wouldn't have drawn it up that way, but really for that sliver of time, there's been nothing like it in TV ever since.


So I remember after my parents got divorced and I started going to school in Connecticut and we would get shows like, you know, in the early mid 80s, shows like Live at five. Yeah. Which was, you know, and then you'd be The Today Show, Good Morning America, stuff like that. There was a specific way to do the show. And the male host always had a specific kind of personality, right? He was he you felt like you knew him, but you didn't know too much.


He was kind of stable. He was just like, you know, like the dad driving the station wagon kind of personality. They were never like big sticky kind of personalities. And when Regis when the show with Kathie Lee started taking off, it was like he had taken this thing that existed, this job. And he made it so much more personable and you would just watch it and be like, man, that guy seems I would just love to hang out with that guy.


That would seem like the most fun guy to sit next to at a dinner table. He just seems like who he is on this show. It really seems like he's the person in it. Some of it was shtick, but it was it was weird. You mentioned this in your piece. It was shtick, but it wasn't because it was authentic to him and he would get he would come out and he would do that, but he kind of was in on the joke.


It was never it was never I'm doing this, but I'm not in on the joke. He always knew what he was doing. I think that's why I like people like Letterman. And all those dudes loved having him as a guest because he he had such a firm grasp on what his persona was, you know what I mean?


Well, that's also like it sort of mirrors like it becoming a national show, too, I think. Wasn't Dana Carvey did him on SNL? Oh, yeah. Early days. And they would always gravitate to that sort of like that. Yeah. The big Regis moments and stuff like that. But yeah, he was authentically himself and they weren't doing a heavy lift at the top of that show. They were just talking about what they did last night.


You know, they'd be like, so it was, you know, George Hamilton's birthday again, you know. Right. Right.


I had never seen anything like that, though. They would start the show in it. And I know it was like this, but they made it seem like they had showed up at eight fifty nine for the nine o'clock show and they poured Regis some coffee and just turned the cameras on.


And I know that's not what they were doing, but I think the ad libbing stuff felt so authentic and real because I think it was well I think it actually was closer than you think, because I lived across the street from the studio where they did the live show. And I remember asking him, what was the latest you could leave your place to get on the air because they would go live at 9:00 a.m. Eastern. And they'd come over to his place and do wardrobe and hair and makeup, and I think he said he could get out of there with about 12 minutes to nine, like eight forty.


Wow. Walk out the door. And they they and he went on and they did that. Cole, those those openings, I mean, it wasn't those were not preprogrammed, I think, very specifically. That was a very specific decision to do it that way, so they could surprise each other and say things and, you know, come up so that that wasn't his deal. Like he wasn't somebody who was doing preplanned bits too much.


Right. You have to have a lot of trust in the person you're dealing with. And I think in general, like. I think Mike and the Mad Dog were like the zoo because they're taking off the 90s, Regis is already established with Kathie Lee. That this two person format. Where you have two people that the chemistry is is the show and it's how you can fuck around with it however you want, but ultimately it's how those two people interact with one another.


Is the show and I think what makes him really special for me and really unique and really different than pretty much anything we've had, is his ability to connect with whoever he's with. Because you think like Kathie Lee, especially in the second half of her career, she was a handful, you know, and there was all these stories about like, man, she's a little off the rails, she's a diva, all this stuff. And you never would have known it.


Regis just knew how to sell her. And I got to say, like, Kornheiser is like this to to do TV with. I remember when I Dipti the first time and I had no idea what I was doing, he just sold the shit out of me, you know, and he made it he he was going to make sure I succeeded. And I think Regis was the same way with whoever he worked even with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, you would have these contestants and he would always be able to make the contestants super comfortable.


And they would always be the best version of themselves so that your experience was way later when he was when you launched the show with Katie and everybody on FS1, it was like the first show, right.


Was that the inaugural crowd goes wild with the rollout of the first one is called Crowd Goes Wild, and it was on five days a week for one hour life. And that's another thing about Regis that we should talk about, which is that the vast, vast, vast majority of his television career was live television, which in and of itself is a totally different organism that shows how skillful the guy was that you could do that without a net four, not years, but decades and generations, that he was so good at that because in addition to the fact that it's a challenge to actually do a live program, it's a stress like it brings like it takes an energy and it takes a certain kind of composition of a person to be able to do that.


Well, and obviously he did it as well as anyone ever did. It's really hard to explain unless you've done it and both of us have done it. Get whatever was going on with you for that whole day. You need to be on for that hour. Yeah. And you have to be a gregarious alert in the in the present moment version of yourself and on the ball. And if you're having a bad day, if you're tired or if you're sick, there's kind of no hiding on TV, especially now in HD.


People are going to see through it.


Well, I came to I mean, I had no business being on that show. I had no television background going into it. And I was on it basically because of Regis and Michael Davies, who worked with Regis and put the show together. And I you know, the thing that I vastly underestimated about television was just that kind of like exhaustion afterwards. And I wasn't doing a lot. I wasn't expected to do anything except maybe say like four or five things during an hour.


But you would feel actually winded like you had a physical event at the end of the thing. And I remember, like, I would finish these shows and we'd be walking off our set and I was like, take the little IFB earpiece off and I'd like I'm putting my tie, like, wander back to the dressing room and I'd look out the window and Regis's Towncar be blasting down the street. And I was like, that's how you stay in TV for 60 years.


It's like he's just a professional who does it. He hits his mark and he's done and he does not sit around and decompress and do like the postmortems and stress out like the rest of us. He was a different kind of creature altogether.


Yeah, that energy is really unique. Magic Johnson was like that was a we could do like an hour long pregame show, go back in the back east, come out for halftime. And he's just and he's back on, come off, come out after the game. Boom, he flip the switch. Meanwhile, I'm like a carcas and and he could just do it. And I think Regius was like that, too. I think there's just certain people that just flip the switch.


You're on, you're going I mean, they say the parallel in sports, like it's like the great, great athletes are. They're not overthinking it. They're going out and they're reacting. They're being impulsive in the moment and they're instinctive. And maybe there's something to what television? I mean, my limited experience of television, I'm convinced that the best people at it, Katie, was kind of, you know, at the early stages of his or her career.


But you could clearly see that in her. Yeah. You can't really put your finger on precisely what it is, but they have that ability to connect through a camera and not get unnerved by the moment and build that kind of bond. But an audience and the people who can do that genuinely are rare. They're a hell of a lot of people on TV. They're probably never been more people on TV now.


But in terms of people who can just actually have that kind of like throughline career where they do it again across generations, I mean, that's what made him so exceptional. And that's why I like people like Letterman, loved him like Regis. The loss of Regis is not just like the loss of like an individual, but like he is a connective tissue to a whole other era on television, you know, a whole lot of entertainment and entertainers and stuff, you know, and I think Letterman adored the fact that Regis was the second banana that Joey Bishop and that Regis had sung on television with Bing Crosby, Bing Bing Crosby, that kind of stuff.


I mean, how you can make it up. I remember Regis telling me a story about had gone to dinner. I went out to dinner with your friend Dave, not my friend, but it certainly applies to Letterman. But the dinner table was Regis, Dave Rickles and Steve Martin. Wow.


That's a floor top. I would just hide and, you know, the Letterman piece of it.


Letterman always used to say how he was a broadcaster. Yes, that was how he described himself. It's like I started out as a broadcaster in the seventies and I still feel like. You know, on my show, I'm that's ultimately what I am, those are the people I grew up watching and Regis was like, that is the broadcaster. I don't know if there are people like that anymore because I don't know how you would what would be the career path that led to, quote unquote, being a broadcaster who's now talent.




And also, you have these, you know, sort of starts in the boondocks. I mean, Dave was a weatherman, right? You know, and you grew up the weirdness of of of local television. I mean, like think of the people who have gotten those shows in recent years. I mean, Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers were famous people before they got their late night talk shows. And they could really hit the ground running because they had thousands of hours prior to doing this and like.




Like everything that made Dave Dave and everything that made Regis Regis, I think was that kind of idiosyncratic background that was like really not being a famous person for a really long part of their lives, or somebody like Kimmo who gets thrown into the job and over the course of a couple of years gets the reps and now is a quote unquote broadcaster, but started out as a radio guy, you know, and you kind of get thrown in the fire. You learn how to do it.


Regis is learning how to do it. You know, he's it is different morning shows. There is one part. There's so much about his story. I didn't know where at one point he has the show or the San Diego show, one of them. But on Saturday nights, he's flying to St. Louis to host the St. Louis late night show just for people in St. Louis. And then he would fly back to do his L.A. shot, like, what the fuck?


And this was like in the early 80s.


And by the way, this was continuing years later when I worked with him, he'd be doing this show for Fox and be doing it four or five days a week. And then he'd say, well, how is your weekend? Is like, well, me enjoyed the two shows we play in Toronto and we played Montreal, know they would do two song and dance like, you know, husband and wife banter and song shows. I mean, he was a crooner in addition to this.


And yeah. I mean, he's. The idea of what fame is in twenty 20 is so different than what fame for Regis Philbin was, and it's very hard to sort of like imagine someone is going to reach a point in their lives where they have that kind of just cultural penetration. Like he's just everybody knows who Regis is there. No one ever went on Regis his show. But who's Regis again? Like everyone just knew him. There was no explainer happening.


They didn't have to explain what this guy was. I mean, he just was, you know, this institution. The only thing I can compare it to a bunch of years ago, I went to a I went to a Brooklyn Nets game with Larry King. And long term, that's a good comparison. Yeah, but nobody doesn't know who Larry King is.


Like, you might have an opinion about him one way or other, but everyone knows he's got one hundred percent recognition. Pretty much. I mean, maybe there's a generation now under twenty five that doesn't know who Larry King is. But there is a pretty significant 50 year demo that knows everything about him, I think.


Millionaire. I just don't think the amount of people that were watching that show at its peak. You're talking like thirty, thirty five million people, you know, and now that's like the Super Bowl and that's it for what kind of number or some Adam Sandler movie on Netflix. But I think when you think about that level of fame for just a broadcaster slash host. Probably not seeing it again, and it's a really interesting story, how they fucked that show up to where it was like a huge success.


And they didn't really have anything for this, and I think it's something even in Tiger's book, like he talked about, like they kind of just needed to put it on every night because otherwise they're going to potentially be in fourth place and they basically bastardized the show and extracted every ounce they could get out of it and ruined a show that probably could have been on for five years at the level it was on or close to it.


You know, we're forgetting another ingredient of Regis's late blooming. It was this man was paid like unbelievably.


Oh, yeah. He was like 20 million a year just for millionaire, right? I think so.


And then another, like, you know, ten figure deal for four lives. I mean, he was just really, really making a lot of money at an age when most people are out of the genre. It's incredible.


Well, it's also interesting that it was Regis and Kathie Lee. They somehow caught lightning in a bottle a second time with Kelly, and then Regius eventually leaves and Kelly is able to keep that franchise so that franchise evolves three times. And then I think they would have, I guess, Strahan, but then Strahan leaves. So I don't I don't know if it'll keep evolving the way it has, but just the fact that that show.


Basically for 35 years now has been relatively intact or felt familiar in some ways really hard to do, and I didn't get success, also corresponded with what happened in news, which was that the morning became this hugely significant day part.


And like today, Good Morning America, those became these juggernauts, these like high earning like, you know, entertainment news shows. And they were huge vessels. And so, like, when you had that kind of lead in and they got that tonal shift right on live right after you got through Good Morning America, which was, you know, had a lot of light stuff, but also had some serious stuff you weren't going to get buried in, like news headlines on live.


It was a nice sort of palate cleanser and stuff like that. And they figured that tone perfectly.


And you met him because he liked your column and he reached out to you?


I think that he was a journal reader. And I think I originally I reached out to him because I want to go play tennis with him. He played on the tennis team and he, of course, did that famous Apple commercial where he played tennis with joy, but he kept getting cancer for you, had a bad knee about elbow. We had a tree fall down in his court in Connecticut. And then I ended up going to play tennis with him at Mar a Lago Beach.


And this is like 2011, 2012, when Trump was just the Trump there. And yeah, that was what that was my introduction to the guy. And it was everything you would imagine it would be. It was like Regis, like being Regis on the tennis court and like yelling and throwing his racket and saying he was bored and all that kind of great stuff.


And then he pushed for you to be in the TV show. I guess so, yeah.


I mean, like, he had reached out and said, like, you know, we're doing the show and I want you to go meet with these people. And this was Michael Daviess team. And I just figured it was like a favorite of Regis that there was said, listen to this jackass from The Wall Street Journal for 20 minutes. And it evolved into being on the show. And at first I thought I was like, oh, I'd show up once in a while to, like, tell about finance or something.


But it evolved into a full time show. And I don't know if you remember, but there were seven hundred and ninety five people on the panel of Crowd Goes Wild. Does it look like the Supreme Court up there? It was just one of the more bizarre experiences ever. But, you know, listen, I had no business being there and I loved it. It was a never would have gotten that opportunity if it weren't for him.


The lesson, as always, is don't put more than four people on any sort of studio show. What is the number?


I kind of feel, too. I mean, I think four is hard.


Three. I always felt like four studio like doing sports. I thought three was the best because three you can everybody's involved. Everybody's getting shots off. I think for like an opinion show, you really only need to. There's a reason PTI is the most successful of any sports show ever to people. You don't need a third person on that show either. You're firing back and forth. You're playing off each other. That's how it you go when when you get to five.


And having been on those shows with different numbers, I remember there are a couple of times when we would have a half hour show with five people on it for MBA. And it's like, what are we doing? It's just becomes a race to get your twenty second point off, you know? And then if somebody else goes for a minute and it's a three minute segment, it's like, well, everyone else is screwed. Now, I never understood why the producers didn't understand, like, how cumbersome that was.


Yeah. And you still see it especially on like cable news, like after last night. And I'm like Anderson Cooper is like a twelve people around him. And I'm like, who thinks this is a good idea? Certainly not Anderson Cooper. Anderson Cooper is not like, you know, it'd be great if I could throw to 12 different people and a twenty minute segment. Could we could we make that happen? Like, I just don't get it.


I would argue the host, it actually benefits the host because he's in complete control at that point, because somebody finishes it has to go back to the host and they throw to the second person. Then it comes back to the host and he's always controlling it. Whereas if it's three people, four people become a conversation, people start audibly doing whatever. And then he you know, so the host is always the big winner with that. We when we used to do that, I did the draft two years.


It was so geared toward the host and it was like they didn't really want any interaction at all. They wanted it specifically pick host talks. Bellus. Forty five seconds being jaelynn, kind of ad libbing off Bella's back to the host, one camera shot, the more one camera shots of the host. You know how how you know how of a hot show it is when the host is turning and looking at the second camera. That's what you know.


But I mean, it goes back to what we talk about with Regis and Kelly and Regis and Kathie Lee. Like that format is just two people shooting the shit. People had been trying that for 40 years and then they finally cracked it. And it was the best way to do it bit by basically adlibbing, trusting each other and not doing too much preproduction and just going right and not show off.


And they would never have Hugh Jackman's here. But whether or not they saw the movie was probably a five percent chance. Right. There were deep on that. They were like, you what to do last night, you know, that kind of thing. And it was very sort of casual. And they did that kind of thing where they integrated Gelman, the producer, Michael Gelman, into the show. He became a character on the show. And like, you know, you see that and Letterman to that.


Letterman's whole sort of like backstage crew became part of the on camera life of the show, too. And really funny ways. And like, I don't know, often was the other end.


Stern, Letterman and Regis were the three that figured it out. Right. How to how to make the supporting people the peripheral people became just characters. Right. Right. And it was a little and a little tension isn't a bad thing.


You know, I think that that to a little if ever I could ever totally figure out Gelman, it's just like, oh, Regis supposed needed a foil. Anyway, that's for another time. Jasa guy. Sorry about your friend. Good to see you. You've been on the pod in a while.


I hope I hope you're staying safe out there in the tristate area. I've been enjoying the columns. I really like to. Regis, come go check it out. If you're listening out there, go Google it. If you, if you missed it. It was good to see you Paul as well. I appreciate it, Bill. Thank you. All right.


Thanks. All right, thanks to C.C. and Ryan, thanks to Jason, thanks to zip recruiter, thanks to Fan Deuel. Thanks to the watchbox, go listen to Ghost on that on that feed if you want to hear us talk about a third year old movie that made five hundred and five million dollars, how is that even possible? I will have one more podcast on Thursday. We'll be putting up after the Clippers Lakers game because I definitely want to play playoff that one and then we're going to three days a week starting on Sunday.


We're selling our back. So get ready for that one.