Coming up, I'm going to break down week 15 gambling in the NFL with million dollar picks and what else do we have had? Some other guest. Oh, Barack Obama, we're also brought to you by the Ringer podcast network, where you can find my book of basketball, the six podcast we put up for season three wind up this week. Chris Webber, Joe Casani tackled at Joe House was a then Bullets season ticket holder. And we both we loved watching Chris Webber play were disappointed by how his career turned out.
And it's weird we're both defending him and still mad about certain things. So you can listen to that in the Book of basketball feed also did a new watchbox this week, Country Strong and Dave Jacoby and I broke down Episode two of the challenge on the or Dish podcast or doing that every Wednesday night. Twenty five minutes an episode is the max. It's the ceiling. And we just wanted to hang out together once a week. That's really it. There's no rational reason that Dave Jacoby and I, two guys with real full time jobs decided to do a challenge recap outbreak.
I have no explanation for it, but it's happening.
I'm just telling you that. Coming up, I'm going to talk to Barack Obama, who was once the president of the United States of America, and Bakari Sellers, who hosted the Bakari Sellers podcast. We taped this last week of November. Just for context, I don't think anything is dated from it. But just want to give you that context, because I remember at some point in here we were talking about the Ravens Steelers game and some of the covid stuff, but this was really fun.
I think Obama should come on twice a year. I enjoy talking sports and other stuff for them.
One note, I actually forgot to record for my own for the first like seven minutes of this podcast. There's two reasons for that. One, I'm an idiot. And two, I'm an idiot. Obama popped on the zoom. I thought I was recording. And, you know, there goes Sony with my audio. Isn't perfect for the first six minutes of this pop, but then it's fine after that. So I apologize. Don't ever forget I'm an idiot.
And now our friends for project.
All right, I'm here with that former President Barack Obama. The car, so we have him for an hour. We can get right into it. We're going to talk sports with the low speed round and we talk about it. But sports first, you got involved with saving the NBA season, which you've talked about how they called you LeBron and Chris and those guys. The thing that fascinated me, you've turned into a Big Brother consiglieri for all the superstar athletes.
When did this happen? Were you in office when this happened or was it after?
You know, actually, while I was president, I got to know a bunch of these guys. You know, they'd come by the White House. A lot of them knew I was fans of their work. They supported a lot of our outreach efforts, you know, Michelle's Let's Move initiative, or if we were trying to, you know, get people signed up for the Affordable Care Act and so became friends with a bunch of men. And when stuff came up, they'd sometimes call and or reach out.
And, you know, the fact that you see this generation of athletes actually paying attention and being interested in social issues was something that we encouraged because they've got a whole bunch of influence. You you have two daughters, I have two daughters, Bill, Bill is raising a young lady as well. And one of the things in the activism that we saw in the WNBA is something that was so heartening. The women in the WNBA, from Maya Moore to Asia, Wilson, et cetera, kind of led that charge.
Are you excited to see the growth in the kind of emergence of this league and how it's finally flourishing and they are the leaders on the forefront of the social justice movement?
Well, listen, I think let's stipulate that women generally are superior to men.
I think the best way to athletes are no different. It was interesting there. There was such a contrast when you had the men's teams, championship teams come and then the women's teams come and, you know, the guys were all nice, but a lot of them were just kind of mumble and, you know, the same way that all of us probably did if we were 21 or 22 and showed up at the White House and the women, you know, they would be articulate and engaged and, you know, asked these policy questions and, you know, so so I wasn't surprised.
But, you know, you look at somebody like Maya Moore, who I've known for quite some time because know my first year she came as as a Connecticut champion and, you know, her investment to the degree where she actually left basketball because she cared so deeply about it was impressive and not surprising. And it's it's a hallmark of. An example of where a law really did make a difference. I mean, title title nine really changed the landscape for sports and those of us who have daughters and see how valuable it is to have women have the same opportunities to compete and excel on the field or on the court and the confidence it gives them and their ability then to translate that success later in life.
You know, it was a really big deal that at the time, you know, because I'm old enough, you are Beqaa, but I'm old enough to kind of remember where just Billie Jean King versus Bobby Riggs was a huge event. The idea that an obviously superior female athlete would beat an old guy was somehow shocking to people. To see that change that's happened is all for the better.
You know, we as as you mentioned, Bekas, way younger than us. But I am yes, we grew up. I started building her up. But I do have to publicly give props because she was one of my earliest supporters in my unlikely race to run for the presidency. I don't know the state legislator and clearly had nothing to lose and as a consequence endorsed my race very early on when people still couldn't pronounce my name. I was still looking for my name in the book.
I read the whole thing twice. And yeah, maybe I am too. Maybe in volume two. I was looking in the index, but that's OK. You're going to get a whole chapter. But we were growing up and Muhammad Ali, John Carlos, Tommie Smith, the big summit with with Kareem and and Jim Brown and all those guys. And and then you had even when you had Russell in the White House and you gave him the Medal of Honor.
And, you know, Russell was a guy in the 60s who would give speeches about, you know, he go to college campuses and talk about I want everybody out here to think that someday there's no ceiling for them, that someday they could be the United States. Then he comes to the White House and visits you. It felt like this chair revived some of that stuff. And reading some of the quotes that you had about it, you just seem completely energized and jazzed that this torch had been passed, right?
Yeah, you know, you're right.
I do think it's generational. You and I. I'm older than you. But but we caught the tail end of the 60s and there was still that memory and that legacy of Muhammad Ali was still. Active, I have vivid memories of him speaking and, you know, even a figure like Arthur Ashe who obviously had a very different style, but you know, who was very early on talking about South Africa and anti-apartheid and AIDS and to see this generation pick that back up, I think it has been all for the good part of it is obviously that the culture itself has changed.
You know, sports culture is always a little bit youth culture. And young people got activated. And they these guys are all part of that generation. And I think, you know, obviously you saw a high watermark of that kind of activism this summer after the George Ford murder. But fairly consistently, they have the same kind of attitude that I actually see with my daughters. And I write a little bit about this in the book. They believe in the stuff that their parents and their teachers taught them, even if sometimes the parents and the teachers didn't completely believe it themselves.
I mean, they genuinely believe in equality. They genuinely don't understand how somebody could be, you know, discriminated against because of race or because of sexual orientation or what have you. And they're almost surprised and disappointed in a way that, you know, is not naive, but is instead, I think, reflective of their values and their willingness to fight for their values. And I think that that's a positive thing. That challenge, I think for them and this was true for Ali and Russell and Brown is always how do you translate that activism then into concrete measures?
And that's a lot of times when I'm talking to these guys, you know what what really the conversation is about is, OK, we know we want to do something. We're willing to put ourselves out there. But how do we translate our impulse towards social justice into something concrete that will actually do some good and make a difference? And a lot of them, because they've become more sophisticated on the business side, they now are eager to get a strategy, you know, to try and figure out, all right, how can I leverage my platform?
But also how can I, you know, leverage my relationship with my owner or how can I, you know, deal with, you know, my shoe sponsors or what have you. And that, I think is is the next evolution is them translating this not just from protest, but then also understanding how they can use their power, which is significant, formidable, more than it was probably 20 or 30 years ago.
I think one of the major differences we see is now, instead of just being the star athlete on a particular team, it's one through 15, all using their platform. It's not just, you know, LeBron James, but it's also Jared Dudley or whoever doesn't take off their warm up. But my question is, you know, these players, they utilize their their capital in in Milwaukee, you had the arena open in Atlanta. State Farm arena was open.
So what do these players do next? And how does how does a vice president elect, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, how do they leverage these individuals to utilize their platform to to do what's next, which is kind of create that tangible change?
Well, look, you know, there are going to be specific instances, let's say, if you've got a Georgia senatorial race coming up and obviously voting is still relevant in each of their markets. You know, one of the things that I have have suggested is that. Something like the criminal justice system is actually pretty local, right, decisions really aren't made at the presidential level. They're made the mayor appoint appoints the police chief or there's a police board or, you know, their contract negotiations about, you know, how police are, you know, held accountable if something goes wrong and the district attorney's and the state's attorneys are making all those decisions.
So for a lot of them, I think getting involved locally on the issues they care most about can actually have a huge impact and make a big difference. And obviously, you don't have to be a LeBron to have influence if you are a star or even just a player in that city. The other thing, though, that I've talked to them about is, is creating a structure that can sustain itself. I mean, I joke. I don't necessarily I didn't say the NBA season, but these guys had a question about whether they should go back to play after Milwaukee, after the Milwaukee Bucks walk decided not to play and all the NBA players in the bubble were trying to figure out what to do.
One thing I said to him is, look, the reason you guys are calling me at midnight is because you don't have an organization that is staffed that can strategize, keep up with stuff, you know, pay attention to the details, because all these guys are still young men who have a profession and a craft that they've got to focus on. It's it's too much to expect to them for them to be experts in every one of these areas. But they if they pulled the resources.
And they had a couple of staff attorneys, they had communications and an organizational network that was giving them all information about how they could have an impact on any given issue that they care about that I think could be really powerful. You know, you write in your book about lessons you learned from previous generations. Right. And older politicians, stuff like that. I'm so fascinated by this generation of athletes and really starting with the LeBron era, learning from the mistakes of the people before them.
Right. You think about the guys, the Jordan era, everybody's kind of out for themselves and everyone's make a lot of money, but they don't care about public perception, any of that stuff. They're just they care about succeeding and that's it. And that gradually evolves during the LeBron era. And now you see these young guys coming in and they're like finished polished products at age twenty one, twenty to twenty three. I don't fully understand it, but they've also the guys they're emulating now are LeBron off the court as well as on.
And I'm sure you've talked to some of those guys. Are you. Yeah. Are you like blown away when you have conversations with these dudes are twenty five and they're, they have this wherewithal of everything already.
I mean, I think that they and their parents have learned from some of the mistakes of the past, both in terms of how to handle their finances. Yeah. You know, it is unlikely that you're going to see a repeat of somebody getting one hundred million dollar contract and ending up broke, right? Yes, because the Vin Baker is rare and these guys have, you know, a clear sense of how to negotiate with agents, how they think about their contracts, how do they think about their endorsements.
You know what's interesting, listening to them, by the way, it's not just that they're learning from the mistakes of some of their predecessors. They're also a hip hop generation. And they've learned from the examples of guys like Jay-Z and, you know, Diddy and others who became entrepreneurs and, you know, owners of their content and and sort of liberated themselves from the old studio models. And, you know, the record deals where, you know, some great Motown artists or others end up not having as much as you would think, given their popularity.
And so that sort of cross pollination between hip hop and athletes, particularly in the NBA, I think has been interesting because they all see themselves as. Not just employees of a of a team, but they see themselves as as an enterprise now. You know, there are some downsides to this bill. You've talked about this on your show. It diminishes to some degree, team loyalty. Right. So the kind of experience as a fan that you have of loving a team, even if it's a loser.
Yeah. You think about the Chicago Cubs, right. And somebody like an Ernie Banks. Right. Who is beloved even though the Cubs never won. Right. But he was their guy. And, you know, you lose some of that. And, you know, I think that there are some downsides to how players are getting developed now because they think of themselves as an enterprise. The whole interaction with a you and you know, you know how they think about their own development, I think in some cases leads to guys entering the league, very sophisticated on the business side, but maybe don't have the same.
Skill sets and, you know, coaching that, lets say Michael Jordan got at North Carolina or a Tim Duncan got from Wake Forest, and it means that. You know, if it's a LeBron or, you know, some of these other guys, it doesn't matter. But for folks who may not be transcendent talents, you know, it may mean that their careers on the basketball court or in other arenas may not be quite as polished when they come into the league.
What do you I mean, one of the things that we've seen in sports is a lack of diversity in the ownership ranks and and throughout coaching. I mean, me and Bill were talking prior to I mean, we'll chip in. I think I have about a thousand bills going doing a little bit more. If you want to buy the Bulls, we can be a part of your team. Yeah.
What are you doing? How you support a team here? It's been four years. What do you still got to pay? I still got to pay student loans.
So let me tell you something. The the thing I wouldn't do is, you know, like like Jay-Z was quote unquote, part owner of the Nets. Right. Is one percent of Americans. You get a point one. Yeah. Courtside seats. And I don't want popcorn, popcorn and popcorn.
You know, to me, owning a team would only make sense if you actually have a controlling stake and you are then building a culture and, you know, creating the kind of organization that. You know, like the Patriots or the Spurs, where you have sustained excellence and, you know, I don't have that kind of money, no matter how many books I sell, you know, I thought I thought we needed the Spotify deal on the book sale book deal.
I thought I was like, oh, he's making his move together.
That's it. That's what he wanted to do, the books he's talking to right now.
You know, I know Jared and I don't think Jared is going to be selling anytime soon. Now, none of those guys want to get out of their.
The thing that's impacted us the most, especially as a football fan, I'm a big Gamecock fan. I miss being able to go to the stadium. Is this covid-19 and its effect on sports? How do you how do you think? You mean you've run a country? You were leader of the free world. How do you think these sports franchises and leagues from the wabble to the bubble to the NFL not really caring what happens? They're going to play football regardless.
How do you think these leagues are handling this, this covid outbreak?
And on top of that, the strategy is strategy is the NFL is just like we're plowing ahead. We're just playing the game. The NBA has put more thought into it. What would you do?
Listen, I would say that, number one, it's hard for any of these sports leagues to do a good job if the White House is not doing a good job. If if if at the top folks are shambolic and dismissive and full of misinformation and politicizing stuff, then, you know, it leaves everybody else on their own to have to make these ad hoc decisions. And so so with that caveat, I would say the NBA and Adam Silver handled it as well as it could have been handled.
And, you know, just generally that the partnership between the players, the owners, the commissioner, the at least the dialogue, you know, I don't want to overromanticize it, but you do get a sense that everybody there figured out. Look, we're all in this together. If we're going to do it right, this is what we have to do. It's going to require a bit of sacrifice. And, you know, the fact that they came through that process in the playoffs ended up being really exciting, really well played.
You know, kudos to them. That was impressive. Baseball, I thought, did a reasonably good job.
Look, the NFL right now, as we speak, I guess there's a game coming up. Yeah, yeah.
You know, with with what the Baltimore Ravens have in, like, half their players not playing. You know, it does feel maybe because it's a 53 man roster that everybody feels more expendable. And the notion is, look, you know, we just put something up there. You know, I don't I don't feel that they have been as cautious in terms of their design. Yeah. But but I'll be honest with you, probably the area where I'm most frustrated is college, right?
Because whatever happens at the professional level, at least, these are these are adults who are getting paid. And, you know, they're making a series of decisions that may be suboptimal for the players. But for the most part, you know, you're not putting other people at risk. You know, when I watch college football in particular right now, we'll see how basketball develops. There is this sense of the economics driving. A series of decisions in which a bunch of very young people are being put at risk in ways that are.
Unnecessary, but but that gets me into a whole set of questions about the NCAA that. Could take up too much time on the ship that should athletes get paid. NCAA athletes get paid. Yes, I think that the amount of money that is being made at the college level, the risks that, let's say, college football players are being subjected to and the the fact that. You know, for many of these colleges. You know what, what these young people are doing are subsidizing athletic director salaries and coach coach salaries, all all of that argues for a better economic arrangement for them.
And I think there is a way of doing that that doesn't completely eliminate the. Traditions and the love we all have for college sports, yeah, it just means that, you know, if Zion Williamson or, you know, a you know, Trevor Lawrence or somebody is participating in those sports and. Somebody, the local car dealer or what have you, who, as it is, is already probably a booster and doing a whole bunch for that university wants to also help that student, you know, with.
Their parents or, you know, facilitate them being able to get a better training situation for their next stage, that penalizing those kids when everybody else is benefiting does not make sense to me. And when you look at the history of the NCAA, NCAA and how it developed, it developed specifically to insulate these institutions from claims made by these students. You know, the whole myth of student athletes really evolved in part because early on football players, you know, who are being brought in, you know, as ringers on these teams were getting hurt and then suing for work worker's comp.
And suddenly the colleges figured out, you know, if we formed this association and create this whole ideal of student athletes that, you know, we'll protect our pocketbooks. So, yes, we should we should make some changes there. First time I met you twice the 12th, I gave you the solution, you didn't listen to me. You're in your president for four more years. I told you to create a sports car position. You could have fixed this convention.
You did. You did. You did suggest that now you didn't listen to me. You just ignore it. You swatted me away like Mutombo. I do.
I do take some credit for the college playoff, which as president I promoted. This band has worked out pretty well. So they come off as is a major theme in the book.
I didn't get everything done, but I got a lot that I do think the sports bar, the sports art thing in 2020 was proved more than ever that we made a detour. But. Right.
It was just complete lawlessness depending on the sport.
Well, and a lot of a lot of countries have it. And, you know, I've got I have some things to the. Some ideas that if I were a sports czar, I'd probably, you know, promote in your spare time, you could do it. It's like any other day at over breakfast and NFL overtime rule. Yeah, change that. I don't understand how. One team, if it scores a touchdown, the other team doesn't get the ball back.
Doesn't make sense to me, fair. Maybe maybe move the three point line back a little bit, why so only Dame Lillard and Steph can shoot?
Yeah, it should be a little tougher. You know, when I start seeing seven footers launching threes, that tells me it's gotten too easy.
That's a solid point. Let me ask, is this making them. It's it's gone too far. Let me ask one of these generational questions for you older guys. Is Steph the greatest shooter of all time? I think that's not the question. Absolutely.
I think he has the best hand eye coordination of just about anyone I've ever seen.
I have not seen. Anybody who can shoot that way in as many ways, in as unlikely ways, as consistently as Steph Curry and you talk about, you know, I mean, I know Steph well. Everything he does, you know, is just it's precise and neat and tight, you know, one of the things I described and you really saw this as president because all these athletes would come in, Olympic folks would come in and, you know, these world class athletes, they're like X-Men or, you know, like some of them you can tell are like the Hulk.
Right. You know, you're standing next to LeBron. You know, he's a freak.
Yeah. You stand next to sell the stuff and, you know, he's like one of those guys who he has some super power with. He takes off his glasses so you can't see right away, but is just as much of a freak is just as not as obvious. Or you take even somebody like a Rondo. I remember the first time I shook hands with him and he's shorter than me, but his arms like reach down to his ankles and his hands are, you know, just buried mine.
And you realize, no, there's a reason this guy is a professional know, just because he looks normal.
He is not the car, you know that he really just told us that he's down with Steph Curry and Steph Curry has hit him in high tech career earnings. With all due respect to my president, Steph beats my president Barack Obama in golf every day of the week.
Steph is a really good golfer. I mean, he's he's you know, he's you know, Steph Curry, Ray Allen. You know what's interesting? The two best NBA golfers may also be the two best shooters of all time. Yeah, because it's handi and I muscle memory, you know, just being able to repeat a motion.
What does that say about Charles Barkley? Got to be number three. So what does that say about his?
He is definitely not number three with this.
This gives us a good entry into speed round. We're going to do this fast because we want to talk about doing the first one. We'll go Bekar now alternate here. So Goff, they have these televised celebrity skins, golf matches a would you ever do it? And B, who is your partner? I would never do it because, look, the first time my chili dipped a shot or took three to get out of the bunker, and now suddenly that's a gift, right?
It's just playing over and over again on the Internet. So not worth it. Who's your partner?
If you did do it, alternate universe. You're doing it. Well. You know, I guess I tiger why why wouldn't I? Good. Good answer. The best golfer of all time.
Your Mount, your Mount Rushmore sports four across all sports. Ali. Jordan. Willie Mays. Maybe Serena and I are perfect. I bet you were go say Serena, because you said you weren't going to say Serena. I tell you, you look at her dominance over the Internet. She might be the greatest.
I mean, she in terms of our lifetime, you know, you've got Brady. You've got Jordan. You've got LeBron felt better. Yeah, Bolt. And Serena, right, I mean, you've got maybe those are the ones who maybe Mike Trout, you know what? His career is over. You might say the same thing, but but those folks and Tiger. They were that much better than everybody else in their primes. They exceeded everyone else in a way that nobody else did.
Maybe LeBron by the time he's done as well.
Next 12 years, you're trying to win NBA titles. Yiannis Lucrezia Zion. I want to see if Janice gets a mid range this year. OK, you know, everybody's worrying about Janice getting a three point shot. Janice needs a 12 foot or a 15 footer. That's what matters, right? If he does, then I think he's unstoppable. If he has the same shot as a Karl Malone or even a Kawhi right where in crunch time he can just pull up, who's going to block that shot?
So if he doesn't develop it, then then then probably Loukia just because more skill set, although Zions just more fun to watch because he's a monster.
I got Luca. Yeah, I know, Bill, that's actually you're fantasizing once this is like the whole Larry Bird, you know, fantasy coming back up and he's the best twenty one year old player ever.
He is remarkable. He's the drachma. You better get on the bandwagon.
I don't like the disrespect to Zion Williams in my South Carolina boy, right now.
I'm taking I've taken XIII every day of the week. So Niños Bulls or last decade warriors.
Hmm. I'm always the bulls will always be my team because because of that hometown of. But those two teams are the two teams in the NBA, I guess, along with Showtime Lakers. There are certain teams that transcend the sport and. You have so much fun watching them, it doesn't it doesn't mean that you don't respect the other champions, but those were teams that entertained as well as they played. And in that sense, they're comparable, right?
Twenty sixteen. Warriors was as much fun as basketball gets. Yeah, the regular that tweet, that twenty five game street they had was fantastic. Your most fun moment as a dad during the quarantine because underrated quarantine, because kids aren't old enough yet underway to quarantine. When you have teenage girls are older, they're stuck with you. They can't go anywhere. You get all this extra quality time you didn't expect. So what was your moment and.
Well, it's a it's it's a blessing because all the teenage stuff is kind of gone now and they're just back and they love you again and they want to spend time with you. And, you know, they're funny. And so like like I think a lot of families, we went through that first month where we were playing games every night and doing arts and crafts projects. And then slowly they started to get a little bored with us, maybe teaching Malia and Sasha and Malia, his boyfriend, who was with us for a while, Spade's, and then having some Spade's games.
That's contentious. Yeah.
And teaching them how to properly trash talk and slap the cards down.
And you might be getting out of Bill's wheelhouse right now. How dare you?
I like I haven't played I'm more stunned that Malia's boyfriend was confronted with you, that this is the biggest revelation of the pop. He's he's he's he's British wonderful young man. And he was sort of stuck because there was a whole visa thing and he had a lab set up. And so so we took him in and I didn't want to like him. Yeah, but I he is a good kid. So the only thing you discover. You this is not a surprise to you, Bill, because you've got a you've got a son.
Young men. I think it's weird to watch them consume food and my grocery bill went up about 30 percent. This sounds like an NBC sitcom pitch. It does to goes into former President Towcester in quarantine with his dog. Oh, I believe we to buy this. Do you know anybody at Netflix? I mean, there we go. Makes you want to go into the book.
You want to do a couple more to do. One more question. One more page. OK, I got two questions though. So somebody just run them off. Ali Tyson in their prime. Ali wins series. Ali, I got to watch. Yeah, they might be. Look, I'd be more scared of Tyson in a barroom brawl, but I'll leave the men. The man went to prison or at least was stripped of his title. And yeah, that was a risk of going to jail in his prime comes back and still.
Yeah, he beat Foreman, who is more imposing than Tyson in his prime. Yeah.
And he was he was so slow. He was so slow. He was so slow. Mike Tyson was fast and strong. George Foreman, you can't go back. Just just go back and watch the tapes.
You know, go go crazy.
I am not one of those guys who is always, oh, the older guys. It used to be better in basketball, for example. I'm not a believer that, you know, sometimes I get in arguments with Jordan about like, ah, you know, there's no hand checking now and this and that. These guys are soft. I actually think basketball is better now that they're better athletes, they're more skilled. And I think that's true. But just about every sport, you know, it's interesting with football that when I was president, the 72 Dolphins came by because they never got their White House visit because of Nixon.
Yeah, there was a few problems going up, stuff happening with Mr. Nixon.
So so we had them in and. Like those guys compared to the guys now are tiny, you know, Nick Buoniconti, who's who's like their middle linebacker, is like the size of a quarterback now. Yeah. You know, there's just no comparison. But having said that. I guess there are times where you look at somebody like Muhammad Ali, that guy. Timeless, he was timeless. My last speed round question, would you ever play Trump and golf in a loser?
Absolutely has to leave the country pay per view match. So that's it when he has to go. But not all of it, who's keeping score, who's counting strokes? Third parties, third parties? I think that would be my caveat. I'd want somebody following to make sure that, you know, we were tracking every stroke.
Good answer. All right, let's talk to the book, first of all, your main goal, I know, is to write a book that was longer than mine and I did it. You did it by like 50 pages, but it's only part one part is coming.
This is a super nerdy writer question. So I was struck. By a how many details you remembered from basically the 10 years, the two year campaign and then I guess six years, because you haven't done the four yet, but I'm sure it's the same thing, all the details you remembered and then also the way you were able to color and descriptions of the people who passed through your life. Right. The people in your cabinet, people helped that the campaign even like world leaders and stuff like that.
And it reminded me almost of if if a reporter had been embedded with you during this stretch. This is kind of how they would have written it, but you were the reporter and I can't figure out how you did it when you're writing everything longhand, which is the craziest thing I've ever read in my life, because he didn't type in a computer. He was writing it out on paper.
I know when I when I read that when I read that in the in the intro because, you know, authorship, we just had I just had a book come out to I was like, this is kind of crazy. Yeah.
What's happening. So I don't how did you remember all this stuff for you, like one of those memory freaks who remembers every single thing?
You know, it's interesting. I remember scenes. Even as they happen, they come to me as seems so there are times where we'd be in the Oval Office and. Somebody would say something. And it would be funny or. Scary in the case of, for example, our first meeting about the economy as I'm coming in, where I think that was a good line now and you know, that will work. That would work. As a scene, it's almost how I understand and process what's happening to me at that time and it sticks with me.
So I didn't keep daily journals, I guess. I guess Reagan and Carter would write everything down. At the end of the day, I found that I was just spent by the end of the day, you know, just had too much work. But I jot down if I if there was a memorable scene, I'd sort of just scribble something down and kind of put it in a drawer. Yeah. So that it would trigger a memory. But but look, the other thing, it is true that I write out longhand initially the first draft and then I type it in the computer, and that's kind of my first edit.
On the other hand, I use the heck out of a computer in terms of research. And and there's no way that I would have been able to write this book without 10 researchers if I've been writing it 20, 30 years ago. Now you've got an iPad and. You know, I could literally pull up. Every press conference I had had. You know, contemporaneous accounts of every single event that, you know, you just type in the date and it's triggering memories to write.
And so as it as you're reading it there. Oh, man. You know, and so sorting out, for example, my memory about sequence was not always spot on. You know, sometimes I think something happened a little bit earlier, happened a little bit later. One of the probably the most striking things for me about writing the book was realizing how much went down just in the first three months of my presidency. Things that, in my mind, I knew happened the first year.
But then it turns out, oh, no, actually, you know, I passed the Recovery Act to save the economy in the first month and the auto bailout was a month later.
And, you know, Lilly Ledbetter was right.
Or alternatively, I had not remembered the fact that. When we when I order the raid against bin Laden, I had remembered that it was at the same time as Trump and birther ism. Yeah, but I had forgotten that it was only a month after we had launched missiles into Libya to try to prevent Muammar Gadhafi from carrying out a genocide there. It was only a month before we had a debt ceiling crisis that almost spun the economy out of control again.
So. That's where computers came in handy, is just, you know, kind of getting the calendar of when all this stuff happened. But once once I had once I'm in the scene, I was able to recall it pretty well. One of the except we're calling Bakari Sellers in the book, but that's OK, that was something that was a miss.
But, you know, it's four, four and three or four stars because of that omission. You know, one of the things like one of your best one of your best pieces of oratory came in trying to convince Michelle and everyone else to when you were going off, before you went to Thanksgiving, I believe to to y to talk about running for president. And you have this quote and you were talking about the reason why why you, why me.
And you say, I know that kids all around this country, black kids, Hispanic kids, kids who don't fit in, they'll see themselves differently to their horizons, lifted their possibilities, expanded. One of the characters in this book that I love, that is one of my favorite characters of your White House is Pete Souza. He was somebody who the photographer. I don't even know what this man looks like. If he walked in here, I would have no idea what he looks like.
But he captured all of these images and not I always tell people that the probably the best image is the image of the bin Laden raid. But the second best image is the picture of you and Jacob Philadelphia together. Do you recall that image where the young man ask you, what does my hair feel like? And we laughed and joked about the successes that you may or may not have had. But one of the successes that you realized that promise talk about that moment where that kid was able to reach up and touch your hair and talk about how you encompassed meaning so much to black and brown kids around the world, showing them that they could be leader of the free world to.
Yeah, that is one of my favorite photographs. And it's one of Pete Souza who was the White House photographer, not just for me, but for part of Ronald Reagan's term. And it just became a close friend, one of his favorite images. You know, one of the things you do as president mixed in with going to The Situation Room or, you know, meeting with your cabinet is you just have to take a lot of pictures, right?
People are coming through visiting their staff turnover. And so this African-American couple, the gentleman had worked for one of the agencies. They come in with their two kids. One of them's of, you know, eight I think the other one's five. And the little boy, he's got his little tie on his little shirt. And you can tell, you know, his mom and dad are just barely keeping him neat for this photo. And he he just raised his hand.
He says, I got a question. Does your hair is your hair the same as mine? Your hair feel like mine? And I said, well, you know, why don't you check it out? And I leaned down and he touches the top of my head and Pete captured the picture and it became probably one of the favorite pictures. He would take these pictures and hang them up in the White House, in the hallways, and then he'd rotate them out usually.
But that one stayed there for four years just because everybody loved that photo. Look, I I tried never to to overstate the power of the symbolism of our presence in the White House. In fact, I write in the book that, you know, when I'm visiting a favela in Brazil, you know, that what they need more than just a symbolic wave from a guy who looks like them is they need better schools and, you know, better health care and decent housing.
So so it doesn't replace concrete. Changes in people's lives, but. There's no doubt that. Our presence there. For a generation, it became normal and routine, it did not seem unattainable. How that ends up affecting a generation of black kids, brown kids, but also white kids, because what was interesting was I can't tell you how many parents would come up to me and. Say, you know, our kids think that, you know, that is a given, that there would be somebody who.
Is darker than them, who could is also the president, you know, and how that ends up changing attitudes for that generation coming up, you know, you don't know. But I'd like to think that it opened up some minds and hearts for particularly for for younger, younger people.
So the tail end of your book is the bin Laden raid and a little bit of Trump birther ism stuff. And you also kind of go backwards, going to the Tea Party and kind of the seeds of everything that happened the last four years.
I thought it was interesting. And maybe you're going to do this the next volume.
You didn't really attribute a lot of where we are now to the Internet and the ability of the Internet to polarize things, to have misinformation, stuff like that. I don't even remember the last time you and I talked. I don't even think we talked about that, that piece of it. Do you look back now and think like, man, maybe we should have regulated some of this Internet stuff differently. What could I have done? Should I have put more power into trying to fix this before it became an issue?
Like how do you think of it now?
And I hint at it because we were early adopters of social media in the 2008 campaign for a positive in a positive way. Yeah, yeah.
It was great for us. Right. It was MySpace and meet up. And it's part of the reason we were able to mobilize all these young volunteers who actually knew how to work this stuff. I didn't, but we had a bunch of twenty five year olds were all like, I really, Mr. President, this you know, there's a group in Idaho, Idaho, one for Obama, and they're going to get organized through Meetup. And I was all like, OK, fine.
And the next thing you know, you've got, you know, sixteen thousand people in a basketball stadium in red Idaho. And we end up winning that state because of the power of that social connection. So I my view was shaped by that. And I thought, this is democracy. This is going to empower citizens. People's voices are going to be heard. People are going to be able to learn about each other and understand each other. And even as late as the Arab Spring.
Which is now, you know, so we're fast forwarding to the two thousand ten. Mm hmm. 2011, 2012. You know, you're still thinking that all those kids in Tahrir Square who are expressing, you know, their desire for freedom and and expressing themselves and organizing these impromptu rallies, that. You know, help result in overthrowing a long, longtime authoritarian leader, Mubarak, and you're thinking, all right, this is still a positive. You know, force.
And it wasn't, I think, until and as you know, volume two, where you start realizing, well, actually ISIS can also mobilize through social media and, you know, neo-Nazis also are finding themselves and each other through the Internet. And I think that is a. It's a fair. Characterization that the optimism I had about it in the first couple of years. You know, was shared by a lot of the folks on my staff because of where we had come from, and it wasn't until later that we started saying, OK, there's a downside here.
Now, what that means, you are absolutely right, Bill. And I've talked about this in some interviews. If you ask me what is the thing I worry about most about our democracy, Trump did not create the kind of deep polarization that we're seeing right now where folks just occupy two entirely different realities. He was an accelerant to it, but he didn't create it. And social media is helping to drive that. The question now, I think, becomes are there is there a combination of.
Regulation, but also the companies themselves adopting just smarter practices in order to curb some of that, we're not we're not going to get back to the time where you got Walter Cronkite and everybody just watching, you know, three networks and everybody's completely on the same page. But we can do a better job. And and, you know, I've had conversations with the leaders of some of these platforms and reminded them, look, you can pretend like you're a utility like the electric company, but you guys are media companies and you're packaging information and your algorithms are making determinations and you have some responsibility not just to increase your market share no matter what's out there, but in fact, you have a responsibility to to make sure that we're not tearing ourselves apart in this country.
And it is a powerful force. I write about the fact that when I ran for the US Senate and as late as 2008, when I'm running in Iowa, I could go into rural communities, very conservative, almost entirely white. Now might not be obvious sources of votes for me, but because. I could go into the local newspaper and have a conversation with the editorial board or I could show up at a VFW hall and just talk to people face to face.
If they'd give me the benefit of the doubt, I could have a conversation, they might not agree with me on everything, but they'd get a sense of who I actually was if I went to some of those same communities now. And all they're seeing is either Fox News or Newsmax or some Facebook page in which, you know, I'm some wild eyed socialist, you know, who, you know, Vampyre. You know, you can't have a conversation that filters to think.
Yes. And it goes both ways. Right. Although there's not a there's not a complete equivalence. One thing I always and sometimes folks who are nonpolitical, you know, who mainly cover sports, sometimes there's like both parties are so polarized, etc. There is an asymmetry going on right now. Yes. Generally speaking, it's not that there aren't some folks who have wacky ideas and are extreme ideas inside the Democratic Party, but the the mainstream of the Democratic Party is still rooted in facts and generally abides by.
Yeah. You know, the whole except for Barry, but the whole idea of like have to two sources for a story.
And, you know, let's listen to scientists like Foushee when he says that corvids bad. Yeah. We generally are still abiding by that. A little bit more climate change. Things are getting hotter. You know, we can have a debate about whether what we should do about it. But, you know, those wildfires in California are coming more frequently for a reason.
Yeah. Good book. So in your book, a lot, you talk about leading up, you talk about the differences between your presidency or your campaign in some of the campaigns that came before you like Jesse Jackson, like Shirley Chisholm, et cetera. And what I want to you talk about race a lot in talking to Axelrod. He was somebody who would always say we didn't have to talk about him being the black man in the White House. You could actually see that something that you talk about is kind of a theme throughout the book.
My question is where after George Floyd, Brianna Taylor might all be reading this book, how should we as a country, not just Democrat Democrats, navigate this tinderbox of race in the country and you have it and you have these new emerging young black and brown voters who want tangible action items from their elected representatives, whether or not is reparations or which is a whole nother episode or whether or not is direct infusion of capital into their communities, what what should we do?
How is leader of the free world or as just a regular citizen like myself? And Bill, how do we navigate this tinderbox of race?
Well. I feel more optimistic about our prospects of dealing with some of these issues as a result of what happened this summer. Not only because you saw this wave of activism among young people. Not only because. The demographic of those who marched was not always what you would expect, right? You'd have black lives matters, marches in small all white towns in Oregon or Utah and.
And that was indicative of what I told you earlier, which is young people, they believe what they've been taught about, you know, people being equal and needing to be treated fairly and are disappointed when they see those ideals breached. So I have huge faith in the previous generation, but also those young people weren't. Also helping to change the minds of their parents, right, and so you saw the kind of recognition that there's a genuine problem with racial discrimination in the criminal justice system in polling, a majority, not just of blacks, but also whites acknowledge that.
And that's a huge change from just 10 years ago. You know, if you would, when you look at attitudes during Ferguson, let's say, and attitudes now, the broader population is more clear eyed in recognizing there is a problem and that I think is promising and hopeful. Now, the issue always becomes, what do we do with that one question? And and I think the the the thing that. I am constantly urging when I'm in conversations with some of these young activists and look, you know, I've even back when I was president, I had some of the Black Lives Matter activists come in to the Oval Office and sat down and met with them.
And I stay in touch with many of them. And my argument is always, how do you translate your impulses into action? How do you how do you change laws? How do you change institutions? How do you change practices? And to do that? You have to be specific in terms of, you know, for example, let's examine how police are trained or let's examine how.
Yeah, you know, district attorneys are able or not able to charge police if you have a case of excessive force. But you also, in order to then get those laws passed or those institutional press has changed, you have to have allies. And the one thing that I insist on, probably partly because, you know, I have a white mother and white grandparents. And so I by necessity and by biography, I understand the love and regard that they felt for their black grandson, even if, you know, their attitudes weren't always perfectly politically correct.
I know that they folks can be reached. I have to insist on the fact that. We have to reach out beyond our own group. In order to get anything done, and that's true of all groups in America, and we'll be increasingly true because we are going to increasingly live in a a even more multiracial, even more multicultural, multi religious society. And so if we can't translate our aspirations in a way that white folks can relate to or Hispanics can relate to, we won't get anything done.
And that means, for example, if we want police reform and we know that defund the police as a phrase triggers a certain pushback from folks, we're going to need to get something done then. Is there a way for us to describe this as. Very concretely, you know, let's change how policing is done, let's reallocate some resources so that there's more money in prevention or mental health. A description that doesn't trigger that same kind of push back.
I guess the bottom line is, is that I think speaking truth to power about race is is necessary. Valuable, important, calling it out when we see something wrong is critical, but at the end of the day, in order to to actually right wrongs and bring about change, you've got to invite people in to help. You've got to be willing to say to the broader white population, we believe that you can do the right thing and want to do the right thing as opposed to suggesting.
You know, you can understand us and. This is your problem and right, and that's just human nature. Yeah, and it is the nature of putting together political coalitions. Which, you know, is the essence of democracy, right, is how do you get enough votes to actually make something happen as opposed to just feeling righteous about your own position? Well, hopefully over the next four years, we'll see that happen. This is the book, it's right there.
So I got it. I got to take my 20 percent off.
Oh, yeah. Because I expect you to pay full price. Man, come on.
I got twins. They're twenty two months old. I did the very best I could do.
Mr. President, great to see you. We three we saw. But not talking about your cigarette smoking revelations in the White House, maybe on the next podcast. We'll talk about that. But it was awesome to see you. Great book. Great job. Thank you.
I really enjoyed it. And just to make sure since you brought up the record is clear, it's been 10 years since I had a dad. I was proud of you. Yeah, it was good. Yeah. Pretty sure in the heck out of this Nicorette. Don't get myself off that stuff. All right. Good to see you. Thank you. So you guys have a great day.
You, too. All right, it's time for million dollar pics, I always like to follow a former president and that it states with gambling in the NFL. Why not? Let's do it. So I am taping this early today. I'm taping this. It is Thursday morning, my time. So we actually have time to incorporate the Thursday night Raiders Chargers game, which I'm going to cover in one second, taping the pics early in the morning on Thursday, a full three days before the games actually start.
For the most part, we do have a Thursday and two Saturday games this week. But, you know, there's a lot of Harring stuff here with injuries, covid guys getting scratched last minute, just kind of crossing your fingers here. There's other people out there that do gambling, you know, PIC's podcast stuff that wait till Sunday or say, check my Twitter on Sunday, I'll give you my picks. Look, I am up this year and I am putting the pics out on Thursday.
I'm up one hundred ninety nine thousand. I lost two hundred K last week, mostly because I didn't put enough on the bills and I really regret it, but I'm still up one hundred ninety nine K for the year and I think doing that on Thursday, I'm really proud of myself, I got to say. So here is my mindset going into week fifteen.
I think this is the weekend when the good teams are like, we're not fucking around anymore, the teams that have a chance to be a one seed or a two or three seed, you're just not catching them by surprise. And conversely, the teams that are pretty much out of it or are out of it. This is around the time when they rolled over, so I actually went through the scoreboard on ESPN because you can check out the games by the years.
So I looked at the 10 win teams in week fifteen over the last six years. And here's what I found. They were thirty three and four just to win the game outright over the last three years. They're eighteen and one going by year. Twenty nineteen. A teen that had at least 10 wins playing a team that had less than 10 wins was nine a. twenty eighteen three and won the seven and seven Eagles beat the ten and four Rams that year.
Twenty, seventeen, six a.. Twenty, sixteen, four and one. You had the eight and six titans beating the ten and four chiefs that year, 2015 four and won the nine and five Steelers beat the ten and four Broncos that year and 12 14 seven and won the Eight and Six Belles beat the ten and four Packers that year. So thirty three and four of the last six years. Eighteen and one over the last three. And if you look at the four losses, the teams were seven and seven, eight and six, nine and five and eight and six.
So in the last six years, a team of the losing record.
Has not been a team with 10 wins or more in week 15, that makes me feel pretty safe about some of the team's options, which is where I'm gravitating this week. Here's the first one I'm looking at would be a three T'mar. The Steelers are giving minus 12 and 1/2 points to Cincinnati. Cincinnati is really abominable. The last five weeks. I'm not sure if you know about the numbers, but they have scored 50 points total over the last five weeks.
And that includes a couple of games. They lost all of those games, their thirty first and DVOA, Pittsburgh's fourth. Pittsburgh needs a win. Pittsburgh's coming off that brutal three games in twelve days stretch. They need to just they need to eat. They need to sit down the breakfast table. They're not losing that game so we can teach them down to two and a half. Wonderful. Second one is Ravens minus twelve and a half over the Jags.
You know, the Ravens defense has fallen apart over the last couple of weeks. I'm not even sure you can start them in a fantasy league even this week against the Jaguars because they've had too many injuries and it's just too easy to move the ball on them. The Jaguars don't want to win any more games. They're still keeping their fingers crossed that maybe the Jets can win a game and maybe they have a chance to get Trevor Lawrence. There's also one other awesome quarterback in the draft this year.
And if if you give me, like, twenty seconds someone I remember his name. I can't remember his name, but there's two there's two really good ones, so they don't want to fall out of the top two. I don't think the Jags win again. That's I don't have the talent to win again. They got murdered last week. So bringing the Ravens down to two and a half, I feel pretty safe there. Then my third one, the Bills are playing Denver.
It's in Denver, there are some red flags here, and I'm going to go through them really quickly. You have. You have Denver looked really good the last two weeks, they played the Chiefs tough and then they did a nice job against Carolina. It's weird because DVOA their offense is terrible. They're like a bottom five dvoa offense. Twenty eight. But if you watched them the last two weeks, I like some of their school guys, I like jury duty.
I really like Tim Patrick. My buddy Gus is a lifelong Broncos fan. It's like we finally recreated Rod Smith. I agree. I think temperatures are good. And then Himmler had broke two big plays last week and they can run the ball a little bit with Gordon and Lindsay defensively. You know, they lost some dudes over the course of the year, but they're not awful. You know, they can get a stop. They can get a pass rush every once in a while.
So I'm not saying this is going to be an easy game for Buffalo. They're favored by five and a half. Everybody's feeling awesome about them. People are feeling like they are a legitimate Super Bowl sleeper. I think they're plus six fifty on Fandor to win the AFC right now. And it's a Saturday game, which means a lot of people will be betting on it, which means a lot of people will be teasing the bills or throwing them in a parlay.
I know all of these things. Here's the thing with the bills right now, they're seventh DVOA Denver's twenty eighth Buffalo's offense, three and thirteen first downs, top three, forty nine point three percent on third down top three. They're five out of six on fourth down. So their percentage top three, they're their third and passing yards. They have emerged as I think an incredible offense. I think they're really, really, really good offensively and honestly, they're probably ninety five percent as good as the Chiefs right now.
The chiefs still have the Mahomes factor. They still have the TYREEK Hill can have the eighty yard touchdown and a play factor, but numbers wise they're pretty much as explosive. They can move the ball in whatever way they want to move it. And when you throw out a couple the weirder games they had earlier in the year where they had that one game, terrible weather against KC, they had another game where that covid thing kept pushing it around. They had another weird Jets game.
But for if you just took their best, like six offensive games this year and ranked them against the other team's best six, they'd probably be the best offense in the league. And it feels like they're peaking at the right time. We can tease them with a ten points, two plus four and a half in Denver, which I really like, because even, let's say the worst case scenario, Denver gets a kick return touchdown like they did last week.
Allen throws a pick six whatever scenario you want to do, even if the bills are down ten in the final three minutes, they're coming down again. The garbage time touchdown. And Denver's not good enough to blow up Buffalo. I personally, Buffalo is going to run the slate, finish thirteen and three and put a ton of pressure on Pittsburgh to to close out and not get that third loss, because if they do, then the bills will be the two seed so that three team teams would be Steelers down to two and a half bills, up to plus four and a half.
And then the Ravens down a two and a half.
Mark that down. I have another tease for you. The second bad I'm looking at, I mentioned we as two of the ten win teams in that three team teams. We use Pittsburgh and we use Buffalo. Buffalo going into the five and eight Broncos and the Steelers going instead to 10 and one Bengals over the last six years, there's no track record even once of a team with that record disparity, beating a 10 minute team in week fifteen.
So we're going to put those two, I think, in the three team. The other team is the ten and three Packers playing the four or nine Panthers. I think the Packers are running the slate, Rodgers can can smell it. They've Carolina, Tennessee and Chicago left to to get the one seed and that's assuming that even New Orleans could potentially run the slate. New Orleans has Casey this week. I think Casey is going to beat New Orleans or cover that in a second.
Green Bay is not fucking around anymore. They want the one seed Rogers is thirty seven. He gets it. You skip round one, round two's and limbo round three is in limbo.
That is the easiest path they could possibly ask for in a conference. That's pretty weak. You know, that's really not the opposite of Top-heavy. So I feel like they're in a must win mode. Every game your fear would be, oh, Carolina. You know, they had a couple of years ago, they played Green Bay really tight at home that that McAffrey play.
But I think in Green Bay's in the we're not fucking around anymore stage. They're close, they're not going to fall asleep on this game. So I love the thought of teasing them. They're at seven and a half over. Carolina isn't down a one and a half with the Colts. The Colts are going against Indy. Colts are eighth and Devia in way to DVOA, which weighs like the last like basically eight, nine weeks this season. Houston's twenty fifth in way to DVOA.
Houston's decimated. They lost Woelfel Fuller and they lost Rowby to the suspension's couple weeks ago. They lost Justin Reed, who's their best safety. Last week they lost starting defensive tackle Brandon Dunn, their mess and they're playing at the air. Cronos not going to be the coach long term. They also kind of shot their wide, almost beating the Colts two weeks ago. If you remember, Watson had that fumble. And I just think the Colts last week, the biggest things that happen to them, Jonathan Taylor, the rookie running back, really emerged as a workhorse last week.
And they also got T.Y. Helton gone. And now, you know, Twila and Pittman and Taylor being able to run the ball and Hines coming in like it. They can move the ball a lot better than they did two and a half months ago. I don't know why it took so long to get going, but I love the idea of teasing them down to one. So, Mark, that one down to two is indeed down to one. Green Bay down to one and a half.
A couple more. Games that are probably put a little less on first one is the Raiders tonight against the Chargers Chargers.
Mike Williams is out. Keenan Allen's almost definitely out. And if he plays, he's going to be limited. They got really banged up in Sunday's game. Ekers is like game time decision. Even if he plays, he's going to be relatively compromised. They had their feel good win last week. And then on the flip side, the Raiders who got crushed offensively, but I'm not sure it's going to matter if none of the important Chargers skill guys are playing this week.
It's a it's an all time this is a kitchen sink must win game, the Raiders, they fired their defensive coordinator last week. They have Josh Jacobs back and I laid out on the pot a week ago when he rushes for seventy five yards or five know he's going to run the ball in this game. Um, the line is three and a half. I'm lowering it to two and a half. Which I have to pay odds on, but I'm going to parlay them with the Steelers and the Rams, Raiders, two and a half Steelers, Rams just to win is minus one zero eight.
And I'm doing that. So mark that one down. Next one is Washington Post five and a plus five and a half against Seattle. This is just a classic case of this line, should be three and I'm getting two and a half extra points with Washington, which has the last four weeks, their defense has been a top three or four defense. They can really, really pressure with a bunch of different dudes. And and they have an identity, you know.
And the big thing here is Gibson's got turfed out. Is he going to play as he started running back there to patch together a running game last week anyway with some of the backups? And then from a quarterback standpoint, seems like seems like Alex is going to play, but they know who they are. The thing with Washington, the game is going to be 16 to 13, 17, 14. 13 to 12, whatever they're not going to make they're not going to make mistakes offensively and they're going to try to win games with defense and special teams to a lesser degree.
Does the exact type of recipe the Giants threw at Seattle two weeks ago, Seattle couldn't block the Giants. They got a lot of trouble in that game and they got beat. And I just am not sure Washington isn't better than Seattle or at least even with them. So getting five and a half is wonderful. I think it's a three point game. I don't know who wins. I think it's going to come down in the last five minutes. And I think Washington's defense can really frustrate Seattle, a team that doesn't seem like they can block well for Russell Wilson doesn't have a good running game anymore.
And I don't know, I like the matchup. It's in Washington. And, you know, there's a scenario where Washington this would really give them some leeway in the NFC East if they pulled this off. So mark that one down. Last one, Chief. Saints chiefs are still favored by minus three. As we're doing this, I think it goes to three and a half and maybe even four by Sunday. They're talking about Brees possibly playing. He broke eleven ribs.
That seems like a lot either way, recovering a little bit. Gun shy Brees or Taysom Hill, who I think got really exposed last week.
And in general, I don't love the body language on that Saints team. I talked about that with Sal on Sunday. Something doesn't smell right with that team. It has the makings of a team that loses in round one, gets upset. And then three days later, the beat reporter for them for the Athletica, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, wherever that newspaper is, writes and empty the notebook piece about all the terrible things that happened during the season feels like that's simmering.
This for the Chiefs, it's like, look, you're the best team in the league, you fucked around against Miami last week. You almost you know, you let Miami hang around, hey, hang around. And they almost came back and made that game interesting in the fourth quarter, made some dumb mistakes. Mahomes still hasn't totally clinched the MVP yet, even though we feel like he's going to win it. Rodgers is at least lingering. And this is the kind of game, if you're going to win the Super Bowl and go back to back, you win this game.
They're better than the Saints Day. I haven't really seen a defense. Stop them, it's usually the chiefs doing dumb stuff, stopping themselves, they're healthy offensively, which I like, and I think the line should be higher. I think they're better than three points against the Saints. I don't care where the game is. I like the Chiefs, especially like if they're playing this in the Superdome. Because guess what, the chiefs had the fastest team in the league.
I love the fact that it's that it's in the Superdome. Awesome, great. The Chiefs are going to be it's going to be like a racetrack for them. So I'm down with the chiefs and then long shot parlay of the week. I don't love this. We're just going to dabble on it, but the Eagles are plus 25 five. It's Arizona. The case for Arizona would be Kyla Murray finally looked like Kyla Murray again last week. Case against against the Kurds as they were playing the the Giants and Danny Dimps, who was awful and and they couldn't get anything offensively and once they fell from behind, it changed the game.
And it was one of those games you knew in the first quarter who's going to win. The Eagles I'm not a fan of. Frankly, I wouldn't mind if they got eliminated, I think they have to be respected at plus two twenty five because of what Jalen Hurts gave them last week in the energy they had on both sides of the ball. You know, and you think about like I'm not sure there's a difference between the cardinals in the Eagles beyond maybe three points.
And I'm getting six and a half in this from a long shot Parli standpoint, the Eagles are plus two twenty five. Is it realistic that the Eagles could beat the cards? Yeah. And the other thing, you know, you have all these elimination pools. My friend Brad Mulcahy was on Cousins, our our our buddy from Sunday nights. But he also has the Against All Odds podcast on his exit points network. Brad is in this high stakes elimination pool, eliminated pool and and is kind of running out of teams.
And one of the teams they're looking at is Arizona, minus six and a half, which I'm sure is on the board for a lot of the people that these eliminator post. And there's like this weird hesitation with it because of Philly, because Philly has this tendency, especially as as we get toward the end of the year, kind of not dying. They're like Michael Meyers and who knows with the hearts thing, they figured out how to unleash Myles Sanders a little bit.
The coaching is still atrocious, like some of the fourth down calls they do. It's just bizarre. I think they're like thirty three percent on fourth down this year. But do I think they could beat the Cardinals? Yeah. So we're making that one down plus twenty five. Maybe with the bears who are playing against the Vikings, there are three and a half point underdogs in Minnesota. The Vikings have just one of the craziest special teams situations I've ever seen.
I don't think there's any difference with these two teams, but they're both really mediocre and either team could win. So Bears plus 160, whatever Eagles Bears together is plus seven, 13. So that is the law. I don't love it, but that's the long shot partly I'm looking at for this week.
So here's what we're going to do. For, oh, two more games I wanted to mention before before we get to the pics, I looked long and hard of that giant Browns game because Jason Garrett, the offensive coordinator for the Giants, has covered in Freddy Kitchens, is going to be calling the plays for the Giants. I was trying to figure out what would be a funnier scenario. The Giants completely shitting the bed and Freddy Kitchens finally giving the Browns one last gift or.
Freddy Kitchens zinging the Browns and picking them apart and and whatever, but the problem is it's Colt McCoy. I don't think the Giants can move the ball. I don't think it's conceivable for them to score more than like 17 points in a football game with the current roster they have. And I really like this Browns team. So the Browns are minus five. It just I'm going to end up staying away. So that was one. The other one was the Pats were getting one and a half in Miami.
In Miami has really passed a tipping point with injuries on their offense. You know, they're down to like their 17 string running back and they had no receivers that finish that game that you would ever start to billionaires and your fantasy team. And Belichick has this history of of beating teams that are either short handed or can only do one thing or are crippled in some way offensively. But I just can't bet on Cam Newton from what I've seen. So I'm going to stay away from that.
Here is what we're doing.
Here is the million dollar pics. For week fifteen, once again, we're up one hundred nine thousand for the season. We're going to put. Six hundred thousand. To win five hundred thousand on a three tees at minus one odds, the Steelers minus 12 and a half over Cincy. Actually, let me do this again, Kyle. All right, here are the. All right, it's time, let's do the million dollar picks for week 15. Once again, I am up one hundred nine thousand dollars for the season.
Couldn't be prouder of myself doing these picks on Thursday. It's like having a torn ACL and trying to run a 40 yard dash. Anyway, I'm not afraid of picking these games on Thursday. First pick a three teen. We're putting four hundred and eighty thousand to win four hundred thousand minus 120 odds on this bet Steelers minus twelve and a half over Cincy bills, minus five and a half over Denver Ravens, minus twelve and half over the Jags. Steelers go down to two and a half.
So do the Ravens. And the Bills go two plus four and a half in Denver. Four hundred eighty thousand to in four hundred on that. Then we're doing a two team TES.
Endi minus seven over Houston, Green Bay minus seven 1/2 over Carolina, we are putting three hundred thousand down on that three thirty to win three hundred K. And then. We're going to do some sprinkling. We're going to put two hundred K on a party of Raiders, minus two and a half, moving that line down, Steelers to win, Rams to win. It's minus one 08, so to 16, K to win. Two hundred on that to 16, K to win two hundred on Washington plus five and a half over Seattle.
I think that ends up being a three point game and then two hundred K on the Chiefs minus three against the Saints and then for the hell of it long shot parlay the week thirty three K at plus seven thirteen an Eagles plus twenty five and Bears plus one sixty. Both of them have to win. Those are the million dollar picks for week fifteen. If you missed book basketball podcast I did on Chris Webber with Joe House that is on the book Basketball Feed New Re Watchable is coming up on Monday.
We are doing the first born movie.
So you have you have four days to watch it and that the cousins will be there on Sunday.
Thanks for listening. Enjoy the weekend. Stay safe.