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Coming up, it's a special all D.C. DNA podcast, Tony Kornheiser, Dave Chang, who just made history, delivered one of the great Asian sports moments of all time. It's all next. We're also brought to you by the Ring or Dotcom and the Ringer podcast network, where we have an announcement on the podcast front, the mismatch with Kevin O'Connor and Chris Vernon, a podcast that has been a staple of the NBA show for the last four years. It is moving to its own feed.


Congratulations, fellas. Same schedule for them. They're going to be, I think, Monday nights, Tuesday mornings range, and then Thursday nights, Friday mornings range twice a week on their own feed, which you can subscribe to on Spotify or on Apple wherever you get your podcast. The mismatch, subscribe now because they are doing another podcast at the end of this week and the Ringer NBA show. Stay tuned because we'll have a couple announcements on that front, too.


Congratulations to KFC and Verno. I look forward to subscribing to the mismatch. Coming up, my friend Tony Kornheiser, you know him from PTI. You know him from the Tony Kornheiser show podcast. He's going to come on and talk a little sports with me. And then my buddy Dave Chang made some history and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? And we're going to talk about that and what's going on with the restaurant industry as we head to the end of twenty twenty.


It's all coming up next. First, our friends from Pearl Jam.


All right, Tony Kornheiser is here I like to check in with. Twice a year, one of the few people I know who the pandemic really didn't change his life that much still gets to play golf instead of staying out in his house. What is it been like to do a daily sports show, nine months of a pandemic style in 2020? It's a godsend. I mean, I'm extraordinarily lucky, I have both jobs, I have my podcast and the podcast is now instead of five days a week, we've changed it to three days a week because what drove it originally was sitting in a room with five or six people.


And because we can't do that, it has become sort of a call-out show. It's a little bit more sports oriented than it normally would be. I don't know if this has happened to you as well, but I've had to adjust on the fly. But I'm doing it three days a week and then I'm doing PTI whenever we're on the air and we're not preempted by something. And so having something to do, considering I can't go anywhere, having something to do makes me extraordinarily lucky.


I'm sure you feel the same way.


Yeah. And I think somebody like my dad who, you know, lives in Boston and barely gets a chance to go anything, is afraid to be in public. But he tests it sometimes with an outdoor dinner, maybe something like that. But it's weird times that it feels like as the weather's starting to turn, everybody's starting to get tired of it. And you see these these leagues plowing along. And we're in a situation with football where they've just basically decided, look.


The the the engine's going to keep going, we're going to keep we keep playing, if we have weird situations, we will plow through it. We may postpone a game by a day or two days. It's a really strange thing to be in because on the one hand, morally, I feel like, man, this doesn't totally feel right. On the other hand, there's so much money at stake. I want the players to get paid. I want things to keep going.


And I feel like my own morals shouldn't matter about it. Plus, I'm watching. Where do you stand on the whole thing?


Well, we get we get a tremendous amount of conflicting information. I mean, I live in the city where Anthony Foushee lives and practices medicine, and I don't know him. I've never met him. But I know a lot of people who do know him and studied with him. And whenever he's on television, which is with decreasing frequency now, I always watch. He was on Meet the Press just Sunday with Chuck Todd. Chuck Todd is a regular on my podcast because he he bets games.


He bets football games for me against the number, which always makes me I'm thrilled by that because he's Chuck Todd, for God's sakes. So I'm watching him interview Foushee. And Foushee basically is the prophetess Cassandre, a prophet without honor, telling you exactly what's going to happen if you don't pay attention and nobody pays attention. So on a on a larger level, I've got that. I talked about this the other day. There are these commercials, these incredibly skillfully done, beautifully crafted commercials for Harris Teeter, for Coca-Cola and for Wal-Mart.


The theme is always the same. It's to have fun with your family and your loved ones at the holidays. And in these commercials, Bill, nobody's wearing a mask. And you watch me sit. You look at these commercials, three enormous companies that you think have a social conscience and you go, what are you doing? Why would you air this commercial? Why would you try to convince people that this is the way you ought to behave, shifting it to sports?


Your wording is totally correct and plow through. That's what all these leagues are doing. That's what the NBA did. It's what the NHL did. It's what baseball did. It's what football is doing. They're plowing through. And because they're businesses and this is the only way they can make any money and they probably lose someone in the NFL, don't lose money. The other leagues probably lose some money because they get no gate or anything like that. But the alternative is to lose more money.


So they try to convince you this is a real season and not a season with an asterisk and try to get you to watch. And most of us do watch them. Well, I shouldn't say that because ratings are down 50 percent across the board, but many people do watch because it is they are relief from the horrifying, cloistered boredom of their lives right now. And I'm one of them. I watch, I watch. And I am of two moral minds about this.


I had I talked to Mark Maskey the other day, who I've known for forty years at The Washington Post, who covers the NFL. And I was asking him and by the way, if I go on too long, just tell them to shut up. But I was asking him about what appeared to me to be the obvious disparity in the way the Baltimore Ravens were being treated, coddled, I said, with their game moved, you know, whenever they wanted it to be moved, moved and moved and moved and moved.


And the Denver Broncos, who do not have a quarterback, that's my dog barking. They do not have a professional quarterback and they are doomed to lose that game. It's an impossible, totally impossible cannot win the game. And he said what the NFL is doing is they will not postpone a game. They will not move the game for competitive reasons, only for medical reasons. And I at least felt sort of satisfied by that explanation because there's an outbreak in Baltimore and there was not an outbreak in Denver.


It was just the misfortune of a quarterback getting it and all the other quarterbacks having to quarantine, you know.


Yeah, and it felt like they were punishing Denver a little bit because they weren't careful enough. Whereas in Baltimore, it's like a legitimate outbreak like you could have anywhere in the United States.


Like the Miami Marlins said, well, the Miami Marlins, a few games were postponed, but they were picking guys off the street. What I my position was you have flexible rosters in the NFL and everybody knows what the possibilities are. So why isn't Baltimore playing that game? Why not?


I do wonder, you know, we're all losing our minds because this has been going on for nine months. So anything that seems like it might be remotely normal, we convince ourselves as normal. And just the way we live, our everyday life is starting to feel normal, even though it's not normal at all. And I do wonder, like 25 years from now when people look back at right now and they're just like, wow, the NFL, they just plowed along.


They were getting that season done no matter how. They got there, it was happening, and I bet future generations will be confused and slightly horrified in the moment, it doesn't seem maybe as bad as it will be when we have some distance. I'm trying to think of other sports kind of moments or whatever that have have kind of taken or to what was canceled during World War Two.


What what went on and what was canceled. We look in a mirror that's 80 years ago. We look at that and they say, oh, yeah, in World War two, they didn't have this or they didn't have that or the Olympics. You know, we're not contested. I think that people will well, I won't be around to look back from that distance. But I think kids from the ages of about like I have two grandchildren, three and one.


They were really young, you know, for this for any real cognition of this. But you take kids, you know, from about eight years old up all the way to high school, you know, how are they going to be affected by this? How is how skittish are they going to be about resuming normal behavior? How much will this be imprinted on their brains that there was this period of time where everything seemed so different and contact wasn't made?


This is a foolish little anecdote, but I'll give it to you anyway. I was at a doctor's office about a month ago and I was introduced to another doctor in the practice, and that doctor reached out her hand to me to shake my hand. And I realized in that moment I did it, even though I was sort of weird in the moment. But in that moment, that was the first person's hand I had touched in six months. Yeah, six months.


It's weird, right? It's not it's definitely not normal. I don't know if you've done any dinners, but even though I went out to dinner twice in the past three weeks, including with David Chang with us on this podcast and the first two minutes, you just like, wow, my friends and the write their resume. And there's like this giddiness to it. And you don't even think about, you know, you're basically rolling the dice with whoever you're with.


You're hoping that they've been as safe and as responsible as you have and, you know, you're outdoors, you're not right next to each other, but it's still a little risk. And in the moment, you don't care because it's so exciting to just be normal. But you're not hugging, you're not shaking hands. You do like the elbow bump and then you just kind of have a couple of drinks and eat some food and forget about everything.


But I'm going out to play golf because I do. I've heard from enough people that outdoors is relatively safe, far safer than indoors. I'm going to have to play golf once or twice. I've had a beer afterwards with the guys I've played with, but as the tables near me began to fill up, I left. Yeah, I haven't had any of those outdoor dinners. I haven't had those. I've had takeout food and felt uneasy even standing around waiting for the food to be brought out in a bag.


I mean, I'm old, so I'm I'm in what is called the vulnerable group here, like your dad. And and so I'm very conscious of that. But I, I also I think it is so freakish to sit in a restaurant and be served by people wearing gloves and a mask. I just I will not do it.


I windshield's and they have like these shields like what did you do it. I mean I can go to a supermarket, you know, and buy things and get in and get out and go the right way on the one way in the aisle and try to get out within 15 or 20 minutes. And I think the precautions are being taken. But somehow restaurants and bars and places like that make me far, far too uneasy. And, you know, and I also just you know, I don't do zone calls because they are completely freakish to me.


I will not get on those. I did that once and felt I was in a very bad movie and I got out quickly and people even said, what happened to Tony when he left?


He left. You have some advantages during a pandemic. One is basically you were 90 percent quarantining anyway. Yeah, Courteney's self-induced quarantine to the thing that you really love to do more than anything else is golf, which is the one thing everybody can still do. And then the third thing is you can always blame technological idiocy, ignorance, which allows you to avoid all Zoome calls in all knowing office meeting InterAction's. I don't know how you pulled this off.


Yeah, yes.


I have created my own bubble. I live in it. And because of my age, people just say, well, he's just weird. He's just old, he's cantankerous. You know, you got to let him do what he's got to do. Now, I take phone calls. I'm happy to to talk to someone if they want to talk to me and I'm happy to walk around, walk the dog a lot and all of that. But I am freed.


Yes, I am freed from the social burdens that other people still have to maintain. I'm freed from them. It's good. It's liberating. You really pulled that off.


I think it's probably harder for Wilbourn, who thrives with our travels. Yeah, he loves traveling. Yeah.


He gets on airplanes all the time. He's in Arizona now. He'll be back here. He'll go back to Arizona. We had this conversation. He was in Arizona about two months ago, two or three months ago. And I asked him the difference between Arizona and DC, and he just said it's it's total night and day. Nobody out there wears masks. Nobody out there. You know, they go to restaurants. They do everything they do until the governor at some point, I guess, shut them down.


But he said what he noticed is, is and he was the first person to use this phrase to me, covid fatigue. He was you know, he had it and everybody around him had it and they were giving into it. And I just, you know, sort of shrugged and said, well, you know, I'm going to stay in the house. I'm going to do that. I'm going to do it that way. Now, it's it's I think it's more wearisome and going to be much more worrisome because of the combination of the holidays.


And if you live anywhere other than where you live or in the Deep South, whether yeah, I guess thirty five today. So nobody's going out. Nobody's hanging around outside. It's thirty five in Washington.


So that changes because I wanted to talk about one of the big trends from twenty twenty that wasn't really pandemic related, but we've discussed it a little bit. Previous things we've done, but not to this degree. The, the way people report on athletes now and how it's swung. And I was thinking about, you know, when you were you were on the rise. Right. Features for The Washington Post and inside. Sports Illustrated and the first of all, you'd better access to everybody, and if you're doing a profile of somebody, you actually got to spend time with them.


But there wasn't the fear that there is now of harshly critiquing somebody, you know. And I think part of that has to do with Twitter, the talking head stuff, clips getting cut out. Like if you rail on somebody on a show, that clip will get cut, you know, put on Twitter. The athlete has a chance to fire back all that stuff. But you could argue it was too harsh the other way 40 years ago, 30 years ago, 20 years ago, even 10 years ago.


Now it seems like we're more player friendly than I think we've ever been covering sports. What's it like as somebody who's had all kinds of jobs in sports media to watch this?


Well, I mean, I think if there is a big change, there is a change in the rigors and the expectations of journalism. And I think that has to do with social media that, as you know, I do not access ever, no matter what. So I'm speaking blindly about this. But it does seem that in when I was coming up, it's not that you didn't like the players, it's that you sort of understood you were a reporter.


That was your job. You weren't doing commentary, you weren't preaching, you were a reporter. There was a set of rules. So you went to where the news was and you reported on the news and you were not to become friendly with those people you were writing about. That was not just an unspoken rule. That was a spoken rule. You didn't you just didn't do it. You became friendly enough to have access to them. But what was paramount was fairness, accuracy and fairness.


And I'm not sure that those are the most important words. Now, I think a lot of people probably, you know, or headhunters, you know, that stuff, they want to make their reputation because there's not a pecking order in the way they used to be. It used to be if you got to The New York Times or the L.A. Times or The Boston Globe, you know, for Newsday, where I also worked, The Washington Post, Miami Herald, you stablish yourself, you would come up through a chain.


Everybody understood what that chain was. You went wrong to run to wrong. And when you got to a certain rung, that newspaper was saying, he's our guy, you know, something like that. And they don't those wrongs don't exist anymore. I mean, there is no centralized clearinghouse that says you should listen to these people and not listen to these other people. And I know I'm going to sound like, hey, get off my lawn. But that's the way it was when I was starting and columnists existed.


I don't think they buried people in the way. You know, it's when you sit down, Bill, when you sit down to write, if writing is important to you, as it once was, and it was important to me as it once was, then you didn't do six lines in a row killing somebody like you would if you're ranting on radio or on television, you know, the way it works now, there is a certain payoff to overkill.


And then players, as you say, fire back. And players, by the way, they don't. They used to need writers. Players used to need writers to help them with salaries to help them be employed. It wasn't just a meritocracy of talent. You had to sort of be unless you were great, you had to sort of be pretty well liked and you had to go along to get along. And I don't I don't think that's the case now.


Players make so much money they don't need, you know, they don't they don't need to be certified by anybody with a notebook. Right. You don't feel that way to you?


Well, I think there's I think there's a lot more pandering than there used to be.


And I think they want to be friends, I think. And also they want their relationships.


And it's also easier to have relationships with athletes now because you can do and text them. And, you know, I've certainly been guilty of it a couple of times. I did six podcast with Kevin Durant and like a year and a half, I do think the access is so much different than it was like when you're in Washington and I don't know, nineteen eighty and it's just by luck of the draw, you were going to have the best relationship with anyone on the football team or the basketball team over a national person.


Right. You're there every day.


Sure. Because I was there more frequently. Yeah. And now that now those days are over I would argue.


Wait, let me just correct that for a second, because, yeah, again, in those days, we're credentials mattered more, I believe, than they matter now. Like, I don't know if you say I'm from Yahoo! I don't know how much weight that carries, but if you were Dan Jenkins or Frank Deford or Curry Kirkpatrick and you said and I'm from Sports Illustrated. Athletes sat up and take they took notice. That was a big deal, right?


Big deal. There were no national newspapers until USA Today came along and nobody ever confused USA Today with The New York Times. They didn't.


Well, you know, it's funny. I think I think basically ESPN has replaced Sports Illustrated in that respect because a lot of these guys are home during the day watching shows like your show and first take, write and get up and all these dudes, these personalities. And a couple of the first one shows as well, all those personalities are people that are in their everyday lives. So they're probably more prone to respond to those guys than there would be a writer in general.


I don't think a writer is going to have even 10 percent of the impact that they would have had 40 years ago.


You know, especially loathe as I am to admit it, you are so right. I've had athletes. Come up to me in settings that are not their settings, they happen to be there for a certain reason and introduce themselves to me, know, well, that's different.


That's that's different than I realize. They've seen Wilbourn and me on television for so long and that's what they consume. I don't think they consume the written word in a newspaper. They might on Twitter, but I don't think they do in a newspaper. I think, you know, I think that all of the things that I personally strive for and maybe you did as well growing up, I, I don't think that's there anymore. I don't think that status, that cachet is there anymore.


I don't it's funny you mention that TV credibility thing, because I noticed that when I was doing the NBA show those two years, just being like. The previous couple of years had been to the finals. I stood on the court before the games, then I was on that show. Don't even like standing on the sidelines, guys warming up, they would like walk over and start talking to me and I'm like, are you talking to me? Like, it does sense to me.


But then you realize, like, you've almost been vetted when you're on one of those shows. Right. There's some credibility vetting with these dudes because they saw you on TV every day. So you must be OK. And I was you know, meanwhile, I'm right in the same columns. I always would, but I always thought that was interesting, the the credibility bump. And I do think, like, hey, you know, a show like First Take, which I think was a lot different than PTI and so many different ways and a lot more more long monologues, you know, three minutes back and forth, stuff like that.


And there was an anger toward that show 10 years ago that I think has completely gone away because I think people get it now. There's there's kind of a wink, a wink wink to it that maybe people didn't see 10 years ago. Maybe people thought they're just trying to start controversy. You guys at PTI, you always managed to be kind of friendlier and not like an angry show, more like we're kind of on the side of all this stuff, but we're going to be fair and harsh and critical when we have to be.


You had that balance in the first year, right?


Well, it's because of the backgrounds that we had. I will tell you now that I believe that Stephen A. Smith, who has worked for newspapers in his life, you know, and and knows what it's like to have been a reporter, I would say that he is the face of sort of sports in America today, that every athlete knows him because he's also a generalist. He's not he's not a guy who was introduced as an insider at the NFL and then therefore is not expected, don't know anything about any other sport.


Stephen is is all things to all people. And I think that so many more athletes would recognize him than he would ever recognize going going the other way to that show. And because of his personality and I think he's as I've told you many times, I think he's enormously talented and I really like his work. Robert and I were different because we were hard core newspaper people who ascended to be columnists, which meant we could have opinions, but they were, I would say, more reasoned, more nuanced.


And we were very, very friendly with one another. And part of the goal was to make each other laugh and to entertain each other and then maybe entertain the audience by doing that. But we were not we were not polemicists or anything like that. You know, that's not what we were and that's not what we are.


So it is funny how the structure of that show, no matter how much media changes, the structure, is still unassailable. Like I remember I was given notes on our we have a fantasy football broadcast that I think has a chance to be really, really good. And in the first couple minutes, they were kind of dilly dallying around before they got to whatever the biggest story is and just kind of stirring the pod, like shooting the shit. And I was telling one of the guys, like, look, watch PTI.


They get to the biggest story at the start of the show and they hit four. They hit it for two to three minutes. They don't fuck around. It's not like, hey, Wilbon, would you have for dinner on Friday night or Bob? They're like in it's like what was the biggest story? We're hitting it. And for that first 12 to 14 minutes, you're hitting the five biggest stories period or the four, whatever it is.


No, that's exactly right. It's it's always the same. I always say, but we begin today, like, OK, whatever we just did in the first thirty seconds that made you laugh, that's fine. But we begin today and that is the biggest story. And we go in descending order and we think about that. What are the stories we want to get to? What do we have to get to early just in case somebody is going to leave after ten or twelve minutes?


Yeah, and there's a run down that is completely based on how sometimes we're wrong, but what we think are the most important stories of that day. Yeah, that's the format of the show. Well, you know, hold on. We'll get to this other thing at five forty five. No, no, no, no. We're getting to it at five thirty one.


You know, it's funny, I don't think TV shows translate to podcasts with very, very rare exceptions. It's a really good podcast. You just put it on and it's like the first thirteen minutes is just a snapshot of what were the big stories today. Carson Wentz boom with the Ravens. They postponed the game again. What is the you know, you just hit all the marks. And even if you could listen, you you won't understand this, but you can listen to a podcast at one point, two speed, one point five speed.


You could conceivably pass through that thirty minutes of like nine minutes and just get everything so well.


I mean, Mike used to say this all the time. It's a daily digest that we are we're daily digest of sports with a compendium of that day and and that's our job and again, because of our backgrounds in newspaper. We completely understand that it's like if we were editors, the meeting we would have is what's on what's above the fold on the top, right, as you look at the paper, because that's the lead story, right?


The lead, right. Is the 20th anniversary coming up. Is out next here while you have it, it's next year, like October, I always thought the show started in September, but apparently it started in October. I wasn't aware of that. I don't know. I don't know why. But you lose track over a bunch of years. And now that we're in the 20th year, if that matters, it's not we haven't looked we won't look back until October at a full 20.


But, you know, really, what's the difference?


What's the difference? Let's do a couple of old guy who's been following sports for a long time stuff, historic stuff, is Mahomes the most talented quarterback you've ever seen?


Yes, he's a wizard like you saw the first year in Kansas City when he just came in. He's a wizard. He can throw it a few yards in the air. He knows when to run and he knows how to not get hit and he knows how to find receivers. And they look, I'm old enough that Johnny Unitas is a god to me. And Tom Brady's achievements, I don't know that Mahomes will get to nine. I don't know that he'll win six.


But that talent is surpassing, is it not, to you? Is it not surpassing?


Yeah, I always thought I thought Brady was the best quarterback I ever saw. I thought Rodgers was the most talented quarterback I ever saw. OK, and I think like the other older people would argue.


Elway. Ah, yeah, Montana. Yeah, sure. Before I do it, like this guy.


Yeah, before Rodgers I would have said Elway and now I would say unequivocally it's Mahomes. I had Tony Romo on my podcast last week. You know, whatever your checklist is of what a quarterback needs to have, whether it has twenty categories, twelve, eleven. I don't know what the final number is. He he checks more boxes than any guy we've ever had. Like, he basically is the same canon that Elway had, except he can move better than Elway did.


Right. And he could throw more angles that Elway did. And I just think John Elway was a great athlete.


Elway was a bonus baby baseball player, a great athlete. So I guess, you know, don't look at the thirty five year old John Elway. Look at the twenty one year old John Elway. And Mahomes is better than that. And Mahomes comes. Well, you know, look at look at what he comes from. His dad was a Major League Baseball player, right?


Yeah. He has the pedigree. Yeah. Yeah. It's it's funny because I'm at the stage of my life now where I'm amazed at the guys. Like, I was even amazed during the last dance how many people in my life were like, wow, I had no idea Jordan was this good. Like what? You know, it's only twenty plus years ago, but you realize, like, people only have their frame of reference. The same thing when I was growing up and people would talk about how great Johnny Unitas was and I just didn't care because I didn't get to see him, you know.


Yeah, no, I understand that. I mean I watch Johnny Unitas and I mean, I think you measure it. By how many times do you get to the championship? You know, it's hard to win football because there's so many more moving parts. But he got to a bunch of championships. Elway got to five, Brady got to nine. I don't know that you can require Mahomes one player who's only on the field half the time. I don't know that you can require Mahomes to get to nine and win six.


I think you have to just believe what you're watching. Yeah. You know, let's look at the talent.


Well, in the bronze, in a similar situation with the Jordan thing, because they'll never top the six, you know, in the finals. But he's right. Trying to beat him with totality of career, which. Right.


I think. Well, the thing the thing that separates them to me and I love LeBron and I'm so happy that he won and all of that, but what separates them is six and a.m. in the finals. I mean, come on. Six and. Oh, right.


Yeah. But think about, you know, the Jordan Jordan got this big new victory lap this year, but that other guys just completely slip away, like Kareem, who I thought had the best start to finish career of anybody I don't think was the best player ever, but I think he had the best basketball career of anyone ever.


When you go better than Russell, I put Russell right there. When you go high school, college, NBA, right now, you're talking twenty, twenty seven years where Kareem is just dominant at every level, pretty much the whole time until the talent with the Lakers. I think Russell had like the best for Lebanon, condensed, awesome career. And then Jordan I think hit the highest peaks. And then, you know, who's basically trying to have a better career than Kareem did, which I think he's pretty much there at this point.


So let me let me push back a little bit and mention a couple of people like Jerry West, who's who the length and breadth of his basketball career is unmatched because he's still doing it. And he was an all-American college player, was on an Olympic gold medal team. Russell was on an Olympic gold medal team. Russell won two, I think, college championships. Kareem won three.


No, Russell Russell had two college championships, an Olympic gold medal, and then eleven for 13 as a pro. It's pretty it's a pretty crazy fourteen year run. Yeah. Yeah, it's pretty.


It's pretty good. Kareem Yeah. Kareem His playing career was magnificent. The most length and an absolutely magnificent KAREEM Yeah, sure.


But impossible to cover. Right. Probably the least the league. Russell was very difficult and Kareem was very difficult, and it's so interesting to me now because I read Kareem's columns, they're really good. Yeah, he's really smart. And you just wonder, you know, what you want to say to him, look, this was your choice, OK? Was your choice to be who you were and deal with people in the way that you dealt with them.


And I'm not going to get inside your head. I'm sure you had valid reasons to do all this, but do you think you missed out a little bit on what it would have been a much more adoring public.


Right. So tomorrow, God questions. Yeah. How worried are you about baseball right now as a sport? I love it, I love to watch it, I set my clock by the Nationals Games, now I watch them all and I pay attention. It's it's not a national sport anymore. It's a local sport. People cheer for their teams. I think that ratings I think local ratings of baseball are still pretty good. I do worry that its audience gets older and older and older, but I assume that there still some health in Little League.


And I assume that that one thing that always is true, that baseball, the passing down from father to son, I mean, I had it in my house and my son loves baseball. So I assume that that still sort of works and, you know, pass it down from father to son, father to daughter, mother to son, mother to daughter, because baseball always had been the most familial of sports. Are you worried? Yeah, I'm worried for the attention spans of younger people watch it, which has been discussed ad nauseum, and also their complete inability to develop black America baseball players, you know, and you have the Dodgers win the title.


Mookie's the only black guy in the team. And in general, the amount of black people that are playing professional baseball now in the major leagues, it's comparable to what it was like in the 50s, in the 60s, which makes no sense to me. So it it seems like if you're just talking about who's playing baseball, how are we getting more people to play baseball? Is baseball fun to play? How do you suck somebody in who's an awesome athlete?


Would they pick baseball over football or basketball or tennis or soccer? It's strange to me that baseball is, you know, one to one of the sports that just isn't in the conversation anymore domestically. And I don't know how they fix.


You said, like you said, it's an old guy question. Well, at my age, I can't I can't relate to the notion of younger, younger, younger people not playing it because I in my own household, I saw my my son play it and he's teaching his son to play it in terms of being representative of the culture. I mean, I don't people make choices as to what they want to play and what those people that they want to emulate.


And if there are not enough people who look like you in a sport, it's hard to choose that sport to emulate. No, I understand that that's a problem, which I assume baseball knows far better than we know. Right? Right.


And you also have a situation where basketball and a lot of ways has replaced baseball as America's pastime, you know, and the heroes that you had when you were growing up. Aren't baseball players in where their basketball players and football players? Well, that's a really tough one, great advantage of not being a helmeted sport. You can see everybody, you can see the people you want to be like you can see what they do. And you can attempt to do that yourself.


And I think also, I think at this point, basketball is a more worldwide sport than baseball or football right there drawing from all around the world in a way that the other sports don't.


You know, it's funny, it's even being reflected in the sports car market. Basketball is like red hot, smokin hot. Unbelievable the way baseball would have been 35 years ago. And the older baseball cards are not like the same. I mean, Mantle and Koufax and Jackie Robinson, those ones will always be fine. But for the most part, it's like now it's LeBron Luca, Anthony Davis, the bird magic card, stuff like that. So I just feel like basketball has replaced baseball in a bunch of different ways.


The ratings haven't totally caught up yet.


Now, the ratings and the ratings were terrible, but they were terrible in all sports, but they were terrible in basketball. But I, I think the election cycle to do with what we started out talking about, that these sports have been jammed into a season that isn't even their season. And there was a sense that it was just the push by the architects of the game to get a champion and pay everybody out. Right?


Yeah, I agree. Last question. Who's your favorite golfer right now? Well. I mean, I always like Tiger, I think Tiger is so extraordinary and I always like Phil and I particularly like Phil in these exhibition matches because I love the way he talks. And I think that he should actually be doing sports commentary on all sports because I think he could do it. But if there was a person I like to watch more than anybody else, and it is still Tiger, you know, especially if Tiger's playing well.


But I do like to watch. Hmm, I don't want to say they're all the same, because, you know, when when when Dustin Johnson gets hot, he has no particular personality that brings you to the screen. The boy, he's a great player. Justin Turner, like I like I like to watch him. I like to tell you that both his dad and his grandfather were pros. I like to watch Jon Rahm, because at any point you think he might take the club and wrap it around a tree.


If he hits a shot that he doesn't particularly like. Right. I think they're all pretty good. You know, I do like I respect Rory McIlroy. And if he hasn't won in a while, it's not as troubling as Jordan Spieth, who seems to have dropped off the face of the Earth. And I do. There are three young kids who are fun to watch. More is fun to watch. Hovland is fun to watch. And Wolf, it's fun to watch.


So I've just named you about 10 people, right?


I think golf's in an awesome place right now, and I do think it's gaining steam again. You know, I think when Tiger basically got wiped off the map at the end of the 2000s, I think there is, you know, an obvious winning the Masters.


Last year was a huge deal for golf. Tiger won, but that brought a lot of people back.


But also we got beefy. Bryson, I know you've got a lot of mileage out of him.


He's got hate him. I know I. I find him interesting in an admirable and move on him.


It's weird. He really does provoke reactions from people in a way that's unusual for golf. Golf is pretty bland. Usually in with him. People have a lot of wilbourne like reactions of the first day of the Masters, the first day of the Masters.


The only stories worth paying attention to were disemboweling Tiger to see how they would do it in the first day when the Shamba was sort of ordinary, when he had said, for me, it's a par 67 and then he shot like 70 or something like that. And by the middle of the second day when he lost the ball, you went, OK, he's he's gone. So we don't have to pay attention to him anymore, because if he had won that, the whole thing of is Bryson DeChambeau killing golf would have been alive for weeks and months.


But he didn't win. He didn't even come close.


So, no, my favorites are I love Breck's. I hope he can get healthy next year. He's my favorite. I love John.


I love what he does with Dustin Johnson, where he basically says, you know, get out of here, you know, you know, you're not that good. So that's good.


Yeah, he almost is. Acts like a basketball player. Yeah, I like him. I like I'm with you on genre. So talented. Always feels like he could self-destruct DNA.


Yeah. Deejayed leaves me a little cold even though I think because he has no personality there's nothing there.


You don't know whether he could be up six in the fourth round or he could be down ten in the fourth round and you would have no idea because he's just this blank slate. So I don't really enjoy that. But I do think he's so talented. He's like the guy you would cast in a sports movie to be one of the people going against, I don't know, cast iron tin cup two or something.


So I like here's what happens with him. Like he's always in position to Eagle. And in the past he would three putt. So you go there. He's not very good. He wasn't a good putter, but he's gotten better as a putter. His personality is so dry, though, like Rory McIlroy comes alive and Patrick Reid comes alive. And this is what you don't see all that often in baseball or football. It is what you do see in basketball.


And you and it is similar every once in a while in golf in that they are not wearing helmets and their emotions are fairly visible. Yes, they they have. In golf, the director cuts away from golfers much more than in basketball. The director cuts away from basketball players because in basketball you are there to see two or three people per team and you want to see them all the time. All the time.


So D.J. reminds me of Tracy McGrady, who I really liked, but was everything came so naturally to him. It was almost annoying that he wasn't better, even though he is the tough guy for four years. And you watched him go, man, you should just be the best player. This is disappointing. And I think Jay is the same way where he he finally wins the Masters. Everybody, part of the reaction was like, wow, he hasn't won the Masters yet.


He's the most talented guy. How is that? That happened. So it's almost like he can't win even when when he's winning. All right.


Can I go to Tracy McGrady for a second? Can I ask you this tonight? Yeah. How about your superior knowledge in basketball? What did Tracy McGrady do that, you know, I mean, it's a sport where you're one of five and you would think that one of five would be able to influence a team, not necessarily to win championships all the time, but you never got out of the first round. I know right now the first round.


That's the thing. And that's why I am doing this book of basketball podcast that I've been doing, because it's so interesting to look at some of these guys and kind of reexamine them. You're going to be on one of them soon. But T-Mac is a classic bad. Guy, right, he leaves Vince Carter, goes to Orlando, he thinks he's going to play with Grant Hill and Grant Hill breaks his ankle and is just never Grant Hill anyway. So this time there goes to Houston and ends up with Yao Ming, who, in retrospect, even though it was nice to have to ask some guys on the same team, was kind of a bad fit for TMac because you have the seven foot six guy who's just blocking the lane.


You know, I think if we knew what we know about basketball now in 2005, you would want T-Mac just with everybody spread out with him attacking the rim and shooting threes but we didn't know about. So he has this whole career and it's like, man, I wish we could just do that again and try it. Try a different team, different offense. I think he was really talented. I actually think he's weirdly underrated because everybody just hangs the playoff record on him.


And in this case, I'm not sure what else he could have done with the teammates he had.


Well, OK, so the pushback on that is every once in a while there was a supremely talented person who falls into the underachieving ranks because of performances in playoffs. And I'll give you Barry Sanders with the Detroit Lions, who everybody thinks might be one of the five greatest running backs of all time, but didn't do it in the playoffs. In basketball, the whole season is the playoffs. Yeah, that's it. The playoffs.


I'm with you. And that's that's why McGrady's is such a fun guy to talk about. You know, he was the best player in a team that won twenty two straight games in the regular season, which is weirdly the best thing he did. But as you said, it's the regular season. Who cares? But you have to be really good to be the best, especially the team that he was on that year. So, yeah, it's a complicated subject, Tony.


It was a pleasure, as always. Thanks for coming out. It's my pleasure, Bill. I would I wouldn't go on with anyone else but you, and when I get off the phone, I'll even say, why did I go on with him?


I appreciate. All right, Dave Chang is here. We're taping this on a Monday last night. Dave was on Who Wants to Be Millionaire and became the first celebrity ever to win a million dollars, which I would have really loved to see unfold, not knowing what happened. But of course, we had dinner three weeks ago and you blurted it out and sworn to secrecy. But my kids who knew nothing, my son has never been more impressed with any friend I have.


So let's start there, even press my son, who is unimpressed in general.


But you set a record here, more importantly, for people who who, you know, have have gambling issues who want to roll the dice.


You're a hero now. It actually worked out. It is a positive gambling story.


Can you buy that? Oh, my God. And if I got Ben Simmons approval and I don't need to live anymore, that's that's it.


I reached the pinnacle. I wish I had been there as this was unfolding because I have gambled with you. And I think both of us have the same issue where we always think it's going to turn around. We're always going to roll the dice. We're always going to go three thirty in the morning. It's like, oh, new day where things are going to turn. We're hopeful gamblers. And in this case, you're trying to win a million dollars for charity.


You correctly assess it as well, I'm up to what was a two hundred and fifty K where the first time you're like, Oh, I could just bank this. This would be a lot of stuff. And you start thinking, no, no, actually, if we got to a million now, I'm actually going to raise real awareness. So what was the what was the gambling problem versus awareness for the charity? You're raising ratio in your head as this is unfolding.


It was a fight to the death as it really was.


I watched it for the first time last night, too. And I think right around the quarter million mark, that's when it gets to be a big delta between that number two fifty plus and the thirty two thousand million. But you can walk away with and it started actually to get serious at sixty four thousand because I think I made out that question, the most cavalier decision of just being like, fuck it, I'm not going to ask anyone, I'm just going to guess because I was like it's not that bad and it's not embarrassing.


My whole goal was I just don't want to be the laughing stock of, you know, of of a millionaire. And then. He got the questions really do get more difficult and more difficult when you're in the chair and right around the 250, half a million dollar mark, that's when I'm thinking just constant fear of you're just gonna fuck this up day, you're just gonna fuck this up. So. Yeah, I honestly don't even know what I was thinking, because the rational side of me is like you should bail out half a million dollars.


Clearly, I knew what you were thinking because I know you and I could see your fucking wheels turning once you once you realize the billion was in play and you had two questions left, but I had no idea what's going to happen. I would have been like, oh, he's gone for this. He's just going for it.


I mean, those that know me, of course, know like I can't resist that that impulse. And then the calculation that I didn't verbalize that I think I tried to explain on the million dollar question was if I lose, it's actually sort of a win, as embarrassing as it would be, because if I walk away at half a million, no one's ever going to talk about it. I mean, six celebrities that have walked away from half a million, no one ever knows, you know, those names or even the charities they were for in the restaurant industry is totally fucked right now.


And I just don't think on the media's end, people are talking enough about the problems. And, you know, this is all the way at the end of August. And I just was like. What's the most embarrassing thing and then if I had to explain to people that I did it to raise awareness, then in my mind it would sort of rationalize me answering incorrectly and. And also, all that aside, I have a gambling issue, and that's ultimately what pushed me over the edge.


Well, you did it. The smart move was when you rolled the dice at the sixty four because you kept all your options open for help later on. And you also got rid of the 50 50, which I agree with. I think the 50 50 is a little overrated. That's compared to compare the other ones, right. Yeah, but it's difficult. I sort of regretted doing that because it was either 50/50 or ask the host but you're close with Kimmel.


Kimmel knows a lot of stuff about pop culture. Yeah.


And I thought the 50 50 would come and play very handy maybe later on, you know, like the million dollar question. So I, I debated that quite a bit. I think they edited out a few few, you know, me hemming and hawing over what to actually do, but. Well, that was a good one to get rid of. More importantly, I mean, beyond the million dollars you raised for charity and the fact that you now become the guy who's mentioned, you're like Flipper Anderson on Sunday when they were like Tyreek Hill, two hundred sixty two yards.


The record is held by Flipper. Anderson, you just mentioned that who has to be a billionaire for the rest of your life, but more importantly, one of the great Asian sports moments of all time. Thank you.


And I don't think Linsanity is one. Not only do you get to a million, but you're your dream team of smart people. You assembled many times around Alan Yang. That is going underrated, I think. Team Asia, America to the highest degree and, you know, people don't realize Allans really goddamn smart. I mean, he graduated Harvard like 19 or 20, and it was like an English major history major. And she graduated near the top of her class at Yale.


And I graduate with a C plus from Trinity College.


So I was leaning on either of them. Right. And I remember asking me or Alan, whoever got back to me first would have been my friend to sit down with. So I I don't know if it's got enough play that it was all Asian team that broke the 20 year drought.


It was such good drafting of your teammates that I didn't get offended, that I wasn't even considered fair, because you figure with me sports and pop culture, I have those to cover it. I would have been in trouble with the Batman question. And so the other stuff, I mean, Yang was an unassailable combo.


I have I have a lot I thought about it a lot, Bill, of course, because people obviously listen to you. They don't they may not understand your encyclopedic knowledge of stats. It's it's insane. So that that I knew was going to be easy.


But I also know you don't know too much about, like, sci fi and certain kinds of fiction, comic books, comic books. So I made a list and you were certainly there. And it wasn't about making all Asian team. I really was just trying to go with, you know, like. The stats that give me the the highest quant numbers stuff, and I came out to Menagh and Allen for me, so we have Linsanity, we have this we have CU and the Falcons.


Yeah. What else do we have? Does that get those? Is that the big three. Is there one more? I think that might be. I mean, you have to wait a second oh, Mina told me because and I think we might even talk about this in a pod like that. The Koreans have claimed Kyla Murray here. Oh, that's right. Yeah. This is another thing, right? It's very clear.


Well, he got off the Cardinals airplane wearing like a Korean shirt. And I think that represented to everyone that's Korean was like she's in a racial draft. He's ours now.


We get to take it. Yes. So that was a big one, too. And he was in the MVP discussion. Mina texted me because we were text about this morning and we were talking about you and your love for gambling and how you know that there came a moment. We were like, oh, my God, this is so much money. It's like now got to keep going, Mina said. What you witnessed is the inherent contradiction that lies with the North Koreans extreme cautiousness and an addiction to betting that.


That is the true statement I've heard in a long time. Yeah, a real paradox. I was one side of my brain being like, hey, I can embarrass. This is a lot of money. And the other side, there was no no reason. It's absolutely makes no goddamn sense why I decided to go for it like it was just crazy. It's totally insane, especially when you didn't totally know if Benjamin Harrison was a president or not. And I got to be honest, I didn't either.


But I knew I knew it wasn't Grant. So the last question for people who didn't see it was basically who was the first president who had electricity in the White House. Yes. And two of the two of the candidates were Grant and Andrew Jackson. And I knew those weren't I knew those two weren't because it was too close to civil war. And I didn't think they had electricity in the White House probably till the late eighteen hundreds. So it's between Benjamin Harrison and Chester Arthur.


Right. Which if you had done your 50 50. If you'd kept it, had they narrowed it down and it had been the two one of the Civil War presidents with Benjamin Harrison, I think you would have known, but you had Menagh instead. It took you like 17 seconds to read the question. Yeah, she could have had 10 seconds to digest it. And she basically spat out Benjamin Harrison, then got cut off. Yeah.


And if you watch the show, we go back and call her after I win. And she says she was going to add. But Grover Cleveland, who wasn't even part of the list. So all five of those presidents sort of were presidents in succession, starting with Johnson. Grant, and then it goes Arthur Harris in Cleveland or something like that anyway. Yeah, I. The 50 50 would not have helped me out at all. In fact, I probably would have chosen Chester Arthur or something like that.


I I legitimately didn't know the answer. I didn't even know Harrison was president. And that was for me, my personal gambling intuition was, ha ha. This is a I have no idea. That's got to be something. Right. And I knew Chester Arthur was a president. I had no idea what year. So was really to me, Harrison was the thing that stuck out the most.


And then when Menagh said it, but it wasn't, she said probably that threw me off. And then you add Yang, who came through big time with the Batman comic.


He was so mean, deservedly getting all all the hype and praise. There's no question I wouldn't have won this without her, but I wouldn't have gotten here without Alan Yang. I mean, that guy saved my ass in so many ways. Like, I honestly didn't know Bill, even the first one, the clean plate club on the line, like a couple episodes ago. I had no idea because when you're sitting in that chair.


All sort of form of reason and logic for me sort of went out the window, so it was great to have someone to just be like, you sure this is right? You sure this is right? And then that Superman question, did you know that answer?


No, I would have been out. You would have gone to me and I would have just had the the the I'm trying to think of a good football coach, the Matt Patricia.


Look at my face just staring helplessly because I had no idea.


I was a little bummed that he didn't know definitively what the answer was. He was like, I think it could be Superman holding a car over his head so I could speak for Yang.


Yang was running out of ways to get women. I think he only had about 15 different ways. So now he's got the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire as well.


Just an unassailable package for that kid, really sort of the MVP, right. Like if I had to give MVP of the series, you know, you know, got the last winning game winning shot.


But yeah, like Steve Kerr and the Bulls. The Bulls. What year is that? That is both First Bulls jazz series. She came in and hit the eighteen footer, but Yanguas Yang had a triple double. Yang was a series MVP. When when you're sitting in that chair. And the adrenaline's really going, so now it's like the equivalent of if we're playing blackjack and you split threes and then you get another three and all of a sudden you have seven hands on the table and your heart just starts pounding, is it like that multiplied by seven hundred?


Yeah, you're probably playing third base anchor and let's just say you have five hundred thousand dollars.


You know what, a lot of money per hand and you get eights and you keep on splitting. But the dealer showing you a jack. Yeah. And you split it now to the maximum four or five times and each eight you're getting another eight or three and you've got a double. And that's what it felt like. Each question was like more splits and more doubles and.


It was it's really hard, like watching from TV is is easy, like. Everything sort of makes sense when you're hearing the question, the thing that threw me off, though, would add to the pressure if you're playing blackjack, this music that's like blasting interior. Oh, really? So like in Casino, you're sort of like, you know, your own in your little bubble and the lights are flashing.


And if there's music that I think would add to the adrenaline rush at the blackjack table, you know Kimmo pretty well.


I do. He's trying to do these. Keep the drama going, be suspenseful, fuck with you, which is his favorite thing to do with anybody he knows. So this is like everything he's ever liked about anything and he's drawing out whether you're right or wrong. Once we get to like sixty four k were you just like scrutinizing him. Like he was like what is that experience like. It's almost like waiting to get like an STD result or something, something terrible, you know, because it's like over and over and over even questions like what was what's animal can't jump.


And of course, it's the elephant. You still think you could be wrong? Every question, at least from my perspective, is I could be wrong. It's not like I'm right. And Jimmy, even on the simplest ones, is just fucking with you right in there. Yeah. I honestly don't know how he did it. Right. I thought maybe they're like writing it out on his computer screen because it was like so perfect in how he fucks with you, particularly how he sort of.


Like draws out the answer, it was it was excruciatingly painful. Yeah, he's very good. Did you think of having Jay Gruden as in the Alan Yang seat or now Daniel Snyder, who would have been the worst candidate data center? Probably.


No, no. Jim Zorn. Jeff Jarvis thought he just stood there in complete silence. All types of. All right.


Tell everybody about the charity you did it for and why you did it and what it means. Well, my buddy Chris Shepherd started a charity a few years back called Southern Smoke based out of Texas, but it has evolved to become a national charity that has teamed up with a few other smaller ones to basically give financial assistance to anybody in the hospitality sector, basically getting a grant for money and. That's one of the it's one of the very few national charities that does that, so that's why I wanted to do that.


There's so many worthy charities, but this culinary industry, the Russian industry is just getting demolished right now.


So that was the one I had to choose.


Let's let's take a break and I want to talk about what's going on in restaurants.


All right, we're back we you mentioned restaurants as we head into the break, you and I and a couple of our friends who went to Parks Barbecue, I think three Fridays ago, did a distance dinner, and we knew it was kind of the last supper. Everything got shut down within probably a week after, at least here in L.A. And depending on what state you live, things either really shut down or they're kind of shutting down or, you know, who knows.


But I think for the most part in the big restaurants, it is it's looking bleak and it looks like it's going to be bleak for the next four months. What is the way out? What is let's say the vaccine comes April, May. Life starts to look relatively normal again by next September to be safe. What would a restaurant look like by then? I don't want to be doom and gloom and usually am doom and gloom. It's not good even with the vaccine.


And first, you know, first of all, we have to get through this winter and shutting down. Listen, there's a healthy debate about whether that should even be allowed because of of covid. Right. And I think if we had government assistance, we should have shut down.


And it could have we didn't have to be here. No one like there were so many other avenues. And we got here out of sheer incompetence from our government.


And it's unfortunate because it's a trolley car problem. A lot of restaurateurs and workers don't even want to be there out of safety. But like they feel like, oh, I sort of have to. That being said, you have to get through dinner. You have to figure out how to make ends meet because the fixed cost of restaurants haven't changed. And we'll see. I don't know what's going to happen if we don't get a stimulus package for both the workers in restaurants.


That is what's most important. The people that work in restaurants have to be taken care of before the restaurants. That is a longer story. But that's just what I think, because you can't save all the restaurants, that's just not going to happen. So. Let's just say Georgia flips and we get stimulus, and that's probably the most important thing we can have happen to to ensure that the two Senate seats in Georgia flip, let's just say all that happens and then we get a vaccine.


You're probably going to have a bunch of closure's between now and then until spring. It's right now it's survival. Who can make it to spring yet? Right. And then because outdoor dining was such a boon to so many restaurants. That's my concern, is right now, we can address one problem that I know is going to be an issue and it's not fun to talk about, but. I mean, we're doing this by Zoom right now. We both have employees, and it's not just that everyone that works may never go back to their corporate office environment like they used to.


You know, maybe it's two or three days, maybe it's four days. If you remove one day a week of office, people going to work.


That's devastating for the restaurant industry one day. Right? We're talking about slim margins at best. And that's a giant repercussion from getting your coffee in the morning to your lunch, salads and sandwiches, you name it.


It makes it difficult because corporate business is so important for restaurants. It's very similar to the economics in in flying commercially, where the business class takes like 20 percent of the real estate on a plane, but like 30 percent, 40 percent of the revenue, very similar for restaurants. Regardless, it doesn't have to be a fancy restaurant or not, because in New York, if you are bodega and you sell bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches and dollar cups of coffee, like, those are people that are going to work out that income.


And unfortunately, like I'm not an economist, it has repercussions that I don't think are going to be good. And we can address that now and we're not. And that's why I'm like, what the fuck are we doing?


Well, not all the live events stuff in the bigger cities, I think is a disaster, too, for nine total, five different total disaster.


But we don't even know when that comes back. We don't know. And I mean, I think the leagues are optimistic and places like Live Nation, they're optimistic, too. Like this summer, people are going to want to go out and do stuff again. But, you know, it's one of those things we need see it. I do think if we get the vaccine going and everything could be ready in time for the summer, it could be a really cool summer next summer where everyone just letting loose.


I mean, even when we saw each other a couple of weeks ago and I've had a couple distance dinners and I've tried to make an effort to see people a little bit more because I think everybody starts to lose their mind when they've just been around the same people, same environment all the time. But I do think there's an appreciation now.


For gathering with other people and seeing other people and not having your face covered and all these basic things that we took for granted, so I do the optimistic, optimistic Bill. Glass half full. Bill, thanks. When this when we can get through all this will actually be really good for restaurants. I just don't know how many of them are going to be left.


Exactly. And I think you just accurately predicted what's going to happen. Restaurants aren't going away. This is not the end of restaurants. It's just a lot of restaurants that shouldn't have gone out of business, probably will go out of business.


But the that mere act of breaking bread, of talking to people that you care about laughing, drinking, having too much wine like these are the best things, right? Like, I miss it so much. I mean, I'm so tired of cooking in my own home. And that dinner we had was a total blast. And I take that for granted all the time.


That was one dinner. We used to have dinners all the time. I know. You know, and and, you know, I am I know what I just said is pretty dire, but I am absolutely optimistic. I do believe that we're going to be able to, you know, support the business in the right ways. I have to remain hopeful in that.


Well, if we go glass half full with some stuff like you mentioned, how. You know, human beings adapt like we did it with podcasts now, we never thought to do stuff on Zoome until March and now we do almost all of our podcast on. I think you're right about offices where maybe people go to an office five days a week. Maybe they'd go through stuff like that. I'm trying to think. How this could be good for restaurants like what the positives are, one of the things is I do think they've gotten better at the delivery stuff, you know, and whether it's basically all the good restaurants now being on Postmus caviar door dash upbraids, whatever it is, they're all on there, especially out here in L.A. There's restaurants I'd never ever in a million years thought would be on a food delivery site that they are.


I also think they've gotten better at, you know, cranking this stuff out, being ready to to handle demand, things like that. And maybe that's just where things are going. Maybe less people are going to go out to eat and maybe delivery is going to be more and more important. You've been saying this since, like 2015.


Yeah, I mean, I started new businesses just doing delivery only there were a little bit too early. But you're right. You know, delivery is the future and. You know, this pandemic hasn't restaurants experienced difficulty this was going to happen regardless of the pandemic, this was going to happen over 10 to 15 year period. This just accelerated it all into nine months. And there's no question that if you didn't open up your business to delivery, things were going to get tough.


That was happening anyway. In fact, I'd argue the people that would like had that already like sugar. We didn't do it really well. They already had the delivery and the packaging and restaurants like that have been doing extremely well, like high end sushi, because it's just certain things were designed to be delivered there, crushing. But if you're trying to figure out that game, it may not be the right thing. Like pizza has been crushing. I mean, that is probably the number one food to be delivered.


But for us, Momofuku, we're lucky because we're selling consumer product goods of salt and spices and soy sauce and stuff like that. Like that was part of our plan to evolve out of the restaurants anyway. So, you know.


Anything and everything is on the table, right? And if you're a restaurant, if you're supporting restaurants, you should support them. I think you should choose two or three restaurants that you love and spend as much money as humanly possible there. And if you are a restaurant owner, I think you have to it's almost like the end of a season when you know you're not going to make the playoffs and you start trying to do whatever the fuck because you're like, who cares?


Yeah. And then and you're not out of the playoffs quite yet, but you're like, screw it. And that's where we're at. And that is very I, I love that part where you have nothing to lose. And that's where I feel like a lot of restaurants are going to do a lot of innovation that I think is going to be super cool where people are like, screw it, this doesn't work anymore. I'm going to do whatever the hell.


And I think we're beginning to see that. And I am extremely optimistic about the innovation that you're going to see in the next year plus. Well, could it? Yeah. Could we see a restaurant with a really good chef that we like, just say, fuck it, don't come here? Actually, I'm I'm actually going to devote all my energies that in the old days we would have devoted to how good is my service? What is the inside of my restaurant look like?


What is the architecture? All the different nuances that makes a great restaurant. And somebody could just say, yeah, I'm just I'm going to have the best delivery. I'm going to have the best system for cranking stuff out, getting getting food, the right temperature, as many people as I can. And maybe that's maybe that's somebody who's going to be a pioneer. Is anybody doing that. Yeah. In a way that you feel like is futuristic?


I'm not sure. I think that there's a lot of every city's got one restaurant or what, two or three restaurant groups that have just adopted a lot of different things, like I'm thinking about the Alinea group in Chicago, think they've done an extremely great job of doing everything you're saying. But I mean, for this audience, you know, it's the Ringer podcast network and a lot of sports fans in some ways, the future of restaurants.


This is an opportunity for chefs and owners of restaurants to finally embrace analytics. Right. It's like. Look at the margins. See where things are going to go and if you don't embrace it, you were going to go out of business anyway. So a lot of people are like, well, I don't need that dining. Why do I need that? Like, this makes me the most amount of money. So you know what? I'm not going to serve three quarters of the menu.


I'm just going to sell the top three things that people want anyway. So you're seeing this. And my concern with analytics, too, is it doesn't make the game beautiful necessarily. Right. And I'm worried about that artistry. And I've talked a lot of my friends who see the writing on the wall and what they need to do. And they're like, I don't want to play that way, you know what I mean? They don't want to play like the Houston Rockets, basically, who have analytics takes over.


That's good for Domino's and Chipotle and places like that because they've already crunched all the analytics. You have been you've actually swung my love of Domino's back to loving Domino's again because you did a whole thing about when the covid started. You're like, just get Domino's, stay at the ovens like three thousand degrees. They've mastered basically contactless delivery and it's good to do it. And I did say that.


And I don't want people to go. You're not supporting independent restaurants. I was saying they figured it out. Restaurants are we're like all that. We're like the Oakland A's without embracing Moneyball yet. And you're competing against the Yankees and these giant fucking market caps. You can't as a restaurant, you are competing against people with access to public markets that are on the stock exchange. You don't you can't play that game. You can't dominos to play all of these companies.


They're not even restaurant groups anymore. They're more like technology companies. You cannot fight them on this. And I spent some time in Domino's and I was like, oh, my God. When the Democrats was like, there's one company that is just going to fucking crush. And it was Domino's, because when I was there, I was shocked that no one even touches the food for the most part. Yeah. You know, and pizza is one of the safest things you can eat because of the the temperature of the oven.


So, you know, it's it's it's not an equal playing field.


But at the at that time, you want to figure out what's the safest thing to eat, because I didn't know in March, you know, no one knew anything so.


Well, you did a thing on your podcast about the best food to order, like what we do, because you figure you order it, they make it is going to drive it. It's about a forty five minute to 60 minute stretch before you actually get the food. And you arrived at the same conclusion that the Simmons family has arrived at, which is basically it's pizza and sushi pizza. Those are the safest two things you can get. What what else what am I missing?


I guess jelly sandwiches, deli sandwich.


Sushi is the craziest thing because I never thought that that would actually travel well. And it's like all sushi, like every sushi spot is just crushing because they're not getting the negatory, they're getting the rolls. And that travels really well. It's close to that. Yeah. Pizza, though. Not all pizza travels well, right? Most people it's like the chicken and egg. Most people that think about pizza now think about the pizza for the Papa John's at the Domino's of the Pizza Hut.


It's a denser crust pizza. And there's a lot of pizza technology about there's like what? Forty years of pizza technology about keeping it hot from the pizza oven to your house. It's unbelievable about that. So that kind of pizza, the commercially available pizza travels really well. The thin crust pizza, the Neapolitan style doesn't travel well at all.


Sushi, high end Italian really works well, yes, like chicken parm, stuff like that, or pasta, meat sauce, all that stuff, pasta and cream sauce is all that stuff travels really well. And fried chicken, surprisingly, travels extremely well, really. I've had I've had hit or miss that, but maybe it depends on the place.


But like, if you go to, like, one of the chains, it just it's it just remains crunchy, you know, and it's something that it gets good. So my my sort of crucible for the best kind of food didn't get delivered. Is does it get better after 30 minutes or does it not lose any of its integrity after 30 minutes or does it get better like Bonton fried chicken for example. Amazing. You know, Korean fried chicken really?


Well, Popeye's, I've got a couple of times really good. And the other thing that travels really well is Chinese food.


Extremely well, we should have mentioned Chinese food. It's pizza, sushi, Chinese food is big three. It's not a big deal. It's a big three. Yeah, I've noticed one of the things that really helps is actually what you order, like if you're ordering. I don't know, a pepperoni mushroom pizza, the mushrooms can end up making it runny by the time you get that right. Same thing. Like if you have some scrambled egg scramble thingy and you have mushrooms and other stuff, and then by the time it gets there, it's just super buttery and runny and not great.


So you almost have to be strategic with that, too. What where is it going to be like in forty five minutes?


I mean, it's counterintuitive and you brought up a good point with pizza and mushrooms and the things that go on it, because you think cheese probably delivers really well because it's pizza, but it doesn't outside of pizza, anything that's melted cheese delivers horribly. Yeah right.


And you're actually seeing like innovation happen on delivery.


And you mentioned it earlier about like people are trying to figure out this game tacos, you know, without covid in the pandemic, I don't know if it would have evolved into what it is now like if you try to get tacos, you know, like delivered with it already in the tortilla, it doesn't deliver that well, but.


A lot of these places have figured out how to serve these kits right where it then there's all these ways you can make it really delicious at home. So that's what's good to see. But like, if you order a case, a dealer does not travel well at all.


Charles Taco Tacos are probably the all time hit or miss because first of all, that the shell has to stay crunchy. But they also the way they package it. And that's something that I think has been a huge advantage for the sushi places, at least out here. They put a lot of care and thought into how they had their separating the food from each other, what's going into where everything is away so that it doesn't get accidentally opened in the bag as the person's driving.


Now, they've had they've had a head start.


But I'm telling you, Bill, like all these other kinds of foods are cracking the code. So I'm seeing it with tacos right now. I've been getting meal kits from like risottos or tacos. Nineteen eighty six. There's a bunch of places that are getting there and it's just the milk.


Get the milk. It seems relatively new to me. Is that Nancy Silverton, who is the first one know I mean, the milk probably for delivery. I mean, I mean I don't know a lot of us. We're on gold. Goldbeck, I want to talk about gold, baby. That's coming up after the break. So that's been huge for a lot of restaurants. But the market itself, I don't think anyone can lay a claim to that because that's sort of been around for a while, because let's just say you loved going to Momofuku for a while.


I mean, like Majordomo in L.A. and you wanted to get, you know, some of that food to go. Yeah, I mean, I know restaurants have done it for, like, their special guest. Well, they'll make. A lot of the stuff at home, like take 90 percent there and then you can finish it at home. So that's sort of been in the arsenal for a lot of restaurants for a while now. All right.


We'll talk about it.


Take one more break. All right, this is not a paid advertising for gold bill, as much as I like gold. It's super expensive still. It's really frustrating. And I think they're in phase one of a company and a product that will be really cool in about two years. I think what's interesting for me. Is having the ability here in Los Angeles to try food, then I've heard secondhand or firsthand from people I like where they're like, oh man, if you ever go to Memphis, go to this place.


If you're ever in Texas, go to hear. Goapele has some of those places. And again, it's expensive. It's not for everybody. You finally joined Gold Go Belly with with Momofuku doing a couple of things, which is already like you can't get it now until mid-January because there's been demand for it. But in general, this feels like a good thing. I have some questions about. What is the percent of how good it would be in a restaurant versus getting a go belly?


But one thing that I've found has been awesome is the pizzas. There's a couple of pizzas that they're prepared perfectly and frozen perfectly. And you just throw them in the freezer and then you make them and you follow the instructions and it's like 90 percent as good as the real pizza. What is the future gobo here? I mean, you know, it's been around for a while, but it's like many things, it's just taken off during the past nine months.


And I think it's I mean, we're we're entering like the craziest time because things like Old Belly are only going to increase in popularity because you have the national reach now.


Yeah. So a lot of restaurants are getting wise and they're trying to figure it out how to sell their food to the most amount of people all the time. And the thing that Goalball, I think has done really well is that you can't get the whole restaurant right. You're only getting the things that they're working with, the restaurant that will travel well, that will freeze well, or that can get shipped to you the next day without losing quality. And that's the smart thing, right?


So you can get king salmon from the Pacific Northwest and Chris Bionicle Pizza that's frozen like everything in between.


How about lobster rolls from Maine? Did you get that? I haven't gotten that one yet, but it's highly recommended, apparently.


Here's the thing, man. It is expensive. But when you want that fix, people want that that flavor, that taste of a restaurant or an area.


So I think it's at the the really beginning stages of, like, dominance, so. It's going to happen more and more, I think it's going to get way less, way less expensive, it's going to be more affordable as the logistics gets figure it out. Well, I'm sure there's going to be a couple of competitors that pop up, too, and it will be no different than what happened with Postmus and everybody else. What made you because initially you resisted this.


You finally ended up jumping on with a couple of your dishes, including the pork buns. What kind of process was it to decide? Had a male, these added a quality that Dave Chang Seiko is comfortable with, with people eating his food at an acceptable level of quality for you. Well, that was the big thing is quality, right? If you know what's one of the reasons why I've never done delivery of Momofuku food? Because someone's watching it, you know, eating in front of their TV at their apartment, they're going to still judge it the same like they were going to the restaurant.


So we wanted to make sure we took our time on it, not because we were against it, per say. We wanted to figure out how we could ensure the quality. So that was it. It was a long process of figuring out the logistics, of making sure that we could do it on a consistent level, because there's nothing worse than getting something from a restaurant you want and having it suck. Yeah, right. So there was a lot of testing involved.


I mean, a lot I can't tell you how many people got a shipment and we just got real honest feedback and we dialed it in. So that's what took so long.


So it kind of hurts that I wasn't one of the testers. That's fine. Whatever.


We weren't going all the way to L.A. Plus I was the one that was getting it over the past few months. Did you flip out did you have a tantrum at any point about how bad it was?


You know, it was pretty consistent the entire way, but a lot of it was just like when you unbox everything you want to, you want an experience. You want this whole thing that you don't want to just open up the box and be whatever. So there has to be instructions. They have to a sense of discovery. So I think we got there. I'm pretty happy with where we're at.


It's a pretty cool time where you can basically cherry pick some of the great restaurants in America and try one or two of their special dishes. If you wanted to splurge every once in a while and really try it out. I like that we're at that point and I'm excited to see where that goes on the flip side. I was going through I was leading a whole bunch of I, for some reason had way too many videos on my phone and I hadn't really gone through my stuff, was getting my phone was starting to be slow.


So I'm like, I'm just going to go because we're in the pandemic. This is the point of the pandemic where you rent the Taissa Jones fight and you delete videos from your iPhone as you're watching it. And I found this video of when we took when House and Nathan and I went to went to Majordomo. And you brought out those with the giant thing called the the best thing. The giant Rebe thing.


Yeah, the whole place. Short rib or slice the table side. Yeah. Yeah.


So that guy's wheeling it out and I'm videotaping it and I'm like nory doing narrative music and I'm cutting the house. The house is like it looks like he's going to have a conniption and we're all just like we're going to make love to this giant sure thing. And in the place is packed. And it just and as a God damn it, this feels like it was one hundred years ago. It really does. I mean. You just describing it was like, I want to eat that, you know, so, you know, we're going to get back to dining, it's going to happen.


There's going to be a lot of change. And I can't wait to do it because the last meal we had together before Parks was at Cheesemaker. Yeah.


And that was like the last supper for for me, for many of us for a while. And I think it's going to happen again. It's just going to take some time and there's going to be some seismic shift. But it's an adjustment period. And it's it's we'll see. We'll see what happens. That night is in my top five from February five. I have no idea how I think I covered that month nights because we had the dinner and then we went to some bar for a birthday party we packed.


And it was like two weeks before everything got shut down.


You know, we were in a giant ballroom in Cape Town and it was packed like the spirit. It was loud. People are just spitting on each other as they're talking. And it's like, this is exactly how you get covid.


We dodged a bullet and come from all over the world, all over the world. At that party, I was like, oh, my God, you're right. How the hell did we not get covered?


Then I had another one at all star weekend in Chicago's ended up at some bar. There's like a thousand people in there. And it was packed like people packed like sardines. Same thing, leaning over, spitting on each other. And you just think like it just it just would have taken one of those. But, you know, I can't wait for that to happen.


What do you think's going to happen with stadiums, Bill, and sports? So I'll tell you this now. I don't know if this is false bravado. But I think the leagues are really confident things are going to be normal May, June for two reasons. One is the vaccine and you know, God only knows when everybody's going to be able to get it. And the political stuff that comes with that and how it gets doled out if there's complications.


Who knows? But you between that and the rapid testing is getting better. Hmm. By April, I think the NBA, I think they're looking at June, July as like we're going to have fans at playoff games and we need it. And that's how it's going to play out. And we have to prepare like this is the reality for us. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. But there is a weird confidence right now, and I think the same thing for the concert industry.


I think places like Live Nation are like we're having concerts this summer and we're booking all these arenas and people are going to want to go to concerts because they want to get the fuck out of their house or apartment for the first time. When do you think you'll go to a Clippers game? What do you miss live games? I really do. I weigh more than I think I'm mad at myself for taking it for granted. I actually miss the thing I probably miss the most is just I always had the ability to just go to Boston, go to a cell at the game, a Red Sox game, hang out with my dad, go to a couple of places, and now it's like Boston shut down.


Just like not having that option has been really, like, messed with my head. I mean, granted, there's worse things in the pandemic. But I miss going to the the Boston cameos way more than just, you know, the typical Clipper game. But I really miss the finals. I really felt that especially those last two rounds where, you know, I always try to go to a couple finals games or if the Celtics were in the Eastern Finals, stuff like that.


And the energy in the atmosphere and just having that removed was weird. Like Celtics Miami, I would have try to go to every one of those games. Right. You know, and it's just like nobody's going. I mean, and I know what would have happened.


We would have drawn up a plan about what restaurants to eat in each town right now. Seriously? Well, especially like it could have been a Boston L.A. finals, which would have been it would have been awesome. When do you think it's coming back? Because I am optimistic for June, July. And I think so many people have so many incentives, so many smart people who have means and money to try to figure this out for everybody else that I'm optimistic.


I'm optimistic.


I think things are going to go back to normal as normal can be probably around April, May, you know, talking to people that are much smarter than me. But I think concerts and games are going to go back to normal, which is why I have some concern about the restaurants, which is why if you're listening to this, you know, you need to continue to support restaurants to make sure that, you know, we people have places to go before the games and after the games because this has been a very, very difficult year for everybody.


But the restaurant industry has probably been hit the hardest of all the things that you care about. Yeah, we didn't. One thing to talk about before we go, because this is definitely something that happened in Manhattan Beach where the outdoor dining thing when you go to Manhattan Beach is kind of weirdly been transformed in a cool way where you think like when you go to Europe, you know, you go to England and there's just people and bars and there's a lot of people outdoors at bars, especially like three o'clock, four o'clock.


I remember when we went there for the Olympics, it really struck me like how much fun London was where it's just like, oh, man, people are just out and about. And you could feel it in the streets in a way that, you know, just never going to feel it. Here in L.A., the outdoor dining thing, which requires basically grabbing parking spaces, grabbing territory, either shutting down streets or making them one lane instead of two or one way street, stuff like that.


But it does kind of have a revitalizing effect on little areas. And I wonder if we're going to carry that over when this ends where like in Boston, for example, Charles Street, which is one way but has a couple really good restaurants on it, and they push the outdoor dining out before everything got shut down. And I was there, but my dad was like, it's really cool here. You feel like, you know, it's like Boston is just.


Kind of on steroids, basically, and I wonder, is that going to transfer? I hope it stays because I have been in New York for a couple of months, but everyone has been saying that it's amazing because all the restaurants, it's like there's no traffic with cars.


It's it's it puts the diner first.


And it's just it's a different way of experiencing things like we just had it when we went to parks, like the outdoors was cool. And it was very similar to me and I actually being in Korea and Seoul where so much of the dining is on the street. Yeah. And I hope because, you know. I hope that the government and the local authorities don't fuck that up because being able to, like, walk around and drink and that's another thing you can, like, buy takeaway booze.


You can just, like, sort of drink anywhere, right?


Yeah, that's that's a lot of fun. It's almost like being in an outdoor casino without the tables, too. Has it ever figured out the outdoor blackjack table scene correctly?


The couple of them tried it. The wind had a really good at their blackjack thing, but there's only like six or seven tables.


But I always felt like that was undervalued to too much distraction going on because they usually by the pools and there's music. Yeah, I can't I can't do it. I need to I need to like be with someone like you in a dark corner and just focus on you. It's not fun. This is, this is this is a job you need to know. It's just the two of us in a death match to see who goes to bed first, who's going to break the other.


I think I won the last one. I outlasted you the last time you clearly won.


It is if you want to see Bill Simmons like. Willpower, it is at the gambling table. He will not leave, it is unbelievable.


I will never, ever go head to head with you on that again. I just really like playing blackjack, and my wife's always suspicious of it. She thinks that there's got to be more. You got to be doing something right now to put a camera on me. I'm usually the same place for nine straight hours and I'm not proud of it, but I miss the way it is. I miss it so much. I am not joking. I'm one of the main reasons I want to get vaccinated is just so I can it.


Well, that's the thing. We always joke about being you and how some people like that having a gambling problem. To me, the real side of a gambling problem is if you're gambling in a casino right now, like if you're playing blackjack with plexiglass on either side of you and a mask on you've got that's going too far. I wouldn't even do that, nor I.


But what's fun about that? That defeats the whole purpose. I like the vibe and catching the hot table where to fucking bask. My favorite podcast I think I did in the last three years was when you made House did the post game show. After we were up all night on my part, it was like it was my dream idea for a podcast that could never happen. Just the post game Vegas show of guys recapping. They're there for a night at the tables.


It really worked.


It was I was in no shape to do it. And I think that's what made it so all of us that they're great. Yeah, I don't know. As I'm getting older, I don't know if I could handle it. Any last question any more than nine months here to just tinker in the in the kitchen. One of the pods that we developed that we launched two weeks ago, Recipe Club seeded Turkey, and then you did you did a whole stuffing podcast, which is I thought one of the key points in that podcast was stuffing is this thing we think about once a year.


But if anyone made it at any other point of the year, like what you're making stuffing, why the fuck are you doing that? But anyway, you're trying to figure out the perfect stuffing recipe. You've done all this trial and error mostly out of boredom, and you're also cooking stuff for your family and your young son. Have you stumbled on anything? That you're like, wow, they almost like a pitcher realize, like, oh, I can throw a split finger.


I didn't know I could do this. Yeah. Did you give up a new pitch?


I I've always you know, it's almost like if you want to talk about baseball.


I was one of those pitchers that it was always fucking around with the knuckleball, you know, but I never, never had any time or I never wanted to put it in the game and. The microwave to me is the knuckleball, the microwave. Yeah, and I have cooked in so many meals in nine months in the microwave. It is. I've always loved it. I've always had an affinity for it. But now, man, it's it literally is a future machine here in present day.


And I've cooked so many goddamn recipes that aren't supposed to be made in a microwave, in a microwave. So, yeah, the microwave to me is like discovering the three point shot or something like that. It's unbelievable.


Is there a high end microwave or is there a special microwave or it doesn't matter what the microwave is.


Ultimately, it doesn't matter. There are some bells and whistles you want you want it to be rotating, blah, blah, blah. But, you know, you don't have to buy a super expensive microwave. The wattage really makes a difference. But, you know, you just have to test it out so you don't have to buy like a thousand dollar microwave. The cheapest one on the market, I think, is like 50 bucks.


You know, it's been a wrinkle in my ass. My daughter has who for whatever reason, is a really good cook. And I don't really fully understand that. I think it's part she can follow instructions really well, which is why she's good at soccer, because soccer is like repetition, being in the same places, following instructions, but also the trial and error. She can kind of get the hang of that, too. But she made this banana bread last week.


That was out of control and all of us were like, what the fuck this is? You could sell this. So the trial and error of that, which, you know, in general, you're in a good shape because you've been able to hang out with your young son way more than you probably would have if you were working and flying around and doing 17 TV shows and stuff like that. My daughter's 15 and a half. This is probably the last time I'm ever going to really spend like this much time with her.


And it's been fun, like being like her subject for the trial and error bakery stuff. You know, she's already getting nostalgic. Don't don't let her become a chef, though. Oh, no, no, I never would. No, he wasn't like this. Right. The best case there is somebody who can cook, but they're not doing it professionally and driving themselves crazy and all that stuff. I think it's so funny. All the chefs are like, don't let don't become like me.


Yeah. I'm going to get hate mail. I don't give a shit. I don't think you want to become a chef. Absolutely not at all.


You got job. It's so fucking hard.


But, you know, your daughter is too talented at other things, so she winds up being a cook. I will have a talk with her to convince her.


Could be just Bakry. Could be like pies and coffee cakes and and stuff like that.


Tchang, great to see you for the second time. More importantly, congrats on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. That was incredible. It was a rare it was a rare, positive, happy story. A real estate. Yeah, thanks.


How you top it. I think I'm worried for you. Next time you're going to Vegas, you're going to be like, you know, here, beat your chest is going to be out. We're going to do Vegas together. I'm not going back to Vegas without you. So we're going to do it together. We'll be able to talk about it. Then I'll tell you this much. It won't be with me wearing a mask. Kevin Plexiglass on Saturday, we'll go back to Vegas and it'll be real gambling.


All right. Good to see you, Jack.


Thanks, Bill. That's it for the best podcast, we put up a new rewash Wall Street, if you missed it, me and Brian Koppelman have another book of basketball podcast coming this week as well. Stay tuned for that. It is Wednesday. And then one more podcast semisweet. Enjoy the rest of the week.