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It won't take you long to figure out that I just think differently than other people. Hey there, Stephen Dubner, and that's my Freakonomics friend and co-author Steve Levitt.
I've worked for two decades studying strange phenomena, human behavior and weird circumstances.
But Levitt is now ready to start his own podcast. It's called People I Mostly Admire, and it debuts on August 21st. Subscribe now on Stitcher, Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. It won't take you long to figure out that I just think differently than other people.
Hey there, Stephen Dubner, and that's my Freakonomics friend and co-author Steve Levitt.
I've worked for two decades studying strange phenomena, human behavior and weird circumstances.
But Levitt is now ready to start his own podcast. It's called People I Mostly Admire.
Listen on Stitcher, Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. We're back, we're back. The distraction of Drew McGarry, and that's David Brock. Hi, Ron. Hi, man. What's going on? We we have some explaining to do. I almost said we have some explanation for that school. We wanted to get started with, like a series of mistakes. Yeah, yeah. Here we are with an absolutely flawless lead off to the podcast.
It's a new podcast in many ways, however, to give you the lay of the land, David Roth and I used to write and podcast for a site called Deadspin.
We had a site we had a podcast called The Dead Cast, which everyone confused with the Grateful Dead podcast, which is the worst confusion I would want anyone to make.
We didn't even get a Bill Walton guest appearance out of it.
It was just a total disaster at every level.
Yeah. And that podcast, usually the average length of that podcast was shorter than the length of the average Grateful Dead live song.
Yeah, I didn't I didn't appreciate the confusion. Anyway, back in October of twenty nineteen, we had our last dead cast. Laura Tyson was our guest, also fellow Deadspin staffer.
And it was the day Barry Paczki, our boss at the time, was fired by great HealthPartners management for cheekily decorating the front page of Deadspin and non sports stories in defiance of an edict telling us that we had to stick to sports and only write about sports from now on.
And when Barry did that, the CEO, Great Hill sort fired him on the spot and we all quit en masse after that. And in fact, Lauren Tyson was one of the first. She did the podcast with us after Barry got fired and she sounded extremely rattled. She was fucking furious and she quit later that day.
I believe I quit the next day. I know I quit on Halloween. Yeah. I hope I got the timing right. And then it was like it was sort of like in stages. And then Roth, you were next.
Yeah, we all went Halloween was basically the the day that most people left. MacKenna stuck around for one extra day so he could be like the accidental editor in chief at the site and turn the lights out.
But yeah, that's right. That's right. But yeah, it was it was pretty well over by the time we did our last podcast, which, as I recall, opened with a long segment on Andy Dalton. Boy. Yeah, that's right.
Because it's just been benched. Yeah, that was the that was the last major sports story we got to before we stopped our podcast. And literally nothing happened after that.
Yeah, that's what's incredible is that everybody's been talking about Andy Dalton for like eight months now and we haven't been able to do a podcast about it. Where will he end up next and what will still his hair differently? There's so many things. The biggest story, not just in sports, but in America, Dalton.
So now that's all the dirty, grimy stuff. But now we get to the good shit. Oh, cool. Which is good. I love this purchas that again, I'm going to say it again.
We're back. We're back with a new podcast. That podcast is with Stitcher. It's called The Distraction. That's this podcast that you're listening to right now.
Yeah, you can keep listening. It'll keep going until it ends. That's right.
And it'll be part of a new media company that we started that we own motherfucker called Defector Dotcom. It'll probably be pretty good.
You won't see the website till September, but we're going to keep doing this thing until we are told to stop.
He's being annoyingly modest and is going to fucking rule.
It's going to it's going to rule as I just don't Drus naturally louder than me. It's easier for him to say things like that.
It'll rule all the asses, every last one of them, all seven billion asses on earth. Yes. It'll be here in September.
You can go to the page right now and you can subscribe and people ask this. I just want this to be clear. If you subscribe now, you're not going to get charged for the month of August. So we're not obviously not blogging in August. You'll you'll get charged for the year of blog posts that we do starting when we start our posting, like in early September.
So so don't be afraid to give us money. Now, if you were like, well, we should give Drew and Roth and all of them money later. Do it now. Yes. Stop.
Kind of your hold you back. Yeah. Because the other thing is that there's not going to be any money in the world like it for days.
I think it would be nice if you could also mail is durable goods. Yeah. To our homes. Anything canned or you know, really hardy cabbage is good.
You know, it's funny is at the beginning of Cortin we talked about beans.
We got like my wife and I like we we, we are like also Peapod and we'll get lots of garbanzo beans. And so there's like still in the pantry. There's like ten cans of motherfucking beans.
Yeah. Like, like a nuke went off.
We're I think that we're enough of a bean eating group that we've gone through the initial beans stockpile, but everybody kind of did that.
I've always been like a bean weirdo. Not in the way that our buddy Lewis is where he has a phobia of them, right?
I just like cooking and eating them, but yeah, it feels like we're in a different stage of collapse now, like we've moved past the hoarding beans and moved on to, I guess, like, firearms.
Yeah, everyone got sick of being in the fallout shelter and decide to live in the fallout, which is just so exciting. It's cool.
So I'm just glad that I'm not in your apartment because with all those beans, it must be quite fragrant. No, it's good.
Well, you're talking about the aromatics that I cook them with.
Yeah, it's nice. I use bay leaves.
Are you a bailiff truth or by the way, that they have no purpose or flavor. Right. You're just it. You're just putting ruff. Yeah. Yeah, a little bit. I mean I can't tell you what to believe. Tastes like I've used enough of them that it's like at this point basically I'm using them because I have them. Yeah. The experience of finishing that some real quarantine shit. Finishing a container of bailiffs, finishing a bottle of vermouth.
We've really gone on some journeys during these last couple of months in that regard, like things that by rights you should just buy one bottle of vermouth when you're twenty eight and then and then die with it like a champ.
Yeah. Cap gets all sticky and like you can't even open it. Yeah. Because you make a martini every four years and that's just when you leave it in your fridge.
We finished one and we bought another one. That's our life. Did you drink the vermouth straight. My, my wife's on that sprits lifestyle not to put her business on the Adderall. Yeah.
So it's it's a responsible choice if you want to have a Negroni experience, but you don't want to have headaches or get in petty arguments with your husband. Vermouth is the one to go with.
I salute you and your wife's commitment to yuppie ism in the even in the face of a second Great Depression. If anything, we've become more unbearable, I think. And that was like and I think the odds were strongly against that. Like, if you'd talk to me in October and been like, you're going to be so much worse in six months, I'd be like, how I have to believe stories for you to be just to keep the audience riveted.
Yeah, I was going to say, let's let's do it both. Man It's a podcast.
One is I've lived in Maryland for like sixteen years now. I only figure it out just now that old Bay Seasoning does not have any believes in it.
Like I knew it was named after the Chesapeake Bay, but I was like, oh, it's got ground up believes in it. It doesn't have anything of the kind.
No it's this is, it's salt. It's seasoning. Yeah. Yeah. It's just like garlic salt. I mean it's good but it's like there's I think the lourie seasoned salt which is what my family have when I was a kid, is like that's the same product but without like the accent. Yeah I have I have no doubt of that. Like that's like how Bel's the Thanksgiving seasoning.
Yeah. They're both good though.
I mean it's just like if you like MSG, you're going to be very happy with that. It's a beans it's seasoning podcast.
Yeah it is. Is it. Finally we don't have to talk about sports at all. It's just yeah.
You're lesser seasonings.
The other thing is it won one Christmas a while ago. Some I, I can't remember someone at work or someone at my wife's office or something gave her a bailiff reath like for decorative reasons. So she gets the, the leaf or the wreath and she hangs it very pretty but and she was about to throw it away and I was like, wait a second, why are we throwing that away like a jar of fucking believes the store is like eight dollars.
So I, I took apart a goddamn wreath and I stuffed it into an old McCormick McCormick jar.
And I use this Bailies for like stew.
Like I said, what's incredible about that is that that is some real, like, early Farole person behavior.
But you are married with children at the time that that happened, like it was like me stealing toilet paper from my first job because, like, they have so much of it, I was twenty two. That's like a normal thing for me to do. The idea of being like that thing, the gift I want to eat it. That was when I my first office job, they, they said if you stay past seven p.m. you can expense dinner.
So I would go home at seven p.m., go to the grocery store, buy my groceries and expense the groceries. And my boss got me in one day and he's like, no, no, no.
Yeah. When we say we're expecting dinner, you eat the fucking dinner here, you know, you don't get to charge like a pack of chicken thighs in a box of stovetop.
You know, obviously it sucks getting older, you know, because, like, you got aches, got like weird wiry hair is in places you don't want them and stuff.
But yeah, it is nice to be able to like have come far enough in our lives that you now understand the perspective of someone taking a twenty two year old aside and be like you just have no idea how to be a person. Like I can help you with that, but I can't buy you stovetop stuffing on the company dime like. But I can help you figure out how to order dinner if that's something you'd like. Yeah. It's also like, like now that we've started a media company and and the site's kind of a paywall, like I've spent the past twenty years trying to evade paywalls and failing.
Yeah. And like all this goddamn paywall and the Boston Globe is always nasty.
I was like, I just want to read. The shitty Dan Shaughnessy column, well, let me say, this is definitely one of those like it's like a black hat scenario, like we've been like you've called in the elite, like paywall evaders to be like, so you're a fucking dirtbag that won't pay one dollar a month for something like.
Right. So now we know we own the bitch. I'm like, now how do we make it so that no one can evade the paywall.
So that they try to if they go into incognito mode and try to get to us through PornHub or something like that, we can actually send a goon named Larry to go kneecap him.
Yeah, the total boss. Now, it's horrible. Yeah, it's great.
It's cool to have sold out and joined the management class. Now, are you ready? We have to go through everything we missed between right now and the last time we did a podcast together.
Well, what else? What could possibly have happened in the last eight or nine months?
All right. Well, I'd like to do it, but can we can we try to do it in, like three or four minutes?
Well, yeah, I.
I would love to do it all to the Billy Joel keyboard riffs that that that that that. Yeah. We're going to we're going to do the famous. We didn't start the fire format for running down eight months of current events. So we'll be singing for the remaining bit of the podcast.
Yeah, I didn't I didn't put it in rhyming fashion, which I'm very upset about.
I quit, I believe, or was either it was one night before or the night of the of the Nationals winning the World Series in Game seven in Houston, a game they won all four road games of that goddamn World Series, which still blows my mind.
Yeah, this is great. So this is a thing that happened after we left is a World Series ended. A World Series ended, but just the just the strangest sequencing. Oh, yeah, of how World Series games are won, and not only that, then we find out after the fact that the Astros cheated in that World Series and many other games by being a goddamn trash can in the dugout. I love the people, though. I love that story.
I did get to write about it elsewhere, but it was definitely like there had already been like as that World Series at the end of the ALCS.
There is a story where basically, like the Astros, like Fakhoury levels, had become like a national issue like this being discussed because they had to fire an assistant GM for being like, I'm so happy. We traded for the domestic violence guy. Stephanie Epstein getting in the faces of some women reporters. Yeah, Brandon Todd, Brandon Taubman, who is now this is how long ago it was. He's completed that cycle to where the owner of the Astros called him like a fine young man last week.
Yeah, yeah. A young man. And he's probably like forty eight. This is the best man. If you're like a certain type of white dude, like just old people will see you as their son forever. Yeah. It's like it's like Brett Kavanaugh syndrome. Yeah.
It's incredible that I can't just say he's just a kid. They all make mistakes. Let's let them preside over the fate of every American for that could be your son.
Years sobbing about beer on the floor of the Senate. So the Astros, yeah, they would steal signs that the best part is that the Astros were essentially a bloodless organization dedicated to the most like people to judge. Yeah, it's fucking McKinsey engagement. And and this is how they cheated, too, which is.
Yes, they cheated in the most basic as blatant way by stealing signals. Are that being a trash can.
So their batter was which is it's so perfect that I honestly like I'm enjoying it all over again because it's just basically like they got rid of all their scouts replaced when people that are like really good at pivot tables. Right.
Then the method that they come up with, like all of these fucking Dartmouth quants is like just caveman style.
Cheating is really solid.
And it was fantastic because I was very and I wrote about once baseball came back and it is back.
We'll talk about that in a second. But I was very sad that that fans wouldn't be around to, you know, herl like rocks and batteries and very large packs of sand at the Astros.
But but the Dodgers right away helped make up for that by having jokily being the living shit out of every team has really, like, taken up the mantle for that that like, they can't boo them, but they can fight them constantly and throw baseballs at them.
It's great. It's great. And then so. Well, so we miss we missed the Kansas City Chiefs winning the Super Bowl. Oh, I remember that. Coming back from a ten, ten point plus deficit, three straight games once against Houston, thanks to the immortal Bill O'Brien fucking up.
And then they did in the AFC title game against the Titans.
And then they did in the Super Bowl in the second half, I think in the fourth quarter.
I can't believe I'm asking you, but yeah, man, I you're asking the wrong guy because that happened in 2014 and I don't remember it very well.
I know that feels like it happened eighty years ago, although it was fun, fantastic Super Bowl.
It was it was the right ending. Like it was really nice. Like as someone who is made fun of Andy Reid for ages and ages for being like a shitty game manager and like, you know, and that's, you know, Bill Simmons did so much that it's almost like shopworn at this. Yeah, right.
Like it's like I don't even really believe it anymore because, like, enough Dingess is of like made the point where I'm like, oh, now that's the thing that like Albert Briere thinks.
Right. Yeah. And it got it got to the point where it was like, actually no, this is a fantastic coach who just has not happened to have won the Super Bowl.
He finally won a Super Bowl and got all the justified praise you deserve. And Pat Mahomes is now like the God of the NFL. We were hoping he was the year prior when they blew the AFC title game against the Patriots. They finally got through all that the Patriots a shit more than that in a second.
The mahomes that was I actually like I'm appreciating the opportunity to remember that performance because like, as good as he was, there were also a bunch of, like, weird little cockups during the game. Like strange. Yeah. Like a weird shovel pass at the goal line where like Chris Collins was like, I have no idea.
I've never seen anyone try to do that before and not in a cool way.
He'll not have a good start to that game. And but he was so good by the end of it. Like there's I don't know, I'm really excited to see where he goes because that's like he's like far without the psychosis.
Like, he's just like as cool and as creative a quarterback as I can remember seeing.
There's also there's things that he can do that just no one else can recover has. There is just if he's on like the entire field belongs to him. So if he is at one corner of the field and. Cattycorner 70 yards downfield, there's someone like Tyreek Hill. It's going to be Tyreek Hill wide open. That's not an issue like that's, that's like a 10 yard pass to him. Like he can do that. And so there's no one who there's never been a like it's always you always say the weapon is like the wideout or the running back who can, who can go out for passes and stuff like that.
But when the quarterback is the weapon, the way Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are like, it's just a way more fun game, which makes it harder for defenses, makes it more fun to watch.
I guess we can table the segment. We had planned a segment where I would debate that the Bears were right to take Mitch for Biscay ahead of Pat Mahomes, but I feel like I talked myself out of that now. So we should just move on to the next item.
Probably we yeah. We missed Tom Brady's final season in New England, which ended with him throwing a pick six to the Titans, which spent Mastec just.
Oh, yeah, it's tough anyway.
And then he retired. Yeah, I just actually. No, I'm sorry. There's getting word I was of the mind that Brady would never leave New England.
Yeah. Because he had a whole cushy setup where they had an investment in TV 12 and that was essentially there under the table payment to him and he would just stay.
And he was like their best option, but turned out to actually not be their best option. Yeah.
And then Instagram, where it was like him, like, you know, like the standard bullshit Instagram that athletes and celebrities do where it's like it's black and white, it's very tastefully shot.
He's walking out of a tunnel and everyone's like, what does it mean?
Yeah, incredible. It's also it just shows how much like I mean, like a Nike ad, like, it's not a great piece of art, but you can really tell the difference between when it's made by advertising professionals and when it's made by like Tom Brady's personal assistant, Lyle.
Yeah, it's just the most thirstiest shit like Russell Wilson perfected it.
But Tom Brady isn't far behind. So so he left. He did leave the Patriots. I was like, oh, shit, he did leave worse. You get to go. And like, I was like, maybe the Colts. Maybe the Chargers. They went to fucking Tampa.
Yeah. Which just has that kind of feeling of like it's not exactly like being pushed out on an ice floe. It's like kind of the opposite because it's actually very humid down there. But it's similar in the sense that it's just like that's where you go to to be forgotten. Yeah.
Like aesthetically it doesn't really make sense for Tom Brady politically. It makes all the sense in the gut. Yeah, right. Go someplace where, you know, everybody is also willing to entertain your theories about like how if you drink enough water, you're invincible to the sun or whatever, like this is good.
If there was a team in Huntington Beach that would obviously be ideal.
But this is still a good spot. I'm under-represent ready for Tom Brady to retire and buy a shitty baseball team and make it worse and have tasteful photos of him at like a glass desk looking at it like three iPads. Yeah.
Whatever it is that he does after football is going to be fucking weird. And I kind of can't wait for it.
But yeah, it's he's already well on that path. What else happened. Oh, right. Kobe Bryant died. Yeah, right. Fucking died. Holy shit.
Yeah I there was I don't know if this happens with you, but when like a major celebrity dies, there's a bit of a Twitter lag where it's like, you know, maybe five, ten minutes between like a place like TMZ reporting it and like everyone being like, wait, is this really like this like this gabbert's like, is this real?
We sure about this. By the way, TMZ, even though I hate TMZ for like personal reasons, like they usually get this shit right. Yeah.
So so they just write it in such a way that it looks wrong, like they put so many ellipses in everything.
You're like, no, that's a that's a I'm malfunctioning. I don't think that really happened.
But like even more like random all caps than I deploy, like it's very it's very scattershot. But so there's always this lag time where it's like like, wait a second, this this didn't really happen to it.
And then it did. And then everyone's like, oh fuck. And then so then that happened.
And that I'm almost glad it was not part of that discourse because it was just so there was just this incredible schism between outright reverence for the for Koby, not just as a player, but as. Yeah.
As this monumental human being and figure of dedication and want to and all that.
Right. Meanwhile, he's a credibly accused rapist. He became a strange brand, but after he left basketball.
And and on the on the court, he you know, he basically was a Jordan mimic, which I can't.
He got five titles at it. So it's not like I can be like, well, I just copied the guy and. Yeah. He did a pretty good idea. Yeah. Seriously. Right.
Like, he came as close as anyone ever has.
It's just it's I agree that that was one that I was happy to sit out just in the sense that, like, I don't have anything, you know, especially nice or especially like novel to say for him.
I didn't revere him. I didn't really like him. Also, it's terrible that he died.
But, like, that's not a positive. Yeah, it's not even a tweet. Like, it's just like one of those things where, you know, it's a sad thing that happened. And I was happy to leave that one to the stands and the whatever, like the people that did feel the need to point out that he was, in fact, a creep there.
Because the a lot of the people who did point out that that he was an accused rapist and saying accuse is still very light to me.
Yeah, it it leaves open the possibility if you read the police report, you would not want to use that word.
Right. But, you know, the people who did point it out immediately got besieged by by the Lakers fan boys who had, like all the Michael Rapoport's of the world being like, you can't do this and all this bullshit.
And, you know, it was just horrible to look at.
And, you know, you know, it's I think I think the way that it's settled now.
It's settled now that he is he is revered and I think a lot of his crimes have still been or transgressions have not really been properly.
Or just noted for the goddamn record and but I think it's sort of settled now where it's just like at least for me personally, it's like, OK, he was great. Very sad. He died. His legacy is, you know, has this gigantic tarnish on it that I'm not going to forget and I'm just going to have to leave it at that.
I mean, for me, like just from a basketball perspective, too, I think that as influential as he was, you know, like just in terms of him being like the alpha wing star for, like kids that were growing up and that later on would go on to play in the NBA. Like, I just feel like the NBA has moved past the need for a Kobe Bryant type player at this point, like not a competitive psychopath.
Obviously, there's we need those, like it's very important. Damian Lillard is performing a vital national service during these. Oh, my God, it was so good on Tuesday.
I love it. But there is also not basketball is more fun now. Like you don't need like a guy taking a contested turn around seventeen footers or whatever. Like we, we've agreed that that's not a priority.
Yeah. I think there's just a more festive brand of competitive sociopathy that's the game engages in and that Steph engages in. If he were if his team were around. Yeah. So you don't need Kobe and MJ sort of specific brand of Patrick Bateman type stuff. Yeah. Dimness to to go through it. So I'm, I'm glad for that.
I wish we were still around, but I'm glad that, you know, basketball isn't always searching for the next sort of Jordan heir apparent and got all these guys trying to bite his ass and but his style and, you know, doing the same turnaround jumper, which Kobe did really, really well.
Yeah, he did. You could tell he practiced it a lot. But yeah, now now we don't do that. Now we do the Damian Lillard thing where you stand on the NBA logo forty feet from the basket so. And the fucking net doesn't move. Yeah.
Which is if we're going to be honest is cooler. It was, it was so cool. What else happened. Bernie Sanders campaign died and that's, that's all my fault because I wrote on Gen that Bernie was going to win the I wrote that he was going to die.
His track record remains perfect. Oh, so congrats on that. Obviously, a full torrent of shitty Democrats came together to drop at the same time and had Joe Biden the nominations of Joe one.
And just this week he picked Kamala Harris as his running mate. And by the time Bernie had essentially conceded and endorsed him, the pandemic added. So that was the thing that that really happened. And so the last time I was at a bar was to watch an NBA game, and I believe it was March 11th on March 12.
I think that that was my personal Dedé, along with a lot of people's. Correct?
Yeah, something like that. That was I think if that was early that week, I met a friend on Monday for a beer. I was supposed to have lunch with somebody on Wednesday. By Wednesday, it was already clear that that would have been a stupid thing to do and their office was closed. And I think the last time I was in a restaurant was that Thursday. But, yeah, that was that was a good day.
Everybody at the I had it kind of like a last day of school or like the night before a blizzard sort of feeling at the bar.
But it was like, oh, there's no school tomorrow. Society's ending. But have you been to a restaurant since?
Not inside. You know, we have done outdoor dining. Oh, no, we haven't, have we? No, not really.
We do a lot of takeout or not a lot takes on. The first time I had takeout during quarantine, I felt like a billionaire. Yes, the same.
We ordered it. It was like ninety dollars worth of Indian food. And we're like, well, this is good because if they stop making Indian food because of it, everything's Mad Max now then we'll have lunch for next week.
And that obviously, like, you know, now it's not becoming Mad Max quite as quickly as I'd feared. So we've been able to order from that place a few more times. I got any outdoor dining man. It's New York City in August, like and my neighborhood's got Notah to bring the mood down.
I would describe it as a like a rat issue. It's like and it approaches a problem on certain blocks.
So it's the sort of thing where, like, if you're trying to enjoy, like, some alfresco dining with somebody you really care about and it's eighty six degrees at nine p.m. and there's like just a large rat staring at you, like, are you going to finish that from nearby. Like it's not tight. I don't want that experience and we have avoided it. That's funny.
I said Bill de Blasio to Twitter videos of those rats and he claimed he had watched him.
He's got such a long backlog of videos to watch. He's actually still a yeah.
He's apparently just watching Landry Fields highlights when he's done with those.
I went I took my kids to downtown D.C., like for Arenda reasons over the weekend, and they had outdoor cafes open. You can eat outside. And you I have not done that yet, but I walked by some people.
And like, you know, the whole thing where it's like you're supposed to keep your mask on except when you're eating the food, like no one obeys that. Yeah, it's everything to do to I mean, this is the thing as like, you know, as somebody who wears the mask like a good boy, it's like if you're eating something and then you put the mask on, you're basically just experiencing it again, like if you like, crush a bond me.
And you're like, I miss Bond me. That's great. And then you wear a mask you will hate on me within 30 minutes because you're just smelling it right.
So no one's enforcing it. So I'm like looking at it. I'm like, you know, you know, you get that sort of covid disapproval instinct kicking in.
You're like, oh, that's not very good.
But then I see people housing some oysters. I'm like, I could really go for a goddamn triple oysters right now. Yeah, it's definitely the the thing with the outdoor eating stuff is that like it none of what I miss about going to restaurants or bars is available in the outdoor version currently, you know, out there to have that like I guess like drinking beer and like a beer garden like that is great. And I wish I could do it.
They don't have any of those in my neighborhood.
And then but restaurant wise, like, there's one photo I keep coming back to from Chicago where they I think they actually do have indoor service there now, which they probably should not.
But this is people outside at a cafe table in the rain, under a tarp eating wings and like the tarp was just like kind of resting on their head like it was. And I, you know, whatever like any normal person, like I miss having somebody bring me a fried appetizer and be like, go nuts.
There's some napkins in there like, but I don't miss it enough to, like, enjoy it while like that was like how you would store a lawnmower.
And I like the idea of it. Like that's how you want to have the experience of eating wings, like with your homies in your foreheads are all touching because you're under a tarp is not how I have that drawn up.
It's extremely sanitary. Yeah.
And what could be more fun than crawling into a sack with your boss, sharing, sharing that air so intimately, just getting each other's getting each other's droplets. Yeah. Whatever. You really like that blue cheese. Huh.
So fun. So good to do that. That's amazing.
That we're droplet now terrifies me and it's like there's just like diagrams of like an elevator and it looks like a like a thermo like, like thermal vision like.
Yeah. See that you're getting like the Robocop threat assessment read out everywhere you go.
It's not just see the droplets in like World War Two, like planes like invading everyone's nostrils and shit like that.
Not a not a cool way to go through the world. Luckily it's solved. Let's take a quick break.
We'll come back with more of a rundown of the year and then hit the fog that come right back. This for the record. There it is, a win for the ages. Tiger Woods is one of our most on spiring sports icons and his story. It comes with many chapters. I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior, but here it is, the return to glory. And this is all-American.
A new series from Stitcher hosted by me, Jordan Bell. You realize Tiger Woods doesn't know who he is best in the history of golf? No question in my mind. And this season, with the help of journalist Albert Chen, we're asking, what if the story of Tiger Woods that the media has been telling? What if it's been completely wrong?
all-American Tiger is out now listen and stitcher Apple podcasts or your favorite podcast app. And we are back, look at that. I'll go quickly through everything else we we missed once the pandemic hit, we were all sad and miserable and alone for three months.
But then things got better because we all found out that police departments are racist and represent ninety five percent of every city's budget and that they have free rein to just beat the shit everybody whenever they feel like. And so what was really cool, what a relief that was.
I remember thinking talking to my friends, America's back. I said, yeah, yeah. I was like, oh, wow, they're protecting us by killing us. It's just the best thing. Yeah. Thanks so much. Now, I don't have to worry about the pandemic and I have to worry about you curb stomping me while dressed like an auto bot.
So obviously the protests happened. The Black Lives Matter movement went global. There were protests in fucking Europe in support of the in the movement, which I thought was fantastic. Yeah. And on one hand, like people in Europe love to protest, but on the other hand, they're also racist. So it's a lot to think about. And the protesters were the responsible ones.
They wore masks they were handing out like we went to we took our kids to a couple of protests. Everyone was wearing masks.
They were handing out water to everybody. I saw one video pops like taking the water bottles and stabbing them like weck with a bayonet. Like it was like like they were invading Normandy.
Yeah. It was really easy to tell who was on the right side of history with those. Yeah. Yeah, it was blatant. It was the most obvious shit you've ever seen. So I'd like to have that happen just and then and then everyone was like and then like half the states were like oh yeah.
By the way we can open for business again. Everything's fine.
We've beaten the virus even though they had been to it all, so that now the pandemic has spiked up to like like I see all the line graphs and it's like we're almost back to when when New York City was leading the world in mass preventable death.
Yeah, we're not we've distributed that more widely, but we're we're not far from that level.
That's like one of those ESPN when probability charts. But like when the score gets to fifty to nothing. Yeah.
Those of the moment that the position player comes into pitch, that's the part on the win probability chart right at now.
I'll race through all this in the in the interim. What else also happened. Cam Newton signed with the Patriots, but only after been dangling on the market for like two months because the Panthers murdered his body and he couldn't get a physical anywhere.
Bill Simmons sold his company to Spotify for over two hundred million dollars. He got canceled for being racist ass hat and then somehow managed to shrug that off and still is basically just a happy, ignorant, rich guy.
So Heart-warming pursuing his feuds, litigating things for agent buddies of his all the stuff that you dream of doing as a young man growing up.
That's very cool. I hope that defector grows so large we can also sell it off for thirty three hundred million dollars. And then I can just be a rich guy who believes every opinion he has is valid and and needs to be made. Not really. That needs to be made into its own spinoff podcast.
I think the as you know, obviously, like I'm I'm pretty happy with the person that I've become like a mostly mostly unemployable shut in who posts too much. But I feel like my final form is becoming an industry gossip guy.
Oh, and that's that's, I think, where Simmons is at this point, where he's using, like, the the weird language that Variety uses in their stories. But they're like Anne Hathaway angled production, like that's going to be that's where he's headed.
Yeah. He's going to feel like maybe he hates LeBron because he hates LeBron agent and stuff like that. Very good, very like standard boring L.A. shit.
So in that way, it's a dream come true for him to become like just like the guy who watches the movie and has like casting brain.
Yeah. Like, I guess I probably couldn't work out an agreement there because they were probably bundling with the writing team and stuff.
Right. This is so fun. By the way. I'm really enjoying this movie a lot.
Herman Cain died of coronavirus after attending a Trump rally with no mask. Soccer came back in Europe. No one tested positive. No one died. And I got used to watching games and empty stadiums and and being OK with fake fake crowd noise instead of it sounding like someone someone know, they were watching a Bundesliga game and it said, it sounds like I'm there playing in indoor pool.
Yes. Which was so which was like alarmingly accurate. Yeah.
I, I honestly like it's been you know, we've seen this with other sports bringing in the fake crowd noise to like I'm apparently just a baby and can be tricked by that, like I hear like that, like shitty rustling at a Mets game that I'm watching on TV. And I'm like, oh yeah, it's a Mets game in August.
Yeah. Well, like NBC Sports Network did a really good job with the soccer because they took they took crowd noise from previous Premier League seasons from each team's respective home crowds and put those in and integrated those into the telecast depending on the stadium. So it was really, really custom and really well done. And actually, the same thing is been true of the NBA, the. They haven't been tailored that specifically because they're not playing in home stadiums right now, but there is fake crowd noise and it's been fine.
I think Major League Baseball has been, I would argue, the most sort of scattershot. But that's also because Major League Baseball came back and itself has been a complete goddamn mess.
That's the tough one. Because, like, that's I mean, we basically we're far enough along in this that like I mean, it's different in Europe because they actually did manage the pandemic and suppressed it here. We just like a little while and didn't do anything that there's like but which unsurprisingly did not work as well.
But there's we know now like what can work and what definitely won't work. And MLB is doing the the second one of those and the vibe is all sort of off on it.
Because Miami Marlins tested positive for the virus that the Cardinals had X number of players also test positive for the virus, had their entire series this week, canceled their in they've played five games.
Yeah. They have to play like 90 games in like 40 days. So it's.
Yeah. So that's a baseball thing that. Yeah. So we're gonna have a pennant race between teams that have, you know, played like between. 30 and 60 games just get the weirdest shit that could possibly be, and the players don't look terribly happy. Oh yeah, and the Bruins and the baseball is lousy because they had to stop and ramp back up. So basically what we're getting is the quality of play that you would get, you know, in the second week of March during spring training.
But we're getting it in ghostly empty stadiums. And one team, you know, at any given time, has half of its roster infected with a pandemic.
Yeah. In college football actually be worse, because just yesterday, as we're recording this just yesterday, the the Big Ten in the PAC 12 said that they were at the very least postpone their football seasons and would not play football in the fall.
And the Big 12 was like, well, we're still playing anyway. I know Texas is definitely behind that.
And the SEC was like, we respect what the Big Ten is doing, but we're going to look into it ourselves and they're definitely, definitely going to play one thing.
So I think we can agree has been extremely good during the pandemic is that everything is now a stupid culture war thing. Every decision right down to whether we try to address the pandemic or not is now the sort of thing that you can do some culture war signaling about.
Well, and I don't even like it phrased that way because it makes it sound like both sides are the problem. Yeah.
And what's really happened is that Republicans made mask wearing a thing that pussies do.
Yeah. And so they're like they're like, no, we got to be free.
Yeah. You've got to if you show the virus that you're afraid by acknowledging it, then it becomes more powerful. No one can see the bald eagle tattoo I had inked across my mouth if I were a man.
So like like say like even saying like people are saying, oh, it's been so politicized. No, it hasn't been politicized. It's been ruined. Yeah. It's been fucking ruined by the president and his cronies. And that's why we can't go to Buffalo Wild Wings on Saturday.
Damn. Can he say that. Yeah.
So they are. Well I went fishing on a good note because the NHL and the NBA are also back. The NBA did a bubble in Florida in like the most diseased county in Florida. And we're all like, oh my God. Yeah.
And it's been great. It's yeah, it's been it's been fucking great. The basketball. It's been good. I don't even mind. They have a they have a mural of Zoome fans in the background and they have fake crowd noise. And I'm like, yeah, that works. I got a problem with that. Right.
I mean, like it's uncanny but like everything is uncanny right now.
Like I'll take uncanny with like good, you know, like high quality basketball happening in front of it as opposed to uncanny, like the president holding a Bible in front of a church that they tear gassed people to get at them out in front of or whatever.
I'm so used to everything being surreal and shitty and horrible that watching like an NHL game played in Edmonton in August with with tarps over every seat, I'm like, this is pretty good.
Yeah. Like this. I can see it. Yeah, I can normalize anything. It's really not a problem. Yeah. You ready for some fun.
Big action. What can we are we allowed. Oh I don't believe it. We have fun.
Big questions that we're going to get to. And also I should know or you should know, I know it when defector comes and arrives in September, the phone back will be there. The Jamberoo will be there while our team sucked will be there. So please write in for why your team sucks. In fact, I'm going to find a Bengals letter to read for this podcast. I forgot to do that in, but I am going to do that so good anyway.
But let's get let's get to Paul's question. Paul says OK. You retire at age, say, 38 after a nice 13 year career as a productive but by no means prominent professional athlete, let's say a baseball player, you're financially set for life, but you're neither famous nor super wealthy.
What do you do with the unlimited possibilities that make up the rest of your life? My reference point here is Aubrey Huff needs to shut the up.
Well, Paul, you make a compelling point. I don't. I mean, this is a question that no one has really answered successfully. Right? I mean, like some people have, but you don't know about it because they're just hanging out, living normal lives.
Well, I think the most prominent examples are guys that go into coaching or into broadcasting because it's just they still love the sport. And it's you know, it's well, broadcasting wise, it's relatively easy money. So it allows them to stay sort of relevant and well-paid at the same time. But I think I think the average retired MLB player, or at least the white ones, they just spend the rest of their time hunting. Yeah.
Or golfing or I mean, there's there's definitely like weirder elements of it. Like, I know that like Adam Laroche retired after he was not allowed to keep his kid in the locker room.
The normal thing that that you hear about all the time.
And then he's like been like he runs a meat ranch.
But he also has done like a lot of like cosplay, sort of like human trafficking stuff like there's some weird guys out there.
He's just because he can't seen his liveried Bangkok's sex slaves with that without anything resembling experience or a warrant.
Yeah, it's it's basically like a thing that you can do if you want to feel like, you know, a Hemsworth. But you're not like really that concerned with which one you feel like or with knowing anything about what happens before or after you do your daring paramilitary maneuver.
High is incredible, though, because he's like the worst case scenario of all these guys that like as soon as they don't have the organizing structure of baseball, like he just instantly self-destructive into this, like he just like turned fascist because he got divorced or something.
Like it's a really incredible transition. And I don't think that he's remotely alone in that.
No, I don't think so either. And also, like, I don't need him in my life. I think that's one of the things where it's like like the second like like every every Monday, like Bill Maher is trending. And I'm like, I don't need this. Like Aubrey Huff starts training for the same reason.
I'm like, I don't need to hear from this fucking groan like. Yeah, playing for a baseball team. What do I owe Aubrey Huff at this point? Yeah.
The Russell says lives to like, go go the fuck away.
Joe writes in, Would you rather have nipples for eyes or eyes for nipples?
Oh, it's no fun bag. I know. I know the question. I know the answer to this is pretty easy.
I think that it's nipples for eyes. But you can see I know, but I don't want to be shirtless all the time. And I don't want to be staring at the inside of my shirt. Oh, wait. Well, you know, what is he if you have nipples, four eyes, you still have nipples on your chest, right? You have no eyes. I oh, yeah. Because you've had eyes for nipples, then it's not an either or because.
Because both scenarios play out in that. So you would ask question contains such multitudes. Anyway, you got to have eyes for nipples and then you just wear a shirt and close your third and fourth eyes all the time.
Oh, that's right. So you get both. So that's what happens. Yeah. You have chest eyes. Yeah. You either have four nipples or four eyes. Oh well if I take four eyes I guess now.
Well you're wearing glasses high because I am. It's an audio. Is it audio medium. You can't tell but I am wearing glasses right now.
Michael Right. Clean shot Michael. Right. And I was watching a TV show recently and a character asked if they should dump the body in New Jersey. And that got me thinking, which state has the most bodies buried in it? To be clear, this is solely crime related, is legally buried bodies. So like cemeteries don't count.
I mean, I feel like I should almost recuse myself from this as a New Jersey person like I am.
I am someone who's committed murder, right? Yeah. Well, I mean, just it would be it would be unfair to bring that expert's perspective. I feel like New Jersey probably has had a lot of people dumped in that.
There's a convenient marsh. It's like one, you know, crossing from the city to, of course, if you're coming from an outer borough. And that's not super duper hard.
But I feel like the thing that we underestimate when we're thinking about, like organized crime, disposing of people is that all those guys are just fucking high.
And so they're not going to go very far. Like I feel like Staten Island pound for pound or like certain parts of of Brooklyn or whatever have like really could could hold their own with any place. Yeah, it's a mistake I make is that I, I always assume that people are being sober or sober when they're being bad, when really like eighty five percent of the American population at any time is just blasted out of their minds, unlike some horrific cocktail of prescription medication and like bath tub meth.
Or just like whatever the things that I think that like honestly monster energy is probably as deranged is like anything that you could get illicitly.
And there's many people that just drink that like all day at work. My daughter asked for a monster energy put on the shopping list yesterday at dinner. And I was like, no.
Yeah, well, like, why do you need to be more energetic? Like, it's it's August. Like, I feel like you got to just take it easy. Just enjoy it. Yeah.
When you have a forty year old in the house during quarantine, you get all of the fourteen year old. Yes. Just just from concentrate.
It's just so there's, there's no part of you that's like I like this experience a lot.
I want to add talking to it now every day and every night at dinner. It's like the stocks or stocks. I'm like, you want dessert. She's like the world's got die.
I'm like, OK, Goth lady, this is some My Chemical Romance and get back to Nice.
Well, by the way, I think we're giving too much credit to Jersey and like Nevada and other like glamorous crime states also. Are we talking about like actively burying the bodies or dumping them and like to see burials count, you know what I mean. Mhm.
Yeah. There's so much, so much to consider here.
I feel like I'm just going to let you keep going because you describe New Jersey as glamorous and I've never heard that before and I want to hear more.
No, because I was going to say, like, I would want to go more toward the Pacific Northwest because that's where murder is, drifters hang out or or New Mexico, like when I read very sordid crime stories, like half of them occur in New Mexico, not Arizona, but New Mexico.
No, not Arizona, because Arizona is almost too public. Like someone might see you in Arizona and New Mexico. It's the fifth largest state. There's nothing in it. Nobody's going to see you dig a hole in a dune and dump your ex-husband into it. I feel like this basically qualifies as news you can use.
I want to encourage listeners not to to do that because Drew said so do your own research.
Yeah. Yeah. Like West Texas. Buga Canada, too. Yeah.
Wide open spaces and poor government.
Let's do a couple more if we get to the email of the week.
Jeff writes in, If you're able to grow another normal sized human arm anywhere on your body, where would you choose to grow it?
My first thought was the top of my head because you could reach things that are really high, but the strain on the neck would be unbearable.
Yeah, that's a kind of a tough one there and one of the top of your head, you know, one at the top of your head, I feel like you probably don't want it like like, I guess on your back would be cool, but you wouldn't necessarily know what you're using it for because you can't see back there.
Which is of sticking out of your belly like quarto, I guess, I mean, like I'm a huge yeah. Just I guess as a as a Verhoeven fan, anything that you can do to qualify yourself, like you have to consider that a win. I wouldn't want on top of my head, because if you actually if I'm reaching up on my arm right now and it looks amazing, really, just your arm kind of starts thanks to your shoulder rising up your arm already kind of starts halfway up your head anyway.
Yeah. You're just basically picking up a forearm length. I would because I'm used to my arms being where they are.
I would want the third arm to be in that vicinity. So like, Doc, OK, I would have it. Oh yeah. Probably under my right arm, sort of a second right arm so I could have a second right arm. Like to hold a can of seltzer. I can't drink anymore so I drink seltzer like a loser and and then I could also write like a.
A note in my notebook about, yeah, just having an auxiliary like sort of a back up hand.
Yeah, but not just a backup and a backup right hand. Right hand. If you were left handed, you have a backup left hand. But, you know, so I could like, punch somebody while also signing a legal waiver allowing me to punch them.
Yeah. Because that's the sort of thing that like I think a lot of people would want to do, but they look at it and they're like, well, I just don't know if we have it logistically, if that's possible.
This one's from David, not you, he said. With restaurants now open for outdoor dining, I'm reminded how unpleasant it can be to eat outdoors. The wind blows your napkins around Qader. It becomes a commodity. Everyone walking past gets to stare at your plate. The exhaust spewing trucks rattle by. It's OK, it gets one out of the house. But a overate experience where a lot can go wrong. Do you agree with this take?
I do honestly. Really I do. I orthotic. I know. I mean, I figured most people do and it's just something that I've never been like hardcore about it.
Like I will eat outside if we have like a guest that wants to eat outside or whatever.
But in general, like, no, I think that I like to like part of what I miss about restaurants, honestly, like and this is total Stockholm syndrome, like living in a city for a long time. Like, I kind of like that it's crowded and that you have to like, lean in and kind of raise your voice. And there's a lot of other people around and stuff like that, all these things that now make it terrifying and completely impractical.
Being outside, especially like now I've had meals outside that I like in like in Italy or something where there's like a culture of it and they know what they're doing.
All right. All the attempts to create outdoor dining from scratch in New York are basically like. Taking a parking spot and putting a bunch of ferns from like Home Depot in it and being like it looks like a restaurant, you like it. And they've all I mean, they kind of top out at, like Chitti wedding reception. And then there are some, like, just truly harrowing, like Formica table, like in the dead middle of the sidewalk that you could presumably eat at.
Like, I'm not going to do that shit. I will go. Yeah, I think I think it's colored for you by being in in New York because, like, all the sidewalks are at a 45 degree angle and like, your table is inevitably going to wobble. And like I, I remember I had to do I to interview Eric Repair for for a GQ oral history of Anthony Bourdain Life.
Eric Repair told me that New York City deliberately uses the most uncomfortable chairs they can. So you get up after four or five minutes so they can encourage restaurant turnover. So like you're going to get the shitty rattan chair with no ass and you're going to be sitting on a slant and your back's going to die. So that kind of outdoor dining fine. Yeah, that sucks. But in the rest of America, we have flat land and ample space. I think it's quite lovely.
Yeah. I mean, that's the kind of it that I've enjoyed. I mean, like, when we go see my wife's dad, I mean, like all the places that we actually like eating up there are outside. So, you know, it's like a picnic table type thing where you eat a sandwich at it.
But like, yeah, I'd be happy to do that. But that's not a climate controlled experience in general.
So I think I think the take the take has some inherent biases in it. Almost racist. Well, I don't know about it.
It's trying to cancel a guy that is willing to stand up to big al fresco.
I respect I will well, I will say that the picnic table design is not like optimal.
No, not the it's not. Let's get to our email of the week.
It's from Richard. Richard said my then three year old has just finished a bath and decides he has to poop.
So I drop him off and I put him on the toilet naked. I sit right outside the bathroom waiting for him to call me to wipe him. When he's done, he calls me in and I see him sitting on the toilet with a noticeable glop of poop on his shoulder. Here's the thing.
No, there's no poop on his hands or anywhere else on his body or anywhere in the bathroom except in the toilet bowl where it belongs.
He's still four years away from being a even semi competent wiper.
There's no way he wiped his own ass and dad the poop covered toilet paper from shoulder fucking shit all of his hands. He never got up from the toilet. I never heard the water running. He's not, to my knowledge, a contortionist. So can you help me figure out how this glob of poop got on his shoulder and only on his shoulder? It's like a riddle. Children are magic.
I mean, again, I'm speaking only as an uncle here. Like, this is one hundred percent credible to me, even though.
Yep, like, the only explanation I can come up with involves like elves, you know, and is probably therefore not valid.
You would know more about this as an actual father of daughter and also of sons. How would this happen? Because like I know that kids make mistakes when pooping, but this one seems extraordinarily advanced. I mean, I've been a dad so long, I sort of don't even bother with the how anymore. Like, I've just there's been shit and vomit all over this house in every corner of it.
And I haven't even gotten to that like the puberty fluids yet. So it's like. Like, I'm like, oh, like a glove, it magically appears on a three year old shoulder. Yeah, it sounds about right. Yeah, yeah, that's upsetting to me.
Like I could I could have the Warren Commission look into it. But, you know, by my. I don't know. I don't know. But I don't need to know. Yeah.
I guess that makes sense that like basically a situation like this is one that you have to first address as a problem solver. Yeah.
It would ruin the magic. Thank you, Richard, for telling us that.
Lovely story. And thank you, Roth, because that is the end of the first ever distraction podcast.
Wow. We did it.
We should do another one. Did it. We should do it. Then we'll do another one next week. And so, you know, the show is produced and engineered by Brandon Nix, Daisy Rozario. So our executive producer and Stitchers chief content officer is Chris Banin. We will have guests periodically on the show, including some of our defector cohorts. But you should you should go to stitchery. You subscribe now, but also you should know that you can listen to this as you probably are right now, everywhere else.
You get your podcast spot, Apple. Bob Evans restaurant. Yeah. Bob Evans, Pep Boys. If you get your podcast up, Pep Boys. Yeah, you can get that everywhere. And while you're at it, also subscribe to defector dot com and go there. Now there are certain packages there. Also it's still August. So there are deals where you can sign up for the year. You pay less than if you pay by a month.
Come on down. Yeah, that's it for this week's show Ruoff.
We're going to see her again next week, right? Yeah. Yeah, I think I have time for it. That's right. Because next week we're back. We're back next week. So we'll see you next week. Bye.