Title: Fore Play presented by Barstool Sports
Date: March 5, 2018
Length: 49 minutes
Hosts: Riggs, Trent and Frankie
Extra: You can subscribe on iTunes or listen on Barstool Sports
Tiger is back!!!
Well, maybe, we’ll see.
Surely you’ve heard by now that every golf fan is ready to crown Tiger Woods as the winner at Augusta for the Masters. The PGA Tour could desperately use that kind of drama, seeing as their ratings for recent major tournaments haven’t been great. But there’s also something the PGA needs equally as bad: Young people to inject life into the game. That’s what I immediately got when I listened to Fore Play for the first time.
To be fair, this was the first podcast I’ve listened to that’s centered entirely on the PGA Tour. Though I may be totally clueless on this, my idea of most golf podcasts are a couple of older guys breaking down swing patterns, who’s short game is struggling and what golf course suits certain golfers the best. What I got with Fore Play, is three guys that sounded like they’re drinking beer in a golf cart and talking about the game. They’re passionate about the sport, while also being funny and making fun of certain golfers. They give golf the influx of youth that it needs.
The smallest things in a podcast can have a lasting impression on me. Most of the time it starts with an idea that’s very simple and basic and fits the flow and theme of the podcast. Such was the case with Fore Play as they segued between ad reads and guest appearances with a ‘golf clap’ audio drop. Yes, it probably didn’t take the guys very long to come up with that idea, but it’s just something else that helps tie the entire podcast together. The only minor complaint I had, was the background noise during Riggs’ walk through the airport. I give the guys credit for laughing it off and not making a big deal out of it, but it did seem to momentarily change the flow of the episode. It’s not a huge issue and I’m sure most listeners wouldn’t even consider it a problem, but it’s something you’d rather not make a habit.
After 26 minutes of really entertaining golf talk, Paige Spiranac joins the podcast to talk about her involvement with the sport. First of all, I loved her energy and enthusiasm. She seemed extremely comfortable in the setting and really meshed well with the guys. Most guests sound like a guest, meaning they’ve never been on the podcast before. Spiranac could have easily been mistaken as one of the co-hosts, seeing as she had a ton of chemistry and familiarity with the crew. The interview fit extremely well with the previous minutes of the show. In fact, the episode never missed a beat during Spiranac’s appearance.
If you’re doing a podcast on a certain sport, it’s because you love that particular game. That means you not only have favorite players and teams, but you also have players and teams you hate with a flaming passion. If that’s the case, tell me who those people are! Tell me why you hate a particular player and how you love to root against them. That shows emotion, which is always a good thing.
In terms of a golf podcast, there’s no way a fan can like every single golfer on the PGA Tour. You’re automatically destined to hate a number of players for a multitude of reasons. I appreciated the hate on Fore Play. They let me know who they can’t stand, why they hate him and what it’s like to root against them on a Sunday during a tournament. Frankie even gave the listener a great quote: “We want guys that get a reaction out of us. That’s why I like Bubba (Watson) and I like to hate Bubba. Justin Thomas in putting himself in there. Yeah, we’re pinning ourselves up against the best player in the world right now, but it makes it more fun because you get to root against somebody and there’s nothing better in sports than rooting against somebody.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
I really hope Tiger wins a major this year, just so I can run and listen to how much Frankie, Trent and Riggs freak out about it on the podcast. The great thing, is that they’ll exude the exact same emotion that the everyday golf fan is feeling when it happens. These guys are funny, they know what they’re talking about and they make it fun. Sure, breaking down why Rickie Fowler hasn’t won a major could be interesting to some, but Fore Play can do that while making jokes about how his life off the course probably operates. It’s the best of both worlds.
I can be honest about my lack of interest in the PGA. It’s pretty low. But seeing as how entertained I still was by Fore Play, that’s probably a huge compliment that they were able to keep me intrigued and entertained while talking about a sport that I’m not passionate about. That’s talent and a reason why Fore Play has built such a large following.
This podcast appeals to several demographics, but especially the younger generation. If you love golf, look no further than Fore Play. This podcast is another….wait for it…. ‘hole-in-one’ for Barstool Sports.
Being Wrong On-Air Isn’t A Bad Thing
…if you feel yourself getting uncomfortable over the fact that you were wrong, stop to realize that’s your pride talking. Your ego. And if people call you out for being wrong, it’s actually a good sign.
In the press conference after the Warriors won their fourth NBA title in eight years, Steph Curry referenced a very specific gesture from a very specific episode of Get Up that aired in August 2021.
“Clearly remember some experts and talking heads putting up the big zero,” Curry said, then holding up a hollowed fist to one eye, looking through it as if it were a telescope.
“How many championships we would have going forward because of everything we went through.”
Yep, Kendrick Perkins and Domonique Foxworth each predicted the Warriors wouldn’t win a single title over the course of the four-year extension Curry had just signed. The Warriors won the NBA title and guess what? Curry gets to gloat.
The funny part to me was the people who felt Perkins or Foxworth should be mad or embarrassed. Why? Because they were wrong?
That’s part of the game. If you’re a host or analyst who is never wrong in a prediction, it’s more likely that you’re excruciatingly boring than exceedingly smart. Being wrong is not necessarily fun, but it’s not a bad thing in this business.
You shouldn’t try to be wrong, but you shouldn’t be afraid of it, either. And if you are wrong, own it. Hold your L as I’ve heard the kids say. Don’t try to minimize it or explain it or try to point out how many other people are wrong, too. Do what Kendrick Perkins did on Get Up the day after the Warriors won the title.
“When they go on to win it, guess what?” He said, sitting next to Mike Greenberg. “You have to eat that.”
Do not do what Perkins did later that morning on First Take.
Perkins: “I come on here and it’s cool, right? Y’all can pull up Perk receipts and things to that nature. And then you give other people a pass like J-Will.”
Jason Williams: “I don’t get passes on this show.”
Perkins: “You had to, you had a receipt, too, because me and you both picked the Memphis Grizzlies to beat the Golden State Warriors, but I’m OK with that. I’m OK with that. Go ahead Stephen A. I know you’re about to have fun and do your thing. Go ahead.”
Stephen A. Smith: “First of all, I’m going to get serious for a second with the both of you, especially you, Perk, and I want to tell you something right now. Let me throw myself on Front Street, we can sit up there and make fun of me. You know how many damn Finals predictions I got wrong? I don’t give a damn. I mean, I got a whole bunch of them wrong. Ain’t no reason to come on the air and defend yourself. Perk, listen man. You were wrong. And we making fun, and Steph Curry making fun of you. You laugh at that my brother. He got you today. That’s all. He got you today.”
It’s absolutely great advice, and if you feel yourself getting uncomfortable over the fact that you were wrong, stop to realize that’s your pride talking. Your ego. And if people call you out for being wrong, it’s actually a good sign. It means they’re not just listening, but holding on to what you say. You matter. Don’t ruin that by getting defensive and testy.
WORTH EVERY PENNY
I did a double-take when I saw Chris Russo’s list of the greatest QB-TE combinations ever on Wednesday and this was before I ever got to Tom Brady-to-Rob Gronkowski listed at No. 5. It was actually No. 4 that stopped me cold: Starr-Kramer.
My first thought: Jerry Kramer didn’t play tight end.
My second thought: I must be unaware of this really good tight end from the Lombardi-era Packers.
After further review, I don’t think that’s necessarily true, either. Ron Kramer did play for the Lombardi-era Packers, and he was a good player. He caught 14 scoring passes in a three-year stretch where he really mattered, but he failed to catch a single touchdown pass in six of the 10 NFL seasons he played. He was named first-team All-Pro once and finished his career with 229 receptions.
Now this is not the only reason that this is an absolutely terrible list. It is the most egregious, however. Bart Starr and Kramer are not among the 25 top QB-TE combinations in NFL history let alone the top five. And if you’re to believe Russo’s list, eighty percent of the top tandems played in the NFL in the 30-year window from 1958 to 1987 with only one tandem from the past 30 years meriting inclusion when this is the era in which tight end production has steadily climbed.
Then I found out that Russo is making $10,000 per appearance on “First Take.”
My first thought: You don’t have to pay that much to get a 60-something white guy to grossly exaggerate how great stuff used to be.
My second thought: That might be the best $10,000 ESPN has ever spent.
Once a week, Russo comes on and draws a reaction out of a younger demographic by playing a good-natured version of Dana Carvey’s Grumpy Old Man. Russo groans to JJ Redick about the lack of fundamental basketball skills in today’s game or he proclaims the majesty of a tight end-quarterback pairing that was among the top five in its decade, but doesn’t sniff the top five of all-time.
And guess what? It works. Redick rolls his eyes, asks Russo which game he’s watching, and on Wednesday he got me to spend a good 25 minutes looking up statistics for some Packers tight end I’d never heard of. Not satisfied with that, I then moved on to determine Russo’s biggest omission from the list, which I’ve concluded is Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates, who connected for 89 touchdowns over 15 seasons, which is only 73 more touchdowns than Kramer scored in his career. John Elway and Shannon Sharpe should be on there, too.
Money Isn’t The Key Reason Why Sellers Sell Sports Radio
I started selling sports radio because I enjoyed working with clients who loved sports, our station, and wanted to reach fans with our commercials and promotions.
A radio salesperson’s value being purely tied to money is overrated to me. Our managers all believe that our main motivation for selling radio is to make more money. They see no problem in asking us to sell more in various ways because it increases our paycheck. We are offered more money to sell digital, NTR, to sell another station in the cluster, weekend remotes, new direct business, or via the phone in 8 hours.
But is that why you sell sports radio?
In 2022, the Top 10 highest paying sales jobs are all in technology. Not a media company among them. You could argue that if it were all about making money, we should quit and work in tech. Famous bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed twenty banks over twenty years. He reportedly said,” that’s where the money is”. Sutton is the classic example of a person who wanted what money could provide and was willing to do whatever it took to get it, BUT he also admitted he liked robbing banks and felt alive. So, Sutton didn’t do it just for the money.
A salesperson’s relationship with money and prestige is also at the center of the play Death of a Salesman. Willy Loman is an aging and failing salesman who decides he is worth more dead than alive and kills himself in an auto accident giving his family the death benefit from his life insurance policy. Loman wasn’t working for the money. He wanted the prestige of what money could buy for himself and his family.
Recently, I met a woman who spent twelve years selling radio from 1999-2011. I asked her why she left her senior sales job. She said she didn’t like the changes in the industry. Consolidation was at its peak, and most salespeople were asked to do more with less help. She described her radio sales job as one with “golden handcuffs”. The station paid her too much money to quit even though she hated the job. She finally quit. The job wasn’t worth the money to her.
I started selling sports radio because I enjoyed working with clients who loved sports, our station, and wanted to reach fans with our commercials and promotions. I never wanted to sell anything else and specifically enjoyed selling programming centered around reaching fans of Boise State University football. That’s it. Very similar to what Mark Glynn and his KJR staff experience when selling Kraken hockey and Huskies football.
I never thought selling sports radio was the best way to make money. I just enjoyed the way I could make money. I focused on the process and what I enjoyed about the position—the freedom to come and go and set my schedule for the most part. I concentrated on annual contracts and clients who wanted to run radio commercials over the air to get more traffic and build their brand.
Most of my clients were local direct and listened to the station. Some other sales initiatives had steep learning curves, were one-day events or contracted out shaky support staff. In other words, the money didn’t motivate me enough. How I spent my time was more important.
So, if you are in management, maybe consider why your sales staff is working at the station. Because to me, they’d be robbing banks if it were all about making lots of money.
Media Noise: BSM Podcast Network Round Table
Demetri Ravanos welcomes the two newest members of the BSM Podcast Network to the show. Brady Farkas and Stephen Strom join for a roundtable discussion that includes the new media, Sage Steele and Roger Goodell telling Congress that Dave Portnoy isn’t banned from NFL events.