Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Podcast Heaven.

So, Justin and I pretty much religiously listen to a podcast from a ESPN sportswriter named Bill Simmons. If you know us well enough, I'm sure you've heard us speak fondly of him before you got bored/annoyed and left the conversation. Anyway, we basically both aspire to be this man because he has the best job in the world. He writes about sports and talks to his friends on podcasts. Occasionally, he writes a book about sports, usually with some sort of a Boston angle. See, Simmons is a Boston sports fanatic. He was born and raised there on a steady diet of Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox. Needless to say, his columns tend toward the Boston ideology and his overall love and obsession for Boston sports. This can be both understandable and irking because the view is so skewed. After reflecting, one can't really complain, however, because if I had the choice, I'd sway the way of Cincinnati every single time.

One of the discerning qualities about Simmons is that he's not solely schooled on sports. He was once a writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which I'm sure only helped the comedic development of his voice as a writer. It also aided him in leading five thousand million riveting conversations concerning such cinematic classics as the Karate Kid and Rock IV: Rocky Defeats Communism (I've convinced myself that Stallone truly fucked up by not adorning the film with its full proper name). There's obvious comedy there and a kind of scathing, biting sense of humor. He's the perfect hybrid of a columnist and podcaster because he touches on a collective of interests, thus resulting in a higher entertainment value. Seems like a simple formula.

Simmons' columns and podcasts weave pop culture into sports and vice versa. There's no lack of Real World and MTV references. He can talk to Adam Carolla about the latest Fast & the Furious installment for 40 minutes and somehow make it utterly entertaining. By the way, one of my favorite things about the podcasts is that Simmons has this group of semi-celebrity studded buddies (Kimmel, Carolla, Chris Connelly, Jon Hamm, etc.) he brings onto the podcasts, and all they do is bitch and describe the painful minutiae of random bullshit that contains little to no intelligent substance whatsoever. You know, the shit people actually want to talk about when they don't give a fuck about spouting off a bunch of regurgitated facts on recent political and socioeconomic developments just to impress people who probably don't give a damn in the first place. I think I just appreciate hearing friends bullshit without encumbrances or cares. It's like being a fly on the wall.

Simmons once spoke about success as being a gradual occurrence in which you basically have to suck it up, take a dick in the ass for a year, make little to no money, and work your balls off. I've always had a similar outlook concerning the "foot in the door" kind of mindset. I slaved away for about a solid six month period, interning for an alt-weekly, slinging pizza as a server at Dewey's, all the while applying for grad school. It sucked hard, but I understood it to be a means to an end . . . to use a fucking terrible cliche. Not to say my job is mind blowing now, but it's a decent job with good people, and I know I wouldn't have gotten it had it not been for that six month period. It's nice to reflect on that from time to time.

Okay, now that I'm done with that aside (and basically nestling Simmons' balls), I want to make the point that I plan on recreating this kind of podcast heaven created by Simmons. I have Summer goals and this is one of them. Justin and I just got done texting back and forth with each other for about two hours during the epic Bulls/Celtics game, all the while knowing that I should've been taking notes during the game so I could be talking to him right now on a podcast about the game and random Seinfeld moments. This is really all I want in life: To talk about sports, music, and random Seinfeld moments. Occasionally, I wouldn't mind a slice of pizza too, or some of Heidi's cookies.

Ending this here seems abrupt, so I'll just end it right here, or after I point out what I'm listening to right now.

Pig Destroyer - Terrifyer
Damien Jurado - Caught in the Trees
Bat for Lashes - Two Suns
Converge - Jane Doe
Crystal Antlers - Tentacles



Heidi Lynn Bragg said...

i love that even in a blog entirely about sports my cookies get a shout out, they're famous!

Magda said...

I totally read this entire post, hoping to come away with a larger understanding of sports and sports commentary -- but sadly the only thing that resonated was "nestling balls."

edwardallen said...

i can't believe that i forgot to post a comment until now. how rude of me.

if we were mike and mike, which mike would i be? i'm thinking you are more greenburg and i am more golic, but i don't like either and it's an insult to both of us to compare to those two dead-beats.

i have a running list of ideas for our podcast. right now there are about 10 ideas written down. i refuse to talk about these things with you until we have microphones and know that our voices will be heard by the masses.

Billy said...

Can you discuss the Bengals Draft? I was disappointed that neither you or Justin have mentioned it yet. Am I supposed to be happy that we passed on Eugene Monroe for Andre Smith? Will one of the 47 centers on our roster actually amount to anything? Should I believe Geoff Hobson that we had a fantastic draft or the national media who accuse us of continuing to ignore character issues?

When you start your podcast, can I call in and ask these questions?