In this week's podcast, Emory Professor Mike Lewis discusses his top takeaways from Week 2 of NFL action as well as Appalachian State's eventful start to the 2022 football season.
Topics of discussion include building meaningful fandom moments in small markets, quarterback analytics, and fandom statistics across genders.
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Mike Lewis 0:08
Hey, welcome, everyone. Welcome to the Fanalytics Podcast brought to you from the Emory marketing analytics center. You are well, you you're being spoken to by Mike Lewis, Professor of Marketing and Doug Battle. Doug, sort of a jack of all trades kind of extraordinary at multiple things. How are you?
Doug Battle 0:27
Not a professor? I'm doing well, Mike, obviously, coming off another great football weekend. Last week on the podcast, App State was all I could talk about. And I'm gonna have a hard time shutting up about him this week
Mike Lewis 0:40
And something happened with them this week, Doug?
Doug Battle 0:44
So game day, first off, I talked all about their fan base and how incredibly bonkers they are. And then it was like, sometimes it feels like the sports Gods just will things to happen. The biggest game they've ever hosted on the biggest spotlight they've ever been in. Game comes down, of course, to a Hail Mary. And of course it ends up being a completion. And of course, they storm the field and the quarterbacks helping young ladies down onto the field. It was a beautiful thing. It felt like March Madness this whole season. And every week this season, App State they feel like this year Cinderella, but we don't usually get that in football. Usually that's just a college basketball thing. This year. So far, it has been in college football, and App State. Even when they were losing a week one it was very exciting. They're the most fun team to watch and have been the first three weeks of the season, just because they get into these crazy situations and crazy things just keep happening. And they have such a crazy fan base. If you don't even like football, you just like people watching turn on an App State Game and Watch what's going down because it is always entertaining. Mike.
Mike Lewis 1:47
Okay, I'm not following upstate as closely as you are. I think I saw something where they have a pond on campus and the fans were jumping into the pond.
Doug Battle 1:57
They I mean, anything you can think of probably happened.
Mike Lewis 2:00
Okay. Yeah. And you know what, Doug? I mean, it's a great, it's a great story. And it's definitely in our wheelhouse in terms of fandom, right? I mean, it's, it's, I don't know, do you know how many people live in Boone, North Carolina?
Doug Battle 2:14
I don't, but I would imagine 50% were on campus for the game.
Mike Lewis 2:22
And so you think about an institution like Appalachian State. And, you know, every college out there wants to, you know, they want to have the Emory nation or the dog nation or the align a nation where everyone wants to come together as a community in sports is the best way and oh, God, I mean, the academics are going to come for me, as I say this, sports are the best way to do it. Right. I mean, sports are the thing that college sports are one of the few kind of unifying things that still exist on campus. And so if you are an AP state, mountaineer, you know, you're gonna wear that merge proudly, you're all in, you're all celebrating together, these kids are going to remember the beginning of this season for the rest of their lives. It is a point of connection. That is almost a you know, maybe there's, you know, who knows, if you live in the city, maybe you're kind of annoyed by some of this celebrating at this point. But it is something that has completely brought that campus together. I think they're completely embracing it. And it is something that absolutely builds community. And so it's it's an amazing story. It's a it's a positive. It's a perfect story.
Doug Battle 3:35
It's a perfect story. And just as someone who experienced college football in the excitement of seeing your team rise to prominence rise to that national spotlight. And to this day for me, I still if I meet Georgia grads, and they'll say, Oh, I was there when Herschel Walker was there, and I'll say, Oh, I was there for the Rose Bowl, and for the Notre Dame game, all those classic games that brought everyone together that everyone can connect over. And I think it's no different. I know that this you know, it's on a different level. It's it's kind of, to scale though, with Appalachian State where I think 50 years from now, the people who were there who were students for the Michigan upset will be talking to the people who were there for the Texas a&m upset and the Hail Mary with Chase Bryce, and I got to add one thing, Mike, we've talked a lot about the negatives that can come from the transfer portal. How about a school like Appalachian State, getting a guy and chase Bryce at quarterback who was once recruited by Georgia, he was recruited by Clemson he played some for Clemson and his best opportunity to play a lot ended up being at Appalachian State and he's been you know, as much as that might seem like for a guy who wants could have thought maybe I'll be the starting quarterback for the number one team in the country. He's had an incredible experience. He is like a deity. And Appalachian State seen some of those College GameDay signs the girls are saying Chase Bryce, marry me, watching him, celebrate that big time throw and run out, you know, as everyone runs onto the field, a guy who may have been forgotten in a school or in a town like Clemson and a town like Athens, Georgia, he gets to be the guy, he is the hero, he is going to be an all time great in Boone, North Carolina, I would imagine his NFL worth is probably better in Boone right now than it would be if you were backing up DJ, you younger Les, and Clemson. And so it's just a really interesting evolution of football to see one of the positives that can come from NIHL from the transfer portal.
Mike Lewis 5:32
Yeah, you're I mean, you're completely spot on. It's the transfer portal is going to, like from, from our perspective look, like if you're a college football coach, the transfer portal drives you up a wall. Right, you are, you are now recruiting athletes on a one, you know, in a one year basis. If you are someone that works at the league's, and you're concerned about competitive balance, though, I don't know how concerned about competitive balance, they really are in college, but it seems to work out for him. You know, when Alabama and Georgia are completely dominant, it seems to work out for him anyways. But you know, the transfer portal is just, it's a story maker. It's a narrative maker. I mean, you know, it's interesting, one of the things that college football is doing this year, is one of their advertising campaigns is talking about stories, and they're talking about how miracles sometimes happen. And it's a good way for them to think about sports is this this story generation process. This kid, you know, being recruited by the the top schools in the SEC, ending up in Boone, North Carolina, and then the and then suddenly the college football Gods smile down on them. They are the luck, they have won the early part of the season without Without question, right. And so this is a, like I said, it's a story generator. It's a narrative maker. And it is the key thing on that campus at this moment, right, it is the unifier. And I sort of keep using that word because I think that's something that has a tendency to get lost these days. Sports is one of the final unifiers for cities for colleges. And so it is something that is you know, we're sort of tongue in cheek, we're about analytics and numbers. But there is something really important about the role that sports plays on these, these institutions.
Doug Battle 7:22
Absolutely. And I also would imagine for Appalachian State for their football program, having such prominence at this point in time, has to help with recruiting not only for football, right, but also for students. And we've seen that I mean, I grew up in Alabama, and when Alabama rose under Nick Saban to national prominence to dynasty level, all of a sudden, the AC T scores were going up, because they had such demand so many students wanting to come and be a part of that. And I would imagine AP state is just now on the radar for a lot of not just student athletes, but also students in the area and surrounding areas, who all of a sudden are saying, Hey, that looks like a fun time. I could see myself going there. It's interesting, like how sports do that for universities.
Mike Lewis 8:10
Boone, North Carolina has a population of 19,000 Doug, so this is my gosh, in the city that might have a McDonald's and might have a you know, a Zack Spees but they are the center you know, but they had college, their College GameDay. It's a you know, it's that word that magic that sports, you know, can provide?
Doug Battle 8:37
Yeah, and I love it. I saw I wish I remember who tweeted this. But I saw a tweet saying, you know, how about we start giving College Game Day to schools like this, and not just Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State every three weeks. Because there was a special energy, you could tell how special it was to this student body to this community. And they brought that energy. And out of it came Magic Mike, and I don't know how not Magic Mike. But magic comment, Mike. Just to be clear, Channing Tatum did not show up. I don't know if this would have if that game would have ended the way that it did. Have there not been that magic in the air. I know that sounds insane. But like I said, it's like March Madness where it's almost inevitable. The App State was going to pull off something crazy. There's no way the sports cards were going to let App State die in a shameful death on national TV. After all that the excitement in that city that day. It was inevitable and I will never stop watching that. I think that's one of the great plays in college football history. I don't think you know, I don't think it's just going to be shown on video boards in Boone, North Carolina. I think when they're showing the bands on the field and all these crazy plays from college football. That one makes the list app state, their students, their fans. They have so much pride in that team and In our community right now, and I will be continuing to watch them throughout the season, mostly because I like watching their fans and how they experience football and the joy that they take in it.
Mike Lewis 10:11
Okay, well, you know, we may as well, we may as well stay with the theme of college football to get things going. You know, and I don't know, you know, Doug, it's like, I watched a bunch of college football. We are at the point to me, though, where a lot of it's kind of, I'm gonna be honest with you. A lot of it kind of blends together then after watching a bunch of football on on Sunday. You know, baby, the game I was most enthralled by on. And I think you do a better job of this than sort of keeping all the details straight. That the game I was most enthralled by was the Notre Dame game. And I'm watching this thinking, wow, is Notre Dame going to go? You know, start out Owen three, and the coach is going to start out Owen for me, you know, again, this is so much because I think in terms of these, these narratives and the effects on the brands, is Notre Dame. Is this a recoverable situation for the Fighting Irish at this point?
Doug Battle 11:11
I feel like that Hail Mary. And that ballgame. I don't know if you saw it, Mike. I feel like that Hail Mary probably have better odds of being completed than the App State Hail Mary magic aside, if College Game Day had been, you know, on the side of Notre Dame's opponent or even in the building for Notre Dame, they were quite fortunate. I think that head coach knows it to come out of there with a win and avoid embarrassment for the second following week. Second straight week. Is it a recoverable situation? I don't think so. Things are so bleak. In Notre Dame right now. You know, having gone to that stadium and been part of taking it over on behalf of the Georgia fan base. Having seen other schools, I think it was Nebraska, it seems as though anyone that comes in there can kind of own the own the building own the atmosphere. There's a there's this perception of Notre Dame's dominance in their fandom, that doesn't quite agree with the reality of the situation, which is that is a suffering football. I was gonna say franchise, but program, it feels like a franchise because it's been around for so so long. And they need dominance. They need excellence to pull things back together to become what they once were, I still couldn't see a situation where they become like Alabama did where they had Bear Bryant, and then they had a long phase of not winning championships, and they bring in the right coach and they become dominant. Again, that brand is still there, the history is still there. There's still a lot of people affiliated with Notre Dame across the country, it's still they still attract top recruits, even with their failures, how much more would they do? So if they were dominant? had they gotten a Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams, that type of situation is what they need? What USC has had going this year. And so I don't think under this staff, though, I don't think under this coaching staff,
Mike Lewis 12:59
why didn't they do that? You know, why didn't Notre Dame approach it? Like, why does a Notre Dame approach it? Okay, you know, let's be business people for a second. I don't feel like Notre Dame approached it. Like it was a serious manner. You know, it's almost like, is there an arrogance there that we are the top brand in college football, we can sort of make things happen? Where is a USC went out and got a guy from Oklahoma who brought key talented people. You know, it's almost, I mean, look, I don't know who the decision makers are. And you know, you always Yeah, I think I always want to be careful when criticizing the decision makers. But if I'm a Notre Dame fan, and I'm going to be honest with you, I'm not convinced that there exist Notre Dame fans that are on par with the Alabama and the Georgia and the Clemson fans in terms of the level of intensity. I feel like at Notre Dame, it's almost more of a hobby to go out there. Whereas for some of the folks in the SEC, it is an absolute passion. And that's almost reflected in how they approach this thing.
Doug Battle 14:02
Yeah, little religious parallel here. I won't use specifics. But if you ever meet someone from certain religions, and they say, Oh, it's just a family thing, like I don't actually go to service and I don't serve in any capacity or I'm not involved. I don't necessarily practice but it's what I identify as I see that in different religious communities more often than others. And then we all know that, you know, the Georgia and Alabama is of the world would be like the religious zealots. They're out on the streets with the megaphones. Those are their football fans. I think of Notre Dame in in stomping their feet. Yeah, they're stomping their feet. They're going on missions trips. And so Notre Dame to me, a lot of that fan base, I think has been a little bit more subtle, where it's like, yeah, it's a family thing. You know, my dad pulled for them and so that's who I identify and I wear the hat and you know, it's my team, but I don't necessarily watch them every week. It's it's a less religious fan base.
Mike Lewis 15:01
It's like, it's fake fandom at this point, right? I don't, you know, it's almost like yeah, I'm a Notre Dame fan. I don't know who the coach is. I don't know who the quarterback is. But that's my right. Kind of T shirt. Right? I mean, and look that that's a very real, that's a real phenomena in sports. And again, I'm not there's really no criticism intended here. It's like, has Notre Dame fall into that kind of, you know, have they lost the passion and just become kind of this this shell? And, you know, it seems likely to me Look, is it recoverable? Probably? Right. Does it seem like it's going to happen? Is it going to be difficult to recover? You know, because I always think, in some ways, Doug, I think regionally. Right. So I don't think it's any coincidence that Alabama sort of rose to extreme prominence, and Georgia rose to extreme prominence at the same time, that Florida kind of fell on hard times. Right? I think there's only so much oxygen and talent in any of these regions. And Notre Dame would have to sort of take Ohio State off the Pettus pedestal in the big 10. I don't know that that's gonna happen.
Doug Battle 16:12
Now, Ryan days got a well oiled machine and Ohio State, Columbus. That's a tough one. That's a tough one for Notre Dame, and getting back to the Marcus Freeman hire. To me, if you're, if you're Notre Dame, you've got to look at it and say, Is this a guy with his resume with his experience? Are we biased to him? Or is this a guy that a school like USC, a school like Oklahoma, would want to pursue? And I don't think any I don't think, you know, as a as a Georgia alum, if Georgia had a coaching vacancy, I would have been horrified if they went after this guy, this young guy with not a lot of experience, not a lot of but it's like at Notre Dame, there was kind of this bias toward him because well, the players like him, and they end up with I feel like they probably could have had a shot at Lincoln, Riley, or someone at that level.
Mike Lewis 17:03
Do you ever heard of a guy named Jerry Faust? Yeah. So this was a coach that Notre Dame hired back in the day for my high school. Right. So I think this has always been part of, again, you know, almost the arrogance of the Notre Dame football institution that they think they can. They can they can sort of just do whatever they want, and it will work. By the way, this is sort of a little bit of a jump. Did you watch any of Nebraska Oklahoma?
Doug Battle 17:35
I did not. Okay, other than highlight, I mean, I did see the highlights. I saw Nebraska struck early. And then
Mike Lewis 17:43
four Urban Meyer to come coach at Nebraska.
Doug Battle 17:46
I have heard the murmurs. I have a good friend who's a Nebraska fan. And I was I was actually hanging out with him yesterday on Sunday. And he goes, Yes. And I was like, what is it? You know, your fantasy team scored, you know, your quarterback or something? He said, No, that he got a notification from Bleacher Report or something. It was just an article saying, you know, what if Urban Meyer goes to Nebraska, and so he was,
Mike Lewis 18:08
I thought we were going for the Urban Meyer has been spotted in Lincoln.
Doug Battle 18:13
There's an airplane that's been tracked from Florida to Nebraska from the same zip code as Urban Meyer. No, it wasn't one of those situations. But I think that fan base they're looking for hope they need something like that. I feel like Mike you and I know it's probably going to be a disappointment for them. It's going to be an underwhelming hire, if that's what your expectation is. But you never know. You never know.
Mike Lewis 18:38
You know what if I'm in Nebraska, that's what I'm, if I'm in Nebraska, and that's a possibility, given how that brand has fallen from the 80s. Right from Tom Osborne, Tom Osborne field, right. Given what has happened there. If I can get if I can tuck Urban Meyer into coming out of retirement leaving the broadcast booth, I'm actually going to do it because that is a brand on life support. And Urban Meyer has proven that he can win at the college level.
Doug Battle 19:08
Absolutely. Yes. And I think I think it's a no brainer for school at Nebraska. I think the issue is a guy like or admire stepped away from Florida or stepped away from IRS state. Is he really going to step into that situation? I've been thinking Georgia's got an offensive coordinator. I think he's the best in the country. I think he's due for a head coaching gig. And there's been some speculation amongst the Georgia fanbase is Oh, no. What if we lose our OC in the middle of the season? What if he goes to Nebraska? Well, I mean, for me, there's a piece about that, because like, Who would want to go to Nebraska? I mean, if I'm him, I'm holding out for a much better situation than that. Of course, you know, you can only lose I guess Nebraska is a situation where they have nothing to lose. They they're at the bottom, they can't go down much further than they are so they can only go up. There's not a lot of pressure there. Then if let's say you were to take over at Alabama for Nick Saban. And the enormous pressure that's going to come with that job inevitably when it happens. Ben's but you know, I don't know that a guy I don't know that the top candidates are going to be attracted to Nebraska when there are you know, last year USC was a great situation for Lincoln Riley. There's every year there's situations like that that open up. And you know, I would imagine Urban Meyer if you want to get back into college coaching can probably find a better situation than Nebraska.
Mike Lewis 20:22
Oh, you know, in luck maybe it's this kind of redemption arc right where Urban Meyer has damaged his reputation. I don't know how toxic he is to you know, to most organizations, what kind of colleges are not going to touch a Urban Meyer at this point. Nebraska is clearly one of those. The brand has been shattered, frankly, it they're on the recruiting the talent side of this. But I suspect that that Nebraska fan base, you know, we're just talking about Notre Dame, I suspect that in Nebraska fan base, has passion that far exceeds that Notre Dame fan base, that all it would take was sort of getting on a roll. And those Nebraska folks would be traveling cost cross country to see you know, they, they would be driving to Rutgers to see the Cornhuskers put a 40 point beating down on the Scarlet Knights if they could get that to happen. I so I mean, there's some hope there. I think they're there. They're a big 10 school so they're resourced. You know, it was always the joke that the third largest city in Nebraska is Nebraska stadium when there's a home game. So it's, you know, there are assets there. And it's not, it's sort of the opposite of Notre Dame, right. There's the core strength with the luster faded versus, you know, something that has this, like glamorous brand, but maybe not a lot of core strength in terms of the fan base.
Doug Battle 21:46
Yeah, absolutely. So it's certainly something to keep an eye on and college sports. And I think that wraps up our college discussion for today.
Mike Lewis 21:55
Okay, let's get to the NFL. Yeah. We got some current events that are relevant to the world of fandom, but let's let's get into the NFL. Oh, you know, I've got my list of my major stories, but you know, yeah, I'll let you sort of roll into this. Give me your observations. Mine are always going to be a little bit off, right, because I'm, I'm almost looking at this stuff from a little bit of a different perspective. But I've definitely got some highlights as well.
Doug Battle 22:23
Well, I think that's what we're here for though. Mike. It is the Fanalytics with Mike Lewis podcasts that we're here for your unique perspective or takes on you know, coming from your background and your perspective on sports in the NFL, but for me, we we to have the NFL the two biggest storylines to me, we're in the same football game, and that was to a ton of eila. Absolutely lighting it up absolutely being clutch absolutely being everything that the Miami Dolphins drafted him to be coming off in offseason of memorable criticism all over the internet videos. Tweets, just he's been under fire by NFL fans in general. And those people were starting to be a little bit quiet yesterday when to uh, did the unthinkable and led a enormous comeback in Baltimore against the Ravens with I believe six touchdowns, and one of them being the game winning touchdown with about 10 seconds left, so to talk if I low but on the flip side of that Lamar Jackson, he played a phenomenal game. He's on my fantasy team, he had about 40 points at halftime of the game, just throwing darts over the middle, running all over the place. He doesn't look as fast to me, Mike as he did a few years back. And so that kind of gets back to what we've talked about with these running quarterbacks where it's like they they do seem to, you know, they were down a little bit quicker. But nevertheless, he scored the longest rushing touchdown of his career on Sunday. And he looked great everybody watching the game that's a Ravens fan was saying we need to pay him we need to pay him now. Not wait till after the season. We can't take a chance on losing him. I think that's the fan bases perspective. And I think at this point, it's the fan base against management in Baltimore. And Lamar Jackson is beloved by the fan base.
Mike Lewis 24:13
Agreed that was okay, my my first note on it look that's on my top five list. I didn't know these things. My note there was this is the easiest game to overreact to though, because you are dead on it is we've gone from two are being this questionable starter in Miami to Aisha, he's elite. He's the MVP and Lamar Jackson. I have you know, looking at the data. I'm not a particular fan of Lamar Jackson, but I'm gonna say you know if there's anyone that I almost get the sense that Jackson exists outside of analytics, that he is a different kind of talent in the numbers may Not really make a lot of sense. And I don't remember if I said it to you last week, or maybe we were we talked to him about the fact that he is going to look, he may. He may be fundamentally changing the quarterback market again. I mean, the quarterback market changed with Kirk Cousins, Lamar Jackson. And again, he's negotiating his own deal, Doug, I mean, we got that strikes me as crazy given the number of dollars involved. But the reality is, if he doesn't get hurt, and he continues to play like this, he's going to set a new standard for quarterback pay. Maybe he's going to take you know, we've we've gotten into the system where quarterbacks you know, they get their money a little bit early, they don't become free agents. You know, they get the guaranteed deal so they're they're trading a little bit of money for this the safety and security of the guaranteed dollars. Lamar Jackson may be saying, You know what, we're going to open market and I could have got 50 million but we go to the opera market crazy things are gonna happen and he's gonna He's gonna get 60 $70 million a year duck guaranteed for five years
Doug Battle 26:11
well with I was telling you yesterday might watching the Giants play and Daniel Jones have another kind of iffy game where at times he looks like he could be the guy and at times, it's like he's just not turning the corner as a Giants fan. And if the Giants were to throw around that kind of money to Lamar Jackson. I wouldn't really blame him. i I'm like you I tend to look at things from a more analytical, it's like, Hey, do we want to spin do we want to double down on a guy who's probably athletically declining as far as his running ability, and he's traditionally a dual threat quarterback, not a pocket passer. It's kind of like investing that kind of money into Michael Vick around the time he was going to the Eagles was would he have been worth that? I don't know. He was still really solid quarterback but and it keeps you competitive. But for a team like the giants that hasn't won a playoff game and over a decade doesn't have a quarterback doesn't love the draft class coming up doesn't have as high a pic as they'd want. You have to take a guy like Lamar Jackson and say, You know what, this is our best. This is our only shot at getting a quarterback that can lead us to the playoffs that can lead us to playoff wins. And the Giants aren't the only team in that situation. Baltimore very well could be in that situation. And a handful of other teams we look at I mean, San Francisco 40, Niners. And I'm sure this is one of your storylines, Mike but Trey lands going down, Jimmy G coming in. And winning. We don't know what's going to become a tre Lance, we don't know you can go across the league. And just about every division, there's a team that could use the Lamar Jackson, or that at least is kind of in a desperate situation where it's like, we have no choice, we're either going to be the number one pick every year, or we can have the with Jackson, there's a shot at least if he stays healthy of him playing at an MVP level. And we saw that on Sunday. So he's an interesting player. And he always has been he's always been an anomaly. There's a reason he fell in the draft. I think there were probably some analytics that people were looking at, much like you and I are now saying, Hey, I don't know if this is gonna work. I don't know if this is smart. And so he fell, and then it's worked. So he's always been an anomaly. And it continues to be that way where we look out and say, Hey, I don't know if it's a good idea to pay him that money. And then he goes out and performs in a way where it's like, I don't know if it's a good idea to not pay him that money. That's Lamar Jackson. That's been his career thus far. He's a very, very fascinating player to follow.
Mike Lewis 28:29
Someone's gonna pay him in something. I mean, someone paid
Doug Battle 28:33
Kirk Cousins, someone's gonna pay Lamar Jackson.
Mike Lewis 28:36
Yeah, and someone's gonna pay much more for Lamar, Jaya. And again, now even though look at you know, in some ways, Doug, I'm playing fantasy football against the league. Because I've done these these forecasts of the league and I'm not gonna I'm not even going to compute the who's winning me the ESPN and nfl.com for another week or two, just because it's just it's just noise at this point. Too early. But you know, he's it's gonna happen because you go division you like you said division by division. There's a team out there that's gonna pay if and so if Jackson gets back together becomes an NBA MVP level quarterback again. He's going to break the bank. Because you know, you look at what's happening this year. You don't think about these teams that thought they were super bowl ready, and they went out and they got the old quarterback, the matt Ryan's in the Denver Broncos. Hasn't worked out so far. Are they gonna you know, or how about the Panthers trying to resurrect, you know, Baker Mayfield's career, you know, half the league might be chasing this guy. And the other thing that's kind of working out for Jackson, is that AFC North looks like it might be a bit of a disaster. And so we've had this discussion of you know, who's the, you know, you know, who's where's the talent, you know, at one point and look like, Oh, my those might be Joe burrow. You know, coming off of a Super Bowl Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, you know Ben Roethlisberger last year, and now that division looks like it may be totally in shambles. That division in shambles gets the Ravens maybe one or two more wins than maybe they should have and suddenly you're talking about a team going that, you know, I had them I think you know, eight wins that gets you to 10 wins 11 wins and again if he's if he's playing like the old like the old you know like what he was two three years ago. Yeah, the best and again, he for me, he's the best early season story for and then you add, like I said, negotiating your own contract. Love this story.
Doug Battle 30:45
Love it. And I liked that you touched on the wins Mike because we both know. wins are attributed to quarterbacks probably more than they should be a quarterback that plays with great Eli Manning, for example. He played on a team that won a Super Bowl largely because of the defensive performance he came through in those games. But after that he got a record setting contract as the quarterback Michael Strahan didn't get a record set a contract Eli Manning got a record setting contract. We saw that with Joe Flacco winning a Super Bowl with Ray Lewis and so Lamar Jackson being in a division. It's like as it doesn't matter if the Bengals are last year's being goals or the Owen two big goals of this year. If the Steelers or the Ben Roethlisberger Super Bowl, borderline dynasty Steelers, or the Mr. Biscay?
Mike Lewis 31:28
Seven and Mr. Biscay Steelers.
Doug Battle 31:31
Yeah, the seven and nine Miss Mitch Trubisky. Steelers, the Browns could have had Deshaun Watson for the whole season or not, doesn't matter if the wins add up for the Baltimore Ravens. And if they win the division, which I think they're why not, I mean, they absolutely have a probably better shot and anybody right now doing that. Lamar Jackson's the winner, he's the one that gets paid for that. So it is pretty savvy of him to look at the situation. Of course, the one thing, there's a little bit of a risk management issue where injury is something that could come into play, and he's got to stay healthy. He wasn't healthy all of last year. He hasn't been healthy throughout his career. And so that's the big risk to me. But looking at the situation, he could get overvalued due to the fact that his team is in a great position with their division. The league is not in a great position with quarterbacks as far as half the league teams are pretty desperate for a quarterback and feel like they need a guy and they're willing to shell out money for guy who put them over the top. So I think he's being savvy in that way. I also think he's taking a huge risk as far as his own injury when he could be cashing out. Now, regardless of injury, he's saying, Hey, I'm going to just roll the dice hoped that I'm healthy hope that I don't have a trailer and situation which could completely completely ruin things for him. And you know, he's either going to win big or lose big. There's there's no way around. You know, I don't I don't see any other outcome.
Mike Lewis 32:56
I think he's going to win big. I think he's like one of those guys with the guy. The football gods are smiling. always win. Okay. Next game chiefs chargers. Okay, Doug. I love the AFC West might be my favorite division this year, because, you know, preseason looked like there were a lot of great storylines, and is definitely delivering you got some guys struggling. Herbert? I think Herbert's you know, it's kind of we're always looking for that next quarterback. And I think Herbert might be the guy, right? It's like, he's like, mahomes isn't that old? And we've already gone to Josh Allen, and now we're looking for the guy after that. But that was spectacular. And all even in the other thing that, you know, is important about that game. Is that was the game that you had to pay for a streaming service to watch? Right? And suddenly, you know, you gotta have Amazon Prime if you're gonna watch these Thursday night games. You know, there was a little bit of controversy and talk about that, you know, is this a bad move by the NFL? And again, you know, one of my adages as the NFL always wins, I don't think it cost the NFL anything. And in fact, you know, maybe, you know, Jeff Bezos put a lot of money out there he you know, bought some rights to some, some old book about some rings and some you know, Orcs and some wizards and he bought some money into the NFL. And when it looks like one of those is gonna pay off beautifully.
Doug Battle 34:34
One of those. One of those is the key there, the show about the orcs and the rings that aren't part of the show yet. hasn't done it for me so far. But Thursday night football, absolutely did Justin Herbert. I said it last week. He's probably my favorite quarterback in the league. I love watching him play. He showed a lot of toughness on Thursday night. His team did not come through with the win. It was kind of that, you know, reminder We need to right?
Mike Lewis 35:00
Yeah, that was that was a completely legit battle. It was not. It was not, you know, mahomes at a different level than Herbert that was, that was a that was a fist fight and the one in there's gonna be many, many of those looking forward.
Doug Battle 35:16
Yeah. And I hope to see the Chargers build the kind of team that the Chiefs have had where it's not just mahomes, but he's had great playmakers around him. He's had solid defenses, great offensive coordinator, great defensive coordinators, Herbert feels like a one man show a lot of the time. And but but the charges were really competitive with the chiefs. And they're starting to turn that corner and it looks like they're building around him. Well, he's got to stay healthy. Obviously, he took some huge hits on Thursday night. And, but to me also, that allowed him to kind of showcase one of his great qualities, which is the fact that he's tough as nails, he will, he will throw through the hits, he will get up after being hit and throw it again and stick it in there. Like yeah, you reminds me of Matt Stafford early in his career, he always had that quality of bail him. For some reason, though, you know, Herbertson more efficient passer than a matt Stafford was an IS. And so Justin Herbert playing for what's thought of probably as LA's second team. But man, are they exciting? I personally enjoy watching them more than I like watching the Super Bowl champion rams who by the way, are off to a really, really rough start this year. But to me, the Chargers are far more interesting storyline moving forward.
Mike Lewis 36:29
I think you're right, and having that young superstar quarterback. You know, the rams have a lot of advantages in terms of battle for LA, but I would put my money on the Chargers at this point, especially if the Chargers were able to lock him up. Because he's gonna be he's gonna be competing for titles for the next decade. Yeah. And that's and that's how this stuff gets done. Okay, Doug, some other stories. And you know, we can hit some of these real quick because some of these are, you know, sort of things that fascinate me, probably more than other folks. The Panthers lose to the Giants. When does the baker Mayfield situation explode? And how does it feel for the New York football Giants as a fan to be the favorite to win the NFC East all of a sudden?
Doug Battle 37:16
It feels bizarre. I think that there's been a little overreaction with Brian table. I was watching a chunk of the game on Sunday. And they were saying, Hey, this is what happens when you have an elite head coach, all of a sudden these situations work out for you. And I'm sitting here thinking, Okay, we're two games in to his entire head coaching career. We don't know that he's an elite head coach. I remember McAdoo early in his career, the Giants had a hot start. And people were talking, hey, this is what happens when you have an elite head coach. And of course, it didn't turn out so time will tell with the coaching. The Giants haven't had an unnecessarily difficult schedule early, and that will probably change. We'll see what happens. I think offensively they've struggled a lot. It's hasn't been that different to prior years. Daniel Jones, there was a play where, you know, I've been a defender of Daniel Jones for quite some time there was a play where Darius Tony was open. He didn't have anyone within 20 yards of them. And Jones had time in the pocket and he's standing there and he's looking around like nobody was open ended up I don't know if he took a sack or fumbled. There are some issues in New York offensively, but they are too and oh, and the fan base is is all fired up. They're saying we're that we're going to win the NFC East we're going to be the playoffs. We've got this new head coach. He's elite, you know, he turned around Josh Allen. He has full responsibility for turning around Josh Allen and so it's very unique for the Giants to be in a situation I don't know again, I'm not sold on the sustainability of their what on the record seems like dominance early on but in reality they could very easily be open to to to bad teams. They just happen to basically win a coin flip and those games seemed like 5050 games to me. And moving forward. The optics are that the Giants have turned it around.
Mike Lewis 39:02
point in the season though. I mean, that's the dolphins
Doug Battle 39:05
are elite. The giants are elite. The Bengals are horrible. And Tom Brady almost quit football yesterday.
Mike Lewis 39:13
Yeah, well, after starting a fight. My other and I got a couple more here, the 40 Niners have suddenly and again, you know God, I hate myself for what I'm about to say the 40 Niners have suddenly become a playoff contender in my book.
Doug Battle 39:30
I had a feeling when that happened.
Mike Lewis 39:33
What a stretch. I mean, again, you know, I've got these predictions out there. And I had the 40 Niners downgraded to a sub 500 team. But with that, that I think that's a I think that's a four game turnaround and so this is the 40 Niners are really strange story to me, where an injury to get them a kind of a journeyman slightly above, again, a slightly above average court Back then no one seemed to want to strange, strange story. There's an injury Jimmy G comes in, and it's 27 to seven victory.
Doug Battle 40:11
Yeah, it, you know, if it had happened a week earlier, I think the 40 Niners or two and all right now. And I think you think the same thing because of the discussions that we've had in the past. It's not a knock on training. It's anyone listening might say, Oh, they really hate trade lands, their trade lands, haters. It's not. Yeah, we don't know. But it's the nature of young quarterbacks in this league, where they're due statistically, if you look at the recent history, there due to cost their team a couple of games, whereas these veteran quarterbacks last there, Justin Herbert, and less than Justin Herbert, there are exceptions. There are anomalies. Justin Herbert, is him. Yeah, unless they're Justin Herbert, but or Patrick mahomes. And his first year as a starter was another great example. But it's highly likely that Trey Lance and it was already looking like Trey Lance was more of a Justin fields, more of a Trevor Lawrence, which again, isn't a knock on him. Those are all talented players. But for the short term, a guy like Jimmy G is likely to win you more games. So you're giving up wins for long term investment. I think when you go to a quarterback like that, now all of a sudden, it's like, hey, they might win a lot of games this year. I mean, that's a playoff team. I'd be shocked if they're not in the playoffs.
Mike Lewis 41:25
Okay, Doug, so I'm looking at the clock here, I'm gonna switch over to our, again, you know, we're having a visual element to this and we're learning as we go.
Doug Battle 41:36
I know you're gonna miss our
Mike Lewis 41:39
look ahead to the NFL and my manual work around how to count down and like I said, I apologize for this. I'll figure it
Doug Battle 41:51
out. This is ESPN level broadcasts right here. That's what this is.
Mike Lewis 41:57
This is two guys in their basement. Okay. Doug has a basement. I don't Okay. Week three, NFL top five, count down at number five. I've got the Bengals versus the Jets. Okay, if you want to react to this one first or and again, this is this is your opportunity to also call me out for being a little silly on some of this stuff.
Doug Battle 42:26
Being those jets my first takeaway, or my initial reaction, rather, is that the Bengals have to win this one. This is a must win game for Cincinnati. A lot of Bengals fans after the Super Bowl, thought they had it in the bag, thought hey, we'll be back next year. We're going to be competing for these every year for the next 10 years. We're going to get ours eventually. And we've seen in the NFL over the years just because you make a Super Bowl one year doesn't mean you even make the playoffs next year even with the same players. It's the NFL there's so much more parity in the NFL than like college for example that you can turn around you know college you lose a national championship. If you got all your guys coming back. almost guaranteed as long as you stay healthy, that you will be back. That is not the case in the NFL. We've seen the Rams off to a really bad start this year with largely the same exact team that won the Super Bowl last year. And we've seen that with the Bengals so they're going up against the Jets team. It's coming off a win against the Browns who are not a bad football team. I watched some of that game and Jacoby perset he's handling things pretty well. I mean I thought the Browns were certainly going to start off to you know with him which would position them very well Mike for your prediction. But the Jets beat a good football team the Cleveland Browns and the Bengals haven't beaten anybody. And Joe burrows looked incredibly upset. He's taken a lot of hits. They supposedly retooled their line Although it hasn't looked like it and so must win game for Cincinnati. If they lose this I think the media starts to freak out a little bit and I think Joe burrow I you know he doesn't lose his cool ever but no he does. He doesn't lose his cool ever he's the coolest guy ever. But I think it's got to be incredibly frustrating to have the start that they've had and statistically starting out in two does not bode well for your playoff chances much less Super Bowl.
Mike Lewis 44:15
And you know for me this is a this is an interesting game in terms of the the quarterback stories. You know burrow is marketing, magic, the NFL, probably few things the NFL wants more than to have Joe burrow is doing playoff press conferences with some ridiculous jewelry and just just the most likable guy in the league for the Jets. You know, this is an interesting quarterback story because the highly touted highly drafted player goes down. You slot them in you slot in this journeyman and suddenly the team starts to win maybe a little bit more. I think that's one of the biggest maybe the biggest trap in the NFL is the journeyman that gets you to around five the on that seven and nine In order to ends up causing you to be locked in so, you know, I'm loving this kind of, I'm loving this kind of game in terms of how these two teams go from here.
Doug Battle 45:09
I would have it higher if Zach Wilson were healthy. I would love to see Zach Wilson versus Joe burrow after the
Mike Lewis 45:15
offseason. Absolutely. At number four,
Doug Battle 45:19
yeah. Monday night football
Mike Lewis 45:21
Giants. Okay, my logic here, Doug, and then I'll let you react. The NFL wants this game, right? The NFL loves the fact that the giants are to know they love the fact that the Cowboys have, you know, the new star quarterback for AFS. You know, beating one of the Super Bowl teams. Suddenly you've got this marquee matchup for Monday Night Football. I don't think it's actually a real marquee matchup at the moment. But this is something the NFL this is a story the NFL wants to be true.
Doug Battle 45:56
I think it's been a long time since we could even pretend that a Cowboys Giants game was irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. And I think we can at least pretend that right now the last time we pretended that those two teams mattered. It was Odell Beckham Jr. out there. And for the Giants and say Quan and zekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott for the Cowboys, these big flashy stars, playing between these two NFC East classics, a classic rivalry, where it used to be two of the elite teams in the NFL every year for the longest time, it felt like this game was one of the prominent matchups in professional football. And I think right now, I feel like the giants are overrated. As a Giants guy like it's there's not rankings in the NFL. But if there were, if this were college football, if they were an AP top 25 I think the Giants would be in the top 10 Right now they're too in Oh, you know, they're they'd be ranked ahead of some teams that I think are probably better football teams. But we can pretend that the giant I mean, as it stands right now the giants are to know the Cowboys do have this very fascinating quarterback situation. I mentioned last week that the Cowboys have a history of these guys coming in, and some magic happening whether it's Tony Romo Dak Prescott. And so Monday night football Giants Cowboys to great fan bases NFC East potentially on the line down the road, this game can be very meaningful. If nothing else is two fan bases that hate each other. And I'm excited for it as a Giants guy, I'm excited for it beat you know, starting off three in a row with a win over the Cowboys that starts to legitimize things. That's when he started to say okay, you know, we we really might be front runners in the NFC East
Mike Lewis 47:35
feels retro and feels like it matters. Yep. Number three ravens versus the Patriots. Okay, I think we kind of already covered a bunch of this. Lamar Jackson is going to be one of the most fascinating stories in the league, until he signs a contract. You know, as he continues to sort of, if he just marches through the league, the story is going to build and build and the pressure is gonna ramp up. And he's going to set all sorts of records. I you know, I will always be fascinated by you know, the Patriots with Bill Bella check. You know, he's he's one in one look pretty good against the Steelers, in some ways looks like, you know, Mac Jones over Mitchell Trubisky. I'm gonna tribute that to the, you know, to the coaching to the to that guidance. So, you know, this is one of these very kind of interesting games, because they, you know, again, patriots aren't getting any hype at this point in that AFC East. And it's hard for me to imagine that they're not the Bella check with a second year first round draft pick a quarterback that he's not going to figure out a way to become irrelevant to that whole to that whole competitive situation.
Doug Battle 48:49
Yeah, the Patriots have a way of doing that. Mack Jones has certainly been everything they've hoped, of course, what was the I think a minus one on your QB wins metric last year. But he's looking like maybe it will turn the corner this year. He had a pretty good performance against Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh didn't look great yesterday, offensively, and Mike's words might use the term prevent offense to describe their offense with Mitchell Trubisky at the helm, I think the fan base was already shouting for Kenny Pickett to take snaps, they're going to be that way as long as they're playing proven offense. But like we've seen throughout the league, these veteran guys even if they're playing proven offense, that's a lot better than younger guys throwing a lot of interceptions turning the ball over. And so Pittsburgh is still in a competitive situation. But ravens patriots Lamar Jackson, of course, the storyline. Mike, I'm really curious to hear your thoughts. It seems like in these situations, the player almost always ends up where they are, they end up with their feet or they eventually get their money. Do you see? I mean, how likely do you think it is that Lamar Jackson legitimately leaves Baltimore, in need of a new quarterback and goes and plays for a team like the Giants or a team like the Panthers or the 40 Niners are one of the 15 between teams that will probably be a potential suitor come this offseason, if the Ravens don't pay him before then.
Mike Lewis 50:07
Well, I mean, so what the reports are that they offered them $250 million. And they didn't feel like enough of that was guaranteed. So let's just, let's just guess that they were offering $150 million guaranteed and a $250 million deal. Okay. And again, I could be completely off. But you know, in the media reports, it's something in that neighborhood. Okay, so Lamar Jackson is a guy that is negotiating his own deal. It's been mentioned that his mother is prominent on his negotiating team loves He is doing the work, he is not holding out, he is showing up he is performing. Doug, I'm gonna say it's almost guaranteed that he leaves Baltimore, because he has rolled the dice big time. And so, you know, what, is Baltimore going to pay a premium versus the open market, when they could have done this earlier on? I think that franchising, you know, people are gonna get fired from that front office over this situation, whether or not they were making the rational. And look, I'm on record saying and looking at the numbers, I wouldn't have done it. But this all seems to be in again, you know, we got a lot of more weeks for an injury to happen, you know, fingers crossed. No, but I think he's, I'd be shocked if he stayed. I don't know what the stick. I don't know if staying makes any sense. I mean, what do you think?
Doug Battle 51:28
I don't know. It's just, I can imagine the Baltimore fans who have the Lamar Jackson jerseys. That's their guy, that's their hero, watching their team, turn to some veteran journeyman. Quarterback next year as Lamar Jackson puts up flashy highlights and lead some other team to the playoffs. That would be incredibly frustrating. It is it does seem like the type of situation where front office or coach or somebody's getting fired. And I feel like the pressure is starting to mount on Baltimore, particularly with how Lamar is playing early this season. Where he's showing that, you know, maybe last year was because of injury, maybe
Mike Lewis 52:08
it isn't willing to talk at this point. I mean, he does feel like
Doug Battle 52:13
he has a lot of power right now. And I don't know that the Ravens do or it's like, come this offseason, he really is gonna get to pick his situation, it seems it seems like the money is going to be there. And the Ravens will just be one of many potential situations and it will be up to him, I think. And so I, you know, I know why the Ravens fans are saying, Hey, we got to pay him now. They don't want that to happen, and almost feel like that's a fandom that is more reliant on one player than a lot of other fan bases in the NFL, most Ravens fans I know are kind of like ravens slash Lamar Jackson fans in the same way that old Cleveland Cavaliers fans were LeBron James fans, and they kind of became Miami Heat fans. So from a fandom perspective, too, it's kind of interesting to see, you know, what happens to this Baltimore Ravens, kind of the second biggest fan base in the DC, Metro and surrounding areas. When you're big star, the guy you finally have the big quarterback, when he's out, we'll see what happens. But I feel like the pressure is mounting for Baltimore. And if I'm a Ravens fan, I'm getting a little bit nervous that we're going to lose my guy because I think, fans, they don't necessarily see it the same way where it's like they'd rather lose with their guy, then anything else any other potential outcome they want. They're a guy that's my guy, you know, I'm right or die for him. And Lamar Jackson has that connection with the fanbase?
Mike Lewis 53:37
Well, and you know, the the one phrase that you use, I want to key on, and then we'll move on, is this idea that he's going to be able to pick his own situation. Yeah. Well, I think that's kind of the key, he's going to change. You know, he's going to change the industry. He's going to have this potentially have this really dramatic effect of fully transitioning, you know, we've seen this transition from the NFL into the NBA in some ways. Maybe Lamar Jackson is the guy that completes that transition. Yeah. Okay, number two. Oh,
Doug Battle 54:07
I didn't see I didn't see him. I didn't see one.
Mike Lewis 54:12
Dolphins. Okay, so this is a battle of MVPs. Week one MVP versus week two MVP. Yeah. I suddenly this is like the biggest thing that the the challenge in the AFC East between tua and Josh Allen.
Doug Battle 54:32
Yeah, who would have thought that we'd be talking about this game in this way to a tongue of Iowa, zero to hero overnight. That largely and I'm sure the commentators will talk about that that largely resembles Josh Allen's career arc. I don't know if you remember but his first two years. He was an enormous question mark and buffalo. He threw a lot of interceptions. He was not very efficient. And in that third season, he really turned things around. And of course people have likened it to We're in New York with Brian table taken over. They've likened it to the Giants quarterback situation saying, Hey, Josh Allen turned it around pretty, you know, after some iffy years, maybe our guy will do the same will to us seeming. Of course, we may be a lot of people over reacting, but he has seemed to have done that. In year three, he's looking that way. I've always been with to my concern has not been his abilities, or his qualities. I think he's a great leader. I think he's a winner. I've always been concerned about injury with him. He was made of glass and college, he was constantly hurt. And I did not I was expecting more of an RG three type career where he's like MVP level when he's healthy, but he's never healthy. And as long as he's healthy, I think that he's going to be on that Josh Allen trajectory of really turning things around in year three, the bills have looked borderline unstoppable. The first two weeks, Josh Allen man, he is unbelievable. The bills defense, they're not talked about enough, but it's all about Josh Allen and the playmakers they have an elite defense. And so I you know, I've got to go with buffalo in this one, but it will be interesting to see how to a response to such a huge week to and if he can keep the momentum going.
Mike Lewis 56:11
Doug is a believer, okay. And, you know, I, I've made a little bit of a technical error and revealed my number one already, but you know, looking at what number one is, you know, we could have circled this at the beginning of the season, right. I mean, we've got the box. Tom Brady versus Aaron Rodgers. This is this is what the NFL is about, right? These two sort of, you know, the squeaky clean, greatest of all time versus the rebel that is probably just as talented as the goat. You know, this is never going to disappoint. Right. And, you know, I think it's the Sunday night game, the Bucs versus the Packers.
Doug Battle 56:52
I think football fans would love to see this be the NFC Championship every year, just it's two goats. And Tom, of course, started the season. He started off with a couple wins here. I believe there are two I know, I know they won this week, but it was looking like they were going to lose and there was a fight and Tom was throwing stuff on the sideline. He kind of gets the benefit of the doubt with the media. That's the kind of thing of Justin fields were doing that. I think people would say, hey, he doesn't have leadership qualities. He doesn't have mental stamina. This point Tom Brady, he can do whatever he wants. People are like, hey, that's just fiery competitor right there. That's just a good thing. That's a good quality.
Mike Lewis 57:30
Doug, Wouldn't you love to be in a position where you can't even start a fight? Because literally every player on your sideline and the coaches, they will die for you, you and the other team they
Doug Battle 57:41
will die for you. Tom Brady had no fear in that situation. And on the flip side, you know, with the Packers, Aaron Rodgers, Mike, you called it You nailed it. It was the most obvious bet and betting history that Aaron Rodgers was going to go out there and manhandle the Chicago Bears regardless of how bad he looked in week one, regardless of the bears winning week, one of the Packers not looking so hot. We saw that come in you nailed that one. And
Mike Lewis 58:07
Justin fields out. I mean, you know, I looked it up, I want to look it up again. And we'll check it through. Seven for 11 For seven yards, one interception and no touchdowns. I mean, I'm like, I watched the first half and went to sleep, but it's like this. That seemed like it was just the first half statistics. Oh, the stat
Doug Battle 58:27
line is such a head scratcher in today's NFL to have your quarterback passing the ball 11 times and there's been questioned to okay, do they not trust fields to throw the ball? Which was a you know, early on in Georgia. That seemed to be the case where he ran it a lot. And everyone's like, Hey, isn't this guy an elite passer? Why aren't we passing the ball with them? They're like, well, he doesn't know. You know, he might not understand the nuances of the offense or whatever. And then he goes in Ohio State, and they open it up and turns out he's a phenomenal passer. I don't know that if there's distrust in the offensive line. I know that the bears have not had a great offensive line we saw Phil take some sacks and turn the ball over quite a bit last year because of that. But man in today's NFL, if you're throwing the ball 11 times you're not gonna win. And with Justin fields last season, the thinking was this is a Georgia situation and where, you know, they're gonna get a new coaching staff. It's gonna be like Ohio State. But he went from a situation where he was throwing the ball to a situation where it seems like he's not really throwing the ball, he was most productive on the ground with his legs, obviously showing off that running ability on his touchdown run. And Justin fields is probably feeling like the victim of yet another situation. I am surprised the media is not talking about this one more like, hey, you know why? Why does this guy always end up in situations where they don't just let them play football? They don't let him do what he's good at. And maybe it's because he's not that good at it and the NFL, or maybe it's an app coaching? I don't know. But I do know is that Bears fans have got to be incredibly frustrated, particularly going into that Packers game with so much hope, like we talked about last week.
Mike Lewis 59:58
And to have that go down with the Packers. I mean, it's Yeah. I mean, they absolutely. You know, I've got family from Chicago and they Aaron Rodgers is the most hated man in that city. We'll leave it there. Okay, Doug. So we'll, looking at the clock we are about at the end of this episode of the podcast. You know, as always, there's more email@example.com major point of emphasis over the fall late summer is this next generation fandom survey. I'm throwing up one slide. And it's, you know, in some ways, it's an interesting slide. So the slide I'm sure I'm throwing up, if you're looking at it, when the visual outlets you can see it, it's it's a look at male versus female fandom in the spring of 2022. And, you know, just the key numbers here. For, for men, the rate of fandom is 51%. The rate of sports apathetic, so people that have no interest in sports 14%. For the female respondents, it's 27% fans 31%. apathetic. So the number of you know, there's still it? Well, I didn't get a last one, I don't want to get your quick reaction to this. We don't have a ton of time. And I think over the last few years, there's been a major emphasis on trying to include everyone in the world of sports. But the data suggests that sports fandom still tends to be a male activity. Are you surprised at all that?
Doug Battle 1:01:38
I'm a little bit surprised. I would love to see from year to year how this looks. But to me, it seems like there's less male interest than there used to be. And I don't know that that means necessarily there's more female interest than there used to be. But it doesn't seem as dominant a part of male culture in America as it once was. Not
Mike Lewis 1:02:00
so. Even that number of 51% does strike these
Doug Battle 1:02:03
ality low. Yeah, so that's pretty low. But the I mean, I think the the 14%, apathetic seems low to me, because I meet a lot of guys. I mean, a lot of guys that my my growing up my way of in the south, my way of making friends has always been like, oh, who do you pool for, you know, what's your team and can always talk that talk? And there's so few people that I connect with on that level, it said fine, other things now, but it seems like more than 14% are apathetic. So I would imagine the people that say they have some interest, there might be some kind of social pressure, where they're identifying as having some interest, even though they actually have no interest. They have no knowledge or understanding. I'm sort of into it, but I don't watch anything, right. Yeah, like, Oh, I'm kind of a sports guy, like I played little league, you know, I think there's probably a lot of that. So I actually think the sports apathetic amongst the males would be higher, it's probably about accurate for the female population, and, you know, female sports fans. There are, I don't know, I'm not as well studied.
Mike Lewis 1:03:07
Let me let me sort of interrupt you here, say like, so. That's the raw number. And, you know, sort of put some of these graphs out there. It's a little bit of a tease later this week, I'll publish the full report on male versus female fandom. As usual, Doug, you're asking the right questions of looking at how things are changing year to year now, I'm gonna be honest with you, year to year changes. I'm not comfortable with that, because COVID was such a weird time. You know, it's almost like, there's stuff to kind of settle down. But where the male female story gets particularly interesting is if you look at how fandom varies across sports, and like I said, Well, I put a lot of that stuff out on the web in the coming weeks and maybe even do a special edition of the podcast. So you know, as always, folks a lot more content at WWF fandomanalytics. Doug, we are running over time. Anything else you want to mention Canelo vs Triple G, a 47 mile line to see the Queen lying in state. You know, there's always these kinds of you maybe maybe that's a good one, the Queen for this kind of our our feature on sort of the craziest fandom each week.
Doug Battle 1:04:17
Yeah, that is a fandom that was a sleeping giant apparently because I didn't hear much about the Queen until recently. And now I didn't realize so many people. I know we're such fans of the Queen. So Long live the Queen. Alright. Yeah.
Mike Lewis 1:04:36
Okay, guys, we're clearly out of our wheelhouse. So we'll wrap it next week. Thanks for listening.