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Eastern Conference Finale & Ted Lasso Season 3

This week's episode features discussion of the least predictable NBA Playoffs in recent memory and what keeps sports fans locked into Ted Lasso's third season.

Watch/listen here:

[00:00:00] Mike Lewis: Welcome everyone. Welcome to the Fanalytics podcast brought to you by Emory's Marketing Analytics Center. Joined today by Doug Battle. Sometimes I like to just start off with, just taking it off the rails. Doug, you see this product I'm drinking here?

[00:00:19] Doug Battle: What in the world? Okay, so he is holding up Dr. Pepper, but it's

[00:00:23] Mike Lewis: soda.

[00:00:24] Doug Battle: cream soda. What? When did that become a thing? I haven't seen the ads for that.

[00:00:28] Mike Lewis: It's, I mean, it's just a thing. But what has become a thing, and I understand that this is largely sold out, that there's a Texas ice cream company called Blue Bell who has partnered with a Texas brand in Dr. Pepper to make an ice cream product called Dr. Pepper Float


[00:00:46] Doug Battle: Oh yeah,

[00:00:46] Mike Lewis: Bell Vanilla Ice Cream and the Dr.

Pepper Sherbet

and yeah, sherbet and instantly. Sold out, I wasn't even intending on going here, but when I said Emory [00:01:00] Marketing Analytics Center, I was like, yeah, we should talk marketing once in a while. So like this, two i, this idea of these two Texas brands with literal fan bases,

put these products together and just sells out.

And you're not aware of this product, are

[00:01:14] Doug Battle: No. Blue Bell is fantastic. First off, probably my favorite ice cream if I could have dairy back in my Dairy Days. Blue Bell was it. and it's just weird to me that they're mixing it with Shert, cuz I thought a float was if you just mixed ice cream with a drink.

[00:01:29] Mike Lewis: Well, I think this is how you replicate it.

But you kind of want that product, don't you?

[00:01:36] Doug Battle: Yeah. Yeah. If it weren't sold out, I'd be


[00:01:38] Mike Lewis: for it, right? I mean, it's a beautiful manifestation of fandom, right? It's like, like two brands that both have a special place in the heart of consumers.

Put 'em together and it's like, oh, you gotta have that.

[00:01:49] Doug Battle: so speaking of beautiful manifestation of fandom, Mike, did you see the Boston fan sitting behind Charles Barkley on the t n t set last week [00:02:00] wearing a green shirt? I don't know if this was custom made. It says it's just a list. It's just no design work at all. Everything's set to the far left.

[00:02:11] Mike Lewis: I mean, if it's not custom made, this story gets even better, doesn't it?

[00:02:15] Doug Battle: Yeah, so it says Putin, isis, Kim Jong-un, and Kyrie. So apparently they're ranking like people on a scale of I'm assuming Kyrie's the worst of those four. So Putin's apparently the best according to Boston fans. It might be problematic, but no. So Mike, I'm actually looking, there is a link to the shirt.

So those are for sale, on the internet. So there's more than one person that owns that shirt



[00:02:43] Mike Lewis: it's a beautiful shirt, Doug, because as you were saying it looked like a seventh grader made it.

[00:02:50] Doug Battle: Yes.

[00:02:51] Mike Lewis: The way they did the graphics and sort of line things up. Nothing is evenly spaced.

[00:02:55] Doug Battle: No.

[00:02:55] Mike Lewis: no aesthetic appeal whatsoever. And you're reading, I mean, but it [00:03:00] even look, I'm gonna give 'em credit because as you're reading down your list, you're kind of going,

[00:03:04] Doug Battle: Where's this go?

[00:03:05] Mike Lewis: what's happening here?

And then you get to Kyrie and it's like, oh, it all makes sense.

[00:03:11] Doug Battle: Yeah, so apparently Boston hasn't forgiven Kyrie for the way he handled his departure. Kyrie Irving. Every stop he's been at has promised he's gonna be there for the rest of his career, and within a year of that promise has departed. He did it in Cleveland. He did it in Boston famously. And I mean, before the start of the season, he goes on the microphone in front of the whole arena saying, I'm not leaving like Boston's my home.

And sure enough he leaves, and then says he is not leaving to rant. Next thing you know, they're both out of Brooklyn,and he's gained some hatred over the course of his career. Between that and his, what's your term, Mike, for Kyrie's unorthodox views on things you

[00:03:57] Mike Lewis: Independent thinker.

[00:03:58] Doug Battle: Independent thinker. Yeah. [00:04:00] For his independent thinking. He has some critics for that as well. So love seeing that. But man, Celtics Heat has been a series for the ages. It's historic no matter what goes down in this series. Because first off, if Boston were to come back, no team's ever come back from three oh period in the nba. I think it's happened 150 times. Team's gone up three. Oh, never has a team come back from that. so Boston would be the first team to do so. It's happening in the nhl La King Stanley Cup run 2014.

but this is the first time in 20 years that a game seven was forced after a team being down oh three. So

[00:04:38] Mike Lewis: Yeah,

[00:04:39] Doug Battle: it,


[00:04:40] Mike Lewis: I mean, it's, it reminds you of how this stuff is supposed to be, right you know, this is the most memorable series of the playoffs so far,

[00:04:47] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:04:48] Mike Lewis: right?

[00:04:49] Doug Battle: And, So this is a number from, Emory Student Jaden Rothschild. so after being up 10 points with less than four minutes left, Boston in the game that would force a [00:05:00] game seven. They were given a 97.9% chance of winning at that point. Four minutes

left in the game.

So Miami had a 2.1% chance of winning with four minutes left and they're up with 0.1 seconds left with three seconds left, but they're still up with 0.1 seconds left.

And then of course Derek White puts up the tip in for the win on the road. Miami fans are celebrating cuz they think he didn't get it off. Come to find out he did. Just absolute chaos. And so now you're looking at, again, a situation where Boston makes history. If they make the finals come in, being the first team to come back from down oh three, Miami makes history.

If they make the finals

[00:05:44] Mike Lewis: Mm-hmm.

[00:05:46] Doug Battle: the, I guess the first eight seed to make it finals, I believe. And then in the finals, the Denver Nuggets have never won an N B A finals. So you've got a team that's chasing its first N B A championship. Playing against either way, a team that's had [00:06:00] something historical happen to be there. It's almost like we talked a couple weeks ago about best case scenario for the N B A being Lakers Celtics, and I still think they would've preferred that, but we always talk about how the N F L always wins. It feels like this post-season, the N B A wins no matter what happens.

[00:06:18] Mike Lewis: Yeah, but Doug does it. I'm with you a hundred percent. I mean, this series has been, this series has been great. There's been some, you know, amazing, like sometimes we talk about fandom videos. There's one ice on Instagram, this morning where it's, a bunch of Heat fans just. Talking trash to a Boston fan, and he's just turning back to him.

He's wearing a Brady jersey of all things and just going three seconds. Three seconds. You know, the, just the tone of the fan bases or, you know, I mean, the other thing going on is, you know, Dave Portnoy from Bar

[00:06:53] Doug Battle: Yep.

[00:06:53] Mike Lewis: very active in this space where, you know, he had a shirt printed up for like, you know, Boston, a [00:07:00] sweep, and then he had a one in Boston, five Boston in six,

[00:07:04] Doug Battle: It might turn into Boston in eight pretty soon.

[00:07:06] Mike Lewis: But it just shows the absolute and hunger that especially, you know, a fan base out of Boston is gonna have.


[00:07:15] Doug Battle: yeah,

[00:07:16] Mike Lewis: I've said this multiple times, you know, Boston is, and it kind of pains everyone that doesn't live in Boston, probably the best sports city in America. And it's kind of interesting though, as you know, had the other example of the Celtics fan with the, I wanna think it's a custom made t-shirt, Doug.

I don't wanna think those are a production

[00:07:33] Doug Battle: sale. I'm telling you. They're for sale.

[00:07:36] Mike Lewis: but just the, you know, the absurd passion and how, especially after a little bit of a drought, if you know that city

[00:07:45] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:07:46] Mike Lewis: Jason Tatum will. You know, reach a new level

[00:07:50] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:07:51] Mike Lewis: of N B A fandom and passion. And so this is a case study, but here's my question to you.

For us, we're watching this stuff [00:08:00] and so we are looking at this as, oh God, this is a great storyline. Either way, does the rest of America even know?

[00:08:07] Doug Battle: No.

[00:08:08] Mike Lewis: These games are gonna be in Denver. Is anyone gonna watch these?

[00:08:12] Doug Battle: I think basketball fans, like people who follow the N B A are loving this, like more so than they would be loving Lakers Celtics. but no, the general public, I don't think it's the most appealing scenario, Yoki versus. Jimmy Butler or Jason Tatum and Jalen


[00:08:32] Mike Lewis: an appealing scenario, I think it won't even occur on their, it won't even appear on the radar. And

[00:08:39] Doug Battle: Yeah, I

[00:08:40] Mike Lewis: that's, part of the dilemma. Like if it's LeBron, you know, the hype machine will go in full gear when it's yoki. You know, ask people on the street, is the NBA finals going on? suspect a

would say, have no idea.

[00:08:54] Doug Battle: I'm also curious with Jokic. If there's more of an appeal [00:09:00] abroad,

[00:09:00] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:09:00] Doug Battle: I don't know, like of course where he's from, there will be, but I don't know in general if just international players in general draw interest in the international sphere outside of their home countries more so than national superstars.

I'd be interested to learn about that. But I think you're right, Mike. I think that.

[00:09:19] Mike Lewis: tell you. I'll tell you one quick fact on that, because I saw this earlier in the week, or maybe it was this morning as well, that. When the first time,

[00:09:27] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:09:28] Mike Lewis: played against Shaq?

the number I saw was over 220 million people watched it in China.

[00:09:34] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:09:35] Mike Lewis: Versus, you know, 90 million people watched the Super Bowl that year. I think it was 2003. Now what I don't know is what European interest in NBA looks like. You know, I don't know how loyal they are to, you know, their professional leagues and how much, you know, crossover appeal there is, but I think it's, look, the NBA has long, wanted to be an international league.

So again, maybe we are setting this up where the NBA always wins.

[00:10:00] LeBron

[00:10:00] Doug Battle: there's.

[00:10:00] Mike Lewis: up yoic, makes this,the most watched N B A championship series in Europe ever perhaps.

[00:10:06] Doug Battle: Yeah, there's I think if you're the league, you can always look at it and view it as an opportunity no matter what happens. And I think that's the situation we're in. I just, Mike, as a fan, I can't recall in my lifetime. An NBA playoffs that have been this unpredictable.

If anyone's been listening to the podcast, you've heard over and over again, me, in the last 3, 4, 5, 6 weeks make predictions that have not come true. And frankly, for the longest time in my life, the NBA was just so predictable that you could just say, oh yeah, it's gonna be calves, it's gonna be warriors, it's gonna go to six or seven games, you know?

So it's like it almost doesn't even matter until you get to that point. This year's just been a total free for all. I mean, a week ago. We were talking about Boston's coach looking like he was done, the Boston players looking like they had quit. I know on social media there are people on other, being critical of Boston relative to the Lakers and saying, yeah, the Lakers [00:11:00] lost, but Boston quit.

Like this Boston team is done. The Lakers still have a shot. They still have fight in 'em. And as we've seen like, even though Boston appeared to be totally out of it, and like I am on record saying they're done, they are done a week ago. . and Jimmy Butler's that guy, you know, he's got that, that Jordan, Kobe, d n a in him, where he's, well literally, maybe Jordan's, I know there's people that think he's Michael Jordan's kid, just like people think Anthony Edwards is, no, that's a whole thing.

Mike. I'm serious. you can,

[00:11:30] Mike Lewis: I have seen that. It's

[00:11:31] Doug Battle: yeah.

we, Doug, if we're gonna speculate on parentage, problematic parentage, we should just stick with the Royal family, prince Harry, and Diana. I think And the horse trainer. Is that,

[00:11:43] Mike Lewis: yeah, the, well, the Polo player. I forget.

[00:11:45] Doug Battle: yeah. Pull whatever, something with a horse. yeah. But anyway, the, that, that's where the conversation was a week ago, and now it's like about how, you know, which speech was the one that. Change things for Boston and tonight's game [00:12:00] seven, so by the time most people listen to this, it'll be over.

But going into it, it's like, I'll say this part of me wanting to come on here and say, there's no way Boston loses this thing after winning three straight and now playing at home. On the flip side, there's part of me, it's like, it's been so bananas that Miami goes out. And wins on the road cuz they play the at their best whenwhen they're doubted and people are doubting them right now.

And that's their comfort zone. That's their sweet spot. Eric Spolstra after game six in the press conference saying we wish we could play them right now. Like they are hungry. that I had read that they already booked their flights to Denver for game one of the N B A finals for the team.

and I'd seen some commentary on that saying it's odd to go to Denver instead of Cancun when you're eliminated from the playoffs. But I think that. At this point I'm overthinking it in terms of predictions. I'm like, I want to pick Boston. But since I've been wrong about everything and that's what I think's gonna happen, I guess I'll pick Miami.[00:13:00]

I don't know. But I love it. I'm locked in tonight when the game's on, I'm locked in cause I have no idea what's gonna happen. And I think as sports fans, I think we crave that. I think we crave unpredictable. And I think the worst case scenario tonight is that boston wins by 30. or I mean, Miami wins by 30 seems less likely, but,I mean, if game seven's anything like game six, it is gonna shatter all kinds of conference finals records.

[00:13:24] Mike Lewis: Well, Doug, I looked it up while we were, while you were talking, and, Celtics are favored by seven and a half points.

[00:13:29] Doug Battle: That's crazy. In a game seven. Wow. I s. I'm tempted to, I don't know, I dunno what to say. Anything could happen. Anything could happen and in the finals anything could happen. I know historically, if a team sweeps and another team go, this is another one from Jayden. Another team, goes to seven games.

The team that sweeps in the conference finals is four and two, and n b a finals history against teams that have gone to seven games.

[00:13:59] Mike Lewis: I'm with you. Like, [00:14:00] I mean, I think we've all been conditioned by the NBA to expect the narratives and the storylines to work, right? So the idea that this game seven gonna have a seven or an eight point margin, it feels like the line should be like two, doesn't it?

[00:14:17] Doug Battle: Yeah.

. But like I said, looking ahead, Denver, chasing their first championship, Boston ending what is considered a drought in Boston, although like, I don't know, what was it, Kevin Garnet, those years. So it's been a while, but at the same time it's been a lot longer for Denver.

And of course Miami's last one with LeBron in Miami.

Prior to the bubble. Yeah. So it's been a minute for them as well. so


[00:14:46] Mike Lewis: thing is, let lemme ask you this. Just thinking back on this season, making it to the conference championship, is that a failure? It's a decent year for where that

[00:14:59] Doug Battle: well [00:15:00]

[00:15:00] Mike Lewis: I mean,

[00:15:01] Doug Battle: that's where like

[00:15:02] Mike Lewis: with LeBron if you don't win it. All right. But.

[00:15:04] Doug Battle: here's my thing with that. it reminds me of Alabama's football season this year. This year, Alabama had the most talented team in Alabama history and all this stuff, and by the end of the year, everyone convinced themselves that Nick Saban did a great job to win as many games as he did with the team that he had.

It was great coaching. It was great playing by Bryce Young and Wow, what a job they did. That's how I feel about the Lakers, where it's like the goal was to win a championship.

[00:15:30] Mike Lewis: To do with a five, six quarterback, I think is

[00:15:33] Doug Battle: Well the goal,

[00:15:35] Mike Lewis: pick the draft. Right. I mean, it seems like that's the story they wanna tell

[00:15:38] Doug Battle: right?

[00:15:39] Mike Lewis: at this

[00:15:39] Doug Battle: Yeah. Yeah. It was like this underdog story for Alabama and it's like, to me that's a joke. And I feel the same way with the Lakers, where like now people are saying, wow, this is a team that hard. I don't know, did they even make the playoffs last year or hardly made the playoffs?

They were 500 maybe a year ago. To make it as far as they did in the Western Conference finals [00:16:00] is straight up impressive. shows a lot about LeBron, and don't get me wrong, I think LeBron had a great season, but for a team that has Anthony Davis and LeBron James to and Los Angeles, and where there's 17 banners, you know, I don't think there are any moral victories and I, for one, am not incredibly impressed.

My expectation is to at least, if that's my squad, if that's my roster, My ex, and I'm the Lakers. My expectation is to, at the very least, make the Western conference finals

[00:16:28] Mike Lewis: the Lakers? It's complicated.


[00:16:31] Doug Battle: Sure.

[00:16:32] Mike Lewis: For Denver, is this a, this is a complete success, right?

[00:16:35] Doug Battle: Oh yeah.

[00:16:35] Mike Lewis: to, moved to a better zip code. You now have the best player in the league. Almost undisputed, at least for the moment. For Miami. This is also

[00:16:46] Doug Battle: Win

[00:16:47] Mike Lewis: season. If Boston loses tonight, I think those fans are mad.

[00:16:52] Doug Battle: win. I think they're talking about firing the coach.

[00:16:55] Mike Lewis: Yeah, I

[00:16:56] Doug Battle: I, it's crazy because it's like if they win this,

[00:16:59] Mike Lewis: Yeah,

[00:16:59] Doug Battle: [00:17:00] yeah. If they win this and they win the, if they win this and they win the next series, that guy's getting a contract for the next 10. He's getting paid and he's Boston. Royalty forevermore. if they lose tonight, it's, the story is that this team would have done it with the right coach, cuz I don't know if you remember Mike.

[00:17:23] Mike Lewis: Doug, do you think it, it's also Tatum's a nice player. But he's not the guy. He's not the guy to take on the legacy of

[00:17:32] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:17:33] Mike Lewis: and Russell.

[00:17:35] Doug Battle: Yep. I think it's kind of that, I think he's still in that Devin Booker territory of puts up great numbers during the season, fun player to watch. doesn't have that it factor. And I'm not saying that's the case. I'm just saying as far as narrative that is how I think it's gonna be perceived.

And so, it's so pivotal for these guys, the Boston coach, who, by the way, some of the most entertaining press conferences I've ever seen [00:18:00] last week, I thought he was done after that game three loss, and he looked just totally out of it, totally dejected, kept blaming himself over. It was like he wanted to get fired.

Almost just like he had a death wish in his press conference, but I've watched his press conferences in the game since then where they've won. Same guy. Dude has no personality. He does not. I mean, it's like he doesn't blink when he's up there. And one interesting subplot of this whole thing that I personally love was that his college career came to an end at the hands of Jimmy Butler.

And so how poetic would it be for. Either way, if Butler were to do it again, or if he were to get his revenge in the Eastern Conference finals and, after all of Butler's taunting in game two and three, put, send him, you know, to Cancun, it's, man, it is such a great series, so many great storylines and.

I, I just can't wait for tonight, Mike. I know that this is gonna air before or after rather the game and, I'm hoping that [00:19:00] next week we're talking about what a game seven it was.

[00:19:03] Mike Lewis: Well, regardless, I mean, it'd be interesting to see how that plays out, right?

[00:19:05] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:19:07] Mike Lewis: If, like you said, if Boston wins, then you know, the,that you know, elite NBA brand has got it rolling again and now they're taking on sort of this no name this, no name team in Denver with this, you know, great European player.

But if they lose, it'll be either way, it'll be interesting for, we can come back to this next week and see what the reaction to that game is in, in either direction.

[00:19:31] Doug Battle: Well, I'm curious if Boston wins and they go on, let's say Boston wins the whole thing, are they making a movie about this team, this playoffs? Because I don't know if you, I don't know if you've seen this film, Mike, but the last Boston team to win a championship under very similar circumstances was the Boston Red Sox breaking the Curse of the Bambino and Jimmy Fallon starring in the movie about it.

Fever pitch a romcom centered around that baseball season. I would say it's a [00:20:00] must watch romcom for sports fans. I know that's not a thing that gets said a lot. Must watch romcom for sports fans.

[00:20:05] Mike Lewis: Doug, who was the female lead in that romcom?

[00:20:08] Doug Battle: drew Barrymore.

[00:20:10] Mike Lewis: Are you guessing? I mean, it's

[00:20:11] Doug Battle: hold up, hold on. I'm just, I, you know, sometimes I get these actors and actresses mixed up. Let's see. Jimmy Fallon, drew Barrymore. Yeah. Yeah. I was right.

[00:20:24] Mike Lewis: It's the first time we've gone down the romcom path. I,

[00:20:27] Doug Battle: Mike, have you seen it?

have you seen, it?

[00:20:29] Mike Lewis: seen, have not seen it. Doug.

[00:20:30] Doug Battle: it is. It's my second favorite. Romcom.

[00:20:35] Mike Lewis: Doug, what's your, what's your favorite romcom?

[00:20:38] Doug Battle: Crazy stupid Love with Steve Carrell. Good


[00:20:42] Mike Lewis: not seen that,

[00:20:44] Doug Battle: man.

[00:20:45] Mike Lewis: you know, can transition to a little bit. how are, we've been watching Ted lasso together for

[00:20:50] Doug Battle: Oh,yeah.

[00:20:51] Mike Lewis: are you, are you caught up?

[00:20:53] Doug Battle: They're Mike. I hate it, but. I am caught up and I feel like they've been reeling me back in. I [00:21:00] was losing it with this show, but that whole, the whole dynamic between Jamie Tart and Roy Kent, man, that, that is golden. That is golden television. It's a beautiful bromance. And

not to mention

[00:21:14] Mike Lewis: it.

[00:21:14] Doug Battle: the love triangle with Keeley in the mix as well.

I've kind of, I've kind of softened my stance on it as well. I mean, I was a hater. I was a hater like a couple weeks in.

[00:21:26] Mike Lewis: that I don't hate the, I don't hate it anymore. think it's poorly done in a lot of ways at this point, but I don't hate it. So the manipulation has been, Has been sort of successful in terms of, you know, bringing me back in.

I mean, there's some stuff in it that kind of, and look, I know we gotta suspend belief. The one that I found myself kind of going back and forth on was the idea that, and again, I, you know, it's like the, always feel like we're gonna get in trouble, honest emotion Nate. [00:22:00]

[00:22:00] Doug Battle: Right.

[00:22:00] Mike Lewis: job as a manager in the English Premier League, and I looked it up.

And these jobs, those jobs pay probably about five to 10 to 15 million because his boss kept trying to set him up with models.

[00:22:14] Doug Battle: Yeah.


[00:22:16] Mike Lewis: there, there's some of these elements of Ted Lasso that are like, you know, I know you gotta move the story along, but you know, you

[00:22:24] Doug Battle: Let's. That's a rare guy. That's statistically speaking. That's a rare guy.

[00:22:31] Mike Lewis: Ted's mom helped. I enjoyed that. That felt like it was coming back to season one,

[00:22:35] Doug Battle: yeah.

[00:22:36] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

I mean, but yeah, they're getting me back. The manipulation works. I have a feeling I might shed a tear on that final episode.

[00:22:43] Doug Battle: I, I. I hate it, but, it's like I keep finding myself, like looking at, is it Wednesday yet? And I'm like, man, I was hating on this show like three weeks ago and now I'm here. Like, how's this gonna, how are they gonna wrap this up? How's this gonna, what's gonna go down between Roy and Keeley? What's gonna go down with Jamie?

What's gonna go down? I [00:23:00] mean, I, like I said, I think those three are my, that's the storyline. And I think when they started loo, when Keeley kind of. Had her own plots, apart from those two. And I don't know when the characters felt like they were going in a direction that I couldn't see where it was going.

I was starting to lose interest. But they brought, I think it was when, well, spoiler alert, turn it off if you haven't. Lets watched this season. the bike lessons from.

Jamie Tart to, Roy Kent, and I don't, I mean, I don't know if you laughed as hard as I did, Mike, but Jamie Tart's childhood bedroom, the, the posters on the wall in there, the two in particular, I'm trying not to spoil it, but I think if you've seen this season, you know what I'm talking about.

[00:23:42] Mike Lewis: I wasn't paying, I, you know, sometimes I watch this stuff kind of a little bit in the background. I wasn't looking at his wall, so I will,

[00:23:48] Doug Battle: So he had a poster. He had a poster of Roy Kent on his wall growing up, and his dad or somebody mentioned, or his mom, who I thought was his sister, mentioned that he [00:24:00] worshiped him growing up. And then right next to it there was a, inappropriate poster of Keeley and apparently he had a huge crush on her as well.

[00:24:06] Mike Lewis: Well, I mean, and the funny thing, legitimately, it's like most of the laughs that I've had the last few weeks have involved those guys. And so it really is this, I mean, when he's. When Jamie is giving a gift to Roy tells him he intentionally in front of Roy's niece and says, I misspelled your name with a, you know, a u instead

[00:24:30] Doug Battle: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:24:32] Mike Lewis: You know, it doesn't feel like a comedy. So I guess the, those rare laugh lines, when it comes back to being a comedy, it's like, yeah, this is solid. But it's like they've spent so much time getting away from that, making us wanna, you know, tug at the heartstrings because of some trauma. And Rebecca, who's probably a billionaire's, you know, sports team owner, you know, no, they've,

I think it, when it feels preachy is when they start to [00:25:00] lose me, when I feel like I'm being preached at. but when I'm in a and when I'm wrapped up in a story about characters and you know, it might have the same message, but it just doesn't feel like it's being, I. Stuff down my throat. this

[00:25:12] Doug Battle: yeah.

[00:25:12] Mike Lewis: that's a great point. I feel like the other mistake they've made is a lot of the characters have not been adequate, adequately developed for how much they expect us to care.

[00:25:22] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:25:23] Mike Lewis: Right.

[00:25:24] Doug Battle: I think that's fair. Like they introduce kind of That's what I was


[00:25:29] Mike Lewis: Sam, the goalie. It's like these guys may have had less than a page of lines entire series, and now we're supposed to feel invested in their lives.

And it's like, it's a little bit cheap, I think.

[00:25:40] Doug Battle: Yeah, and I'll say this, on the flip side, I've heard speculation of future seasons of Ted Lasso spinoff absent of the character Ted Lasso. And I was talking to a friend about this who was saying, you know, that's gonna be like the office without Michael Scott.[00:26:00]

[00:26:00] Mike Lewis: It

[00:26:00] Doug Battle: On the, on this third season though, I will say, I don't know if I've laughed a single time Ted Lasso has said anything.

The first season I laughed at everything that man said. It didn't even have to be funny. It was like his character alone was just funny to me. and his little quick, but it gets, i, it almost feels sacrilegious to say this. and it's one of those things where like, I think we're all thinking it. No one's saying it.

He gets kind of annoying. You start to feel like, okay, this is why his wife left him, this guy, these constant like dad jokes do get kind of old and annoying. I sound like a terrible person right now, but you know, do you know what I mean? I haven't laughed this season from anything he's said or done, and I'm almost like, it's more about Roy Kent.

So I'm like, if they make a show about Roy Kent and Jamie Tart and these guys, and. Follow them. Like I'll probably enjoy it just as much as season three.

[00:26:56] Mike Lewis: It's a good, it's a good question. I mean, I remember when this, when the first season [00:27:00] was coming down and we're watching it, and I think we, we even did a ranking of the characters and I had Keely Jones, I think at the very top. It's

[00:27:07] Doug Battle: Right.

[00:27:07] Mike Lewis: the glue character and Ted lasso up there. but yeah, I mean, and look, I think it's an interesting thing that at the end of the day, the two best characters and again, you know, could they, can they carry, you know, 50 minutes a week?

I don't know. But the two best characters are Jamie. I. Jamie, Jamie Tart and Roy Kent,

[00:27:28] Doug Battle: Yep.

[00:27:28] Mike Lewis: I think it has something to do with, and I are drawn to this kind of classic sports show that's, you know, this optimist, this, incredibly optimistic character and a fish outta water and

of cliches.

But God, those are two really well developed and understandable characters. And so yeah, teach re learning how to ride a bike. You know, sort of having this kind of, you know, love hate relationship while

[00:27:57] Doug Battle: Very much so.

[00:27:58] Mike Lewis: they're getting up to [00:28:00] workout at four 30 in the morning, but they still are, you know, terrible to each other.

In some ways

[00:28:05] Doug Battle: Yep.

[00:28:06] Mike Lewis: I don't know, bromance, is that what it is?

[00:28:08] Doug Battle: I think it's a bromance and I think it's like a classic bromance, I would say. You mentioned the development of these characters. I would say that. I don't know if Ted Lasso has developed. I feel like they want us to think he has because they've emphasized his like mental health struggles more. But he's been having those this whole time and nothing's really resolved with, he still seemed, I guess he's like the episode with his mom, with the kind of fu and thank you part.

I guess it's like he's learning how to like acknowledge his traumas and deal with them and not just distract himself and be funny all the time, but,

[00:28:43] Mike Lewis: I think that comes back to this kind of manipulation, right? Where it was like, so they developed this ultra optimistic of ultra dad joke.

[00:28:52] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:28:52] Mike Lewis: Hyper Dad, Joe character, then because mental health is topical, they throw that in as [00:29:00] one of his dimensions,

[00:29:01] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:29:02] Mike Lewis: So to me it always felt kind of manipulative and forced, which is I think true with a lot of their subplots.

[00:29:08] Doug Battle: It's like if we were watching the office and all of a sudden Michael Scott is dealing with, O C D or something and it's not a joke, like, it's like in a very serious way. It's just oh, that's a little outta left field, to be for the show. It doesn't really feel,

[00:29:24] Mike Lewis: Stanley has diabetes,

[00:29:26] Doug Battle: it,

[00:29:26] Mike Lewis: then pain

[00:29:27] Doug Battle: yeah.

[00:29:27] Mike Lewis: an eating disorder,

[00:29:28] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:29:29] Mike Lewis: It's too

[00:29:29] Doug Battle: it doesn't feel native to the genre or to the.

The tone of the show and so that, but the show's changed. I mean, it's kind of become more that than comedy and that's where I think recently it's starting to come back to its roots and that's where I'm starting to get roped back in. And

[00:29:48] Mike Lewis: they wrap it all up, right.

[00:29:49] Doug Battle: as they wrap it all up, and I was getting to the point of the development of Jamie and Roy Kent.

I think my favorite arc in all of. All of, television was like [00:30:00] Steve Harrington and Stranger Things, which I know you haven't watched yet, and you're gonna have to catch up before season five. Fortunately for you, it's getting delayed like forever. those kids are gonna be like 40 by the time it comes out, but just a classic like.

Redemption arc, where like Jamie Tart was the kind of the villain for a bit, and all of a sudden he's the most likable guy and almost too much. So we're where all of a sudden Roy wants him to go back to his old ways because he's a better competitor when he's, and he is better for the team when he's a jerk.

And that's a g-rated way of saying it.

[00:30:32] Mike Lewis: I think that's it exactly. On what the and on sort of what's good and what's bad about this show. Jamie Tart was this. He was a great sports villain.

[00:30:42] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:30:43] Mike Lewis: when he was a complete jerk in season one, there was something very kind of fun and likable about him, right? I mean, cuz we've all seen that kind of character

[00:30:51] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:30:51] Mike Lewis: then we hit hard times.

so could argue that Jamie Tart is by far the most well-developed character on that show. [00:31:00] And it's not like he actually gets that mu that many lines, right? I think he disappeared for a lot of season two,

[00:31:08] Doug Battle: Like he he might get. Less screen time than four or five other characters on the show.

[00:31:15] Mike Lewis: and Doug, I don't even know what's going on with his hair, but whatever it is, it's kind of inspired because it's sort of hateable to me

I can't even figure it out. And I suspect it's very kind of, I don't know, topical popular, that's a legitimate hairstyle.

[00:31:30] Doug Battle: I don't know, I'm not gonna be wearing my hair like that on the podcast anytime soon, but Jamie Tart can pull it off.

[00:31:36] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:31:37] Doug Battle: Yeah, and then Roy can, of course, on the flip side, like kind of still.

[00:31:43] Mike Lewis: Yeah. A beautiful one-dimensional character,

[00:31:46] Doug Battle: Yeah, he's like the most one-dimensional character and the best way, it's like he's begrudgingly developing by like the marginal increments and it pains him every single time. And it's hilarious to watch. And that's [00:32:00] like, that's not something I've seen much of either. That's something kind of new to me.

not kind of a stereotypical. Arc or character. And I believe the actor is the one like writing that character. And it's hard to imagine him being anybody else. Like if I ran into that guy in real life, I would expect him to say a lot of F words and to have a soft spot for his niece and to have a love-hate relationship with some prima Donna soccer player.

it just seems like that's who the actor is. And I think he's probably the most universally loved character on the show.

[00:32:33] Mike Lewis: Agreed, agreed.

[00:32:35] Doug Battle: Even though the first season, my mother couldn't stand him because of his language.

[00:32:39] Mike Lewis: Okay, Doug, other thing I wanna talk about this week is, and I had a phone call a reporter who's asking me about, Aaron Rogers impact on, the New York Jets.

[00:32:52] Doug Battle: Yes.

[00:32:52] Mike Lewis: And, you know, it's an interesting, it's an interesting question, right? And we're about to, in a week we're gonna put the NFL fan base [00:33:00] rankings out there.

So next week's episode will. Predominantly focus on those. why he was talking to me was a little bit different was like, which teams has the best vibe at the moment? So I'm not talking about sort of long-term fandom or long-term

[00:33:17] Doug Battle: I see.

[00:33:18] Mike Lewis: equity, but who's got the most positive buzz? And I think Aaron Rodgers has been in that kind of stuff, right?

You know, going to concert in Madison Square Garden,

[00:33:30] Doug Battle: Was that Taylor Swift,

[00:33:32] Mike Lewis: Yeah.

[00:33:32] Doug Battle: which we still gotta do an episode for that. I think every celebrity in Sports star and person I know has gone to that tour.


[00:33:40] Mike Lewis: gotta touch, they've all gotta touch the swifty, right? we should, right? Because I mean, who would've, Swifty has become a word that everyone knows.

[00:33:48] Doug Battle: Well, we need to have an expert Swift fan on here. I'm a casual Swift fan, but we need a die hard swifty. If that's you and you're listening, like, shoot me an email or something, we can try to work it out, but we need to [00:34:00] investigate that a little bit more. Or maybe it's Aaron Rodgers. Maybe he's the die hard one.

[00:34:06] Mike Lewis: You know, I do, I have a teenage daughter, Doug. We can probably find a swifty, but it's, look, when I teach at Emran, ask them what people are fans of. I mean, you're ama it's amazing how many Swifties there are

[00:34:16] Doug Battle: Oh yeah.

[00:34:16] Mike Lewis: world,

[00:34:17] Doug Battle: Yep.

[00:34:18] Mike Lewis: Aaron Rodgers has given some hope. Who else do you think out there in like the N in the NFL some genuine good vibes?

I was, I think like I could think like Baltimore with Lamar Jackson,

you know,

[00:34:30] Doug Battle: Oh, I think

[00:34:31] Mike Lewis: painful one to get that done?

[00:34:35] Doug Battle: yeah, I would actually, if I'm a Baltimore fan, I'm more excited about the offensive coordinator, Tom Monkin out of Georgia. I'm telling you, I have thought for a long time that this guy is gonna be a head coach or should be a head coach in the N F L and pairing him. I think he's gonna, I think there's, I think.

There's gonna be a bit of a resurrection of Prime Lamar Jackson this year under, Todd Monkin as oc we'll have to see, but I'm, I would be very optimistic. [00:35:00] I think the biggest good vibes team right now, even though they lost the Super Bowl, is the Philadelphia Eagles,

[00:35:05] Mike Lewis: Okay.

[00:35:06] Doug Battle: and I might again be biased to this because they've drafted like a hundred Georgia players in the last two years, and all those guys are like best friends, like going to the NFL and becoming millionaires together.

But I, I just see like Jalen hurt. I think they have so many teammates on that team from college, like Alabama. Their offense has like four or five guys from Alabama. Defense has like four or five, six guys from Georgia. and those guys all knew each other in the same, in the recruiting circuits and stuff.

So it's, they seem like, you know, it's the city of brotherly love, but it seems like that team has more of a brotherhood than any of the other, a lot of the NFL teams, it feels very. These are professionals and these guys are just adult grown men who are going to do their job every day, and if they get traded, it's whatever.

I don't feel like that with Philly. I feel like the players are as into it as the fandom and the fan base. I mean, the fan base in Philly, as we know has always been [00:36:00] elite, is in terms of burning trash cans after winning championships and dancing in the streets. So,

[00:36:07] Mike Lewis: Elite and, but elite, but changing character. I think, you know, it's like, I don't think they're allowed to throw at the players or ice balls at

[00:36:15] Doug Battle: They Boo Santa Claus though. that's elite. That's an elite fan base.

[00:36:19] Mike Lewis: A different generation. You think that still,

[00:36:21] Doug Battle: It's just tra it's tradition at this point.

[00:36:23] Mike Lewis: Okay, okay, so Philadelphia has just paid their quarterback, they've continued to draft elite high profile talent. So you think that's, that's a fan base. It's look, coming off a close Super Bowl. I agree with that, that they feel like they're next in line to get there, perhaps.

[00:36:41] Doug Battle: There are kind of a relatively young team in terms of, they got a pretty young quarterback, who's a leader, by the way, which I think is part of the good vibes I'm talking about. they've got, and they've got this underdog, you know, Jalen Hertz, ever since leaving Alabama has had this underdog storyline and not being a top draft [00:37:00] pick and not, you know, he, they've got this underdog mentality, which really like.

Suits the kind of like cold or blue collar Philadelphia kind of classic feel. I think back to that movie, I think it was invincible about the, basically the walk-on for the N F L team. But it's like Philly has this history of being these kind of underdog gritty. Like hardworking guys. And I think Jalen Hertz is that guy.

And so to have a quarterback like that fits the culture of the city so well and the culture of the fan base so well, I think is pretty unique. And something that we don't see very often in the N F L and then like, you know, to combine that with a lot of Youngtown, AJ Brown. Wide receiver, like a lot of their top players are young guys who are gonna be there for the foreseeable future.

And I think there's just a lot of optimism in Philadelphia, and I think people are excited and I'm kind of on the bandwagon, which is a little bit weird because I'm a Giants fan and li lifelong Giants fan. And their rivals. The Eagles beat them, have broken my [00:38:00] heart so many times, eliminated us from the playoffs so many times.

But, and this probably says something about Phantom too, as a Georgia Bulldogs football fan, the Philadelphia Eagles on their roster have more football players who I know their story and feel like emotionally invested in somehow than the New York Giants do. The Giants might have two or three players like that.

The Eagles have like five or six. And so I've caught myself, and I know a lot of, I know a lot of Falcons fans that feel this way, you know, that are from Georgia and seeing what the Eagles have done in the draft that feel like, am I becoming an Eagles fan? Like I care about those players more than I care about the team I pool for.

And so I do think part of my bias might be because of that, but Immaculate Vibes in Philadelphia right now.

[00:38:43] Mike Lewis: I feel like that makes some sense. And actually the jet story is kind of different than the Eagle story, right?

[00:38:47] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:38:48] Mike Lewis: the Eagles have been built essentially from the draft and the ground

[00:38:51] Doug Battle: right?

[00:38:51] Mike Lewis: And it looks, the Eagles are positioned for a, the good vibes are because they're positioned for a long-term run.

Maybe they're at where the Chiefs were a few years ago, [00:39:00]


[00:39:00] Doug Battle: Yeah.

[00:39:01] Mike Lewis: and sort of maybe, and on the other side the Jets have kind of, pulled off this coup, right? They got the guy and we'll see if it, we'll see if it works. If it works, it's only gonna work for, for a couple of years.

Okay, Doug. So I think we're gonna wrap it up a little bit early. You know, this discussion about. Sort of good vibes in the NFL is a nice segue. When we come back next week, we'll start talking about F L fandom, and I think, well, we'll make a decision where we, whether we start from the top down or go from the bottom up, it's fun either way.

there's usually, there's, you know, very few surprises in terms of who's gonna be on the e end of these things, You know, the big one is always the folks that find themselves on the bottom always end up being much more angry how the folks at the top find themselves being sort of thrilled to be there.

and they'll, all that stuff will be out there at the website, at www do dot fandom [00:40:00] Like share, subscribe,



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