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Football's Return & Fandom Across The Political Spectrum

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

In this week's podcast, Professor Mike Lewis and I kick off the long-awaited NFL season with a discussion of the league's biggest week one storylines, college football's wacky week two, and Mike's findings on sports fandom across the political spectrum.

Listen to the full episode here:


Mike Lewis 0:01

Hey! Welcome, everyone! Welcome to the Fanalytics Podcast. Online home: We are brought to you by the Emory Marketing Analytics Center and you've got Mike Lewis and Doug Battle. Doug, how you doing? The Georgia Bulldogs are two in 0, and I don't know, I didn't even look are they the number one ranked team? Probably not.

Doug Battle 0:20

They are. They are the number one ranked team in the country. I think Alabama dropped to two after winning on the road. And Texas jumped into the top 25. After losing to Alabama, the Alabama effect everyone. Georgia is now the number one team it's kind of amazing. I think Georgia is becoming Alabama because the fan base was just constantly angry and upset about every little thing on Saturday as they beat down Sanford 33 to zero but the offense didn't play well enough. Defense wasn't disciplined and I was like, Man, you guys returning an Alabama fans, this is what they've been doing for years. But they're the number one team with a very frustrated fan base over the performance against Stanford. I'm just enjoying it. You know, I'm enjoying college football in the same way that that LSU do that just took a stroll onto the field this week is enjoying college football. He's one of the candidates for my super fan of the week, the Fanalytics super fan of the week, I'm going to tweet out a couple of those options and let the let the people vote. But we had him we had the Georgia fan and I liked it. Yeah, we had the Georgia fan with the but there's just too many great fans this week, Georgia fan with a bone in his mouth. Tennessee bride who revealed to her husband her wedding dress, which was the checkered Tennessee overalls on her wedding day, an Auburn frat full of pledges that made a giant snake out of popcorn boxes, I don't know how it's the same buckets, and they had to hold them the entire stadium was about, I don't know, maybe 40 feet long. And then the San Jose State fan and the duck head, the App State student body storming the street because they couldn't storm the field. And then the Texas fan chugging beer out of the wet or sweaty tennis shoe on College Game Day. College football fans are something different. Like I tried to find an NFL fan that the match to this level of insanity and you don't get the same level of insanity anywhere else. But college sports. I think that's part of the appeal for people who who really love college football, college basketball.

Mike Lewis 2:30

The kid at LSU was really striking. I mean, that was that was some amazing

Doug Battle 2:34

kid, or was it a grown man?

Mike Lewis 2:37

I'm 55 years old. So. I mean, the way he walked out there with you know, at first it seemed like just like he belonged. Right? And then, you know, as the walk went on, it seemed like, Oh, this guy is this guy has been sampling something that's probably not legal. And then the way that cops just threw a beat down on him was was kind of was kind of brutal. Is there been any follow up on his story? or would this just sort of

Doug Battle 3:11

washed off? If he has a concussion? He might be out for next week. Mike, he might be on for next week's game. We might not see him on the field. But I did love I think he was just walking evidence of the fact that you can, if you pretend to know, or you pretend as if you're supposed to be somewhere and people just accept it. I mean, he walked on that field like he was the head coach. He was the head coach walks on the field, people would be like, wait a second, this guy can't do that. And he was out there for 10 seconds before in the cops kind of walked up like hey, is this guy supposed to be here? I don't really know. Obviously wasn't. And I liked that he kind of pled his case. He was like, Hey, stop. You can't grab me and cop like I'm, you know, I'm a fan. You can't do that. And then got taken down, beat down style. He didn't get Kayode in the same way that Adrian Peterson did by levy on Bell, which I was completely unaware that they were fighting this weekend until I saw the video.

Mike Lewis 4:03

Yeah, that seems to mean you're too young to remember it. But you know, there was I think was an MTV bit called celebrity deathmatch that started out one of these claymation series. And that actually, I think morphed into and I could be getting some of the order wrong. That morphed into a fox, you know, Primetime event where they would put celebrities into a boxing ring against each other. I I remember, I think they had, you know, like horshack versus screech from Saved horshack from Welcome Back Kotter versus screech from Saved by the Bell. I think they had a couple of gymnasts fighting at some point, you know, I mean, it's like, everything goes in. Everything goes in cycles. But that the Leveon Bell, Adrian Peterson fight. You know, Doug, I don't know about you. It's like, I see these things now. And now I just go straight to Twitter. And I don't even know why I go to Twitter because I can predict the comments in the back and forth. are almost always, Adrian Peterson taking a complete beating on Twitter fans commenting on the dozens and attendance I couldn't tell how many people are watching. But there it seems, you know, it was a fun little moment of what would you call that kind of boxing sort of?

Doug Battle 5:17

I mean, boxing.

Mike Lewis 5:19

It's still going on though. Right? Well, we have what

Doug Battle 5:21

point is just loving on Bill advanced to fighting Jake Paul now, is it Jake? levy on Bill? When does that happen? Has it already happened?

Mike Lewis 5:29

Does Jake Paul want anything to do with a guy that looks like Levy and Bell

Doug Battle 5:34

Hey, I that's a fight i That's a celebrity fight. That would at least be somewhat interesting to me. I think even loving on Delaware's AP, I kind of like two pros at the same position in the same field of play. Going at it in the ring. I mean, those are two guys that definitely you when they were playing football, you're probably saying, Man, imagine if this guy was a boxer, he'd probably be the best in the world. And so putting those guys in the ring is actually kind of interesting to me. I'd like to see levy on. Jake Paul, personally.

Mike Lewis 6:05

Well, look, I mean, you know, we've got Jake Paul versus Anderson Silva, I think right. I want to say October 28. You know, and again, it's like all these things. How long does this stuff play out? I mean, I don't does anyone is anyone taking this stuff? Seriously? Does anyone think that these are legitimate fights? I mean, there was a knockout right of what was it Woodley by? I don't know i We're, we're engaging in so much of this kind of novelty boxing talk.

Doug Battle 6:31

I was just touching on it. I was just touching on it. My main concern this week has been football. It's, we talked last week about the most wonderful time of the year. Now it really is because not only do we have college football, we also have the NFL, and I'll start with college football. College football. Part of the beauty of it is that nobody's really that good. Sometimes it feels like Alabama or Georgia or these, you know, all they can play in the NFL. This week was a reminder. I don't know if I've seen so many missed field goals in my life across particularly in the BYU Baylor game, both of which were ranked teams and it came down to who will miss les field goals. Alabama looked terrible against Texas, Texas was rowdy and awesome. Apparently they didn't have air conditioning in the Alabama locker room, which was a malfunction. I'm doing air quotes. College football just has this level of unpredictability and lots of upsets it felt like March Madness once again, Marshall Notre Dame AP state at a&m, a couple classics, Tennessee and Pitt, Kentucky, Florida, and of course Alabama, Texas. So football fans are getting everything they want. I feel like at this point on the national level, that's just a warm up for Sunday and Sunday is really the big dance with the NFL Mike. And we've talked a lot about the NFL this offseason, I know you're excited. And I was excited to see a first week of Mike's predictions, Mike verse, the media, getting off to a good start with those Cleveland Browns getting that first win in spite of my criticism of Mike refusing to change his pick with Deshaun Watson out?

Mike Lewis 8:10

Well, no, maybe we should go through this sort of more systematically. We'll start with the pros. But I will say this that, you know, the very start of the NFL season like we're in week, you know, we we're not even done with week one, as we tape this on Monday afternoon. A lot has already gone wrong in terms of the predictions, right. And so like, the first thing that went down was the NFL suspended Deshaun Watson for 11 games, kind of blowing up my Cleveland forecast or, or let's say blowing up the logic of the Cleveland forecast. But you know what happened after that? Well, Jimmy G did not get traded, which essentially kind of throws a wrench into the 40 Niners forecast. And then last night, we see what the NFL is really known for. And that's Dak Prescott, getting hit, getting hit multiple times in the hand and being out for I think they said six to the estimate of six to eight weeks. So you know, these things crumble, these things crumble quickly, I didn't. I actually put the numbers into the I actually updated the spreadsheet, I'm not going to share any of the numbers for my performance versus ESPN in the Simply because we're one game in, right and we oh, we've got to we've got to let this we got to get to three games for anything. 30 patterns start to emerge on this kind.

Doug Battle 9:34

Of course. Yeah, the win percentage is going to be 100 or zero for anyone right now.

Mike Lewis 9:40

But it is it is fun to see how quickly and again, this is the beauty of the NFL in some ways. It's like I think fans forget year to year how much variation occurs, right? How many of the favorites crumble and how many of the teams come from nowhere and and do something. Okay, so Doug, I'll give you a choice you want to talk and I you know, we tend to focus on let's say, you know we got it we got an hour, we don't have eight hours. So we focus on the the narratives and the kingdom of the key storylines and all this. You want to start college you want to start NFL

Doug Battle 10:12

let's start NFL Mike. I know I'm kind of biased to college as a GA guy. My team being number one right now, but I think NFL is the biggest story in sports right now. It was interesting yesterday seeing so many tweets that football is back and for college fans, it's like football has been back. But on a national scale. The NFL is the storyline. It is the one league that everyone seems to follow to some degree maybe because of fantasy football, being such a part of work culture and social culture in America. But nevertheless, NFL has all kinds of storylines Week One was phenomenal, did not disappoint so far. And we still got Monday Night Football coming up. So let's let's talk some NFL.

Mike Lewis 10:54

Well, again, and I don't have any particular order. I mean, we started off with Josh Allen, firmly cementing himself. As you know, as the weekend transpired, it was like I think Josh Allen was the and again, the immediate, I think tends to be over reactive. Josh Allen starts out as the MVP choice for the league. And then by the end of the weekend. They're talking Kirk Cousins, right? I mean, but But Josh Allen came out and I think delivered and buffalo came out and delivered a message of being a very legit team. I don't, I don't think anyone's doubting Buffalo and again, the overreaction after one game. But Josh Allen is one of the he was one of the top stories going in. And he's one of the top stories coming out of week one.

Doug Battle 11:43

Josh Allen is my fantasy quarterback in one week. And I don't even think his stat line was great. And he helped me get a week one victory. But I don't think that the stats even tell the story with Josh Allen if you watch that game. I know one of the interceptions he threw was right in the hands of the receiver and the receiver practically gave it to the defender. Might as well have been a fumble. Josh Allen and that bill's offense without Brian table, by the way, who's who's now the head coach of the giants so that I think there was a little bit of question as to how much of their offensive success has been because of the offensive coordinator. We saw very quickly that with Josh Allen at the helm, their coaching staff they have intact they're going to be very successful going up against what's supposed to be one of the best teams in the NFL and the Rams coming off a Super Bowl. And I it made me think my it made me think about last year, and that AFC Championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills, shoot out pretty much came down to a coin flip first team scores a touchdown wins. Chiefs win the toss, they drive down the field score touchdown. Straight to the Super Bowl. They're playing the Rams last night we may have seen what would have happened between the rams and the bills had buffalo made it. So I think Buffalo has been a lot of people Super Bowl favorites this year. I think it's for good reason. I think their defense is nothing short of excellent. And Josh Allen at quarterback, he's got to be one of the best in the league. He's a little bit more orthodox than a guy like Patrick mahomes, I think and I think people feel like that makes him a safer pick that makes the bills a safer pick. And I'll be very excited to see that matchup. I expect that to be the AFC Championship once again. mahomes, of course, had five touchdowns yesterday, reminded everyone why he is and has been kind of the future face of the league as everyone starts to get so excited about Josh Allen.

Mike Lewis 13:25

Yeah, and you almost wonder it's, in some ways, as people hype up the season and start to drill into it. It's almost like there's an effort to I think if you lived in Kansas City, you might think there's almost an effort to push mahomes off the front page. Right to almost say, oh, you know, he was he had his time. This is now about Josh Allen and Herbert and right this is this sort of this next generation of guys. But yeah, mahomes with what was it four or five touchdowns? Last five touchdowns? Yeah.

Doug Battle 14:00

He had five and that same game, Murray 360 yards in Murray on the other side looks solid Kyler Murray, he had a solid showing. But we see once again the difference in the truly elite quarterbacks and that next year, and Kyler Murray getting paid Patrick mahomes money I think, you know, that's still up for debate and we'll see how that plays out over time.

Mike Lewis 14:24

All these guys getting paid just about the same amount of money right where and it's almost like the NFL quarterbacks are not bragging about how much they make now. It's how much they're guaranteed perhaps I mean, it's strange. It's strange how this has evolved. Okay, now, you mentioned the truly elite quarterbacks to me the truly elite quarterbacks are a shortlist it's, it's mahomes it's Brady, who's never lost to the Dallas Cowboys and never lost to the Atlanta Falcons. I learned that this morning. And Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Rodgers rough All right, I

Doug Battle 15:00

Rough week one.

Mike Lewis 15:02

Do you think I mean, Rogers? Is Rogers as magic as a quarterback, you know, all the talent in the world? Do you get the sense that there's almost going to be a problem in that he's not a particularly sympathetic figure in the locker room. And as these rookie and young wide receivers struggle, is he putting more pressure on these guys when he needs to? He needs to be almost nurturing these guys. And maybe that's that's not his deal.

Doug Battle 15:30

I don't think that's his deal. I also don't know if it's fair to expect that of him. He's a professional. He's, he's at a point in his career, he's got to be competing for championships. The front office knows that. And, you know, they go and draft Jordan love when they could be taken an elite wide receiver a few years back, they've I feel like his frustrations, it would be fair for him to be more frustrated with the front office than the individual players, but with the players they have, and you just got the front office probably telling them hey, we've got guys, we're ready to compete. We're doing everything you want. And so he's his expectations of those players to play at a Davante Adams level, you know, to play at a Greg Jennings are all the great wide receivers who have played for Green Bay, I do think there is the tendency to overreact with weak wine. I know there's been years where Tom Brady has a bad week wine and people start to say, Hey, is it over? Is this the end of the Tom Brady, you know, he threw three interceptions and his team lost by three touchdowns. And week one, he didn't look like the same guy, he just finally catching up to him. And then over the course of the season, there's that regression to the mean, as a fantasy football here, I tend to try to trade for guys who start off really weak like that, because so often you see a regression to the mean, and sports but nevertheless, with Aaron Rodgers, it's still at that point in

Mike Lewis 16:43

action. Right. I mean, you know, guys dumping Rodgers probably this week on the fantasy market.

Doug Battle 16:48

Yeah. And, you know, maybe he keeps playing at that level. Maybe Maybe he was relying on Davante Adams, but my personal take is, you know, I would take the risk I think it's worth I think it's worth the gamble to just roll the dice on a guy like Aaron Rodgers who has always bounced back and there's no reason to believe he won't.

Mike Lewis 17:07

I mean, last year he I mean last year remember he came off that offseason with essentially almost saying he hated the Packers and was going to play again and and I think they got they got drilled in week one by about 30 points and and then I think they went you know, whatever it was 13 and four something in that kind of range. Okay, you also mentioned you know, Tom Brady's name has snuck into the conversation as well as autopilot man to me the more the most interesting thing potentially about the Brady is everyone is on the same wavelength and the fact that I don't remember who had the game but they had got Michael Jordan to do some of the pregame commentary. And so this is you know, we are witnessing this generations degeneration every 25 years. We're witnessing this years go and the commentaries from last let you know the last generations goat and there's probably multiple documentary crews following this guy around, as there should

Doug Battle 18:09

be as there should be an interesting thing about yesterday's game for those who watched the game the game really was the dominant player. The game was Leonard Fournette. He was the Bucs player that and the the Tampa Bay defense as well. But with quarterbacks with the NFL, the tendency has always been to attribute the win to the quarterback. And it's a Tom Brady's back. Yeah, he missed 10 days of training camp or whatever it was, and he comes out and like a well oiled machine steamrolls the the Dallas Cowboys who of course lost Dak Prescott in that game. Speaking of the Dallas Cowboys, if memory serves me correctly, their last few quarterback changes for the long term have come with an injury. I remember Tony Romo taking over due to injury and never given the job back and then years later Tony Romo gets hurt. Dak Prescott comes in plays at a very high levels of rookie causes Tony Romo to retire. He wasn't it didn't look as though he was going to be retiring anytime soon. Prior to that Dak Prescott out for a couple of weeks. Does history repeat itself? I have no idea. I don't know that they have the guy behind him but something to keep an eye on a storyline with Dallas always regardless felt good. They are always kind of being at the forefront in the national landscape in terms of media.

Mike Lewis 19:31

You know, Doug, here's a here's a question to you. You know, maybe the most famous injury replacement where guy never gave up the job was Drew Bledsoe getting hurt and Tom Brady coming. But now quarterbacks make $40 million a year and the money is guaranteed for the next four years. Does that change that? That level of competition where you know you don't even can even put it got have a guy that's capable of taking over on the roster, you know that that that kind of backup? Look, I think, you know, Dallas has suddenly Dallas went from being an interesting story to now a classic Dallas story, right? Because when the Cowboys are struggling and an injured quarterback and look if they if the backup coming in and lights it up, oh my god, you know, there's no better NFL situation than a quarterback from a media perspective that a quarterback controversy in Dallas.

Doug Battle 20:30

Yeah, and I don't necessarily expect that. But I did want to pull from history and look at this and say, Hey, Tony Romo there when he went down there was no I don't know, if anyone felt like, Hey, he's never going to be the starter for the Dallas Cowboys ever again. And with Dak had this happened two years ago. Under different circumstances be it would be very different. But the contract situation certainly plays a role in decision making with quarterbacks. And to be frank, I don't know that there are 32 Starting caliber quarterbacks in the NFL. And so for one team to have multiple is pretty rare these days. So I don't expect that. But again, if history repeats itself, that's what will happen. We'll have to keep an eye on it.

Mike Lewis 21:11

Okay, the most wild game of the weekend, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati.

Doug Battle 21:17

Joey, Joey had a rough one.

Mike Lewis 21:20

But he also had he had a real rough first half he kind of an interesting, very productive second half. He's fun to watch even when things aren't going great. He's actually kind of a an amazing guy to watch on the sideline. There's like no emotion. He's, he's Fascinating, right? Because he's a complete, stoic professional. And then the postgame press conferences, always just utter magic. And I'll give you your two cents on this in a sec. Very minor story. But Mitch Trubisky for the Steelers played just well enough to eke out the victory. I'm not particularly interested in Trubisky. But I think that's a fascinating thing for a quarterback to do. And so let's say the Steelers are does Trubisky play just average enough? And absolutely frustrate the Steelers fan base, right? There's nothing worse than a guy that's just a game manager and keep Kenny Pickett on the bench all year. I mean, a local story, not really a national story. But God I mean, look, you know how this goes. I mean, you've been a fan of teams. I bet you in Pittsburgh, they're going nuts for picket right now.

Doug Battle 22:42

I'm sure there are fans that would have rather seen them lose. I've been that fan before because you're thinking long term. You're thinking this isn't the guy you know, we're wasting our time. And Mitch Trubisky I gotta give you credit Mike released for week one, looking at the QB wins metric. You looked at the numbers and said I don't see that big of a drop off from last year's Ben Roethlisberger to last year's Mitch Trubisky. As far as performance, the optics may be that they're going from a Hall of Famer to a first round but or number one pick bust. But Mitch Trubisky we've seen it with him and Carson Wentz is another guy who performed he actually performed quite well yesterday. People like to give up and kind of overlook these more veteran quarterbacks who wants had the hype who wants people thought might be the guy and they didn't become Tom Brady. And so there's this thought that hey, you know, I'd rather have Zack Wilson I'd rather have Justin fields, et cetera. Whereas at this point in his career, like Carson Wentz or Mr. Biscay is tends to be more productive than those guys. And so, Baker Mayfield another one who I'm you know, I'm not real fond of any of these quarterbacks and I'm glad they're not the quarterback of my team. Of course Daniel Jones is but but nevertheless there is this kind of, there's players who tend to be overrated early in their careers tend to become underrated later, Alex Smith was the best example of that he was viewed as a bus and had a very productive career later as as an NFL quarterback.

Mike Lewis 24:09

Okay, train lands versus Justin fields.

Doug Battle 24:12

You know, the rain didn't help. And I mean,

Mike Lewis 24:17

you got to throw this out with the rain but still, there was no glory.

Doug Battle 24:24

You wanted the I think what the NFL would have loved to see was two quarterbacks throw for 400 yards and three touchdowns. Maybe an interception each just to keep it interesting. That was not the case. I think fields had the less pedestrian day but the one highlight I keep seeing of Justin fields wasn't during the game. It was after the game. The I'm sure you've seen this Mike but victory formation snap and then the whole team runs the endzone, slip and slides their way to victory and gets up and flexes on on the downers. That was Justin fields yesterday. Becoming a meme once again, all over Social media once again, always, always the center of attention. always fascinating to follow fields and the bears moving forward, just like we've been saying all offseason.

Mike Lewis 25:10

Yeah. And so it's still you know, that weather, I don't know that you can reach any one week and that weather can't reach any conclusions. Trey Lance, you know, this is gonna turn into an interesting story, right? I mean, that was not a, that was not a great effort. And you got an owl. And I gotta think there's a big chunk of San Francisco 49 fans that think if we played the other guy, we'd have the great, we'd have a victory. And so this is in the NFL, can you really give away victories in the No, because you just believe in the other guy without any real without any real evidence?

Doug Battle 25:51

Yeah. And what happens? This happens a couple of games, Jimmy G ends up back in the mix QB one for the 40 Niners I'm not predicting that, I'm simply saying it's a possibility. And it makes a very sticky situation with contracts between Garoppolo and Trey land.

Mike Lewis 26:07

I'm gonna predict it, the Jimmy G will be on that field. That will be QB one at some point this year I and again, he may not end up that way. But I think at some point there, there's a very reasonable chance a high probability that they'll think that the idea is to take the pressure off of trade lands, if the heat gets too much. So

Doug Battle 26:28

I think the fan criticism at that point is that you're ruining Lance's confidence. You take a guy, you give them the go, and then you pull them early. And he's forever shaken. And they will blame that coach on why train Lance doesn't become this elite quarterback, whereas the the reality may be that he's just not.

Mike Lewis 26:48

And 100% self inflicted as we see this go down. Yes. Okay. Do you got any others? No, no, I got a lot.

Doug Battle 26:58

Lamar Jackson coming out to Austin three TDs and his first game after, after the game, they asked him about his contract situation and they said, you know that you were offered this much guaranteed money. He's like, Oh, it wasn't guaranteed. He was pulled away by some of the Ravens staff or whatever. You would consider the people that pull Lamar Jackson away from the podium. So no, Zach Wilson in week one. I mentioned the commander's Jags Trevor Lawrence with a pedestrian you know below average week one kind of picking up where he left off last year. Trayvon Walker though shout out for the Jacksonville Jaguars number one pick this year he had a forced fumble an interception and a sack all in the first week. So I think any doubt about his status as the best player in this year's draft class probably hushed at least for the time being the Colts Texans ending in a tie. That is just disgusting to American football fans. I pulled a quote from Ted lasso Ted lasso the words of the great former coach of what was it the Wichita State shockers was that his college team that he coached?

Mike Lewis 28:04

I forget. I think it was even lower level than that was it it

Doug Battle 28:07

was something he said last of the great football turned football coach says if God would have wanted games to end in a tie, she wouldn't have invented numbers. I think that's how all football fans feel about a tie and you know colts Texans kissing their sister and week one is nobody's satisfied with that.

Mike Lewis 28:30

Oh, God, I mean, this is this is the website. The Ted last Oh just says he was picked from an obscure college level American football team in Kansas. I'm

Doug Battle 28:40

pretty sure there was an actual team in the show. Anyway, the great TED lasso but okay, and one other one was, we haven't touched on Baker Mayfield taking that l All right. I guess we did touch on him taking that out of the browns, but we didn't touch on the baker Mayfield side of that story.

Mike Lewis 29:00

Where I saw the press conference. It's standard Baker Mayfield. Yeah, right. I mean, he's got this he's got this approach to the media of error almost reminds me of Ron Zook and Florida. Everything's fixable, right. There's this swagger and everything's fixable. And you know you again, that's, that's a fun story. I think to you and me. I don't know how much anyone else really cares. I'm just waiting for Sam Donald to get back in there.

Doug Battle 29:29

It feels inevitable that's gonna happen. But I do think Baker Mayfield thinks that he's Aaron Rodgers still. One last note on the NFL. I think one last note I have is there's so much happening in sports this week, especially in football that it's hard to I guess I got two last notes. One is that Justin Herbert outdueled Derek Carr, as you predicted Mike last week, Justin Herbert. He's creeping into that. We talked about the elite quarterbacks I don't know that there is a quarterback in the league given age and all the rest that I'd rather have on my team and Justin Herbert.

Mike Lewis 29:56

He's the guy that I was recommending anyone asked me about fantasy Football he was the guy was saying and I

Doug Battle 30:01

hated that I, I guess I thought people would undervalue him a little more than they did. And I waited a little too long and I missed out on him this year. But I mean, I had him his rookie year and Herbert was my ace in the hole. So one other note is that is just kind of a fun fact. Not a single AFC South win and week one, even though two AFC South teams played each other. rough start for the AFC South.

Mike Lewis 30:30

Yeah, well. Sorry, Doug, I am listening to you. But I'm also surfing the web for the NFL week to schedule.

Doug Battle 30:41

Okay. Okay. That's fair. That's fair. Basically, the AFC South had a rough start.

Mike Lewis 30:49

Okay, and so I'm too weak to top storylines, I don't have as many as I had last week in terms of the the storylines. And some of the ones that I had identified as I was, you know, sort of looking at the schedule while watching college football before for the games kicked off, have actually kind of blown up. I mean, you know, the game I was probably most looking forward to, was Dallas versus Cincinnati of Prescott versus burrow. I mean, it's still a compelling story. And again, the beauty of the NFL, but now we've got, you know, berhow, trying to come back from an off game, you know, where you're all in one versus a Dallas team that almost feels like they're in crisis.

Doug Battle 31:34

Dallas almost always feels like they're in crisis. But this time, it feels like there's good reason. Typically, they're healthy and losing when they should be winning. And there's panic in that stadium, that enormous spaceship of a stadium. But yesterday's crisis, we saw this was another this, you know, was probably an honorable mention for fan of the week, I don't know that it represents you being a good fan as much as just crazy people at football stadiums, which Why didn't put them on the list. But there was quite the fight amongst Dallas Cowboys fans in that stadium yesterday. And I almost I expect that every week that's moving forward, I'm expecting that every week, particularly, you know, there tends to be less fights amongst your fan base when your team's winning. But that's not always the case, we saw a Georgia Oregon game, there was a heck of a brawl between two Georgia fans in the concourse area. So guy just about knocked out another guy. And college was called college sports fans, NFL sports fans, I think football fans, they just have to have that dog in them as they say, that dog in him.

Mike Lewis 32:36

But you know, it's funny whenever I talk about fan passion, and then get into those kinds of things, as long as I have. And again, this is a little bit of an aside, we see this absolute craziness. Doug, I have a feeling nothing that we're going to come up with all season in terms of identifying fans, the week would even make the honorable mention list if we were sitting here in Europe, and we were talking about, you know, Tottenham vs. Arsenal.

Doug Battle 33:03

Yeah, it's true. It's true. And somehow that doesn't translate as well into the states with football but

Mike Lewis 33:11

we're caught we're actually calmer than we realize it in the States. We are

Doug Battle 33:14

we are but I do think there's a you know, to argue that to counter that. I think there's this like redneck aspect of football. Like you watch app states fans run and celebrate this week and last week, and I think they're getting College GameDay now. But my biggest takeaway from college football in the first few weeks is that those fans in Boone are absolutely bonkers. They are bonkers. And I talked about it last week on the podcast and I talked about this week, I would say if we had a rankings for college football fans, like it's AP top 25 of fans, after two weeks, they'd be number one, their teams won and won the fans or two and now

Mike Lewis 33:54

I you know, I I don't think there's any it's it's almost more of a you know, I'm I'm going to avoid as answering that because it's going to take me into the weeds because I think there is something kind of really interesting this question of how do you develop kind of that that real loyalty to an institution? You know, if you're not Ohio State or Georgia or USC and I think there there definitely some value in looking at them as a as a case study.

Doug Battle 34:21

Okay, one, the one App State fan that I know traveled to College Station from Georgia. Watch the game went to the whole 12 Man rally whatever it is the whole Colt thing they do at a&m and watch their team win celebrated big. They travel, they travel for App State like they try anytime they play an AP top 10 team. Those fans are there. They are there.

Mike Lewis 34:44

Well, it's their thing, right and they've got the they've got the history of it. Okay. Other couple of again, looking ahead to next week in the NFL, the Miami Baltimore. I love that one, too. I had a big game throughout the game, but I bought Leave Jackson actually speculated that Miami might be the city he wants to go to. If he doesn't sign with Baltimore. Wow. Yeah. Green Bay versus Chicago fields versus Aaron Rodgers. Okay, so I got news for you. Rodgers will find his stride this week. If for no other reason than the Chicago Bears fans feel cursed, cursed by Aaron Rodgers.

Doug Battle 35:23

Exactly. And we remember last year, what was it? He said to that it was their female fan and the bears. You I own you? Yeah. And he does own the bears. I think Bears fans going into this one or feeling like you know, it's kind of like if Auburn we're playing Alabama this week, where it's like Alabama showed some weakness last week and Auburn's to an O and they're feeling themselves. But I feel like that's how their students feel like, hey, Green Bay is vulnerable. We've got momentum, we're coming off a win new coaching staff, second year with fields coming into his own. And this is the time we're gonna do it. And like maybe they beat him once. I don't know. But it does seem like it has set the stage is set for Aaron Rodgers to silence those excited Bears fans one more time, as he does, we'll see what happens. I'm looking forward to it.

Mike Lewis 36:10

Okay, but the game and this is why I was going to the schedule before. My top game going into next week is actually the Thursday night game. And that's the Chargers versus the chiefs. Oh, because I think this is, you know, of these young quarterbacks, Herbert and Allen, maybe relatively close and all this. But that's that that AFC West Division has a lot of talent at the quarterback position. And it's kind of interesting, right? It's like Derek Carr, now takes a lot of heat for maybe being the worst quarterback in that division. Herbert's the guy that seems to have the potential to actually challenge mahomes for being the top guy in that division. So that's going to be you know, whoever scheduled that picked a good one for Thursday night.

Doug Battle 37:00

They absolutely did. And like I said before, if I'm starting a team right now, and I get my pick of all the quarterbacks, including mahomes, I'm very tempted to go with Justin her. I love his game. I love I mean, there's, there's nothing about that kid that I don't love as far as the way he plays football. And I'm sure he will be exposed at some point in his career. You know, sometimes we have a little bit of a newness bias with these guys. Because mahomes was that way at one point. I think Josh Allen's that guy right now for the bulk of NFL fans. But you know, as mahomes has gotten a little older, and we've seen him throw some more interceptions and stuff, it's like, oh, he's got weakness. I'd rather have someone else. Maybe that will happen. With Herbert Herbert's fascinating to me, I love them. I think that this will be a great game, because you're seeing, you know, we've seen the Tom Brady vers mahomes passing of the torch games, where Tom Brady still had it in that Super Bowl mahomes Verse, I mean, versus Herbert, you know, it's not so much a passing of the torch, they're kind of in the same generation. It's kind of like a Kobe and LeBron, where there's going to be quite a bit of overlap in their careers. And these are two of the quarterbacks, you know, it could turn into a Peyton Manning, Tom Brady type thing, where we're seeing them duke it out in really big games every single year. And this is kind of the first version the 1.0 of that. And so I don't know, I mean, I don't know if the Chargers are good enough to be in those games like The Chiefs have been, but the quarterbacks certainly seems to be, and I think the numbers will be great on Thursday night, because I think people are starting to pick up the Justin Herbert is a worthy competitor to Patrick mahomes.

Mike Lewis 38:31

Yeah, I don't know about the marketability, right. I mean, you know, Southern California, football, as always, is always a challenge. But yeah. But you know, this could be one of these really great things for the great things for the league, if Herbert gets to, and like, my, my fondness for Herbert is almost entirely based on the numbers, right? I mean, so it's like, that's where he really kind of stuck out for me in terms of how he performs statistically, so early on in his career, you know, that this sets up beautifully, right? The one guy playing in LA in that stadium with a lukewarm fan base, versus the other guy that, you know, playing in Kansas City where they set the volume records, he's already got a Super Bowl, you know, these rivalries are really, really important. Right, and obviously, mahomes Brady, that's a rivalry that can't last more than what, five, six more years, Doug? Right. You know, but you know, it's like we got we got there's always this question of next and that our sort of podcast adage of the NFL always wins. Yeah, the NFL always wins. And what they've gotten next is Alan Herbert, challenging mahomes You know, it's the NFL wins,

Doug Battle 39:50

it wins and they have, for whatever reason, they've had an easier transition to the kind of post goat post Tom Brady era than I think the NBA is having with will broad you know movie it's like they're trying to find their guy and there's a couple guys but when there's a couple of guys is a really long guy you know Jason Tatum and DEVIN BOOKER enough or yo kitch and dodge it's it's it's tough. It's a tough transition, the NFL seems very well positioned to relish in

Mike Lewis 40:19

the NFL has 30 leading guys duking it out for that right. Yeah. The NFL has that structure where it's always gonna, it's always gonna work out. Okay, Doug, I'm looking at the clock. So we gotta we gotta pick up the pace here. We have week two of college football has ended. I'll tell you and again, we got to be we got to be quick here. The pregame for Alabama. I don't know if you you caught this. Yeah. Nick Saban talking about how NIHL may harm competitive balance. I thought he was I thought he was channeling the podcast. But wow, that's kind of amusing and gotta be frustrating to the other coaches out there who all think ni l is now their means of actually getting some competitive balance back into college football and not having it be all about Alabama.

Doug Battle 41:09

Yeah. First off, I'd like to thank Nick for listening to the podcast. Nick, we appreciate your listenership and are happy to consult on any of your decision making whether it's how to lose to Georgia next, or how to handle NFL that's what we're here for. Mike Kyoko, yes. But on a serious note, Nick Saban has been saying for years so the transfer portal NFL, he's been saying this isn't good for football. This isn't good for competitive balance. He's the beneficiary of this his team. I mean, you look at Alabama, their entire receiving corps just about his transfers there. I mean, last year, their best player James Williams, arguably their best player, the best receiver that's playmaker was from the transfer portal and I L is helping them you know they have such an advantage over other schools in that department. And the fact that he's willing to come out and say like, he's I've heard him say, you know, in different words, but essentially, hey, look, this isn't fair. Teams like Alabama are gonna benefit Don't get mad at me when I'm playing by the rules, but I don't really think these are smart rules.

Mike Lewis 42:19

I don't like Brett's Jiang on the Dr. Pepper commercials that seems that seems too much like violating the price hang on the Dr. Pepper commercials the fans Ville commercials makes me think yeah, this is truly going to be unfair.

Doug Battle 42:34

Yeah, I mean, yeah,

Mike Lewis 42:35

it's you know, it's too much for the you know, the big dogs to get all the prizes in addition to you know, being the big dog.

Doug Battle 42:43

Yeah, my favorite thing and I Oh, isn't those Dr. Pepper commercials were at last year's DJ yo younger lay. This year. It's Bryce young. I like the real small local businesses that work with these local players. We've seen Kool Aid McKinstry. That's not as much of a local wind but I think the coldest the coldest. Is it? Is it the coldest McKinstry? decoist. There's so there's a play on Alabama named coldest, and he does. He does a NFL deal with an air conditioning company in the state of Alabama and he advertises on television saying that he's going to make your house the coldest and so I see that kind of stuff is just great. I love it. Stetson Bennett doing a you know he's delivering mail at an apartment complex showing off the amenities of a local Atlanta apartment I think that gets the locals to tune in I think it's all fun and games but we ever

Mike Lewis 43:33

talked about Luke forwards and I LDL. You may not even be aware of this

Doug Battle 43:38

No, I don't know that.

Mike Lewis 43:40

Luke Ford signed a an NIL deal with the WWE.

Doug Battle 43:45

Is he going to fight?

Mike Lewis 43:47

I don't know. But you know what, you know what, let's let's put a pin in that one to come back to that one because that was one of the that was one of the stories over the summer that I think we we sort of missed out on as we're talking more of the NFL preview but you know, he's he's been such a he's look forward as a guy. We've talked a lot about the product on the podcast because of his transfer battles. But you know, the fact that he keeps you know, hasn't really panned out as a player but really had a strange impact in in college football and even a strange you know, NIHL kind of deal. Okay, Doug So again, I'm just looking at the clock here so let's speed up here. Notre Dame loses to Marshall Marcus Freeman Owen three as the Notre Dame coach pressures on is it I mean, pressures on Scott Frost is no longer the Nebraska coach. How quick is and you know, Notre Dame is not gonna make that kind of move anytime anytime soon, but that's a struggling brand. And I'm really bad season and I like I mean, Nebraska might be a great parallel. Nebraska has fallen from the ranks of the elite brands and college football to being an also ran big 10 team, I don't think there's any and you tell me if I'm wrong. I don't think there's any luster legacy associated with the Nebraska brand. I think that's a total rebuild job. If your Notre Dame, you know, how much time do you give Freeman?

Doug Battle 45:13

I don't know how much time we're gonna see what he does the rest of the season but clearly could not have started on a worse note his career, you could see it in his body language. And I seriously doubt that the fan base has any faith that he's going to be the guy in the long term. It's just a matter of do we fire in this year? Do we farm next year? Do we farm the year after that? I think there's probably a lot of fans that are like, Hey, let's just cut our losses and move on. Islam more complicated to do that. You know, it's easier said than done because of contract situations in college sports. So I think Notre Dame's a school that they ought to be benefiting from nio, they ought to be one of those schools where Nick Saban saying hey, there's not gonna be a lot of parity, the Notre Dame's of the world with their television deal with they're kind of the films that have been made and the how wide of an audience they have, as far as there's Notre Dame fans in every state in the country. You know, I feel like that's gonna be their move.

Mike Lewis 46:05

argue about this exact same thing. I'm not convinced that that's real anymore. I mean, you know, I know that's always been the thing that then, oh, Notre Dame is the college football brand. Maybe that's just living in the past. I mean, to recruits, are they the, the, I don't know. I don't know if it's actually real. The, it's like, it's a legacy of like, this used to be something. But I don't know whether it's real to anyone. I don't know that anyone is motivated by that Notre Dame brand.

Doug Battle 46:34

I just feel like I feel like they can fake it till they make it at this point. Because it is a sleeping giant, in a sense where you do have I know, a handful of Notre Dame fans, and I've never lived anywhere remotely near Notre Dame in my life.

Mike Lewis 46:49

So let's dig into that real quick. Why are they Notre Dame fans?

Doug Battle 46:53

Because their dad was because I grew up watching I think

Mike Lewis 46:57

I mean, is that the is that the connection?

Doug Battle 47:00

Guys? Yeah, I think it's mostly grew up watching those. When I was four years old, I went up to the game, you know, still touchdown Jesus and pulled for them, they won a championship and have always been fighting irish. I didn't go there went to a different school. But I That's my team. That's who I pool for. And those people I feel like, you know, if they if they could have if there was a Bryce young, if there was a Caleb Williams, if there was a face to that team, it would be very, very valuable because there are so many people who say, Hey, that's my team, I There just isn't a whole lot to get excited about. And I think it could turn around very quickly. So that's where I feel like you know, if I'm, if I'm at Notre Dame, I'm thinking alright, we got to we got to figure out whatever Texas a&m has been doing with NFL, some of these other schools that have really benefited from it. Of course, it's up, you know, it's questionable as to how much Texas a&m has benefited after losing to AP state and week two of college football. Jimbo Fisher off to a rough start as well.

Mike Lewis 48:02

I mean, I look, Doug, I agree with you on Notre Dame and in principle, I just, I just can't figure out if this is just something that we believe this because we've heard it so long.

Doug Battle 48:12

They need a Nick Saban. I think at the end of the day, they I remember when Alabama hired Nick Saban, Alabama had been they were bad. They were bad. My whole I mean, because I grew up in Alabama, and I was a Georgia fan family all pulled for Georgia. And it was like, Oh, poor Alabama. We're playing them again. I hope really cruel, doesn't get hurt, because he's a family friend, but but just feeling like, you know, these poor guys, they're never gonna have anything and they used to be great. So they're just miserable, because they have this expectation that they're never going to live up to. And Nick Saban comes to town and they weren't good that first year that first year was just a repeat of everything else. But nevertheless, there was this excitement, you know, the spring game was packed out. The things changed with that coach bringing in that coach, I think Notre Dame probably has the resources to pull that kind of move. Problem is Nick Saban is a generational coach. We use the term generational way too often, but he truly is. And there's not It's not like there's going to be Nick Saban waiting in the wings every time you have a coach fired, and they've got to pick

Mike Lewis 49:13

good. I almost wonder if you know, Notre Dame, in another name has always held themselves out there as special animals wonder if Notre Dame needs to actually, you know, join up with others like so Notre Dame sort of putting themselves out there as we're this unique. Were this unique school, you know, we're above the big 10 Notre Dame might be better suited to actually joining the big 10 or the SEC and having a, you know, having a rival playing Ohio State and Michigan every year. Right. Getting into that kind of that system where the high school kids you mentioned Bryce young where those kids want to go to Notre Dame. I mean, you know, I think you're right. It's not like Nebraska where the brand has faded, but I I don't know that that brand is anywhere near as I guess, I think that I suspect there's a mismatch between how powerful Notre Dame thinks their football brand is versus how powerful it actually is. When you're talking about assembling a class of when you talk about bringing 17 and 18 year olds to a place like South Bend, right, it's,

Doug Battle 50:19

that's fair. I just look back a year and I say, you look at Lincoln, Riley going to USC, another sleeping giant. And I know it hasn't been as long for USC, their drought hasn't been as long. But they bring in that coach. He brings over a bunch of transfers. They get one of the top recruiting classes this year looks like they're going to be a top 10 team. We'll see how that pans out. But for the foreseeable future, they went from zero to hero with one coaching change. And this day and age with the transfer portal it's very easy to get you know, once you get a little momentum for things to really escalate to really snowball and Notre Dame if they make a coaching change, I think part of the decision making nowadays is gonna be what players can we get in addition to the coach because Lincoln Riley's perfect example, USC didn't just get a coach. They got an experienced quarterback, a legitimate Heisman candidate.

Mike Lewis 51:11

You know what the really the tough situation would be tuck What's that? You know, who's the guy that could probably turn Notre Dame around? Nick Saban? Urban Meyer.

Doug Battle 51:22

Yeah. I'd love to do it right and do it. And I don't know that he would do it. He might have some heart issues over in South Bend. But yeah, Notre Dame's in an interesting situation. I think Jimbo Fisher, Texas a&m is pretty interesting. They've recruited like crazy. All their success has been off the field on the field. Last year, they beat Alabama they also went eight and four this year off to one on one start quarterback play hasn't been great. And fan base is beyond frustrated. But you know, those are two big upsets this week. So we'll see how things play out over the long term.

Mike Lewis 51:59

Looking ahead for this next week in college football. Just off the sort of perusing the schedule Oklahoma Nebraska, kind of a classic game from the 1980s. Nebraska desperately needs Oklahoma as an out of conference rival but program in disarray.

Doug Battle 52:20

Yeah, program in disarray. I don't see that necessarily being close. Especially given the circumstances in Nebraska so so I don't know that I would be more excited for like, I see Penn State vs. Auburn. Penn State is ranked number 22. Auburn's not ranked but they're one of those teams or it's like maybe they're like a 2520 to 25 Type team there to know. And games go that's going down in the plains Jordan here in Auburn. That's the type of game I'm excited for more. So I'm looking at the rest of the schedule, too. So I'll give you a couple I am ena in Miami. 30 minute. I'm saying that. Oh, Jimbo, if he loses that one,

Mike Lewis 52:59

you know, and that's fun. If you think about in terms of conference realignment, right. It's almost like Miami auditioning for a place in the SEC. Yeah, that's, I think that's a fun way to look at it. How about BYU. Org may be auditioning for a place in the big 10

Doug Battle 53:15

Maybe so we'll see what happens. And of course Oregon had a rough start to their season. BYU last. Excuse me, they won a thriller against Baylor this week. But kicking was absolutely atrocious. It was one of the ugliest college football games. And as a college football fan, when it's not my team playing almost enjoy those I almost enjoy a game where it's just really bad, ugly football and like, Oh, who's gonna fumble next how they going to turn the ball over to teams trying to lose the game. That's so exciting and fun to watch. I know a lot of guys enjoy that. A lot of people that enjoy that. BYU though, they're kind of a interesting football program, but like they've had Zach Wilson, they've had they've been top 25 teams more often than not these last couple years. There. Of course, of course, they're not perceived as elite, of course, you know, but

Mike Lewis 54:00

their legacy, Jim McMahon, Steve. Steve Young, right. I mean, it's they've got a better quarterback legacy than, you know, half the NFL teams, right. The

Doug Battle 54:14

SEC teams. Yeah. I mean, and,

Mike Lewis 54:17

and, like, I don't know how they BYU is kind of a fascinating one that probably none of the major conferences are really thinking a lot about. But I got news for you. It's kind of a strange national fan base as well, isn't it? I mean, so it's, it might be an interesting one to to put into the mix as we get into conference realignment, um, it's, it's a different kind of program, obviously. But, you know, they got a tradition. They got a

Doug Battle 54:45

tradition. They've got some passion. If you watch that game, they're I mean, they had a great electric atmosphere against Baylor Baylor's another team. And that same category when you look at conference realignment, not the traditional SEC team, you know, I don't know who they fit in with, but they weren't They won the big 12 last year. They've had RG three play. They've had some great teams. We've had some great coaches go into the NFL. They've had some terrible teams as well. And so it's hard. You know, you can see them being a Vanderbilt in the SEC, but you can also see them being maybe not a Texas a&m But being competitive, kind of at the next level in a different conference. And yet, you don't hear their name thrown around quite a bit. So I have one last thought in regards to college football and it's just that it's been so unpredictable. Last week, I I thought Texas was gonna get smacked. I feel like in retrospect, looking at all my picks for college football this year is just Bentley. You know, I thought Oregon, Georgia was going to be close. I was going to I love the unpredictability. I think that's what makes college football so much fun. And I I'm enjoying this March Madness of a season, it feels like college football's drunk, and it just keeps taking shots. And so I'm looking forward to this next upcoming week. And I'm always kind of trying to tune in and find which games are going to be the most interesting because it has not let me down. And the first two weeks of the season.

Mike Lewis 56:02

Yeah, you know, Doug, in a weird way, and then we'll switch over, I've thrown another one of these charts from the from our fandom survey, the next generation 2022 survey up there. You know, Doug, in a weird way, you know, another observation about college football fandom. College football is a really compelling project product, I almost wonder if they tend to lose out a little bit by playing when they do and like there's no other option. But by playing the day before the NFL. You know, we transition so quickly from what happens in the college games, to what's going to happen in the NFL. And then by the time Monday hits, right, then the NFL has 80% of the oxygen in the sports universe. Which you know, and again, it's college football is a unique sport. It's like you referenced it, right. It's and that campus passion, right, the dog Nation versus the the tide and what do they call the Crimson Tide nation?

Doug Battle 57:04

The Crimson Tide, but yeah,

Mike Lewis 57:06

you know, that's what's unique about them versus the, you know, marketing behemoth that is the the NFL. Okay, so, Doug, to wrap up real quick, I said we're going to share, we're going to share some of the results from this fandom survey. As we are moving towards the political season, the official political season, right, we end up inadvertently talking a lot about politics and sports. One of the questions on this year's survey was, well, the the key question is, how much of a sports fan are you? One of the classifications or the segmentation questions for this year was a look at political affiliation where we asked folks to identify themselves as how liberal to conservative you are on a one to seven scale. And the figure I'm showing you I like, I don't think this one is going to be a surprise. But I think it's interesting that again, we've got the percentage of people that are sports fans and versus sports apathetic, so highly interested in sports versus not at all interested. For liberals, it's even 34% sports fans 33% Sports apathetic six. As we move to the moderates, we've got 36% sports fans, the apathy rate drops to 21%. And then as we get to conservatives, that's where this chart pops, isn't it? Where 48% of political conservatives are sports fans 19% Are sports apathetic? You got a reaction to this one?

Doug Battle 58:37

I do my first my initial reaction is that the ratios don't necessarily surprise me liberal almost being one to one between fans and apathetic. And, of course, more than a two to one for conservatives, but across the board, I would expect the percentages to be higher for sports fans. So I mean, this kind of goes back to the broader study, which is just that sports are not as mainstream as they've been in the past, and they're not as well accepted across the board. Moderates being in between liberals and conservatives, of course, is no surprise. But conservatives. I'd love to see it across sports. I'd love to see if there is a sport that appeals more to liberals and conservatives, maybe the NBA, maybe soccer, I don't know, women's sports, perhaps I would love to see those numbers across but, you know, to me, this is kind of what I would think. And we'll

Mike Lewis 59:30

put that chart up on the website at some point. You're right, it does vary a little bit by sports. And you can almost guess that baseball and hockey do better with conservatives, whereas the WNBA and the Olympics do better with with liberals. But even if you look at the NBA, the most progressive of leagues the fan the rate of fandom is still higher as you go to more conservative ideology amongst the consumers.

Doug Battle 1:00:03

Yeah, that's absolutely fascinating, especially considering how much amongst conservatives, there's this perception that the NFL and the NBA have been catering to liberals with the Black Lives Matter movements with the, you know, the endorsements of kneeling for the national anthem or whatnot. And so, it's as though these leagues are torn between. And I don't know that it's all marketing, you know, it's probably a lot of it is the values of the people that that run the leagues. But do we isolate? You know, do we alienate one group of fans to chase the other and make them become fans? And do we lose those fans in the process? Or do we just go all in and target the guys who are really are the guys and girls who are really interested in our product and already invested? From a marketing perspective? It's quite interesting to me my.

Mike Lewis 1:00:49

Yeah, I mean, the other thing to add to that, though, and I think where it gets really complicated for the league's, and you reference something that we've got other data on, which is actually there's another question on the survey that actually asked, How much does each fan appreciate having people like you as a fan? We'll get to that one a little bit later. But that's absolutely fascinating, because you're right, conservatives do feel undervalued by basically every major professional league. The only thing I would add to what you said, I think it was well said, you know, if you if you take a step back, I think these kinds of charts are there. Intuitively, they make sense, but maybe we don't think why they make sense. conservatives tend to be more into traditional values, traditional activities, associating with groups being parts of things. And so you know, sports fandom is something that better aligns with, I'm not gonna say conservative values, but maybe with conservative personality traits. I think the challenge that the league's have very often is that sometimes their players tend to be much more on the liberal, progressive side than their fans do. And so that's the death. That's the disconnect that these leagues are all struggling with, where it's not just, it's interesting. It's not just well, how do we mark it to what our fans want? It's, How do we create, you know, how do we, how do we navigate this incredibly polarized and politicized world to keep both our fans and our content producers happy. And I don't think anyone's really comfortable with how that's going at the moment. Yeah, and

Doug Battle 1:02:26

I know, at least at the college level, I know that they're called football players who have voiced disdain for fans, or maybe just discomfort, that's probably a more generous way of putting it with fans who believe different things and who are against the things that they're standing for, you know, they're kind of shut up and dribble fans, when these players are saying, like, you only value me as a means of scoring touchdowns. As you know, you're not valuing me as a human, you're not looking at my views, you're not supporting the things that I stand for. And so there's kind of this push pool between fans and players, where the fans love the players, players might not love the fans and fans might not love the players don't love the fans. And so I've seen that I've seen that, like at a smaller level will be interesting to see if that escalates in the coming years. You know, 2020, of course, you can feel it more than ever, with COVID. With black lives matter, that's kind of settled down a little bit. But the more vocal players are about their views. And of course, with the kind of a natural difference in views between players and fans, there's a lot of fans say, Hey, I can't root for this guy. I just can't, you know, I and players might feel like I can't, I can't play for this team. I can't play for this group of fans who don't value the players values.

Mike Lewis 1:03:42

And as this is values, and as it becomes a situation right is no longer this Michael Jordan, you know, this, this overuse quote of even Republicans buy sneakers, when that becomes unacceptable for how an athlete wants to approach is for how an athlete wants to use his platform, right or her platform, then, you know, the way you described it, I think is kind of perfect. The fans love the players. The players may not love the fans. And the players are upset by somehow the way the relationship is working. It's got this is actually I love the way you kind of went through that because that is the dilemma for the sports businesses going forward. No one wants to put it out there explicitly. But I think that's I mean, in addition to the technology and Gen Z growing up in households where there wasn't a centralized TV, you put your finger on on a big issue. Okay, folks, we are out of time, as always. And the good news, Doug is because we went a little bit long, maybe this was your intention. We do not have time for my thoughts on the economics of stardom and the royal family, which probably is a blessing for all concerned, as always more content at talk next week. Bye.


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