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NFL Quarterback Database, NBA Free Agency, & CFB Playoff Landscape

What differentiates all-time great NFL quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Russell Wilson from former number one picks Matthew Stafford and Andrew Luck?

Do Brady and Wilson just have the "it-factor" - that clutch, intangible quality that separates Michael Jordan from LeBron James in the minds of many sports fans? Are they better passers? Better teammates? Better "winners?" Or have the situations inherited by these QBs skewed public opinion in their favor?

It's not difficult to imagine players like Stafford and Luck winning Super Bowls for the Patriots in an alternate universe. It's also not difficult to imagine Joe Burrow thriving for a team like New England had he entered the Draft ahead of his breakout 2019 season.

In this episode, Professor Mike Lewis introduces the NFL quarterback database he's creating to better identify what constitutes an all-time great. He also discusses his work on name, image, and likeness in regards to college athletics as well as recent happenings across the entire sports spectrum.

Listen to the episode here:

Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.



Mike Lewis 0:17

Welcome, everyone. Welcome to the fan analytics podcast. My name is Mike Lewis. I am joined by Mr. Doug Battle. We are brought to you by the Emory marketing analytics center. And as always, there is a lot more behind the scenes that you can find that is actually our new website. www dot fandom. really a great storehouse if I say so myself a storehouse of knowledge related to a lot of things. I was gonna say all things but a lot of things. fandom analytics, sports analytics is something that we are building out more every day. How are you today Doug?

Doug Battle 1:00

I'm doing well. Last week I made three predictions for the NBA draft and they all came true. Those are for the first three picks so that happened and then Georgia finally found the quarterback maybe a little too late as they're basically eliminated from everything for this year but it was fun to watch Georgia throw the football this weekend. Fan Doug over here is is doing pretty well.

Mike Lewis 1:23

That's awesome. So the projection of the NBA Draft you know we can we can have this would be a theme. How many picks in a row Can you go I should have kept going I think the top three Yeah, I predict you asked me to pick three and I got three right but I should have kept going Although I will say I would not have picked the fourth pick the kid at FSU. I thought he would go a lot later than where he went so it's probably a good thing that we stopped at three but I don't know I feel like if you did the whole first round drafts are tough because one move by one team one trade one unexpected thing in every pic after that changes well I don't want to go down the rabbit hole here but post draft and you have any appetite for grading out the winners or the losers or let's let's because it like I said this could go on a long time so who's who's the big winner of the draft? And is there anyone you want to call out as having blown the situation? I you know I like to pick winners and losers a couple years down the road when it comes to NBA Draft but now now now that's that's to legitimate Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 0:01

analytics with Michael Lewis, the podcast where we talk about everything you need to know about sports analytics. here's your host, Mike lewis, marketing professor at Emory University.

Unknown Speaker 2:36

We're Yes.

Mike Lewis 2:37

Let's be sports Sports Radio here for Yeah, and sort of just go off the rails.

Doug Battle 2:42

So I was thinking Golden State Warriors big winner with they finally got their big man and James Wiseman. I was thinking and I wrote an article in the summer about how I thought they would contain for a championship this year. Now that number to pick would be a big part of it. I thought it was a perfect fit. And then Klay Thompson tore his Achilles that day. So they actually ended up being the losers of draft day even though they may have had the best situation workout for them as far as their draft pick number four. The bowls with Patrick Williams. I mentioned that one earlier at FSU. That one really surprised me. To be fair though, past those top three the next couple of prospects were all big gifts to me, guys like Isaac Okoro out of Auburn, so that one was iffy. I know a lot of people think the Hawks won Actually, I said this last weekend I love Kilian Hayes out of France and he went to the piston So I think those were all good draft picks but post draft has been even more exciting than the draft I mean the as is the case in almost every season just about every role player is on a different team like guys are getting traded. Free agencies crazy right now the Lakers seems like they're gonna have almost an entirely different supporting cast for LeBron next year. Montrose Harrell out of the Clippers joined over there. Dennis shrewder out of the Oklahoma City Thunder was traded for Danny green has gone regional Rondo is gone. So a lot of movement in the NBA and that's always fun for NBA fans to keep up with.

Mike Lewis 4:16

You know, I agree. I think that's what's the great thing about the offseason right is this, then one of my frequent themes in the podcast is the the importance of hope in the NBA Draft brings hope. A lot of times offseason movement brings home price like No, we didn't win last year. So let's shake things up and see if we can come up with a better team going into the season. It really is one of the one of the magical elements of sport. Sports is like, you know, I'm a marketing Professor by trade and a statistician by training. But sports is obviously my favorite thing to talk about, you know, as we go into, I don't know where are we? It's sort of really the heart of the college football. In the NFL seasons, I think they've got the remind me the first official college playoff poll comes out later this week, I believe the NFL we are really starting to get into the nitty gritty of the playoff Chase. And so it's, you know, this is a fun time to be a football fan.

Doug Battle 5:23

Yeah. And especially in 2020, when we thought we might not have football. It's like, I still don't take it for granted every week when we get to watch my team play. Just like man, this is so great. Just that we have football. Like if we didn't have football, this year would have been that much worse. Although I will say a big 2020 bomber yesterday was Joe burrow, tearing his ACL one of my favorite players has been since he was a college player. I watched him tear up my team twice in person. And I kind of like weirdly enjoyed it not in a masochistic way but more in like, I appreciate his talent. Very much so but big bummer to see him go down with the ACL yesterday. Hope he comes back strong. But NFL man across the board Interesting. Well,

Mike Lewis 6:08

let's stay there for a second. I mean, an interesting quarterback class in terms of how it's playing out. Yeah. To sat down yesterday, they're obviously not giving up on him, but acclimating him to the starting job slowly. Yes. might be one way to look at it. But the you know, Herbert just seems to be the seems to be the well, I you know, I don't know, I don't want to reach a conclusion yet. But you know, doing very well as a rookie.

Doug Battle 6:38

Yeah, he, he didn't start from day one, like Joe burrow. So he's coming a little later, maybe teams have less film on them. And you see that sometimes guys go off their first couple games, and then it kind of steadies out over time. But Justin Herbert's been a stud. Thankfully, I had him on my fantasy team, or drafted him on my fantasy team. And I'm still excited to see, you know, what becomes of this class, I think two is kind of a boom or bust player in the sense that he's got an injury history, but he's also so flashy. I think. I think even a guy like Jacobson with the Colts could take over at some point and be the guy that sticks out out of this class. He and Justin Herbert have a ton in common, they are built almost exactly the same. They were the same number. I mean, they look like clones of each other. And he's yet to play. Joe burrow was the early star of this class, though, and seeing him go down, you know, makes you question whether he will be the one that ends up being the guy or if it's gonna be a guy like Justin Herbert.

Mike Lewis 7:44

It's, it is one of my favorite. And it's something I've been trying to spend a little bit more time on in terms of really digging into the analytics, I'm sort of in the process of building a database related to NFL quarterbacks. And actually, we're now at the point where we're fleshing this out to include include data on supporting players running backs, and wide receivers as well. But I'll say this, and you know, talking about sort of foreshadowing way into the future, but I'm really hoping to be ready with a package of NFL quarterback statistics and some advanced analytics going into the next NFL Draft. Because this is, like I said, I mean, you really take any quarterback class, and these things are there's a lot of fun debate going into them. There's a lot of fun debate for years and years, you know, you know, you look at this NFL season. Mitch trubisky versus Patrick mahomes.

Doug Battle 8:48

Yes. The it'll be Lauren sarsfields. You

Mike Lewis 8:51

know, I mean, Lauren's fifth Yeah. And we can so we can even set them up into the future. And so this is, you know, when you say that kind of a boom or bust kind of player into that may be a big part of the key to doing the analytics right for for quarterbacks, it frankly, it's amazing how often and you know, and this is a tough one, right? Because I'm not sure that I'm I may be just sort of lapsing into being a kind of fan observational analysis rather than being systematic, but it seems amazing the number of times where quarterbacks picked in the top 10 just don't pan out.

Doug Battle 9:33

Yeah, I'll say this. I was thinking about this. And this is something we could probably put together study for when you get some of that database put together. Is that to me like the formula for becoming a goat in the quarterback conversation like top five all time, top 10 all time quarterback is to be one of those overlooked guys. Because you fall onto a better team. You have better protection. Your health therefore is in better shape. Your performance is better, you tend to win more championships and you play for a better team. When you look at the guys in the league that are kind of in that conversation, obviously Tom Brady was a super late draft pick and he could have gone anywhere. But the fact that he was a sixth rounder, made it so that he could go to one of the better franchises in the league Where is a guy like Joe burrow goes to a terrible franchise, and he has no offensive line. I don't know if you watch the Bengals at all this year, but he was running. I mean, it was just a matter of time for something like that happen. And I honestly after that draft, I thought, you know, I think Herbert in even Jacobsen could have better careers and Joe, and I think Joe's the best quarterback out of all of them, but it's just a matter of where you go. Over the years. Like I said, like Russell Wilson, he was not a top guy and Patrick mahomes. He was not a top guy. And you look at some of the like, most highly touted quarterbacks over the years that were Matthew Stafford went to the Detroit Lions like, Yeah, he made them a playoff contender. But he's never going to be considered in the goat conversation doesn't have any rings. Andrew Luck, he was probably the most heralded quarterback going into the NFL in my lifetime. And he had, he had a fine career. I mean, he was fantastic for those that watch the Colts. But he inherited such a tough situation, he dealt with a lot of injuries, in part because of an offensive line situation that wasn't the best, just like Joe burrow, and it seems that maybe the goat like what's considered the goat even Aaron Rodgers like he was he was not a top guy either. Those guys aren't necessarily the best talents coming in. But they're they're a nice mix of like potential with a great situation, great coaching, great supporting cast. And maybe Matthew Stafford or Andrew Luck would have been better than than Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, had they gone to the Packers or patriots? Who knows?

Mike Lewis 12:06

You know, it's an interesting, you know, just as you go through that, yeah, kind of makes me think about a couple of things. You know, one of the classic reference reference might be taking a little too strong. But the the classic reference for intuition about the quarterback success will always be the Parcells rules, and I'm not gonna be able to quote him verbatim, but it's something like you've got a history of winning you graduate. And so it's these these kind of these informal characteristics to get it things related to, you know, being a winner being mature, being smart, being determined. But what you're saying is kind of right in the line of, you know, some of the stuff we're starting to look at in terms of sort of like building in the building in the support structures, and how much of that stuff really, really matters, because I like, I remember when we did the NFL Draft preview, and I remember bringing up the point of it just seems tough if you start your career at, and I don't actually, you know, I tend to pick more on the Browns than on the Bengals. Yeah. But when you start your career in those in some of those places, versus some other places, for example, that seem to have more of these kind of histories of winning that these, you know, the quarterback does not exist in isolation. And I think that's really what you're getting at. And so how much of the stuff around that player determines eventual performance? And it's, um, so it's it's a great topic, and it's really a it's a complicated topic to dig into analytically. But I think you're dead on if that's the direction that some of this has to go.

Doug Battle 13:54

Yeah, I think the most fascinating part of the quarterback discussion to me is the emphasis on winning. That's always been incredible to me how much value people put on that for a quarterback, as if the quarterback is solely responsible for wins and losses. And I remember even at Georgia, the infamous Jake Fromm versus Justin fields debate. Justin fields did not play on a great high school team. And I think he went about 500 his senior year, Jake from lead Georgia to a national championship as a freshman on a team that relied heavily on the running game and on the defense. And during that discussion, most people or many Georgia fans consider Jake Fromm to be the better quarterback because he was a winner. He he was part of George's team that went to a championship game, while fields was you know, winning half of his high school games. And yeah, he was flashy, but he wasn't a winner. To me, it was like if you put fields on that team, it's a different story. It's It's about who you surround them with. And I think it's the same goes for I was at one point I was a proponent of I thought Aaron Rodgers would have had a better career than Tom Brady. Had they played on a comparable team. Had they played with the same talent, same coaches. I thought he was the better I thought he was the go. And people say no, Brady has six rings. Right? He has six rings. Yeah. Well,

Mike Lewis 15:26

you know what, I mean, this is kind of the, the beauty and the conversation really encapsulates the beauty of doing sports analytics, right? I you know, some fans have this metric right up, where he's got six rings, you got all the statistics in the world. Sounds like a push. Let's have another drink.

Doug Battle 15:43

Yeah, yeah. I mean, it's part of what makes sports great, but it's also from an analytic standpoint. I mean, I guess you can never level the playing field totally with these quarterbacks. But I do think you could project you know, who's more likely to be successful out of a draft class between some higher drafted guys and some later round, or even later pick guys. Okay, so

Mike Lewis 16:08

let me ask you another question in terms of projecting, and I'm gonna, I'm going to go on record suddenly, I'm really enjoying the two football seasons. Because you know, from where I said, I love nothing more than chaos and sports. That's that's to me the most fascinating thing when start when stuff starts to play out in weird ways. You know, maybe this is the academic me the statistician is like, now we got all these kind of live experiments going on. Who are you going to predict is going to be the eventual winner of the NFC East?

Doug Battle 16:47

I hate this situation because I'm a Giants fan. And I've been wanting them to tank and they just refuse. So three and seven. Yeah, Redskins Redskins got a dub yesterday. giants are I mean, the whole

Mike Lewis 17:04

everybody's still think it's all it's all three and seven with the Eagles winning by a half game at three, six and one.

Doug Battle 17:11

Yeah. And Eagles fans want Carson Wentz benched for Jalen hertz. And their their top of the division. So yeah, a 35% win percentage for them. giants are right at 300. So are are the cowboys and the Redskins? So like we said a few weeks ago, each of these teams is within probably, I guess they're all within three games. So the first pick in the Draft. They're all within a half a game of you know of home playoff game. Who's my prediction? I don't think the Giants as a Giants fan. Without say, Quan Barkley. I don't know. I mean, I guess all these teams are bad. Actually. I'll tell you the Cowboys. We're talking about a chaos here. How about Andy Dalton lead the Cowboys the playoffs? And I don't like the Cowboys. I actually hate them. So I'm going to cowboys.

Mike Lewis 18:06

I'm 100% with you. I'm 100%. with you. I was thinking exactly the Cowboys as well, with Andy Dalton coming back off of injury and COVID I believe that is it. And how beautiful is it right for in some ways? Well, you know, you tell me if I'm wrong here, but the biggest villain in the NFL has almost always been the Cowboys. I mean, they probably have the most fans, but they are also the most hated team just kind of beautiful situation. And so the Cowboys limping into the playoffs, a game or two below 500. That's a beautiful situation.

Doug Battle 18:45

Yeah, we talk about how people hate the Cowboys. That division as a Giants fan. I know. giants fans feel like the Cowboys are their rival. Obviously Redskins fans feel that way. I think Eagles fans feel I think all three of those teams feel like their primary rival cowboys not you know any other team in the division. So I just could see it happen and be so 2020 The other thing about it is like the Cowboys haven't had playoff success and so long, and how crazy would it be for them to finally have that success in a year where they lost their starting quarterback? And it's just a fluke year it seems for everyone else.

Mike Lewis 19:27

So the other thing that I would add to and you know, maybe we can link to link to the study I'm going to reference here but below the podcast this week. You know I do these do these fan base analyses. I haven't done the NFL yet. I may well do that over the next couple of weeks in preparation for the playoffs. But these analytics related to the best fan bases in the NFL has been kind of a hit for the website in past years. The reason I bring this up Is that there's a lot of the top brands in the NFL in the NFC East. That year in year out the Cowboys are one of the top brands in the league and no surprise there. The giants are almost always in the top six. And one of the one of the teams that I've been surprised by for years and years is that the Eagles are also a frequent top six team. So it's a strange year for the NFL. And I mean for a strange year for everyone. But for the NFL on top of everything else, to not have even a respectable team in the NFC East is, is kind of a recipe for disaster in terms of fan interest. But I think this is playing out in such a chaotic year that for the most part, people are kind of enjoying it, though. You know, you can almost imagine a strange scenario where there's just wholesale Carnage in terms of coaches and changes to those to those rosters. I'll point out one other thing that really kind of stuck with me and this is this is kind of a very, very This is the the smallest point ever made in the history of the show. Is the Washington football team. The wF T's wore throwback jerseys

Doug Battle 21:20

yesterday, throwback to their previous racist days.

Mike Lewis 21:27

I have I have no idea but it just struck me as I like they are good looking jerseys but, you know, throwbacks?

Doug Battle 21:34

Yeah. It's just funny to do throwbacks when you're rebranding, and you're trying to distance yourself from that old brand that is iconic. And that garnered such a huge fan base. But at the same time, I could understand them doing that for the sake of making old Washington our word fans feel like it's still their team.

Mike Lewis 21:57

Okay, so the other thing that I'm enjoying, like the college football season, also has so much chaos and strangeness. So this this last week, I don't even really know where to start. Let me let me throw out three things. And in you can decide which one we dig into a little bit. So number one, Clemson is upset that Florida State basically refused to play them doesn't want to reschedule that unless florida state pays all travel costs number to Washington, or BYU, I forget which one is potentially reaching out to play the other one. So a little non conference schedule. And number three, just the real strangeness of the big 10 season where you've got Northwestern and Indiana, decimating opponents. And I think Penn State who let me let me check something here real quick. In the preseason poll, Penn State was ranked

Doug Battle 23:13

way too high.

Mike Lewis 23:16

Number seven, yeah. And I believe they are winless at the moment. So Penn State and Michigan struggling beyond belief. While north of course, Ohio State keeps winning,

Doug Battle 23:28

right? Yeah, we'll start with with that one, because my favorite Penn State storyline is forgotten. This this ties into my Georgia fandom a little bit I'll just be upfront about that. Everyone loves to hate on Georgia for losing Justin fields. What people forget is that Justin fields before committing to Georgia was committed to Penn State. How different would things be for james franklin in the Nittany Lions had Justin fields kept his commitment and gone to Penn State? I think things would look a lot different in the big 10 this year, but along the lines of big 10 and we'll get back to those other two. But I do gotta say Mike, I know you're trying to be unbiased and not talk about your team. How about the the fighting ally nai with a big win over more of a football school and Nebraska which is suffered under Scott frost in recent years. And the thing that stood out to me the most about this game was not the game itself, but the Twitter aggression from Illinois athletics, tweeting, good game, Nebraska. Thanks for bringing back big 10 football.

Mike Lewis 24:42

I did not know about the twitter address. That That makes me really, okay, I got I'm gonna admit really mixed feelings. And I'm not I'm not proud of what I'm about to say. But even if I'm you know, living in the world of analytics, I cannot separate myself out From the fandom and you know, the the Alliance struggling as they have for years there's, you know, can only sort of hope for part A part of you as a fan of has to root for change. And change usually occurs when the team keeps losing. And like I've told multiple people right that the consequence of Lavie getting these couple of victories, or maybe three victories, or four victories throughout the season, is that we drop out of the we drop out of the

Doug Battle 25:35

cares. Oh, who's who?

Mike Lewis 25:38

We drop out of the we drop out of the Trevor Lawrence. lottery. Right? You know me? Yeah. So it's really with with mixed feelings. And you get this a little bit. I mean, as a Georgia fan, you're very much kind of, you know, you're looking forward to going 11. And oh, instead of nine and two. But it's very frustrating as a fan to be sort of going No, well, it's a baby giants play three games a year. Yeah. Well, to be winning three games a year. But no, but no change. Right. And you got, again, this idea of hope, right? You got to have something to, it's okay for your team to win three games a year, you just got to feel like they're going in the right direction.

Doug Battle 26:24

Yeah. If it's like, if you're not winning a championship, or at least competing or moving toward competing for a championship, you want to be tanking because you want a huge change, where that can become more of a reality. So for the giants, for example, they have a two game winning streak. Two weeks ago, they were very much in the running for the number one pick. Now it seems out of the question, to those two wins mean anything. I mean, I guess we can make it to the playoff and lose in the first round, but I'd rather get Trevor Lawrence and be you know, one of the top teams for the next 15 years or have a chance to be

Mike Lewis 27:01

it means you go those two wins mean you get the top rated guard in the draft rather than Trevor Lawrence.

Doug Battle 27:08

Yeah, exactly, exactly. And it means that maybe the Cowboys are Redskins one of the teams that we get to play every week, maybe they have a better shot at a better player now. So there's, there's a aspect in sports where winning is losing when you're when you're at a certain level. I think certainly in the NBA some of those teams, I know the Atlanta Hawks for the longest time were like eight seed 68 seed seven seed in that range. And like they they were in NBA purgatory where they could in the NBA, you have to have a top player. The two ways you do that are either by tanking and doing it in the draft or being really good and attracting super teams to form you know on on your roster. And when you're stuck in that position where you're always eight seed always a first round out, you're not getting extremely talented player in the draft, you're getting, you know, kind of mid level role players and you're not getting those guys in free agency either. So it's kind of the case across sports and leagues.

Mike Lewis 28:10

Okay, so let me let's let's switch over to what's always and like I said, I'm suddenly really enjoying sports at this moment. You know, I feel like maybe my COVID hangover is finally wearing off College Football Playoff. So yeah, initial the initial official poll coming out. ESPN has their top four at this moment being Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and at number four. The Cincinnati Bearcats.

Doug Battle 28:43

Wow. I did not realize they were going to be in the mix. Or I guess that they would be enough for spot this early. So you said Alabama? Notre Dame Clemson. Since then Cincinnati? No, no Clemson,

Mike Lewis 28:58

Alabama, Ohio. Or I think it's Alabama. Ohio State, Ohio State Cincinnati and then the barricades.

Doug Battle 29:05

Yeah, that I mean, that's one where in time I would expect like say for example, I mean Clemson Notre Dame play each other again, in the acc championship. So one of those either Clemson's going to be eliminated, or they're going to win and there's going to be that whole conversation. Well, they didn't have Trevor Lawrence when they lost. So they're undefeated with Trevor Lawrence 19. They lost two they beat with him. So I you know, I kind of still see it being those four. But the team like Cincinnati being out, but we still have so many undefeated teams like Cincinnati that technically have a shot and are gonna stake their claim for a title probably if they go undefeated and don't make the playoff.

Mike Lewis 29:49

So if BYU is able to schedule this game with Washington does that make you feel better about BYU? Oh,

Doug Battle 30:00

mean, Washington's Alright, but like if you're gonna schedule somebody to to build your resume, why don't you just go ahead and schedule Ohio State? Why don't you go ahead and schedule Clemson. They don't want to do that because they know what will happen. And so they schedule like a power five school that's kind of like, has a little bit of a reputation like, yeah, they were in the playoffs that first year and lost by like 35 points. But they've been a playoff team before and they've got a recognizable and respectable head coach. So we'll play them. I don't like that move. I say, go harder, go home, like you either you either went out on your weak sauce schedule, and you say, Oh, well, we didn't play anybody. But if we had we would have beaten them. Or you go play the big boys and you just find out?

Mike Lewis 30:53

Yeah, well, I mean, this is an old story. And at some point, it probably is the thing that pushes the playoff to in a team format. So one of these non power five teams can get in any given year, I think. Okay, so I want to move forward to talking a little bit about what's going to be a continuing theme for for the show and for the the blog for the website over the next month or two. And that is well name image and likeness legislation or rule changes. But before I start to go down that path, is there any any last words in terms of what are you looking forward to this week in sport? Well,

Doug Battle 31:36

I do want to say one more thing about this last week. This has gone a little bit under the radar. But Auburn basketball, issued a self imposed NCAA punishment for a cheating scandal that happened the year I believe, have their final four run. At the time they had an internal investigation found no wrongdoing. internal investigation linger last year they felt like might be their window. No wrongdoing this year, Auburn is not necessarily going to make the tournament from what I've heard there. This is kind of a down year for them. There's also question as to whether there will be a tournament this year. And so Auburn all of a sudden their internal investigation has found that there were some violations, and they're going to self impose a postseason ban any year where they're unlikely to make the postseason or where there may not even be a postseason. And that's going to be their punishment self imposed. And that should keep them from facing any kind of NCAA things down the road.

Mike Lewis 32:39

who's who's the coach at Auburn these days? pearl?

Doug Battle 32:41


Mike Lewis 32:45

You know, I mean, it's a remarkably successful career, but really a career that has, you know, if there isn't a current scandal, there's a scandal in the rearview mirror. Right. I mean, that's, um, that's a tough one. I mean, it. But I do think that's a that's a that's a interesting point to bring up as we switch over to this conversation about name image and likeness. You know, for this has always been a, you know, the issue of paying players has been out there for forever, right. And in the traditional argument was always on one side, well, you know, there's big TV deals, and the stadiums are full, and the people drawing in the fans drawing in their revenue. They should be compensated for their, their, their efforts. And on the other side, the traditional argument has really been that, well, they get a scholarship, and they get an opportunity now over the last couple of years, and really, actually I should probably go back to will avoid the history too much of the history at this point, I think there's been some focal moments like the ED O'Bannon lawsuit. Then last year, some of the legislative efforts in places like California then followed by a couple of other states, that we're still not talking about having the universities or the colleges pay the players. But there has been considerable movement towards letting the players essentially leverage their own brands and kind of earn on their own. And so what we're looking forward to now is probably some, some, some rule changes that allow players to do endorsement deals to build YouTube channels, and even stuff to you know, be sponsored to do sponsorship deals for, you know, maybe the local car dealership or even some national brands. And one of the stranger ones that they'll also have the rights to run their own camps. So So Doug, is someone You know, coming at this from a different generation, I think the the tone of the conversation about paying the players has changed over the years. You know, what's your two cents on name image and likeness?

Doug Battle 35:12

Yeah, I talked to quite a bit of these guys that are college superstars on my other podcast. Savage fans podcast,

Mike Lewis 35:23

well, why don't you do a shout out to the Hey,

Doug Battle 35:25

I kind of dropped it in there savage pads podcast for Georgia football. But I, you know, I've had this discussion with quite a few guys. And I know a handful of guys that suffered injuries and things of that nature that we're not able to ever make money off of their athletic abilities and the work that they put in, it's not just a blessing. I mean, there's, yes, they're blessed with talent. But there's a lot of work. I mean, those guys sacrifice a lot and put their bodies through a lot. They risk a lot, if you look at CTE and the issues that presents in football, and so there's, there's absolutely an argument to be made. And I think it's, it's almost harder to make an argument against players monetizing their own image, their own likeness, I know it likely gets complicated when you start dealing with the other brands that are licensed. So you know, like having a G on in your YouTube video, all of a sudden becomes an issue between the player and the school. And I know it can get messy there. But at the end of the day, anyone else on campus, there's kids on campus that are musicians that are making money off of their image and likeness. And there's kids on campus, you know, pretty much any other. I mean, I, I was making money in school, like I could have been doing the podcasting, making money talking to these guys, and they're not getting paid for it. So yeah, it's, it's kind of insane to me that they haven't already been paid. But you got to understand that this is a business and that there's little eagerness to change things from the people that are that are really capitalizing off of college football, because you can imagine, once players can make money off their own image and likeness, you know that schools are going to use that to compete, they're going to have ways too little loopholes, to have players technically monetizing their own image and likeness, but where the school is helping them grow an audience and grow, where they can make as much money as possible at school. And at that point, it becomes more the school's paying the players in the sense, and then it opens a whole nother nother can of worms where money can get split up beyond just, you know, these these athletic departments and schools.

Mike Lewis 37:47

So that's, I think that's a good introduction. So what we're going to be doing, and this is gonna be primarily on the blog, and that's fandom, is really just kind of devoting a lot of attention to the topic of paying the players and to name image and likeness. It's it's kind of a, it's a topic that's really in the the sweet spot for what I do. And for what the show does, as there's really, there's a lot of marketing implications. There's a lot of elements of fandom that come into this. What you're going to see on the blog is a combination of commentary, sort of direct, almost opinion pieces, where I'm going to dive into a little bit of the basics. I mean, you captured some of this some of the key themes. There's a lot of complexity in terms of, you know, I mentioned that the player is going to be able to sort of build their own brands. But there's a lot of complexity in terms of how the different brands are going to work together. There's also real questions about how these brands have been built over time and who should you know what, what is equity and all this. The second element of this is I'm going to do some commentary of the published pieces. This is going to be a popular topic as we go into the the NCAA meeting in January. So again, on the blog on the website, we sort of corralling or archiving some of the the key pieces, some of the key ideas, and doing a little bit of a deeper dive or explanation of those. Some original analysis will also be presented. I have spent the weekend gathering data on Instagram accounts and some associate data with what we read driving the size of Instagram accounts. And then the final thing is I'm going to actually pull some stuff, some blast for the past I've actually spent a lot of time over really the last decade digging into what has built sports brands or the value of players to schools. And so I'm going to play pull some of that from the old blog, which was the my Emery blog, my official memory blog to the to the new site. So there will be a lot of content going forward. Okay, so last word. What are you rooting for this week Doug?

Doug Battle 40:20

rooting for baby Yoda first and foremost, and I'm pulling for the Georgia Bulldogs to continue. I'm hoping that JT Daniels 400 yard performance was not a fluke on Saturday and that they have found their quarterback every week from here on out is kind of all about that for Georgia fans. So that's something I'm excited about.

Mike Lewis 40:39

Okay, so the foreshadowing is heavy this week. So Doug Doug's doing a shout out for baby Yoda. Every once in a while on the blog, and on the podcast, we go a little bit beyond sports, right? This this idea of fandom is important in everything, all aspects of entertainment, politics, etc, etc. We are going to do a special episode sometime in the near future where we're going to dig a little bit into the Mandalorian sort of relate some of the key themes that we talked about in relationship to sports to an entertainment product. I am busy catching up on the Mandalorian show. At this point, I am far behind dog he's rooting for baby Yoda. I don't know how this show turns out. I'm rooting for the Mandalorian

Doug Battle 41:31

I yeah, I don't want to spoil anything but uh, but I am looking forward to that episode. I do think fandom like we've said in many episodes in the past like, obviously it goes beyond sports. And I think some of the fandoms in the kind of the nerdy are sectors of entertainment are the most fun fandoms to to explore. So I'm looking forward to exploring the Star Wars fandom with you.

Mike Lewis 41:57

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Doug Battle 41:58

Happy Thanksgiving.


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