Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 9 months ago

Grant Wahl | Average To Savage EP152

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the one hundred and fifty-second episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring sports journalist Grant Wahl. Paul Guarino and Aaron Burrell talked with Grant Wahl discussing how he got into sports journalism, covering the US men's national soccer team, and his podcast ‎Fútbol with Grant Wahl.  

Follow Grant Wahl https://www.instagram.com/Grant_Wahl 

This podcast interview with Grant Wahl was originally recorded on October 21, 2021

...this is the Average to Savage podcast with paul Guerrino. Everyone in anyone athletes celebs and much more. What's up everybody, I'm back for another episode of the average Savage podcast. I got my co host erin barrel. Our special guest today journalist. Soccer journalist Grant Wall Grant. How's it going? I'm good, how are you doing? We're doing good. I appreciate you coming on. Yeah thanks for having me. Uh Grant will pick us up and get kind of where we're starting. Pre show is just some uh some soccer talk especially us cyber talk uh for uh fans like myself. It's been definitely an interesting qualification cycle. I feel like there's been a million and one Overreactions. There's been a lot of things going on. Uh So I guess I'll start with just your taking your thoughts on on how how the campaign has gone so far. Well the US is six games into the 14 game qualifying campaign and they're on track to qualify for the World Cup. You know that's all that really matters when it comes down to it for these 14 qualifiers. And I totally understand that fans have PTSD from not qualifying for 2018. And so I do think there's going to be some emotional reactions when the team inevitably doesn't have some games where it plays very well. So the U. S. Had its first loss in qualifying in Panama in this most recent window and they performed poorly in that game they probably deserved to lose. Uh And yet these were three games, two home games, one away game they did win the two home games and came out of it with six points from the Windows. So overall, um, is the US on track to qualify? Yes. Overall. Are they playing well at times? Yes. Are they going to need to get better for the World Cup itself? Most definitely. Yes. But um, it's been really interesting to follow this U. S. Team because it's so young. It's the youngest U. S. Men's national team we've ever seen. And it's true that a lot of these guys are playing for big european clubs, but a lot of them haven't experienced, most of them have not experienced what it's like to go through World Cup qualifying in Concacaf where a lot of times it's not about the soccer, it's about how you can handle hostile crowds and bad fields and bad refereeing and gamesmanship from the other teams and occasionally some good soccer from the other teams and deal with the tough aspects of that that maybe you don't encounter so much when you're playing for Barcelona or Chelsea or dormant definitely. And like I said, it's it's a very young squad and with that there have been players who have stepped up who, you know, plenty of us probably, uh, you know, prior to the cycle starting would not have necessarily expected them to make the impact that they have made. Uh, I would love to hear. Who are the players who stepped up that have surprised you the most during, during the cycle so far. You know, there's a few Ricardo Pepi is just 18 years old center forward with FC Dallas only a couple months ago decided to play for the United States national team as opposed to Mexico, which he was also eligible to play for. He's from the El Paso area near the border. Um And in his first game ever with the U. S. Senior national team qualifier at Honduras, scores the game winning goal and then scores two goals in the next game when the U. S. B. Jamaica and is having a terrific mLS season to the point where he's likely to get bought by a european team in january as soon as january. Um So ricardo pepys like probably the biggest name that is a murder in the six games so far, but there's two Brenden, Aaronson as a winger who's been pressed into more minutes because christian Pulisic and JIA ren had been...

...hurt and Aaronson moved from philadelphia Union to Salzburg in Austria just in january and he's already improved by leaps and bounds since january. He's doing great in Champions League where Salzburg is leading its group hasn't lost a single game this season yet, including in Champions League and he's performed really well, scored a couple goals for the U. S. And these qualifying games. So Those are some standouts I think, but also eunice Musa, another 18 year old um place for Valencia in Spain chose to play for the US over England was the main competition that he's eligible for other countries to. Um and he's been a little up and down. He had a rough game in the Panama lost, but he was terrific at home in the two games this window against Jamaica in that wind and against Costa rica in that one, the World Cup, they're they're pitching it for every two years. Like what are your thoughts on that bad idea that's turning into a forest basically day by day? Um It's not too complicated. The World Cup has always been men's or women's once every four years. Kind of like the olympics, but FIFA, that's the men's World Cup is the only real revenue producer for FIFA in a four year period. And so this is all about money as you might expect. FIFA wants to have men's World Cups every two years. They'd get twice as much revenue and be able to distribute that revenue to each national association that's a member. Um But there's a lot of pushback as you might expect and you know, who would lose the most if FIFA had a World Cup, men's and women's every two years, the confederations, the continental associations would lose the most, none more than you, Uefa, the european group. And so they're clearly fighting it and the individual nations national associations in europe are fighting it. And if those groups threatened to boycott the World Cup. You know, the top, most many of the top teams in the world are european national teams? So it's not very complicated. Um, I just think it's a little silly for FIFA to try and couch, you know, this desire for more revenue. They're trying to give all these other reasons and they think we're kind of stupid. Uh, and and that will believe those, but I kind of, I just don't think the men's World Cup will end up going to once every two years. What they might do is institute a sort of N. I. T. Type second level tournament, like a world championship for teams that don't qualify for the World Cup, I could see that happening and that would necessarily be a bad thing. You just don't call it a World Cup, which is the indication that we got this week from the FIFA president, but I think they're kind of throwing stuff at the wall right now and um I just don't want to see him ruined the sport or you know, I think the World Cup is the greatest sporting event there is, but I think one of the reasons it is that way is because it's once every four years and if you have it too much too often, I think you'll end up diluting it. Yeah, I could not agree more. I think, I think that's the thing that FIFA potentially are forgetting in this. Uh, and even as you say, adding more competition, like to go to Europa Conference league adding that. Do you feel like we're in danger of the game being too diluted by adding too many games. There's a lot of dangers here, but that's a big one. And I think also...

...just players safety. Um you can only play so many games of a high level in one calendar year and when the authorities just keep adding more and more games, more and more tournaments um you know, even we see World Cup qualifying in europe and and for the U. S. As well, they're playing three games now in seven day windows. They've never done that before. They've only played two in each window in the past. And so when you combine that with all the travel around to these three games in addition to the travel. But a lot of these things are flying over from europe, flying back to europe, you're asking a lot of the players and I do wonder if this is going to potentially um cause the players internationally to form a stronger players union because in soccer everything is so fragmented by country and stuff. The players unions that do exist are nowhere near as powerful as the NFL players union or the NBA or MLB players unions. And if the soccer, the top soccer players in the world decided, okay, we're going to have a strong players union and threatened to not play in a World Cup if it's every two years, there'll be a lot they have a lot more power. They just haven't done it yet. So I'm curious to see if that finally have. Yeah for sure. Um And then what do you what do you think you think it's important for mLS players to be on the U. S. National team? Yeah I mean it is. Um and it's interesting to see this current U. S. Men's national team which has a lot of young players who are already in europe but there's also some players that are currently playing in MLS and may soon go to europe but they're currently in MLS. So matt turner the goalkeeper has played all but one of the qualifying games, he's with New England Revolution. Fantastic shot stopper could very well go to europe soon. Um And then uh you know, Peppy still in MLS for now. Um walker Zimmerman captain the U. S. Team, the defender in Panama, he plays in Nashville. Uh Sebastian. The Jet place rarely galaxy. When George Morris gets healthy and comes back from his A. C. L. Injury playing with Seattle Hill, he'll be with the national team. One thing I've gotten the sense of and I've written about this on my subjects, I my coverage of the team uh is that there's this U. S. Team right now does not seem to be divided internally between factions and so under jurgen Klinsmann there was a division between the german born players who had joined that team and the rest of the team. And under Bruce arena after that there was a division between the MLS based players and the european based players and everybody I've talked to on this current U. S. Men's national team says there really aren't any divisions in the MLS based guys are friends with the european based guys and there's a really good atmosphere inside this U. S. Team now you still got a bring it on the field, but if the chemistry is good inside the team that does carry over I believe, and I think the players believe to how they play together on the field. Yeah, definitely, and I want to switch gears now and go more into the journalism side, like so how and why did you get into sports journalism? Um I decided the second I was in high school and realized I was not going to be a professional athlete, just didn't take very long that I really enjoyed...

...writing. I would love to write for Sports Illustrated, I remember talking to friends about it in high school, I had gotten a gift subscription To sports illustrated when I was like eight years old for Christmas and I read it cover to cover every week. And so I went about trying to do that, you know, right, I was still in high school. So um went to college at Princeton. Uh they didn't have a journalism degree, but they had a school newspaper. So I went to the sports department the first week I got there and uh and ended up writing for the school newspaper ended up taking some really good writing courses um in magazine writing as well with some really prominent active writers, you know, so like one of them was with David Remnick, who is the editor of the new yorker now and the guy who ran people magazine at the time and uh this famous Vietnam war correspondent for the new york times named Gloria Emerson and put everything into those courses, ended up getting some wonderful recommendations from them when I was finally applying for jobs at the end of college, so I got a foot in the door at Sports Illustrated um as a fact checker, which isn't even really a writer um that got in the building right after graduating and decided I was going to either give myself three years to be a full time writer or I would try and become a newspaper writer somewhere else, Got to be a full time writer within a year and ended up staying there for almost 25 years, so that's kind of how it went, incredible. Um Now recently on twitter, I know that there's been a lot of buzz about what an actual uh sports journalist is or the definition of a journalist, I'd love to know what your definition of a journalist is. Oh wow! Um I think what we do see lately is there's been a blurring of the lines between journalism and entertainment and um there's no reason that journalism can't be entertaining but there is also entertainment that I wouldn't call journalism right? And I don't want to get pretentious about anything. I think like journalism is pretty straightforward but if there's a word that I used to describe what I do, I would call it, I'm a journalist. Um And so that involves dealing in fact uh not having really any gray area on that. Um And um you know I do opinion, I do analysis but a lot of it is what I would call. I've earned that point of view with my reporting. And so I always want to be interviewing people, I always want to be um learning new things and if I'm learning new things, my readers will learn new things. So when I started this subject site on in august I made sure to get a travel budget from Substack because a lot of people on Substack are sort of pontificators and that's fine and a lot of them really built a nice business doing that. But for me my bread and butter is doing journalism. So um I think the kind of journalism that people will want to pay for is really high end stuff and so that's why I want to do things that not everyone is doing. And so I'm covering there's other journalists covering all the U. S. World Cup qualifiers. But I am making the promise that every magazine style story you get after every game comes at nine a.m. Eastern and it's going to...

...have content you don't see elsewhere. And that requires a lot of work um you know and so I'm going to go to europe induced magazine style deeply reported stories over there that you're just not going to see elsewhere. Like I learned, you know years ago that my what I do best from a quality perspective is much better tied to subscriptions Than two clicks and advertising. You know and advertising has gone well and advertising has gone away to a large extent it's gone to facebook and google and so um so you've seen advertising and all types of publications whether it's traditional print magazines like Sports Illustrated or online digital advertising has gone down for those publications and if you're just tied to a strategy of clicks and advertising you're incentivizing quantity not quality. And that's not me. I don't want to be on a hamster wheel just churning out content. That's not very good. And I'd much rather do really high quality stuff that you'll be willing to pay for with subscriptions and maybe not turning out as much quantity but doing really good work. Yeah I definitely feel that like quality quality over quantity. That classic saying um I know you have a podcast to football and it just got picked up by dan Lebatard and friends. Um And then you have a miniseries now Landon Donovan talk about the U. S. National team. So how did all that come about? That's been really exciting because I actually worked with Dan Lebatard, I was an intern at the Miami Herald when he was there back in the summer of 1996. So I remember playing, you know, pick up basketball with Dan Lebatard and all these other great writers for the Miami herald. They had an amazing sports department then it was a wonderful three month experience for me. Um and then he co founded Meadowlark with john skipper, the former ESPN president. And um and I've known john for a really long time and he's had a huge impact on the sport of soccer. He likes soccer, one of the few people at his level at ESPN over the years who liked the sport and I give him credit for turning the World Cup into a truly big time event in the United States with ESPN coverage, the way they covered 2010 in South Africa in 2014 in brazil's absolutely first rate and and that was driven by john skipper. So I met John back in 2006 and close to working together a few times over the years and it hadn't happened but we stayed in touch. And so when he started metal arc um I checked in with him to see if he was interested in doing some cool soccer stuff and he was. And so this uh, this podcast that we do with Landon Donovan, the US legend in terms of soccer. You know, we have these instant reaction podcast that we do after every U. S. World Cup qualifier and Landon and Chris Whittingham. The guys I do it with have been terrific. Um really enjoyed those conversations. I think listeners are too. And then I also had a twice weekly podcast that Is with meadowlark. Um, you know, it's kind of a partnership and I've been doing that podcast since May of 2020. We've done over 160 episodes. They're based on interesting interviews with, you know, a wide spectrum of soccer people and then soccer talk generally with me and Chris...

Whittingham who is also on the Lebatard show. Now, I know you joined CBS sports recently uh, as well. Um, and as far as, you know, we've had a lot of networks, uh, just my time growing up as that have covered soccer and I think, uh, currently, I think CBS is doing a phenomenal job. So I would love to hear what that process was like joining and how you'd like to so far. Yeah, I mean CBS is doing a great job with soccer and they went from 0 to 100 in a very short amount of time. They basically hadn't done anything in the sport. And then they got the await the Champions League rights, which that's the premier club competition in the world. So clearly the strategy with CBS is using soccer to help build their paramount plus streaming service because that's where most of their soccer rights are. Um, and so I've been in talks with them for a little while and where we eventually got to was I'm going to do tv appearances for CBS talking soccer, which started recently. I was doing reports from the two US home games during world cup qualifying and then documentary films and I think it's really cool that CBS doesn't have to be doing their own documentary films on soccer for their paramount plus service. But they are. And so their strategy involves quality as well. Like, you know, if you're going to charge a subscription fee, you're gonna need to give readers quality. I think they've been doing that on the game broadcasts. But for them to add to soccer docks, I'm really excited about the projects that we're embarking on and that was kind of my thing. I wanted to piece together doing as much really high quality work as possible and it also owning as much of my own content as possible. So I'm able to do that with my writing on the subject side. I own all my content on the podcast side on the tv side. It's a little hard for an individual to own your own content to any large extent. But that's why I been with CBS and I have the freedom also like with metal art, we're going to be doing some, some docks as well on soccer. So hopefully that announcement will come out soon, but like it's, it's a really exciting time I think for, for high quality soccer storytelling, I've been doing this for Since the mid 90s, but one neat thing is is that the streaming services, the big ones like netflix and amazon, um Apple and whomever, you know, they're global. And so if they love having good soccer stories for the global audience and who knows, you might have a ted lasso the catches on in the US as well. And so there's a lot more interest in soccer storytelling now than there's ever been since I've been doing this, there's a follow up. So I definitely want to take this in, but to start would be, you kind of touched on it with streaming. Um, I remember when I was a kid, if you know, it was extremely hard to watch sports, it was or not to watch sports. I'm sorry to watch soccer specifically watching sports very easily. Soccer was not always was not always so easy now with streaming services I have seen, even at the grassroots level, kids were wearing jersey supporting players that I'm like, I would have never known about this when I was your age, but as a veteran in the business, how is it for you to see this change from, you know, we've, we've gone from television is now streaming. How is that? I mean in the soccer space, you're totally right. It's revolutionized our ability in the United States to watch professional soccer from around the world, from the U. S. From wherever. I...

...mean, we literally went, I'm serious. We went from being one of the worst countries in the world to watch soccer in in the United States as recently as like maybe the early two thousand's one of the best countries in the world in which to watch professional soccer, you can see soccer from everywhere in the United States now. Now the downside of that I would say is that you do have to pay for it most of the time and that's where I'm a cord cutter. So one of the reasons I cut the cord was because I found myself subscribing to a lot of streaming services for soccer and cable actually didn't have as much at a certain point. There's still some, but it's funny, I also just recently bought an indoor HD antenna so that I can like there's, there is a bit more soccer on free to air tv now, including spanish language and I'm finding that approach very interesting because you can watch Champions League for free on Univision over the air and you know, most of the time for cbs, you're having to to go to a pay streaming service and it's just different strategies, but for the consumer, there's a lot of availability now and I love that. I love that ability to see that much soccer. I can't watch all of it. Obviously nobody could, but it's it's nice to have the choice. Yeah, absolutely. I matter of fact to plug your CBS. CBS, I was watching brasileiro game and I was watching uh, I think it's Corinthians and somebody else play and those are teams that like I knew about just because I grew up in florida where, you know, there are a lot of, there's a large Brazilian population, but I would have never watched, uh, you know, a game between Corinthians and Palmeiras before. But now like it's so easy and so accessible. It's great for a fan. Uh, this is what I believe. Yeah, it is. I mean, even like, you know, one thing I love watching is you UEFa packages all their World cup qualifiers all you know, and so you can see all of them. And I like seeing games in like Andorra just to see what it looks like around the stadium and outside and CBS got the conch, a cap qualifier. So like I just love that stuff and it's kind of a soccer geek thing, but just the ability to, to see games from all over the world is amazing. The one thing I wish is that I still think my dream would be to have a platform, you can subscribe to called all the soccer and and not have to sort of switch around platforms. I don't think we're ever going to get there. But I do hear it from fans that are getting some subscription fatigue and just sometimes want to know like where do I get the game? And there's ways to find out, you know, there's places like five soccer tv dot com you can go to and I use the f fat mob on my phone, which has everything tells you where it's going to be showing. But um it's complicated sometimes, right? Because even if you want to watch an english premier league game, it might be on one of like three different NBC platforms and you never totally know for sure which one. So it might be on NBCSN, it might be on U. S. A. It might be on peacock or it might be on NBC over the air. And that gets tough for like I I imagine like Someone who's like 65, 70 years old just trying to figure this stuff out. It's kind of tough. Yeah, so it's got to be difficult. That's fun. Um What advice would you give to a young journalist? Oh wow. Um I mean the media landscape is changing so much all the time and so...

...it's hard to know sometimes, you know what should I focus on, especially if you're starting out, but like I do think there's some skills that are timeless, right? And so being able to write, well is timeless. Um learning a foreign language in my sport, learning spanish is going to help you, no matter what in the United States, the most popular soccer team is the mexican men's national team in that coverage is typically in spanish on Univision and telemundo. But um, if you want to reach a big audience, being able to speak spanish is big, you know, just acquiring interviewing skills if you want to be a journalist, one of the best lessons I ever learned was in my internship at the Miami herald and the sports editor there, who said, ask questions, you don't know the answer to, which is actually pretty a pretty great piece of advice because if you do your prep work and know your stuff, you don't just want to do what you often see in sports journalism a lot of times journalists just ask a question because they're looking to get an athlete or a coach to say what they want them to say. But if you're doing that, you're not really learning anything. So if you ask questions, you don't know the answer to your chances of learning something new increase. And so I've always tried to think of that and you can use that in any setting, it can be a postgame setting. It can be a long sit down feature interview, it can be whatever. But um, the point of interviewing people is to learn anything. Yeah, definitely. I don't know, like I've done a couple of different ways, I did a lot of research on people or if I know like I don't know about you. Like sometimes if I know the person too well or know him personally and I interviewed them. It's kind of like not I can I know it's not a good interview type thing because it's like sometimes I forget to ask them stuff because I know it already. Yeah, that's part of it. I mean that can happen. I mean and also too, I mean like if if you listen to my podcast when I'm doing an interview or if you um listen to a U. S. Soccer press conference that I'm on my questions. You know they're not perfect. I mean I have some stinkers probably but like my questions are probably a lot shorter. Then lot of the questions from other journalists and I think you're much better off, especially like in a press conference situation I sometimes yell at like the White House press conferences to because everyone too many journalists do this. They'll ask multipart questions and then you're gonna get like lane answers for both your questions or um they will go on some long speech and kind of try to show how much they know in their question and I don't try to show how much I know in a question. I mean like if I can ask a short question that I don't know the answer to. I think my chances are higher of getting a useful answer where we'll learn stuff. Yeah for sure. Are you ready for some fun questions? Sure. What's your what's uh what's your favorite game that you ever covered? Oh wow. Um So many possibilities. Um In in soccer it would probably be The 99 women's World Cup final which was just such a cultural event and it was very early in my career and it just remember...

...so much about that day. Kind of crazy considering a 00 game. But that's why I would say in soccer And then I did basketball a long time uh from 96 to 2009 at sports illustrated. Um So yeah best basketball game I ever covered was probably oh shoot. Um There's some really good N. C. A. A. Tournament games over the years which I really enjoyed. I remember uh Illinois. Arizona 2000 and five. They got Illinois or the final four is just an amazing game. Gonzaga had several great tournament games um uh And then including one against Arizona the Gonzaga lost. And then you know it's funny though when you think about it it's like the championship game is often not that great. Like the games that I remember standing out the most are the ones before that what would be your who would be your dream interview Doesn't have to be a sports related interview. Just any dream interview. Um I think it would be fun to interview the current Pope about soccer. Uh he's, I'm actually contemplating trying to do this because like he's a soccer fan. He uh I'm Argentina, he has a favorite team, san Lorenzo Lien or messi is also Argentine just sent him his jersey. Um I think would be awesome. I had this idea for a story and we'll see if I ever pull it off talking to people either like the Pope or even the President of the United States. I think it would be fun to tutor the President of the United States about how to do soccer small talk with other foreign leaders and I think it would help his job or her, you know, I mean like if you can, like Angela Merkel is a big german national team fan and if you want to like break the ice with Angela Merkel's, I guess it's leaving office, but still the point stands, talk to her about soccer. Um and so it would be fun for me to, to put together sort of a tutorial that I could give the president and just write about sort of that interaction I think would be fun. Yeah, that would be awesome. Like I want to see, yeah, I want to see and watch that happen if uh, if you could play as one player in the world, if a man or a woman, like who would you want to be for like a game. Oh wow! I mean Diego maradona at his highest powers I think is the best player of all time and you can have a long argument about whether maradona is better than pele and a lot of that involves like length of career in length of time at the highest level and obviously maradona had a lot of self destructive behavior and so You know, outside of 80, um you know, it wasn't as good, you know, he just couldn't have been as good Um but from 86 to 90, I don't think anyone's ever been better than that, you know, he won 86 World Cup almost single handedly Um 12 Italian leagues with Napoli which had never want to leave there before Um in 87 and 90 In 90 when he won the Italian League, he was basically on a drug bender, every every every like Sunday through Tuesday and somehow was able to like recover in time to like leave his team to the title. It's not a heartwarming story but it's like kind of impressive and You know, it's sad what happened to...

...him that we lost him at age 60 last year. Um but like when he was at his best, I recommend everyone to see that HBO documentary and maradona because it's fantastic, I was just gonna say so Diego played a little bit before my time, so I didn't really get to catch all of it, but watching that documentary and really getting a feel for everything that he did was it was incredible. Um But I want to take that. And one thing you touched on earlier was Ted Lasso. Uh and I know you recently interviewed Nick Mohammed. What was that like getting interviewed Ted I mean not ted I'm sorry getting interview Nate, especially after he's getting so much hate towards because he waited hate towards Ted I mean, Nick's done a tremendous acting job with Made in season two, right? Because like we got to know this character in season one and he was sort of this steel good story, seemed like a nice guy. It seemed like he was getting an opportunity and uh having a positive impact coaching and then in season two he takes this sort of dark turn and you learn more about his story with his family. And one thing I love about Ted Lasso is just they walked this very fine line between comedy and and real stuff. Um and they do it very well. So it was interesting for me to talk to Nick and just hear how he approached that as a guy who didn't have any formal acting training who you know, went to Cambridge and you know, was like doing like really brainy stuff even before we started doing comedy. Um And just sort of hearing his approach and yes, he's gotten some a lot of hate responses on social media and things like that, but like he's right when he says like he takes that as almost a badge of honor because that means he he played the role the way he wanted to play it. Um he's also just like the nicest guy in the world and and so it was really neat to have that interview with him and get a sense of you know who he is and and and what he's doing with acting and like I was surprised he had never been to the United States. So he like that he was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy and um he had just returned for the second time in his life to the U. S. Because he's acting in a movie in new Mexico right now with Jon hamm and Tina fey. So like clearly Ted Lasso has had a huge impact on his career and opening up opportunities that he didn't have before. Well we get a cameo from you and in season three, my Hope and this is a very big fingers crossed. I almost feel like I might jinx it if I even mention it. I've had two friends get what I call book cameos. So if you ever see Coach Beard in the coach's office, he's holding up a book from time to time and that's included so far. My friend Jonathan Wilson and his book inverting the Pyramid and then my friend Simon Cooper's book uh football against the Enemy, they've gotten book cameo. So I am still holding out hope that one of my two books will get a book cameo. But we'll see it. Does this is a historic my way. Um So uh one other question I have for you is I know in the U. S. Our especially our soccer shows do not tend to be as dramatic as for example, say uh what is it cheating ghetto in it? If we were to get when that was about us? Soccer, could we see you on it? I would love that. I would love that. You know, I don't know how many of your listeners know during ghetto but I love it. It's...

...this spanish uh three hour telenovela slash soccer talk show that comes on at midnight every night in spain and it is tremendously popular and it is kind of this bare bones budget show that has like a band of like six or seven people who are regulars but the sound engineer is amazing and they have like all of these arguments about the game from that night or real Madrid or Barcelona and they'll have like thunderclaps that go on and like the camera guy is like shaking like it's like in the face of the people they're talking and it's definitely extreme. But I kind of love it in a guilty pleasure sort of way. So I I wouldn't mind if we got something like that in the United States. But uh and I'd certainly be up for it. I love that stuff. You're, you're you're six regulars. Well, I I really like what Hercules Gomez in Sebastian Salazar doing on ESPN on ESPN plus with their show, like they're trying to increase what I call la politica, the arguments over soccer and they're trying to bring a bit more of a mexican media style show. Um you know, like they're feeling and I don't totally agree with it, but I respect it is that we're too nice in american soccer media that there's not enough criticism, like there is in other countries and um I certainly feel like I've been critical at times over the years. I like I have a personal record, the five times I've written that somebody should be fired, whether it's a coach, a national team coach or the US soccer president or the Mls commissioner every single time that person has lost their job or been fired or resigned. So, um like that's one of those things that if you're going to do it, you better hope that like, it actually happens. My friend Henry Winter, who's very prominent writer for the Times of London was telling me on my podcast once about how he wrote that Sir, Alex Ferguson Ferguson should uh be out at Manchester United and that didn't happen. And through Alex Ferguson never let Henry Winter forget that last one. What? Some people don't know about you. Oh wow. Um I am a really good cook Um And they may know that about maybe if they follow me on instagram but like I taught myself how to cook In 2000 my wife started 12 years of medical training and so she I had no time to do anything like that and so I got really into cooking. Um And for me it's it's a nice stress relief, I enjoy doing it. I like good food and I like to host dinner parties you know we do and have people over and um even though I grew up in Kansas, a very finicky eater um my horizons expanded quite a bit uh you know starting about late 90s 2000. That's awesome. Uh Well I appreciate you coming on and could do the listeners know where they can follow you and find your podcast. Yeah so I'm on twitter at Grant wall. Uh W. A. H. L. My podcast is called football with Grant Wall. F. U. T. B. O. L. It's on apple and Spotify wherever you get your podcasts and all my writing is at Grant wall dot com. So...

...you can sign up for free and get some of my posts or you can sign up as a paid subscriber and get all of my posts. But um it's you know a lot of fun these days to to have places like that for my content and you know be busy still with cbs on the T. V. Front and everything again. I appreciate it. Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. Thank you. Yeah.

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