This week’s guest is Scott Spinelli. And no, despite my desire, this isn’t me interviewing myself. This is the other, actually successful Scott Spinelli, assistant men’s basketball coach at Boston College.
For a long time now, I’ve been googling myself and seeing his results. Finally, we got to chat.
This week’s guest is Tyler Dunne. He’s best known for his work with the Fayetteville Observer and for having a new patio. Additionally, when he has time, he writes really wonderful feature stories about the NFL.
We talked about his career path, his stories and how the pieces you’ve read and enjoyed come to life.
This week’s guest is Andrew Fillipponi, sports talk show host in Pittsburgh on 93.7 The Fan and nationally on CBS Sports Radio. For four years in college, we were really good friends. Then, for reasons half-remembered and ultimately ridiculous, we stopped talking. This is the first time we’ve spoken since.
I’m annoyed I lost touch with him, but glad I did this.
This week’s guest is Mike Meltser, famous for being jolly and verbose. Actually, that’s a joke. He’s neither of those things. But since we last spoke on this podcast, he’s also no longer hosting a radio show in Houston—he’s now a lawyer (among other things). Wild, right?
Here’s some of what we discussed, this time: (1:40) the full story of exactly what happened when he got fired from his radio show, (11:40) who he called first and who he actually spoke to first, (18:44) the risk, reward and pushback of tweeting opinions when you have a lot of followers, (30:48) the reason he pursued a law degree while hosting a daily, multiple-hour radio show, (35:11) why he felt going to law school actually helped his personal and radio life, (39:45) why have people been trying to scare us our whole lives about the next level of schooling, (43:40) his long-term goals as a lawyer and (47:09) the differences between hosting daily radio as opposed to weekly podcasts.
This week’s guest is Matthew Norman, known the world over for being a fan of U2 and Ed Burns. He’s also, perhaps more importantly, a novelist with three books out and a fourth on the way. His newest, LAST COUPLE STANDING, is available now.
Here’s some of what we discussed: (2:15) what it felt like to have a book come out during a global pandemic, (8:18) how many original stories are there?, (9:35) why he wound up scrapping the original ending for LAST COUPLE STANDING, (12:20) the fun of getting into the headspace of new writing perspectives, (23:01) how reading aloud helps him craft great dialogue, (26:37) how the reality of having more female readers has improved his storytelling, (29:26) what it means to have your book optioned and the movie star that first expressed interest, (40:20) does it bother him when people tell him how fast they finish his books?, (44:58) some details on his 4th novel and (48:27) it turns out… Matthew and I both are BIG FANS OF ED BURNS.
Here’s some of what we discussed: (3:34) where do those great pie names come from?, (10:12) when he realized he had to change his life, (15:06) the Connecticut white clam pie you really should be stopping for, (20:35) will he be expanding his menu outside of pizza?, (23:10) the secret to who gets to test his new pies before they make the menu, (29:35) what does Paulie Gee cook at home? (including an AWESOME bacon and butter tomato sauce recipe), (36:10) the prohibitive P’s, what can and can’t go on a pie, (39:13) what sandwiches you should actually be eating when you go to Philly, (48:58) the importance of connecting with his customers, (58:01) and his Holy Shit moments, including those times when Owen Wilson and Paul Giamatti came in.
This week’s guest is Andrew Gundling, known to one and all as a devout Eagles fan, soccer enthusiast and wearer of shirts with pockets on the front. He also is the producer of The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio in New York.
Here’s some of what we talked about… (4:10) what is a typical day like for the producer of The Michael Kay Show, (14:15) how real was the WFAN vs ESPN Radio ratings battle within the building, (26:33) the rush of dealing with live breaking news and why they’ve gotten away from booking guests just for the sake of having a guest, (38:38) the stories behind getting James Dolan on the air recently, (43:33) Andrew’s transition from being behind a mic to in front of it, (52:20) and how Muhammed Ali’s death reinforced the importance of being a well-rounded sports fan.
This week’s guest is Adam Lefkoe, known primarily for being one of the most positive human beings on Earth and an avid Eagles fan. He also hosts The Lefkoe Show podcast as well as NBA on TNT Tuesdays, with Shaq, Dwyane Wade and Candace Parker. So, he’s a multi-tasker. Either way, Adam’s another SU grad and friend and really fun guy to talk shop with.
Here’s some of what we discussed… (13:52) why Cam Jordan was one of his most surprising interviews, (15:21) how his simple desire to become friends with Ja Rule wound up as a podcast (and why he shouldn’t feel bad for loving his music), (25:00) the full story behind his viral reference-filled TV sportscasts, including how they started from a desire to interact with his friends and was nearly stopped before it started, (34:18) what he thinks about the title of “expert” in sports media, (42:00) the VERY humble beginnings of the Simms and Lefkoe podcast, (44:36) is there a workable way around paywalls?, (47:54) his rules for every episode of Ditch the Playbook, (54:42) his “this is my life?” moment with Samuel L. Jackson, (56:09) and what is THIS person’s number doing in his phone?
This week’s guest is Alastair Ingram, associate director of communications for Boston College Athletics. Alastair, in addition to being a champion Banjo-Kazooie player and very good friend of mine from Syracuse, is also a play-by-play broadcaster with extensive credits in both radio and television across hockey and football.
We talked about (2:43) how he’s been able to continue broadcasting while working outside the booth, (10:20) the feeling of being hired for play-by-play of a sport he’d never called before, (22:11) how physically demanding calling hockey on the radio can be—seriously, (27:45) how you balance being the voice of a team and not sounding like a complete homer, (35:39) and which former NHL defenseman and broadcast partner of his had an unusual affinity for the pep band and 50/50 raffles. Also, as a fun fact, his refrigerator door was open throughout the interview.
Either way, Nick, like so many previous and future guests, is a pal from Syracuse and we hit on a number of things: (1:34) that time he was on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, (6:53) his origin story, including getting cut from the staff of the college radio station that’s inducting him into its hall of fame this summer, (18:25) how he might be the least successful person in his immediate family–as well as some AMAZING reassurance his mom gave him on his TV future, (37:27) how he deals with being “hated” online, (45:09) how he crafts arguments for his TV show, (48:37) the fear of being too repetitive topic-wise and (1:11:17) a pretty cool LeBron James story. We also talk about Nick’s (ultimately removed) character from my novel as well as which NBA player is the perfect level of famous (1:00:30).