When it comes to NFL podcasts, there are plenty from which to choose. (We’ve got two of them, as you may kn0w.) However, one specific podcast quickly has become a must-listen for NFL fans.
The Pivot, in just six months, has proven to be an authentic and unique platform for insights from three former NFL players: Defensive back Ryan Clark, running back Fred Taylor, and linebacker Channing Crowder.
Mike Jones of USA Today takes a close look at the rapid rise of the three-man podcast weave, which has made news by drawing some very interesting quotes from their guests. And it’s definitely not a safe space. Cam Newton got grilled by Crowder last month regarding Newton’s belief that he’s still an NFL starter. That just doesn’t happen in this business. But Crowder, who played a rough-and-tumble position in a rough-and-tumble sport, can pull it off.
They also got Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who rarely gives interviews and when he does rarely says anything all that earth-shattering, to open up on a variety of topics.
Their appeal comes from being who they are, all the time. Too many people in this business work way too hard to be something other than their real selves. Authenticity is immediately noticed, and instantly appreciated. Clark, Taylor, and Crowder have it.
The authenticity extended to their interview with Jones, pulling no punches about their own personal concerns when it comes to past professional relationships.
Taylor and Crowder used to work with Brandon Marshall’s popular I Am Athlete podcast. Neither was bashful about explaining why they left.
“The business side wasn’t buttoned up,” Taylor told Jones. “There was talk of revenue sharing but not equity, and you have to know there’s a difference there.”
“When you know someone doesn’t respect you as far as ability and common goal, then you know you don’t want to go deeper with them,” Crowder said. “But if we see Marshall in South Beach, it’s ‘What up, bruh, all success to you.’ But it’ll never be like it was.”
Clark separately vented about ESPN’s past unwillingness to entrust him with hosting duties.
“They don’t let me host,” Clark told Jones. “I told people a long time ago that when [Mike Greenberg] isn’t there, they should let me host Get Up. ‘Y’all don’t think I can read a damn teleprompter? I can read a prompter. You think I can’t facilitate a conversation?’ But I don’t get to do it. Why? Because I played football. I’ve got a journalism degree, too. I graduated from [LSU’s] Manship School of Mass Communications. But they don’t perceive me like that. But here, they get to watch me do this and realize I can do all of those things.”
That’s how it goes, at plenty of networks. So-and-so was a player, so he can’t do this. So-and-so wasn’t a player, so he can’t do that. Even if so-and-so most definitely can do this, that, and the other.
The Pivot is becoming a great place to hear this, that, and the other about the NFL and different sports. And it’s fairly certain you’ll be seeing more stories in this space based on things they get their guests to their say — especially when it’s clearly something the guest didn’t enter the room planning to say.