In the midst of these dour locked-out times, I found a silver lining. Or, well, at least the podcast did. The producer of this podcast — NFL.com’s own Chris Law — hit me earlier this week with news: based on the average number of downloads a new edition of this podcast generates each week, this very edition of the show will push the entire library of shows past the one MILLION download plateau.
One freaking million.
That’s seven figures, people. I can’t thank each and every one of you enough.
So, to celebrate, we did, well, another podcast. And did our best to make it feel special.
Three-time Super Bowl winner Daryl “Moose” Johnston and NFL Network analyst Jamie Dukes kick off the show together with a wide-ranging conversation: a little bit of the draft, a little bit of the lockout and a whole lot of Dez Bryant and Jamie’s favorite conspiracy theory: that Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett sabotaged the offense in order to get predecessor Wade Phillips out of the picture.
Needless to say, Moose was having none of that. A spirited debate ensued.
After that, the only Super Bowl-winning head coach in the NFL Network stable joined the podcast: former Ravens head coach Billick, who says he’s a regular listener to the show and, thus, responsible for a nice part of the 1,000,000 downloads. Before delving into his thoughts on the NFL draft, I had to ask Brian his thoughts on the new draft rule I proposed on the previous show — that no team should be allowed to contact their draftee prior to the Commissioner’s announcement to avoid tipping the pick to viewers who mostly wish to be kept in suspense. I’ve been told that coaches and GMs would have a MAJOR problems with such a rule. So who better to ask than Billick?
We also chew on the subject of how NFL coaches and their staffs are handling the lack of a normal offseason, both inside the facility and within their own households. One of the most knowledgeable and erudite coaches I’ve come across, I could talk with Billick for hours. But, even though this podcast has a few limitations on time, so I did have to get to the final guests.
In the brief 42-episode history of this podcast, I’ve asked several of my NFL Network colleagues to appear on the show to give you a look at how we make the sausage here at the first-ever 24-7-365 television network dedicated to discussing the (now locked out) National Football League. They’ve all been great, but with all due respect, two have generated more fan interest from the listenership than the rest. I’m speaking about NFL Network host/reporter Kara Henderson and former NFL Network senior producer and now top-programming-and-production dog at FOX Soccer, Jason Wormser, a.k.a. “The Worm.”
Clearly, I could not celebrate the 1 millionth download of the show without them. As always, the conversation went in myriad directions. Too many to detail here, but I can reveal one thing: Nigel Spackle does indeed make his belated return to the show. Also buried deep within that conversation is a bit of news about this podcast and it’s possible and exciting expansion within the walls of NFL Network.
Thanks again to one and all for downloading and (hopefully) enjoying this show as much as you do. Here’s to the next million.