Venerable columnist and decorated golf author John Feinstein takes a long walk through the history of the PGA Tour and how it wound up in business with the murderous government Saudi Arabia. And what does this mean for the future of golf on the planet?
golf, sports, years, happen, money, players, ravens, team, baseball, john, book, monahan, nestor, write, pga tour, saudis, people, david, good, orioles
Nestor Aparicio, John Feinstein
Nestor Aparicio 00:00
own S T, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive. We are positively into the summertime and I, you know, I can’t get enough Oreos right now. Right? I mean, the Ravens taking their little respite and Luke will be in Owings Mills as well as in Wildwood later on in the month as we get into summer. But you know, these news drops and the aftermath of COVID for sports has just changed the landscape in so many ways. We’re gonna be talking about a battle in the Maryland crabcake tour, you go check out our dates and our partnership with the Maryland lottery conjunction with our friends at window nation. But this golf situation and the live in the PGA and I think a one person around here, when we think of golf, he’s written so many books as a brand new book out on golf and the remarkably funny and tragic journey of golf. David Ferranti once wrote a book on the Ravens that I tried very desperately to emulate Purple Rain to welcome John Feinstein back onto the program. You know, John, I thought of you when this whole thing happened immediately. And I guess, you know, I’m reading what Christine Brennan has to say, and I’m out. And then the Trump indictments happen on the other end. I mean, maybe the PGA had this thing figured out or whatever. But it’s been kind of a wild ride for golf really, ever since the Saudis decided to sink money into it. And how are you and congratulations on the book? And I’m sorry, I’m hijacking you, but the whole PGA thing’s been hijacked this week. Well, yeah,
John Feinstein 01:24
it has. In fact, I was supposed to appear on Golf Channel to promote the Verity book on Wednesday. And along comes Jay Monahan announcing that he’s folded his tent to the to the Saudis. And guess what I wasn’t on Golf Channel on Wednesday because they were all PGA Tour li v all day. But, you know, the last two chapters of the Faraday book are about his decision to move to li v. And David, unlike a lot of people who made the move to li v was very honest about it. When he was asked why he did it. He said I did it for the blanking money. He was offered like a lot of the guys stupid money to move from NBC to Li ve and wanted to do it wanted to be in the 18th Tower, which he never would be at a network because he wasn’t a major, major winner. He finished fourth once at the British Open but never won a major. So I was kind of familiar with what was going on, even before the news broke on Tuesday. Now, having said that, I had no idea it was going to happen this soon. David and I agreed when we were talking for the book, that eventually there would probably be some kind of merger between li ve and the PGA Tour. I mean for all the Jay Monahan self righteous declarations about oh my god, I feel for the 911 families and and at least with you play for the PGA Tour, you never have to apologize for anything we’ve done well, that’s no longer true. But we thought the merger would come much later than this, that it would be 234 years down the road. And we knew the Saudis wouldn’t run out of money because they won’t. And that at some point, you had to get the best players in the world back together, playing against one another. That’s why the NFL merged with the AFL. That’s why the NBA merged with the ABA and that’s why the NHL merged with the WHA. But and now that that’ll happen. That’s the good news in this is that the players, the best players in the world will be playing against one another again, which did not happen in the last year with li v except at the major championships. So I was stunned by the news. And I was also stunned by the fact that Jay Monahan basically folded his tent. I mean, the Commissioner of golf now is Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who we know is a murderer. He’s, he’s the commissioner of golf now. So, did the PGA Tour and Jay Monahan sell it sold? Absolutely, absolutely. But it sold its soul for a heck of a lot of money. And that’s the way Jay Monahan is going to pitch this whole thing.
Nestor Aparicio 04:10
John I I flew to China back in oh seven with Cal Ripken doing a baseball thing before Beijing. And when I landed in that part of the world, it was striking to me how big golf was right like Tiger Woods is everywhere at that point next to Yao Ming, but there’s no mention of anything Western really other than the NBA and I saw golf and and then you land in Japan and see golf and then you land in Australia and obviously Greg Norman, and you Seagull and then you like with South Africa and obviously with the winners and that that your attraction to golf and I spoke at length this week I was out on a golf course Monday. I know you find that hard to believe. We did the Mount Washington pediatric hospital, the annual event letter raskins Are your friend and a sponsor. We rode around and made a lot Money for kids and it was a we talked about golf and how I didn’t grow up with it right. I grew up in Dundalk. Aparicio played baseball didn’t play soccer. Talk to Pete Kurinji over umpc the things you grew up with golf. To me, it feels like I don’t know your back, I think of you when I think of college basketball and golf, we can get the Orioles, Lamar, a lot of things. You’ve written books on baseball with my buddy Messina and all that. But I think of you with college basketball, and golf, your golf beginning and all of this and all the writing you’ve done, though, it’s always been a mess, right? And golf is always maybe like boxing or something vulnerable to big money, and vulnerable to or even horse racing, sort of vulnerable to being bought off because it never, it was the PGA and nothing else they didn’t let Black people in, they didn’t let women in. Everybody sort of looked the other way. And everyone else had to always fight and claw and go like golf was never sort of on the up and up as I saw it, coming into it that it wasn’t always welcoming to everyone. But it’s all over the world and all this money. Why did golf get targeted in all of this stuff by the Saudis?
John Feinstein 06:07
Oh, because because of what you just said, because it is a worldwide sport. Because they knew there were a lot of players they could target to get to play on their tour, they knew that most golfers like most athletes will take the money. And and you know, I don’t think that makes you a bad person. Harold Varner, the third, one of the few black players on the PGA Tour, said, this is generational money. I can take care of my kids and my grandkids with this money. Now, Phil Mickelson admitted the Saudis were his words, murderous Ms. But said, Oh, I’m gonna help grow the game. And this will change the game. Well, it has changed the game. You have to say that, but Excuse me. But do you
Nestor Aparicio 06:55
think that they really believe they would just own it within a couple of three, four years that they have the money to buy whatever they want, and including presidency if they, if they so chose?
John Feinstein 07:06
Well, they you know, the threat now to me is will they start trying to buy American sports teams? Will they, you know, they already own soccer teams in the Premier League. What if somebody came and offered Steve Bushati? You know, $10 billion for the Ravens? Who knows what would happen? I’d like to think Steve would say no, but who knows? I mean, if they offered it, you’d like
Nestor Aparicio 07:31
to think Roger Goodell would say no to money. Well, yeah, exactly.
John Feinstein 07:35
That’s the point. You’d have to trust the NFL owner to say we don’t want this to be part of who we are. And we’ve already got so much money. We all thought
Nestor Aparicio 07:43
J money had had integrity a couple of days ago.
John Feinstein 07:47
Right? That’s exactly right. And so that’s why it’s a little bit scary. But the Saudis they already hosted golf tournaments. In Saudi Arabia, they paid a lot of guys big money guarantees to come over and play by the way Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy turned down seven figure guarantees because they didn’t feel right about playing their, to their, to their credit and of course, turned down hundreds of millions of dollars to join the Saudi tour. But golf golf growth is remarkable. I mean, your point about races is important in 19. Before 1963, the PGA of America had a Caucasians only clause in its bylaws. And only removed it after the Attorney General of California threatened to shut down the LA open which was a big event in those days. If they didn’t remove it, so it was removed by force basically. And you know, Agustin the Masters didn’t have a black participant till 1975 They didn’t have a black member till 1990 They didn’t have a female member till 2012 Golf has 1212 2012 Golf has been a white man’s playground for many years, but it has gradually changed because of so many players coming from from across the sea so to speak.
Nestor Aparicio 09:13
The targeting and the sports washing I’ll use that for the first because that’s that’s the buzzword right? Of not just this but Russia Olympics World Cups kits har I mean it’s just sitting there like this isn’t the first thing to be corrupted. It’s just the thing that’s come to the front door here to say there golf courses everywhere and we all love golf and it’s down the street and it’s the if we feels like America owns a piece of it because of the Masters even though we let the British play a little bit and except their tour and but this feels to me like what’s next? I that’s I’m trying to figure out if you’ve already gone to the NFL but this happened pretty quickly did it It was a war they want it pretty quickly and pretty fairly just threw money at it and and choked it
John Feinstein 10:06
literally. Well, money Money is the most important word in our language. Because it you know money they say money can’t buy happiness, but it sure as heck doesn’t hurt you by golfers. You can buy golf or you can buy a lot of athletes. I was actually surprised when Leonel Messi announced the other day is coming to Miami rather than going to Saudi Arabia because he get paid more in Saudi Arabia. But he’s got a place in Florida. His family likes living there so good for him. But it’s it man money answers almost everything and you know, so why did these players jump to the Live tour last year, money and why why is Jay Monahan folding to the Live tour now, money and part of that money issue though, Nestor it isn’t just how much the golfers or make or Jay Monahan will make. It’s it’s litigation, because the tour and live had filed suits against one another. The tour is a tax exempt organization, even though it makes millions of dollars. And they didn’t want to open their books which they would have had to at the start of the during discovery at the start of the trial, any any trial or litigation, and they were facing possible antitrust violations.
Nestor Aparicio 11:28
So the Saudis took advantage of American law basically, yeah,
John Feinstein 11:32
they did. I mean, nobody says these guys are dumb. And, yeah, because if the PGA Tour went into court and said, well, they can’t have a tour only we can have a tour. Well, that’s antitrust, that’s violation of antitrust right there. And that that scares people in sports to be charged with antitrust. That’s one of the few things that got the Major League Baseball owners attention back during the 1995 strike, although it took Sony SATA Meyer saying you can’t collectively bargain without bargaining to get baseball players back on the field. Well, I’d say
Nestor Aparicio 12:07
one of the reasons the the Nationals exist and the Orioles are in the shape they’re in was the threat of anti trust and senators and in Washington, DC, John, you know, I, I don’t I know you’re woke in all of this and the Trump stuff happens in Trump’s so golf, dup and so sallied up. And I just the timing of all of this this week has been just kind of extraordinary in regard to American sports, and the value of what sports represents on a global stage in in regard to politics. You know, I remember seeing a piece with Bob Marley, you know, years ago about how the government tried to usurp him for their own benefit, based on his fame and, and, and soccer, you know, along the ways of, you know, Columbia and different things where sports has been involved, but boy, sports and politics and money, it’s just, it’s really come to the forefront yet again, right? Well, I
John Feinstein 13:09
always laugh when I write a column or write anything that is where I bring politics into, you know, my book, raise a fist take a knee, about race and sports. Obviously, there was a lot of politics in that book, the guys kneeling the fans reaction. And I always, you know, people say stay in your lane stick to sports, sports and politics have had mixed together since the first Olympics in ancient Greek, ancient Greece, Nester and of course, we don’t remember but we all certainly know about what happened in Berlin in 1936. We know what happened in Munich in 1972. And politics have been one of the keys for baseball was Congress granting them the antitrust exemption years and years and years ago. So politics have always been a part of sports. That’s nothing. Donald Trump once owned a USFL team. He tried to sue the NFL actually won the lawsuit, the antitrust lawsuit but was awarded the USFL was ordered ordered a total of $3 by the jury. And like you said they his his his obsession is golf and wanting to own golf courses, which he does, and he desperately wants to host a major championship a men’s major championship he has hosted a women’s major championship and would have hosted the 2022 PGA in Bedminster, New Jersey. If not for the January 6 riots. It was taken away from him as a result. And now here he is, again, because he has been I wrote in my column in the Washington Post about all this yesterday. And my hands are still shaking from writing the words but one of the winners in all this is Donald Trump, because he supported live from the beginning because he felt the PGA Tour had deserted him moving their tournament out of Doral, which he now owns. And he was rah rah for live right from the beginning. His courses are hosting three tournaments this year. I was in New Jersey last year, when David Farid he did his first live tournament, and Trump was all over the place. He was the first guy to tee off in the program, he was walking around the golf course, you know, shaking hands and with with everybody, and you know, the Secret Service was all over the place. And you had to fill out forms to get on the grounds with a press credential. I didn’t bother doing that for the record. But, and now, you know, that part of this agreement is that there are going to be tournaments at Trump courses, in under the new umbrella, whatever form it takes. And you have to say this is a this is a victory, a sports slash political victory for Trump.
Nestor Aparicio 15:58
Certainly one of your colleagues was murdered by this group, you know? Yeah. So the book is fairly the remarkably funny and tragic journey of golf. David fair to get his father’s day so undermined, everybody makes the Pharisee thing with you. Seems like strange bedfellows politically to some degree. And for him to be one of the guys on the other side and you writing this book at this time. I’ve known you to sort of go and interview the other side and talk to the other side and try to present you’ve been doing that since Bobby Knight presenting the other side. But I would say for this particular time, where are you with Ferranti and all this? Who seems like a jovial fellow? And you know, I like Mickelson and like all of that until they start taking blood money of the people that have killed fellow journalist and your co worker.
John Feinstein 16:49
Yeah. Well, David and I have known each other for 30 years. I first met him. When he came to the United States. He had been playing in Europe very successfully. He was on the 91 Ryder Cup team in the famous war by the shore and beat Payne Stewart, who was the US Open champion in the singles. I mean, when David talks about his golf, you think he was a 10 handicapper, he was a very good player in Europe one five times over there.
Nestor Aparicio 17:16
But Bob Euchre, to use the expression right? No,
John Feinstein 17:19
far from Bob Euchre. Right. But he, he had to come to the United States. Part of the story is that his wife left him just left them a note saying moved to Dallas, and they had two young boys. So David wanted to be with his boys. So he moved to Dallas and had to go to PGA Tour qualifying school because what he had done in Europe meant nothing over here. And I met him at Q school because that was the year I was writing a good walk spoiled, and meant him further at the orientation session for PGA Tour rookies, because even though again, he was 35 years old and an accomplished player, he had to go through that orientation,
Nestor Aparicio 17:56
but he was there’s no chance he wasn’t going to make it right.
John Feinstein 17:59
Well, you would think not, but golf is golf. I mean, he made easily as it turned out, but but I found him instantly funny and honest, I was sitting I was in a session where this woman was telling the players how to talk to the media. And it was basically the Bull Durham speech to Kevin Costner Bull Durham speech, you know, always say you want to step up and give 110% give thanks to God. Talk about how much you love your colleagues as opposed to teammates. And David was actually passed out in the back with a hangover through most of our speech, and finally he woke up listen to what she was saying put up his hand and said, I have a question. Is there any reason why we can’t just tell the truth? And I at that moment, I said, this guy I want to get to know better. And we became friends over the years, as I said, he was a very good player.
Nestor Aparicio 18:50
And this is the foreword to the book in some way.
John Feinstein 18:53
Yeah, yeah. It is. Very much a good call. But he, he was very close to Tom Watson, because Tom who’s an alcoholic, helped him deal with his alcoholism. He’s been on and off the wagon many, many times throughout his life, but Tom really helped him. And so David began coming to the golf tournament, you know, Tom and I put on first to caves valley to raise money for ALS research, and he was our dinner speaker because he couldn’t play anymore because his back was mess. And he cracked people up. I mean, just literally, David and Jim Valvano are the only two people I ever met, who could have people literally fall off their chairs laughing. And we became close working on that event together. And as I got to know him more, I realized his story was fascinating. Growing up in Northern Ireland during the troubles turning pro when he was a fit five handicap at 17 which is good for you or me, but not for someone trying to play the game for a living, becoming an accomplished player. Then we go linked to the horrible divorce. He went through happy remarriage, and then being hired by CBS because Gary McCord discovered him telling stories in the locker room one day and said, This is the funniest guy I’ve ever heard. And became a star, of course at CBS had his own show 30 on Golf Channel, which is easily the best show Golf Channel ever had. And then moving to NBC. So we had been in touch, we would always have dinner when we were both at a tournament. And I just I love the guy, our politics are different, but he’s not crazy, right wing. He’s more he’s moderate. He’s far more moderate than I am
Nestor Aparicio 20:36
writing about him at this point, when he was one of the defectors, I guess there are no defectors anymore, right? Well,
John Feinstein 20:42
I when I started the book long before this happened, I started my research in the summer of 2021. And I was just about done writing the book, when the live thing happened. And I sent him a text and I said, Are you kidding me, I have to rewrite the last two chapters in this book. So you can make a measly couple million extra dollars. And he wrote me back and said, it’s not a measly couple million extra dollars. It was a lot more than that. But I did rewrite the last two chapters, to include his decision to go to live and what live was about. And that’s why I said at the beginning here that I knew a lot more about live and what went on behind the scenes. before all this happened than most people, but I still didn’t see it coming.
Nestor Aparicio 21:26
I have friends that work at Fox Sports, I have friends that I see that I worked with who, you know, put a bow tie on and go on into dugouts and put the Fox Sports look. And I think about the poison. That’s been crazy. I don’t know where taking money and doing a job in America even is anymore. But the NHL and I want to sort of transition into that a little bit. Where are you with, with that part of what this has done to college sports, because I saw Gary Williams speak, oh, maybe about 810 weeks ago, he came up to Baltimore and did a networking thing. And he said that there’ll be guard rails put in and I’m like, I think there’s lawyers out here ready to make sure there are never guardrails put in, and the money that’s now pouring into college sports. John, I’ll be honest, it just made me like college sports a whole lot less. And I was always sort of teetering. You know, I wasn’t the guy hanging at Maryland or at even at UMBC as much as I have in the early part of my life. And now you need a scorecard. You can’t keep up with it. The coaches can’t even keep up with it. The recruiters can’t even keep up with it. And I just see this industry bubbling up of all of these legitimate people, former people that worked at universities that are now on the dark side of figuring out how to basically get money to young people and funnel them into a college. I mean, it’s the plague has changed the world, man like this last five years, we have to recalibrate all of
John Feinstein 22:54
this. Well, it’s chaos. And you have to include the transfer portal as part of that chaos. Because, you know, I was down at VCU a couple days ago, and I had lunch with Ryan Odom. They have nine new players off a team that was in the NCAA tournament last year. They have one starter back. And they only had two seniors on that team. And while only one of them started,
Nestor Aparicio 23:20
his job is so much different than his father’s right. It’s a different,
John Feinstein 23:24
completely different world. And he’s got to deal with Nia ELLs. He’s got to deal with the transfer portal. Everybody does. You know, the transfer portal is even a factor for different division three schools, where kids say, Well, I think I can play division one. They all think they can become the kid in Miami now whose name I always block on, but who went from Williams to Michigan to the NBA. They all think that can happen for them. It isn’t. But the problem is Gary says there’ll be guardrails. Well, that would be nice. But like you said, the minute somebody goes in and tries to limit and is the NCAA or a conference or whomever it might be, there is going to be somebody in court saying wait a minute, Supreme Court already ruled on this. The player’s own their name images and likenesses Not you. You can’t tell him he can make only this much or she can only make this much because women’s basketball is becoming more and more a moneymaker. But so in the NCAA blue, this whole thing screwed the pooch as the astronauts used to say, when instead of knowing that legally, there was no way to fight, the notion that a person can’t own his name, image and likeness. They fought it to the Supreme Court they spent God knows how much money on legal fees knowing that they had to know that we’re going to lose they lost nine nothing.
Nestor Aparicio 24:53
Well, John is part of almost like sort of the PGA saying, Well, we know we’re gonna lose eventually, Mossville throw the towel in this week. Take them out. and they saved
John Feinstein 25:00
themselves a lot of money in legal fees if nothing else, and but it wasn’t even so much the the money they wasted on the legal fees. It was that they were totally unprepared. When the when the when the Supreme Court ruled against them, which was again, it was a conservative point they still ruled against them 990. Instead, what they should have done was they should have gone in and started negotiating with the players five years ago. Okay, you own your name, images and likenesses. Let’s put some guardrails in and get Gary’s right. There should be guardrails. But I don’t see how you stop it. I don’t see how you stop it. Because in a utopian world, this is the right thing. But we live a long way from utopia.
Nestor Aparicio 25:41
Well, we’re gonna figure that out. John, I, Dan Schneider, and I don’t bother you much with this over the years. Obviously, I’ve had my own issues that you can read at length of what Chad Steele and the Baltimore Ravens have tried to do to me and my company. I’ve witnessed what Schneider has done to you as a Washington Post reporter and to didn’t matter what media company it was, whether it’s a city paper down there and all the ridiculousness of of all of it. The Snyder thing and the football thing in DC, you follow this your whole life professionally, and you’ve gotten away from it because it became something that was not of interest to the public. How do they put that back together again? And is it really over?
John Feinstein 26:26
Well, I think it’s it’s, it’s it’s close to over. I mean, it’s not you know, as Yogi Berra used to say, It ain’t over till it’s over. But it looks like the NFL is moving as quickly as it can to allow the sale to Josh Harris to go through. When I first came to Washington was a long time ago, Nestor as you know, the football team was an obsession. At that point in time, there was no hockey team. There was no baseball team. There was no basketball team. There was the football team, and they were pretty good. They were good under George Allen. And then of course, they were great under Joe Gibbs. But I remember when I was in college, because my parents moved here when I was in college, going on a Sunday afternoon to the giant and it was empty. It was the best time to shop because everybody was watching the football team. And you know, I still remember when I covered Maryland, Jerry Claiborne’s saying to me, all I ever read in your newspaper is Redskins Redskins Redskins. Because I my job on Sundays was to write a sidebar on the on the NFL game, and to call Jerry Claiborne’s to write a follow on the Maryland football game, and he would hear the crowd in the background when I called him and he’d say, you’re at the Redskins game, aren’t you? Yes, sir. I am. But it changed. And it stayed that way really through the 90s. And then Dan Schneider bought the team and he began taking tearing it apart piece by piece he made stupid signings of over the hill players. He tried to tell the coaches how to coach the team. You know the famous story about Mike Nolan who became the defensive coordinator for the ravens, when he said your defense is too vanilla. And they lost the game because Dan Snyder knew so much about football, right? They lost the game in Dallas. And Nolan went straight to the office after they got home and there were several pints of melting Haagen DAAS flavored ice cream on his desk. And with a note saying, This is what I want. I want I don’t want I don’t like vanilla. That’s who Dan Snyder was, is he you know, you mentioned the city paper, the ridiculous lawsuit, what he tried to do to our paper. And, you know, banning TV people from the practice from the facility who, you know, didn’t suck up to the team. Or at one point, the only local TV that was allowed into the practice facility was WRC because they were paying a rights fee. And everybody else had to work from outside. Anyway, we all know it’s been a disaster. We all know Dan Snyder is a smarmy little man, and a bad guy. And that I I’m not a fan of the team. I grew up in New York. But I feel for my friends from this town the same way if I felt for colts fans in 1984
Nestor Aparicio 29:20
Well, I mean, everything you said Angeles is pretty much done here. I mean, and they’re trying to unbury from it right now with a really good team. Right?
John Feinstein 29:27
We have a really good team. Mike Elias has done a terrific job. Brandon Hyde has done a terrific job and that’s that’s nice to see. I always love going to both ballparks I love going to Memorial Stadium and I love going to Camden Yards. But it’s been a nightmare for fans of this football team. And I feel for them even though I’m not a fan of the football team and I think it’ll take a while. But if Josh Harris is it, normal reasonable owner and hires the right people, it’ll get turned around
Nestor Aparicio 29:56
anything on Lamar and money I mean, you spend a lot of time with the right And so the number of years ago, it’s just a fascinating offseason fascinating that neither one in any other chair to go to, like it was just a it’s a felt like a shotgun marriage to some degree and them saying well, and what is the shot he carries make it $200 million a year literally just breathing and having the team right if they don’t win at least he took his best shot and they didn’t have to rebuild it.
John Feinstein 30:22
Well, here’s the thing last fall, when all the NFL insider started writing to Lamar was going to leave the Ravens that he was going to get traded because they didn’t want us. You know, they didn’t want to tag him and they didn’t want to lose him a year later, whatever I said and I wrote Lamar Jackson is not going anywhere. The ravens are too smart to let a potential Hall of Fame, quarterback leave town, leave their team. Sure he’s been injured the last two years. But he is a unique talent. And Eric de Costa and Ozzie Newsome are still in charge of the football program. And they weren’t going to let Lamar lead if they had to tag him for a year they to tag them for a year. But as you know, they tagged them in a way that allowed him to go out and check the market. And when He checked the market, he found that nobody was willing to like double the money he was making. So he resigned with a team he knows where the coachee knows. And you know I think it was in all’s well that ends well situation, although it’s not the end, it’s the beginning, because he’s going to be there for at least five more years. And I think the Ravens did the right thing. And I think Lamar Jackson did the right
Nestor Aparicio 31:33
thing. If they’re gonna win a Super Bowl.
John Feinstein 31:37
I think it’s entirely possible. I mean, they’ve been good enough when he’s healthy. To win the Super Bowl. They were 14 and two in his MVP season. I still haven’t figured out how they lost that game to the Titans. But they did. And you know the problem the thing in football is because the playoffs are one and done. It’s not like the NBA the NHL or baseball the the playoffs are one and done. So you lose one year when you should you lose another year when you probably should because of injuries. And people are saying well it’s playoff record is terrible. What is the quarterback three playoff games? The fact that it’s more or less taken for granted in Baltimore that the Ravens will be in the playoffs? Do you know how much people in Washington would love to have that kind of problem? Or in most cities frankly. So you really win a Super Bowl. It’s hard to win a Super Bowl, you can be really good and not win a Super Bowl. Joe Barro has not won a Super Bowl, but he’s pretty darn good. So if you said to me, Well, I think yeah, I think there’s a good chance but is it a lock? Of course not.
Nestor Aparicio 32:36
What else are you doing? Besides post the Ferranti book, you steal your pocket? What are you doing? You’re always busy man.
John Feinstein 32:44
Well, I right now I’m promoting the charity book with Father’s Day coming up. Obviously, I’m still writing for the post on a regular basis. But I I’ve started research on a book on Ivy League football, which is a project I’ve wanted to take on forever. I grew up in New York, I was a Columbia fan rode the subway to games as a kid, they were terrible. But I love going to the games. And I follow the Ivy League. My whole my whole professional career football and basketball. They’ve had great success in basketball, as you know, I know the coaches. And I know I’ll get i I’ve already witnessed the fact that they’re gonna give me complete access throughout the season. And it’s a project that I’m I’m already really enjoying how much it’ll sell. I don’t know, but I believe people do know how to read.
Nestor Aparicio 33:32
And I yell not affecting the Ivy League yet. Oh,
John Feinstein 33:34
no, it really isn’t. And the transfer portal very minimally affecting the Ivy League. In fact, Bob’s Teresa Princeton coach, they’ve got a quarterback this year, who is a transfer. He is the first Princeton football transfer since the 1980s. So it’s and the other thing I knew for sure that the Ivy League would not be expanding or having teams lit leave. During the time I was working on this book. They don’t call them the ancient eight for nothing. You know, I
Nestor Aparicio 34:05
love about your man, you still find romance and all of this, whether it’s the Army Navy game, whether it’s golf, and it ferati Being on the other side, and now moving back into whatever the main stream for golf is going to be, but you still love sports, right? Like, yeah, you know, you write, you write about other things, and you have other interests, but like, sports is what you still do, and probably you’re always going to do.
John Feinstein 34:28
Yeah, it’s always been my passion since I was a kid Nestor. I mean, when I was growing up, I was going to either be the point guard for the Knicks or the centerfielder for the Mets and found out that wasn’t going to happen. And I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to be able to be involved in sports my entire adult life and get paid for it. You know, I’ve been in a lot of places doing a lot of things and looked around and said, You know what, I’m getting paid to do something most people would pay to do. And so I’ve come served myself very lucky that way and, and I do still love sports. I’m still passionate, fortunately, about sports not, you know, not as broadly as when I was younger, but I still I still enjoy. I enjoy the games. But Nestor, if you’ve experienced this, I enjoy getting to know the people. That’s the books I’ve written. I’ve always been about people. Verity is a book about a person and the people in his life. You know, season on the brink was about a person who just happened to be a basketball coach. And so I’ve always said that and people have said to me, Why Why do your books have success? And I say it because I think they’re not just about sports. They’re about people who happen to be in sports.
Nestor Aparicio 35:45
Well, I say this with all love. You’re my favorite Oscar Madison.
John Feinstein 35:49
The best thing that’s being kind to me in terms of my my my wardrobe
Nestor Aparicio 35:54
is you can find them at Jay Feinstein books. You can find him where books are sold. You can Amazon and Google him fairly. He’s the newest one there markedly funny and tragic journey of golf. Daymond. John, always good to see you, sir. I’m gonna see it umpc get Hey, I’ll tell you this, this Oriole thing. And my last name is Aparicio. So I get it. But this this baseball coming back into games being two and a half hours and people stopping me on the streets and wanting to talk about something that’s not the LA Marathon, which I dealt with for about a year and a half now it’s what are they gonna sign rutschman and give him money and when are they gonna get a lease done? So you know, there’s other issues here but the baseball team taking front and center Man that feels familiar to me in a really unfamiliar way because it’s been a while and it’s nice.
John Feinstein 36:37
Now you’re right. I mean, like I said, I did Oreo games and went to Oreo games and Memorial Stadium for years. Love Camden Yards. Still. You’ve been in the press box at Camden Yards. I don’t know if you’ve been in the press box at NAT stadium. Don’t ya got a duck airplane sometimes so and it’s great to see the Orioles being competitive. It’s fun to watch the games again, like you said, because they don’t take three and a half hours and the Orioles are good. Not so much watching my fun watching my match right now. But I’m glad to see the Orioles having not only a competitive team, but a very good team. Again, it was fun last year when they turned it around and won 83 games and so yeah, I’m all for that 100%
Nestor Aparicio 37:23
Far be it for me to be the curmudgeon of the two of us. But like I’ve been doing this 31 years professionally taking calls made to sports the whole deal. Very rarely do I say hey, they made that better. Maybe instant replay made some things better to at least get calls right? You know to make sure my mic Renfro catching the Euler game gets adjudicated years later. But the baseball thing with the pitch clock other than maybe the three pointer and you and I that’ll be our next segment together as to how that changed basketball. I can’t remember anything that’s been more universally, rubber stamped by everybody by saying they finally fixed baseball. By doing this there has, I can’t think of anything. All we could talk about is how everything else is screwed up. This is one thing they kind of brought back and I’m like, Whoa, good for baseball to do something right for the first time.
John Feinstein 38:14
Yeah. And it took years, as you know, and there were people dug in fighting against it. You know, baseball is about being timeless and all that, well. It’s gone beyond being timeless. And I was always for a pitch clock. And I like these rules that you mean, you mean you can’t step off and throw over 14 times. And I think it’s all good. It’s all good. And like I said, it’s you know, it’s weird because sometimes when I’m out especially when they’re afternoon games, you know, I get home and I go to the computer to check scores or I try to turn on the TV because I have the baseball package. So to watch a one o’clock game at 330 and it’s over and that never happened before this year and it’s it’s it’s it’s a pleasure it’s a pleasure it really
Nestor Aparicio 39:00
for those of us who love baseball fans but get it over with and I mean even this runner on second base and it’s I kind
John Feinstein 39:07
of like that. That’s the one I don’t like I kind of hate it changes the game. It’s not it’s not baseball, it’s like Little League Little League or softball or something that then they put that in me during COVID But when they were having seventh inning doubleheaders in which I hated and things like that, but they don’t need it. So what if a game goes 13 or 14 innings it’s not like it’s gonna happen every night. It doesn’t.
Nestor Aparicio 39:32
But I don’t have any pitching to my bullpen management All right, John, take care of you. So I was going to visit the books fair already. It’s Father’s Day and you know if you’re not in the golf, he’s got a million other books about a million other things you can buy for Father’s Day. So go out and check it out. Appreciate you as always don’t see him as much at UMBC. Maybe the Orioles winning will continue to bring people back to the big city if not a good concert CFG banchory and I am Nestor we
John Feinstein 40:02
want to know why I’m not a UMBC go as Brian barrier that’s the answer
Nestor Aparicio 40:07
hey man I That’s it dropped the mic John I’m Nestor we are wn st am 15 70,000 Baltimore back for more right after this on Baltimore positive