Fueled By Death Cast Ep. 60 - FIELD YATES
ESPN REPORTER - FIELD YATES
"My goal is to believe what I say, and say what I believe." Field Yates, ESPN Reporter
So much awesome in this episode. First, Google AI is making children, and Dustin and Jeff are getting a little scared. During this week's science segment the hosts reveal an incredible upcoming guest: Dr. Michio Kaku! Then stay for more fun with shoutouts and birthdays, a fond memory of MTV Spring Break and the XFL is coming back on The Roast. Death Wish Coffee news including chocolate, mugs and a punk rock cruise round out the Update.
ABOUT FIELD YATES:
ESPN Reporter Field Yates joins the podcast this week to talk all things football! Field has loved the game since he was young, and actually interned with the New England Patriots when he was still in high school. We talk about his current job at ESPN, some of the headlines surrounding the sport today, and of course get into the Big Game, Super Bowl 52 - which was just around the corner when we recorded this interview.
Jeff: First of all, I got to know, when did your love of the game start? Were you a real young kid when you were drawn to football?
Field: As young as I can remember. My first football memory, believe it or not in terms of watching a game, was I want to say the early 1990s. This is really throwing it back here. There was a wide receiver who unfortunately has since passed. His name was Michael Jackson. Not to be confused with the performer but had the same name. He caught a touchdown for the Cleveland Browns against the Dallas Cowboys in an upset victory. This is sometime in the late '90s. I want to say it was a four claw game that sort of bled in to the 7:00 p.m. hour or so. I remember my parents trying to get me to come to dinner and I was sitting there watching the game. I think we were all kind of gripped by the action. That's sort of my first football memory. You're probably thinking to yourself like, "That's really random. Why is that the game that you remember?" If I had a good reason, I'd give it to you. I don't know what the reason is. I just remember that play very particularly and I think every Sunday since at least from September until February I guess I've eaten, slept, and breathed football.
Dustin: Do you ever get a little football sick every now and then. Like, "Oh my God. I can't talk about football anymore. I've talked about football for the last two or there months straight.
Field: Yeah. It's pretty rare. Here's the thing, is that I always tell people this. People are like, "I'm so sorry to ask you about football when you're off the clock." I'm thinking to myself, "You do realize that when I'm off the clock what I typically tend to do is watch football or read about football or study football." That's sort of what I live for. If I were whatever. I don't know. If I worked in the coffee business, I'd probably still have this incredible desire to think about football throughout most of the day. So I don't take it personally. I don't think people ... I also get that football is a hobby for a lot of people outside of their work. So I never get sick of talking about it because I think I get why people are so inclined to also talk about it themselves.
Jeff: Awesome. So you also worked in the industry, not just what you're doing right now, but you worked briefly with the Kansas City Chiefs and also the New England Patriots. Was that something that you did while you were going to school or was that directly out of school?
Field: So I started with the Patriots back when I most of my junior and senior year of high school. The best way for me to describe it is an internship because it's a term that people know. At the same time, this was not like I went online to PatriotsCareers.com and submitted a resume and next thing you know I've got this job with them. No, it was ... Long story, but basically being at the right place at the right time and knowing one right person. But basically I spent the next four or five summers and every bit of time I had when I was not in school at Gillette Stadium. It was an opportunity for me to ... I always talk about it like this, it was almost like learning a new language for me. It was learning how to speak football. That was something that I thought really ... I don't want to sound as if people who haven't worked in the NFL don't know what they're seeing or what they're talking about with football. But for me that was ... It was like my Rosetta Stone of football.
Field: So the opportunity to do that and learn the scouting and coaching ranks and then eventually get hired in 2009 when I graduated from college from Wesleyan University by Scott Pioli who was with the Patriots during my time in New England. Then in February of 2009, just before I graduated, got hired by the Chiefs to be their general manager. So I have always in some capacity kind of lived football. It's been my hobby, my passion. Really it's been my everything in a lot of ways. So whether I want to or not, I feel like football will always be a big part of me.
Dustin: That's really cool.
Jeff: So now that you're a reporter for ESPN and obviously a man with his finger on the pulse of the sport, do you have a bigger love for the game?
Field: You know what, I think I have a better appreciation for the game. People have always asked me, "Why would you leave football if you seemingly love it and you're working inside of it. You had this job that somebody would care for." My answer is that working inside the coaching or scouting ranks in the NFL is sort of a chemical imbalance. I think coaches and scouts would be the first people to admit that as well. Here's the lifestyle for coaches, you get into the office on Monday morning and around 5:00 a.m. You get home on Friday afternoon around 6:00 p.m. or so. That's not for everybody. I get why it is simultaneously addicting but also it can be very difficult, it can be straining. There is no feeling that I've had that I can compare, and I should say this, I'm not married. I'm not engaged. I haven't had kids yet. So I haven't experienced some of life's ultimate thrills.
But I would just say this, there aren't too many things that I have experienced in my life that compared to winning a football game on Sunday because you pour a hundred hours into it and if you win, it feels worth it. If you lose, you're saying to yourself, "So we put a hundred hours this past week. We could've put 100 minutes into this past week and the result would have been the same because in football a win is a win is a win and loss is a loss is a loss."
Jeff: Yeah. So I got to ask then, you've lived, breathed, eat, sleep football. You've worked in the industry, for the industry. Now you are one of the most respected names that literally talks about the industry and the sport on the regular. What fuels you to continually go out there and do that and to just every year strive to bring the most information you possibly can to the masses about the sport you love?
Field: Well, if we're speaking literally, it's the cup of afternoon Death Wish Coffee that I have in my hand right now.
Dustin: We get $10 for every guest who says that, by the way. So thank you.
Field: Oh, okay. Yeah. But no, listen. No, I am serious. I am known, and I mentioned this on email with Jeff, I am known around ESPN for my mugs. Every day I come into work and I'm an early morning guy so I come into work with probably amounts of a gallon worth of coffee. But I have one of your travel thermoses that has the top that I can sort of lock on. It'll stay warm all day. Then I also have a travel mug that if I'm ready to drink half a mug worth, I'll pour half a mug. If I'm ready to drink a full mug worth, I'll drink a full travel size mug. Then I've got my mugs that I have in my apartment that actually keep me hydrated during the off season. So yes, I am the walking Death Wish advertisement around the ESPN campuses.
But sort of more symbolically or metaphorically speaking, I think that leaving football and entering the media, I had sort of this ... I don't want to say realization, but I had this thought of how do I want to represent myself and the game as well and convey information. I consider myself to have a unique background. It's different than some of my colleagues. It's similar to some of my colleagues, but my goal is to, and this kind of applies to any reporter, is to believe what I say and say what I believe. What I mean by that is this, everything that I say I want to do research. I want it to be informed. I want it to be accurate. I also don't want to get to the point ... But conversely, I don't want to paint by numbers where hey, the numbers tell you something. You can make this argument because of it, but if it doesn't agree with your eyes and what they tell you, then don't make that point. So I want to make sure that I take a lot of pride and preparation. I love football conversation. It's the ultimate team sport in my book. I think I have this appreciation for a lot of the nuances of the game, which is what motivates you, what fuels me, on a daily basis.
Jeff: That's awesome. Okay. So I want to get into some questions. We got some from fans and some employees. Actually, before we even get into that, our roster, Tony, wanted me specifically to ask you if you know how to get from Farmington to Bristol?
Field: Tony, Tony, I do know how to get to Farmington from Bristol. It took me some time, but I finally figured it out. For those who may not be aware, there's a long funny story to this, but if you don't mind, can you indulge me for 90 seconds?
Jeff: No, please. He made sure that I would ask you that and I was hoping that you'd give us a little bit of back story.
Field: So basically every month the television side asks me, "Hey, what days are you unavailable to be in Bristol?" I had said ... So let's say for now it's January. So they ask us around January 10th for the month of February. So I said, "Hey, I happen to be going to Vail for five days of skiing," or whatever it is, "from this day to that day. So I can't be available." Anyways, a couple summers ago they asked what days don't work, and I specifically mentioned a July Monday because I was going to be in a wedding the night before, a Sunday. Wedding actually near Bristol in Farmington. So I said, "I can't be available." You don't typically want to be available to wake up at 6:00 a.m. the next morning after a wedding, right?
Dustin: Especially not with an open bar or anything like that.
Field: Yes, exactly.
Dustin: It's a mess.
Field: A beloved friend Josh and his unbelievable wife Rebecca, they were planning to throw a good party. Anyways, this was during July when typically we don't have an podcasts content. But our team decided to put together a podcast and the date that they picked was that Monday. I said, "Listen, I've already told the TV side that I can't be in there right now on that Monday morning." So it wouldn't exactly be fair if I said, "Hey, I can't be there for TV, but I can make it in for the podcast." Even though it was much later on in the day. So that turned into me ... Well, I'm able to find my way from Farmington to Bristol, which is like 10 minutes away. As a joke that like most of those on our podcast, you say it once and it lived for like five years. So we had a ton of fun with it, and it'll probably never go away.
Jeff: Well, I'm glad that we were able to bring it onto our show as well.
Field: Thank you. Tony is the MVP.
Jeff: Yes. Let's get the elephant in the room right out of the way, this has been hitting the news cycle a lot. I'm one who really doesn't agree with it, but I'm curious on your take on it. It is what's been in all the catchy, click bait-y headlines is the idea that the NFL is fixed. Specifically because of what was being shown I think ad nauseam now on the late night shows and everything else of this supposed refs celebrating with the Patriots during their win. Personally speaking, I think this is just a hater's mentality. I don't think that there's anything on that side of it. I'm not asking you if the sport is rigged. What I really would like your opinion on though is do you think that our 24 hour news cycle is detrimental to the sport because we are now having to talk about something like this?
Field: Here's what I would say is that we live in what I call ... Not that I am like the authority on naming eras, but this is sort of the information era, right? What I mean by that is this is it's ... So I woke up this morning and I had on my phone notifications of the final score of the Boston Berlins and the Boston Celtics game plus links to highlights from the Celtics game plus other notable stories, emails, tweets, Instagram notifications. You name it, we have so much information that is available. Within seconds of a play taking place, there are clips everywhere of replays.
Field: I think in some ways it's an incredibly beautiful thing, right? I mean, we have so much information and some of it's just pure fun. I love some of the goofy stuff we see on Twitter. I love seeing the halftime shows at NBA or a squirrel runs onto the baseball diamond and some guy tries to chase it down. Some of that stuff can be magical. At the same time, more information I think can also lead to more opinions. It can lead to more I would say opinions that are rooted in sort of sensationalized views. It is just sort of a authentic opinion.
That clip amongst the clips that we saw from Sunday. The idea that there was a ref that was gleeful after the Patriots scored a touchdown. Here's what I would just say is two things. First of all, you could find so many clips I'm sure of Peyton Manning, Rue Breeze, Russell Wilson getting a butt pat from the refs or getting a helping hand to get up after a hit. As much as people don't want to hear this, the refs are involved in the game, and yeah, when you referee enough games for a guy, you might become first name basis with them. You might catch up with them after the game or before the game because there are times where players are saying to refs, "Hey, keep an eye on this. 23s a really grabby player. You got to watch out on him on pass interference calls," or something like that. I think it's people assume referees are robots, which the reality of referees is the element of human error is a massive part of what they do.
Beyond that, I find this funny to think that the Patriots have ... That the NFL is set up for the Patriots or fixed for the Patriots. I've got a friend Chris Wesley who writes for NFL.com around the NFL and he's podcasting. He's an incredible guy. He's just got great wisdom. He noted this awhile back on Twitter and I wished I had printed the tweet and put it in my pocket. The Patriots, as in the team that the NFL spends like $20 million to try to prove that they may have possibly inflated or under inflated footballs. That team? That's the team that the NFL wants to see win every single year? The NFL went to desperate measures to try to prove something they couldn't prove. Give me a break.
I personally think the NFL is no where close to fixed. I'm not trying to be naive. I'm to trying to sound like a league minch. I just think that it's funny that we got that point. Rather than just appreciating what's happening on the field every single week.
Jeff: Yeah. I can totally agree with that. Again, I was glad to hear from you, someone who talks about this on the regular. It is one of those things that ... Dustin and I talk about this on our show a lot is the idea of this whole click bait mentality that we're in. They take, like you said, a replay of a guy who's smiling in a huddle, a ref who's smiling in a huddle with a bunch of people. It's literally a six second clip. Now it's everywhere and it's been played a thousand times.
Dustin: On top of that, I mean, it's click bait driven towards sore losers who are not going to shut up about it. So it's like double whammy. It's horrible.
Field: The reality about sports is that they evoke emotion in an incredible way, right? I mean, you watch a game and even if it's a game ... So I'm sitting there watching Kansas and Oklahoma last night, the basketball game on Tuesday night. I was watching it because it was one, first of all, and it's a quieter time on the television calendar. Then I'm like something about this Trae Young that everybody's talking about is fun to watch.
Field: Invariably, at the end of the game, I'm not going to lie to you guys, I was hoping that Oklahoma would win the game. I entered that game with no affiliation whatsoever. I do not wake up this morning decidedly happier that Oklahoma won, but at the time I was happy to see them win. What I mean by that is even when it's not a team that you're rooting for or against, when you watch a sport, you end up picking a side, right? So you see that clip of the Patriots and even if you have no interest in the Patriots, you're agnostic towards them and you're agnostic towards the Jacksonville Jaguars, that's what's going to happen. You're going to eventually get emotionally tugged into it.
Jeff: Yeah. Speaking on that, I'm a fan of ... I'm a hobby fan of sports. Football, baseball. Like you said, I like to be drawn into a game just from the shear playability of a player that I'm watching. I always tell people I grew up as a Red Sox fan. Living in New York, I always got shit for it. But I've always been a Red Sox fan ever since I was a kid. But some of my favorite players to watch, even as a kid, were on the Yankees. Don Mattingly was amazing to watch and used to draw me into a game. It's the same thing with any sport. Basketball, you might not have been on the Bulls' train back in the 80s and 90s but just to watch Michael Jordan handle that ball, you can't help but have emotion invoked in you watching that game.
Dustin: Well, I think that's the difference between being a fan of a sport or a sport's team versus being a fan of competition.
Dustin: Which I think it makes more sense.
Jeff: I think so too.
Field: Yeah. I agree. Sorry.
Jeff: No, no.
Field: Didn't mean to cut you off.
Jeff: Yeah. No, no. Go for it.
Field: Well, I was just going to say the affinity for athletes, that's a real thing too. Be like Mike was the thing when I was growing up.
Field: Whether you're from Chicago, whether you're from a different ... Antarctica. Being like Mike, we all latched on to the greatest of all time for a reason.
Jeff: Yeah. Speaking on that, this is a question I actually wanted to ask you because your line of work, you have this ability now to really, like we said before, have your finger on the pulse of the sport. You're not just covering the sport from a generalization. You're really diving in there, making sure you know as much as you can about every team, every player, every coach because you deal a lot with the whole fantasy football side of it as well. I kind of what to talk ... Speaking on Michael Jordan or talking about this upcoming Super Bowl with someone like Tom Brady, do you think someone in your position or let's even talk about scouts towards teams and stuff like that. Is there a way to recognize natural talent? Do you feel you can recognize that?
Dustin: Is there something that you look for in particular?
Field: I do. So I do think it can be recognized. I think that there are a few things I want to note is that raw talent in a vacuum can be recognized I think, but it probably is more easily recognized in sports where the player is isolated for a lot of what he does, like basketball and baseball. Baseball specifically.
Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Field: I think in football my sort of general area of domain. I think that there are a few factors that need to be compounded is that one, who you are at 17 can be decidedly different from a physical and mental makeup standpoint than who you are at 27. I think football has a lot of a thinking man's game to it. That isn't to say that baseball is not a thinking man's game. But baseball's a very reactionary game, right?
Field: A third baseman needs to have lateral agility from start to finish in his career. Every single pitch, even the greatest hitter of all time has no idea what's coming. It's a reaction to what is thrown his way.
Field: So I think that on football raw talent can certainly be noticed, but I think that a couple things, physical development is very difficult to project and second of all, I think within the contract of a team ... I saw some people recently noting about ... I don't think they were necessarily wrong. Noting how few players from the Patriots would be starters on the Steelers. I think to myself, "That's fine. I understand the premise," right?
Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Field: At the same time, don't you think in some ways don't you believe that how a player fits within a roaster is incredibly important. You know what I mean?
Field: Right. So I look at players on the Patriot's roaster that may not be as good of fit elsewhere. You know what I mean?
Jeff: Yeah. No, I totally understand that.
Field: Yeah. So I think that must be factored in.
Jeff: Huh. I actually have kind of a question from one of our biggest fans at Death Wish Coffee, Jason Heath. He actually ... Again, on the Tom Brady side, he's actually asking the question of, "Do you agree with why people think that Tom Brady is something special?" He brings up the analogy that quarterbacks like Matt Castle actually can go the same amount like 11 and five, but yet the Patriots and subsequently Tom Brady are always talked about as the upper echelon. But the Patriots are just a solid team of 53 players that can consistently win with any ... Can they consistently win with anyone in that QB spot or is it specifically on the shoulders as someone like Tom Brady?
Field: Yeah. I would not ... I would say this, the Patriots I think have had the greatest coach of all time and the greatest quarterback of all time on their roaster. So I think that sometimes we get very interested in parcing who is more responsible for it or who is more accountable for the wins, losses, etc. and everything in between, right?
Field: Can the Patriots win without Tom Brady? I mean, the system ... I don't know if it's like a system is quarterback proof. I think that what they've done is they've got great infrastructure within its scouting departments to find good players, and they've got great coaches. The roaster is not simply just Tom Brady. Now Tom Brady is incredibly brilliant. I think he's the greatest of all time. So of course they're at their best with Tom Brady under center, but I think that it's important to note that it's not just two men, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, and they'd be the first to concede that. I think that they have built a top to bottom organizational structure that is incredibly difficult to recognize and replicate. Actually not recognize but replicate. I think that's why they continue to be this well oiled machine. They've got not just transcending greatness, but also people that ... I think they got a system. The system is there. That makes a massive difference.
Jeff: Interesting. Then speaking kind of on that quarterback, we got another question on the other side of that, and this is towards Dustin because he happens to be an Eagles fan. The quarterback of the Eagles there Nick Foles, he has sore ribs and he's going into this game. That's obviously not going to bench him. He's going to start the Super Bowl because why wouldn't you start the Super Bowl? But one of the questions we got post was do you think, as someone who analyzes this type of thing ... Do you think he can and or will complete the game?
Field: Here's what I would say is in terms of completing the game, like you mean like physically?
Field: Start to finish being on the field?
Field: Yes, I do. I mean, at this point here's what I would say, Nick Foles has been an unbelievable story over the past couple of weeks.
Field: I understand that team is not as good with Nick Foles as it is with Carson Wentz, right? That's just a reality.
Field: But we need to commend the Eagles for being a top to bottom, one to 53 strong roaster that its not ... Again, their success to the point of Carson Wentz injury was not merely Carson Wentz. Organizational infrastructure is solid there, right?
Field: So I am past the point of allowing anybody to call either team incapable of winning in the Super Bowl. There's no underdog. You know what I mean? I think both of them are absolutely 100% capable of winning this game. The Eagles are tough. They got great ingredients to win on any given Sunday. Can you call them plucky? Perhaps because they're with their backup quarterback. At the same time, Nick Foles has really showed tremendous composure over the past couple of weeks and been an awesome story.
Dustin: I mean, he seems like he's the guy who performs well under pressure and he has more pressure than ever now, which leads me to believe that he's going to perform better than ever at the big game.
Field: I think he's got a chance to ... Listen, I mean, I am personally, I'll just say it right now. I'm picking the Patriots to win this game on a close one. So I guess ... Sorry. Sorry. Sorry for those who are Eagles fans that are listening. But I would just say Nick Foles ... I don't think the Eagles are incapable of winning this game because of Nick Foles. I think they could win it because of Nick Foles play or I think if he doesn't play well, it's going to be difficult. But I think he could be the player that helps propel them to a victory if they do get the job done.
Dustin: Interesting. So this is a personal question here. It's something that I'm really curious about. What's your take on head trauma in football and have you noticed or seen any athletes mentally degrade after they leave the sport?
Field: Well, I would say this, it was ... I'm not sure that I've seen any after effects yet. I've dealt with mostly athletes that are in their playing careers. I would say as it pertains to head trauma, not sure there's anything more important to that right now to the NFL right now than player health and safety. What's scary is we have a lot of information about head trauma, which derives from either football or other sports and the lasting effects it can have. I also realize that we are just at the beginning of the information gathering stage, right?
Field: I mean, 50 years from now we're going to have a lot more information.
Field: We just are. I think it's imperative that we continue to dump as many resources into gathering information, taking head trauma seriously, continuing to bolster and improve the concussion protocol. It has to be. It cannot be anything but a primary initiative for the NFL.
Dustin: I think most of these guys even if you were to give them the information that they're in danger when they play this sport of looking at some head trauma. I think they'd still be down. They wouldn't pause for a second because it's the biggest moment in their lives. It is a huge moment.
Field: Listen, I'm not trying to be naïve or dismiss the impact of head trauma, but football's not the only thing that people do in their lives that's dangerous, right? I mean, people routinely engage in risky behavior. I just mentioned earlier, I'm going out to go skiing in Colorado soon. I understand that's a risk involved with that. Anything is a risk. I'm training for a marathon right now, and there's some risk there as well. You know what I mean? I don't know it's as simple as hey, even if you have the information about the risk, that players are just going to stop playing the game. I think a lot of them would say, "I'd risk everything to be a part of what I've been a part of." Not everyone has to agree with that. But some people feel that way.
Dustin: But I think the important thing is that they get to make that decision with the correct information in front of them.
Field: For sure. That's what it comes down is we are doing our best to equip these people with information to make informed decisions about their health and well being.
Dustin: Do you think there's anything that we can do now to help prevent some of this that we're not doing?
Field: I don't know about something that we're not doing because I think we're trying to educate players more and more. But I think it has to first of all I think it's important that we don't stop the cause. We continue to remind people. Beyond that, I would say it's important that we remember that we're in the beginning. We're still in the beginning portion of the information gathering process. I just think it's important to continue to make this a primary cause and continue to make this an area of education for those involved and not stopping ever or anytime.
Dustin: I mean, I've even heard ridiculous ideas as like, "Well, if we removed the helmet then they won't hit each other so hard," which sounds ridiculous.
Field: Yeah. What's funny is actually my sister went to a school in the greater Boston area where they play without face masks. The brother school, the Dexter school, which has incredible heritage and linage. They play without face masks, which is interesting to me. I think it was a health thing. I don't think they do anymore. But when she was there, the boys that were in her grade would play football without a face mask, which is interesting.
Jeff: That is interesting.
Dustin: It sounds like that might save some neck trauma from pulling on the face mask and whatever. But it sounds like it'd make you ugly real quick.
Field: It's interesting. I didn't know a lot about it at the time. I should go back and look into what they're doing now.
Dustin: Yeah. It'd be crazy. They got the helmet off. They got the pads off. They're just smashing each other now.
Jeff: So we got a few more questions here from some of the employees that wanted to pick your brain about football. We are based in upstate New York here so I would be remiss if I didn't ask you a question about the New York Giants because we have a lot of Giants fans around here. One of the questions we got from a couple of our employees actually was, "What's your take on Eli Manning? Do you think he's going to remain with the Giants in New York?"
Field: I actually think Eli Manning will stay with the Giants into this next season, into 2018. Here's the thing is I think people felt like there was a rush to make a decision on Eli Manning. But if you're Dave Gettleman, who's the new Giant's general manager, there isn't a rush here for him. If you cut Eli Manning, you're incurring a bunch of dead money. So you're paying Eli Manning to not be a part of your team.
Field: If you trade him, you are also still going to have some dead money. Obviously you are acquiring some assets back whether it's a draft pick or a player. So I don't think that what he says is, "You know something I really need to make sure that I move on from this." Beyond that, the NFL draft is three months away. If you trade Eli Manning right now, you are essentially hitching your wagon to drafting a quarterback with a number two pick. They're just beginning their evaluations. Well, not just beginning, but they're beginning, they're continuing their evaluations of these top quarterback prospects. Maybe right now Dave Gettleman is saying to himself, "I love one of these top quarterbacks, but I don't love others." Maybe he wants to wait and see. Let's say you get word of the Browns love that same quarterback, and you're like, "Oh, man. What do I do here? I don't love the other guy that could be ..." So I think there's no rush on Dave Gettleman's mind. I think a lot of people feel like there is a rush.
Jeff: Interesting. That's an interesting take on that. Another question we had from a different team. One of our employees Kain is a very, very big Raiders fan, and he wanted to know your thoughts on the Raiders just signed ... It still boggles my mind. This $100 million 10 year deal with Jon Gruden coaching the Raiders. You as someone who really looks at this sport inside and out, do you think this is a fluke, a flash in the pan kind of deal because we're never seen anything like this before, or do you think we're going to start to see more coaching deals like this. Teams locking in coaches for that long for that amount of money.
Field: Yeah. I think this is probably an outlier for a few reasons. First of all, Jon Gruden had perhaps as much leverage we've seen from a coach in a long time in the NFL level, right?
Field: I mean, every year somebody wanted Jon Gruden. Every year for the past five. He waited for the perfect opportunity to do so. Beyond that, Mark Davis, the owner of the currently Oakland Raiders and soon to be Las Vegas Raiders, was smitten is like the most under ... The lowest key description of how he felt abut Jon Gruden. That is underselling it a hundred times over. He was, and I think Adam Shefter may have used this word, obsessed with hiring Jon Gruden as his head coach. So the idea that it was Gruden always being coveted. Mark Davis willing to do whatever it took. A lot of other factors playing into it. I think that the Raiders have to continue to curry some favor with Oakland for as long as they are there. I don't think you want to be putting sour taste in the mouth of people that you're already abandoning in a couple years anyways. So yeah, I think that that sort of perfect storm of factors worked into the favor of Jon Gruden. I think Mark Davis is probably trying to reestablish the Raiders as like a brand, an iconic brand in the NFL. One way you do that is by having someone like Jon Gruden in the sidelines.
Dustin: So it's just kind of lightening in a bottle situation. You don't think we'll be seeing this again unless there's another sinuous situation like this.
Field: Put it this way, if we see it like two or three more time, I'm getting back into football. I'm getting back into it.
Jeff: Me too. That seems like they're doing all right with ... Man, that's just an insane amount of money to me. It's crazy.
Switching gears, one of the other questions that was brought up, as someone who's looking at all the ... Not only what's happening in the NFL but what could be happening in the NFL. Who are you excited to see play at this year's Senior Bowl? Are there any must watch prospects for you?
Field: People say, "You guys talk too much about quarterbacks." Well the reality is this year there are two prospects that everybody has their eye on Senior Bowl. It's Josh Allen, the quarterback out of Wyoming, and it's Baker Mayfield, the quarterback out of Oklahoma. People are very familiar with Baker Mayfield of course. He won the Heisman Trophy. He was a dazzling player throughout his college career. He has swagger. He has charisma. But he also ... There's some areas of concern. People are fixated on his height. He did check in at just over six feet tall. Josh Allen is a mammoth. He's 6'4", sort of looks like a guy that was born to play quarterback, but he had an up and down year in 2017. He also played at Wyoming. Did not have near the supporting cast that Baker Mayfield had. But those are the two guys that everybody is locking in on this week. Everybody are like, "All right. What's the deal with Mayfield? What's the deal with Allen? Can either one of them emerge as a sort of clear cut number on quarterback prospect or at least right there in the mix with Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold, the two underclassmen quarterback who are not eligible to play in this year's Senior Bowl."
Jeff: Yeah. I'm always curious about the kids that are coming up because you never know when one of these kids ... Because you're telling us you know exactly these are the two guys who everybodys eyes are one. So obviously they're the ones everybody's salivating over. All the scouts are looking at. They're the ones that are going to lead that pack. But you never know about the guys that aren't being talked about. They could be the next Tom Brady. Even Tom Brady ...
Field: No doubt.
Jeff: Even Tom Brady himself. I mean, he was ... I don't know if you know this, Dustin. He was the 199th pick in the draft.
Jeff: He wasn't like number one or number two or whatever. I mean, literally passed over by everybody multiple times.
Dustin: Do you think a player feels slighted like that, do you think they play harder to prove everybody wrong?
Field: I think it can certainly motivate you. I think that's part of what makes Tom Brady so unique is that we are now nearly 18 years removed from him being bypassed 198 times before he got selected, and it still drives him nuts that people passed on him, which a lot of guys who have let it go after a little while. Brady's like no way. No. It's just not happening.
Dustin: I think that. Fueled by hate.
Field: Yes. That's right.
Jeff: He proved that those 198 people made the wrong choice.
Dustin: I love it.
Jeff: That's crazy. So finally, getting back to the big game, we already know your pick is the Patriots to win it. But what we really want to know, which really is the most important I think. I'm just kidding about that. Is Super Bowl commercials.
Field: Yes. Yes.
Jeff: They are as fun as ... I mean, they turned into their own thing.
Dustin: It's a phenomemon. It's crazy.
Jeff: It's crazy. So I got to ask. Are there any Super Bowl commercials from the entire history of the sport that stick out with you? Any are your favorites that you always think of?
Field: Oh, man. You know what, I think for me the Super Bowl commercials became a thing with those ... Remember the frogs on the log Budweiser commercial?
Field: Bud. Fly. That to me will always be the iconic one that stands out. That sort of, I think, revolutionized the idea of Super Bowl commercials being a real thing.
Jeff: Yeah. Totally. Speaking on actually the Budweiser, what I really wish that they would bring back and they've done it a little bit ...
Dustin: The horses?
Jeff: It's never been. No, they always do the horses. But it's never been like when I was a kid watching Super Bowl was the Bud Bowl. The Bud Bowl was the coolest thing in the world. It was the beers playing football against each other. You remember this, Dustin?
Dustin: What? No, I don't remember that. No.
Jeff: It was Budweiser and Bud Light and they would literally put little helmets on the bottles and they would play football against each other. It was all like animation. It was great.
Dustin: That sounds dumb.
Jeff: It was great.
Field: Oh, yeah.
Jeff: I loved it.
Jeff: I know obviously the big game means a lot of work for you. You're obviously keeping your eyes out on everything that's happening. But how do you think to enjoy the game? You're watching habit or maybe your favorite snack?
Field: Yeah. The reality is I'll be working.
Jeff: That's what I mean, yeah.
Field: Yeah. There's not much to do in terms of watching. I mean, back in my prior ... When I wasn't old enough to work, I would do the same thing like most. Here's what I'll say is I don't drink a ton of coffee at 6:45 p.m. So this must be a rare time of the day where I'm not consuming coffee, but I am a massive wings guy. Love wings. If you don't like wings, I'm not sure we can be friends first of all.
Dustin: We're on good terms then.
Jeff: Yes. We both love wings.
Field: Yeah. How could you not? I think that a Super Bowl when you're just enjoying it as a consumer is it's wings and a cold beer. I'm a major craft beer aficionado. I'm all ears on local upstate New York suggestions. I think if you're just watching the game next Sunday, do yourself a favor. Go grab a cold one and enjoy it.
Jeff: Yes. I love it.
Dustin: I haven't had a beer in so long. I think I'll just crack one open for Super Bowl day.
Field: Yeah. Why not, right?
Jeff: There you go. Awesome. Field, I can't thank you enough for taking time to talk with us on the show. I just want to give all our listeners and our viewers the opportunity to know where they can follow you if they're not already.
Field: The easiest place to find me is on Twitter because most of my content funnels through there. @FieldGates on Twitter. I try to hopefully inform, sometimes enlighten, and perhaps make you chuckle every once in a while. That's my goal. So we have a lot of fun on the Twitter. I love interacting with the fans and hearing what they have to say.
Jeff: Awesome. Awesome. Well, again, thank you so much. I can't wait for the Super Bowl.
Dustin: Yeah. It's coming, man. It's coming. Thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it.
Field: It's going to be great.