SZNAP CHAT – JUNE 8
By Adam Sznapstajler
SOMETHING OLD & SOMETHING NEW
I usually center my weekly columns on my experience as a South Florida sports fan. As it’s been documented, that has not been going well for me in the past few weeks, with both the Heat and Panthers seasons ending. To add to that the Marlins have lost 8 of their last 9 games, Inter Miami is in the middle of a 3-week break, and my alma mater UF lost to a school named South Alabama (congrats to my cousin Meagan that goes there at least). Even football season is still a couple months away.
Well if my sporting life is so miserable, how did I enjoy over 24 hours of great sporting (if you want to call some of it that) content? That was easy, by enjoying one of the oldest joys of my life consuming sports, as well as the newest.
Here’s four words that if you know what they mean, it’s almost like a rite of passage: I get the show.
For those uninitiated, that is something of a calling card for us diehard fans of the Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz. It should be and Stugotz but that is for another day. Almost everyday, since I was in high school 15 years ago, I have been consuming the LeBatard Show in some form. Starting as a local radio show, becoming a national drive time simulcast for ESPN, and blossoming into the biggest sports radio show in America with its own cult following; I have been there ready to tune in on my car radio or app. Countless life events from graduations to funerals and everything in between have always been led into or culminated with a listen to the latest episode or podcast, transporting me into my happy place.
Well, not to bore everyone with the specifics but the LeBatard Show had a public split with ESPN and became a “Pirate Ship” of their making, eventually finding their gold doubloons in the form of a DraftKngs sponsorship. To celebrate their sponsor they hosted a 24 hour live stream event on youtube, rightfully titled FreeDUMB, that featured everything from hours of live show, to a chicken wing eating contest, to Bob Ley cursing while eating a pepper.
There were many other highlights like Rasheed Wallace honking the horn of a 1986 Camry in his RV, a parade of famous sports media personalities like Bob Costas, Dan Patrick, and even Jim Rome, and a live naval exam. The highlight for me was a live episode of one of my favorite podcasts, Cinephobe, in the primetime hour of 3-5 AM.
What is Cinephobe you ask? Cinephobe is a podcast where they watch lowly rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes and ascertain whether they were properly rated or not given a fair shake. On this live episode, the crew spoke with rapper Method Man about his movie How High (another favorite of mine) and then spent about an hour with comedy greats Adam McKay (Producer of The Big Short, Anchorman, Step Brothers, etc.) and Neal Brennan (Writer for the Chappelle Show and Comedian) where they discussed the making of great comedy, their careers, and PAC law.
Don’t worry, as the event was not just fun and games. Over $100,000 was raised for ALS research by Carolina Reaper eating heroes Tom Haberstroh and Kate Fagan. Good job guys! Although they should have vetted the pepper.
I can report that, as a crazy person, I have consumed all 23 hours and 50 minutes of the event, although the next couple days were sleep deprived. Watching the LeBatard FreeDUMB event was one of the most joyous experiences I’ve had.
For the second sport experience, I turned my eyes to the newest sport I have begun to follow: Formula One Racing.
After falling into the wormhole that was the Drive to Survive Netflix series, I have been wanting to get more and more into the sport. After following the Monaco Grand Prix two weeks ago, I finally spent a full weekend watching the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku. The event truly was bonkers in Baku.
After a relatively uneventful first half of the race, chaos began to break free. First Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll had his rear tire go out on the 30th lap. After that, the Red Bull driver and Championship leader was in front of his fellow Red Bull Sergio Perez and reigning Champion (and currently in second place by a few points) Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes. With 2 laps to go, Verstappen lost control of his car due to a blow out of the same back left tire, which has led to a multitude of questions for tire supplier Pirelli.
To clean up the debris, a red flag was waved and the race was eventually set for a restart with Perez in first and Hamilton in second for a two lap sprint. With Verstappen out of this, it was an opportunity for Hamilton to regain the lead in the driver’s championship. Hamilton immediately jumped in front but then locked his breaks up and drove right past the corner into an alley, falling into last place and out of the points. Sergio Perez ended up winning the race while former champion Sebastian Vettel brought home the first ever podium for Aston Martin coming in second.
After an eventful weekend, I can tell you that Formula One has a fan in me. I know not every race will have a restart with two laps left in the race but any sport that mixes personalities with drama like Formula One does, you have a fan in me.
Check out my weekly column every Tuesday. Until then, sayanora from South Florida!