After months away (Beep)
From ESPN (Beep)
And now with a fantastic new sponsor (Beep)
The No. 1 sports podcast in America (Beep)
Is BACK!!! (Beep)
The Marching Band to Nowhere has finally found a home, as the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz will celebrate their new partnership with DraftKings via an uninterrupted 24-hour show on June 4th starting at 12:00 p.m. And because it’s the Le Batard Show, where the most treasured values are the ability to candidly speak truth to power and self-deprecation, they’re calling it “FreeDumb.”
For those of you unfamiliar with the Miami-based media startup, which spent a decade as the No. 1 sports talk radio show in South Florida before becoming a staple of afternoon drive and then mid-mornings on ESPN, the secret to the sauce is being a sports talk radio show making fun of a sports talk radio show. Cliches are mocked, as are final-score prediction radio and hosts that pontificate loudly with limited information.
What is embraced is the awkward, Florida Marlins baseball players from the 90s, and the intersection of how sports, race, politics and media blend in the 21st century. Your average show ranges from thoughtful insight on Naomi Osaka stepping away from the French Open, to asking a world-renowned zoologist “who would win in a fight” between a giraffe and four humans, one of whom is holding a steak knife. If you want to hear breakdowns of the Clippers pick-and-roll defense, we’d suggest looking elsewhere.
The most popular character on the show has a credential at Miami Heat games only for the free ice cream, and he’s a septuagenarian with masters degrees working in his second language. He’s also a Heisman Trophy voter that’s never written a single word about college football anywhere, which is the perfect encapsulation of what needs to be celebrated and often isn’t in sports. It’s why Hakeem Nicks laughs at all of it.
Le Batard, his trusty sidekick Stugotz, and their “shipping container filled with frightened refugees” agreed to leave the Worldwide Leader in Sports in January. Without a plan but with their intellectual property, the team bet on themselves and their audience of diehards. That pirate ship became Meadowlark Media, and they even brought former ESPN President John Skipper to guide them into their next iteration.
You might have surmised one of those diehards works for DraftKings Nation. And if You Get The Show, there’s a Reddit and a Discord and even a podcast about a podcast in the most 2021 meta-fashion possible.
To celebrate their new partnership with DK, Meadowlark will be broadcasting for 24 hours consecutively live on Youtube. The Le Batard Universe has always been robust, but has grown even larger with the Meadowlark signing sports media heavyweights such as Kate Fagan and Tom Haberstroh. They’ll be joined by sports A-listers such as frequent guest Charles Barkley and once-a-year guest Bob Costas.
What Le Batard and Friends do best is celebrate the absurd and sublime both in and out of sports, but this show should be a special deep-dive into the psyche of what makes Meadowlark tick. If you’re looking for to see into the soul of what the new media property will become, 1440 consecutive minutes without a break should give a pretty good window.
Also it might be hell on those creating and producing this never-ending stream of content, which should make it even better as the awkward gets embraced. And speaking of hell…
You can subscribe to Le Batard and Friends on Youtube here. Or just listen to Dan...