Glenn, Lou and Mut take a look at the very few story lines that have developed out of spring training.

It has now been just over a year since the Enough About Me podcast debut and its popularity is through the roof. Its host, Kirk Minihane, is as fearless in his approach with these interviews as he is on the radio, and is masterful at drawing great material out of his guests.

All of the episodes are worth listening to, but here are the top 10.

1. Episode 50: Michael Holley

In the deepest and longest podcast yet, Kirk and Michael talk about their kids, Michael’s father, religion and some great inside radio stuff. As Donald Trump was being sworn in as president, Michael opened up about his dad’s absence in his life and Kirk even got into some of his own personal issues.

And yes, Alice Walker did have a thing with Tracy Chapman.

Highlights: Kirk: “Well, maybe your father was lucky enough not to hear the Salk & Holley Show.”

Gerry Callahan once called Holley the “Drew Peterson of talk show hosts.”

2. Episode 53: Glenn Ordway Part 2

Gossip porn for inside radio lovers. In this long-awaited podcast, Kirk and Glenn start off talking about Johnny Most but then get into it about ‘The Incident” between Kirk and Christian Fauria and the events leading up to it. They disagree about the facts of what went down and basically recreate their phone conversation from the night after it happened.

Glenn also talks about what he thinks of the merger with CBS Radio and the current state of WEEI.

Highlights: Glenn: “I like working with ex-jocks because you can play with them a little bit.”

Kirk sincerely compliments John Dennis.

3. Episode 34: John Krasinski

This one was great because Krasinski (most notably Jim Halpert from The Office) was really into it and he and Kirk had great chemistry right off the bat. Kirk was in his element talking about Hollywood and got to show off his extensive movie and television knowledge.

Kirk convinced Krasinski “The Departed” is flawed and has read way more David Foster Wallace than he has. He couldn’t leave without proving to Krasinski he is the king of the Kevin Bacon game or telling Krasinski this podcast was No. 1 on iTunes.

But the most important part of all was when massive Office fan Chris Curtis’ wet dream came true and he got to ask Jim Halpert a question. Krasinski even addressed Curtis by name multiple times during the podcast and the two shared a laugh just like Curtis dreamed they would.

Highlights: Kirk: “I’m a big Springsteen fan. 66 shows.”

The image of Curtis watching The Office on a private jet instead of talking to Bobby Orr.

When Krasinski said to Curtis they should talk more often about The Office and you know Curtis absolutely believed that will happen.

Krasinski: “Chris, first of all put your pants on.”

4. Episode 46: Kevin McHale intro with Cate and Harry Minihane

Kevin McHale was fine, but Cate and Harry stole the show on the lead-in to this one.

Highlights: Harry, after he and Cate revealed the ending of Rogue One: “I hope you build Rogue Two better!”

Cate has podcasts on her iTouch but makes it clear her dad’s is not one of them.

Harry wants to live in Maine “because it’s fun!”

If they do move to Maine, Kirk has promised to buy Cate a horse.

Harry repeating his own name over and over.

These two could have gone on for another 40 minutes and it would have been a great podcast on its own.

5. Episode 13: Lou Merloni

This was a buffet of inside radio gossip about everything from why Mut and Benz failed in the midday, Lou not getting the Red Sox radio play-by-play job, to Kirk’s Comcast suspension.

Lou said he and Mut were “thrown to the wolves” on their first day of Mut and Merloni. Here is newly resurfaced video evidence of this. The cafeteria was open that day.

Highlights: Lou and Kirk agreed Mut has improved and gained more confidence since Mut and Merloni and the station will find a place for him. Enter Mut at Night.

It took two minutes for Kirk to mention his podcast was No. 1 on iTunes.

6. Episode 28: Chris Curtis

Prodigal son Chris Curtis announced his triumphant return to the morning show in this podcast. Refreshed and ready to set the dialogue for the city once again, he talked with Kirk about what he did with his time off and how he plans to improve as a producer.

Highlights: The moment Curtis began to speak and you can hear his massive weight loss in his voice.

“As time grew,” “I don’t know if she end up would’ve,” “I was able to view the show from 10,000 feet.” “Joey was making a point about the clock and how important the clock is. And Ken had a great line, he said, “We told them that.”

Kirk: “My prediction is … you will be gone by, what’s today? August… ”

Chris: “17th”

Ben: “18th”

Much sharper than he used to be.

We still to this day don’t know for sure whether or not Chris had some kind of weight loss surgery.

7. Episode 38: Dave O’Brien

Kirk has spent a lot of time ripping Dave O’Brien on the air and O’Brien had zero issues discussing the criticism. He is a well-spoken gentleman who can play along and make fun of himself. O’Brien was willing to join Kirk on the podcast and talk about his hair, his height and whether or not a baseball broadcast should be more like a talk show.

And that is his real voice.

Highlights: O’Brien: “I love Mut. He and I gossip like two little school girls.”

O’Brien talked about his transition to television to replace the ousted Don Orsillo and feels NESN should have handled Orsillo’s departure better.

8. Episode 1: David Portnoy

The one that started it all. This very first episode was, as Kirk will tell you, No. 1 on iTunes, which is not a terrible way for a podcast to debut.

The leader of Barstool Sports was a perfect guest to start with because Stoolies will listen no matter what so that large audience is guaranteed. Combine that with Kirk’s following and it’s an automatic shot to the top of the charts.

Portnoy and Kirk have a similar sense of humor and ego so they work well together.

Highlights: Portnoy: “I’m born with edge. If you touch me you’re just going to get cut.”

Portnoy gets into his problems with Glenn and all the times Glenn has lied to him.

9. Episode 22: Lenny Dykstra

In Kirk’s shortest podcast, Dykstra went from zero to 1,000 when Kirk started doing what he does best and asked him questions tougher than “In your baseball career what were some of your most memorable moments?”

The interview ended with the two yelling at each other and Dykstra hanging up on Kirk. This one was wild but it was Lenny Dykstra so you kind expect anything to happen. Now, if Dave O’Brien did this then that would be something.

Highlights: Everything from 8:11 to 10:20.

10. Episode 18: Artie Lange

Kirk is the self-proclaimed biggest Howard Stern fan on the planet so was this was a dream come true for him.

Artie talked about his career and what it was like to go “from Yuk Yuk’s to playing Carnegie Hall.” He got into the experience of being on Stern’s show and his insane history with drugs.

He also talked about his falling out with Stern and said a reunion will never happen.

Highlights: Artie describing his days on the road while on Stern when strippers started offering him blowjobs.

After one stripper gave him a blowjob on the beach, they watched the sun come up and “if my life was a movie, it should’ve just said ‘The End.'”

Artie is the inspiration behind Kirk’s frequent “Christ” and he gave Kirk his blessing to continue saying it.

Honorable mention:

Episode 29: Bart Hubbuch 

I would give Bart credit for coming on the podcast but what a douche move by him to use headphones for this to intentionally make the sound quality so bad. A testament to what a pathetic person he is.

Highlights: Every time Bart says Boston is a “dreary place.” He said the sun doesn’t shine in Boston in January and February. Not only is that obviously false, but the weather where you live in New York is the same as in Boston, dummy.

Bart: “I’ve never heard of you guys.”

Kirk: “You’ve been on our show.”

Blog Author: 
Lucy Burdge
The Celtics reportedly weren't interested in acquiring DeMarcus Cousins. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sport)s

The Celtics reportedly weren’t interested in acquiring DeMarcus Cousins. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sport)s

ESPN’s Bomani Jones appears to be slandering Boston again.

During a recent edition of his radio show, “The Right Time,” Jones was talking about teams that were linked to center DeMarcus Cousins, who was traded to the Pelicans Sunday. He says Cousins is fortunate he didn’t wind up in Boston, because it wouldn’t have worked for him here.

“I think all of us can say: DeMarcus Cousins in Boston probably wouldn’t have been the best idea.” Jones said. “For a number of reasons, it probably wouldn’t have been the best idea. Right?””

The possible reasoning behind Jones’ proclamation is ambiguous on the surface, but not difficult to surmise once you consider his history. Last month, Jones strongly hinted Celtics fans cheered for Jazz forward Gordon Hayward because he’s white, saying no other fan base would’ve reacted to him that way.

“Is there another arena in the whole country that would get this charged about Gordon Hayward maybe coming as a free agent? Clapping for Kevin Durant is one thing. But if you put Gordon Hayward on the same level as Kevin Durant, you might be the city that had the Kevin Love welcoming tour when he wasn’t even a free agent yet,” he said.

From a basketball standpoint, there’s little reason to think Cousins wouldn’t have fit with the Celtics. Head coach Brad Stevens has never publicly disparaged the three-time All-Star, and point guard Isaiah Thomas, who was teammates with Cousins in Sacramento, said last year it would be “really good” to play with him again.

Given the lack of convincing on-court evidence, it seems like Jones is once again needlessly introducing race to the conversation. Cousins has 17 technical fouls this season and is one of the most demonstrative players in the NBA. Jones, with his comment about Cousins not working in Boston for a “number of reasons,” appears to suggest Celtics fans would reject a passionate black player.

Jones isn’t the first ESPN host to allude to this point. In a podcast earlier this year, NBA analyst Amin Elhassan curiously said Celtics fans wouldn’t take to Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, presumably because he’s an outspoken black athlete.

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer
Michael Smith and Jemele Hill previously hosted "His & Hers" on ESPN2. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Jemele Hill and Michael Smith previously hosted “His & Hers” on ESPN2. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

When ESPN first launched “The Six” with Jemele Hill and Michael Smith, it was billed as a hipper version of “SportsCenter,” set to reclaim weeknight viewers who have fled the network’s outdated signature program. But in reality, the show is unimaginative and boring. There’s nothing edgy about it, unless you consider Smith’s proclivity to wear sneakers with his suit jacket to be wacky instead of forced.

Despite weeks of incessant on-air promotion, including a corny video that features Hill and Smith boogying to the 1988 hit, “It Takes Two,” ratings for the refurbished “SportsCenter” leave much to be desired. On Monday, three weeks after its debut, the show drew 568,000 viewers. That’s less than the 574,000 people who tuned into the 6:00 p.m. airing of “SportsCenter” on the same date one year ago.

Ratings for other ESPN programs are suffering as well. The audience for “Pardon the Interruption” was down 16 percent over the first two weeks of February compared to last year, giving “The Six” a depressed lead-in. But still, with all of the effort spent publicizing the show, the numbers are underwhelming –– just like the product.

At the start of Wednesday’s episode, Hill and Smith spent some time discussing DeMarcus Cousins’ debut press conference with the Pelicans. The most notable tidbit from the conversation was their insistence on calling him “Boogie,” as if they’re close pals. Smith went on to say he’s president of the “Free Boogie Fan Club,” while Hill giggled awkwardly.

Following a staid segment about Paul George’s future with the Pacers –– Smith kept calling him “PG” in a contrived attempt at informality –– the two moved on to Magic Johnson, who didn’t interview a black candidate for the Lakers’ general manager position before hiring agent Rob Pelinka. On The Undefeated, ESPN’s black-interest website, columnist Marc Spears quoted a couple of league executives who criticized Johnson for bypassing potential African-American applicants. Instead of responding with their own takes, Hill and Smith equivocated. They both said they “understand the frustration,” but also believe Johnson must do what he thinks is best for the organization.

“Jeanie [Buss] fired her blood brother. So if you don’t win enough games, she will fire her brother from another mother in a second,” Smith said.

It’s insulting to expect black sports commentators to feel strongly about race relations. But both hosts, especially Hill, have spoken passionately about the subject in the past. Last year, she hosted a televised town hall on ABC with President Barack Obama about race in America.

One of the apparent reasons why Hill enjoys a prominent role on ESPN is her willingness to engage on social issues. But yet, on “The Six,” she plays it down the middle.

And therein lies the biggest problem with the program: there’s nothing memorable about it. The discussions are stale, with Hill and Smith regurgitating talking points that are heard on ESPN throughout the day. Neither take a particularly strong stand on anything, and when they do, they usually side with the athlete in question. Somewhere along the line, ESPN decided to become a promotional vehicle for the players it covers. Hill and Smith, with their insistence on referring to NBA stars by their carefully branded nicknames, feed into that.

Hill and Smith don’t need to turn into screeching hyenas to have a successful talk show. But there must be some elements of provocation. The demonization of “hot take culture” has caused people to forget that nearly every popular sports pundit in history, from Howard Cosell to Michael Wilbon, has routinely shared strong opinions. Hill, who once said cheering for the Celtics is akin to calling Adolf Hitler a victim, is no stranger to controversy. While nobody is clamoring for Nazi analogies, it’s bizarre to see her play an even-tempered role. The show desperately needs a shot of adrenaline.

In order to generate interest, programs must give their audience something to reach to. Tedious segments, like Wednesday’s interminable discussion with analysts Jeff Goodman and Ryen Russillo about NBA trade rumors, don’t accomplish that. Those kinds of dry interviews are staples on indiscernible sports talk shows across the country. They shouldn’t be featured on a supposedly groundbreaking show that ESPN is counting on to help resurrect its “SportsCenter” franchise.

“The Six” is billed as innovative. But the truth is, you’ve seen it a million times before.

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer
Hour 4. Milo is done after advocating for pedophilia. The guys dive into the Red Sox roster.
Hour 4. Milo is done after advocating for pedophilia. The guys dive into the Red Sox roster.

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Hour 3. Kirk and Gerry's dream of doing play-by-play is over.
Hour 3. Kirk and Gerry's dream of doing play-by-play is over.

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President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski joins Kirk and Gerry in Fort Myers.
President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski joins Kirk and Gerry in Fort Myers.

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