Transcript: Couch Talk with Wright Thompson

Couch Talk Episode 58 (play)

Guest: Wright Thompson, and

Host: Subash Jayaraman

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Subash Jayaraman– Hello and Welcome to Couch Talk. Today we are talking with Wright Thompson, writer for and, who has been writing long form features on cricket in the last 18 months starting with the 2011 Cricket World Cup. We will be discussing the evolution of the cricket fan and cricket writer in him the last year and half, his writing technique and methods, sports writing, cricket administration, cricket media in general and his favorite cricketer/team amongst other things.

Welcome to the show, Wright!

Wright Thompson– Great, man. Thanks! I appreciate you for having me!

SJ– It is my pleasure!

Now, you have watched and written about cricket, its three official international formats in the last year and a half – the Cricket World Cup in India and Bangladesh, the India vs England Test match at Lord’s and, recently, the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka. What are your impressions of the sport and how they may have metamorphosed over the last 18 months?

WT-I do have not just an academic understanding of all the three forms of the game – being there and seeing them played helps. For example, in my very amateur view, it is that ODI and T20 are pretty similar, and can get grouped together, with Test cricket at the other side of the spectrum. I found it interesting that the more you know about the sport, the more you realize that it suffers from more of the same problems as the sports at home. The problems plaguing American sports from officiating to commercialisation to the affects of television. There are only a few stories in sports – in any game.

SJ– So, how has your view of cricket changed? First, you went in as a complete newbie. And now, you have seen these three events. And your understanding of cricket, not just the rules and laws of the game, but cricket as a game itself.

WT-I was joking that I know too much about cricket to write for ESPN, but not enough to write for cricinfo. I know enough to be able to enjoy the game. When I was watching the (WCT20) finals, I was very curious about what Mahela’s (Jayawardene) strategy was going to be for dealing with Chris Gayle, and who he was going to bowl, in what order, how he was going to try and get him out. That was really interesting to me- to know some of the things, to understand the strategy behind it. I’m starting to get to the point where I watch it and understand what is going on. It took a while. I learnt the rules very quickly, but that has very little to do with the decisions the captains are making.

The best part of my job is that I can find people to explain things to me. So, the day before the final, I got a former Sri Lankan cricketer to meet me and describe to me what his strategy would be for getting out Chris Gayle, and he had bowled against Chris Gayle. I sort of had that in my head and saw what Mahela chose to do, and realised that he picked the most aggressive strategy possible. In some ways, because it worked so well he really didn’t know what to do next. They put a lot of energy and focus to get Chris Gayle out that, it all fell apart after that. I think you could watch that happen.

SJ– From the perspective of a sports writer, how have things changed? I’m assuming that when you first get introduced and write about a sport, there is so much… Do you feel there has been some refinement in your approach to cricket when it comes to writing about it?

WT-I have approached this a little bit like how I would approach an American sport’s assignment. 18 months ago, I would never have written a profile of Mahela and Kumar (Sangakkara). I wouldn’t have written as much about Chris Gayle. Honestly, if I go back and make a lot of my stories -feel free for everyone to make fun of me. But, I honestly feel that after my journey to T20 WC, I can’t do the “explorer” thing any more. It is just not credible any more. It was OK for my first exploration into cricket, it was credible for my exploration into test cricket and into T20. But now, I’ve been there enough that I’ve to act like I’ve been there.

SJ– It is interesting. That was something that myself and a few of my friends have been talking about how you have been writing the stories – from Feb 2011 to now, with the WT20 in Sri Lanka. And, we were wondering how you set up the story. There was one thing that we agreed on- the enthusiasm that was coming right off the page, which we don’t see as much in majority of the cricket writing. A lot of it can get bogged down by the details, whereas you were painting a picture. You feel that if you continue to do that, you might also perhaps become a victim of it?

WT-No, no, no. That is a really interesting thing, I will come back to it in a second. As a story conceived by a stranger in a strange land, I don’t think works as much. The enthusiasm, let me put it this way – in terms of structuring a story, there is no difference in how I put together a story about my first trip to India than how I profiled Mahela. They are both driven by the desire to understand something. Just, in one of them, I am the main character. I still feel a great sense of wonder about cricket and all these cricketers I am learning about for the first time. I’ve been a beat writer, ad it is hard, it is hard to do it day after day after day.

I just read an anecdote in “Joseph Anton: A memoir”. There is a thing in there, where Kurt Vonnegut says “Rushdie, are you serious about this writing thing?” And Rushdie said “Yes, I am.” Vonnegut said, “One day you will have to write a book, when you don’t have a book.” I think that the hardest thing in the world is to go out and cover something every single day.

You and your friends, if you had to read me writing this every single day, you will be very annoyed, If I were it. I have this incredible benefit of being able to pop in and see everything new. In some ways, I will love to see what Sambit (Bal) noticed in an SEC football game, because it would be stuff that I don’t see. The great advantage is that it is all new. I’m so intellectually plugged in. It is almost overwhelming in the story, which I hope comes through in the stories. Every day is like a priceless discovery.

SJ– You were in a unique position. I think you can answer this question, in the sense that, you have been a beat writer churning out stories after stories. So, are you saying that if you do that for some amount of time that it is impossible not to repeat yourself, or not be jaded with it, or is there actually a method to overcome that, and actually be a refreshing for every time a reader came to read? For example, if you have to write on cricket for five more years and in five years, I read Wright Thompson, your method of writing may have changed or evolved into something else, but wouldn’t we be able to still see the way you look at things with wonder and awe to come through the page?

WT-It will depend on whether or not I was looking at it in wonder and awe. There is a trade-off. With familiarity, you lose wonder and gain expertise. If you want to read about a big event, a circus, or what it was like to be there, you might want to read my story.  But if you really want to know what happened on day-3 of a test match that you care about, say between India and England, and you didn’t get to be there, and you are a cricket fan like you are, you want to read Sambit (Bal). You want to read Andrew Miller. You want to read my friend, Dileep (Premachandran). You want to read these guys who really know what they are talking about.

One of the great joys was sitting with these guys who really knew what was happening, and listen to them explain to me what is happening.

SJ– I get that, and understand that point. My question is that, there are match reports and features based on what happened that day, but we don’t get to read the broadstroke stories in cricket any more.

WT-There certainly is a difference in sports writing tradition. When I talk to the PR people from these countries, they are totally unprepared for the amount of access that I am asking for, which is totally common in American sports. They look at me and ask, “You want to do WHAT?” Cricket is not ready for American sports-writers in terms of what we expect. Do you understand what I mean?

SJ– No, I don’t know what you mean, I have a vague idea, but I would rather you spell it out.

WT– The American sports-writing tradition is based a lot on really in-depth intimate profiles. Every American sports-writer, tell me if anybody is listening to this is totally misunderstanding me, a lot of American sports-writers grew up reading Sports Illustrated and wanted to write such kinds of stories. I feel that cricket writers grew up with a different sports writing tradition.

I look for a profile of Mahela. I do a quick-search, read everything, and I couldn’t find one. That (what I was looking for) would be like a Sports Illustrated story on Mahela. I don’t have a big sense of what is out there. It does feel like a different sports-writing tradition.

SJ– For example, if you take the case of Sachin Tendulkar, you got to talk to him during World Cup last year for 15-20 minutes. But, if you try to read about him online anywhere, like a 2000-5000 word stories, you will see a lot of repetition of stories or facts, just crafted slightly differently. But, if you want to read about LeBron (James), or Kobe (Bryant), or whoever, in the USA, you will find very intimate details about many things. The thing that you said about access comes into that.

WT-It is also that there is such a strong American tradition of narrating a non-fiction story, “Magazine story”. And I don’t know the degree to which that it is in other places. It is, to some extent in England, but I don’t know about it in other places. I don’t have a  great sense of non-fiction writing in other countries.

If the thing you are talking about is about 5000 to 8000 to 9000 word story, is that part of cricket tradition?

SJ– Must have been at some time, and some where it has gone lost.

WT– Really? Was it?

SJ– Off the top of my head, I don’t want to say “No”, because I don’t know everything. If there was one, it probably must have gotten lost. Because, today, if they push 2000 words, it is a lot.

WT-If you were trying to figure out, it is a brave new world. The fact that The Cricketer bought Test Match Sofa, it is awesome! People are trying to figure out what cricket media will look like. If everything that is going on in cricket is going on to cricket media. What is the future going to be? If I were a cricket fan, I want to be certain about of the sanctity and safety of the cricket media than in cricket. Because, we know what the cricket boards are. The guys in the press box are hard working smart and really passionate cricket fans, like Sambit, Dileep, Andrew Miller and Jarrod Kimber, Sam(pson Collins).

I love The Two Chucks. I love that. Sam Collins and Jarrod! A show like that is what I hope finds its way into American sports coverage. That’s a cutting edge stuff they are doing. We would love something like that based on American sports. As someone who is more a cricket fan than a cricket journalist, (I’m not a cricket writer, I want to be but I’m not) I’m more like you than the guys in the press box. I’m a reader. I might be reaching a different conclusion than you about things and facts, but I don’t know all the cricket writers and a lot that comes out is crap. But the people in the top end of the game, like the ones I mentioned, and the handful of other ones, there is some really great high-level analytical stuff being done and in the way that cricket blends itself so perfectly with that sort of works like a baseball thing.

A lot of guys who do it are analytical, who are really interested in the strategies of the game. And there is something deliciously refreshing about people in an age of and soap opera bull-shit are writing about the game itself. They are holding onto the core of cricket in the changing world. Now, there is a lot of crap. If you know the whole thing about the newspaper in Pakistan about my story, about Dav Whatmore?

SJ– No, I don’t know about it. I have been living in a cave for the last month and a half.

WT– This is hilarious. I wrote a story in which there was a scene where I was at a party where Dav was at. He asked a dermatologist guy from California to look at a rash on his leg. Just asked him “What is this?” That guy said “That is from stress.”, and that was the story I wrote. A Pakistani newspapers wrote a ludicrous story about Dav having a meltdown. And then, the Times of India, they picked it up. It is that kind of journalism. This is ludicrous. This is “US weekly”-fication of cricket. But I find great faith in how a lot of people write about the game of cricket. There is just a lot of schlock. And there are a lot of real lazy cricket writers. But the guys at the top of their game, those guys can come and cover the Boston Red Sox tomorrow. It is a very long and complicated answer to what was a very simple question.

SJ– No problem. I want to introduce some of the viewer questions too. Here is one from a good friend, Anantha, from twitter. He says that cricket and baseball – the long lost cousins, are both big on traditions. Can you, Wright Thompson, compare and contrast the two sports from a spectator’s perspective, now that you have observed cricket in different formats and places, and also baseball? And what can cricket administrators learn from American sports to boost attendances, especially for test cricket?

WT– I’ll pick them one at a time.

T20 is a lot like baseball. Test cricket is nothing like baseball, looking at it from a spectator’s view. Baseball on TV and baseball in person have very little to do with each other. I like to watch baseball playoffs. I like the game, I like the Yankees. I don’t like to watch a game during the season. To do that, you need to understand the game like I have to learn the game of cricket to enjoy it. To enjoy the tiny little dramas in the middle of a meaningless game in July is tough for me. Being at a game is beautiful. You can take your friends, drink beer in the stands and it is just transporting. It is just a wonderful live event. Now that I say it out loud, it is like a 3 hour dose of test cricket. It is all an American fan can handle. You be with your friend, you go outside. The best part of a baseball game is the conversation that has nothing to do with the game. You can’t do that in a T20.

SJ– That only happens in Test match cricket when you sit in a stadium for 5 days.

WT– A baseball game is like a 3 hour game when you are there in person. On television, it is very much like T20. American stadiums are different. Every cricket stadium I’ve been to have been designed for people to watch the game. Almost every American stadium is designed to distract the audience from the game. American stadium have a freaking mall in their stadium. The aesthetics are a different thing.

SJ– I see your point. The second part of the question…

WT– To boost attendance? The attendance has nothing to do with the administrators. It is the people who don’t care. It is my theory that they don’t love cricket in India, but that they love the Indian national cricket team, which is somehow blunted by the success of IPL.

SJ– A lot of people will take exception to what you just said, including yours truly.

WT-But the grounds are empty.

SJ– That is true, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that short of a cavity search, the kind of thing that you have to put up with to get to your seat, plus they don’t make it easy for you to get the tickets or get to the game. Or a lot of times, the Test matches start on a Monday or Tuesday. I mean, come on…

WT– Here’s the thing. I was at the cricket World Cup (2011), and when India wasn’t playing, the stadiums were empty. I feel that people are fans of Indian cricket. I don’t know if you think that is wrong?

SJ– Let’s say for argument’s sake what you said is true, it is true for a majority of people. But there are still such a huge number that you can still find 25 million people across the country who are fans of the game of cricket and not just the national team. So, if you market it properly and make it accessible to fans, I’m sure a sizable part of that will get to the game whether or not who is playing.

WT– Do you think that if I let you be in charge of the marketing and ticket sales, you can sell out a test match?

SJ– Yes, I can. No seconds thoughts about it, I can sell out a Test match. I have brought 100s of people to watch people play tennis ball cricket in Penn State University, to matches between kids who can’t even hold the bat properly. I can bring 100 people to watch it. My reason was that I wanted the people in the community I live in to get exposed to the game of cricket. It may not be the top level of the game, but I wanted them to be exposed to the game. My intentions and motivations are very different from someone who is actually running cricket right now.

WT– You are trying to make people to want to watch cricket and they are trying to make money out of it.

SJ– That is correct.

WT– That is interesting. One of the things that I talked about in that story about T20 – can the corrupt, bloated and government institutions that are cricket boards survive the brutal efficiency of commerce? Like, can a cricket board survive a franchise, when it is in the franchise’s best interest for the players to be treated well, the whole thing as a product?

SJ– Here is the neat little thing the richest board has pulled – some of the people running the franchises are also running the board.

WT– Especially, in the IPL.

SJ– Yes, IPL is the richest tournament and BCCI is the richest board. There is no distinction. Eventually, who is getting the shaft?

WT– Do you think there will be a distinction?

SJ– Possibly. I’m not sure.

WT–  Whether there would be a situation like where all these leagues are in competition with the boards?

SJ– Right now, the power is concentrated too much in one place, and I don’t know how you reverse the trend, because other leagues and boards are dependent on one big market which is controlled by one board. When there is diversification of that, when we have more than one superpower, we will see things changing. Till then, it is uni-polar world in cricket. I don’t know what is the motivation for it to change.

WT– You have to have money, and players will have to be willing to risk being banned for life. So, it can’t be a little money, it has to be able to survive them forever. It is not just money, it is just one of the things. Chris Gayle doesn’t need money. There is no reason for him to come back and play for the West Indies. He can come back and play for some other region. I told in that other story, the older and more successful the people get, the more they care about: 1. what they want to do when they are done, and 2. how? Chris Gayle is going to be an old man in Jamaica. Virat Kohli is going to be an old man in India. He wants to do well for India. And of course, it makes total sense, it is not like a transactional effect. It is just an idea that one day, cricket will be like American sports, with franchises chain. I don’t want to buy that.

SJ– No. At least, it is too early to tell. With the way things have been structured, and the way who is running what, I don’t think that is possible in the near future.

WT– Whatever has to happen to cricket hasn’t happened yet.

SJ– For crying out loud, there is no players’ association in three of the test playing nations, especially in India. You say that the board takes care of the players really well, but then why not have a players’ association?  There isn’t one. There have been ideas floated around by leading Indian cricketers, but it takes a silent death and you don’t hear about it again.

Let’s take another question, from Nicole from South Africa. This is about cricket media – Do you believe that cricket media currently does justice to the sport, in terms of how it is covered and the news worthy aspect of cricket and the coverage of global cricket news in neutral places.

WT– I think the games are covered incredibly well. The cricinfo ball-by-ball is the greatest thing that is done in any sport anywhere. It is hilarious. I would like to read some profiles of people just selflessly, as a reader. I’ve never actually seen an issue of the Cricketer. I don’t have a sense of what that is, or what its tradition is. I think I’ve actually written for The Cricketer. This is my own ignorance – I don’t know if there is someone out there doing the stuff that I’m about to say out loud. I would like to read profiles of people, I would like to read someone who is doing a bit of a hard hitting investigation at the BCCI. I’d like “Outside The Lines” to cover cricket. But from in terms of those issues, I don’t see that enough. In terms of the actual coverage of cricket, they are doing an incredible job.

SJ– You have interacted with some of the leading names in cricket reporting and coverage in the world. In terms of covering American sports, you work for the worldwide leader, in the USA. How do you think, for someone who is covering the sports in the USA, is their job different from someone like Sambit or Andrew Miller covering cricket, especially in the sub-continent,. For crying out loud, BCCI will not give press credentials to cricinfo because they are not a publication like a newspaper or magazine.

WT– That is crazy!

SJ– You get credentials to ICC events. In India, if there is a bilateral series, for example, in the recent India vs New Zealand series,  the cricket reporter (form Cricinfo) had to be sitting with the fans in the stadium and he will be reporting from there. He can’t go to the press conferences because you have to be a publication, in terms of newspaper or magazine.

WT– Having been to a cricket press conference, you are not missing anything

SJ– That’s OK, but still (must be allowed to others).

WT– I would compare the cricket writers in a way to American baseball reporters who understand that you play a lot of games, do this day after day, it is a very much a statistic based game, a game of confrontation between batter and pitcher. The cricket media is very much like the baseball media.

SJ– I’m assuming you followed that train wreck of a facebook thread being run by the USACA, about Peter Della Penna.

WT– I’ve not. I saw it, but I was on the road, I got a little of it, but not all of it.

SJ– To summarize it for you – I don’t know where you left it off, but it has just gotten worse. It has gone to a level which can only be described as pathetic. It’s a disgraceful thing that is going on in the thread right now. In terms of administration, it was kind of known the problems about the US cricket administration. But from the professional leagues, the NFL, NBA, MLB… There is a question from one of the listeners, Aditya, who wants to know if cricket can borrow from these US leagues to improve their administration and more importantly, the transparency for their fans.

WT– I don’t really know about it, I don’t want to have an opinion about it, but I want to write a story about it. I’m curious. I read a lot of opinions from all sides of it. I want to make some phone calls and do some research. I think it is important that when I don’t know about it, I don’t want to make any funny jokes here on the show and affect my ability of being an objective reporter.

SJ– Fair enough. Is that going to be about cricket administration as a whole, or about US cricket administration?

WT– I didn’t even know something like USACA existed until someone mentioned that when I was in Sri Lanka. So, I am still fresh to this. I didn’t know we had that. Anything I say is just me popping out, trying to be funny. It might be good for you, but it is awful bad for me!

SJ– I’ll let you easy on that!

We have another question from another listener named Aditya as well. He wants to hear from you what you see in your opinion, where cricket will be 5 years down the line in the USA. And your thoughts on the new T20 league that is to come up with New Zealand Cricket?

WT– I think T20 league here could work. It would work in Northern California, in Houston, Miami, New York, New Jersey. It will work anywhere with huge Indian expat community and/or huge Caribbean expat community. I think that is its market. I think there is certainly a market there. The amount of emails that I receive when I write about cricket, it is stunning.

SJ– Cricket, as  sport itself, taking roots in the USA. Yes, it is alive in the expats, but as a sport itself taking roots in the USA, your thoughts on that.

WT– I would like to see it. It is a really interesting game and there is so much about it that the Americans will like if they got it. The intensity, the slow burn, drama of a run chase. There are a lot of things that the people will love. The problem cricket will have is the problem soccer will have. And  it is fully overcoming. It is 30 years of it being a grass-roots thing. Baseball and football, it is not just that they are popular, but that they are like culture in the DNA. Even golf. Golf is such a mechanism of communication between fathers and sons, playing and watching it.  But it is very tied into deeply held ideas about family and self and identity and soccer is just starting to have that connection through several generations on.

It is an uphill battle going from being something new to a part of the culture to being a part of cultural familiar DNA. That is a hell of a thing. I’m not saying that can’t happen, but in terms of that at grass roots thing being popular in Topeka, KS and as it is in New York City, that takes a while. As entertainment, I totally see that happening, if people can watch and learn the rules. T20 is great on television. I love it. So, those are two separate questions. What do you think?

SJ– If it is marketed properly, and having the right stars, a T20 league can work as a money-spinner. But, in terms of cricket growing, it will take time, and there has to be a period, and like Peter Della Penna mentioned, there has to be locally grown American kids who go on to represent the country. Then, there is a red-white-and-blue story attached to it. Then it can take off.

WT-I’ll love to see an American team play in one of these tournaments. To hear those national anthems, when I was in Sri Lanka, It would bring a tear to my eye to hear “Star Spangled Banner”.

SJ– That would be awesome.

Here is one personal question, and perhaps we can take one question from Nicole again before ending the conversation.

How do you construct a story? How do you go about writing it? How do you frame it? What are the aspects that you look for? Please elaborate about your writing method, technique.

WT-It varies. Every story has an outline – a beginning, middle and the end. I have an idea of what I am doing. When I was writing about Mahela, I realised that it didn’t work for my audience to just write his life story. I think the second section of that story was about me being on a radio show in Sri Lanka and this guy is talking about what the country needed in the immediate aftermath of the war. That needs to be the second section of the story. That needs to explain to the American readers who these guys are and why they matter. So, in that case, I thought that idea was the central for the story to work.

So, it becomes not a story about who is Mahela Jayawardene or who is Kumar Sangakkara. It becomes a story about why did these two guys matter in this place. Really, for an American audience, it is what two people who you never heard of, playing a game you don’t understand, in a place you have never been in, matter? If you do your job, all those things come to matter a great deal.

It is like a dream scenario for someone to read that story and want to watch, want to read the next day and see how they did, to be interested in their success and how they matter in their place. I would love it if everybody who read that piece and didn’t know anything about cricket woke up the next day, went to cricinfo to see who won. That will be awesome, because you will touch someone.

I just think that you need to think so about every story. The Chris Gayle story, on the last day. I just try to have a very clear sense in the beginning of what the story is.

SJ– You are writing for an American audience. It goes for . But, the story really worked for the audience that grew up around cricket, who grew up in the sub-continent as well. Having grown up in the sub-continent, they have quite a knowledge about what went on in Sri Lanka, and in Lahore and all that stuff. But still, the story worked really well. That’s why I was wondering about your technique, which even when you say was for an American audience, works really well for everyone.

WT– Well, you made my damn day. I’m just trying to write an interesting story. It really makes me very happy. It was a long night. I wanted to something nice, something special and I worked really hard at it. The fact that it worked is very meaningful to me. Thank you.

SJ– You are quite welcome!

Last question, this one from Nicole again. She wants to know how much have you explored into cricket video archives on youtube and tapes et, and which player/team/match do you wished you had seen live as it was being played.

WT– I’m about to expose myself from the Yankee pretender to the cricket book of knowledge. I like to see overs with 6 sixers. Fours, fours, sixes and more fours. I love to watch people just hammering it. There is one clip where Chris Gayle hits it out of the Oval into a school. I love to watch these. There is a guy from Pakistan, who pelts them down the street… broke the traffic light?

Afridi. Yes. That guy was hitting the balls that went bouncing down the streets. That’s awesome. i watch a  lot of that. I love to youtube clips of people sledging. Have you seen the one with Kumar (Sangakkara)?

SJ– Yes, I have seen the one with Sangakkara!

WT– Oh my God. “That is a lot of pressure! 43 million people in the country”, and that is totally awesome. you know that it is exactly what they were thinking! That was fantastic!

SJ– One mini question – Nicole again – do you feel affinity to any particular player or team?

WT– I’m a big Sachin Tendulkar guy, I was really pulling for India when he was playing just because he introduced me to cricket, really. I felt really good about the quarter finals. When we got to the semi-finals in the T20 WC, any of the teams winning  would have been alright with me. I spent a lot of time with the Pakistani fans. I wanted to see Mahela and Kumar win a world cup, I don’t think that will happen, really. It was fun to watch Chris Gayle. I’m not a fan of any team, I like the Indians doing really well.

I like (Rahul) Dravid, and Tendulkar. The understanding that the people have, the history attached to these people, I don’t know any of it. It is a weird thing to me. I’ve gone from never having heard of Sachin Tendulkar to see him win the world cup to seeing his game completely deteriorate, while that happens to a normal cricket fan over the course of 20 years, it looked like a really speeded up version of ageing.

I’m a fan of the game. I don’t say that to cop out. I don’t have a team. If the United States had great a team I will absolutely be a die-hard American cricket fan. As it is, I am a big cricket fan and I like to see players do well. So, I don’t meant to cop out. You know how die-hard fans have teams they hate? I don’t have that either. In some way, I am free of both love and hate. Which means I am not really a cricket fan at all, right?

SJ– Ha ha! Not necessarily! That means you have enjoyed the sport for what it is and it doesn’t matter whether you have a horse in the race or not.

Alright, man! Thanks a lot for coming on the show. It was an absolute pleasure talking to you!

WT– Great! Any time! Good bye!

SJ– Bye!

Download the full episode here.

Episode transcribed by: Bharathram Pattabiraman