C/O Michael Foster

Two McMaster basketball players started a podcast discussing their lives as student-athletes and things around the world

Ever since the cancellation of in-person activities throughout the world, many athletes have sought the virtual world as a place of comfort. In fact, some professional sports leagues have partnered with video game companies to deliver virtual tournaments, watchable by fans. The National Basketball Association conducted a video game tournament involving various athletes around the league, such as Zach Lavine and Devin Booker, broadcasting their virtual games to fans. Booker took home the top prize with a $100,000 donation split between two charities, Arizona Food Bank Network and #FirstRespondersFirst.

As the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way people worked, transitioning to a home office, it has been noted by Spotify that podcast usage has switched from only morning commutes to scattered throughout the day. 

It just allows for even more time for them to consume podcasts in different times and different ways,” said Dawn Ostroff, chief content and advertising officer of Spotify during the company’s quarterly shareholder meeting.

It just allows for even more time for them to consume podcasts in different times and different ways,” said Dawn Ostroff, chief content and advertising officer of Spotify during the company’s quarterly shareholder meeting.

Just as more podcasts are being listened to throughout the day, with everyone being at home, new podcasts are also being launched during the pandemic.

“[Podcasting] is more and more the way people are spending time, trying to educate themselves, trying to get smarter, trying to have companionship in a moment when people are alone,” said Anya Grundmann, the senior vice president of programming of National Public Radio, to CNN Business

With the sudden rise in podcast popularity, two McMaster men’s basketball players felt compelled to start their own. Brandon Bernard and Tristan Lindo, both third-year students in the Communications Studies Program, created The Player’s Podcast to discuss their lives as student-athletes. Inspired by the podcast, Knuckleheads, the duo discusses topics such as U Sports, the world we live in, the McMaster men’s basketball team and provide tips on how to succeed in sports. 

“As far as our content, we usually talk one or two nights before and just brainstorm what we really want to talk about — like stuff that’s hot at that time and just try to talk about something that would intrigue people to want to watch,” said Bernard on how they plan for each podcast.

Their first podcast discussed the cancellation of the NBA season, U Sports and the Black Lives Matter movement. Both Bernard and Lindo found that following the cancellation of the U Sports fall 2020 championships and the closure of gyms, it was tough to maintain the same level of play without access to proper conditioning equipment and team practices. But with the cancellation of the fall 2020 season, players do not have to juggle both athletics and academics at the same time. With that being said, the transition to online learning has been more difficult than anticipated.

“I feel like its a tiny bit harder just because even with senior friends reminding you of due dates, it’s so [much] easier to lose track of things when [class is] online compared to when it’s in person. It’s so [much] easier to fall behind in the lecture, it’s so [much] easier to fall behind in readings and everything else . . . But without having basketball it’s a little bit easier. If we had basketball on top of school, it would be hectic,” said Lindo.

“I feel like its a tiny bit harder just because even with senior friends reminding you of due dates, it’s so [much] easier to lose track of things when [class is] online compared to when it’s in person. It’s so [much] easier to fall behind in the lecture, it’s so [much] easier to fall behind in readings and everything else . . . But without having basketball it’s a little bit easier. If we had basketball on top of school, it would be hectic,” said Lindo.

As opposed to the National Collegiate Athletic Association which brings in massive amounts of revenue, Bernard believes that U Sports and Ontario University Athletics are not really a “cash cow,” as evidenced by U Sports’ large operations deficit for the 2018-2019 season and limited net gains for the 2019-2020 season. 

“There’s a ton of endorsements, media outreach, lots of people watching and betting involved, so lots of money tied up in the NCAA whereas, in U Sports, they’re paying to have places rented and lodging accommodations paid for. I don’t believe money is an issue to bring back sports. They’re paying to have a program for us, whereas the NCAA is the opposite,” said Bernard of his thoughts on the contrast between associations. Bernard believes that the reimplementation of sports will ultimately be a health-based decision as opposed to being financially driven.

“There’s a ton of endorsements, media outreach, lots of people watching, and betting involved so lots of money tied up in the NCAA whereas, in U Sports, they’re paying to have places rented and lodging accommodations paid for. I don’t believe money is an issue to bring back sports. They’re paying to have a program for us, whereas the NCAA is the opposite,” said Bernard of his thoughts on the contrast between associations.

“[The podcast is] something we can do and hopefully bring people here to see what we say on these topics. [We] want to focus not so much on basketball . . . but life as a whole, so everything can relate,” said Bernard and Lindo.

They both further explained how they would love to continue after graduation or pass it onto some teammates who would be suited for this job. 

“If you like good talks, funny moments and take away something that could benefit in your day, definitely tune into our podcast. We’re always taking questions either through Twitter or Instagram so definitely hit us up there. I think [questions are] the most engaging part. We’re not catering for one type of community — anyone can come on. Whether you’re a grandma or a mother, you can talk to us, ” Bernard and Lindo stated.

“If you like good talks, funny moments and take away something that could benefit in your day, definitely tune into our podcast. We’re always taking questions either through Twitter or Instagram so definitely hit us up there. I think [questions are] the most engaging part. We’re not catering for one type of community, anyone can come on. Whether you’re a grandma or a mother, you can talk to us, ” Bernard and Lindo stated.

The Player’s Podcast is available to listen via the McMaster men’s basketball YouTube channel. Questions can be submitted directly to Bernard and Lindo on Instagram.

Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.