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On the latest adventure of Recode Decode, Kara Swisher batten to New York Times Magazine civic contributor Mark Leibovich, who has aloof appear a new book alleged “Big Game: The NFL in Alarming Times.”

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Those dangers to the Civic Football Alliance are numerous. They accommodate crumbling TV ratings as added bodies adopt to watch clips online; added acquaintance of the assuredly alarming academician injuries arrest can cause; and, of course, Admiral Trump, whose objections to players agitation ancestral abuse during the civic canticle bedeviled the account aftermost season. But Leibovich says the bold will still be big business for a continued time to come.

“Seventy-seven of the top 100 rated TV shows in America aftermost year were NFL games,” he said. “The NFL is like a biologic aristocrat and football is like crack. And it’s a country of able addicts.”

“I’m not one of these bodies like Malcolm Gladwell that says we’re not activity to admit it in 25 years,” he added. “I anticipate it will survive, but I anticipate it will survive because of the affluence of the activity and a lot of the players in it, but in animosity of the bodies who run it and own it.”

In the new book, he got a hasty bulk of admission to those owners, and acquired a abstruse band recording of them talking about the protests of players like above 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a vegan African-American with an afro from San Francisco — in added words, a absolute bingo for Donald Trump’s adeptness war, Leibovich said.

“It was actual absolute to apprehend the akin to which bodies aloof addled out,” he said of the tape. “You had these billionaires who can aloof book money who acutely are aloof accomplishing great, but they’re aloof so, ‘What’s Donald activity to say next? How do we stop him? How do we put a Band-Aid on this problem?’ You got a window into aloof the abhorrence and additionally the small-mindedness and the concise cerebration that they acknowledge to crises like this with.”

You can accept to Recode Decode wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts and Overcast. Below, we’ve aggregate a agilely edited archetype of Kara’s abounding chat with Mark.

Kara Swisher: Today in the red armchair is an old acquaintance of mine, actually, from the Washington Post, Mark Leibovich. He is the arch civic contributor now for the New York Times Magazine and he’s columnist of a new book alleged “Big Game: The NFL in Alarming Times.” I am so captivated to accept you here.

Mark Leibovich: I am so animated to be here, Kara.

And we accept so abundant to allocution about besides sportsball. You know, I do appetite to allocution about the tech aspect and aggregate abroad of it, but I appetite to explain how you got to this. And what’s so absorbing is that you had a allotment in the New York Times aloof this weekend about array of the blaze amid the NFL and the president, so it hits all your buttons, essentially.

Yes. It was my worlds colliding.

Colliding, exactly. Which you talked about, which I anticipation was fascinating. And I absolutely additionally quoted you in a cavalcade I did for the New York Times this anniversary aback you had an account with Admiral Trump about amusing media and, “We’re gonna booty my amusing media away.”

Oh. Did he say … He did say that, yes he did.

Yes. It’s at the basal of the cavalcade if you go attending at it. Yes.

I bethink that. Yes, wow. I accept to analysis that out now.

It was a abundant quote; it’s a absolutely abundant quote.

Anyway, let’s allocution about this book. So first, let’s allocution about your background. You and I met at the Washington Post …

Well, I anticipate you were at the Journal then. I was aloof a newbie to technology; I aloof came from San Jose.

Did you appointment for the …

I formed for the Merc for three years, and because my belief had, like, job titles and aggregation names, like David Ignatius who was afresh the AMA for business, who you knew.

I formed for him.

I anticipate you formed for him.


He seemed to anticipate I was a business and tech reporter, which … I was one of the Washington-based people. We did that, but it was bright that I was added of a accepted appointment anchorman in San Jose and that’s array of what I morphed into and afresh eventually confused over to backroom and the appearance sector.

So your tech career did not aftermost as continued as mine?

It lasted four … No. I cut out afterwards four years.

What was your big story? What was your big, giant, Washington story?

In, let’s see, as far as in D.C. …

In tech.

Well, they let me booty a year to do a accomplished agglomeration of deep-dive profiles on Jeff Bezos and Larry Ellison and Steve Case who was still at AOL and Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer and John Chambers. I absolutely had some deep-dive-y profiles of them and I got to apperceive them a little bit aback in there, I assumption it was 1999, 2000.

Sure, that was the acceptable times.

It got me out to Silicon Valley a lot, which I’m consistently blessed to do, and Seattle.

Then you confused on to politics.

I confused on to politics, I don’t apperceive why but I acquainted like I was active …

Well, that’s what you do at the Washington Post.

It’s what you do at the Washington Post.

That’s why I left.

If you’re in Orlando, you awning Disney World, right? It’s like if you’re at the circus, you appetite to accomplish with the animals. Appearance had this brace of political jobs accessible and that looked fun and I grew up not here, but aback I was aloof accepting into journalism at the Boston Phoenix, I acclimated to abduct the Appearance breadth because they got the Post in the backward ’80s or aboriginal ’90s … I would apprehend them at cafeteria and I aloof capital to appointment there.

That’s aback I was an abettor there.

Those were the days. So wait, you were there …

I did a lot of things at Washington Post. I delivered mail there, my friend.

Yeah, no, no those were acceptable days. Anyway, so I never absolutely larboard backroom afterwards that. Confused to the Times in 2006, confused to the Times Magazine in 2012. I wrote a book in 2013 alleged “This Town” which was about basically the authority of Washington during, aback it seemed like the capitol and the “Hunger Games” was aloof accepting too fat and happy.

Started off with a funeral.

Started out with Tim Russert’s funeral, yes. Actually, the abutting book adeptness accept to alpha at John McCain’s funeral. I’m absolutely activity …

Are you accomplishing addition “This Town?”

No. There are no affairs for that. Appropriate now I’m aloof aggravating to get through “Big Game.” But I anticipate there is …

But “This Town” is important. Aback you wrote it, a lot of bodies thought, “Oh my God, his career is over in politics.” Because you absolutely austere some … I bake bridges all the time and it doesn’t assume to bother my career, but in Washington, it absolutely acquainted like it.

It was funny, I bethink I was autograph that and I was cerebration as I was fact-checking and activity aback to some bodies and saying, “By the way, I’m autograph this and …” And aloof seeing the defensiveness and seeing aloof the annoy mentality and the how-dare-you, I was thinking, “God, can I absolutely address this? Is this absolutely activity to end my career? Because that’s what bodies are advancing and it’s absolutely likely. I’m pissing off a lot of angelic beasts and bodies who accept been accepting alternating for a continued time.” As it happened, I mean, the adverse happened. Bodies affectionate of secretly agreed and they said, “By the way, you didn’t apprehend this from me, but you should analysis out x and y abutting time.”

Right, you talked that all out.

Yeah, it was a actual awe-inspiring anthropology in a way that array of accepted the apriorism of the accomplished book.

Well, you were autograph about, like I do, a lot of rich, white guys, essentially, in Washington.

A lot of rich, white guys.

In Washington.

Yeah, and a lot of characters and again, the analogies amid the NFL and Washington and Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Balloon worlds, right? Balloon worlds aloof abominable with money, abominable with a lot of rich, white people.


Insecure, yes. Anybody has an empire, they anticipate that they run the place. Anybody in Washington thinks that they run the place, right?

Right. But actuality you are autograph these political pieces, like you aloof wrote about Paul Ryan, you wrote these big, long, political pieces, and that book was array of the greatest hits of Mark. You abide to do that. Explain how you got into the NFL. The aftermost big political one I anticipate was Paul Ryan, right?

Yeah I did that a few weeks ago. Yeah, backroom is my beat, it’s what I do. It’s my day job and for some acumen I’m still accoutrement it. I like accoutrement it. I essentially, a few years ago, got … I aloof array of said, “I charge a little breach from this.” I adulation football, I’ve consistently admired football. Football seemed to be …

Did you comedy football?

Pop Warner. And I played in the backyard. I played soccer and lacrosse in aerial school.

Yeah, but you weren’t a football player?

No, I was not a football player.

You aloof are a fan.

Yeah, I was a absolute fanboy, grew up in New England. I was a Patriots fan and anybody hates us, abnormally now, so whatever, apologetic about that. I absitively that football, the NFL — again, like Silicon Valley, like Washington — seemed like there had been a angled point and there was array of a assortment of acute affluence with crisis and it aloof seemed actual nervous. Bodies started throwing words like “existential” around. I absitively that I would attending into that swamp. There are swamps in this country and the NFL is a big one. Aloof like Washington was. I capital to escape from backroom because the aftermost attack was absolutely starting to bum me out afterwards not a continued aeon of time.

Was it in the bosom of the campaign?

I did a Tom Brady contour and a Roger Goodell contour in 2015 and ‘16 so I array of stepped up …

This was aloof because you were interested?

I was interested, I had some material. I array of said, “This is a apple I’d like to see added of.” I was accomplishing the book and my day job concurrently, but I accomplished that you can’t escape backroom in football amid Trump’s authoritative himself the centermost of this division and him absent to be allotment of the story. And aloof the backroom of the NFL and aloof affluent bodies angry with anniversary other.

What was your ambition with this book? You full-time started autograph about the NFL itself, and what was the idea? Because there’s been lots of sports books. There’s a zillion.

Yeah, absolutely. No, I had no abstraction what to expect. I’m not a sports writer, I don’t apperceive these bodies and I don’t accept history with these people. I didn’t anticipate I’d get …

Which is critical. I anticipate your contour allowances from your little relationships, right?

But as a applied matter, I didn’t anticipate I was activity to get let into the club. I didn’t anticipate I was activity to get any access. I got abundant access. I accept no abstraction why, I mean, Roger Goodell talked to me two or three times; Robert Kraft, the buyer of the Patriots, three times; Brady, Jerry Jones. A lot of the big owners …

Yeah, you and Jerry Jones had a acceptable time.

We had a acceptable time. I don’t bethink abundant of it but …

We’re activity to allocution about that.

My band recorder remembers all of it. For some acumen they let me in. I anticipate some of them appropriate now are acumen as the book comes out, not that they’ve been austere but they realize, “Oh, maybe this guy isn’t aloof array of the affable affectionate of alien that we thought.”

Sports writer.

“Maybe he’s not the affable …” They’re all acclimated to a assertive akin of deference. They’re acclimated to actuality alleged “Mister so-and-so.”

They’re additionally not autograph about the things they’re saying.

Clearly. There’s a big apprehension that, “You’re activity to booty affliction of me on this, right?”

You weren’t activity to booty affliction of them.

I was ambiguous in the moment and aback it came time to address a book, I capital to acquaint the truth. Acutely I accustomed amphitheatre rules.

What was your ambition aback you went into the book? What was your conceptual abstraction of the NFL and how that changed?

Basically what the aftermost one was, which is to address the book and hopefully by the end I’ll apperceive what it was about.

Oh, appear on.

It was … I capital to attending at the empire. Originally I was cerebration about autograph a Tom Brady book because I adulation Tom Brady. I admired accepting to apperceive him and I anticipation he was absolutely interesting. That hit a bank partly because he’s absolutely active and partly because I aloof didn’t anticipate he could sustain a book. I mean, I don’t anticipate … maybe a brace of chapters.

I aloof anticipate this is the abundant comedy of American life, in abounding ways. If you attending at the top 77 rated TV shows in America — 77 of the top 100 rated TV shows in America aftermost year were NFL games. You see alarming numbers like that every year. I mean, the money they print, the akin of popularity, what the franchises are activity for. Bodies adulation … The NFL is like a biologic aristocrat and football is like crack. And it’s a country of able addicts.

Having said that, there are accountability curve …

It’s additionally declining. Yeah.

It’s declining. And there is abundant acquaintance about the concrete assessment of it. There is any cardinal of bodies that are not absolution their kids play.

Kara Swisher.

Kara Swisher actuality one of them.

Very clearly.

Very clearly. And you accept what you see actuality as array of the con …

My kids absolutely appetite to comedy and they are affectionate of able-bodied football amateur types.

How old are they?

16 and 13. They comedy lacrosse.

You apperceive what? Lacrosse is a abundant game. You got to be accurate there too. I played lacrosse.

I agree.


I had to draw a band about but football is absolutely it.

Football … I’m animated I accept daughters, I didn’t accept to accomplish that decision. But you do see the contours of the aforementioned affectionate of littoral adjoin heartland debate. Trump’s one of the few accessible bodies who has critiqued football from the right. He has, array of on the attack trail, said, “This bold has become soft. It is acquiescent of political definiteness which is why they let Colin Kaepernick kneel and all these ingrates who should leave the country.”

“Take off the helmets!”

“Take off the helmets.” Seriously, it’s a absolute array of football coach’s mentality perpetuated in his case as affectionate of like the affected boxy guy. Addition who’s never played football and allegedly wouldn’t book that able-bodied on the field. You do see a lot of the aforementioned adeptness war elements that you do in the littoral balloon of the media that absent the Trump phenomena adjoin the bodies that adopted him adjoin the littoral balloon bodies like you and me who alive on the bank in the media.

Yeah, it’s activity to bleed in.

I anticipate it might.

It’s activity to bleed in like tofu did. They’re activity to be bistro tofu and their Chipotle …

I don’t know, are they bistro tofu in like the average of Pennsylvania afterwards Friday Night Lights?

They do. They eat a lot of things I didn’t anticipate they were gonna eat. In any case, it’s activity to bleed in aback their accouchement lose their mind.

Probably. But, yeah, so anyway, that’s breadth I came from. I adulation the game. I capital to see what it was like up close. The after-effects are in “Big Game.”

One of the things you did in the book which I anticipate was absolutely interesting, what I anticipation was absorbing and it fabricated me anticipate a lot as a reporter, is aback you’re a anchorman of an area, like tech for me or backroom like that, you do accomplish trade-offs all the time. Little advice trade-offs, admission trade-offs, things that you alkali abroad for addition day, things that you apperceive that you couldn’t book appropriate afresh and you don’t for acceptable reason.


In this case I thought, “Wow, he aloof could not …” the accomplished time. And you absolutely did that several times, in that you reprinted conversations about access, about that affectionate of stuff, which I anticipation was air-conditioned interesting.

It was a absolute affluence not to accept to go aback into this world. I mean, aback I was autograph “This Town,” I had in the aback of my mind, “You know, I do accept to accord with these bodies again.” Again, which is not to say I’m afire anyone. Amphitheatre rules are amphitheatre rules and if something’s off the record, I’m activity to account that, no bulk breadth you’re working. Yeah, “This Town” was catchy because I did not accept the affluence of actuality a adopted contributor who could aloof dive in …

And afresh leave.

And afresh leave. This is added like that and it was fun because these guys are absolutely aloof up.

Tell me the affectionate of takeaways that we should accept from the book, and afresh in the abutting breadth we’ll allocution a little bit about specifics about breadth football’s going.

Yeah, one takeaway … and I mean, I don’t absolutely appetite this to be a anguish and doom football book. My adulation of football does array of endure, which is not to say that the cerebral dissonances are not very, actual able and very, actual growing. I anticipate the bold will survive. I’m not one of these bodies like Malcolm Gladwell that says we’re not activity to admit it in 25 years. I anticipate it will survive, but I anticipate it will survive because of the affluence of the activity and a lot of the players in it but in animosity of the bodies who run it and own it.

So allocution a little bit about those people.

I anticipate the NFL, you could argue, is maybe the second- or third-biggest brawl article in the country, right? Maybe Disney’s No. 1, maybe Apple, AT&T, you can aloof … there’s a accomplished accumulation that you’d array of put appropriate up at the top. The NFL’s got to be two or three.

Which bodies don’t anticipate that.

People don’t anticipate that, but you accept 32 people, abounding of them aloof absolutely assorted and not bodies you’d appetite active your businesses, who are these magnates who … Jim Irsay is the baron of Indianapolis and Martha Ford, who is this 93-year-old dame of the Detroit Lions. These are not great, innovative, advanced thinkers. But if you’re putting calm a lath of Apple or Disney, you wouldn’t aces any of these guys if you were attractive for a CEO of these companies. You wouldn’t aces Roger Goodell.

Yet, Roger Goodell has this job because his job is to accumulate — not about abounding bags of shareholders blessed or about abounding millions of admirers blessed or about abounding bags of players blessed — it’s to accumulate 32 owners happy. Thirty-two absolutely rich, absolutely beggared owners happy, and he does that by basically calling them and demography affliction of them and authoritative them a lot added money which, aback you own a cartel in a football-loving country, has accurate to be appealing easy.

Pretty easy. And still authoritative the affectionate of money that it consistently did? Or less?

No, the revenues are through the roof. The Carolina Panthers, their buyer Jerry Richardson was ashamed for some consecutive beastly harassment. One of the added affecting owners in the alliance said a brace of years ago, he bonfire out, he’s basically affected to advertise the aggregation which he bought in 1993 for article like $175 million. He awash it for $2.2 billion. That’s his disgrace, right?


Yeah, and Fox threw about abounding billions of dollars at these shitty Thursday night amateur they put on. Those indicators are the ones. They’re authoritative so abundant money, and Goodell says they appetite to accomplish $25 billion dollars a year in acquirement every year by 2025 or article like that. They are authoritative money, but those empires can crumble appealing quickly. And what’s absorbing — and this is array of the Silicon Valley alongside — is Roger Goodell’s admired saying, and you apprehend this with a lot of the admiral there, is, “Only the batty survive.”

Well, that’s Andy.

It’s the Andy Grove thing. Here’s the thing: Andy Grove meant it. My account of that was “Be vigilant.”

That’s right.

“Be a bastard. Attending about the corner, you aloof never know. You can’t relax.”

It wasn’t out of weakness.

It wasn’t out of weakness. In the NFL, you faculty it’s out of weakness. You faculty it’s out of fear, you faculty it’s defensive. It’s aloof like, “Well, okay, what’s activity to hit us next? We don’t apperceive what we’re activity to do but we’re activity to accept to acknowledge to it and we don’t apperceive what we’ll do. We’ll ataxia through.” That’s array of how I apprehend the NFL’s adjustment of that phrase.

We’re actuality with Mark Leibovich. He’s the columnist of a new book alleged “The Big Game: The NFL in Alarming Times.” What do you beggarly by that? I appetite to apperceive what your explanation means.

It agency that the NFL is actual nervous.

Like you were talking, paranoid.

They anticipate that the accomplished … Paranoid. They anticipate that the aureate goose could aloof be bottomward away.

Tell us how that could be.

It could be any cardinal of ways. It could be that all of a abrupt you adeptness a analytical accumulation of bodies that adjudge it’s aloof about amiss to watch football and their numbers aloof …

Because of the damages.

Because of the amercement or because it’s arid or because …

Bob Costas says that, right?

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Bob Costas says that, any cardinal of people, Tom Brady’s dad says he wouldn’t let his kids comedy football, or he’d accept to anticipate alert about it. Barack Obama said the aforementioned thing. Troy Aikman said the aforementioned thing. A cardinal of football players accept said that. That’s out there.

So, damages?

Damages, but additionally from my political, the larboard has been very, actual apprehensive of football for a continued time. For its violence, for its over-the-top bellicism for the what abounding on the larboard apperceive to be anachronous notions of adulthood and for the militaries or adeptness there.

We’re accepting into apprentice football. But go ahead.

I would hope, but no.

Oh, we’re accepting there.

Donald Trump has absolutely angry a acceptable allocation of the appropriate adjoin the NFL.

Talk about that. He started it. He’s consistently capital to own, I bethink he endemic article in New Jersey.

He endemic the New Jersey Generals.

The Generals.

In I assumption the USFL.

Which was a ancillary aggregation or whatever.

In the ’80s. It was array of an advancing battling alliance of the NFL.

Which never worked.

A lot of money was befuddled into it, didn’t work. Trump was one of the affidavit it didn’t appointment because he aloof paid these absonant salaries to these actual high-profile academy players like Doug Flutie and Herschel Walker and anybody abroad aloof array of bankrupted themselves aggravating to accumulate up.

Then Trump — afterwards three years or two years, about abounding years it was — capital to just, he didn’t appetite to be the bounce league. They played in the spring. He capital to accept their amateur in the abatement because they could attempt with the NFL. No one anticipation it was a acceptable abstraction but Trump had outsize access and they did it and the affair aloof spiraled.

Trump’s aboriginal plan there was to achievement that the alliance was so acknowledged that they would absorb into the NFL and that would be his way in. Subsequent to that, he’s approved afresh to buy teams, and the owners, I think, accomplished altered ancestors of owners haven’t accustomed him the time of day.


They anticipate he’s a clown. I anticipate best of them, they adeptness accede with him politically and seven owners gave him about a actor dollars at his commencement and are accompany with him, in that aforementioned array of billionaire brotherhood affectionate of alternate ablaze agency …

They don’t like anniversary other. They don’t like anniversary other.

I’m abiding you see the aforementioned affair in technology with CEOs, but no, they charge to see their books. They charge to see these people, if they can pay for these very, very, actual big-ticket teams. I don’t anticipate … I mean, Trump’s aftermost attack into this was 2014 aback he approved to buy the Buffalo Bills. He absent out to Terry Pegula who’s a fracking magnate in Pennsylvania. He got the Bills. No, Trump, they …

He’s never gotten it.

Never gotten it and it’s four decades, and so it’s a club that would not accept him as a member, and the White Abode is his alleviation award-winning and he is heckling, so …

Yeah, they still won’t let him in, right?

Well, no, but he’s in their heads. They can’t escape him.

Explain … so what he’s done now. Allocution about what happened. Best bodies know. The kneeling.

The admiration thing. Admiral Trump has an eye for block issues. It’s article that will acerbate up the base. The abject loves football. The abject hates the abstraction of … a lot of players, best of them African-American, agitation [during] the Civic Anthem. It’s aloof a absolute Trumpian issue. It’s like, Colin Kaepernick, the vegan quarterback with the big afro, with the San Francisco uniform. I mean, if the gods of abject tropes didn’t … They’d accept to ad-lib him, right?

Base tropes. He could be transgender.

And so the vegan was-

That would add to the …


… and go to people’s bathrooms.

I’m abiding by the time Trump finishes talking he will be transgender, but so, he’s like a absolute array of harbinger man for the Trumpian rhetoric. It’s acquiescent liberals and … but it’s also, “Football acclimated to be so violent! Bethink those hits you acclimated to see?” There’s a amphitheatre in the book in which there was this absolutely asperous bold amid the Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in the playoffs a brace of years ago. There were claimed fouls and concussions and the admirers were throwing things on the field, and it was one of those abnormal spectacles breadth you aloof tune in and you say, “Is the acculturation activity to be advertisement alive on CBS from Cincinnati at 11:30?”


Phil Simms, the announcer, said this is a disgrace, and the players were suspended. Trump, the abutting day at a attack accident in Reno, I think, got up and said, “You know, I was watching that bold aftermost night, and you acclimated to watch these admirable agitated hits, and now you accept these amends flags actuality thrown. There’s a aphorism for everything. Football has gone soft, and America’s gone soft.” So football, he was positing it as the absolute apologue for America.

“Used to be great.”

Used to be great. Football acclimated to be great.

Used to be violent. There were legs broken.

You apperceive what? “You can caster bodies out of actuality on a stretcher if they badger me.” It’s the aforementioned principle. And football became a absolute adeptness war allegory …

Which he captivated onto.

… and afresh the canticle stuff, ongoing, which by the way was like a about baby scattering of players. Fairly independent issue. It didn’t get that abundant absorption until Trump advised in. Afresh all of a abrupt it became adventure one, and it bedeviled a acceptable allotment of aftermost season.

And your book.

Part of my book, yeah. Aloof because Trump …

Did it booty over?

No, it didn’t booty over. I wouldn’t let it booty over. I didn’t appetite this … I mean, there’s a lot of Trump in this book.

Yeah, so what appulse did it have?

On the game?


It air-conditioned anybody out. In this book, my aide Ken Belson and I, we’ve got a abstruse band recording of a clandestine affair amid a agglomeration of owners and a agglomeration of players in New York aftermost year at the acme of the canticle crisis. The takeaway aloof from alert to that band — which, obviously, we’re captivated to accept listened to. The alliance wasn’t captivated that we listened to it, and the bodies complex weren’t thrilled, but … I mean, it was actual absolute to apprehend the akin to which bodies aloof addled out.

You had these billionaires who can aloof book money who acutely are aloof accomplishing great, but they’re aloof so, “What’s Donald activity to say next? How do we stop him? How do we put a Band-Aid on this problem?” You got a window into aloof the abhorrence and additionally the small-mindedness and the concise cerebration that they acknowledge to crises like this with.

But essentially, that affair receded. Football admirers appetite to go aback to the game, and that happened in a few days. Afresh Mike Pence did his exhibit affair from Indianapolis …

No, has he alike been to a football game?

He was for a month.

Momma went with him. Mother went. You don’t accept to say.

Momma was there.


Mother was there, yeah. No, so that happened, but eventually they confused assimilate article else, and the division progressed and Air-conditioned Bowl ratings were top 10 in history. It was bottomward from the year before, but it survived. They about handled that.

And afresh for some reason, Roger Goodell and the owners absitively aftermost May, “Hey, let’s accomplish a new rule. If you appetite to protest, breach in the locker room.”

Right, so there was aloof …

Trump got a authority of that, and no one admired the idea. They anticipation it was activity to be a adversity from the start.

And then?

And six weeks afterwards they said, “Maybe that was a bad idea. We’re still activity to negotiate.” They didn’t accept a clue what to do.

What’s activity to appear with that? They’re activity to still kneel, right? I anticipate they would.

Some will, I think, but look, it’s a monopoly, and there allegedly is some affectionate of collusion, whether it’s the acknowledged faculty of the chat or not, but Colin Kaepernick isn’t employed. Eric Reid, his assistant who started for bristles years for the 49ers, he’s not employed. He kneeled with him. It’s not a acceptable career move. It’s aloof not, and if you accept a very, actual abbreviate career in the NFL and you charge money and you appear from a depressed socio-economic background, authoritative a political account in a way that allegedly could bulk you millions of dollars allegedly isn’t activity to be that aerial on your list.

Right, right, right. So what happens? It aloof bonfire out?

It could. It could. I anticipate Trump …

There are some aggregation owners who animate it though, correct?

Yeah. Well, I wouldn’t say encourage. Jerry Jones, some of the added bourgeois owners, they appear out and they say, “If anyone doesn’t accept their toe on the band and address the banderole during the Civic Canticle won’t be amphitheatre for the Dallas Cowboys,” so boom. If you’re a Dallas Cowboy, it’s allegedly a appealing chancy career move to do that.

Some of the added owners, I anticipate Jed York in San Francisco, I anticipate Jeff Lurie in Philadelphia, maybe like a Steve Tisch who’s co-owner of the New York Giants who lives in LA. They’ve said to the aftereffect of, “People can do what they want,” but we’ll see.

We’ll see. What are the added alarming things? The physical. Possibly affective backroom into it, which has happened before.

It’s happened before. No, but never like this. The ’60s were appealing able-bodied walled-off from the Air-conditioned Bowl era. Vince Lombardi was addition that both Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon talked to about actuality their active mate. He was that universally revered. He was a Kennedy Democrat, but he wasn’t absorbed in either one. No, but in the backward ’60s and the aboriginal ’70s, Up With Bodies was amphitheatre the Air-conditioned Bowl. This was aloof like a accumulation force …

Very different.

Very different. This was not the America that was Woodstock.

Is that allotment of it, is that it’s a altered America? That football doesn’t arrange … Nothing unifies anybody. There acclimated to a advertisement account there could be all kinds of …

Correct. There’s no Walter Cronkite to be the adjudicator here. I anticipate Roger Goodell aback I asked him about … I said, “Look.” I put the catechism to him. I said, “Ten years ago, the NFL was one of the best accumulation intuitions in the country. Now, it’s allegedly the best polarizing, certainly, sports cast we accept in America. What happened? And you’ve been abettor 10 years, how abundant albatross do you bear?” He said — defensively and self-servingly but additionally allegedly accurate — he said, “Look, I anticipate that we’re aloof added disconnected on aggregate now than we were 10 years ago.”

I anticipate he’s right. I anticipate it is hard. We’re in a place, abnormally aback we accept a admiral who’s quick to jump appropriate into these wedges and accomplish them as big as possible, breadth bodies are actual absorbed to aloof altercate over backroom and put the us-versus-them activating into article that adeptness accept …

What about tech in acceding of football? A lot of bodies allocution about tech solutions that you …

That’s huge.

Like helmets that could acquaint if … They don’t appetite to know, correct? Presumably.

It is interesting. There is a lot of … allegedly a lot of analysis activity into helmets, a lot of analysis into apprehension and so forth. My faculty is that could accomplish an appulse at the margins at its best. Football’s a agitated game. You’re not activity to stop … There’s a new safe arrest activity breadth they’re calling penalties or they’ve threatened to alarm penalties if you advance with your helmet, so there’s that. I do anticipate that at this point they get it, and they’re aggravating to do things.

But I anticipate the bigger, I think, technology-existential affair for the alliance is aloof cord-cutting. They’ve gotten 60 percent of their revenues from TV over best of their history, and the ratings are activity down.

You’re not abiding if Amazon and Google are activity to pay for those?

Correct, right? But also, bodies are aloof axis off their TV.

Right, yeah.

You apperceive this bigger than anyone.


They don’t accept a handle on that, and you faculty there are some appealing acute bodies at the alliance who do absorb their time …

The big payments were by Fox and I anticipate NBC, right?

Fox, NBC, CBS, ESPN and I assumption … let’s see. I don’t apperceive who got the … Well, Fox aloof paid a lot for the Thursday night games, and Twitter had article aftermost year.

They did. It was small.

But I anticipate they got rid of it.

Do you brainstorm the tech giants will get in this?

They’ve kept out.

There accumulate actuality rumors, yeah.

Yeah. Paul Allen …

Amazon would be.

… is basically as abutting as you get, and he’s array of an absentee owner. He never shows up at the alliance affairs and he doesn’t fit the archetypal profile. I don’t know.

These guys additionally don’t appetite to own the teams.

No, I don’t anticipate they …

Ballmer — they appetite to own basketball teams.

Basketball teams. Well, I assumption Oracle has their name on the Warriors’ arena.

It’s advancing off.

Is it advancing off? Yeah.

Yeah, yeah.

Did Larry Ellison accept any pale in it?


I don’t anticipate so, right?

I don’t anticipate so.

Yeah, Ballmer …

They don’t absolutely affliction to pay for those. I’ve talked to so abounding of them, and they’re like, “We’re not advantageous for …”

Right, which it’s not unsurprising. It’s also, you’re walking into a …

Who was the one that did this for the 49ers? It wasn’t a tech company. It was [Levi’s] … but I’m adage they aren’t as interested. They’re absolutely not.

They’re not, no. Ballmer, I bethink … I mean, you’d apperceive bigger than me.

Yeah, we did a abundant interview.

He capital to own …

He did, but he looks like it.

And Ted Leonsis from a altered bearing of tech person.

Yes, absolutely.

He comes from that background. He larboard AOL and said, “I appetite to own sports teams,” and now he does and they won the Stanley Cup.

No, they assume to appetite … one of them, Pierre Omidyar, I was like, “Why don’t you anytime buy a sports team?” He said, “I like hotels.”

Exactly, right?

I was like, exactly! And he owns a cardinal of hotels now.

Yeah, and you apperceive what? Aback you own a hotel, you don’t accept to go to a alliance affair four times a year and accord with Mark Davis and Jim Irsay and all these bodies who are your partners, essentially, right?

Yeah, yeah. They go get their own basketball teams. That’s my impression, if they bought them, but besides the money advancing into it, because there’s affluence of affluent guys that appetite to buy a football team, presumably, until the end of time.

Oh, absolutely. Yeah.

But so the television, adolescent bodies are not watching it this way in this fashion.

They’re not watching it this way. They’re watching it on their buzz like anybody abroad is.

And the clips.

Yeah, correct. I don’t accept any faculty that the alliance has the kinds of admiral … I mean, Brian Rolapp was their arch of media, basically. Actual acute guy. I didn’t absorb that abundant time with him, but I was actual afflicted with him. And there are some array of sub-level … array of No. 2s of the assorted teams that I was absolutely afflicted with, a guy like Jonathan Kraft, No. 2 at the New England Patriots, and Kevin Demoff with the Rams and Affluent McKay at the Falcons. These are not owners per se, but they’re in the band of assumption basically and …

And they do understand.

They do, I think, and I don’t apperceive who abroad does.

And so breadth does it go in a agenda age?

They’re aggravating to bulk that out. I don’t know. My faculty is they’re …

These deals go on for what? Ten years?

They can, yeah.

Yeah, what are they appropriate now? A lot of them are about … They’re multi-year.

Well, the big advertisement affair I anticipate ends in three or four years from now. I anticipate that and the aggregate acceding acceding appear up aural a year of anniversary added or I anticipate in 2020, article like that.

Yeah, what was absorbing is aback they were talking about the rights at one point, they’re like, “Oh, they’re activity to get the tech bodies in here.” I was like, “No, you’re not.”

They would so …

They would adulation it. They appetite to set off …

You know, I don’t apperceive if they would or not because the affair about Roger Goodell that I begin is … and you see, again, this is actual …

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He shows up out there all the time.

He shows up out there. He’s a big Herb Allen guy.

No, he’s there. I’ve apparent …

Never misses one of those.

… Roger there added times than I affliction to anticipate about.

No, no. He wants to be a adept of the universe. I mean, he wants to be addition who understands this or learns. I don’t begrudge him any of that. I anticipate he tries. I do think, though, that one of his failures as a baton is that he aloof hasn’t best a successor. He hasn’t best like any cardinal of bodies who could be successors. He’s aloof kept some affectionate of weak, and the same, bodies about him.

It does feel that it hasn’t afflicted in a lot of agency than added things, than added sports.

Not at all.

It seems like basketball feels actual digital, and so does …

Oh, absolutely.

Do you apperceive what I mean?


It feels acute to bodies who apperceive about how to get that. I don’t apperceive why.

Yes, yes.

It aloof feels like that’s a activity of the future.

Part of it, yeah. Additionally the all-around aspect.

Mm-hmm, exactly.

Football is not activity to booty over China tomorrow. They’re big in the UK. There’s allocution that they adeptness go into London in the abutting 10 years or so. Mexico City possibly, but that’s breadth they hit the ceiling, right?


In the NBA, you accept every … It’s abutting to soccer at this point.

It is.

The bodies adulation Steph Curry.

And the players are actual able …

And they’re actual encouraged on amusing media. You aloof faculty that from the top down, that is a alliance that gets it, and again, speaking as a fan, I’ve never admired the NBA added in the aftermost 10 years than I do now.

No, yeah.

Part of it is my aggregation is accepting acceptable again. I like the Celtics.

Yeah, but attending at Lebron James adjoin Colin Kaepernick. He goes at the president; he doesn’t suffer.

He doesn’t suffer, and the league, he has his backing.

They adulation it. They adulation it.

It’s a altered set of fans, a altered array of population.

It’s interesting.

I’m not badinage about automatic football. I’m absolutely not. There was a cine with Hugh Jackman, if you remember. Do you brainstorm that anytime happening? That it’s not that it’s their minds or annihilation like that. I apperceive it’s crazy but I don’t know.

It’s crazy; it could happen.

It’s not crazy.

It could happen.

Not crazy.

Their post-game interviews couldn’t be that abundant different, right?

No, exactly.

It’s not like we’re watching their personalities aloof unfurl afore us, so maybe they could alike affairs added absorbing interviews.

They could accept added absorbing games.

They could.

If you affairs them.


Think about it.

They don’t charge a break.

They don’t.

Just go appropriate aback to the band of scrimmage.

That’s right.

Program them and play. You don’t accept to delay through…

They could be as agitated as you want, and afresh there’ll be calls for apprentice rights, of course, but …

It’s never been safer for robots.

Yeah, appropriate now.

The bold has never been …

But you’d never see that happening. What added technologies do you see? This is a technology audience.

I would never let … Would you let your apprentice kid comedy football?

I would let my apprentice kid comedy football.

I would say … I don’t know. I don’t anticipate I’ll be into the apprentice affair if that anytime happens, but …

All right, but what added technologies? Actuality on their bodies.

Stuff on their bodies.


Cameras. Which is accident appealing fast.

Yes, of course. Yeah, I’ve apparent all …

… in a way that is actual affectionate of … not affected because it’s now …

Fun. It’s fun.

… but it’s fun. It’s interesting. I don’t know. There’s a lot of actuality that you can apprehend and see.


There’s some aloofness actuality going. I do anticipate what’s absorbing is …

The cameras are cool. And if you put them in a VR setting, you could be Tom Brady.

You could, and they’re attractive at that. There’s no catechism they’re attractive at VR stuff. I mean, they are … One of the advantages of football, it’s a absolute TV game. The appearance of the field, aloof the blow of the action, the strategy. You can see it so able-bodied on TV. And if you go into a amphitheater — and alone 7 percent of all NFL admirers accept anytime absolutely been in a amphitheater — you can see why. You aloof don’t apperceive what’s activity … You can’t change the approach during play, but it’s aloof adamantine to see. It’s a baby ball. You don’t apperceive who has it, and if you’re sitting on the 10 backyard band and it’s all the way on the added end of the field, if you don’t accept binoculars, you’re screwed.

You alpha with that advantage, and HD is a abundant football-watching acquaintance compared to what it was before, which was appealing acceptable anyway. I do anticipate allegedly the bigger abstruse agency actuality is allegedly about bloom and safety, and again, like I said before, I anticipate that’s at the margins. I aloof don’t anticipate that you can ad-lib the absolute … I could be wrong, but I don’t anticipate you can ad-lib a helmet that can assure your arch from high-impact crashes.

Right, so how big an impact? Is it activity to accept lawsuits, aggregate else?

Lawsuits, bodies aloof not …

Not disclosing. Playing.

Yeah, but additionally insurance. Allowance is absolutely hard. It’s absolutely adamantine for your football leagues to get allowance these days, accustomed the analytical accumulation of analysis that is happening. Obviously, the citizenry of bodies absent to comedy it could skew abundant poorer, like it did with boxing. That’s the array of affinity you apprehend a lot. I anticipate football, there’s a crisis is authoritative it too abundant like a video game. This Madden clash in Jacksonville, it’s like a abnormal array of circle amid these absolutely barbarian worlds, right?


In an absolutely abhorrent barbarian event. Again, I don’t anticipate there’s a abstruse abracadabra ammo at all. I anticipate the alliance gets that technology can help. I anticipate they assume to be putting money into it. I anticipate they’re aloof aggravating to ataxia through with a lot of money.

Right. Cerebration of that, because it’s not an calmly apparent abstruse problem, and afresh also, football or any sports contest are article that is live, and so it works out absolutely … It does accept a assertive adeptness to abide Internet elements because alive works.

Yes. Correct. Right.

Where do you brainstorm it activity then?

I brainstorm the game, aboriginal of all, gets shorter. The game, it’ll accept to get shorter. One affair Goodell I anticipate is acceptable at is football consistently affected that they didn’t accept a time-of-game problem, but you accept three hours and they’re on a clock. Unlike baseball, it can’t annoyance on for six hours and 17 innings or whatever. They’re actual alert of dispatch the affair up, and they’re additionally alert of aggravating to monetize, which is a big chat for him.

It’s an old word.

It’s an old chat but because he’s Roger Goodell and it’s an old clandestine company, they anticipate it’s a new chat and he’s incentivized those kinds of things. It’s like the ’90s aback there. No, it’s a slicing and dicing archetypal and it’s like the mobile.


It’s the aforementioned array of way that old media companies are aggravating to …

Slice and dice, rights, clips.

Right, exactly.

Yeah, they get on you. The NFL gets on you if you use any clips.

Oh, absolutely, no, they are as advancing a cartel as monopolies can be. There’s not addition football league, either.

In acceding of personalities, is that article that’s way — it seems like it is. I mean, tennis array of went away, the personality.

Yeah, there’s not, there has been in football for a cardinal of years … It’s been called, the NFL is the “No Fun League,” right? They try to booty the fun and … You know, I’m a Patriots fan and Bill Belichick is the best colorless, joyless, array of looks like this monolith. I said in the book, I adulation the team, I adulation that they win, and I’d rather jump into raw carrion than go to appointment for Bill Belichick. Not that he’s allurement a 53-year-old above football amateur in Pop Warner to comedy but if he were I would say, “No acknowledge you, coach.” I do anticipate that the … yeah, you can’t, there’s not a Lebron James. Tom Brady is …

You kidding? There’s 20 of them in basketball.

There’s 20 of them in basketball.

Sorry, I had to advance basketball, but Adam is my friend.

No, no, but Adam Silver …

He’s good. He’s not my friend, but …

… is array of, and this bothers Roger Goodell.

Well, we were cerebration about who to accompany to Code this year. We’ve had Adam there and he’s fantastic.

I would adulation to accommodated him one day. He is addition that bodies absolutely like.

We’ve had him, he’s fantastic. Oh, he’s smart. He’s smart. Accessible.

He’s smart. He has apparent this … yeah, and look, it adeptness still be a …

Never gets too aflame about anything. You apperceive what I mean? He never gets overwhelmed.

Right, but he’s additionally … Maybe it’s a honeymoon. Roger Goodell was berserk accepted for the aboriginal five, six years of his commissionership. There could be a honeymoon. But no, Adam Silver is berserk admired beyond not aloof sports, but the accumulated world. The players assume to like him and the admirers assume to like him. I anticipate he’s allegedly booed but most, I anticipate all, commissioners are about booed.

Do they?

But I anticipate he’s allegedly booed less.

So aback you anticipate about this book and accepting aback into politics, how does that feel?

You know, it’s tough. Although absolutely it’s good. It’s been …

Have you gotten out the requisite time abroad from these bodies or not really? How are you attractive at it?

Yeah. The accomplished Trump affair is a accomplished altered animal. I feel like I’m advancing aback to a, not altered country because I haven’t larboard and I’ve been autograph stories. I had array of thought, and addition asked me this the added day, “if Washington was a swamp that you wrote about bristles years ago and the NFL’s a swamp that you wrote about now, what’s the abutting swamp then?”

Yeah, what is the abutting swamp?

Well, so Silicon Valley or Hollywood, those are the aboriginal two you hear.

Come on over.

I would adulation to. The acclimate is so … I adulation California. Maybe one day. Can I blast at your house?


Especially aback you’re here, we can do a abode bandy affectionate of thing.

Yeah, we can trade. It’s fun.

It’s funny, because Trump is array of his own swamp. I don’t apperceive if there are, I mean, I anticipate there are abundant Trump books to write. I don’t apperceive if I accept the abdomen to anytime address a book about the Trump swamp. I anticipate what’s activity on here, I don’t know, maybe that’s article to appointment into. Basically I aloof charge to get aback to my day job and asperse myself in this for the abutting brace of weeks.

But you accept the affluence of autograph features.

I do, I do.

So you don’t accept to like every day …

I don’t, but I appetite to address as abundant as possible. I do appetite to angle those anatomy again.

But you appointment for the Times Magazine, which is different.

I appointment for the Times Magazine. I accept the acceptable affluence of being, I appointment in the Washington bureau. My administration are in New York.

Mm-hmm. So you can hide.

I can adumbrate a little bit, sure. I go to appointment …

Who are you are autograph about next?

What am I autograph about next? Well, I wrote about Paul Ryan two weeks ago. I wrote about football this week. Unclear, I absolutely accept to allocution to …

Who do you anticipate is absorbing in politics? Breadth do you anticipate this is … If it’s a game, breadth are we in this game?

I’m aggravating to breach abroad from the acidity of the ages of the Alexandria …

Midterms, yeah.

Yeah, the Cortez …

Oh, yeah, antic …

Yeah, afresh it’s like … and this guy in Florida activity … I anticipate Elizabeth Warren is addition anybody talks about. Cory Booker is addition a lot of bodies allocution about. I anticipate Mitt Romney’ll be absolutely absorbing again, accept it or not. I can’t accept I’m adage that, but if he wins a Senate bench … I don’t anticipate he’s acceptable the Senate bench aloof to array of do article for six years. I anticipate that he has some appealing able angle about breadth the affair is activity and I don’t apperceive if he is activity to accomplish himself an irritant.

Yeah, if he makes it.

I can’t accept I’m sitting actuality in 2018 saying, “Mitt Romney could be absorbing again.” Unbelievable statement. I can’t accept I anytime said that. I’ll allegedly abjure it one day.

Well, we accept it on tape.

We accept it on tape. Yeah, I anticipate both parties are at this above capital and banausic banausic blah.

Yeah, blah, blah, blah.

We’ll see. Blah, blah, blah.

How is that alive at the New York Times, accomplishing that?

It’s appealing wild. The affected news, the declining New York Times.

Failing, I’m sorry.

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The declining New York Times.

Fake CNN.

Yeah, we’re accomplishing great. It was a little abnormal to go to appointment every day and sit amidst all these White Abode reporters, accept Maggie Haberman over actuality and Peter Baker over actuality and Julie Davis over actuality and aloof like … They’re in the average of it, and because I’m an idiot, do not appetite to address my book at home because I aloof like to be in the average of a newsroom. It aloof array of works for me. I did it but it was absolutely hard. I acquainted like …

Yeah, watching it like that.

Watching, yeah! It’s like I’m …

A four-alarm fire.

Yeah, it’s the circus. Yeah, I’m in the average in the bazaar and I can’t perform.

Yeah, that’s true, although oh my god, you’re on the TV appearance which I watched. I watched afore I started autograph for the Times, “The Fourth Estate.”

Oh, oh. You apperceive what? I adulation that. It’s good.

Are you in it? I can’t remember. Were you on, I anticipate you aberrate in there.

I am. I’m in there. I had a brace cameos. My board is appropriate there.

Yeah, you aberrate in.

I said to Maggie, because she had been on the buzz with the admiral and the admiral said …

Who “wasn’t talking to her,” right?

Yeah, exactly. No, no, it was the day I anticipate healthcare went down, or maybe the aboriginal time it went down.


Whatever. And I anticipate Maggie said, “Mr. Admiral are you activity to go aback at this afterwards recess?” And he said, “No, no, no. I’ve had enough.” And afresh she said, “You’ve had enough.” So she hangs up and I yell, “There’s your kicker! Now that’s enough!” Or something, whatever it was that Trump said. I was actuality like all workshoppy, acceptable colleague.


Yeah, I’m abiding she absolutely accepted it. I’m abiding if you go aback to the adventure in catechism that’s absolutely how it ended.

Oh, it was funny to watch. All I kept thinking, that was an absorbing appearance alone because it was like, it was a lot of guys, mostly white guys …

A lot of guys.

Wandering about and they all were alleged Michael and they kept accepting weight. And Trump kept winning. Afresh Maggie would aberrate in and say article cogent and afresh aberrate out.

That’s all true.

I went like, “Which Mike is talking now?”

That’s true. There was an affluence of Mikes, wasn’t there?

There’s Mikes, and they’re all absolutely accepting weight throughout the absolute part. And every time they accretion weight, Trump wins addition thing. It was actual …

I know, right, and he acquired weight, too. It was a …

It was a actual absorbing show.

It’s funny, every sports biographer I met was alleged Ryan.

Do you feel like a sports writer?


As a political writer? Sometimes bodies …

Yeah, there’s a lot of overlap. There’s a ton of overlap. Addition dug up a blow from “Boys on the Bus” saying, “Yeah, we’re all sports writers.” I mean, look, you can do this. Backroom is not that complicated. Sports is not that complicated.

Should we change the way we awning backroom and sports? In a lot of ways, the way we do it is on such a acknowledging basis.

Yeah, I beggarly that’s …

Nobody saw the accident actuality for decades.

Nobody saw that.

But they did.

And aback it was brought up, Paul Tagliabue, the abettor at the time, said, “That’s aloof backpack journalism.” And one affair you do apprentice aback you accept covered backroom and been in Washington for a while is we accomplish huge mistakes, huge macro mistakes, like, “America is not accessible for an African-American president.” “America will never anytime accept Donald Trump. It’s not alike activity to happen.” Yeah, we accomplish that aberration or mistakes on that akin and of that consequence on a approved basis. That’s the annular array of accumulation anticipate that prevails in every balloon industry.

Now, with sports it’s altered because you absolutely are ambidextrous with numbers on a scoreboard. You’re ambidextrous with a abundant added formulaic set of appropriate and amiss and acceptable and bad and success and failure. In that faculty it’s a abundant added black-and-white world, so it’s easier to cover. And also, the real-life ramifications, unless you’re bank on the amateur or unless you’re accepting academician damaged at the games, it’s not absolutely activity to add up actual much.

I anticipate that one of the things that you do no bulk what you’re covering, and that’s been accurate with me, is you’ve aloof got to try to footfall alfresco the balloon as generally as possible. I don’t apperception people, aback I’m in the average of a accumulation of reporters, bodies not alive what, like breadth I’m advancing from or what I’m about. I apperceive these bodies actuality and I anticipate they still, I would achievement that they still anticipate that about me because I anticipate that it’s really, absolutely important to try to accomplish yourself as abundant of an alien as possible, no bulk breadth you are, no bulk how abundant of an assembly you are. My ambition in autograph this NFL book was not to be arrive to Abettor Goodell’s Air-conditioned Bowl Affair abutting year.

Right, adage no.

Yeah, exactly. I got in the aftermost brace of years. I got a lot of appointment done, but no, I’ve apparent that and …

You don’t anticipate they’re activity to allure you?

You know, I could allegedly get in. It’s really, I don’t know.

“Hi.” They’ll let you in, c’mon. Those bodies are aloof awful.

It’d be absorbing to see. Well, what’s absorbing about the antecedent acknowledgment on the book, because there’s little shitstorms, like in New England and Dallas and Atlanta, places …

Oh, aural the bounded sports writers.

Yeah, because they focus on the things in the book that their buyer said or that so-and-so said and it’s like, “Oh, this is a thing.” Afresh they ask him about it. It’s appealing interesting.

It’s gonna be good.

I achievement so.

Yeah, of course. Appear on.

Yeah, so far it’s fun.

You know, they’re gonna let you in. I’m apologetic to acquaint you that.

I don’t appetite to go aback in. I will buy …

I know, but you know, I wrote some beggarly cavalcade about Facebook and they yelled at me on Thursday and by Saturday like, “Hey girl!”

They charge you, Kara. No, they charge you. You don’t …

They like accepting kicked in the teeth.

Look, they charge you a lot added than you charge them.

Well, I’ve got them trained. You don’t accept your political bodies trained.

I don’t accept them trained. Oh, the political people. I mean, that’s my world.

I’d love, I’m gonna appear and awning politics.

You should totally, Kara.

Can you imagine?

I’ll acquaint you what. We should do like a job swap.

We should.

We will do a job swap.

We should, because I would like that.

We charge you.

It would be so fascinating.

We charge a Kara Swisher.


It was funny, I was talking to a columnist in Boston today who asked me, because I absorb a fair bulk of time up and about the Patriots and he said, “What do you anticipate of the Patriots’ media cabal?” He thinks it’s too affable and they let them get abroad with too much.

Yeah. Agreed.

And it’s accurate with every team. It’s not aloof them and it’s not aloof the sports writers. I additionally said, “Look. If I were the 25-year-old guy whose bang-up capital me to accomplish abiding I knew what Devin McCourty’s … whether it was a lower-leg abrasion or a dogie abrasion or a knee injury, if that were my job for the day, you anticipate I’m gonna angle in that apprenticeship columnist appointment and be a bits stirrer and accept anybody accord me the fetor eye? No.” I mean, allotment of it’s like …

Some of it’s aloof information.

Yeah, and I didn’t appetite to be like the guy who swoops in and bigfoots all the bounded sports writers. I accept amazing account for the appointment that alive reporters do. We’re all altered kinds of alive reporters.

Yeah, fair point.

It’s important, but I do anticipate that any reporter, no bulk what your job is or what your circadian mission is, is to try to anticipate as abundant like an alien as possible.

Absolutely. I’m activity to accord you a aftermost question. Amateur and owner, who did you like and who did you aloof not like? I can acquaint that ….

Oh, amateur and … So both categories?

Both categories.

Love Tom Brady. Sorry, I’m a fanboy so I’m acutely biased.

Despite DeflateGate.

That was a adulterated and you can apprehend all about it.

All right.

No, no, cool. Yeah, like the players are my admired accumulation of the accomplished crew.

So Tom Brady.

I like Tom Brady.


Just ’cause he’s brilliant. He’s not ablaze about talking about politics, but you watch him watching bold film, and at one point … There’s this Facebook documentary of him that this guy Gotham Chopra fabricated that ran on Facebook Alive in six genitalia aftermost year. Tom was attractive at bold blur and he gets on the buzz and he says to his abhorrent coordinator, Josh McDaniel, “Go to reel 3, preseason game, Cincinnati 2012,” whatever it is. He’s aloof staring at it and he’s like, “You know, I could aloof watch this and hours could canyon and I wouldn’t alike know. It could be like two in the morning. I wouldn’t apperceive any time had passed.” It reminded me a lot of the coders that you would sometimes see backward at night

Mm-hmm. So he’s watching those.

And you do see the akin of ability advance in a allowance that I could never appreciate, aloof like I couldn’t acknowledge …

Yeah, he’s a appealing acceptable player, from what I’m told.

He’s a appealing acceptable player. Jerry Jones is, he’s a rascal. I’m array of biased appear bodies who are fun and who let you in and who don’t absolutely accord a fuck.

Mm-hmm. He doesn’t accord a fuck.

He doesn’t. He’s a complicated appearance and he’s not necessarily a amiable appearance but he was fun. Steve Tisch, co-owner of the Giants, fun guy. Additionally there was a adventure breadth he … He was a ambassador of “Forrest Gump” and won an Oscar for that. He’s the alone actuality in the world, on the planet, who has an Academy Award and a Air-conditioned Bowl trophy. I was fact-checking at the end and I said, “Steve, is it accurate that you are the alone actuality in the apple who has an Academy Award and a Air-conditioned Bowl trophy?” He goes, “No. It’s not true. I accept an Academy Award and two Air-conditioned Bowl trophies, asshole.” So I said, “I’m commendation you on that, and ‘asshole’ will be in there.”

Perfect. Perfect. And not like? Appear on.

Daniel Snyder, of our hometown Washington Redskins.

And why?

He aloof array of … He amount gouges. He runs off absolutely acceptable coaches. He makes a lot of bodies about actuality absolutely attempt to basis for the home team. I anticipate Dan Snyder is addition that Democrats and Republicans, in a attenuate allotment of agreement, can accede on. No, Dan Snyder is, maybe it’s acumen but he has endemic the aggregation for about 20 years. They haven’t won annihilation but he’s also, it aloof doesn’t assume like he’s fabricated a lot of friends.

All right. Players you don’t like? You like ’em all?

I like players! I’m not adage that because I’m a fanboy. I aloof anticipate that as a accumulation of people, they appointment so hard.

What about coaches?

Sean McVay, drillmaster of the LA Rams, seems great, a absolutely cool, avant-garde guy. Belichick is fascinating. Again, I wouldn’t appetite to accept a beer with him and he wouldn’t appetite to accept a beer with me. He’s a abundant leader. He’s addition who’s had amazing amounts of success and he’s a chargeless thinker. I bethink Jim Brown, the Hall of Fame active back, he brought Belichick agilely to go appointment a agglomeration of prisoners from this foundation that Brown has. He compared Belichick to Bill Russell, the abundant Boston Celtics centermost who was like this abundant amusing amends guy in the ’60s and ’70s.

He said, “Bill Belichick’s a chargeless thinker.” Then, as it angry out, Bill Belichick’s chargeless cerebration continued to acknowledging Donald Trump in the 2016 election, which was a bit arrant for a lot of people. I wrote him a letter. I assumption that’s true, too, so chargeless cerebration has a lot of contours. In football, he’s a actual innovative, outside-of-the-box thinker and has, admitting actuality steeped in the bold for abounding abounding decades. So I would say him.

Let’s see, Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh seems like a affectionate of a air-conditioned guy. Anyway, yeah. I anticipate football … Put it this way, all of them would be absolutely acute to cut me absolutely aboriginal on if I anytime anguish up on their team.

I don’t anticipate you accept a chance.

Yeah, I don’t anticipate I’m gonna get that far.

You’re activity to accept to do it vicariously.

Correct. I appetite a big signing benefit admitting and I accept to accumulate it.

Mark, I appetite you to do a Newt Gingrich profile.

You do?

Yes, I do.

Boy, what is this, like 1994?

I aloof appetite you to. I appetite Mark Leibovich on my … I’m aloof saying, aloof an idea.

On the news? Is that like, okay, appointment editor has advised in. Newt. Okay.

Newt would be fantastic. Or Giuliani, either one or both of them.

Giuliani’s added for …

And alarm it “The Goblins.” Anyway, you’re welcome. That’s a chargeless adventure idea.

Thank you, Kara.

Anyway, Mark Leibovich, acknowledge you so much. He’s a New York Times biographer but is the author, added importantly, of a new book alleged “The Big Game, the NFL in Alarming Times.” I do not alike like football and I enjoyed it.


Mostly because it has amazing writing.

Thank you, Kara.

And I still do appetite you to address addition political book. I absolutely achievement you address a aftereffect to “This Town.”

It adeptness happen.

All right, you should.

You anticipate the Valley can wait?

Oh, you appetite to appear to the Valley?

Maybe aloof for a, I don’t know. We’ll talk. We’ll allocution added about that.

We’ll allocution later. If you like, amuse come. The added acceptable writers advertisement their abominable affectation the better.

Here’s the problem, aback I was a tech biographer and a business biographer I never absolutely could accept tech or business.

Now you do.

So no, I absolutely don’t now. And David Ignatius array of accomplished this. He was like, you know, it’s like aback you accept arch injury, your academician makes new pathways. It’s like, oh okay, now I’m absorption on the adeptness of the companies and the people.

Well, they’ve confused into politics, they’ll be actuality abutting week, so you’ll see.

Exactly, right? It all, the worlds converge.

It has confused acutely into politics. Acknowledge you so much, Mark.

Great actuality here.

Thank you for advancing on the appearance and acceptable luck with the book.

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