Michelle Beadle is happy that she can talk about sports with people again … as opposed to giving her opinions to walls.
Beadle, who has been gone from ESPN airwaves for over two years now, launched a new podcast for The Athletic entitled “What Did I Miss?” In her introductory episode, she explained what motivated her return.
“This is intimidating, not only because I’ve never done a podcast before,” she began. “I’ve also done nothing for like 800 days.”
Beadle, 46, joked that when she thinks about “serious journalism,” she thinks about The Athletic and herself. She added that after splitting with ESPN, her rule going forward would be to work on what she likes, with people who are “not jerks.”
Beadle is hosting the podcast with Gabe Goodwin, who was one of her producers in her ESPN “SportsNation” days and talent/producer Paige Keffer.
“I’ve missed a lot,” said Beadle, who also joined the Spurs broadcast team this season. “I’m excited to get back to work. I’ve been sort of sitting back for 800 days, giving my opinions to walls because my friends don’t really care about sports. Nor does my family, and no one really cared about what I had to say. So, in between knitting and buying toilet paper, I was just mumbling a lot of opinions into the ether, so now I get to share them with at least two or three of you guys that will tune into this podcast on a regular basis.”
Beadle said that, much to her own surprise, she has gotten back into watching football. The sport was a major trigger in her exit from ESPN when she talked about boycotting the sport on “Get Up” in 2018 because she believed the sport had marginalized women. After that segment, she left “Get Up” for a full-time role on “NBA Countdown,” and exited the company the following summer.
Beadle sarcastically joked about the league ending racism by painting “End Racism” on the field and said that she still feels the league unjustifiably blackballed Colin Kaepernick. However, she has returned to getting enjoyment out of watching Scott Hanson and NFL Red Zone (which she calls the greatest invention in sports TV).
“The one thing I did in the first chapter of my career is I lived in black and white, and I still do in a lot of ways, because if I don’t like someone or something it’s very hard for me to come back from that,” Beadle said. “But I realize I need to stay in the gray a little more. There’s still bad stuff that happens in everything. There’s still people I don’t like — Jerry Jones, of course, being one of them. But, I’m enjoying watching football again. It was like being an alien dropped on the planet and starting a brand new observation period. It’s exciting and it’s fun.”
Sticking in the gray area, Beadle also expressed a newfound fondness for Tom Brady.
“You have to admit, we got very used to the Bill Belichick version of Tom Brady,” she said. “Everybody operates in a certain way. He wasn’t interested in opening up or sharing much personality. There was a real robotic sense of being under a Bill Belichick team. After he left, he realized, ‘You’re Tom Freaking Brady. You have all this money and success, your life from the outside looking in seems to be pretty much perfect. You should be having more fun than anybody in any room that you enter.’
“I think for the first time, we’re seeing that. The drunk version of him [at the Super Bowl parade] was everything wrapped up into one moment.”
Beadle’s podcast will air three times a week Monday, Wednesday and Friday on iTunes, Spotify and eventually YouTube.