I AM ATHLETE PODCAST CREW WELCOMES BACK CHANNING CROWDER TO DEBATE DEZ BRYANT’S BATTLE WITH COVID-19 UPENDING HIS NFL RETURN, CELEBRITY BOXING, STREET BRAWLING AND NAVIGATING RELATIONSHIPS DURING QUARANTINE
CROWDER RECOUNTS HIS FAMILY’S RECENT FRIGHTENING BATTLE WITH THE VIRUS; BRANDON MARSHALL CLAIMS HE CAN BEAT CURRENT HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING CHAMPIONS – CAST BEGS TO DIFFER; THEY ALSO DISCUSS HOW TO AVOID A ‘COVID DIVORCE’
“When you get your ass hit and your booty is in the air, I’m still
going to love you,” – Channing Crowder
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Miami, FL (December 13, 2020) – Channing Crowder makes his much-welcomed return to the I AM ATHLETE podcast (S2, E14) this week for a thoughtful, colorful and often humorous discussion between Crowder, host and founder Brandon Marshall, Chad Ochocinco and ‘Unc’ Fred Taylor. The episode’s themes include the ongoing effects of the pandemic on the NFL, especially Dez Bryant, as well as on marriages and society in general. They also weigh-in on the recent boxing appearance by the NBA’s Nate Robinson and address Marshall’s lofty assertion that he could out-box a current heavyweight champion.
The show opens with Crowder revealing his two-week absence from the show was due to his entire family being diagnosed with COVID-19. While he and his kids were relatively symptom-free, Crowder’s wife, Aja, spent some scary time in the emergency room.
“Covid is no joke,” exclaims Crowder, who still doesn’t have his sense of taste back. “It effects people differently and it’s not worth it to find out how it would affect you. Stay safe and do what we have to do to get through this whole pandemic.”
After a unanimous admonition by the cast to take the virus seriously, the talk turns to Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Dez Bryant, who was recently pulled just 30 minutes before a game against his former team, the Dallas Cowboys, due to a positive COVID-19 test. Possibly in anger, Bryant publicly threatened to retire over the incident.
“When a player says, ‘I’m retired,’ or even thinks about retirement…” asserts Crowder. “Once you say that I’m going to take myself mentally out of this game, you’re never going to be the same player. That’s a player who has checked out mentally.”
The rest of the cast seem to disagree with Crowder and feel Bryant will be back and try again.
The cast shares their thoughts on players playing for the love of the game versus “mentally retiring” before their prime out of frustration or greed. This topic comes up for the crew after they lament the proliferation of modern NFL players who get their big contract and mentally retire on the spot.
And although he admits he was excited to see Bryant retake the field after being down three years due to injury, Marshall acknowledges he has heard Crowder’s theory before from other people and recalls fighting back the thought during his own playing career.
“There’s a lot of dudes that get that check and it’s a wrap,” says Marshall. “For me, my mentality was let me get two or three contracts. A lot of dudes, they get one. I could never understand that in the locker room. That was the worst player for me to be around, when a dude is rookie or second-year guy saying ‘you know what? I’m going to play out this contract and I’m done.’ In my head, I’m trying to play 14, 15 or 16 years. I could never understand guys like that.”
The discussion quickly switches course, and the crew has fun discussing NBA player Nate Robinson’s humiliating KO loss to entertainer Jake Paul on the undercard of Mike Tyson’s exhibition draw with Roy Jones Jr. Having watched the fight, Crowder says he saved Marshall from a Robinson-like embarrassment by talking him out of boxing, to which Marshall says he’s still planning on getting in the ring. Marshall doubles down by saying he has been calling out heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and former champ Andy Ruiz to have a real match.
Crowder, who says he is 87-3 in street fighting, laughingly dismisses Marshall’s assertion. What if I run up on you and shove my fingers in your mouth and grab your jaw?” asks Crowder. “When you get your ass hit and your booty is in the air, I’m still going to love you.”
Ochocinco, who says he’s been boxing since his teenage years, shares this with Marshall: “You cannot be in the ring with a heavyweight champion. The power, the delivery, the understanding of the sweet science that you don’t know, they know due to experience.”
Nevertheless, Marshall continues to assert he has the skills to stay competitive with some of the world’s best heavyweights. They all express interest in watching a third fight between Tyson and Holyfield.
Talk of fighting then makes a quick left turn to preserving a marriage during the pandemic with the prevailing idea that being required to stay home, interrupt your relationship routines, and spend an uncommon amount of time together is a slippery slope. The team comes to label it “forced communication.”
“The toughest thing was the beginning,” relates Marshall of his pandemic experience with wife of 10 years, Michi Nogami. “I was freaking out. Michi is more laid back and calm. We had to have one of our toughest conversations. For me, it was about us being on total opposite ends of the spectrum. We had to come together and put together a plan. After that, we got on the same page and we just figured it out. In our marriage, it gave us the opportunity to come closer.”
Ever a calming voice among the more kinetic cast members, Taylor adds he thinks that the government is playing a role in the rising divorce rates.
“Divorces happen when finances aren’t great,” he said. “Now with COVID, you got to deal with that, times two. You guys are fortunate. You got a lot going on, so you’re able to balance the bad part of 2020. A lot of people are really suffering with finances. A lot of people are laid off now. The people in the senate and the house are playing games. They don’t want to pass these stimulus checks. They could be saving a lot of marriages and a lot of people.”
The episode concludes with suggestions for keeping relations with your spouse interesting in these difficult times. The former players each relay their somewhat racy suggestions involving latex and shower curtains. In the end, there is one issue on which they all agree.
“Fred don’t want to tell you what he doing in the bedroom,” says Crowder laughingly. “Fred nasty. Fred got a goat at his house because he nasty.”
They all, including Taylor, agree his nickname should be “Freaky Fred.”
About I AM ATHLETE Podcast
I AM ATHLETE is a thought provoking and in-depth podcast with well over 100,000 subscribers and offers multiple perspectives on subjects ranging from sports to controversial topics to fashion to lifestyle covering all cultural conversations and building a platform to educate but encourage viewers to engage. Creating opportunities for conversation that change the narrative and make an impact. Six-time Pro Bowler Brandon Marshall serves as a contributor and moderator, and the panel embarks on provocative conversations that redefine what it means to be an athlete. Co-hosts Fred Taylor (Former Jaguars and Patriots running back), fellow receiver and 6-time Pro Bowler, Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson, and Former Dolphins linebacker, Channing Crowder join Marshall to discuss all topics from the perspective of an African American athlete, while dining on some amazing looking dishes served up by Chef Nancie. These gridiron giants pull no punches and have no filter while expressing themselves on the importance of the issues and topics they cover. Each week the podcast is growing in popularity and its’ subscribers due to the panelists frankness in sharing their thoughts and views on relevant topics covered each week.
I AM ATHLETE was created by House 3 Studios, owned and operated by Marshall, and in partnership with Emmy Award Winning production company Lobas Productions and Jersey filmmaker to story and edit the weekly series. Fans can subscribe to the I AM ATHLETE podcast YouTube https://bit.ly/2FVTeu8 and watch a new episode premiere every Monday at 12 Noon ET.
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