In this episode of A Lot to Learn, our hosts Braden and Mike talk to beloved sports broadcaster Cabbie Richards. Cabbie’s career spans 15+ years and he has worked for TSN, The Score, Sports Deck and more. He is known and loved for his unfiltered and authentic approach to interviews, and his bold nature has allowed him to get friendly with modern icons including the late Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and Wiz Khalifa (to name just a few.) Throughout the episode, the crew touches on the future of sports including live betting and gaming, how various leagues have adapted during the pandemic, and what it means to be an athlete.
The world of sports looks different today than it did even 5 years ago. Technology, innovation, and world events are changing the industry; from what is considered a sport, to how we watch and interact with teams and fellow viewers. One area that continues to see an uphill trajectory is eSports, wherein professional gamers face-off in organized, multiplayer games. The games are available to view through live streaming services like Twitch, and prior to COVID, live viewing events would bring in massive audiences. According to CNN, eSports is a billion-dollar industry allowing 7 figure salaries and massive brand endorsement deals for its biggest stars. An estimated 380 million people worldwide will watch eSports this year.
Another concept that’s gaining popularity is live betting during sports games. Mobile devices, advanced apps, and immediate updates allow for live wagering during games which means you can place wagers on things like who will score the next basket, or what the next play will be. Cabbie mentions that this kind of betting satisfies viewers’ thirst for action and can yield an almost-immediate result. It’s not profound to say that human attention spans have gotten shorter and require more stimulation, so it’s no surprise that fans are looking for more ways to stay engaged.
Throughout the episode, the trio touches on lots of other sports-related subjects, like the upcoming summer Olympics and possible changes to the game of baseball. Enjoy the episode, and as always, please feel free to reach out if you have any comments or questions. We all have a lot to learn.
Find Cabbie online
0:42 Introduction to Cabbie and his background.
6:14 Mike lists some of the remarkable people that Cabbie has interviewed in his career and asks who else is on his bucket list.
8:18 Mike touches on eSports, and asks Cabbie’s opinion on gaming as a competitive sport. Cabbie talks about how it’s a young person’s entity, and how it will inevitably continue to grow.
10:28 Cabbie says he thinks the next big thing is live betting because it can satisfy viewers’ thirst for action. He says there will be an option to compete against strangers or those at the same venue as you (in a post-COVID world.)
12:38 Cabbie talks about the popularity of live streaming video game competitions and the similarity between conventional sports. If you love a sport, you want to watch professionals play.
13:28 Cabbie says the biggest similarity in terms of different athletics is the reaction time and hand eye coordination.
14:55 Braden and Cabbie talk about drone racing.
15:57 The trio talks about extreme sports. Cabbie mentions his interview with motorsports competitor/stunts performer Travis Pastrana. He says the similarities between a traditional athlete and extreme athletes are the desire for greatness, an innate level of competition, and an amazing work ethic.
20:45 The trio talks about the NCAA and endorsement deals.
25:00 Braden mentions that COVID has had a huge impact on sports, asks Cabbie’s opinion on how the different sports organizations handled the pandemic and what the next year looks like. Cabbie mentions that NBA is often the gold standard and other leagues will often follow suit.
29:20 Braden asks if Cabbie thinks that COVID will have a positive impact on the future of sport in any way.
31:35 Cabbie touches on the MLB, including people’s shortened attention spans and stimulus and how small changes in the game of baseball can make it shorter. They talk about the possibility of getting rid of the umpire in exchange for computer engineering.
33:13 Cabbie talks about what he’s excited for in sports in the next year or so. He mentions that he misses the energy of being present at a game, and hopes to return to some semblance of normalcy.
34:45 Cabbie says he’s looking forward to the summer olympics, talks about Simone Bile’s impressive career in gymnastics, says she is the Roger Federer of gymnastics.
37:15 Cabbie jokes about how the planes are finally being properly cleaned due to COVID.
39:18 Braden asks if there’s anything else Cabbie would like to share. He mentions that he’s working on the betting portfolio for the Bleacher Report.
40:10 Cabbie jokes about the importance of memes and how it’s a “new language” of the internet.
44:00 Mike and Braden finish off by talking about some of Cabbie’s most impressive accolades and why athletes and other celebrities are naturally drawn to him.
45:10 Mike says his #1 person to interview would be baseball Hall of Famer Joe Carter.
46:40 Braden says he would love to interview Jake Burton Carpenter who pioneered snowboarding as a sport, and started the ever-popular company Burton.