Robert Scheer and Petros Papadakis Discuss the Joys and Dangers of College Football

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Petros Papadakis, former USC college football captain and current analyst for Fox Sports, tells Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer about the lure of the game for young people. The two also debate whether politics belong on the field and in the locker room.

Papadakis suggests that unionizing college players could be complicated and agrees that college players deserve some financial compensation.

Adapted from Truthdig.com

Read the transcript below:

Robert Scheer: This is Robert Scheer with another edition of Scheer Intelligence, where the intelligence comes from my guests, and my guest today is Petros Papadakis, a person that …

Petros Papadakis: Hi, Bob.

Scheer:
Hi. That I love having come to speak in my class at the University of Southern California, which is where we’re recording from.

Papadakis: Beautiful.

Scheer: I do it because you’re about the only person I can get to talk honestly about what football does and does not do for a college campus, and for those who don’t know your work, you obviously in addition to having been on the USC football team as a running back, scoring I think 16 touchdowns in one season.

Papadakis: No, two seasons.

Scheer: Two seasons?

Papadakis: That’s accurate.

Scheer: On what you describe as the worst football team in USC history.

Papadakis: Captain of the worst, in the year 2000.

Scheer: Let’s begin with USC, which has been a football legend, a major contender. You come from a football family. Your father, John, played for SC.

Papadakis: My older brother Taso was a starting linebacker here, and I played here.

Scheer: Then, your brother deserted and went over and played for UCLA. I’d like to begin with one of the great achievements of football as a social reformer. Now there’s a lot of feeling, “What does football do?” Your father wrote a book with a great running back, Sam Cunningham, about the integration of college football …

Papadakis: And a great writer, Don Yaeger.

Scheer: Why don’t you tell us about that book, and the significance of that.

Papadakis:
Well, in 1970, the head coach at USC, who was a hard man, and the head coach at Alabama, who was almost as equally hard, and two of the great legendary coaches in the history of college football, John McKay and Bear Bryant, had a relationship. They had known each other for a long time, and the SCC, believe it or not, in 1970, was an all-white league. They weren’t competing, obviously. They weren’t competing against other colleges, and Bear Bryant knew that in order to move Alabama forward, they were going to need to integrate the football team. In order to do that, they were going to need to show the people of Alabama that black players were necessary. Not only necessary, but great. In order to do that, they scheduled USC to come play at Legion Field in Birmingham, and my father was on that team. He was a Mike linebacker. I think he was a defensive captain. He had 15 tackles in the game. Sam Cunningham, obviously playing his first game ever as a sophomore. Freshmen didn’t play back then. Had a great game. Multiple touchdowns, over 100 yards.

That was the game that kind of, as they say, turned the tide in the south. USC was a big part of that social reform. I remember years before that, CR Roberts, another great trojan. A big, big black running back, went to Texas and did something similar. USC, being on the west coast, I think, too, and the Cunningham family was from Santa Barbara. They didn’t know southern racism. A lot of the guys who play at SC don’t.

Scheer: People don’t know, he was a black player, and a legend.

Papadakis: His brother, Randall Cunningham, a lot of people know, and Randall’s son is an Olympic-level high jumper here now, at USC, and was in your class a couple of years ago. I gave him a ride home after I spoke at your class. That tradition continues at USC, but it’s very interesting, because due to my criticism, I believe, of the university … The last time USC took a trip to play a team in Alabama, they brought my father on the trip, and he spoke to the team. This year, because of I guess some divisiveness in the program, and some of the way that I’ve reacted in my media position over the years to USC’s decision making, they invited Sam but not my father, who wrote the book together. That kind of bummed me out. I thought that they were kind of above that, when it came to some of their great history.

Scheer: You and your father probably don’t even agree on your view of the whole thing.

Papadakis: No. We don’t agree on … But you know what? We talk a lot about USC, and how I shape my opinion.

Scheer: For people who don’t know the family, you did cooperate in running one of the great Greek restaurants.

Papadakis: Yeah, and that’s where USC did most of their recruiting in the peak Carroll era, so if you can imagine, I mean, not just the guys that ended up signing here, like the Reggie Bushes and LenDale White, but the Tim Tebows of the world, and CJ Speller, all the great college football players came through there, in the recruitment.

Scheer: Before we get winded too far for this story, I mean, you say amazingly enough, 1970, much of the south was still segregated in athletics and university. You know, it’s not ancient history that Jackie Robinson came in after World War II, when we fought the great war for freedom, that the US Army itself was segregated and what have you, and basketball, when the Lakers came here from Minnesota, there was something like only two blacks could be on a team, was the sort of code and what have you.

Papadakis: USC’s always been on the forefront of that. You could say that.

Scheer: One of the good things, and you’ve pointed out when you’ve spoke in my class, is that once you’re playing together, there’s an intimacy, even if you discriminate in certain positions like the quarterback or the coach or what have you, which is legendary, the fact is, athletics has broken down racial barriers.

Papadakis: It has, but at the same time, something … This is not something we’ve talked about a whole bunch in your class, because it wasn’t as socially relevant, especially to young kids, but with the anniversary and the OJ Simpson stuff, and obviously OJ Simpson played here at USC, and there’s a deep history there, and he played with my father. I remember, and I totally forgot about it, but I remember OJ Simpson, just the subject of it. Not because it was a USC locker room, because he was never really around us, but just if you brought it up. Most of the white guys on the team thought that OJ was a killer, and most of the black guys on the team really thought he was innocent, or framed, or whatever. Her son did it, or there was some theory.

You couldn’t bring that up. I remember, you couldn’t bring that up unless you wanted to get into a heated discussion, and sometimes it was funny, sometimes people got their feelings hurt, but that was a real thing. Today, it makes me wonder, with all the different things going on racially in our country, and the narrative that we have, what the conversations in the locker room are like when it comes to the anthem, and different things like that. Football, once you go out of the tunnel and you’re locking arms, I mean, it’s you and those guys against the world. Think about the world of boxing. Those guys, I really have so much respect for in athletics, because they’re just naked to the world, and you’re going to fight in that ring, and there’s nobody to help you except for the bell.

Scheer:
I didn’t give you a proper introduction, so let me just say, your football career, you didn’t go into the pros because you were severely injured and had real problems, and you actually were one of the lucky athletes who didn’t go into the pros. You found a way to make a living, and you’ve been a major radio personality, and you’ve done national television broadcasting and so forth, and that’s what you do to this day. You’re one of the guys who managed to get a good career out of this.

Papadakis:
One of the uglier broadcasters on the air, and sweatier.

Scheer: Yeah, but off the field. I think to this day, you have an objective view of what goes on with sports. Yet, when I’ve had you in the class and talk to you, you’ve played down certain things. You played down concussions, was one.

Papadakis:
Yeah. A little bit.

Scheer: On the other hand, when you get going, you talk about what it did to your head, right?

Papadakis:
Yeah. Well, and that’s something we all have to monitor, those of us that played football from the past, and guys playing now. There’s no doubt it’s something people need to think about, just like any of us. I’ve been talking out of my behind about sports for 15, 16 years now, on platforms where people hear me, and your opinions do evolve, and things change. The concussion thing, my opinion kind of started to change when I started to get my own head checked out, and wondering why I had these flashes of emotion, and these different things that is not unique in the football world to deal with. That being said, when it comes to concussions and football, every guy playing at a high level, and this has always been my argument, they know what’s happening out there. It’s like, remember Casablanca, where the Captain Renaud says, “I’m shocked, shocked that there’s gambling going on”?

We’re hitting each other in the head with our heads. There’s not a lot of grey area there. We know what we’re doing. Nobody’s putting a gun to anybody’s head. That’s why I always used to say, when the guys would pray before the games and they’d all lock arms and pray for victory, and pray for all these things, and I would say to the guys, even though I’m Greek Orthodox Christian, I’d say, “God’s not making us do this. This is our choice. This is our identity. This is who we are.” If your identity is a football player, if that’s really your identity, then concussions probably aren’t in your mindset. Now, you played five years in the NFL and had your bell rung a few times, and you’ve made some money, and you have a wife and kids, you’re thinking about retiring, a couple guys have. Not every guy, but a few guys, and more often than ever before have started to walk away from the sport at younger ages.

Scheer: We began by discussing sports as an educator, which it was around segregation, certainly, integration of sports. In terms of the money, you’ve got these coaches on the college level. What does the coach of Avalon make? $7 million?

Papadakis: Reported, but you know, somebody might say, “Hey, good job coach. Here’s $2 million.” I mean, one of the alums. They’re working on a level, and you understand politics in a way that I could never even begin to scratch, and I always figured when you’re the president, you’ve been bought and sold 100 times by somebody. You’re working on a level that is far beyond a lot of people’s contemplation. When you’re the head coach at USC or Alabama, it’s very similar. There’s things that are touching you, and things that you’re part of that the rest of us just don’t know. How much money is actually being made? I have no … I mean, when Pete Carroll was here, I had no idea how much money he was making. There was a listed salary, but with a private school, and not having to report anything but to his own tax attorneys, who knows? Who knows how much money is coming into that guy? Most states, if they’re public institutions, the highest paid person in the state is generally, like, Iowa, or these places, it’s the head coach of the basketball or football team. Men’s basketball.

Scheer: We have this issue even in the amateur level, the NCAA and so forth.

Papadakis: We treat these guys like the leaders of society. It makes [crosstalk] …

Scheer: They make enormous amounts of money, and then they send people like you out on the field, and you’re … You used the word, it’s not fashionable anymore, but you always refer to yourself as a cripple.

Papadakis: Yeah. Legally.

Scheer: Legally. Go through your injuries, and they’re kind of typical, aren’t they? Aside from the concussion.

Papadakis: My one injury to my foot was relatively unique. In fact, it was one of the worst here. You can still go see the x-rays on a screensaver of one of the trainers down there, because they had never seen anything like it. My foot just looked like it exploded, and all the bones basically scattered almost like a bag of cereal. Pins, and needles, and screws, and two staph infections, and long time in the hospital.

Scheer: Even if it’s not unique, and I teach here also, and I’ve had students and they blow out their knee, or …

Papadakis: Everybody gets hurt. You’re always going to get surgery.

Scheer: They get hurt, and then suddenly there isn’t the professional career, or they’re vulnerable. I’m sticking to the money for a minute, here. It’s such a grotesque contradiction that you’re telling these kids one of two things. Either, “Be a good Trojan. It’s great for the school. It’s great for the spirit, and you’re going to get banged up, and the odds are, even at a top ranked school like this, most of you are not going to make a living at this.”

Papadakis:
No, no, no.

Scheer: Then, “Forget about all the other sports that you’ve got going.” On the other hand, when people come along like they did at Northwestern and say they want to form a union, they want compensation, I know in the past you’ve been contemptuous of that, or dismissive.

Papadakis: Well, to me, the union thing in particular. Now, you understand that stuff better than me, and I know there was a reason they did it in Illinois and all that. At the same time, you can’t sign the letter of intent, which has very clear language, with saying you’re going to go play somebody for somebody on scholarship, and then turn around and try to unionize. It just doesn’t work that way. That being said, I understand it. I think we are evolving. I think we should be in a better place. I was always in the … Because I was a guy who went to school here, and I was as big of a mess as anybody at school here. I had as many problems as any college student, probably more, and at the same time, was carrying the ball a whole lot in practice, and taking shots, and taking pills, and doing whatever I had to do to get out there, and I got a degree here. I got two degrees.

Not only that, the university community and being part of it, and my major, which was odd for a football player, but in English and American lit, it helped me considerably in my work and communicating with people. I did that while falling apart on the football team, and there’s way more diligent guys than me out there, and they really make the most of their situation.

Scheer: You did get an education here, because you were kind of a weirdo and you became an English major, and you read Dostoyevsky and everything, and all that.

Papadakis: Yeah, I did.

Scheer: Now, what about kids coming to school and say, “Hey, we got a Black Lives Matter movement in America. I’m going to read about it. I’m going to look into to see the national anthem, and the third stanza of the national anthem actually says it’s a good thing to have freed slaves, and that the Brits are terrible people for taking them into their army. There are contradictions.” What’s wrong, whether on the college level, or on the pro level, of somebody saying, “Okay, I’ll play the game, but I’m a full human being. I got free speech rights. I got a right to have an attitude. I’ve got a right to speak up, and you know what? I’ll use my celebrity the same way other people use their celebrity, to support things that I care about”?

Papadakis: In a vacuum, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. In a vacuum, pretending as if it wouldn’t effect anybody else on the team, or however. You’re your own one person, your own individual, whatever you want to do. Obviously, there’s incongruities throughout history that you can point to no matter what you want to go up against. Christianity here in America, or anything that people tend to really cling to. The only problem with a football team is they constantly tell you what you represent, which is not yourself. The team. When you’re wearing that uniform, when you have that platform, it’s not because you’re a full thinking human being at all. It’s because you’re a football player. That’s why you have the platform. To me, just in my own situation, if somebody was causing me as a football player at USC to have to answer questions about my political proclivities because of what they were doing, that’s a problem on a football team. Maybe not for everybody, but it’s a divider.

Scheer: Let me ask you the basic question about the money and thought, okay? You got people who presumably have gone through college, have thought about things. They think about social justice. They think about life. They think about … They look at the money coming into this sport. They look at it, and that’s the one thing they’re not supposed to ask tough questions about in terms of its social impact, right? At a college, you’re not supposed to question that your coach, who’s yelling at you all the time, is making this incredible amount of money. You’re a kid who comes from maybe where your family didn’t have enough to get by, and this guy’s making $7 million. How much does the bandleader make?

Papadakis: Art Bartner?

Scheer: Yeah.

Papadakis: I don’t know his endowment, but I’m sure he does quite well.

Scheer: I mean, the assistant coaches quite often …

Papadakis: Some of them make millions.

Scheer: Yeah. The guys who do the weight training and all that.

Papadakis: At least hundreds of thousands.

Scheer: Aren’t we exposing people to a situation where just, as human beings, you’d think they’d want to say, “Wait a minute. I’m having trouble paying my rent. I’m having trouble”? As you have pointed out, when you come to my class, getting pizza where your picture was on the box, one of your stories, and yet I’m not supposed to question, “Where is the money going?”

Papadakis: I think you should be able to question where the money is going. There’s no problem about that. I also think we live in a free society, and if somebody wants to pay you for something, that’s what you’re worth. These guys, they want to play football. Football is attractive to them because of the money flowing through football. There are countless … Just because guys don’t go to the league doesn’t mean that they don’t have a life in football. There was a guy I played with here, Kenichi Daisy, who was a number 10 pick in the draft, and came down with leukemia, and beat it, but couldn’t play football anymore. He’s a coach. Chris Richard, a guy I played with, is the D-coordinator for Seattle.

Scheer: I’ve got you, but [crosstalk] …

Papadakis: They get into the profession …

Scheer: You have this organization called the NCAA, and they’re the ones that have stressed the amateur, amateur, amateur, amateur, right? They only stress it for the players.

Papadakis: They’re all tied up. The whole thing is based in hypocrisy. You want me to defend that, you’re barking up the wrong tree. To me, the best solution, and something very doable, is if a guy gets his 12 units every semester, you give him $10,000 in the bank. If he has five years, or he graduates, he walks, there’s $50,000, $60,000, $70,000 for a young person to start their life out with, as opposed to just being spit out by a program when they can no longer use you, whether you’re crippled or you can’t play in the league, or whether you’re moving on to the NFL. It doesn’t matter. Whoever you are. It’s a lonely feeling when you’re done playing here, because they can’t use you anymore, and there’s somebody new coming in. There’s always going to be more football players, not less, as far as history goes. You’re going to be forgotten.

Scheer: I think in my class, you said you wouldn’t let your child play football.

Papadakis: No, I don’t want to, but he’s a meat head, violent kid. I think he might just be such a meat head that we have to have him play.

Scheer: He’s in the family. Oh, let me shift this a little bit. Get to the pros. They are making so much money, whether they’re lousy or good, because of the TV contracts, the shared revenue and everything.

Papadakis: For a short amount of time, there’s a lot of money.

Scheer: On the other hand, and we’re at USC, we’re broadcasting now. USC happens to control the Colosseum here in LA, and play at the Colosseum, and the Rams are playing at the Colosseum until their new stadium is built. Okay, they abandoned, right, a city that liked them.

Papadakis: St. Louis?

Scheer: Yes.

Papadakis: Lovely place.

Scheer: Okay, but they abandoned it. They used to be here. They went.

Papadakis: They were in Cleveland before that.

Scheer: Then they come here, fortunately, as I understand it, unless I’m missing something, at least they’re using their own money to build [crosstalk] …

Papadakis: Yeah, Kroenke’s going to build it himself, which is why it’s getting done.

Scheer: Then, there’s a question of, who are they going to steal from some other place? Is it going to be San Diego, or horror of horrors, they steal the Oakland Raiders?

Papadakis: Or they go to Vegas.

Scheer: Which happened once before, or Oakland goes to Vegas.

Papadakis:
Do you care as a Raider fan, or is it just a universal thing?

Scheer: If Oakland Raiders leave Oakland, I’m not a Raider fan.

Papadakis:
Even to Vegas?

Scheer: I didn’t go with them once to LA. I’ve been a Raider fan since the 60s. I’m a season ticket holder. To tell the truth, I’m as fanatical as anyone, and the reason is …

Papadakis: You’re a face painter, aren’t you Bob?

Scheer: Yeah, I wear the costume. It does get to the money thing. Now, these teams make so much money, the idea that they can’t remain loyal to a community is outrageous. It doesn’t bother you at all?

Papadakis: They don’t care. It’s a money maker. They don’t care.

Scheer: We’re talking greed now, right?

Papadakis: Yeah, but that’s American business. They only care as far as it looks good or bad. Look, the L in … Let’s forget about the individual owners and what they own. Let’s just look at the NFL as a whole. The NFL is made up of, what? 30 billionaire owners that have a little boys club, and that’s that. That is it. No one gets in or out of the door. It is the most elite club in the world. Maybe the English Premiere League is similar in London, but these are people that are beyond our comprehension when it comes to how they move and change things around. The L in the NFL stands for “lawyers,” because all they really want to do, and all they’re really concerned with, whether or not it’s players beating up on people, whether or not it’s players beating up on themselves, whether or not it’s suicide, whether or not it’s concussions, whatever the issue is, they’re only concerned with protecting their own ass.

That is the only thing they care about, to protect the money that’s being made by their owners. These are multi-billionaire people, and maybe they care about their players, maybe they don’t, but they chip them off the money that they have to in order to stay in business, they hire and fire coaches in order to stay in business, PR people, this and that. They’ll keep a player who’s violent as long as they can until it’s somehow a public problem, and people get after them, and then it’s just like any other corporation. Trying to hold them to a higher standard because people root and care about their product, I think it’s futile, because they don’t care. It’s just a business.

Look, Joe Montana is suing the NFL. He’s the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL, and they don’t speak to each other. They have giant lawsuits going back and forth. This is not a patty cake league. It’s a big, ugly, American endeavor and it’s all those things. You like it, you’re a fan? I don’t. I’m not a huge pro football … I’m really not. I’m more of a college football person. The pro football, to me, is just too much. It’s too good. The margin of error is too small, and it’s just not as fun. Everybody runs the same offense, everybody runs the same defense. Everybody plays the same songs in the stadium. It just feels generic to me. It’s a cookie cutter league. All the games fit into three hour windows. I just prefer the college game, because that’s what I know and that’s what I’m more passionate about. There’s no doubt that the NFL, it’s become something that is even very different from what I grew up with, which was giant even then. I remember those Raider teams, and Marcus Allen, and Todd Marinovich, and Jay Schroeder, and all those teams here in LA growing up. It’s changed. People are very, very passionate about football, and they don’t understand the sport. That’s what I think is a little dangerous about it.

Scheer: What is it they’re missing?

Papadakis: I just don’t think they relate to the flesh and blood under the uniform. I think they think it’s all robo-cops out there. I mean, I really do. I think people look at football players, and you know what? To a certain degree, how can you blame them? Especially with the way a lot of these guys behave off the field. That’s also, not to make excuses for people, because we’re all responsible for what we do no matter what, but that’s a certain … There’s a product of that in the sport. The sport breeds violence. It trains people to respond with violence. If you’re not violent enough, you’re not good enough, and for us to act shocked when that boils over in a college campus environment or in an entertainment environment in some big city where the pro players are, it should never shock people.

Scheer:
What is the role of the media in describing all this? I want to conclude on this, you’re a media person now. You’ve gone from being a player to media, and it was kind of strange to read articles after USC got wiped out by Alabama, opening game. The LA Times was mercilessly on television, on radio, all you guys were just bashing them. What I wonder is, what is the conflict of interest that the media has in covering sports?

Papadakis: There’s a major conflict of interest, because you have broadcast partnerships. The broadcast partnerships are what’s worth so much money, and that’s why we don’t have a pay to play. That’s why you don’t go on iTunes and pay 99 cents to watch the Raider game, because that would eliminate the network, the middle man, and the money being made is the networks and the league making a deal with each other. That’s where the money is coming.

Your role when you’re actually putting the game on television, as the analyst, which is my job, or the play by play guy, or the sideline person, or the production in the truck, and the people back in the studio that we’re producing toward, and the seven cameras that we have out there, our responsibility is to celebrate this game. The way I look at it is, these guys are not being compensated. I want to give them a good call. I want to give these guys what they deserve. I’m going to give them their moment publicly. I want to say their name properly. I want their family to be able to watch the game [crosstalk] …

Scheer: That is fair enough, but what about reporting?

Papadakis: Let’s say after the game …

Scheer: Come on. Penn State right now is doing the 50th anniversary …

Papadakis: I’m just telling you the differences. That there’s differences. You know, when I’m calling the game, I’m not going to talk about what happened with Jerry Sandusky. On my radio show, if I’m passionate about it and I need to take a stand about something, I can do that. In the studio at Fox, you’re probably somewhere in the middle there. When you’re at the game, I feel like you have a responsibility to the players and the coaches to put that thing on TV. Whatever your column is, whatever your place of commentary, like for me it’s my radio show on AM 570, then go ahead. If you’re passionate about it, then go ahead and say it. That’s kind of where I’ve kind of drawn the line. Every medium has its own boundary, whether it’s the printed word, whether it’s on TV, studio, whether it’s at a game, whether it’s an internet kind of thing, on the radio. These are all different things where you can take different angles and take different stances. The truth is, the harder you go, the more you’re going to hear from your, quote-unquote, “broadcast partners,” or whoever is employing you. It depends on who your boss is, just like if you were writing at a newspaper.

Scheer: The crowded media field is supposed to give some hope. You’ve got bloggers who can call you out. You’ve got websites and so forth.

Papadakis: I think it just becomes a place where you go to the place where they’re saying what you want to hear.

Scheer: That’s one danger, and the other, at least the old, established … You’ve been around. You’re still a young guy. You’re not even 40 yet.

Papadakis: I’m almost. 39.

Scheer: You’ve been around a lot, and you’ve seen how it’s changed. It seems to me, at least in the old days, CBS, The LA Times or The New York Times, these were major institutions that could tell even a professional team or a college program, “You’ve got to shape up. You’re not doing it right. You’re not handling it.” Now, they all seem to be in bed with the people they’re supposed to be covering. They’re running scared. They don’t know whether they’re even going to be in business.

Papadakis: They’ve all started to resemble each other, kind of like the end of Animal Farm. Man, and pigs, and all that, in a way that they started just to really fill the stereotype that you always thought. Everybody always talked about … Okay, there’s three places to work. Big network sports. There’s three places you can work. I’ve only worked at one. You don’t want to work at all three before you’re 40, because then you’re not going to work anymore. You’re going to burn your bridges. I work at Fox. The reputation at Fox is, Fox is great. They let you be yourself. The infrastructure is a little wacky, but they let you be yourself. Get used to things changing, and every year a lot of chaos. CBS, everybody’s a stuffed shirt, right? “We’re in the Les Moonves building.” You wear the eye on your jacket, and you don’t say “boo” or anything like that. Everything’s about Jim Nance and the masters. That’s CBS. ESPN or ABC is all about Mickey Mouse and Disney. If you piss off the mouse, you’re gone.

Really, those places, I mean, people told me that when I was young, and I said, “Oh, no. Everybody’s different, and every crew is different, and every producer is different.” As we’ve kind of worked more towards just a really confused, I think, and discombobulated media, kind of like a flight schedule, those places have really kind of emerged as exactly what you expect them to be. I don’t think that’s good for the media. I don’t think you should be able to go somewhere and just see what you expect to see, you know what I mean? Just see what you want to hear. You go to CBS and they are going to say great things about the FCC. You go to Fox, and they’re going to say great things about the PAC 12 and Big 12, because those are their broadcast partners. You go to the ESPN, and they’re back on the FCC. To me, we’re just promoting our broadcast partners, and we’re not doing any kind of real analysis or work. I’d like to see it get back to that a little bit more.

Scheer: We’ll have to get back to this sometime in the future.

Papadakis: I’ll come back.

Scheer: You got a last word about public radio to throw in?

Papadakis:
NPR, or KCRW? Listen, I’ve been to this station in Santa Monica City College, and I’ve always loved this station. If you’ve ever been downstairs, and I know they’re redoing it, so it’s even going to be more spectacular, but just the corridor of the black and white photos of every great person, from Gorvey Dahl to Iggy Pop, in the hallway of the place, and you say, “Wow. I’m coming here to be on the air, and there’s Joseph Heller,” or something like that. That is a great thing. I love this place, and I ran for 230 yards at Santa Monica City College against Santa Monica High School in 1994.

Scheer: Great. The fact that you know who Joseph Heller was showed that you did get some kind of education here at the University of Southern California, so that’s it for Scheer Intelligence. Our producers are Joshua Scheer and Rebecca Mooney. Our engineers are Kat Yore and Mario Diaz. Sebastian Grubaugh at USC has been the person holding it together, and we thank USC and the Annenberg School.

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