Hour 4: Woody Paige & Kyle Peterson
Cried passion than pageantry of college. Football leaves here. The paul finebaum. Show our four podcast. We welcome you back to the final hour of the program and as a young teenager growing up in memphis i started reading our next guest and said you know what man do. I want to be like this guy. So i followed him about ten years later as the sports editor of the school paper. And that's when it all fell apart. Would he would. He paid off to become a big time columnist and then Espn's first converts from the sports writing world. You've seen them around on around the horn for about about four thousand years and he is now graced us with his presence. The one and only woody page joins the program. Woody good afternoon. How are you just also buddy about five minutes ago. And they said didn't use to be what he pay. I mean that's a good feeling thing that used to watch you on around the horn. I said i have died. Could be could be an indicator of the show. Though maybe more than you. It's it's nice of you invite me on your the worldwide leader kind of talk show About the sec. I'm so old paul. When you talk about. I'll be seventy five. In june i saw to the sea in its final year of running the single wing while on my goodness well. I may have told you this once before but i think it was late in my career at ut. I think it was haywood us or bud four. I can't remember which one he said you know we. It took us ten years to get over. Woody pages a sports editor of the school paper but find you totally broken and burn down the building. We're we're right back to where we were when woody was here so that was the moment that i knew i had to chase you around the world when i was there They said we help. There's never anybody like you I actually was editor that he daily beacon for better year and a half and the head of the what was in journalism carbonell college communication called me and said i was most in card to bowl and i said in the history of your class. And he said no in the history of the university of tennessee. I guess that's so. I i'll tell you very quick story peyton manning in a known each other since he's a little kid. 'cause i covered archie. His father in archie. And i've always been Put very close and pay came to me The year he retired and he said. I just i understand you just got distinguished To alumni award the most prestigious award. And i said yes. Thank you understand. You gotta plaster said. I'm giving my back if they're giving kids. It's very true story. Didn't said i'm giving my back. So he majored in speech communication. I majored in trying to learn how to speak english. Because i grew up in memphis tennessee and people a on around the horn. Still say what. We don't quite understand you. So by accident has years has gone away. Mine has not so well it. How long have you. How long have you. I'm curious about your. Espn kirk newspaper career. But i mean you you you pretty much done everything at espn avenue. Someone wrote me recently. Because i did a morning show. That was supposedly their version of the today or good morning. America is called. Paul pizza right. And i did that for few years and I will tell you that when. I die my tombstone aside. The only person that has worked on. Tv shows with jay mariotti. Skip bayless and stephen smith whether that's a positive or negative in my life. Yeah i did sports center. When i was in new york i was doing. The show called dream job that was Also espn version of the american idol. Or something like that. And i did first and ten with Skip bayless after. We did coal pizza. And i did i take. It was the first which is still on. Espn so that worked out well and they had me doing a fifteen minute. Disney kids channel show. They felt like i think. Paul that that Kids that were sixty eight years old. Could understand what. I was saying about sports. 'cause they we were in the same kind of level of intelligence at that time. So i i've done like i. I started with the eastern classics. And they used to do. And i'm sure you're in a lot of your listeners. Will remember they used to do Like once a week an hour long bio of people in stores and they. They came and interviewed me and gave me two hundred fifty bucks and said we want to ask you about some athletes. And you tell a story and i said yeah i do that and i was there for eight hours and they were they would just throw names at me and they go secretary it when i said really wanna say in the ted williams. I said i'm not that old. I sit on remember as a kid and they went through all that and they said good job. we'd like to get. I said not the two hundred fifty dollars. But that's how it really started in a partner and russian came on the air In about two thousand and two and was very successful. And i think they decided that sports riders could actually talk about sports on television because of Tony and michael doing so well. And i met with The president vice president of espn at at at the super bowl. And they said we're gonna start a new show banyan to partner eruption. And we want you to be kind of our centerpiece. And what are you talking about. It's about it's going to be cadillac. hollywood squares and you'll be called in the blocks in and i actually turned it down because i didn't more to commit Five days a week to doing this show. And i didn't even realize at the time it would take people don't realize that it takes about six hours to have our show and i thought when i first to the job didn't i could do from denver that it would be a half hour like coming on your show today. That would be a half hour. Then you go away and it ended up Not only being about Eighteen and a half years ago but That it's turned out to be probably the most fun ever done in my life because we just did show a couple of hours ago and we just laugh through the entire time. We were doing it. What i'm going to go back later. Few minutes sports writing career. But here you are really you. One of the most successful in highest paid sports writers in the country. And you there is notoriety and prestige. And then you start doing game show on espn. And i'm getting. I'm guessing i'm going to be correct about this. Your your fame. Blew up walking down the streets of anywhere. Didn't it technically when i was in new york for several years because Around the horns i. it's own about seven or eight times a day now but it When it's started in at the new york it came on in primetime. Basically there and it was difficult to walk around. That was surprising to me. I mean i realized the as you did when we were at the university of tennessee at different times that People read the newspaper every day to daily beacon was his paper and i wrote columns for it and i wrote the geno columns and sports columns that i've walked into one of those auditorium classrooms and everybody reading column laughing because are putting stuff and i thought you know. Maybe this works out to be. You did it that. I can do this but i i. Once asked to came matombo when he was growing up in africa did he dream of playing in the nba and he laughed at me in about seven different languages because he speaks seven languages in anybody that see michael commercials. They know exactly how to be goes not buy house and i did you dream of playing in the nba. He said. i couldn't green the beyond the end of the dirt road meaning that he had no or belief about playing pro basketball. And that's kind of growing up in the south as you and i did. The only dream i had is that i could be a sports writer for the memphis commercial appeal. That was the only dream that could possibly have in life because there was no television. There was no sports. Talk radio and I actually started doing sports. Talk radio and in memphis station called me and said would you talk about sports in the what. Okay with five minutes. So i couldn't dream of it. And i certainly couldn't dream of espn. And i certainly couldn't dream that a kid that grew up in lauderdale courts About two doors from elvis presley for people who don't know this and you obviously know as much about a designed to but where i was born and raised in government housing I played on a piece of ground that later became saint jude hospital and My parents live there. The presley's lived. There are a lotta people from my father was mississippi. And you could live there unless you made less than thirty dollars a month. And my dad made a dollar a day and i felt like early on that I wanted to be a writer and that was really based on. And i'm sure it is you that there were. There was so many great novelist great fiction and nonfiction writers that came out of the south and and and those because of the hardscrabble or because there was nothing else we could do except cotton. And that's the truth. Dad as a kid and took me down there and i knew i didn't want to pick cotton for living and so all i could dream about was someday. I wanted to be a writer like say. Somebody like tennessee williams. Somebody of that sure that and so this is all a surprise to me and still is with the been doing since i was a kid in high school worker. The whitehaven chris. I remember that ben. What are you doing Hold the thought. I wanna come back and and and go back to those days in our remaining moments would he would. He page is with us. Almost said woody. Hayes sounds similar but what he's career still going. We will take a short break. Come back and continue our conversation with the legendary woodrow page right. You're listening to the paul finebaum show. Podcast do own or rent your home. Sure you do. And i bet it can be hard work you know. It's easy bundling policies with geico. Geico makes it easy to bundle your homeowner's or renter's insurance along with your auto policy. It's a good thing too because you already have so much to do around your home. Go to geico dot com. Get a quote and see how much you could save. Its gyco easy visit. Geico dot com. Today that's geiko dot com and we welcome you back what you page our guests for a few more minutes and would have always found so remarkable about your career followed you and wrote and then we moved on. You've never stopped writing though you say you're at the denver paper for thirty some odd years. You continue to write. I'm i'm really curious about that. And and why he would. You have stuck to your craft after so many years. That's funny 'cause almost left it is pin at some point because they I i was still riding when i was in new york and I got an offer to write in. I still write for Two newspapers in colorado the colorado springs gazette. Because i think will guy Writing a column. I enjoy writing it. I i told you into that. A lotta guys have the dog. And i remember dan. Patrick saying to me Many many years ago he said welcome to the dark side. You're no longer the light side. And i said i'll always be on the light side meeting riding But started doing it. When i was in junior high school basically and i never lost my love for the section about writing in every time i speak at a lot of colleges in zoom conferences two high schools and i tell them that every time i sit down to write i say to myself have fun and that's my mantra basically about my career and i would say that to anybody listening. That's young person wanting to get into some field if includes communications that you just go in with the attitude that you're going to be passionate about it and have fun work hard at it and it works out. Because i i taught students tennessee. When i go back. I said look at me. Got motala imagine what you could do with. You grew up wanting to be what he pays. When i was about fifty five i wanted to be paul but we got a switch roles but i never wanted to give up writing. 'cause i joined so much i love to english language and i hate people that that that don't use it properly don't early Have fun this for it. And so that that love never left me and when i was in high school i was sports. Editor of the whitehaven press which was a weekly newspaper in the suburbs of memphis and had a circulation about sixty thousand. And i really kinda home by crafts before. I went to to school at the university to see. I'm real quick story for you that you don't know sure and some some you don't know about being most people don't so i used to rip on the coach at by the way for people who don't know my love. Se football at grew up. And my dad. When i was a year and a half old took me to old. Come stadium in memphis. Oh misplayed tennessee. I was a year and a half old. And i don't remember it but my dad would tell me about it. There was snow and that Was the beginning of falling in love with the with college. Football's specifically the sec. No matter that. I've been away from the and seeing for since the for about forty years that i still tell people in other parts of the country. This is not college football. Let me tell you about college football. I've covered the big twelve covered. Big it covered the brass goofball and they talked about it. I go yeah. this is nothing like that anyway. When as a college i started ripping on i was. I was Objective ripped on route way mirrors. Who is tennessee basketball coach. Because he couldn't be Could be kentucky and so he called me one day and said i want you to come to my office and so i went over. And that's where you know that would but ford sad's in the old kneeled arena and i went there and he said you ripple mealtime you don't really know me as a coach i want you to play in the orange and white game. Get yourself in shape. They said there you played some basketball and he said get yourself in shape. Sports illustrated as as as us to play on. Twelve foot goals. There have been talk about It's being new house into and others dominated game. Maybe raising your goals and i said are you crazy. And he said yes. I am but i'm actually played for like five minutes in the orange white intersquad game people. They were the every school that you go to. I got One rebounded two points and i scored a goal on a twelve foot soul the only game in college basketball history even though the news quite game those play with a twelve foot goal and people and so afterwards i guess now you can stop me and i said you should have played me about fifty new first time that i wow Criticizing coaches just assumed. The coaches knew more than idea that they were coaches. And i found out that. I felt like i knew as much as coaches and so it's gotta followed me my entire career so anyway i think that you and i share something that there's only about three of us that ever came out of school journalists mckenzie about and. I'm not sure about myself but I've always had great respect for you. And for all the people down there in sec country And my good friend buddy. Martin who i know is good for your listening today. And and and people s buddy the same question Why do you continue to write because we love it but grew up with it. And i'll never leave it no matter whatever tv career and i was doing about six Four programs a day three. Espn for quite a while in Still never gave up the writing because I just think the great sports writers and you know that came out of the south i mean from atlanta and all include those dallas writers that they were just incredible In riders in memphis that i grew up loving in in florida georgia alabama. You know that all of the great writers in the south and they sort of pave the way for all of us to try and Have fun with the language but Be serious enough about what we were doing. Particularly covering tennessee. Football gave us Such a great kansas for writing about Sports in in also covered Quite a while civil rights and the aftermath of assess nation duct came in the south. So i think. I learned about writing from different aspects of that too. So would it be and i will before you go. I wanna i wanna close on a serious note because so many young people on campuses high school they do pay attention to this stuff and for someone who has done at all. And i really mean that. What would you tell young people high school college. Who who who want to go into this profession but maybe don't really understand what they're getting into. I talk to them On a regular basis says just given to lecture colleges in and i said the same thing to both both those watchers say that all young people is fifteen years ago. I didn't know anything about podcast They didn't exist There was not to sports writers talking on on television twenty years ago. Whatever it is they want to do in the world of sports. It's not going to be the same five years from now. So get in front of it. And when i say in front of it streaming television Talk shows for that youtube channels. I think that the young people today who actually say what is the next step going to be in sports. Communication is going to a form of social media. I mean it will be a form of sports x. whatever it might be that. That's that's the way. I would look at it because when i was young. And when you john are avenues Were strictly really Sportswriting produce papers willett no longer really exist. So i think it's important for everybody. And i would say anybody that wants to and i get as you do. I get thousands of emails a month. Saying i want to get into the business. Well think of what it is that it's going to be I won't be around for it And i don't mean i'm gonna die right away. I won't be a part of the next. I was parts of sports. Talk radio initiating that when there was a guy named pete franklin that i listen to sean if people will remember him but he was really the the godfather of sports talk radio off and i think sports talk radio ad been trying to be. I wanted to be a part of everything. Sports talk radio did tv. I've done tv forever. I did Tv talk i did a podcast. I've done to Came shows. I done a bit of everything the more you can learn the more you do the more apps you are to be held to do it with the some sort of talent the only ability. I have is Availability i've always been available so no doubt but i have great respect for you and it's very nice. You look carefully by the on every couple of years and maybe my dream would be that you and i actually do a show together in person. Sometimes i would love it What i don't want to gush. You're i can't thank you enough. This has been just a thrill for me as a host but personally Just amazing experience to be able to sit and listen to you but mostly to let the audience know a little bit more about you. Please come back. And i do hope to see you very soon and i give. I said earlier real cruelty. My father grew up in tupelo mississippi. He was a diabetic and he had no education. My mother And he married when they were teenagers and they had more influence on my life I talked myself out of type when i was in fifth grade. And they bought me a typewriter. And so i said everyone. The most important thing is is idolize. Your parents 'cause they're the ones that are going to be more responsible for what you become in your life. I've lost both of them in I i miss them but You and i wouldn't be talking. And i wouldn't have gone the first one in my family to go to college if it hadn't been there flow of and they're hard effort so i want to salute them and a really wanted to you. 'cause i thought really i was going to be the most incorrigible person in the history of the university of tennessee. And then along you know thank you for all records are made to be broken and you did what are you. I'm honored you recognize me in that position. I thank you so much. You'll be well and we will definitely do this again in person and So my friends in the south that love your love this and she football and someday i'm going to come back and live in batches. Tonight's place thank you. we are What what just incredible thirty minutes out was. I can't imagine ever topping it but we will try. Let's take a break. We have to hit the brake here than usual. But we'll get over. Kyle peterson on the huge weekend in sec. Baseball you're listening to the paul finebaum show podcast and we want to jump on our next conversation. Quickly because Cal peterson has a game to do at the top of the hour. And we went a little bit long with woody but carl. Thanks so much in It's almost cliche to say the same thing every time we talked to you about the sec. But this weekend. Really feel special. And i know you're about to jump on board with the ole miss mississippi state game. What are you looking forward to the most tonight It'll be fun. I mean the first time. That vanderbilt in tennessee of have ever met when both of the top five and and obviously tennessee battles used to be in the. It's been awhile for tennessee. And it's been a i would say progressive buildup since ten. Tony by telo got their chance to be a national seed and if you win a weekend series against vanderbilt this weekend you put yourself on a really good spot so i would assume that backs so we'll be hopping and then ours is going to be a blast. I mean any time. It's mississippi state. It's always going to be good. It looks like they will pack it just as if just as they did in oxford last weekend. So this is one that I'm sad we can't see in person. But i'm glad that everybody else can see it because the environment is going to be unbelievable and i'm curious because we saw some of that last week. I think it was last week in an oxford. but you've been so many of these ballparks when when when it feels like there's nothing else in the world that matters. How does that affect the game. Well i think it affects everything. I think it affects the. Perhaps maybe even in talking to might be echo and chris this weekend. The head coach miss the mississippi state. Both they talking about talking to their team just about a. This is the reality of the rivalry in part of it was because a lot of the kids. That are gonna play in this game. Haven't played this game before. I mean if if you're your first or second year at either one of those schools you haven't been in a situation so i think some of it was just to make sure that they were aware it's going to be a little bit different than than you know. Don't be surprised by the environment might be ankle. Was laughing with us this week and said you know we. We go from oxford where they throw beers up in the air when we hit home runs to right field to starkville throw beers at us. So it's Teach their own but I do know that that both talked about just making sure that their there are just aware of the the setting that they're gonna walk into which is one of the best settings in in college baseball talking to kyle peterson on the on the call for an states. And i want to go back to van de in tennessee for a second because it has to be frustrating. When you're not part of this conversation in the sec and you mentioned the change how how do you turn a culture around like. We've seen a tennessee like we've seen a lot of places way players i. It's you know the greatest coaches in the world will generally the pretty darn good recruiters of the got one next to them. So i think that's first and foremost is you need to do in tennessee. Starting to get more of those guys And they're playing a style that i think is reminiscent of of what we're used to seeing. Sec baseball Play with a little bit more power you know for. There was a period of time to pretend to see resembled more of a west coast team. And that's a hard style of play in the sec. When you're playing weekend and week out. So i think it's two things one is you gotta make sure you've got the right guys there. And they're getting more of the right guys there and then the second is planning to alvis fits the league. And they're back to playing that style. Tony by telling us how to recruit. He recruited williams tcu. He recruited when he was arkansas. Those the league clearly starting to get guys in there and and you would assume that when vanderbilt and tennessee the some of the guys on that field today where recruited by both so that always creates a little bit of a different dynamic. And i love it. So kyle you look at the the national rankings every week and sometimes it gets jumbled up a little bit but it's still mainly the same schools and as you as you evaluate as you do these games. We spent a lot of time talking about the pitching staff vanderbilt. That's not a new story but is there can you. Can you see a lot of separation or is there or is there. Is there a lot of separation among these top four or five. Sec schools who are at the top of the rankings. I don't know that there is a lot of separation went. Vanderbilt's healthy think. they're probably the most complete You know clearly when you go rocker lighter on the weekend you're going to match up with anybody but the reality is as you know ole miss is gonna throw to arms out. They're gonna hold on tonight's going to be a first round this year and doug nick. He has been outstanding the whole year. Do they have the fanfare. That kumar jack ladder do no but can they go head to head with them. Yeah i mean. Georgia went head to head them last year. We talked her last week. We talked last week. i. I wasn't expecting georgia. To go into nashville. And take two out of three and hit three kumar rocker. Give them two home. Runs in one hundred fifty seven easy gave up three against georgia And so anything can happen over the course of the weekend but as far as discernible differences between you know arkansas vanderbilt mississippi state tennessee old mess does that are. I think you throw florida next. You know. Florida hasn't played their best baseball but florida still with talent. It's still the same talent that was the unanimous number one team to start the country. They're just starting to figure themselves out now. So they're six or seven in the league. You could look at that all have a legitimate chance to get all. I know you have a game so we will let you russia voice. We really appreciate you dropping by here to preview. What's going to be an amazing weekend. We'll we will definitely be watching your call on the game tonight. Thank you kyle come back soon. Always mantech or cared about college baseball. What what an amazing conversation with kyle. We'll continue our conversations with him but what a night. This is going to be an i. don't mean to take away from. There's so many other good games. But but certainly he'll be doing the game in starkville and everybody was fired up about that one. We'll take a break much more to come to and listening to. Paul finebaum show podcast. Well we made it to the end of the week. Appreciate you being a part of the show. We will see you on monday. Thank you for listening to the paul finebaum. Show podcast the paul finebaum. Show airs weekdays on the sec network beginning at three eastern. Maybe ginger zee. And i'm here to tell you about this week's episode of inside the oscars we're not just talking about the film's because of course they inspire inform the entertain the outfits fashion today just the designer that you're wearing but what does that designing means plus we're going to introduce you to arguably the most important person on the red carpet today is really about making every moment matter. It's the anticipation of their career. Inside the oscars were counting down to the ninety third academy awards. You can listen now on apple podcasts. Spotify or just your favorite app.