'Valentine's Views' podcast: Training camp changing for fans
Hello, giants anti welcome to fission of the Valentine's views podcast, here on big blue view radio. I'm your host at Valentine of big blue view. Today's topic as we roll through the off season and wait for your New York Giants to open training camp, late in July is going to be the dwindling public access to training camps going to be joined momentarily by Lindsay Jones of the athletes who wrote about that topic recently for that fine subscription only publication, which, by the way, I do encourage you to, to get a subscription to the athletes. It's it's worth the investment, not, not necessarily, not simply for giants coverage. But if you're a sports fan, and you like reading things that aren't simply related to game, results and box scores. The ethnic is a place where you can read that kind of material. Anyway, back to discussing training camp asked on Sunday at big blue view for readers to send stories and photos from past training camps that they had visited in places like Albany, pace university back in the really older days. Fairfield university got some really interesting stories and photos in response posted those on Tuesday morning at big blue view. If you haven't had a chance to, to look at those, please. Do. So it's a really nice sort of stroll down memory lane, and really points out the differences in what the NFL used to be. And what training camp used to be versus what it is now. So I think it's a post, you'll enjoy it's one that I really enjoyed I liked going through some of the stories from people and it really was a stark reminder for me of how different things are today. All right with that said. Giants fans, let me bring in Lindsay Jones of the athletes, and we'll talk a little bit more about this topic. Hey, I'm Spencer hall. I'm Holly Anderson. I'm Ryan nanny. I'm Jason Kirk. And we're the host of the shutdown full cast your avengers of college football podcast. It says in the script onto riff on what that means and basically what I mean is all spoiled. Every tuesday. We talk about everything from cooking disasters to pro wrestling, too unfashionable pants Warren, middle school. We also do talk about college football every now and then, like mascot fights announcers, fleeing the early and unfashionable pants that coaches where now if you want to take college football, exactly as seriously as it should be taken subscribe for free on apple podcasts or in your favorite podcast app. Hi, I'm Avery truffle men and I'm hosting curbs new podcast. Nice. Try it stories about how people have tried to design a better world. And what happens when those designs don't go according to plan season. One is called utopian. And it's about the perpetual search for the perfect place. It includes cannibalism fascist architecture. Poly-amorous hermetically, sealed domes and Courtney Kardashians dining room chairs, but not necessarily in that order, new episodes of nice, try come out every Thursday. Subscribe for free on apple podcasts or in your favorite podcast app. Okay, giant spans on joined now by Lindsay Jones of the athletic to talk about the dwindling training camp access for the public. Lindsey. Thank you very much for, for joining me today. And no problem. Thanks happened. The ad Lindsey before we get started before we dive into it just for folks who aren't really familiar with your work one or two. You give give folks the quick synopsis of, of what you do for the athletes, and your background. Yeah, for sure. So yes, I like you mentioned I worked for the F lettuce on our national and fell desk, which means that kind of cover the league at large league issues trends, features news, all sorts of stuff, but I'm not tied to any one particular team. I'm based in Denver. I've covered the NFL since two thousand eight about a half of that time spent covering the Denver Broncos for the death. Post. And then I was at USA today for about six years before I left for the ethic last summer. So in my role at USA today, traveled, a lot, I was kind of a national NFL reporter but being based in Denver. I've spent a lot of my time out west and midwest. You know, my training camp tours that I've done in recent years. I've done a lot of California Ohio Indianapolis that kind of that part of the country. The south at done all of the Florida teams a bunch. So yes, I've kind of been covering the NFL along time and it's kind of been a fun new adventure at the flag. Trying to cover it in, in a different way than I was used to doing before. All right. So let's get into this topic, let's get into talking about NFL training camps. And I wanted to ask you, do you know, offhand, or at least roughly what the split is these days between teams that stay in their own facilities or teams. Adl travel, it's the majority now that are have moved back to their home Pacific the number of teams that that go away for camp is dwindling in several of the teams that still go away. The Cowboys the chiefs, for example. They have expiring contracts with those places the chiefs, go to Oxnard California, which is kind of, at the very northern end of what you could kind of consider the L A metro area. Penn Amir Ventura in the chiefs. Go to Saint Joseph, Missouri, where which is about an hour issue, north. Of Kansas City. The expectation is they won't have those agreements that much longer and they'll be going back to their home facilities. I believe that the Panthers still go to Spartanburg that the Steelers obviously, go to go to Latrobe the bills go to go to college Rochester. So there are a number of teams that still do it, but the vast majority have moved back to their home facilities for a lot of reasons financially is a big part of it that it's a lot cheaper, obviously to stay at home. And then they, they kind of have the comforts and the luxuries at home. So even though they might be they might be at their home facility. They'll still put the guys up in hotels, the kind of this, you know, quote unquote camp feeling but they're still trade, you know, in their in their home, locker room, they have their trading room. They have their training table where they have their cafeteria in their chefs and all of the catered stuff that they need to have their, you know, they have their super state of the art weight rooms and the, the merge. Massage tables. And there, they have all of the things that they wanna have at home. That's so hard to have when you go on the road. So that's kind of why it's happened. And I and I get it from from football standpoint. I certainly get it. I don't know if it's necessarily the best thing for fans, which is kind of what I wrote about last week, guessing, what we're gonna talk about here today. It is basically in lake you. I get it, you know, I think we were talking before we started. We're you know, I'm a little bit older than you are. And, and it just feels like it feels like you know, it's certainly understandable. But it feels like you know, part of an era, maybe the charm of what used to be the NFL or the charm of the beginning of the season. You know is is going away as these teams, you know, stay home more and more. I know the giants, for example, you know, they still have I think this year they've scheduled ten free public practices, but these facilities aren't built to be fan friendly, so it's not it's not the charm of going to a college or or going some place like it used to be where guys would stay for a couple of weeks. Yeah, it definitely has changed, and, you know, and it's really it's interesting. You look around the, you know, the entire NFL landscape. And every team does it a little bit differently in there. Some places that are still very, very fan friendly a team. The Baltimore Ravens are an example of this where they, they train at home at their home facility, but they in recent years, they've actually gone out and bought up land adjacent to the facility to build extra practice fields for parking for fans to have area specifically for training camp to make fan friendly. The Minnesota Vikings. They are now back at home that used to train up at Saint Olaf college that used to be. Very recently, believe it was even last year was the first year that they moved back down to Eden prairie where they opened this gorgeous new training facility where they actually have kind of small stadium onsite, but they have made a pretty fan friendly where there's tons of seating. It's kind of Bleacher style seating, but they also basically kinda make like a mini state fair. You know, they bring in rides and food trucks. And, you know, if you've ever been to Minnesota state fair, I've never actually been, but it's looks phenomenal. I mean at the food and games and stuff. So they've really catered it now towards families. So there's some places in here in Denver wireless. They have nineteen open practices this year, which is pretty incredible. They did a lot of renovations, and new construction over, probably the last five seven years to make it more fan friendly. They've expanded the seating for training camp, and they also do the bringing food trucks, and all of that kind of stuff. So, you know, there's some places that are still doing it really well. And then there's some places that are, you know, keep keep it down more and more and more and more where in the eagles are. The very extreme example of that, where you know now that they're back at their training facility in Philadelphia. It's, it's, it's, it's a pretty small facility. There's no extra seating area around their field at the novacare complex. And now they only have one practice that fans can attend and they're charging for it. And, yes, the money is going to charity, which that certainly commendable it's going to autism. An autism charity that is something that's very, very important to the Laurie family. But it's making it extremely exclusive. When you go to a practice at stadium like you're going into center. Sorry, the link CenturyLink field Seattle if you're going into Lincoln, financial field, it just it's not intimate. You don't get that kind of special training camp feeling that you get, when you're, you know, when you're standing out on the side of the practice fields rocking the giants practice. You're sitting in this big grassy berm in Denver, watching the Broncos or kind of lined up against a fence in Oxnard watching the watching the Cowboys. It just it's. Completely different feeling and it's really too bad. That eagles, who are, you know, have one of the most rabid fan, bases in the NFL haven't found a better way to make their camp a little bit more accessible to people who couldn't regularly go attend for their games. Well, I have to say this from a site that covers the giants, you're getting no sympathy for eagles fan. The airheads that's not happening. So let me ask you this Lindsey, I kind of trace this to the lack of full two days to the new CBA. I mean, do you is that more or less when you think this as a trend, you know really, really came about? I mean I certainly understand it. But I think that's really the to me the main Genesis of it. Yeah, that's actually really interesting. I've been talking to my editors in one of our other kind of national and a fall reporters about this little bit of something to kind of report out a little bit further. But if you look back to win the last or the currency via that was two thousand eleven and that was all happening the negotiations were happening during training camp time. And it was really inflexible. We didn't know when when camp was going to start if camp was going to happen off season was a mess. So, you know, I think that was kind of a turning point in just logistically bigger. Being out what training camps are gonna look like. And now is a really big a substantial change in what the function of training, what training camp actually looks like you know, for years and years and years training camp had two full practices a day. I mean, it was four or five hours of on field, you know, in pads full-contact kind of practices and, you know, now there's a lot of like walk, throughs. And they don't have as much full-contact time and the time that they're actually able to do kind of nine on seven gels or the goal line. You know, the really the stuff that the fans really kind of the real football stuff that has dwindled a lot. So I think teams don't want to open up to walk throughs, those sorts of things they, you know, and then I think the other part of it is that teams are just getting more and more kind of like insular and don't want to be transparent about things and just are very wanting to keep everything so in house, and maybe give access to your own broadcast to your own broad. Caster specifically to your VIP season ticket holder or sponsored groups that you feel like you can kind of contain a little bit better where, you know about that time, two thousand eleven in the new CBS like I said, the, the logistics trying to organize camp when you didn't know when exactly the season was going to be happening because players were locked out. I think that was part of it the change in actual structure of camp. And then that was about the time that, like social media was really taking off. And I just remember having battles from the reporter side, having battles with PR staff from not just the Broncos when I was covering the Broncos. But around the league these questions of well, there's five thousand fans sitting here, and you're telling me that I can't refuse. That I can't take a picture. We've been I didn't mean. But you know, we've I've been I've been going to giants camp since two thousand and seven and we get the same thing, you know, hey, there's, there's two thousand people out there. Putting these pictures on social media, and you're telling us we can't take a picture from the sideline. Right. And they would argue back and say, well, they don't have, you know, Joe schmo, who's sitting there from really Colorado. What he doesn't have the reach that I have. And that's fair. You know, you know, how many ever tens of thousands, people would follow my Twitter as opposed to like, you know, his family, that's following his fifteen. But still if something crazy happens stuff goes viral. So it's been this very kind of give and take this evolving nature of, like what's allowed. What's not allowed. I mean, I remember cash now I'm trying to think which specific player was it was something happened with the patriots. And somebody one of their marquee players kinda got hurt. And but the patriot supporters kind of all pinned up kind of often corner. They didn't have a good angle on it. And there was some dude who was like sitting in the end. You know, the bleachers the hind the end zone and had this perfect video took off and I can see why t some teams would get scared of having that sort of stuff out there, but look, there's, there's so few secrets in the NFL this time during training camp. They're not doing a tennis scheme stuff. You know, you can do your walk your installs and stuff during those closed walk-throughs, I still think it's better to open it up to everybody, but it is it is something that the teams are concerned about in terms of how much information is getting out there. It's kind of an aside, but, you know, having having been to a number of giants training camps. There is. Is sort of a state secret field to to being around the NFL. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's they get a little worried that, you know, the reporters, you know, the, the credential journals are saying, you know, we might report something on, we're not supposed to. But, you know if fan is like, oh, this, oh, Philip Daniel Jones. Six extra first team reps today. That's going to be out there. You know, like, I, I don't know what this whole state secret kind of stuff, but because most of the people there that are watching it, you really care about the team you want. What's best and you're really excited about what's happening. And yeah, I think that I think teams are worrying about like their trick plays getting out there because they have ten open practices. That's really kind of losing the big picture of what can be gained by letting their fans have access to camp. Let's talk about Phoenix's. You know, you've been two camps with a number for a number of different teams just quickly, you have a couple of, of favorite, maybe sort of Finn memories things that you've seen in terms of interactions as you've been going around the league. Yeah. I mean, there's a lot of places that still do a really good job. One of my favorite stops is always Brown's camp. And they, they practice at their home facility in Berea. Hieaux but they do they just do a really good job of kind of making fans owns the fans have really, like good seating, and, you know, and maybe it's starting to change a little bit as the Browns their fortunes are changing a little bit. But what's so fun about going to Brown's camp? Is that for most of the year football is very miserable? In Cleveland, you know, it's, but this is just this most die hard. They just they just love the Browns so much. And when you're there in August, they can still have this glimmer of we might be good. You know, and they do a really good job of kind of clinging onto some of that optimism, and they do a lot of good stuff, like a lot of really good outreach for kids. And this kind of stuff and then they have my favorite promotion anywhere around the league during training camp. And that they have a partnership with one of the Hugh, some, the humane societies locally, you know, that their, their mascot is the big swagger the big kind of massive dogs, so there, the dog pound this whole thing. So they actually have adoptable puppies and dogs everyday at training camp and they keep a tally and hundreds. Of dogs have been adopted rescue dogs through the Browns training camp. So, so I love that Oxnard is a really cool experience where the Cowboys train, I've been there a number of times been there just for Brown for raiders. Excuse had been there just for Cowboys camp. But I've also been there when they've had joint practices where the raiders have come down, and that's really fun. Because you get Kennedy's really die hard raiders fans. A lot of whom still live in the Los Angeles area who come up you've got Cowboys fans from all over and they're really close. I mean I was there a couple years ago when during a joint practice between the Cowboys and raiders win a fight broke out on the field like these skirmishes at these discriminates happen during these joint practices all the time where you're just so excited to finally hit somebody who's not your teammate, and there was a fan standing right on the other side of a chain link fence. I mean a good three to four feet maybe away from the sideline in the squirmishes like. Kind of pushed sway out from the field onto the sidelines and basically up against the fence. And there was a fan there waiting. He was a raiders fan. I might be getting strong now. But, like they bring all these, you know, stuff that you wanna get signed because the player the players go around after right after practice in science revenues waiting against the fence and a guy brought a helmet to get signed. And there's a player cornerback from the raiders got his helmet ripped off and the fan or getting I think it was a Cowboys player ripped off the raiders fan holding the helmet to get signed swung. His helmet into the square mesh and it was like, oh my God like. This is insane ever really was crazy. I mean, this might not be the best story for advocating for fan access because fan got in the middle of this training camp fight, but it was just like it was it was really cool. I mean it was crazy. And you know, tempers kind of settled down. Nobody got injured. But it's the Cowboys camp is really cool. You know, obviously the I haven't actually been there to see it in person, and I would love to do it sometime but the Packers do a really good job of involving children. You know, they do the bikes like the, the kids from the Green Bay air kind of bring their bikes out and then the players get to ride them in to Cam. I just love any of these times where they just really make it acceptable to the kids, because this is we talk so much about kind of like the future of the NFL, and how the NFL's outreach, and they, they wanna go overseas and go to London and, you know, all this kind of stuff, but they really need to be consistently reaching out to young fans and these are the next Jenner. Ration- NFL fans and this is such an important time that they can be kind of capturing these, these kids in these teenagers, and making the players relatable and making them more than just kind of fantasy football stat lines. You know, the guys that you draft on your apple on your phone. And so I love I love it when they do kind of the. Autograph sessions that are just for kids, or when they bring in, you know, kids from boys and Girls Club and all of those kind of things. So I think those are the teams that do best when they really really make family and kid-friendly. Let's hope that NFL teams continued to try to do that. Lindsey before I let you go. I have one sort of bone to pick with you a little bit. Okay. You know, mailbag recently you actually said that you think the jets will win a Super Bowl before the giants. I saw that in not gonna let you off the hook without without explaining yourself. Well, you know, I think I just have questions about what the long term plan is for the giants. What their vision is here. I think it's going to become a little bit more clear when we figure out if Daniel Jones is, is the guy and has got to be the guy for a long time. You know, I just this offseason has been so confusing from the outside, when you look at what the giants have done in terms of, you know, you wanna ship off some veterans, you know, you, you trade off some big salaries trade off some good, you know, from Livia Vernon to obviously Beckham, but then you sign golden Tate. And it's like what are you are you rebuilding? Are you do you think you can win with the rest or you have now it's just been kind of confusing. So you know, I think with the jets I don't think that they're very good team right now. I think they're still you're a couple years away from even contending for a wildcard spot. But I think with the jets, at least, you know, for sure, okay? This is the quarterback is gonna be a now. They know I think I think they made some pretty good. Hi pretty good higher for, which Douglas's, our new GM. So it's not to say that I think the jets are going to win a Super Bowl anytime soon. I think it's just a kind of a statement about the current snapshot of some giants or overall organizational dysfunction. Right. But it'd be the way to the matting we certainly we certainly get that we understand it. There's a lot of a lot of giants fans that would agree with you. But, but having having come across that Lindsey, I couldn't let you go without without without making plant. All right. I hope they hope they know Jones, the right guy. I mean, after all the crap that's said about him leading up to the draft and incense. I'd I'd love to see him succeed. I mean, I think that would be a tremendous story. So guys say they turn around quickly. There you go. I would like to actually cover some good football for a change for sure. You guys deserve it. So before let you go, why don't you go ahead until people where they can find you on Twitter. Make the make this subscribe to the athlete pitch. If you wanna do that seems like every time I have from the F, let it gone get. I get the subscribe pitch so, so great ahead. Yeah. I mean, yes, described to be flooded. That's where all of my, my writing do kind of a lot of feature reporting. I'll be doing a lot of stuff during training camp obviously. But, you know, mailbags live chats and all that kind of stuff. And Dan, who covers the giants is he's really, really good. So hopefully you guys are already falling him but you can follow me on Twitter. It's violence age Jones, which is basically just my byline. It's Lindsey with a so yeah. Bide Lindsey h Jones and yet hopefully we'll have good subscriber deals, headed a training camp as well. Which I'm pretty sure that will happen where you can get, you know, it's basically, it's like three bucks a month, so no ads podcast. You get all that. Good stuff. So, yes, a rita's follow us. And hopefully yeah, I mean most of my training camp tours that I've done in the past have all been kind of mid west and west or south, and I am planning east coast trip. So, hopefully I will make it out to East Rutherford during training camp. It's you guys. Is lindsay. Thank you very much for, for spending a little bit of time with me today. Thanks for having me, take care. All right. Thanks to Lynn Lindsay Jones, for spending some time with us as always giants fans, we ask you to please subscribe to big blue view, radio and all of your favorite podcast applications. I think all of the giants fans who sent their stories and photos to the big blue view at g mail dot com in box all of those that were used in the training camp. Memories post that we did. All right. Thank you very much for listening. And we'll talk to you again soon. Bye bye.