Title: Courtside – True Grit
Date: January 24th, 2018
Length: 52 minutes
Cast: Dan Dakich and Seth Greenberg
Extra: You can subscribe on iTunes or find on the ESPN appThe calendar is about to turn to February, which means I’m in a nice rhythm of my nightly activities. On Monday Night, I’m watching college basketball. On Tuesday Night, I’m watching college basketball. On Wednesday night, you guessed it, it’s just like Thursday night and Saturday afternoon, I’m watching college hoops. In fact, as I’m writing this, Kansas and Kansas State are playing in a Big Monday game on ESPN. Anyway, now that we’ve established I’m probably overly obsessed with the sport, let me tell you how much I enjoyed Courtside with Greenberg and Dakich.
First of all, I have great respect for both Seth Greenberg’s and Dan Dakich’s knowledge of college basketball. If ESPN’s goal was to have the best college hoops podcast on the market, they did themselves a huge favor by pairing these two together. Not only do Seth and Dan provide great information, but they also mesh well together. I appreciate Dan’s personality and his ability to deliver strong opinions. I live in the middle of Big 12 country and hear frequently how elite West Virginia is defensively. I loved that Dan challenged that theory and backed it up with good points. He even swayed my opinion on the subject after listening to his reasoning. Minutes into the podcast he had me laughing and now he made me think. If you can accomplish those two things, you’re on the right track.
These guys are at the pinnacle of the business but it’s refreshing to hear a couple dudes just having fun, laughing and not taking the content too seriously. That’s what I wanted to hear with Courtside and I didn’t come away disappointed. An ESPN podcast is always going to have a few built-in advantages that others can’t provide. For starters, both Dan and Seth are on-site for college hoops games across the country. That’s big. So, for instance, when the podcast begins by talking about Oklahoma star Trae Young, both Dan and Seth can give better insight and analysis because they’re up close with access that others don’t have. That’s the power of ESPN and a reason why they’re excelling in the podcasting business.
After 25 minutes of good back-and-forth conversations on the biggest stories in college basketball, Dan and Seth welcome Virginia head coach Tony Bennett to the podcast. Bennett was a great guest to have on because his team right now is very relevant. The Cavaliers have been rolling and might be the best team in the entire country. Landing a coach of that caliber for 15 minutes helps make the podcast worth sampling. Though all the questions asked garnered good responses from Bennett, Dan’s ability to throw in a comment that made everyone involved laugh especially stood out. That goes a long way in establishing a good rapport with a guest.
It’s hard to imagine there’s a better college basketball podcast on the market. I say that for several reasons. First, they’re both well established. Dan and Seth seem to share mutual respect and enjoy being around one another. That’s critical in a world where egos run big. Second, ESPN knows how to image their product and give it a sound that separates it from the pack. Yes, Dan and Seth get the most credit because they’re well informed, experienced, and comfortable offering thought provoking opinions, but whether it’s a well-produced open, close or read, ESPN knows how to give the podcast that extra touch. Another small but noticeable positive with Courtside, is how it’s presented. The cover photo is flashy and catches the eye. That’s appealing to the listener that’s randomly scanning for a new podcast. I also like that each episode has its own title. In this instance, Grit was labeled with the minute and second of each major topic that was discussed. So, if I’m a Kentucky fan (thankfully I’m not) and I want to see what Dan and Seth have to say about UK’s struggles, I can fast forward to the 9:40 mark and find it. Yes, it’s subtle, but its small things like that which listeners appreciate.
Dan and Seth are true professionals. With the backing of ESPN, Courtside will continue to flourish as the standard of all college basketball podcasts.