Fri. Aug 17th, 2018

Tyler’s Take: Smothered & Covered

Title: SEC: Smothered and Covered – Episode 156

Date: 9-18-17

Length: 53 minutes 49 seconds

Host: Barrett Sallee

Sponsors: MyBookie.AG, MeUndies and Blue Apron

Extra: Powered by VSporto – you can listen and subscribe to the show on iTunes.


If you live and breathe SEC football, this podcast is for you. Barrett Sallee, who has years of experience covering the conference, operates as a one-man band and focuses on every team in the SEC. I loved how Sallee started off strong with an opinion that Butch Jones should be fired at Tennessee. Not because I agree with that take or because I’m rooting for it to happen, I liked how Sallee argued his point. It’s easy to bring an opinion and state it, but I appreciate the hosts who bring several points to back up their statement. Sallee did that, which made him sound very knowledgeable and gave him instant credibility with a new listener.

With no co-hosts, other than guests that appear on the podcast, it’s hard to carry a show that lasts over 53 minutes in length. However, Sallee does a great job of keeping the energy and flow throughout the entire portion. That’s much easier said than done.

After revealing the two SEC coaches who he thinks should be fired, the podcast turns to games within the conference from the past weekend, and the story lines surrounding each game. Again, I found myself enjoying how the opinions were given on the show. Whether they’re popular or not, each opinion is supported by at least two points that make the argument valid.

There’s very little production included in the podcast. Sallee starts with an introduction and shares details on how to interact with him throughout all of the social media platforms. A show open or show close might bring a little more flash to the podcast’s presentation.

At the 18 minute mark, Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated joins the podcast to continue the previous discussions around the SEC. I thought it was a good decision to bring Staples on during that time frame. After hearing all of Sallee’s points, it felt like the perfect time to include a guest and balance the opinions with someone elses. Also, bringing on a guest with a profile such as Staples, only further enhances the show’s credibility.

Sallee and Staples worked well together, probably because they’ve done radio with each other in the past. It’s hard to reveal chemistry during a guest appearance, but you could tell these two have it. The interview with Staples lasts about 17 minutes, which on a podcast makes for a good balance.

After the conversation, Sallee delivers one of his sponsor reads. I thought the reads were well done, and the only thing missing, and this goes back to the production value, is a smoother transition from the content to the commercial. If that’s done better, the flow will improve. However, Sallee does bring energy and life experience into his reads. I like that. They’re clearly not the highlight of the podcast, but I like to feel like the host actually buys and enjoys the products they endorse. I felt that way with Sallee’s reads.

After several final minutes of hard-hitting SEC football talk, I enjoyed the way the show ended. Sallee went to his weekly segment called Coach Speak, where he takes a quote from a head coach in the SEC, plays it and then translates what each coach actually means. The idea is fantastic. Where it excels though is in showing off Sallee’s personality. That’s not easy to do when you’re solo hosting a podcast, but he makes it lighthearted which gives off a nice touch and ends the program on a positive note.

Closing comments:

Sallee knows his target audience and does a great job of reaching them. Though the podcast is exclusively centered on the SEC, the conference is a big enough brand to interest a high number of people. What also makes this podcast stand out, is the fact that Sallee gets and understands the entertainment value of doing a show. Anyone can sit around a mic and ramble on about a topic, but making the audience think and laugh are two critical components. Maybe it’s because of his radio experience, but Sallee is gifted at both.

If there’s one thing missing from this podcast, it’s more production value. If that improves, it’ll further enhance an already great podcast. A funny quote from an SEC coach or even a radio call from a huge game, would be a nice touch before he starts his routine, as well as a show open.

Regardless, Sallee is putting out a great product. If you love college football, and more specifically, the SEC, you’ll enjoy this podcast.

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