Name: Sports? with Katie Nolan
Date: February 7th, 2018
Title: Super Bowl Recap
Length: 41 minutes and 42 seconds
Extra: You can subscribe on iTunes or the ESPN app
When it comes to a sports podcast, there’s nothing I love more than when a host shows true emotion towards their favorite team. Someone who’s not afraid of being labeled a homer and represents the thoughts and feelings of the common fan. As soon as I heard Sports? with Katie Nolan, I knew I had stumbled on to just that.
Alongside her producer Ashley Braband, Nolan proves that true passion can’t be faked or scripted. It’s all about being genuine, and as soon as I tuned it to listen to this episode, I heard it. As the episode wore on, I discovered I was listening to the best Super Bowl recap podcast I’d heard in the week following the game. Yes, the passion and energy from Nolan and Braband were contributing factors, but there was another reason why this podcast stood out above the rest – originality.
All hosts are constantly searching for ways to be original. That’s especially necessary heading into a week such as the Super Bowl. The goal, is to find an angle that nobody else is taking, make it yours and own it. Nolan and Braband understood that well and developed the most original content idea I heard coming out of Minneapolis. Though the two weren’t credentialed, they attended the game together. Nolan, a huge Patriots fan, was decked out in team gear, while Braband, a huge Eagles fan, was sporting her green Eagles apparel. They decided to attend the game and act the way that any two individuals would who were rooting for opposite teams at the Super Bowl: get hammered drunk and record each other as much as possible.
Instead of doing what many other podcasts and radio stations do, which is to offer game recaps and analyze the 3-4 key angles from the game, Nolan and Braband put their own spin on it. They injected the audio they collected of each other during the game’s biggest moments. For example, when the conversation found its way to Zach Ertz’s touchdown that was under review in the fourth quarter, Nolan came in with the audio to show how she and Braband were feeling, along with the reaction from the U.S. Bank Stadium crowd. Several other audio clips were used too, including Nolan playing the audio of her and Braband sharing a special moment together after the Eagles captured their first Super Bowl. It was a great way to take listeners thru an emotional journey during the NFL’s biggest game. Huge props to Nolan and Braband on taking advantage of the situation to produce something unique.
One important component of the podcast which can’t be understated is that Nolan and Braband have really good chemistry. That’s important. What’s most enjoyable about this podcast is that Nolan loves and knows how to push her partner’s buttons. She seems to thrive on being an antagonist and it comes across as very comical. Both Katie and Ashley know their roles and it works as a great partnership.
I love Nolan’s personality. She’s funny, knows how to carry a podcast and doesn’t hold anything back. Even when it came to something as simple as an ad read for Seat Geek, she crushed it by giving the read as a depressed Patriots fan that just attended the funeral. Sponsors love when you can inject personality into a read and she made the most uneventful part of a podcast into a laugh for the listeners. That’s true talent.
The attitude on this podcast of not taking sports too seriously works great for this duo. Nolan and Braband’s unique spin on things makes for a great change of pace sports podcast that any fan can relate to. Though Nolan’s name may be on the title of the podcast, she’s like any head coach who needs a great coordinator. She has one with Braband, who brings a ton to the podcast. Though they have some traits in common, the two are just different enough. You can tell they enjoy working together and take a lot of pride in this show.
As I stated earlier, this was the most entertaining recap I’ve heard of Super Bowl 52, and it came from a duo that didn’t have the access that a number of other media members covering the game did. Let that be a lesson for podcasters. Yes, availability is great, but it’s originality that sets you apart. This was the first podcast I’ve ever heard where a host cries, is over ridden with joy, makes me laugh and makes each other laugh. That’s real emotion. I give very high marks to Sports? with Katie Nolan. This podcast has earned a new fan.