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Homeopathic Quarterbacks And Magic Baseball Jewelry, With Dan McQuade

Aaron Rodgers on the field in an old-timey Packers uniform in Week 5, before anyone knew he wasn't vaccinated.
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Every podcaster dreams of the same thing, which is "being able to make a dignified living by doing this honestly very limited amount of work." But ranking just below that is the dream of doing An Emergency Podcast. This is something that Bill Simmons does a lot, for instance, but not everyone has the resources to push a button and get everyone in their employ into the studio to do 105 minutes on Avery Bradley's late career whenever the mood strikes. I'd say something like "Must be nice" here, but I am not sure that's really true.

Those of us toiling in the pod mines must hope that the rude luck of the news cycle will deliver us something like "Future Hall of Fame quarterback who had implied but not quite said that he was vaccinated against the raging pandemic was in fact not, and now has that virus, and also instead of taking the vaccine he might just have swallowed a medium-sized crystal or a handful of Activated Earth." Very little sunlight penetrates these depths, and so encountering something as bright as "When Aaron Rodgers said he was 'immunized' against COVID-19, he meant that he drank from a sacred puddle located in a Marin County forest while Miles Teller watched" would render most podcasters not merely blind and speechless, but mad. There is a moment in this episode, during our brief Emergency Podcast moment, when you can more or less hear this happen to Drew. It's thrilling, and it's a wonder that the "Skol Vikings" song didn't somehow manifest into the background of the audio.

But we at The Distraction are not Emergency Podcast people, really. We go where the vibes take us, and because our guest this week was Dan McQuade that meant an in-depth examination of how most effectively to visit Las Vegas, which Dan just did "for work." In this episode you will also find in-depth discussions of the Eagles jerseys Dan encountered in Las Vegas—a spoiler, or possibly a trigger warning, is that these involve his extremely regional pronunciation of Ricky Watters's name—and superstitious baseball jewelry past and present, and the general goofy-horny state of the contemporary baseball player mindset. There is also a bit on the strange but identifiable progress in NFL groupthink on two-point conversions and going for it on fourth down. In the name of servicing Dan's local interests, Jeremiah Trotter's legacy and Doug Pederson's reputation as a visor-wearing himbo are reconsidered. Dan's failed attempt to see Sting perform as part of his Las Vegas residency is mentioned as well, but it's less traumatic than it sounds.

It's a McQuade episode, in other words, and so by its nature unhurried and proudly Philadelphian and delightful in all the ways the man himself is. But it was also, if only briefly, an Emergency Podcast. It was my good fortune and great privilege to be a part of it, and to strike two items—being a part of an Emergency Podcast, and to hear Ricky Watters's name pronounced as if it had two O's and one D in it—off my list of lifetime ambitions. All in all, I'll call that a decent week.

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