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New Frontiers In Loser Shit, With Patrick Redford

Patrick Beverley and LeBron James look upset during a Los Angeles Lakers game against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Defector logo is in the corner.
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

When you have a job that can be done from more or less anywhere, the only limits to doing that job are ... well, there are actually still a number of limitations. The first one that springs to mind, just in my case, is "the way that I fundamentally am," but another that has been on my mind this week, while tagging along on my wife's work trip to Los Angeles, is "self-respect." It is important to her work that she be here; it is possible for me, provided I pack the necessary dongle and microphone, to record my podcast from a hotel room. This is all easier to feel OK about if you don't put it in perspective. Not thinking about it while walking around in the sunshine is also helpful.

But in this relatively quiet interim between NFL playoff weeks, when the only other sports stuff happening is either broadly uninspiring (mid-season NBA basketball) or actively abhorrent (Dana White's Power Slap), it felt like a risk worth taking to try to do this goofy work from someplace else. Now I stand before you with proof that it is indeed possible, provided you have Patrick Redford as a guest to carry things along:

Patrick joined us, in the last hours before he headed off on vacation, to talk about the various less-significant sports things that are going on at the moment. He braved the extremely dark and dispiriting spectacle of Power Slap, and explained to us both how this came to be and why it should fail, and also how its repellent commissar keeps getting away with it. We also talked about the goings-on in the NBA at this moment, both in terms of the historically unprecedented volume of Guys Absolutely Going Off, the ongoing conflict between Lakers fans and both the NBA's officiating corps and objectively observable reality, as well as the ongoing and historic non-decline of LeBron James as he approaches NBA history. We talked about Patrick Beverley, too, because we are not in the business of avoiding chances to talk about Patrick Beverley. This time, as basically every other time, he absolutely earned it.

By the time our conversation about LeBron devolved into me haphazardly remembering some guys—I am open to the argument that Danny Granger was briefly a "dude," but we're not going to address that or any other issue here—and a sort of dazed appreciation of what NBA basketball has become at this moment, it was clear that it was time to formally get to the dumb stuff. This began with a frank adult discussion of Dwayne Bowe's career and legacy and the old Kansas City Chiefs method of "not really having receivers you throw the ball to," and continued/slid into the Funbag. There, we discussed ambitious/aspirational child names, with some special consideration given to Tyler Herro's whole thing and Ashlee Simpson's contributions to this field. There was also a provocative question about the outer limits of football coach delegation that I had never considered before.

During this conversation, for reasons I won't give away here, things turned to home-cooked casseroles; at that point, for reasons I don't imagine I need to explain, I found myself growing hungry for home-cooked casseroles. It was not yet 9 a.m. local time, far from the generally agreed-upon "casserole hours," and also I was not at home. It's proof that just because a podcast can be recorded as usual in an unusual place doesn't necessarily mean that it will come out normal. Whatever it is that's wrong with us, it is more powerful than time zones.

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