The Press Box

The Ringer

The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis and David Shoemaker catch you up on the biggest media stories, from sports to politics and everything in between.


United States


The Ringer


The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis and David Shoemaker catch you up on the biggest media stories, from sports to politics and everything in between.






One Perfect Story: Wright Thompson on Writing About Michael Jordan

Bryan is joined by Wright Thompson on the 10-year anniversary of his ESPN profile "Michael Jordan Has Not Left the Building." They begin by reflecting on the pitching process—discussing how the story came to be and how Thompson got a hold of Michael—then touch on his expectations for the piece, his experience talking with both Michael and Michael's friend George Koehler, and what he came prepared for. Later, they discuss the impact the piece had on his career and how it compares to features...


Is AI Coming for Your Media Job? Plus, the Passion of Tony Romo and the Smugness of Book Collectors.

Bryan and David react to the news that BuzzFeed will be utilizing artificial intelligence throughout the company and discuss how this could impact the media landscape (5:47). Then, they talk through weekend media takeaways from the NFC and AFC championship games, from the lack of replay shots to Tony Romo’s overly enthusiastic performance in the booth (19:20), before weighing in on Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett’s column in The Guardian where she discusses the cult of book ownership and why she’s...


Nora Princiotti on the NFL, Damar Hamlin, and Tom Brady. Plus: Jason Gay Toasts Billy Packer.

Bryan is joined by Nora Princiotti, a few weeks before from the Super Bowl, to unpack NFL playoff media topics, ranging from Colts owner Jim Irsay potentially hiring Jeff Saturday, to Tom Brady thanking beat writers after his last game of the season (1:55). Then, ‘Wall Street Journal’ columnist Jason Gay joins to remember the legendary sports announcer Billy Packer and how his career transformed college basketball (33:18). Host: Bryan Curtis Guests: Nora Princiotti and Jason Gay Associate...


The George Santos Fib-O-Meter, Shannon Sharpe, and the Chorizo Pun Mystery

Bryan and David begin the week talking about the Dallas Cowboys' playoff loss against the San Francisco 49ers and discuss the role they play as a content machine (0:34). Then, they break down and rate the multitude of fibs told by U.S. Representative George Santos (7:17), before weighing in on Shannon Sharpe’s altercation with Memphis Grizzlies players at the L.A. Lakers game last week (26:40), and highlighting New Jersey restaurant Meemom's and their pun-y menu item “Chorizo Me Crazy”...


The Philadelphia Inquirer's Mike Sielski on the Year of the Eagles, Writing Columns, and Sweating Out Deadlines

Bryan is joined by the Philadelphia Inquirer's Mike Sielski to talk about covering the Eagles and what it’s like to write in Philadelphia. They start by discussing the unique nature of Philadelphia sports fans. Then they talk about Mike’s career and how he approaches writing columns and writing on tight deadlines. Later, they discuss his book, ‘The Rise’, about the origin story of Kobe Bryant. Host: Bryan Curtis Guest: Mike Sielski Associate Producer: Carlos Chiriboga Learn more about your...


Prince Harry's 'Spare' Is Good. Really. Plus: Tom Brady, Mike Tirico, and Netflix's New Tennis Doc.

Bryan is joined by author and Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Gay to discuss Prince Harry’s new memoir, ‘Spare.’ They weigh in on the American interest in the royals and highlight a few disclosures that stood out in the memoir (1:44). Later, they recap the wild-card playoff round and touch on what could have been Brady’s last game as a player and his potential future at Fox (27:40) before diving into Netflix’s newest documentary series on tennis, ‘Break Point,’ and discussing the...


Joe Buck on Damar Hamlin, Year 1 of ‘Monday Night Football,’ and Dreaming About His Dad

Bryan is joined by ESPN’s Joe Buck to discuss his perspective on Damar Hamlin’s injury in the Bills-Bengals game. They touch on the booth’s immediate reaction to Hamlin’s injury, the responsibility of an announcer in moments of uncertainty, and how the players and coaches handled the situation. Later, they revisit Buck’s first year on ‘Monday Night Football,’ discuss preparation for the upcoming playoff game between Tampa Bay and the Dallas Cowboys, and recall his weekly dreams with visits...


Michael Irvin on the 30th Anniversary of the 1992 Dallas Cowboys

Bryan is joined by football Hall of Famer and NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin on the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Dallas Cowboys. They revisit that season’s NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, reminisce about Dallas’s Super Bowl victory over the Buffalo Bills, and discuss details behind the Cowboys’ performance—including Irvin’s most replayed catch of all time—and offer a last-minute discussion about the current team heading into the playoffs. Host: Bryan Curtis Guest:...


More on ESPN and Damar Hamlin, Plus the Excruciating Victory of Kevin McCarthy

Bryan and David are back in the new year with positive updates regarding Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin after his sudden cardiac arrest on the field last Monday (10:27). Then, they break down Kevin McCarthy’s dramatic pursuit of and victory as Speaker of the House (34:06), before wrapping things up with a discussion about the revamped TCU Horned Frogs that will play in the college football national title game against the Georgia Bulldogs (42:23). Plus, The Overworked Twitter Joke of the...


ESPN's Chris Fowler on Sportscasting During a Time of Crisis, College Football vs. the NFL, and Calling the National Championship

Bryan is joined by ESPN’s Chris Fowler to discuss his career as a sports broadcaster covering both college and professional sports since 1986. They begin by remembering the unfortunate death of college basketball player Hank Gathers back in 1990, then discuss what it was like to cover a tragedy. Later, they dive into the differences between covering NFL versus college games, the impact of the transfer portal, and preparing for the upcoming College Football National Championship between...


How ESPN Handled Damar Hamlin’s On-Field Collapse

Bryan is joined by Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Gay to discuss the Damar Hamlin incident during the Buffalo Bills–Cincinnati Bengals NFL game that has left him in critical condition. They touch on the aftermath from the perspective of the players and coaches, weigh in on the social-media response and support for Hamlin, and discuss ESPN’s coverage of the event. Host: Bryan Curtis Guest: Jason Gay Associate Producer: Erika Cervantes Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...


One Perfect Story: Stephen Rodrick on Writing About Lindsay Lohan

Bryan is joined by journalist Stephen Rodrick on the 10th anniversary of his New York Times story "Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie." They dive into Rodrick’s career writing celebrity profiles and working with creatives, discuss the rare full access he had on the set of the film 'The Canyons,' touch on the writing process alongside director and screenwriter Paul Schrader and actress Lindsay Lohan, and more. Host: Bryan Curtis Guest: Stephen Rodrick Associate...


The Takes We Had: 'The Press Box' Year in Media

Bryan and David reconvene for the last time this year to discuss their takes on the major media events of 2022. They weigh in on the Times buying The Athletic, the overturn of Roe v. Wade, Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, and much more! Hosts: Bryan Curtis and David Shoemaker Associate Producer: Erika Cervantes Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Sean Fennessey on Covering Movies, Sight and Sound, and the State of the Top 10 List

Bryan is joined by The Ringer's Sean Fennessey to discuss his approach to covering movies in the year 2022. They dive into media critics' top 10 year-end lists, discuss how lists reflect the current culture, weigh in on the journalistic shift towards list-making, and wrap things up with thoughts on Sight and Sound. Host: Bryan Curtis Guest: Sean Fennessey Associate Producer: Erika Cervantes Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Elon Musk Versus Critics, Watching an Awesome World Cup Final, and a New Doc About Robert Caro

Bryan and David start off the pod by discussing a documentary revolving around the relationship of writer Robert Caro and editor Robert Gottlieb called ‘Turn Every Page’ (00:58). Then, they address all the drama with Elon Musk and Twitter and examine how the press should cover this story (13:25). Later, they give their match report from the World Cup final (36:13) and discuss how The New York Times figures out which books are bestsellers (46:58). Plus, the Overworked Twitter Joke of the Week...


Katie Baker on the Sam Bankman-Fried FTX Scandal

Bryan is joined by The Ringer’s Katie Baker to break down the Sam Bankman-Fried FTX scandal with the help of her dictionary, found here. They begin by diving into Fried's background, discuss what it was like covering a scandal involving celebrities such as Tom Brady and Naomi Osaka, touch on winners and losers, and weigh in on the fallout that included a Bankman-Fried media tour. Host: Bryan Curtis Guest: Katie Baker Associate Producer: Erika Cervantes Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...


Remembering Sportswriter Grant Wahl, Plus the NYT Strike and Sinema Purgatorio

Bryan is joined by Stadio co-host Musa Okwonga to remember the life and career of sportswriter Grant Wahl (5:36). Later, David joins to dive into the announcement from Senator Krysten Sinema (I-Arizona) that she is leaving the Democratic Party (26:49), then they talk through the impact of the New York Times staff's one-day strike (36:53). Plus, the Overworked Twitter Joke of the Week and David Shoemaker Guesses the Strained-Pun Headline. Hosts: Bryan Curtis and David Shoemaker Guest: Musa...


Covering College Football, the Playoffs, and the Transfer Portal Era With Kevin Clark

Bryan is joined by Kevin Clark to break down college football news and updates ahead of upcoming playoff and bowl games. They begin by discussing the state of the Alabama football program, weigh in on the impact of the transfer portal on the players, programs, and college football fan base, and touch on playoff scheduling. Host: Bryan Curtis Guest: Kevin Clark Associate Producer: Erika Cervantes Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Can Herschel Walker Run to the U.S. Senate? Plus, Epic Twitter Threads and the Power of the List

Bryan and David weigh in on the media’s perspective of the runoff election in Georgia between Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock (4:58). Then, they discuss Matt Taibbi’s Twitter thread and the argument behind free speech on the platform (27:18). Later, they touch on the Sight and Sound list of the Greatest Movies of All Time and dive into the appeal of the “list” (42:39). Plus, the Overworked Twitter Joke of the Week and David Shoemaker Guesses the Strained-Pun Headline. Hosts: Bryan Curtis...


What It’s Like to Cover the World Cup With Jason Gay

Bryan is joined by The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay to discuss the World Cup in Qatar and what it’s like to cover it. Host: Bryan Curtis Guest: Jason Gay Associate Producer: Carlos Chiriboga Learn more about your ad choices. Visit