Hi, I’m the reclusive hermit Producer Allie.
Andy, for reasons that are obvious only to him, wants me to start writing a blog for Bull. Because I have a writing background he thought this would be easy. But the show started in February and I’m just getting around to writing my first blog post for the page in May. Yeah, easy peasy.
What Andy doesn’t get is that it’s almost ridiculously overwhelming to try to figure out what to say about a show that’s about both everything and nothing—it’s too wide open. And, since the show mixes Andy’s hot takes on what it is like to be a cranky retiree trapped in the body of a 30-year-old guy with him interviewing interesting people, it is hard to know where to jump in or to even scrounge up a reason why anyone would give a crap what the reclusive producer thinks about anything.
Sensing my dilemma and my growing desire to throw heavy furniture at him, Andy finally gave me a topic as a starting point—how I met him.
Honestly, how I met Andy isn’t very interesting, but here goes.
The Minnesota Vikings blogosphere isn’t that big, so, working for another Vikings blog, I was generally familiar with Andy’s work on Purple FTW!. Leading up to the Vikings’ 2016 training camp I contacted football writer extraordinaire Arif Hasan because I wanted some information about what restaurant he was going to hang out at while recording podcasts in Mankato during training camp. Busy with his own pre-training camp work, Arif said I should ask Andy.
I dropped Andy a line on Twitter, he replied quickly, I had the information I needed, and I went on with my day. Nothing earth shaking or interesting came out of the exchange, but I appreciated his help and he wasn’t a dick so I was left with a favorable impression.
Now, I’m a naturally shy person, more of an introvert who prefers to make snide comments on the fringes of a party or social gathering than to be in the middle of the action and working the room, so attending training camp means having to fight my nature and be outgoing—meeting people and trying to be charming. It is exhausting.
Andy showed up at training camp and, since he had been pleasant when I was looking for info, it seemed like a good idea to say hello. Networking and all that jazz. I walked up and introduced myself and the rest is slightly fuzzy and convoluted history. For a guy who has four (and counting) different podcasts, Andy struck me as a surprisingly shy and humble guy. Ever-so-slightly insecure and not quite sure he really belonged with the media, that was his vibe. It was rather endearing to know I wasn’t the only one in the media room hoping not to get thrown out.
I don’t know why, but the sports journalist crowd tends to have a lot of jerks, a lot of snotty ego. Often when I would talk with other bloggers and journalists at camp I could see them eyeing me to figure out if it was worth their time to bother talking. A lot of them weighed me in the scales, found me wanting, and ignored me, so I appreciated anyone who bothered talking to me. It made Andy stand out.
At this point, I hadn’t yet listened to any of Andy’s podcasts and didn’t realize that he kept that same low-ego vibe even when he was recording. Cruising the sidelines during the afternoon practice, I talked with Andy quite a bit because we just sort of hit it off. In fact, he tried to get me to join him that afternoon for a recording of Purple FTW!, however, my temporary extroversion didn’t extend to podcasts and I awkwardly declined and bolted for the door. Beyond my natural shyness, being on a podcast I had never listened to seemed…phony.
That was how I met Andy. See what I mean? Not all that interesting.
To me, the interesting part is how we became friends, largely because I’m still not quite sure how we went from casual acquaintances on a sunny sideline in Mankato to unlikely besties. There’s also a good chance that Andy and I disagree on that point anyway.
My curiosity about his podcast was peaked and I started listening. Andy’s curiosity about me was peaked and he kept in touch after training camp. A little mutual admiration, a lot of chatting back and forth and then one day he tells me I should be a producer on this sports-adjacent talk show he wants to do. At the time, I thought he was kidding. I’m beginning to think he was serious.