Episode #40 :

Sarina Morales

Becoming the LA Rams team reporter with Sarina Morales | Ep. 40

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On episode 40 of The Mack Talks we sit down with Sarina Morales, current LA Rams team reporter and weekly podcast host. Sarina has 10 years of experience in social media management and broadcasting, and has worked for big names like Nike, ESPN, and National Geographic. 

Finding a Love for Sports

Sarina Morales first found her love for sports through her love for television and her father. After her own personal TV time was up, Sarina inched her way back in front of the screen to watch the Yankees game with her father. In no time, Sarina had the whole team and batting averages memorized, and was on her way to a lifelong love for sports. She moved from watching the sport, to playing in competitive leagues, and finally pursuing a degree in journalism at Syracuse to follow after the likes of Bob Costas, Beth Mowins, and Mike Tirico. 

Waiting Tables in Grand Central

Graduating from Syracuse did not meet Sarina with immediate success, instead she was faced with an unstable 2008 economy. The job she had envisioned for herself, was replaced with reality, she was back in the Bronx with her beat up car, and a job waiting tables in Grand Central. But this wasn’t her reality for long, a trip overseas, a connection with a production company, and the creativity to apply to a Nike sports reporting contest led her back to pursuing her dream. 

Becoming Part of the Team

Nike was just the start of her brush with sports reporting, but her path was nothing close to linear. Sarina went from Nike, to a job managing the social media for National Geographic, and within a year brought their Facebook account from 300k followers to over 6 million. One video from her time at National Geographic got the attention of ESPN Vice President, Rob King, and landed Sarina a job as an on-air anchor. Sarina was where she wanted to be, but then the unexpected, layoffs and restructuring left her back in the job market. That is where the LA Rams came in to give her a home. Sarina was given a job as the team reporter, and moved from her Brooklyn apartment to sunny California. She quickly learned the game, and even more importantly, learned and grew with the team. Now you can hear Sarina on-air breaking down plays, interviewing new recruits, and talking with the head coaches.  

Highlights from this episode:

» 3:54 – 7:24 – Finding a Love For Sports
» 7:33 – 11:06 – Overcoming Adversity at Syracuse
» 11:20 – 18:20 – Finding a Job Post Stock Market Crash
» 18:21 – 23:43 – Interviewing Serena Williams to National Geographic
» 23:50 – 30:04 – Sarina’s Start in Sports Broadcasting
» 30:30 – 40:34 – Living Out of Fear Becomes a Motivator
» 40:3450:00 – Whole Picture Reporting is the Key to Sports Broadcasting
» 50:041:06:00 – Mack Move or Wack Move

Transcript

[music]

0:00:06 Scott Johnson: Welcome to The Mack Talks, everybody. Episode 40, I am your host, Scott Johnson. Young fella across the table from me, Zack Morris AKA Chase Hutchison.

[chuckle]

0:00:18 Chase Hutchison: Hey, guys.

0:00:18 SJ: Chase, tell our guest and all of our listeners what our program is all about, like you always do.

0:00:20 CH: Alright. As always, if you’re a business owner, entrepreneur or community leader, The Mack Talks are the vehicle that bring you the stories that you need to hear.

0:00:34 SJ: Yes, sir. Today, we have a great guest that I’ve been trying to get for a while. Heard her story one night, driving late night in Delaware and just thought it would be awesome to… Heard her over the radio, so I thought it would be awesome to have her come on and tell her story. So, Chase, why don’t you go ahead and intro her?

0:00:51 CH: Alright. So today, we have Sarina Morales on the podcast. Sarina is the current LA Rams Team Reporter conducting interviews. She hosts a weekly podcast and produces social media and video content for the Rams team. She has 10 years of experience in social media, broadcasting and entertainment. Prior to her work at LA Rams, she worked as an anchor for ESPN and managed social media for National Geographic, growing their Facebook account from 300,000 followers to over 6 million…

0:01:21 SJ: Boom!

0:01:21 CH: In a year. Legendary.

0:01:23 SJ: Welcome, Sarina. How are you?

0:01:24 Sarina Morales: Hi. It was like in a year, not like, “In like, 50 years, she grew that… ”

[laughter]

0:01:30 SJ: How you doing today?

0:01:32 SM: Great. Yeah, I’m here at the Rams facility, they’re getting ready for a pretty long trip. We’re going to Atlanta, we’re going to London, so it’s good. And I’m reppin’ my Yankees today, ’cause the Yankees are playing, so…

0:01:44 SJ: Of course. You’re a New York gal, right? Bronx, were you born in the Bronx?

0:01:48 SM: Right. Yeah, I was born and raised in the Bronx, yep.

0:01:50 SJ: Awesome. That’s great, that’s great. So you’re probably pretty excited about your Yankees. I know it was a rain out last night, but what’s coming is those pitchers are about to get spent, right? I mean, you got four games, I think, they’re gonna run probably four games in five days because they had to do that delay.

0:02:05 SM: Yeah. It’s Tanaka, Greinke tonight, so we’ll see…

0:02:07 SJ: Well, hopefully Tanaka can give you more than 68 pitches. I don’t know. I mean, it is a little bit… You know, but… [chuckle]

0:02:13 SM: I’m trying… I’ve tried to talk to him, but he hasn’t really heeded my recommendation, so that’s…

0:02:21 SJ: Yeah, right? Yeah, I hear you. First thing I wanna talk about quickly is, with the Rams, you guys took Ramsey from us. I’m an Eagles fan.

0:02:32 SM: Oh. [chuckle]

0:02:33 SJ: And let me just tell you, the group pages are blowing up. They wanna fire Howie, they wanna get rid of him, they’re so mad. So obviously, that’s a great addition to the team. I’m sure you’re probably pretty excited, he’s definitely an animated character.

0:02:45 SM: Yeah, I’m super excited. I met him yesterday, did a quick interview with him and he just seems like, really gonna be able to fit in. Sean McVay likes these personalities on the team. I think, honestly, it really… What’s good about him is he sort of empowers all the people around him to kind of be themselves, but that’s kind of the beauty of teamwork-makes-the-dreamwork kinda thing. So he empowers someone, like Wade Phillips, who’s very different from him, and yet it works so well. So I think bringing a guy like Jalen in, you could tell he’s just sort of a winner. He was eating tacos when he got the phone call and… [laughter] Tacos in LA. So it’s kind of, we’re ready. That’s kind of the picture of like, “You know what? This is gonna be good.”

0:03:30 SJ: That’s awesome, that’s awesome. Alright, so let’s just kinda jump right into your story. Tell us a little bit about how you got into your current position, tell us about how you kinda… I know you went overseas and you were doing some things in London. Why don’t you kinda pick it up from there and tell us exactly how your career got started?

0:03:53 SM: Yeah. So in 2008, when I graduated from Syracuse, the market crashed, it was bad. And even prior to that, I would say my career started on my couch in the Bronx when I was five years old.

0:04:07 SJ: Nice.

0:04:08 SM: Really early. Blossoming child’s, from the Bronx. But I was sitting on the couch and my parents were always just like, “Hey, you’re not allowed to watch too much TV. You gotta go play with your Legos and figure out something else to do.” We lived in a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx and there were four of us. And so it was like really not that much space. But I remember I always was attracted to television, I thought it was a fascinating vehicle. And this was the time when you had to go to the TV and turn the knob…

0:04:36 SJ: Yeah, yup.

0:04:38 SM: I know that time and like…

0:04:39 SJ: Oh, I know those days. Yep.

0:04:41 SM: Yeah. So at that time, I remember it was like Saturday morning cartoons and the Sunday morning cartoons. And so I’d get to watch that, wake up early, watch that sucker on the couch. And then I sorta had to shift back to my bedroom or figure out a puzzle or something to do. And I remember that’s usually when my dad would shift, it was always high volume traffic, right, when there was a changing of the channels. And he would put on the Yankee game, like 1 o’clock Yankee game. And I was just like, “What if I just sat here? I’m hanging out with my dad, no one’s gonna tell me anything.” So I was just like, “I’m gonna sit here one day,” real wise five-year-old child. And I was just like, “Let me just watch this game because then I get to watch more television.”

0:05:25 SJ: Yep, yep.

0:05:25 SM: So he’s like, “You wanna watch this?” I was like, “Mm-hmm, yeah, I wanna watch it.”

[chuckle]

0:05:30 SM: And I’m like, “What’s that white thing?” And he goes, “Oh, that’s a base, that’s a base.” I’m like, “Oh, okay.” And then he’s just… I’m like, “Who’s that guy?” And he’s like, “Oh, that’s Don Mattingly.” I’m like, “Oh, okay, okay.” So I just started asking random questions. I’m five years old. By the time I’m like six, seven, eight, I’m one of those kids who’s like, “Hey, hey,” like the party trick, “check out my daughter. She can list the entire Yankees batting lineup and all of their batting averages, all by heart.”

0:05:54 SJ: Oh, that’s awesome, yeah.

0:05:56 SM: And so, yeah, I became that. And then my dad was like, “I should put her in baseball, maybe. That seems logical.” So then he puts me on a baseball field and the rest is history. I put on a uniform when I was eight years old and I’d be… I was on the all-star team. I just became addicted to the game of baseball. I was actually talking to one of the guys who plays on the football team here for the Rams, Nickell Robey-Coleman, and he was just like, “I don’t understand why women aren’t allowed to play baseball. You’re not hitting them, there’s really no contact. If you can… If you’re making the team, you should play. No one should… ”

0:06:00 SJ: Exactly.

0:06:00 SM: I was like, “Amen, brother.” So…

0:06:00 SJ: [chuckle] Yeah. You were the original Mo’ne Davis, right? [chuckle]

0:06:36 SM: Where was the social media back then?

0:06:39 SJ: I know.

0:06:40 SM: So yeah, I played baseball ’till I was 18 years old in the Bronx. I played in the same league as Danny Almonte, but it was sort of like one of those things where no one really questioned me, because I was always part of the picture. So no one knew anything different. It was like, “Oh yeah, she can play baseball. She should be fine. It’s okay, we’ve seen her play baseball this whole time.” So I was always in a league, but very elite baseball players came out of there. Outside of Danny Almonte, there was a couple of guys in the majors and then a couple of guys who played in the minor leagues, still baseball coaches. So I was in a place that was protected, guys really respected me over time, but. But yeah, I never knew anything else other than, “This is what I’m supposed to do.” And so I’m like, “I should go to a good journalism school and play baseball and… Or not play baseball, but be a sports reporter.” So I decide to go to Syracuse, I figure, “They got some good names out of there.” But coming from the Bronx really…

0:07:39 SJ: Yeah, going to Syracuse from the Bronx, that had to have been a tough transition, huh?

0:07:43 SM: A huge culture shock. And I say this as… I really didn’t know… It’s kind of like… And I hate to make this comparison, but when Cardi B hit the market recently, everyone was like, “What in the world is happening?” When J-Lo hit the market, it was like, “Oh. There are people out there that kinda talk like this and look like this and we haven’t really experienced that before.” And here I am going to Syracuse and I’m a fair-looking Puerto Rican Colombian, so guys would always be like, “What’s up, white girl?” And I’m like, “What’s up?” And I had no idea what anyone was talking about.

[laughter]

0:08:20 SM: I’m like, “Yeah, totally. I guess I’m a white girl.” And then I was like, “Oh, I am not a white girl. This is very… ” It was just beyond overwhelming. I’m in Newhouse classes, I don’t even get into Newhouse immediately. Later to find out, I’m dyslexic. So that was certainly something to find out when I’m anchoring for SportsCenter, nonetheless.

0:08:39 SJ: Yeah.

0:08:40 SM: And so my whole life, I’ve been dyslexic. I come from the Bronx, where maybe we’ve got overcrowded classrooms and I don’t…

0:08:47 SJ: Where it’s easy to get lost, yeah, yup.

0:08:49 SM: Yeah, and it’s… I was always working hard and I always was very grateful. And my mom, being a teacher, and my dad, who wanted to be a teacher, but they always put education at the top of the list. So I always worked hard and I always had a certain background of like, “Hey, we gotta do this.” But I never really thought of myself as someone who could do anything. I always had sports, so I was kinda like, “I guess I should do journalism.” So I go to Syracuse, they had won the National Championship in 2003. It was the hardest freakin’ year to get into Syracuse because everybody was like, “Oh, I wanna go to Syracuse ’cause they won the National Championship.”

[chuckle]

0:09:27 SM: And I’m just like, “I think there’s a good journalism program there.” I don’t get in ’cause it’s the hardest school, I test terribly on the SATs. So I write an essay, I get into Syracuse general admission and then I transfer in. You have to get a 3.7, 3.8 to transfer in. In my freshman year, I’m like, “Okay, if I’m gonna do this, we’re going in.” So I get into Newhouse and again, my accent, I look different, everything is sort of… I’m an awkward, ugly duckling, to say the least. And my professors are like, “Hey, you gotta lose your accent, you’re not gonna get a job in Albuquerque sounding like that.”

0:10:06 SJ: Yeah, right?

0:10:07 SM: It was a tough time and my professors’ like, “Your writing level isn’t college level.” Right? I really was like, “What am I doing here? This is bad.” So… But I… My mom and dad were like, “You don’t have to stay. You don’t have to be there.” And I was like, “Hell no.” I just got through all of my life playing baseball and getting the criticism outside, inside, I’m awkward ’cause I’m a woman playing baseball. And then I get to Syracuse and I’m not the person I thought I was, and now I’m changing again. And I’m like, “No, I need to stay here. These guys are successful, I’m gonna figure out… ”

0:10:45 SJ: Yeah, you gotta figure it out, yep.

0:10:47 SM: And so I’m like, “I’m gonna do this.” And then you graduate. And at that time, everyone who graduated from college, in general, got a job, everyone got a job outta college. And so 2008 was that smack in the face where it was like, “Oh, no. You’re not getting a job.” And I was like, “Now hold on a second. What the hell? I went to Syracuse. I’m paying a gajillion dollars in loans, at some point in my life,” which now, I am.

0:11:14 SJ: Yup.

0:11:14 SM: And I’m promised this sort of expectation of a future, a successful future if you go to this school, right? It’s not like I went to a community college or whatever, not that that’s not gonna promise you anything, but. If Mike Tirico, and Bob Costas and Beth Mowins are graduating from Syracuse and having their success story, then I should have a very small smidgen of a job, right?

0:11:39 SJ: Yeah, yeah. Just a job to get your foot in the door and be able to work your way up, right?

0:11:43 SM: Absolutely. So I graduate and there is no job, and I come home to the Bronx with a beat up Saturn that’s overheating on the highway and…

0:11:53 SJ: But you could punch it, though. You could punch it and it would flex. I had one of those too, right? It was like, “Yeah, check out my Saturn. Look what it could do, I could punch it and it would flex, right?”

0:12:03 SM: That’s basically what everyone was doing, they were punching… Yeah, I was like, “I’m still [0:12:08] ____. They’re like, “What are you gonna do? What are you gonna do? Are you gonna still gonna work or are you gonna fall apart?”

0:12:13 SJ: Yeah, you were like the Saturn. You were just… You were like the plastic, just taking it and bending, right?

0:12:17 SM: I was. And I was like, “I guess I have to keep chugging along here.” So I was waitressing on 42nd Street, Grand Central Station, this restaurant called Pershing Square; you take the Metro-North in, there’s the 4 train and the 1 train over the D train, and I’m taking in all of these successful business guys and I’m waiting tables. And I’m like, “This is the most miserable thing I could possibly do with my journalism degree, I should probably not be doing this.” So I applied to a job to teach English in Seoul, Korea and my mentor… And I had studied abroad in London and he was just like, “I feel like that’s not your groove, I feel like you’ve just done a lot. Your brain is not meant to take these sorts of minimal, like, here, it’s handed to you, set up situations. You need a challenge.” I’m like, “Do I need a challenge? I think my life has been challenging enough, but sure, what is that for me, mentor of mine?” Good ol’ Harold [0:13:20] ____. And so I was just like, “What do you think?” He’s like, “Why don’t you just go to London? Travel, see what happens.” And I was like, “I guess I could do that. Alright. Well, sure.” So…

0:13:31 SJ: I love your whole story up to this point, but this is the point that I really love, this part right here, on how you went out there and what you told your family and everything. I think it’s really amazing, so go ahead.

0:13:43 SM: So I’m like, “Alright. Then I’m gonna go to London.” And when you go overseas or anything, this is not the key… You wanna have a plan, but I had no plan, and that was fine, to an extent. But I basically, I buy a one-way ticket. I tell my mother, I’m like, “Listen. I gotta get out of America, this is not working for me.” And she’s like, “I get it, go do something. There are no jobs in America, so of course, go find a harder place to find a job.”

0:14:12 SJ: Yeah. [chuckle]

0:14:13 SM: All my family’s like, “You ain’t gonna find a job. What are you doing? That’s so stupid. Just keep waitressing, you’re gonna be good.” And I’m just like, “No, I really need to figure something out.” So I just started… I lied to my family. It was like, one day, I was so tired of being criticized for being like, “I’m gonna travel overseas and I’m gonna figure stuff out.” And my family is just like, “No, what are you gonna do?” And I was just like, “I have a job so you can all just stop critiquing my life.”

0:14:39 SJ: Yeah, yeah. Get off my back. [chuckle]

0:14:40 SM: “Where’s a chick from the Bronx get a job from?” And I’m like, “Oh, at a production agency, guys. You guys are all fools.” And they were like, “Whoa, where did you get this?” I was like, “I got connects, someone…

0:14:51 SJ: Now you’re just grabbing… [laughter] Yup, yup.

0:14:54 SM: And I’m like… And they’re like, “Oh, really? What’s the company?” And I was like, “I’ll send you an email, don’t worry about it.” And so I’m like, boop, “Google, what do we got? Production, creative, London. First company that comes up, ba-ba, Addiction London. And I’m like, “This is where I’m working.” And they’re just like, “Oh, well. What a funny… That’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard.” And I was just like, “Yeah, it is. So I’m out.” [laughter] In the meantime, the Morales family throws this huge going-away party for me.

0:15:22 SJ: Oh, God.

0:15:23 SM: And I’m like, “No. Oh, no. Please don’t attract attention to this. Please don’t do any of this.” And I was just like, “This is a problem.” So, I go overseas. I have the biggest guilt trip of my life and I’m just traveling and I’m not thinking anything of it and I’m… I couldn’t get a job overseas very easy, I’m thinking like off… [chuckle] Off the books, ba-ba-ba. And so, I end up reaching out to Addiction London, because I had maybe a couple of glasses of wine, nothing crazy. But I was… I had a couple of glasses of wine and I was just like, “Hey, let me find who works at Addiction London.” So I go on Facebook and I find the CEO of Addiction London, and his name is Jeremy, and I send this man a Facebook message. I’m like, “Hey, Jeremy. Sarina Morales here. I’m a young reporter, producer from New York City and I think your company looks awesome. I would love to connect while I’m traveling out here.” And he… And a month later, he writes me back and he was just like, “You know what, Sarina, you could be some use to me.” And I’m like, “This is insane.”

0:16:30 SJ: That’s awesome.

0:16:32 SM: So at that time, fast forward, I’m bartending in a pub in London, I end up getting a random job overseas. And this guy reaches out to me and so I go and I meet with him. And I’m like, “This is kind of crazy ’cause I made this company up, in a sense.”

0:16:47 SJ: Yeah. Yep, yep.

0:16:48 SM: And he’s like, “Hey, what are you doing out here?” Da-da-da. And I was just like, “Yeah, I’m just traveling,” whatever. And he was just like, “Look, I’m trying to start a company in New York City. Do you have any contacts?” I’m like, “Girl, I got all the contacts.”

0:17:00 SJ: Yeah, I’m the hookup. I’m your plug, I’m your plug. [chuckle]

0:17:04 SM: 100%. I got… What you need? So it’s like, “917 numbers?” I’m like, “Yeah, that’s the way to go.”

[laughter]

0:17:17 SJ: 718, 917. [chuckle] Yep.

0:17:20 SM: So I go and I have this great… I go over and I have this great conversation with Jeremy, and he’s just like, “Okay, why don’t we figure something out? If you can help me here, then I will help you, whatever you need in London.” So I was like,” Okay, perfect.” So I ended up being employee of the month for these guys, I am their… I start their softball team, I’m just freelancing for them, and the sort of lie that I created became true.

0:17:46 SJ: Became reality. That’s amazing.

0:17:48 SM: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I’m there in London and I’m having a great time and that’s kind of, again, how my story shifts to present day. I leave London and I’m just sort of like… I didn’t leave in any certain form, but I just didn’t wanna leave and then I get back to America and I don’t have a job and I sort of had to reset this situation of being jobless again. And so I get back and there was this Nike field reporter contest. And so I apply and I’m thinking, “When you send those videos over, everyone’s doing the same thing.” Like, “Hi, I’m Joe Schmo and I’m gonna be the best because I talk like this and I’ve done all these… ”

[laughter]

0:18:34 SJ: The radio voice, yup.

0:18:35 SM: Absolutely. And so I’m just like, “I can’t do that, because one, that’s not me. But two, what can I do to stand out from the mix?” So I send in a video for Nike and I’m just like, “Hey, I’m Sarina Morales and you shouldn’t hire me because I can play… I was a baseball player for 10 years and because I went to Newhouse. You shouldn’t hire me because of that, you should hire me because if you don’t, I’m gonna be selling Reeboks at Foot Locker [0:19:01] ____ the job.” They’re just like, “This is genius.” And so at 24 years old, I am interviewing now Serena Williams, and LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony. I go to the Winter Games in Vancouver.

0:19:12 SJ: Awesome.

0:19:13 SM: It was sort of this like, “Okay, Sarina’s back in the mix. I can get myself a career and do great things.” The thing is, the market really didn’t change much after the year that I was working at Nike. Things were shifting a little bit, but it was still very hard to find a job. News channel, the local news, channel 12, in the Bronx, they didn’t wanna hire me ’cause they were like, “This is weird that you were interviewing these top name athletes and now you wanna come to the Bronx.”

0:19:39 SJ: Oh, now they’re like, “Oh, you’re too good for us. You’ve done these… ” Yeah.

0:19:45 SM: So hard to get a job. And I was just like, “Guys, my dad worked for the projects, I went to public school in the Bronx, my mom is a public school teacher in the Bronx. You can’t find a better person to be a reporter than me in the Bronx. I can cover sports, I can cover politics, the school system, the projects. You tell me what, I’m gonna figure it out.”

0:20:06 CH: You’re Jenny from the block, yeah.

0:20:08 SM: 100%, it’s Sarina from the block. They need a new… Jenny’s, you know…

0:20:12 SJ: Yeah.

0:20:13 SM: I’m not gonna lie, but. So I go through that, and so I end up taking random jobs. I’m freelancing for Verizon Fios, interviewing high school kids, I’m working in an investment bank, which was hilarious ’cause I worked at an investment bank for a year and a half, two years, and it was actually a great job ’cause it was steady money. And I was so bored at the job because I was just basically managing people’s calendars, but all these guys are like, “Whoa, you know all these things about sports.” ‘Cause you do small talk and I’m like… And they’re like, “What are you doing working here?” So then they were trying to help me find connections at the New York Times. I interviewed at the New York Times when I was at the investment bank. I would take long lunches and they were so supportive there. I ran the New York City Marathon during that time, because I was bored.

0:20:57 SJ: Oh, wow.

0:20:57 SM: So I was like, “I might as well train to do something else with my time.”

0:21:00 SJ: Also be in good shape, right, while you… [chuckle] Marathon shape.

0:21:04 CH: Yeah, exactly. So I do that, and then… But I really missed being in the media, so I ended up getting a job, I took a huge pay cut, and I applied for a job at Turner. I got a job at TruTV, I was working on this show, Impractical Jokers.

0:21:19 SJ: Oh, yeah, we love that show. Those guys are great.

0:21:21 SM: So I go from Impractical Jokers, ended up going from there to National Geographic. A guy that I worked with at Turner, at Impractical Jokers, went and became a VP at National Geographic in DC and I just hit him up ’cause we were both Yankee fans. I would actually sneak into his office… The afternoon Yankee games, I’m still at work and so I’d be like, “Yo, hey…

0:21:42 SJ: Yep.

0:21:43 SM: The ninth inning is… Let’s put this game on.” He had a TV in his office, he’s like, “I got you.” So he’s like, “I didn’t realize you’re such a big sports fan.” I was like, “Oh my God, I used to work at Nike,” da-da-da-da, I give him the story. And he was just like, “Oh man. Well, let me know if I can help you with anything, career-wise, whatever.” And I was like, “It’s all good. I think I’m gonna say goodbye to my sports reporting days. I really haven’t been able to get there. I don’t even know how to get an agent, I don’t know how to do any of these things,” so. I’m from the Bronx, my mom is just like, “I don’t know, just show your face.” There’s really no…

[laughter]

0:22:16 SM: Yeah. So, all that said, I end up going to work for Hayes at National Geographic because he was just like, “Listen, I think your skillsets would be really good as a social media manager here. And if you wanna be on camera, we can figure things out. I think your creativity would work well and so keep writing. And also, because you came from a sports background, I think it would be great to have you think of new ways to manage our social media. No one’s really thinking outside the box here, let’s give it a personality.”

0:22:47 SJ: Yeah, and you definitely did that, too.

0:22:49 SM: So I would… When the Chicago Bears are playing Sunday Night Football, and I’m seeing them not play well, I tweet out from the Nat Geo Wild Twitter account like, “Hey, the @ChicagoBears aren’t playing well, but we’ve got real bears playing well on @NatGeoWild. Come check it out.”

[chuckle]

0:23:09 SJ: Yeah.

0:23:09 SM: I’m just like, “What can we do?” So it was great because it did get to utilize my skillsets and what I had been doing in the past, but also kind of applying it. Hence, I was able to have a lot of success in the year that I was at National Geographic. I did one on-camera video for Nat Geo, it was some random expedition of, “Send in a video application, and… ”

0:23:32 SJ: Yep, your specialty, yep.

[chuckle]

0:23:34 SM: Right. So I did the video to have applicants send their videos in, and that video… I just post it on YouTube, I’m not thinking anything of anything, but I post it on YouTube. And lo and behold, Rob King, the Head of SportsCenter, sees this video. It had 100 views, maybe, tops; like 99 of those views are my mom’s and… [laughter] One video that, that they… The one view was Rob King, and I had talked to ESPN in the past. Nothing… Again, I’m a schmoozer. I’m like, “Hey, nice to meet you.” I had started the National Association of Hispanic Journalists…

0:24:14 SJ: Oh wow, that’s great.

0:24:16 SM: Group Chat at Syracuse. So we got to go to conventions and stuff, and so I was always shaking hands with people, at ESPN especially, but nothing really came to fruition. I went to ESPN as the Nike field reporter and did some interviews there, but again, I had no expectations of anything. All that said, they remembered me or I was in a file system somewhere. Aand so Rob King sends me an email, “I would like to bring you up and talk to us. And I think you could be… ” Again, sort of this Addiction London thing, like, “I think you could be some use to us.” And I was like, “Sorry, what?” I literally thought taking a job at National Geographic would be the end all of my sports reporting, and it ends up being the beginning of my sports reporting.

0:25:03 SJ: Yeah, it launched you into it, yep.

0:25:05 SM: And Rob King brought me up and he’s just like, “I’m just trying to change how we do things and how we story-tell, and your background in social media and sports reporting, you go to Newhouse, you’re traveling, the whole thing, I think is really what we are looking for.” And so I will always and forever be grateful for Rob King, because I did two interviews with ESPN and they hired me. And a year later, I am anchoring and launching the new SportsCenter AM, which is now Get Up. But at the time, they took a chance on a girl from the Bronx, who had never had live network television experience, ever. And the first time I am on live network is…

0:25:41 SJ: And then this is where you found out that you had… That you were dyslexic, correct?

0:25:41 SM: 100%.

0:25:41 SJ: Because you obviously… Reading from the… Yep, teleprompters and everything like that, so.

0:25:58 SM: So that’s kind of how things went and none of it makes sense, but it was like, I was ready. I was always ready to… Whether I was in shape because I’m training for the New York City Marathon, so they were like, “Oh, yeah, she seems like she’s in shape. She can do this,” or whatever. Whatever it was, I sort of always had something where I was like, “Okay, this opportunity helped me get here.” And so yeah, I’m the team reporter for a football team…

0:26:24 SJ: Who were some of the… I know… I remember seeing you on SportsCenter and stuff. You definitely brought a different angle and you were definitely funny and I loved it, I thought it was great. Who were some of the people that you got to know and that helped you with inside of that part with inside of SportsCenter, besides Rob King? Obviously, some of the on-air people, I’m sure there were producers, I’m sure there were a lot of people that you made great relationships with. So who were some of those people that you had good relationships with?

0:26:50 SM: All of the anchors that I worked with were really supportive and they all taught me something else and it was great because we had a very diverse group. Jaymee Sire, Jay Harris, and Kevin Negandhi and Randy Scott; and they were all very different, including me. And so I’ve always thought… Again, when you talk about even working for the Rams here and Sean McVay sort of empowering like, “Hey, wait, Phillips, you’re very good at defense. I’m gonna empower you to take care of that. Let’s bring in a guy like Jalen Ramsey, he’s a very good cornerback. We’re gonna bring him in and let him do that,” right? And so for me, I was grateful because they brought me in and they were just like, “Hey, you’re good at… ” the thing that I’m good at, which to me, I’m still trying to figure out. I have my personality, but I don’t know if that’s a skill. I don’t know if that’s… You put that on the resume like, “You’ve got a good personality.”

[laughter]

0:27:43 SJ: Yeah, “Great personality. I can kill it, doing funny bits, that’s what I do!”

0:27:47 SM: It’s crazy, so. But… So Jay Harris always taught me how to be smooth in my deliveries, I think. He was like, “You already have this, so let me help you with everything else.” No one on SportsCenter… To this day, I didn’t tell anyone, except the researchers on set, that I was dyslexic. I never told them. Now that I’ve left, I have no problem sharing the secret because it’s not affecting me. But I never wanted to say like, “Oh, this is gonna keep me from being able to do my job,” so. There were days where I would tweak the script to make things caps and do spaces. If I ever had to read Giannis Antetokounmpo’s name on a teleprompter, I would… [chuckle] I’d be like, “What? I don’t know what that is,” but I know his name. So it’s funny, ’cause I would just…

0:27:47 SJ: You were just like, “The Greek Freak.” Just call him the Greek Freak, that’s what most people do.

0:28:41 SM: Just write ‘Giannis’ and then I would put dashes and then finish. But I knew to say, “Giannis Antetokounmpo,” and the dashes would give me the space to say it before the teleprompter would roll, so I just created cheats for myself. But Ms and…

0:28:55 SJ: That’s awesome.

0:28:57 SM: They all kinda mix up. But to that point, literally everyone… I would say this to younger people who are looking to be successful: Find one or two people that you… Are top dog, like, “Oh my gosh, you’re the most incredible person.” And for me, it’s always been watching Mike Tirico, who’s a Syracuse alum and a mentor of mine and late night television host, and I think that’s where my skillset sort of put together. I would like to be a polished, can do anything, throw me in any sport, I’ll be able to cover it and figure it out. But also, I wanna make my… The people that I’m interviewing as comfortable as possible and I wanna ask them things that people aren’t really thinking about, or it’s a bit more of an improv situation and I get lots out of them and so. And I think that’s… If you had to describe where I sit now, is I’m the middle between, like a Mike Tirico, Bob Costas and a Jimmy Kimmel. Right? I’m just…

0:30:00 SJ: Yeah. Yep. And it’s funny ’cause your background with Impractical Jokers and seeing those guys and the improv from that and everything else, it all came together to create that look for you and stuff, and I think it’s awesome. And I think it’s amazing how you were able to overcome that disability and work through it because that’s what it’s all about. But it was crazy that you found it out while you were… [chuckle] While you were in the biggest point of your career.

0:30:31 SM: You literally, you fake it ’til you make it. There is… When you are live and you are ready to mess up, there is nothing…

0:30:42 SJ: That pressure.

0:30:43 SM: Bigger than that adrenaline rush to be like, “Morales, you better figure this out in one second because someone is gonna pull you off and there are so many better people than you that can do this. So you need to prove why you have been given this opportunity.” And so that… Living out of fear has been a reason for my success, ’cause I’m like, “I have to be better.”

0:31:06 SJ: Gotta do it.

0:31:06 SM: And I think, being able to feel more comfortable about being different because I think we try and create all these prototype people on camera, where now I’m like, “No, I can be myself. This is how I do things and I’m more comfortable myself,” but there is a key to having a good foundation. I need to understand the fundamentals of interviewing and storytelling and where to put things and not going backwards in chronologic order, and this or like, “Oh, if he says this, I might ask this question and skip around,” those types of things that obviously you grow with experience. But yeah, it’s insane because when people are like, “Oh, so how do you get to SportsCenter?” I’m like, “I really don’t… I have no idea.”

0:31:52 SJ: It wasn’t a straight path, it was however you had to get there. London, New York City Marathon, New Britain.

[laughter]

0:32:02 SJ: So then tell us how you transitioned from ESPN into… I mean, The Rams was the next position after that, correct?

0:32:09 SM: Yeah, so the ESPN layoffs that took place…

0:32:13 SJ: Yeah, that was big, yep.

0:32:15 SM: Public, and Jaymee Sire was… I remember we finished SportsCenter that day. And Jaymee Sire, I remember so clearly, we were… I was asking her about donuts. I’m allergic to wheat and dairy and eggs, so I can’t eat donuts very often, unless you have a vegan, gluten-free donut, which I don’t know if you’d recommend eating.

[laughter]

0:32:35 SM: But here’s to all of those that want to give me a donut. I will create… “If you could create a donut for me that I can eat, I will eat it everyday.” But we’re talking about donuts, and we were getting our mic packs off of our backs. And I remember Ed Werder had already been laid off during our live show, and so the news started to break. And I was like, “This is an uncomfortable day.” And we were all… Kinda knew that it was gonna happen, but we were all just waiting. And so when it started to happen, Jaymee, I remember, looked at her phone and got a call from our boss, and she was like, “Oh, no.” And she looked at me and her face was just so blank, and I was like, “Okay, I’m holding your hand,” literally her mic pack just came off. We were still dressed and everything, and she gets the call and he’s like, “Hey, can you come to this random meeting place?” And I’m like, “Oh man, this is happening.” So I walk with her over. I don’t even know if I’m getting laid off that day. I don’t know anything, but I’m like, “Alright, Jaymee, I’ll just come with you.” So I walk with her, and she gets put in a room, and they sort of tried to make it as informal as possible, but it was like, “Here, I don’t wanna talk to you… ” Our boss had nothing… Didn’t wanna do this. He’s…

0:33:54 SJ: Yeah, it’s gotta be tough, yeah.

0:33:55 SM: And so I just stood outside the office while she got laid off and then I was like, “Ooh, this is bad.” And I didn’t get laid off, but my contract was ending at the end of the year. And so thankfully, again, sort of trying to figure out the jack of all trades before they did not pick up my contract. I was doing features and doing some outside work, but they changed SportsCenter completely at that point and it’s…

0:34:19 SJ: Yeah, they switched everything up, yep.

0:34:20 SM: Literally were just like, “Sarina, don’t… Don’t come in tomorrow. Take a day and then we’ll figure out how to utilize you moving forward.” And I was like, “Okay.” So then they had me on the weekend SportsCenter doing things and whatnot. But yeah, so when my contract got… When they told me, “You got 90 days. We’re not picking up your contract”, I sort of had a mental… It was just like, “I’m just… ”

0:34:43 SJ: Yeah, it’s gotta be tough. Yeah.

0:34:44 SM: And I think…

0:34:45 SJ: You’re like, “I made it, I made it.” And then you’re like, “Oh, wait, then this is another setback for me now, so.”

0:34:50 SM: Yeah. And I think… You think about coaches being laid off and stuff like that, where it’s just like, “Oh, he should be laid off.” But when you think about how hard it is for you to go from a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx and really not understanding that there’s anything bigger than that because it’s all you know… Literally and figuratively speaking, I didn’t know that you could have anything more, right? And then, as I continue to grow experience, and now I’m just like, “Oh, I didn’t even know that I could ever be on network television without knowing someone, or having a connection,” I didn’t even know that was possible. And then I get my dream job and I’m in my early 30s, and I’m like, “Wow, I checked that off the bucket list,” that’s insane. And so it’s a really deep fall, and then it was a moment of like, “Okay, let me re-evaluate my dreams, because I checked the dream off my list so let me think of a new dream to have and what that looks like.” And so, I went overseas. I seem to go overseas every time I…

0:36:00 SJ: Yeah, it seems like where you go… [chuckle] It’s a lot of thinking over there, overseas, right, for you?

0:36:03 SM: [chuckle] So I go to Bali and Singapore, as sort of an Eat, Pray, Love moment. And I end up getting dengue fever in Indonesia, I’m by myself.

0:36:12 SJ: Oh.

0:36:12 CH: Oh my God.

0:36:12 SM: Yeah, it was the scariest thing in the universe, because I had to basically be hospitalized. And I was sort of putting on my Instagram, “Hey,” like waving a white flag. I don’t know if I called my mom, I don’t know who I called, but I was… It’s…

0:36:29 SJ: Yeah, I imagine it was… Yeah.

0:36:30 SM: I’m just trying to just keep my eyes open, to be quite honest. I was like, “If I close my eyes, I don’t think my eyes will open again.” It was pretty… When I was in the emergency room, I think I had like a 104, 106 fever. I was bleeding from my nose.

0:36:45 SJ: Wow.

0:36:45 SM: It was a really tough time. So I’m just like, “I lose my job at ESPN, and now I’ve gotta figure out my next sort of life, and I’m dying in an emergency room that I don’t know if I’m gonna get back,” so. So I go from that to basically, I come home, I’m auditioning everywhere, at MLB Network and Sports Illustrated. Literally, I’m trying to do everything possible, and I ended up taking a job with a startup company before I got the Rams job. And this startup company, I won’t even give ’em a shoutout, but I… They were not paying… They didn’t pay me, so I ended up… There was a very crazy lapse of… Where I was like, “Oh no, I have no job and no money or anything.” I had got an apartment in Brooklyn. I had just been like, “Okay, I’m gonna work for this startup company, and I’m gonna live in Brooklyn,” and I sort of started to re-evaluate my life. And then I applied, thankfully, the Rams job was open, and they were like, “Hey, do you wanna interview”? And I was like, “I guess so. I just moved into an apartment.” I had boxes that were not unpacked or anything.

0:37:58 SJ: Still unpacked, yeah. You’ve yet to hang your… You’ve yet to even hang your Don Mattingly jersey on the… [chuckle] On the wall, yet.

0:38:05 SM: Yes. I remember I did a Skype call with someone from the Rams, and I was putting the laptop on a box, and I was sitting on another box of stuff because I didn’t have chairs, I didn’t have… I hadn’t moved in at all, probably there a week, and then I was freelancing for the NCAA tournament. But this freelance… This startup company was like, “Yeah, we’re cool with you looking for other opportunities.” Probably because they didn’t realize that they couldn’t pay me, but they weren’t gonna tell me that, but. So I… Thankfully, I audition, and I get the Rams job. And I’m like, “Okay, I guess I’m now moving.” I was in my apartment for a month in Brooklyn, and move out to LA. The startup company falls apart. And so I was really depending on having two salaries, and I went back to having one. So I’m really thankful that I had this job lined up, but.

0:39:03 SJ: Yeah, and what are some of the things that you do for the Rams? ‘Cause I know that you do… You have the podcast, I know Chase mentioned some of the things. And I… ‘Cause I… Just by talking to you, and kinda getting to know you; whatever the position was, I’m sure you’ve added some things to it, right? [chuckle]

0:39:21 SM: Yeah, I… Hold on one… People are… Oops, okay. People can hear me through the walls right now. I’m talking so loud. So I go and… Sorry, they’re throwing me off ’cause everyone’s like, “Sarina, we can hear you.”

0:39:42 SJ: That’s okay, that’s alright. [chuckle]

0:39:43 SM: We… I’m like, “Here’s my inside voice.” [laughter] We… I started working for the Rams. Again, most people are like, “Oh, you’re a team reporter,” or whatever. I ended up having the best experience because they were like, “Listen, we wanna have you use your personality more, I think you can be a great asset here.” So I was doing Keys to Victory last year, which was video stuff. They used me in-stadium for the entertainment video board and that’s actually the weirdest part of working for a football team when they have you do video board because, again, no one teaches you at Newhouse like, “Hey, you’re gonna hear feedback in your ear and you’re gonna…

0:40:25 SJ: Oh, yeah.

0:40:26 SM: “70,000 people and do an interview,” and for someone who’s not used to being on camera, too. So those things are really hard, but it’s been great. I really, really, really love the fact that, again, I get to see these guys everyday. Being around guys, like Aaron Donald, is such a blessing because you watch him, and he’s such a great leader, and Sean McVay, and Wade Phillips. And now, I have my podcast. I do Q&As, where I just kinda transcribe random questions, both football and non-football related. Because I think when we talk about sports broadcasting, I think the key is… Or in sports in general, these guys… Like me, right, you’re asking me my story. I am more than a sports reporter, I have a story of why I became a sports reporter and all that.

0:41:09 SJ: Yeah, they do, too, right, yeah. I mean… Yep.

0:41:12 SM: You’re missing half the story if you’re not asking those questions about what’s going on outside of their lives. “Did Jalen Ramsey finish his taco on Taco Tuesday when he got the call?” I think those things are all sort of part of a bigger picture, and so we’re only telling part of the picture when you’re a sports reporter and you’re not really getting both their lives on and off the field, so. So I… It’s been great, but I’m doing a lot of that. I help the social media group out with getting some of that content.

0:41:42 SJ: You’re like, “Let’s go to Nat Geo and get some pictures or some rams and… Yeah.” [laughter]

0:41:47 CH: Did you get to go to the Super Bowl last year?

0:41:50 SM: I did. I went to the Super Bowl last year, and that was crazy. It was crazy, too, because one, I had never gone to a Super Bowl, but neither had some of the guys, so.

0:41:58 SJ: Yeah, so you guys all got to experience it together. ‘Cause I know it was a pretty young team, right? From McVay being a young coach to…

0:42:05 CH: Brand-new team.

0:42:06 SM: We’re all sort of like, “Huh? What’s happening here?” I knew about the Super Bowl from an outside perspective being in media and stuff like that, I understood that. But I didn’t really understand all of what that meant, and the week, and the crazy media frenzy.

0:42:23 SJ: Yeah.

0:42:23 CH: Yeah.

0:42:24 SM: So covering that was a very cool experience for me, but it was also very cool to watch these guys that I’ve spent an entire season with. When you’re here at a practice facility every single day, there are things that you’re just like, “Oh, those are… That’s your family now.”

0:42:40 SJ: Yeah, yep. I can tell by watching your stories and seeing your Instagram stories, and stuff, you’re just like… It’s that… It goes back to that same thing with the investment firm. You know what I mean? You know about all the sports, you get that camaraderie with the guys, and they’re just like, “Wow, she really knows her shit.” You know what I mean? So, it’s pretty neat.

0:43:00 SM: It is a family, but it’s also how you carry yourself. They’re all texting me right now, like “Yo, we can all hear you tell your story.” And I’m like…

0:43:06 SJ: You should tell them that, you should be like, “Listen, I’m a Puerto Rican Colombian from the Bronx, alright? I talk loud, it’s what I do. Alright? You guys know this about me already.”

0:43:16 CH: So are you Jets or Giants then?

0:43:18 SM: I’m Rams right now, but I grew up…

0:43:21 SJ: Yo, she’s Rams.

0:43:21 CH: Well, I know that, but… That you’re gonna be a Rams, but when you… Growing up, did you have a passion for football at all? Did you keep up with the Jets or the Giants or?

0:43:29 SM: Yeah. I will never forget the David Tyree catch…

0:43:35 SJ: On the helmet.

0:43:38 SM: On the helmet when I was a senior at Syracuse, and I always… I’ll be quite honest, football was… When you do the top three: Baseball, basketball, football; football was the bottom. I was always a baseball player, so that’s been my bread and butter. Although funny enough, I’ve never covered baseball, even though that is the sport that I know the most about, I’ve never really covered that in any capacity of…

0:44:01 SJ: Yeah, that’s your go-to and that’s the thing you haven’t covered. That’s pretty funny, right?

0:44:06 SM: Yeah. Basketball, I grew up… I loved college basketball, I loved Syracuse basketball, even before I went there. The NCAA tournament is my favorite time of year. I love March Madness, that is my favorite thing. I grew up a Knicks fan, and so… Unfortunately. But I love… My dad’s favorite sport is basketball. So he was always like, “Oh, I wish you played basketball,” which I did, I played in high school, but I was way better at baseball. And so football was always like… Yes, it was sort of like, if you like the other two, then you would like football. And so I watched it. But for the most part, it was the last on my list of things to cover. So it’s been an interesting experience for me. One, even the guy who was texting me, who is a scout here, he… I asked him last year when I came in to cover the Rams, I was like, “Look, I really wanna get to know the Xs and Os of this game. Can you help me?” And he would sit with me and watch film with me and get…

0:45:01 SJ: Yeah, that’s what I was gonna say, you’re watching film. [chuckle] Yeah, that’s awesome, that’s great. I mean, you wanna learn as much as you can to be as knowledgeable as you can, for when you get in the booth up there to call the games. [laughter]

0:45:14 SM: So I think that’s kind of been a great asset for me because I was able to learn via a team like this, who has great people on the team, but also around it. So again, a scout, like this, who was a former NFL quarterback, and he played for the Jets, he’s back… Quarterback for the Jets, but I’m learning from guys…

0:45:36 SJ: Who is that?

0:45:38 SM: Tory Woodbury, shoutout to [0:45:41] ____ Inglewood, but…

0:45:43 SJ: Cool. Yeah, Tory, yeah. Funny story about… Funny story about Syracuse. I went there for their basketball camp for Jim Boeheim’s basketball camp one time. And those stairs from that one dorm, I guess, which probably like the… Yeah, those stairs, we used to have to go back and forth multiple times to the Carrier Dome. I’m like, “These stairs are unbelievable.” That was quite the work out.

0:46:05 SM: I hurt my back, my freshman year, racing a kid who was on the track team at Syracuse ’cause I was an idiot. And so I [0:46:13] ____ stairs, and I actually threw out my back. I actually became really good friends with a running back who played for Syracuse for a couple years and he transferred to Delaware. And this guy, Kareem White, or Kareem… Oh God, what was his last name? I’m even blanking, but Kareem, I was walking so slowly into a class my freshman year, because I had thrown out my back. I was wearing sweatpants and a hoodie, and he was like, “Do you play on one of the teams here at Syracuse?” And I was just like, “No.” And he goes, “You’re walking very slowly and you look like you’re… ”

0:46:48 SJ: “Yeah, I had a real competitive race.” [chuckle]

0:46:50 SM: And Kareem ended up helping me. I ended up tutoring the athletes. He was like, “You’re really smart. You should tutor the athletes, since you were an athlete and not playing for any sports here,” but. So I ended up tutoring the athletes at Syracuse. One, because I just ended up making friends with a lot of the guys on the team, so.

0:47:05 SJ: And how big is the Carrier Dome? I think they had over… It was almost 30 basketball courts that they were able to put inside of the Carrier Dome from when I went there for camp, just ’cause… Because it’s so gigantic, when you open that thing up. They only use half of it when they play basketball, right? Don’t they cut off some of it?

0:47:24 SM: Yeah, it’s weird. They definitely…

0:47:26 SJ: It’s gigantic. They need a new stadium. [laughter]

0:47:29 SM: Yeah, they do. But they… I think they’re working on things. But yeah, they split it in half, and it’s super weird because if you go to a Duke game, or a UNC game, or a big rival game…

0:47:43 SJ: The local games.

0:47:45 SM: The guys all the way on the top are literally… I don’t even know how that view works, but…

0:47:47 SJ: How you can even see, yeah. It’s one of those old school stadiums. You know what I mean? They’re like, “We’re gonna build this thing once, and we’re gonna build it huge,” so. [chuckle] But listen, we gotta wrap up, and I know that you gotta get back to work. You gotta go tell those people, “Listen, I’m loud. That’s what I am. Alright?” So.

0:48:06 SM: I’m like, [0:48:08] ____ “Sorry, guys.”

0:48:09 SJ: Listen, when you come back, when the season’s over and you come back to check on your apartment that you’re subleasing… No, I’m just kidding, I know that that’s probably all done… We’d love to connect with you and meet you in person. Obviously you have a great story, it’s really amazing to hear stories like this and kinda what our show is all about. So we would love to connect with you when you come back, and obviously continue to further our relationship.

0:48:38 SM: Yeah, no, that’d be great. Thank you for listening, and for making everyone else listen here, too.

[laughter]

0:48:42 CH: Yeah, exactly.

0:48:44 SJ: Alright, well, good luck with the season. Good luck with your new guy out there, hopefully. Did he show up in the Brink’s truck or no? He didn’t show up in the Brink’s truck. Brink’s truck’s coming soon, no. I hear they’re working on the Brink’s truck, it’s coming soon. Working on that long-term deal.

0:48:58 SM: Yeah, well, I have no word yet, but hopefully I will be one of the first to find that out.

0:49:05 CH: Should be any day, I’m sure, so. Sarina, thank you so much for joining us. And we’re gonna keep following you, and good luck this season with the Rams.

0:49:13 SM: Thank you, guys.

0:49:14 SJ: Thank you.

0:49:14 CH: Thanks, Sarina.

0:49:16 SM: Bye.

0:49:17 SJ: Alright, so that was Sarina Morales. Amazing story, I’ve been wanting to get her on for a long time. Our producer here, Tori… Tori, say hello.

0:49:29 Tori: Hi, guys.

0:49:31 SJ: Was able to actually get her on, which was awesome. I think it might be the Puerto Rican thing, I don’t know, maybe she knows the Puerto Rican thing, I think. I don’t know, so. But yeah, that was awesome, man. What do you think, Chase?

0:49:42 CH: I love her, she’s great.

0:49:44 SJ: Yeah, what a story.

0:49:45 CH: I love… Dude, her story…

0:49:46 SJ: I told you.

0:49:46 CH: Unbelievable. Every…

0:49:47 SJ: It was funny ’cause Chase said to me, he’s like, “I don’t know anything about this woman,” before the show. And I knew you were gonna love her story.

0:49:54 CH: There’s no way you could’ve told me her story and been accurate with it. So many things happened. She’s cool.

0:50:00 SJ: Yeah, she’s great. Yeah, she’s cool as shit. I can’t wait to connect with her when she comes to New York.

0:50:02 CH: Very cool. Love her. Love her. Big fan.

0:50:05 SJ: Alright. So now, what time of the show is it, Chase? What time is it? Please tell the people what time it is.

0:50:09 CH: Mack Move or Wack Move.

0:50:11 SJ: That is right. That’s the part of our show where we have Tori read some topics that are going on within the business world, and we decide to vote whether it is a Mack Move or a Wack Move. Tori, are you ready?

0:50:20 Tori: I’m ready.

0:50:20 SJ: Alright, go ahead.

0:50:20 Tori: Okay. Topic number one; Mattel releases their first gender-neutral doll called the Creatable World Doll. So the doll can be either a boy, a girl, neither, or both. The doll can transform and adapt, according to the kid’s every whim. And it comes, resembling like a seven-year-old kid with short hair, but it also comes with a wig of long hair, a wardrobe of trendy clothing, including hoodies, sneakers, graphic t-shirts in gender-neutral colors, and also tutus and camo pants. So it’s kind of like a create-your-own doll.

0:51:05 SJ: Chase, because this is such a hot topic, political thing, I’m gonna put you out on the ledge and let you go ahead and go with this one first. Go ahead, what do you got?

0:51:16 CH: I really… So the Mack Move or the Wack Move is, “Do I think this is a good idea for the company to have the doll, to create this doll?” Or is it like, “Would I use the doll? Would I give it to my kids?” ‘Cause I…

0:51:26 SJ: No, it’s, “Do you think it’s a good idea?” No, it’s a… Do you think it’s a good idea for them to be doing this?

0:51:30 CH: I just don’t think that within that community of people that identify as that, I do think that mental illnesses is higher, if I’m not… So I wanna give my kids a chance to just have regular lives, but I will love my kids, regardless. So if that’s what they wanna play with, I’m not gonna say no. I’m not gonna be like… You know what I mean?

0:51:50 SJ: “Kobe!” Yeah, you were right with that one.

[overlapping conversation]

0:51:51 CH: Yeah, I’m middle of the road, but… I’m not gonna…

0:51:55 SJ: No, I hear what you’re saying. Maybe, maybe it’s a little too young to be introducing that. I’m not sure.

0:52:03 CH: I’m not gonna do it personally, but if that’s what they wanna play with, I’m not gonna say no. I love my kids, if I have kids. I don’t have kids, I don’t have kids.

0:52:09 SJ: Well, as always, whenever we… You got no babies? You got no babies?

0:52:11 CH: No, no babies. So I don’t know.

0:52:11 SJ: Alright. Whenever we go this route, I always like to take the business angle, right, ’cause that’s what we are, we’re kind of a business podcast and we’re talking about it, everybody’s talking about it. So it’s obviously a Mack Move in my mind, because they’re making a move that’s putting them… Regardless of if they sell a lot or not, people are gonna talk about it, right? I don’t think that people are gonna ban them from it. You can’t be like, “Oh, you’re no longer gonna let your kid play with dolls.”

0:52:40 CH: Well, I don’t think they were the first to do this. I think Barbie did this like last year.

0:52:45 Tori: Well, Barbie is part of Mattel.

0:52:47 SJ: Yeah, it’s the same thing. It’s the same thing.

0:52:49 CH: So they’re gonna keep talking about the same thing?

0:52:52 SJ: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

0:52:53 CH: Okay. Alright, cool.

0:52:53 SJ: Tori, what do you got?

0:52:55 Tori: I think it’s the Mack Move. It’s kind of like, it reminds me of Choose Your Own Adventure.

0:53:00 SJ: Yep.

0:53:00 Tori: And so you can have a boy or a girl doll, or you could just… It changes on your mood or… It’s play.

0:53:06 SJ: To be honest with you, as a parent, it’s more cost-effective, to be honest, because now you don’t have to buy two. You see what I’m saying?

0:53:14 Tori: I agree.

0:53:14 CH: Yeah.

0:53:14 SJ: If you had three dolls and you want two to be girls, one to be a boy or whatever you wanna be, you can switch. Fluctuations, you know what I mean? So…

0:53:22 CH: Sure.

0:53:22 SJ: What?

0:53:24 S5: Phone died.

0:53:26 SJ: Phone died?

0:53:26 S5: Yeah.

0:53:26 SJ: Well, that’s brutal. Alright, well… Alright, so that one we did, we’re gonna go with… Next, we’re gonna go with topic number two, Tori, that we can’t see, but we can hear.

0:53:39 Tori: So topic number two; Uber launches an Uber Works app to make it easier for people to find temporary shifts for work, like bartending, warehouse work and commercial cleaning. It’ll help businesses increase staff during busy times, and make scheduling more efficient for employers.

0:53:57 SJ: Alright, so this is like gig work. Meaning, you’re not looking for a long-time employment, it’s more or less like…

0:54:05 Tori: Contract-based.

0:54:05 SJ: Yeah. Like, “This person called out. We need to find somebody tonight, go on to the Uber app and do it.” Part of me wants to say, “Uber, stay in your goddamn lane, just stick to what you do.” But then the other part of me is like, “Uber, you got so much money, you can kinda do whatever the hell you want. So if there’s a lot of money in this, then go for it.” So, two in a row, I’m going Mack Move.

0:54:26 CH: Yeah.

0:54:26 SJ: What do you got?

0:54:27 CH: I think they’re laying their chips out there because right now, I think Uber is not having the best time. I think there’s pushback in California against these ride-sharing apps, they’re setting low… So they’re kinda in some hot water and they’re just putting their chips out there. I don’t see anything wrong with it, I think it’s a Mack Move.

0:54:43 SJ: Yeah.

0:54:45 CH: I like it. Tori, gig economy?

0:54:47 Tori: I’d say Mack Move, just because it sounds like they’re throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what’ll stick. And if it sticks, great.

0:54:54 SJ: Yeah, and they got the money to do it, and they got the money to do it.

0:54:55 CH: This is the gig economy, right?

0:54:56 SJ: Yeah.

0:54:56 Tori: Right.

0:54:56 CH: That’s what they’re calling. It’s like kids nowadays, they jump from job to job.

0:55:00 SJ: Yeah. Yup, alright, cool. That was topic two, topic number three?

0:55:05 Tori: So this is kind of a weird one; A London distillery called Glenlivet has created glassless cocktails, alcoholic capsules that resemble Tide Pods.

0:55:18 SJ: I don’t know about this, it’s…

0:55:23 CH: Business… From a business perspective, it’s cheap, right? I mean they’re using seaweed and you could just buy ’em for a dollar at the counter.

0:55:27 SJ: I guess so, but I could see it being… I could totally see these college kids just being like, “Bro, I dropped 20.”

[chuckle]

0:55:36 SJ: It’s just weird, I don’t know it just looks strange, yeah.

0:55:38 CH: Well, you can’t stop that, but…

0:55:39 SJ: Yeah, they’re gonna do that no matter what. I know, I know.

0:55:40 CH: You’re gonna do that no matter what, take it to the max.

0:55:43 SJ: I don’t know, it look… It does look like a Tide Pod. I’m a little concerned, being a dad about the safety issues behind this. I mean, if kids are eating Tide Pods, you know what I mean, they’re gonna be eating this shit, too, right?

0:55:57 CH: Well, that’s the point, right? That you…

0:56:00 SJ: Yeah, but not children.

0:56:01 CH: But oh, like little kids?

0:56:01 SJ: Yeah, I’m just saying… I don’t know, I don’t know.

0:56:05 CH: I don’t think they’re gonna… I think they’re…

0:56:06 SJ: I like that they’re going for it.

0:56:08 CH: Yeah, alright.

0:56:11 SJ: I like that they’re going for it.

0:56:11 CH: Yeah, I’m going Mack Move.

0:56:11 SJ: Yeah, I’ll go Mack Move, too. I like that they’re going… It is kinda weird, though. I don’t think that… Would you consume it?

0:56:17 CH: I’ll try it.

0:56:18 SJ: Hell yeah, you would, you’d bring a bag of those sons of bitches to the movies with you.

0:56:20 CH: This is where I see this working, okay? You’re on the way to the bar and you’re with your buddies in the back of an Uber and you’re like, “I got like five Tide Pods full of whiskey. Let’s rip these before we go in.” And that’s where it’s better than nips because there’s no bottle to throw away.

0:56:36 SJ: Yeah, yeah, that’s true.

0:56:36 CH: It’s better for the environment, too, so…

0:56:37 SJ: Airplanes, maybe, it would work well on airplanes, as well. Right?

0:56:42 CH: Definitely.

0:56:42 SJ: What do you think, Tori?

0:56:43 CH: I love it.

0:56:43 Tori: Well, I was gonna go Wack Move, but now I think you just changed my mind, yeah.

[laughter]

0:56:47 SJ: I can do that.

0:56:48 Tori: Just ease like in Uber, it’s like that really… I relate to that.

0:56:50 CH: Well, we changed her mind, bro.

0:56:52 SJ: Yeah, see that? My whole question is this though: If you get pulled over with that thing, is that like… It’s obviously not an open container. It’s not like it’s… You know what I mean? If you have a beer…

0:57:04 CH: No, it’s a one and done… It’s like you can’t… It’s not open because there’s no opening it, you eat it.

0:57:08 SJ: “Look, bro, I got a bag of these babies, let’s go!” [chuckle] But then also, it really does kinda create a black market for this type of shit too though, right? I mean, maybe, I don’t know, we’ll see. Alright, next topic?

0:57:20 Tori: Alright. Topic number four; LeBron James makes comments in favor of the Chinese government following the controversy that arose when the Rockets GM tweeted in support of the Hong Kong protesters. The tweets ended up being taken down, but the Rockets lost several sponsorships and China refused to broadcast two preseason games.

0:57:43 SJ: Did you know that the Rockets… I mean of all teams to do this, right? If the guy that runs the Grizzlies did this… Wait, are they… Yeah. If that happened, or the guy that runs the Sixers did this, not a problem. You know why the problem is that it’s Houston, that’s the most popular team in China because of your boy.

0:58:01 CH: Yao Ming?

0:58:02 SJ: Yao Ming, which I’m gonna be honest with you, where is that 7’7″ mofo? Have you heard him make a statement?

0:58:11 CH: No.

0:58:11 SJ: Can he make a statement, please?

0:58:12 CH: I don’t think he makes statements.

0:58:14 SJ: He needs to make a statement.

0:58:15 CH: I don’t think he makes statements.

0:58:17 SJ: Do they not have a microphone that can reach that tall sumbitch?

0:58:18 CH: I think he’s good, he’s good, he’s good. He doesn’t wanna… Yeah.

0:58:20 SJ: He’s like, “I’m good, I got nothing to do with this.”

0:58:22 CH: Yao Ming has never spoken… I’ve never heard Yao Ming talk, to be honest with you.

0:58:25 SJ: Alright. Sorry to sidetrack us here, ’cause this isn’t about Yao Ming, this is about LeBron James.

0:58:31 CH: What is the Mack Move or Wack Move? Can you ask him? Can you describe it?

0:58:34 SJ: Yeah, it’s whether like LeBron doing this, LeBron doing this.

0:58:39 CH: Okay, okay.

0:58:39 SJ: Do you think that it’s a Wack Move or a Mack Move that he’s doing this?

0:58:42 CH: Alright.

0:58:43 SJ: Basically, do you think that when he talks about social issues, that he talks about, which he does often, and I admire him for that, and I love that he does that, because he’s using his platform, which he should be able to do. The only thing I will say where I come to his defense is the safety aspect, and that’s what he should’ve been upset about, he should’ve been upset about the safety aspect. They were practicing, and they had to shut their practice off so they could go on the field and sand down the logos to take… I mean, off the court. So they canceled their practice, they’re out there practicing, and they’re like, “Yeah, you guys gotta get off the court because we have to sand these logos off because we don’t even want your logos on when we do this game.” That’s how bad it was. So the safety issue behind it, I get. As far as him financially, I think that’s a total Wack Move. How much money do you need, bro? And they’re burning his jersey in Korea… In Hong Kong, so. Sir?

0:59:38 CH: Yeah. I think it’s bad for his brand, both in the US and in China, so it’s a Wack Move…

0:59:45 SJ: Yeah. Yep. True that.

0:59:46 CH: From a business perspective.

0:59:48 SJ: Tori?

0:59:50 Tori: I’m gonna go Mack Move on this.

0:59:52 SJ: Ooh!

0:59:53 CH: Whoa.

0:59:54 Tori: From a business standpoint, it sounds like he was kind of trying to mend severed ties with China. I’m wondering if the NBA put him up to making that statement.

1:00:08 SJ: Well, no, because David Silver, the Head of the NBA, the guy that runs it, the president, was actually there and he wanted the players to actually stand up for their democracy and be their voice, and the players are like, “We’re not doing that.” And he understood, “Okay, well then you guys don’t have to speak.” My whole thing is this: I find the NBA at fault for this, I find… Obviously not… I don’t wanna say the players, but they’re gonna get paid when they get paid. But the thing is, the NBA, when you go into bed with a dictatorship, and you go into bed with this type of… What do you think is gonna happen? That’s definitely what’s gonna happen. You know what I mean? There’s gonna be issues like this.

1:00:49 CH: I don’t know if you could fault them for going into business with China. You have to go…

1:00:54 SJ: I’m just saying, bro.

1:00:55 CH: They’re huge, they’re one of the biggest economies in the world.

1:00:57 SJ: I get it, but do you have to…

1:00:58 CH: I don’t think you’re like “NBA, bad, shame on you for going into business with China.”

1:01:01 SJ: No, but I’m just saying, when you do that, these type of things happen.

1:01:05 CH: Yeah.

1:01:05 SJ: Right?

1:01:06 CH: Okay, yeah.

1:01:07 SJ: It’s what happens.

1:01:08 CH: Well, you take a chance when you go into business with someone, so…

1:01:12 SJ: Well, not just someone, but like a dictatorship. You know what I’m saying?

1:01:17 CH: Yeah.

1:01:17 SJ: Like the way that they are. Eventually those people are gonna revolt. You should know that, believe that. Alright, next topic?

1:01:24 Tori: So fifth and final topic, this is my favorite; The Calm app, which is an app for sleep and meditation help, partners with ROOM, a company that makes soundproof booths for private work in open offices, to create a $4,000 meditation booth to place in offices. The Calm booth is a standard room booth complete with softer lighting, a soothing misty forest interior to create a soothing atmosphere.

1:01:57 CH: Scott, you need this.

1:01:57 SJ: I do. [chuckle]

1:01:57 CH: You need this.

1:01:58 SJ: If we had this at the office, if we had this at the office, every 20 minutes, somebody would be like, “Yo, go in the booth, bro. Go in the booth and just chill. Get a rainforesty feeling, just chill, bro.” Four grand seems like a lot. How about a bean bag and maybe some headphones? I don’t know.

1:02:18 CH: It’s not the same though.

1:02:21 SJ: Well, listen, I like the concept.

1:02:22 CH: A beanbag and headphones is not the same as a foresty feel.

1:02:25 Tori: No. Yeah.

1:02:25 SJ: I feel that it’s a little overpriced, that’s all I’m saying. That’s all I’m saying.

1:02:30 CH: You pay for quality.

1:02:32 SJ: And then what?

1:02:32 CH: It’s an immersive experience.

1:02:33 SJ: And then what? I send you in there because you’re all upset about something, then I walk in there, and you’re fricking scrolling though your Facebook? I’m not down with that.

1:02:41 CH: That’s… See, that’s the problem.

1:02:42 SJ: That’s the problem. And that’s why as an employer, I’m going Wack Move on it, right, but a Mack Move in my house. Mack Move in my house, Wack Move at the office. Chase?

1:02:55 CH: For guys who… I don’t have a 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM job. This job is my 24 hours around the clock.

1:03:00 SJ: Oh, yeah.

1:03:01 CH: I’m always… I eat, sleep, dream Mack Media Group.

1:03:04 SJ: Poos, he poos a double M. [chuckle]

1:03:05 CH: Alright. So for me, I feel like this would be a great thing for people like that, that never have… That don’t work 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, that can… Because at that point, when you’re working like that, then you should have breaks.

1:03:20 SJ: Yeah.

1:03:20 CH: You should have several breaks throughout the day.

1:03:21 SJ: Yep.

1:03:22 CH: So if this is a 10-minute thing and it’s in-between, then…

1:03:25 SJ: Alright, so I’m down if you work 12 hours… If you work 12 hour days, I’m down, I’m down for you to go in there.

1:03:29 CH: I’m down.

1:03:30 SJ: It’s gotta count as one of your 15-minute breaks though.

1:03:32 CH: You should have breaks, otherwise you’re gonna burn out.

1:03:34 SJ: I’m just joking. Tori, what do you got?

1:03:36 Tori: I’m gonna go Mack Move.

1:03:38 CH: Yeah, you’re crazy for saying Wack Move.

[chuckle]

1:03:40 SJ: No, I’m an employer, bro.

1:03:41 CH: Just crazy, bro.

1:03:41 SJ: I’m an employer. Bad enough I gotta deal with people having to go and sit on the toilet for 45 minutes and look at their phone. Not calling out anybody’s name, but I’m just saying.

1:03:51 CH: What if just me and you could use it? What if it was just for me and you?

1:03:53 SJ: Well, I… Bro, I don’t know that we have that type of relationship that me and you are just gonna go in there and cuddle. Is that what you’re trying to say?

1:04:00 CH: Woah! I…

1:04:00 SJ: I don’t even know what you’re trying to say.

1:04:01 CH: No, for me and you to use separately.

1:04:01 Tori: I like this for the… [chuckle]

1:04:03 SJ: First you hit on Tori…

1:04:04 CH: Separately.

1:04:04 SJ: First you hit on Tori when you said that you had the white claws under your pillow, and now you wanna snuggle with me, bro. Chill, dude, just chill.

1:04:10 CH: Yeah, but somebody might catch a fricking valentine to the face.

1:04:13 SJ: Alright, [1:04:14] ____. What were you gonna say?

1:04:15 Tori: I like this for all of the office criers that won’t have to cry in the bathroom anymore. [chuckle]

1:04:22 SJ: Yes, yeah.

1:04:23 CH: Woah.

1:04:23 SJ: We don’t have any of those though.

1:04:24 Tori: I know that’s a big thing.

1:04:25 SJ: We don’t have any of those.

1:04:26 Tori: No, you don’t, no.

1:04:26 SJ: No, everybody loves us, so.

1:04:27 CH: Whoa, office criers.

1:04:28 Tori: None of those at Mack Media.

1:04:29 SJ: So that is gonna wrap up Mack Move or Wack Move. I have a gentleman patiently waiting for me out in the lobby, so I’m going to go and assist him with what he needs. Real quick though, I just wanna touch on one thing really quick, and then you’re gonna have to close out Sarina ’cause we gotta give all of her handles and everything like that, if you have it. If you don’t, then you’re unprepared.

1:04:47 CH: Well, he’s recording Tori with my phone right now.

1:04:49 SJ: Oh okay, well then we’re screwed.

1:04:51 CH: No, I can still… I know…

1:04:52 SJ: Tori can do it.

1:04:53 CH: Hey, guess what? Hey, guess what? I have it memorized.

1:04:55 SJ: Okay.

1:04:55 CH: Yeah.

1:04:56 SJ: Alright cool. Listen, real quick, Brian, our intern, love him, climbing the ranks, great kid. His outfit is on fleek today. So is Brian’s outfit a Wack Move or a Mack Move? Mack Move for Brian. What do you got? I’m not… I’m usually a no sock… I don’t like people that wear no socks, I don’t like that look. But on Brian, with that hair and that fade, that boy is sharp. I like that boy.

1:05:25 CH: Mack Move.

1:05:26 SJ: Mack Move. What do you got?

1:05:27 Tori: Unanimous Mack Move, of course.

1:05:28 SJ: That boy, that boy, Brian. So…

1:05:30 CH: He’s looking sharp.

1:05:30 SJ: Yeah. Alright, so that’s gonna conclude us. Tori, can you… Do you have that or no? Or Chase, do you have it memorized?

1:05:37 CH: I do.

1:05:37 SJ: No, you don’t.

1:05:38 CH: Yeah, I do.

1:05:38 SJ: Alright, go ahead.

1:05:39 CH: I know all of her tags, that’s really all I need to know, the rest is easy.

1:05:42 SJ: Spit it. Spit it.

1:05:42 CH: So if you wanna follow Sabrina on Instagram…

1:05:45 SJ: Sabrina? Holy shit! You have it memorized? You don’t even have her goddamn name right. Alright, go ahead, Sarina.

1:05:50 CH: Alright, we can edit that out. [chuckle] If you wanna follow Sarina Morales on Instagram, it’s @moralesmorales, @morales, that’s twice, on Instagram. On Facebook, you can just search her up, Sarina Morales. And then on Twitter, it’s @sarina.

1:06:10 SJ: Just @sarina?

1:06:10 CH: Yes.

1:06:11 SJ: Yep.

1:06:11 CH: And then for Mack… So if you got… Want… Oh, she also has a website, www.sarinamorales.com. And then as always guys, please leave us a review on iTunes. If you love our content, give us a like on Facebook, subscribe to us on YouTube, follow us on Instagram @macktalks. And that’s it, we’re out.

1:06:34 SJ: That’s it. Tori, say goodbye.

1:06:36 CH: Thanks guys.

1:06:36 Tori: Bye, guys.

1:06:36 SJ: Alright, bye-bye.

1:06:37 CH: Love you.

1:06:38 SJ: Love you.

[music]