Michelle Beadle On Working With Chandler Parsons: ‘He Says These Things And I Genuinely Think He Believes Them’

Michelle Beadle pictured on her Fan Duel TV show

It kind of blows my mind to say this, but I’ve been blogging away on this website for almost 14 years.

One of my favorite things about my job is when I get the chance to interview someone whose career orbital path intersects with what we cover here on BroBible: Sports, the media, movies, culture at large. You know, the whole gamut.

Such is the case with my recent conversation with Michelle Beadle.

We’ve probably blogged about Beadle saying this or that dozens of times at BroBibe over the years. She’s been a fixture in the national sports media landscape since around the same time we started out. Beadle’s tenure on SportsNation started in 2009, right around the time we started this website and gaining sports blogosphere momentum of our own.

Beadle is currently the host of Run It Back on FanDuel TV, a thrice-a-week NBA round table with Shams Charania, Chandler Parsons, and Eddie Gonzalez. The show airs at 10am ET / 7am PT. Full episodes are available to watch on the FanDuel YouTube.

When I ask Michelle Beadle about her new gig working with Chandler Parsons, she sighs and rolls her eyes simultaneously.

“Oh, Chandler…” she exhales.

If you’re familiar with her work as a broadcaster over the years, you can probably imagine exactly how she said it.

The chemistry on Run It Back is combustible. The gang tackles the league’s day-to-day talking points, with Parsons’ leading the charge when it comes to steamy hot soundbytes that stir the proverbial pot. For example, he recently ticked off baseball purists when he called Lebron’s recent NBA points record “more impressive than the most home runs or the most touchdowns.”

I recently caught up with Beadle to talk about working with Parsons on the new show. We covered a lot of ground in our 30-minute conversation, including thoughts on new broadcasting formats like the Manning-cast, her recent work in the F1 world, and why NBA on TNT simply can’t be replicated.

What’s it like to work with Chandler Parsons on Run It Back

Chandler’s been taking strays this week. And honestly, bringing upon himself.

He is living my dream, to be quite honest. He went out there, he crushed it. He got all the money, and now he’s just living his best life. Brand new baby, got married. He’s just doing something different every day. Different city in the world.

And then saying shit that is pissing everybody off.

He just gets to be a troll, right?

He gets to be, and he enjoys it, but the thing is, he’s very candid. It’s not forced. There are people in this business that troll and I don’t even think they believe what they’re saying, right?

I guess it’s how it works – it’s beyond me, but it continues to work.

I don’t think that’s Chandler. I think when Chandler says something, he genuinely believes it, whether you agree with him or not. And so he’s been such a great part of this.

When I said yes to do this, I didn’t know it was Chandler and Eddie. I knew Shams. Shams and I talked a little before decisions were made final.

And I was like, “Yeah no, I’m in.” Then they told us about Chandler and Eddie. I was like, “Oh this ought to be interesting.” And sure enough, like as people have gotten more comfortable, it’s become more and more like a real show. A show where you’re, “Okay, I have no idea what you’re about to say.”

That’s the perfect kind of show that I want to be part of.

What’s ruffled the most feathers so far?

It’s 100% happened recently.

LeBron had that epic tantrum meltdown over the weekend. We obviously had fun with that. I’ve never seen anything like it.

I had been thinking about inappropriate things the whole time. I didn’t say any of ’em out loud.

Chandler comes out with, “Well, the mailman could run over my French bulldog right now, and I would not react like that.”

For some reason that got picked up like a mother. Everybody picked it up: Shannon Sharpe, Eddie Johnson, etc.

People were mad. First of all his, dog is doing quite well and fine, thank you. He’s okay. I’m pretty sure he loves his French bulldog, but it was crazy how many people picked up on that.

I was just like, “What have you done? What have you done?” A few weeks ago he said that Yuta Watanabe should not be in the 3-Point contest, because he can’t handle that pressure. That pissed off a bunch of people.

Why are you picking on Yuta, dude? So yeah, he says these things and I genuinely think he believes them. And sometimes people react, it’s perfect.

Hey look, that’s a good product.

Look, if that’s what he thinks, that’s what he thinks.

I can’t argue with it. I don’t think he gets up in the morning and thinks like what can go viral today?

I think he’s just being himself and sometimes it hits.

What’s an NBA storyline that needs some sunshine?

Oh, are you giving me choices?

No, I’m not gonna give you choices.

Oh, okay. Okay, okay.

To me, you know what I love. Here in San Antonio, we just played Sacramento last night, and I love this story. It was hard because it’s like, “Yeah, I obviously want the Spurs to win the game, but I also love this King story of this season so far.” ‘Cause, look, there’s no expectations for the Sacramento Kings. Not yet.

Anyway, Mike Brown getting over there, we’re like, “All right, this could be the beginning of something. We’ll see what happens.” But nobody could see, like, Sabonis just blossoming [chuckle] in a way that he has blossomed. And they’re so likable. I think the idea that we might possibly have two Sacramento Kings in the All-Star game is mind blowing given where they were a year, two years, three years ago. The last 16 years, frankly. There’s just this upcoming, these up and coming teams that I think are so… Like the Memphis of the world.

I know New Orleans has dropped, but I still believe they’re part of that conversation of teams that we’re like, “All right, this is the future.” Oklahoma City’s gonna be a team that we’re like, “They’re on their way to doing something.”

I love the sort of changing of the guard. Look, especially in Oklahoma City case, you’ve spent so many years “tanking and building up this stash of picks.” To see this actually come to fruition possibly will be remarkable. So in a way, I hope it does.

I’m obviously not rooting for other teams, obviously, but it’s fun to watch. Small market, small market for the win.

Hey look, and that’s the great thing about the NBA. They embrace small markets. 

They have to. Good Lord. There are only so many big markets like after that, now what?

There’s been a ton of format changes to live sports broadcasts over the last 10 years. The Manning-Cast, etc. I think they’re calling it the Twitch-ification of live sports. I’d love to hear your thoughts on some of these new formats. 

You know it’s funny. When I was at ESPN, we did a few of the first ones they tried. These were sidecasts of the College National Championship Games.

Was that the one with Johnny Manziel?

No, I did one before him. We had like Bill Walton out there.

Oh, wow.

Yeah, it was a bizarre group of humans. Keyshawn might have been out there with it. It was just weird.

I did something like that this year with F1.

With Amazon, you would watch the feed, the normal feed, you would mute it and then you would turn us on and it would be me, Kid Mero and Will Arnett, and we would just be talking through the race. It’s just an option. We have all these streaming services, which we all have a thousand of.

We have so many, too many, I would argue at points, options of doing things that it’s like our attention spans are such that it’s not good enough anymore that I just merely watch the game and listen to whoever’s doing it. No, no. I need options for what my ears are also gonna hear or what my eyes will watch on the side of the actual live game that I’m watching.

I think it’s a testament to where our attention spans are as people. There’s such fast progress that we’re having in technology. I think the Manning Cast works, but it’s 100% because of who it is. Not every one of these works. I’ve seen a few where I’m like, “You couldn’t pay me to watch that person.”

Did you like doing it for F1?

I did. Look, I don’t know about everybody else who’s ever been a part of one of those, but you’re 100% internal monologue going, “What are we doing? What are we doing? Why are we doing this? What is this? Why are we… Okay?”

But then you catch yourself because now you’re just in it, you’re watching it, the sporting event, like you would’ve been doing anyways. And you’re talking about it like you would’ve been doing anyways had you had people over. It just happens to be being broadcast. It’s so bizarre, but I like it. It’s an option.

I’m really excited about the Vegas race. Are you going to dabble back in that world again?

Yeah. We all hope so. We had a good time. I know they did too. I know the company had a good time doing it, and it’s obviously such a hot commodity right now.

I think the Amazon people would like to stay as close to F1 as possible. That bidding war will be interesting when that deal comes up again. It wasn’t just a chance to go watch something that I’m a brand new fan of. I mean, when’s the last time you were a brand-new fan of anything? Like, to learn something from scratch? It’s fun, right?

It’s fun to do new things! 

Yeah. Everything else in sports, we kind of know. We may not know it a lot, but we know.

F1 is just a brand new blank canvas. So, yeah, I would 100%. I loved working with Will Arnett. I loved working with Kid Mero. Yeah, we got to see beautiful parts of the world.

What’s to say no to? That’s like a no-brainer. I’m in as long as they’ll do it.

You’ve seen a lot of changes over the years, between like SportsNation and the NBC Sports Network era, then back to ESPN. Is there anything about the kind of big studio show format that you really miss? Maybe miss is the wrong word… 

That I liked?

Yeah. Anything you miss about the SportsNation days?

Look, the SportsNation was a dream job.

No matter what iteration Colin or Marcellus or Max or LZ, it didn’t matter. It was fun. Most of that was because of those people and the people behind the scenes, it was a good group. It was a family feel. And that it never felt like work. Even on days when things got serious, it was comfortable and everyone felt in a safe space, which I hate saying, but they genuinely did.

We were outliers at the time because it was not a thing being done. It was certainly not being done at ESPN. So they left us alone, on an island. It was nice.

NBA Countdown, it was a dream job on paper and it was a dream doing it because of who I got to do it with.

But the way it was done, unfortunately, it’s not like how TNT just owns it. They own that space. The reason they do is because they have allowed that show to marinate over so many years. They’ve allowed those guys to be who they are, to breathe, to be unapologetic of their opinions. Good, bad, and ugly. Ernie’s fantastic.

Yeah, they’re amazing.

A++. And so you see what it takes to make what it looks like on the outside to make that studio show. Like, “Oh my God, they don’t even do anything. They probably just show up.”

No, but that’s the funny thing. There are a lot of people working their asses off behind the scenes to make this show look effortless and easy. It just so happens the four people in front of the camera are also good at what they do.

To me, it’s the holy grail of studio shows and nobody sniffs it. It’s funny because even when I did NBA Countdown, you’re like, “Let us breathe [chuckle], can we just have fun?” Like we had Paul, we had Chauncey, we had Jaylen, I say stupid stuff all the time. We had people with personalities. It just wasn’t the same. It was just different time constraints, different rules, and answering to the league differently than TNT would have. So it takes a special group of executives to allow things like that to become great.

Brandon Wenerd avatar
BroBible's publisher and a founding partner, circa 2009. Brandon is based in Los Angeles, where he oversees BroBible's partnership team and other business development activities. He still loves to write and create content, including subjects related to internet culture, food, live music, Phish, the Grateful Dead, Philly sports, and adventures of all kinds. Email: brandon@brobible.com