Know Your Orioles Podcast: Catching Up With the Guys From Bird's Eye View
March 25, 2014
They've been described lovingly as the "goobriest of goobers." An iTunes reviewer writes that he "Enjoyed the father's perspective as I'm an old guy, too."
Goobers? Old guys? Kind of makes you wonder how Orioles fans Jake English and Scott Magness, the co-hosts of the Bird's Eye View podcast, feel about backhanded compliments.
As it turns out, they're okay with them.
"We are pretty good at not taking ourselves too seriously. I hope that people like our podcast, but I also understand that we're probably not everyone's cup of tea," Jake says. "I'm very appreciative that people listen in each week, and I hope that the show gives listeners a safe place where they can enjoy Orioles fandom. Baseball is supposed to be fun, after all. If we can give people a few laughs and ammunition for their next water cooler/bar stool debate, we've done our jobs."
You don't have to listen to Bird's Eye View for long to realize that the guys make good on their goal of having fun. Now 70 episodes into a podcasting adventure that started in 2012, Jake and Scott provide a mix of content that begins with the "Drink of the Week," continues on to a review of Orioles-related Twitter highlights (@BirdsEyeViewBal), and includes interviews with guests, commentary on matters Oriole and otherwise, and jokes, many of which are served dry.
Bird's Eye View started when Jake was looking for good O's podcasts to listen to for his then hour-plus commute. A quick conversation led Scott to ask, "Why don't we do one?"
"Neither of us may be the brains of the operation, but for that first step, he certainly was the guts," Jake says.
"To be fair, I was fairly intoxicated," Scott adds. "But honestly, it was great opportunity to watch and talk baseball with Jake on a weekly basis. We just recorded it to make fools of ourselves."
With time and experience, the duo says that Bird's Eye View has improved its sound quality and developed a more organized format. Meanwhile, Jake and Scott have gotten more comfortable as hosts.
"I feel like we changed dynamically in 2013," Scott says. "We designed our own site and joined a great group of podcasts with the Baltimore Sports Report Network. We became much more a part of the community rather than two guys sitting on their couch."
"I won't be as arrogant to say that we've gotten better, although listening to some of those early episodes is brutal," Jake says. "I think we've become more confident in our own voice - in our perspective and how to share it. I think we went from 'Hey, this will be fun' to 'Let's try to put together the best show we can.'"
The 2012 season gave Jake and Scott an appreciation for the joy of watching winning baseball at Camden Yards. They are partial season ticket holders and tend to make it to more games than their 13-game Sunday plan provides. The longtime fans have an elevated BOC: Blood Orioles Concentration.
"I love baseball," Jake says. "I can't get it out of my system."
Listening to Bird's Eye View is a bit like chatting with your buddies about the team. Peel back the program's self-deprecating exterior and you'll find two guys who offer solid insight and ample fodder for baseball debate. It's a far cry from an angry talk radio format, both in style and substance. The show serves as the beginning of a conversation rather than an effort to have the final argument.
Back to the goobers and old guys thing.
Additional Bird's Eye View descriptors could include light-hearted, endearing, informed, occasionally off-color, and passionate without pretense. In other words, it's a podcast worth listening to on your own commute, which is exactly what I've started doing.
"Our motto is 'Your official source for a lack of insight and baseless opinion,'" Scott says. "If you want a serious conversation or scoop go follow Roch or Britt. If you want some opinion from guys likely to be in the cheap seats, come listen to us."
Extra Innings with Bird's Eye View
If you could have any member of the Orioles franchise as a guest co-host on your podcast, who would it be? Which one of you would get the boot to make room for the guest host?
Jake: I wouldn't trade Scott for all the Brady Andersons in the world. Besides, there's always room at SD Studios for one more. Also, I would listen to Buck Showalter read the side of a cereal box. He knows his baseball, and he knows how to have fun. He would be a fantastic guest host.
Scott: I would dump Jake for Jim Palmer in a heartbeat. I'd love to hear his stories from baseball to turtles to underwear and how great that journey has been each and everyday. Call me, Jim.
Roch Kubatko vs. Wayne Kirby in an arm wrestling match. Who ya got?
Scott: Kirby wins easily. The only way Roch wins is if he shows up dressed as Lincoln Hawk.
What is the arrangement with the Baltimore Sports Report network? How did that come about?
Jake: Everyone on BSRN is awesome. If you like our show, you should absolutely give those guys a listen. Josh Sroka from Section 336 deserves a lot of the credit for getting it started, as well as Zach Wilt at BSR for making it possible. Basically, we decided to band together as a collection of shows to pool our resources, and build genuine community in the O's blogger/podcaster space. It's still separate shows with their own autonomy and agendas, but we decided that, as a whole, we'd work together rather than think about competing or going alone.
Scott: We're all rooting for the same team. Why not join together like a group of Superfriends ... Our mission: to fight injustice, to right that which is wrong, and to serve all of Birdland!
Why are you an Orioles fan?
Jake: I ask myself this on a nightly basis during the season. I love baseball - I can't get it out of my system. I love that you can put as much into the game as you want, and still get something out of it. You can either think through each pitch as you score the game, or you can have it on as background noise while you play Candyland with your kids (watch out, they cheat). It's three hours of dirt, excitement, and escapism.
As for the Orioles, it's all about the way I was raised. The Orioles are a family thing, and they're an important part of being from this community. Is it possible to be from the Baltimore area and not love the Orioles? Sure. But no child of mine will have such a terrible affliction.
Scott: From playing Tee Ball to collecting baseball cards as a kid, how can you not root for the home team? The good guys should always win. Having a player like Cal be from here and play for the home team really helps as well. I don't know how any kid born from here couldn't root for the Orioles.