You may or may not know this, but Adam Amin is a pretty cool dude.
Whether it’s his immaculate taste in GIFs or a well-crafted bit of snark in a Reddit AMA, Adam has really begun to make a name for himself within the Worldwide Leader’s roster, and we here at Forgotten 5 have definitely noticed.
To wit, I’ve enjoyed watching Adam, his booth-mate Dusty Dvoracek, and Molly McGrath on the sidelines producing some very entertaining game coverage that runs the gamut from explaining an A-gap to begging Molly to make a culinary mess on the sidelines.
We here at Forgotten 5 are always well aware of which games this crew is broadcasting (Friday nights for the foreseeable future if you didn’t know) so that we can have fun every week of the college football season.
We got the chance for a brief chat with Adam in order to satisfy our culinary curiosity and probe a few other extremely crucial topics as well.
Forgotten 5: Adam, tell the truth; do the praying hands still smell… a bit off?
Adam Amin: I’ll simply say that… it’s not really six degrees of separation, more like one degree of separation, and I may or may not know a guy who may have done something to those hands.
(I’m referring of course to the World’s Largest Praying Hands on the campus of Oral Roberts University, heated rival of Adam’s alma mater Valparaiso)
F5: You have a very keen sense of humor (as evidenced by your legendary status as a Reddit CFB AMA god) but I’m curious what ways you find this to be a positive and a negative – both in general, as well as compared to other ESPN folks named Kevin Conners who are less likely to do this?
AA: Well, I started off doing it because I just figured that’s what you do. The fans have questions they want answered so you answer them. Over time, I’ve gotten into it more and enjoyed it.
Kevin Conners is a Sportscenter anchor who’s got his face on a Liberty Mutual commercial. I don’t really have that same kind of brand to worry about, so I have a little more leeway to do those sorts of things.
Maybe that’s… not a negative, but less positive in that it possibly doesn’t get me along that path to wind up at the very top as easily, but I’m quite happy with this path that I’m on and where it has led. It’s a pro for me to be internet meme-savvy.
F5: Are there any unique qualities to having that Friday night slot, and do you want that to continue?
AA: You’ve got a very different audience for a Friday night game. You’ve got the hardcore college football fans, you’ve got the players and coaches who are trapped in their hotel prior to their Saturday game, and you also have the announcers and producers who would be working Saturday and are now spending their Friday night catching some football.
You’ve sort of got what’s now this exclusive window, and I was talking with Dusty recently about how the quality of the matchups in those Friday night games has really picked up in recent years. If that trend continues then I’m definitely not against continuing to call that type of quality matchup.
That’s possibly a byproduct of the schools and conferences now seeing that Friday night window as a bit of a showcase – you’re broadcasting in a very different landscape in terms of the type and size of audience at 7 pm on a Friday than you are at 330 on a Saturday.
But that’s also a product of the change in the landscape. Maybe a decade ago, Thursday night football was a new thing that pulled in viewers, but then the NFL started doing it, which cut into that potential audience some, and now it has shifted to Friday nights with the ACC, the Pac 12, and now even the American getting in on that slot.
F5: Let’s discuss the Foo Fighters for a minute…
AA: They’re probably one of the greatest bands of all time. When you can produce that much music that is that kind of quality for that long, you’ve got hall of fame status in my mind.
F5: Where do you stand in the discussion between fans who continue to enjoy a band over their lifespan and appreciate them trying new things, and those who will shut down on a band once they make something that isn’t like the previous music they loved?
AA: I think I fall in the former camp. I think it’s ok to fall in love with an artists music, or their style, or both, and to fall out of love with those things as well.
Of course, you don’t like their new stuff the same way. You’re a different age now, you’re in a different mood, you’re looking for different things from your music.
It’s not wrong to like what you like and not want something different, but it’s also ok to continue liking someone because they keep changing and you appreciate the changes.
F5: If we have an announcer throwdown/showdown between Joe Tessitore and you impersonating Joe Tessitore, who wins?
AA: I think that I would come in second place and Joe would somehow manage to come in first and third because he’s just that good. It’s been fun seeing him as someone who I first noticed back in probably 2010, and to see his development into a bit of a crowd favorite as well as now a colleague, which is neat.
I think he is a very passionate and knowledgeable guy and that comes across in his broadcast, and it pays off because his audience is in that same vein.
F5: I know you mentioned in a previous conversation with the guys over at Bro Bible that you didn’t really start doing these food segments on purpose, but what has the evolution of those moments looked like?
AA: It started as sort of a happy accident. Our producer, Kim Belton, one of the most creative people I’ve ever met (and I’ve met some creative people), had been getting back into producing college football and looking to do something creative and come in with a bang, so he had the idea to get a cheese plate from one of the well known local places and have it in the booth at one point, and it was a big hit.
In a sense, it was good to have this young and… I guess naive crew of myself, Dusty and Molly who are looking for ways to be creative and engaging and entertaining and are willing to try ideas like this.
The next week we were in Mobile, AL and there wasn’t really any restaurant we were dying to find out about or to push on the broadcast, so we left it and then by the time we got to El Paso the next week we had four or five different places yelling at us to come eat or to have our food on air. So it’s not necessarily something that we’re trying to turn into a series that happens regularly, but it’s good to know that it works for our audience.
It’s not always great though. When we were in Las Vegas, Molly (McGrath) actually has a shellfish allergy so here we are saying to Molly “hey, here’s a literal Cup of Death, try not to inhale the fumes.” That one required an apology during the commercial break.
It’s nice to have as a Plan Z. Obviously, you would rather have a situation where it’s a great matchup like Washington State and USC (the game Adam called in Week 5) and you’ve got a game that is competitive throughout and keeps your audience engaged, but not every game can be like that.
It’s kind of nice to have this sort of idea in your back pocket that you know has worked in the past and can be available again if the game at hand gets a little sideways.
Many thanks to Adam for the opportunity to talk with him. He said that he likely won’t know until June as to what his regular “beat” will be for college football broadcasts. It’s also a bit too soon to start speculating where he might work if he did, but I’m personally keeping my fingers crossed for San Diego State at Stanford now that it has been shifted to a Friday night game.
Oh, and you’ll want to be sure to follow @adamamin and @DustyDvoracek on Twitter – they occasionally have very spart opinions about things.