Spencer Hall is a successful blogger and one of the most fascinating people to follow on Twitter (@edsbs) because of his irreverent takes and comedic observations about life and his favorite sport: college football.
For almost a decade he has been running Every Day Should be Saturday, a college football blog he started with a friend. Since he sold EDSBS to SB Nation in 2009, he has been the Editorial Director of sbnation.com.
For our latest Five to Thrive, we got a chance to speak with Spencer about his favorite things (his blog and college football), his least favorite things (Kenny Chesney and Florida State), and almost everything in between.
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SB: How did you start Every Day Should Be Saturday and why has it been so succesful?
SH: Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. I started Every Day Should Be Saturday when I was in a heap of underemployment. I was not sure what I wanted to do, but I wanted a change. Writing in a structured sense never appealed to me. When I was bored I would try to find a place on the Internet that wrote about the things I was interested in. There wasn’t anything so I decided to do it myself.
Fortunately in 2005 there were all sorts of prefabricated sites where you could just start writing. A friend and I started EDSBS as an anti-boredom exercise. But now it’s all gotten out of hand. We hit at the right time and eventually we sold to SB Nation in 2009 and I’ve been there ever since.
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SB: When you started the site it was you and a friend with little responsibility, but now you are the Editorial Director at a large company. You also have a family now. How have these changes affected the way you work? Also, does having children alter your perspective of how you see the college athletes you write about?
SH: My job has definitely changed because I work with people now. I have to delegate a lot more and I get to decide who is going to be saying what. I feel a little more parental and I do more supervising and editing. Now, I work from home in Atlanta but periodically I go to the main offices in Washington DC.
Being a parent has definitely changed my perspective. It affects everything. It changes how you view the people you are writing about. You are more sympathetic in some things, but in others you are way less sympathetic. It shifts your likes and dislikes.
I am far more sympathetic to the difficulties of being that young and that broke. I tend to see my own child out there. As I get older I also have more sympathy on college kids who make a mistake. I almost wish they were paid because money sanitizes the relationship.
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SB: What is it about College Football that you love so much?
SH: For college football I enjoy seeing the game played differently with differing levels of talent. In the NFL the degree of play is almost airtight because everyone is a professional. It kind of takes the possibility out of the game. That’s why I hated watching Alabama when they were so great recently. Nothing unexpected and fun ever happened there. I like that college players aren’t totally professional.
I also enjoy the diversity of College Football too. The people at each school are ritualistic. They have their own communities that are unique to that school. With the exception of a few places, you don’t get that with the NFL. College Football is the antithesis of the NFL in that most NFL stadiums are just large commercial buildings in giant concrete parking lots.
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SB: You guys have a lot of inside jokes* that have become running series, what’s it like when these jokes get acknowledged by the people involved?
SH: It’s very fun to see something you made up get loose into the world. Like when Cam Newton saw himself in Breaking Madden and said “you guys would do that to me” that was fun. Name drops are fun, but it depends on who is doing the name dropping.
Steve Spurrier [Heisman Trophy Winner, former Florida Head Coach, current South Carolina Head Coach] would never acknowledge us because he doesn’t know what the internet is. You would have to explain like 8 things to him before you explained Hating A** Spurrier. He pretty much knows about golf. Coaches are pretty simple beyond football.
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SB: Let’s talk about some other things you love or love to hate:
How many times have you seen Chevy’s “Born Free” Commercial featuring Kid Rock?
– I’ve seen that commercial probably under 100 times, but over 80 times. Every time I see it I like it more and more because I make up alternate lyrics. Generally my lyrics are about Americans living out their freedoms irresponsibly, because that’s what freedom is about.
You often say that country artist Kenny Chesney is a bandwagon fan of multiple different college football teams. That said, what’s your favorite Kenny Chesney album?
-My favorite Chesney album is Floridays, which is a Jimmy Buffet album that he stole wholesale. Chesney is just Jimmy Buffet performed by a bald tiny man in a hat. Actually, no, if I did have to pick a Chesney album I’ll pick All I Want For Christmas is a Real Good Tan because that title is amazing.
What you would say to Chesney if you met him?
-I’d honestly probably be really nice to him.
You’re a Florida alumni and a die-hard Gator fan, so if your kids don’t go to UF, what would be the worst place for them to go?
-Florida State is the school that would burn me the most. I honestly wouldn’t pay for it. Also if they wanted to go to Auburn, that would be an issue. My brother went there and I just wouldn’t want my kids going to a place where they will get to talk about beating us by a field goal.
Will Florida have a starting Quarterback this Saturday or will they just run the Wildcat offense?
-We will have a QB, but that doesn’t mean we won’t run the Wildcat the whole game still. It works just as well as when we have a QB.
*Examples include running jokes about Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace, South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier, and a weekly segment called Breaking Madden.