Podcast

If you’re wondering where our podcast 3rd & Wrong has been the last few months, I’m here to tell you. The thoughts below are my own and don’t necessarily represent the views of Zach or Auzzie.

I’ve been doing some introspection as to why I haven’t had the willingness to put out content lately. I couldn’t shake the feeling that our content was going up against all the other great football content out there. There are plenty of contributors across various sites, blogs and podcasts that have a far greater knowledge of the game than us. And as a result, I felt the content we were putting out on 3rd & Wrong and sporadic articles was insufficient.

What I didn’t take into account was the actual enjoyment I got out of just making the content itself. Not measuring it up against other content creators. Which is so much easier said than done. There are so many quotes out there of not comparing yourself to others or just appreciating yourself and your work for what it is. But I think it’s human nature to compare ourselves to our peers. We want to be the leader of the pack, the most knowledgeable, the go-to source etc. etc. etc.

If we couldn’t be the first to have an opinion of the story then I wanted us to have the hottest take. If we couldn’t have the hottest take I wanted the take to be funny. It became a negative feedback loop which is so far removed from the mentality that we had when we started. The constant comparison trap I’d find myself locked into after logging on to Twitter to see another great article up by another site or a big name on another podcast roughly our size did my mental health no favours.

I started blogging in May 2018 after graduating from university. I didn’t have a job yet so I passed the time writing a few blogs about the Roughriders. After starting an Instagram page for it I’m not even sure I cracked 100 followers. It was then that Last Word on Sports reached out to me to contribute to their CFL site and I jumped at the opportunity. I was simply writing about football for the sheer enjoyment and passion I had for the CFL.

From there, my best friends and I got together and brainstormed for six months before launching The Amateur Agency in February 2019. We just wanted to have fun talking about football, make engaging content and promote Canadian football & basketball through our podcasts 3rd & Wrong and Baseline 2 Baseline.

If we had the opportunity to interview some athletes, that was the cherry on top. We had some aspiration to potentially make it a full-time gig if we ever became “big” enough. That was the long-term vision anyways.

But somewhere along the line, it became a competition to me. My (our) knowledge vs the field of writers, podcasters and analysts that exist across the CFL, NFL and more. That’s not a battle many of us will win. What started as a passion project now started to become stressful and unhealthy.

By the end of July 2021, my co-hosts and I were burnt out. As noted in our hiatus post, we put on an episode every week since March 2019 except for three. On top of our busy personal lives, we started buckling under the pressure we put on ourselves to deliver quality content every week.

Were our interviews engaging enough? Was our analysis insightful enough? Was our audio quality good enough? That doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface as there were also social media graphics and engagement to worry about on top of the episodes themselves.

It became less about the fun of breaking down the latest stories with my best friends and having the privilege to speak with those involved in the game at any level and more about if we were matching the production quality of other podcasts or if we were getting more listens each week etc. And you can only last so long in that headspace before you eventually crack.

So since late July, we’ve been on hiatus. As of right now, we don’t have any plans to return in the immediate future. I can’t speak for Zach and Auzzie but right now I’m just enjoying watching CFL & NFL games as a fan instead of a content creator.

I’m simply feeling the elation and frustration that comes with being a Roughriders and Seahawks fan. I’ve also been coaching high school football after work. This has been one of the more rewarding things I’ve ever committed to and is something I hope to continue to do for the rest of my life.

So, if you’ve been a consistent listener of our podcast 3rd & Wrong and miss us, we miss you too. Thank you for your loyalty. For anyone who has taken the time to come on the podcast to be interviewed, I don’t say this lightly but you truly made our dreams come true. It was an absolute honour getting to speak with you and I hope we can speak again soon.

At some point, we hope to make a return and when we do, it’ll be for the right reasons. So hold tight, before you know it you’ll be listening to Auzzie talk about why Mac Jones might be better than Tom Brady, Zach talk about why his Argos are going to the Grey Cup or why I think Cody Fajardo can still win MOP. And you’ll be wishing we never came back.

Until then, keep your balls between the uprights.

Steve

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