Something I get asked an awful lot is who inspires me, and who my heroes are. Now, I’m saving some of my favorite athletes in sport for later blog posts in the month, but I wanted to spend a day talking about some of my favourite people in my little world of Motorsport journalism, and the people who have gotten me to this point.
Bomani Jones: Bo is my favourite journalist in the world. Period. Has been for about three years now. I discovered him via Ryan King as we were talking about sports before a Podcast taping. Back then, he was on SB Nation, and he was doing a satirical sports show known as “Bomani and Jones”, which ran for 75 episodes and talked mostly about US Sports, and the Olympics. They were amazing. And funny. They made sports so much relatable to the world around me. From the Egyptian Olympic Team getting fake Nike gear to talking about black Americans not doing a damn thing the day black quarterback Doug Williams won the Superbowl, like Obama had been elected again.
The phrases “BEATEMDOWN” and “What’s wrong with your mans?”, I, ahem… “borrowed” from him. He’s at ESPN now with his daily podcast “The Right Time”, which I highly recommend, he’s also on “Highly Questionable” with Dan LeBatard and makes occasional appearances on “Around The Horn”. Bomani Jones made me look at sports and how they’re consumed in a totally different light, and for that, I’m forever grateful. Big shoutouts as well to Katie Nolan (Who I still have a massive crush on), Mina Kimes, Michael Smith, Jemele Hill, and Pablo Torre for being some of my favourite people in sports journalism today. Shoutout as well to Bill Simmons, who’s doing incredible work with his own Podcast network at The Ringer.
For those unaware, the Drebrief series has been one of my favourites to produce in recent years. And being able to write with confidence and then project yourself to an audience is so hard, and many, many folks have helped me out in regards to that. Here’s a few:
Doug Walker: You probably know him best as “The Nostalgia Critic” from like, way back in 2006. I used to be a big fan of the show itself, but that’s faded as I’m not really a big movie person, but his monolog, editorial videos have just been immense. From the subtle use of music to the powerful statements and just the fact it’s more Doug talking to us than the “Critic” he plays, that always speaks volumes to me. It goes without saying that Doug knows his movies, and the fact he’s unafraid to try and answer difficult questions is always admirable to me. His piece on “Thank You For Smoking” is gold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7Ot6rJqcEE
Reminds me a lot of recent presidential campaigns… Anyway…
Jim Sterling: Jim Sterling is a video game journalist, who went independent just under two years ago, and the backbone of his content is his main show “The Jimquisition”, and a lot of the time, it’s incredibly well-written pieces regarding some of the stench beneath of the surface of one of the biggest industries on earth, and especially with Steam’s awful “Greenlight” programme. I openly admit some of Jim’s content on the show is a little… vulgar for my tastes, but the messages are resounding, and don’t resort to a bunch of “cucks” on Twitter telling you to stick to your safe space. He just came off a 2 and a half year legal battle with a studio known as “Digital Homicide”, and it’s incredible and somewhat terrifying.
Jon Bois: Simply put, Jon is one of the most talented people I’ve EVER seen in media. EVER. His biggest endeavor now is a show called “Pretty Good”, a show about stories that are, pretty good, and he does almost everything, himself. From the writing to the editing, the graphics, narration… It’s pretty much all him outside of necessary cameos. He’s the Swiss Army knife of content creators, and the guy I’ve always wanted to be… with maybe 2% of the eccentric tweeting.
From the time John Heisman orchestrated a 222-0 destruction in college football, to just how fucking insane the 1904 Olympic Marathon was, to how “24” was the vessel for the United State’s bloodlust for violence, to the in’s and outs of Poker. The man is a genius and incredibly captivating. Jon is basically the content creator I’ve always wanted to be. Start with his half an hour video about Poker and if you’re not entertained, I’ll apologise to you personally on Twitter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTUZ2SrSxsA
Chris Cook and Matheus Carneiro: They probably need no introduction. Chris Cook was a miracle to find on YouTube. It’s so hard to be an F1 YouTuber because the FOM is so draconian with its content being shared and pirated, but both he and Matt have managed to make it work. Chris is an incredibly funny, and he channels that knowledge into humour better than almost anyone I know on the Internet. Matt hosts Mystery Science Theater F1 and it’s the same sort of deal, but both are just fantastic entertainers, and now they’re coming together for their own podcast to talk about music and just about everything else that isn’t Motorsport.
Chris and Matt represent the change of what I’d like Motorsport journalism to be. This industry is riddled with social, ethical and economic issues as it is, but on top of that, it’s a lot of the same older guard making asinine, out of touch and sometimes… downright hateful comments. Joe Saward, looking at you. Anyone who’s young, and who can attract a new voice and shake up the space a little bit, is more than welcome, and something I’ve always tried to put into Motorsport101.
And in a space where F1 YouTube is stale as fuck, Chris and Matt were the breath of fresh air it so badly needs. And as an added bonus, they’re both incredibly nice guys and have been an absolute pleasure to work with. Speaking of which…
Race Car Twitter: So many people to name here, but I’ll do my best – Sarah Connors, Elizabeth Werth, Aleks Lynne, Catherine Benham, Adam Weller Chris Cook, RJ O’Connell, Matt Carneiro, Joshua Sutill, Katy Fairman, Helena Hicks, Liza Olson, Adam Johnson, Catherine Ryland, Conner Pearson, Joshua Bohn, Emily de Silva, Frances Wyld, Zara Daniela, Durrell Briscoe, Vikesh Shah, Miles Pardoe, Jake Wilson, Tyler Small, Ryan King, Hazel Southwell to name a few…
This seemingly alternative pocket of friends I was so fortunate to make away from the old F1 YouTube space I used to be a part of have been nothing short of wonderful and they are the greatest elements of my social media footprint. (Even more fitting that nearly two dozen folks I mentioned here are women on International Women’s Day.) They’re funny, they’re sweet, they’re charming, they’re incredibly ambitious, talented and creative, and they inspire me to be the best journalist, podcast host, and human being I can be. You’re all blessings, and I love you all.
Special mentions to Louis Suddaby and Rebecca James, my Bike Live family too, because I wouldn’t be the podcast host I am now if it wasn’t for them, and they’re two of the finest people I could ever wish to have, and to Ryan King, my American cousin, who’s done more to make me a better content creator than anyone. And to think, I blocked him 5 years ago because I thought he was a smartass. God was I stupid at 19. Oh, and to Steph Hunter, the operator of this very site. She’s an angel.
My Brother, Brother Ryan: I’ve not been the most fortunate at home. My Mum and Dad weren’t the most supportive of this passion. Mum has been more of a cheerleader, but she very nearly canceled the show because it was “harming my sister’s bedtime”. My Dad’s always claimed to be supportive, but he’s never listened to a show, watched a video or even asked about how the show is doing.
The person, who’s always been by my side the most in this process, has been my brother, Ryan. From all the times I used his Laptop when I killed mine through negligence, to watching, editing, being a second opinion and an entertaining sidekick, the man has wanted nothing but the best for me and has always been someone to lean on, especially when I’ve doubted myself, or beaten myself up for my past! I owe debts I’ll never be able to repay.
Sue Bowerman: For those who don’t know, Motorsport101 was never “The Plan”, it manifested from a third-year University project. It was either do a 10,000-word University dissertation or a special project. I had always wanted to make a Podcast series, so I partenered up with King for a 10 episode run. Obviously, it grew into something much greater, but much of the inspiration for it came from Sue, who mentored me through my “Freelancing” module. She researched a bunch of material, including her listening to “Football Weekly” with James Richardson, bless her. But she motivated me so much into the website you’re reading right now and just trying to get me to harness my abilities and channelling it into something I was passionate about. Apparently, it’s turned out alright. Thanks, Sue. Love you.
So yeah, there’s some of the people whom I owe a lot of shit too, for where I am now. Check them out if you like, and I’ll see you tomorrow. You’re welcome.