Beats, rhymes and life are three of the corners where hip hop intersects. Few other TV shows have been able to cover all of these angles in-depth and authentically quite like REVOLT TV’s “Drink Champs,” which thrives on its candid conversations with the biggest and most influential figures in the game. In honor of such a one-of-a-kind show, REVOLT will be recapping each weekly “Drink Champs” episode, so you can always catch the gems that are dropped in each lit interview.
On the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN welcome the co-hosts of the new popular podcast “I AM Athlete” for a few drinks and even more laughs. Hosted by former NFL players Brandon Marshall, Channing Crowder, Chad Johnson, and Fred Taylor; I AM Athlete brings the viewers into the quartet’s unfiltered conversations about sports, love, life, entertainment, and more. While occasionally bringing in guests with a connection to sports to contribute to the dialogue, the show is largely self-contained and is carried by the mix of personalities. While Johnson was unable to appear alongside his co-hosts, Marshall, Crowder and Taylor took up the slack and made for great guests for the first “Drink Champs” episode of the new year.
To help give fans a recap of the episode, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from the “I AM Athlete” “Drink Champs” episode. Take a look at them below.
1. Brandon Marshall On The Origin of the “I AM Athlete” Podcast
According to Marshall, the “I Am Athlete” podcast was born out of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We all live in the same neighborhood,” he explains. “And back in March, when everything was locked down, we’re walking around each other in the neighborhood. He might be on his bike or riding by [like], ‘What’s up?’ and I’m looking at the situation [like], ‘Man, I got legends in my neighborhood.’ And this is just a couple of us, we’re talking about everybody [who played in the NFL] lives in our neighborhood, and I’m like, ‘This is an opportunity to start a podcast — start a podcast and see what we can do.’”
2. Channing Crowder On the False Perception of Camaraderie Among NFL Players
The perception of professional athletes having a camaraderie that extends off the field gets debunked by Crowder. “Dudes really don’t vibe like that,” he says of NFL players. “People think a [NFL] team is like a high school team, man. It ain’t like that, bruh, people go their separate ways. A 21-year-old and a 40-year-old, y’all don’t got the same shit going on in y’all life. One dude running the street and one dude got seven kids. So, as soon as B. Marsh came on the team, me and B. Marsh bonded.”
3. Brandon Marshall On Turning Down An Extra $5 Million To Play For the Cleveland Browns
Changing NFL teams is a reality that all of the hosts on “I AM Athlete” have experienced during their careers. Fortunately, many of them were able to dictate their landing spot. But, Marshall speaks on the flip side and how the majority of players get blindsided by news of them being traded. “There’s a lot of guys that’s like, ‘Man, I found out I was traded on Instagram or Twitter,’” the former Pro Bowl receiver admits. “That happened every single day, but for me, people knew that they had to check with me first ’cause I was just a little different. I wish back then I understood the magnitude of the business because for me, football was personal. I come from Pittsburgh, it’s the poorest county in Pennsylvania, so that was my way out so I never understood the business side of it. It was like if something happened on the football field or in the locker room, it was like war, like, ’You’re taking food off my table.’ So, I didn’t handle things in a professional manner or a diplomatic way, so teams knew.”
4. N.O.R.E. On the Double Standards For Rap Artists and NFL Players
During a discussion about the expectations placed on professional athletes as opposed to rap artists, N.O.R.E. attributes that dynamic to the NFL’s goal of being a clean-cut family-friendly brand with global appeal, while rap artists cater to a specific demographic. “I’ve been all over the world and American television is not universal. Football is,” N.O.R.E. argues. “I would be in Dusseldorf, Germany and they’d be watching football. I think that although y’all have the point, but I think y’all are held to a higher standard because one, we have a parental advisory on our thing and there’s no parental advisory sticker on the NFL.”
5. Brandon Marshall On His Time As A Miami Dolphin
After suiting up for the Denver Broncos and the Chicago Bears, Marshall’s third stop in the NFL was with the Miami Dolphins, a team he paints as fun and entertaining, but undisciplined at the time.
This is why I struggled in Miami,” he says of the culture in the Dolphins’ locker room. “I was there for two years and this is when I knew it was over. Soon as I came down here, every Friday, this boy (Crowder) had the whole defense in [notorious Miami strip club] Coco’s. Every Friday. I pulled up one time, had a good time, but I walked away and said, ‘We will never win the championship.’ Like Fred said, I was a knucklehead. I had to learn the hard way, but one thing I always did was, I always handled my business. So, even when I came to Miami, I can count on one hand how many times I went to LIV still to this day. Like, I wasn’t in LIV ‘cause I knew I wasn’t trying to pay the price the next morning, waking up at 6 a.m. [or] 7 a.m. and being hungover. Nah, I wanted the bag and that was my focus.”
6. Channing Crowder On the XFL’s Potential For Success
One topic of interest during the episode was Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s recent acquisition of the XFL, which Crowder feels is incapable of competing against the NFL. “The thing is that when you look at tiers of stuff, there’s tiers to athletes [as well],” the former defensive stalwart explains. “So, if you’re good enough to play in the NFL, you’re gonna play in the NFL. So, it’s gonna be 21 people on that field that are the best in the world. Perfect example, you’re watching the best in the world and you know if anybody in the XFL can play in the NFL, they wanna go get that money, so it’s gonna be the second tier of players. When the first XFL [launched], the quality of play, it wasn’t NFL and we’ve been so stuck on the NFL, you can’t get the NFL in any other league. I think that big, thick, motherfucking Samoan wasted all his god damn money.”
7. Channing Crowder On His Gripes With The TV Show “Ballers”
Differing opinions reared their head when the “I AM Athlete” co-hosts shared their thoughts on the authenticity of Dwayne ”The Rock” Johnson’s hit TV show “Ballers” in regards to its portrayal of the NFL and professional football players. While Taylor feels the show is a pretty accurate depiction, Crowder chastises it for offering a limited view of the league in an attempt to drum up ratings. “That show’s about 100 dudes and that’s why I get upset. I can’t watch it, I can’t watch “Ballers.” It ain’t the big picture. If you take anybody’s industry, rappers, DJs and all that, and you only make a show about 8%, I cant fuck with you ‘cause it’s 92 dudes trying to do the right thing. I think “Ballers” was 8% of the NFL’s past and it’s 92% since 1970, when the NFL and AFL merged, that they’re not showing. “Ballers” shows the worst shit about the NFL because that’s what motherfuckers wanna see and that’s how they can monetize it and make money.”
8. Fred Taylor On The Parallels Between ‘Remember The Titans’ and Race Relations Today
As Marshall, Crowder, and Taylor speak on the most realistic movies about football, Taylor gives a special nod to the 2000 film Remember The Titans, which he credits as an example of how sports can ease the tensions that come with race relations. “The shit we’re going through now, this white versus black [thing], [is reminiscent of that film],” the Jacksonville legend explains. “And they’re showing where football is kind of being the bridge between the white players ‘cause at the end of the day, if sports is nothing else, it’s the one ex-factor that’s gonna bring whites with their beliefs and Blacks with their beliefs [together].”
9. Fred Taylor On His Experience Playing With Tom Brady
With another playoff win under his belt, Tom Brady’s transition from the New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been seamless, more evidence of his standing as the arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time. Taylor, who played alongside Brady during his own time in New England, speaks on his former teammate’s leadership and personality. “I went to New England in year 12,” Taylor explains. “I done did 10,000 yards in Jacksonville. So, going to New England, I’m looking around and shit, I’m like, ‘Damn, I don’t wanna fuck up what they got going on.’ So, I’m up there, but Tom — Tom run every fucking thing. So, you get up there and he’s just as chill [as can be] ...he’s like, ‘Freddie, is them PRP Jeans, bruh?’ I’m like, ‘Okay, we cool now,’ so he’s on the shit that I’m on. So, I get up there on everybody on the same playing field, but if you fuck up on the field, he treating it the same. He knows everybody’s name, like, everybody. It ain’t about dollars, it ain’t about position, it’s about respect and what you can bring to the team, and how urgent you can get it done. So, that’s what Tom was about. He didn’t minimize who you were if you were making $100,000 or you were making $10,000,000.”