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What a year for OutKick
I was sitting here at the Screencaps World HQ Friday afternoon watching college football and reflecting on 2022 because I knew this morning I’d need to put a bow on the year as we celebrate a new year.
2022 was a year of transition for this website as it moved on from the 2020 reboot when Clay hired a team to build this website from his personal project into a scaled product that could be sold to a massive media company.
In the spring of 2021, Fox News Corp. came calling and a sale was completed somewhere around May. In late winter/early spring of 2022, employees were told that it was time for Fox News Corp. to take over the full-time reins of the day-to-day operations. Long-time Fox executive Gary Schreier assumed the role of CEO and the switch was flipped on OutKick 3.0 on April 1.
Staffing was ramped up. Some people left. Many stayed. Many were hired. Many, many people asked to be hired. I was receiving Linkedin requests from people pretty much begging to be hired.
The results speak for themselves.
October was insane. Don’t take my word for it. Let Clay tell you all about it.
This is a legitimate operation. There are editors (even though some of you don’t believe it) and piping hot fresh content is being produced from around 6 a.m. until around midnight ET on a daily basis. I haven’t even looked at the average number of daily posts, but it feels like somewhere around 60 daily posts to consume. There’s live video content to consume for 5-6 hours a day via Dan Dakich and the OutKick360 crew and then there’s Tomi dropping the hammer three nights a week.
Remember, the OutKick you’re seeing at the end of 2022 is 500% different than the OutKick you saw at the end of 2021 and most of what you’re seeing has been pieced together in the last 5-6 months.
From a personal standpoint, 2022 has brought security for me in the form of an employment commitment from Fox News Corp. I’m here to stay.
The plan, in my mind for 2023, is to attack bigger ideas for Morning Screencaps. It’s time for standalone Morning Screencaps branded social media accounts. It’s time for brands to attach themselves to Morning Screencaps. It’s time for Morning Screencaps themed road trips and fun.
So buckle up in 2023. Pass the word to your buddies. Tell them about Screencaps. Tell your father, uncles, sons, etc. And don’t discount the ladies out there. Jess in Alabama is a bigger fan of this column than 99.9% of you.
It’s time to go into growth mode.
Let’s have a great year.
Ohio…..Start gambling legally (and responsibly) on sports TONIGHT at midnight!
• Clint from the OutKick Gambling Department is BACK and he wants to remind all of you in Ohio that you’re running out of time to take advantage of what he’s calling an incredible sports gambling starter pack (remember…gamble responsibly!).
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THE OFFER ENDS TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT.
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Streaming football in prison
• Charlie F. writes:
With the move to streaming football games, perhaps a movement to give access to prisons, hospitals and any spot that watching a game would be a positive thing should start. I’m quite sure Mr. Bezos can afford it.
Hopefully some readers with more experience can think of a plan.
This begs the question of whether prisons and hospitals are using smart TVs. I haven’t been in either in a few years, so I have no idea if prisons and hospitals are even set up to accept a freebie offer from Bezos.
According to Prison Policy, there are approximately 6,300 jails in the United States, not counting military prisons and state psyche hospitals. And there are approximately 6,100 hospitals in the United States.
Politicians might want to see if Jeff B. wants to make some sort of a deal to hook them up with Amazon Prime so the incarcarated and hospital patients can catch those Thursday games. They could easily yank a few million from useless climate change technology funding — according to ’60 Minutes’ we’re going to go through a mass extinction in 20 years — to finance football for those who need it to keep them from going insane.
Analyzing the analysts
• Dave M. writes:
Actually, it’s announcers and quarterback names… they’re obsessed with mispronouncing, not going with the easier name or nickname, or using both first and last names. For example, why can no announcer call the current rams QB anything other than Baker Mayfield… yes all one word.
Why not Mayfield? Or even Baker?
I think Troy Aikman’s a great analyst, but I cringe any time he has to call a game with “Baker Mayfield” at QB. The same thing was happening with the Oklahoma QB during their bowl game with Florida State last night. The two announcers couldn’t stop saying “Dillon Gabriel.”
One theory I have is many quarterbacks have names that sound cool together: Dak Prescott, Josh Allen, Mac Jones, Justin Fields, Michael Vick, Brett Favre.
Another theory, which could go along with the first one, is many announcers overstate things simply because they like to hear their own voice.
It could also be that the standards of broadcasting have dipped. I’ll bet no production executive has ever sat down with Kirk Herbstreit to go over the 762 times where he could’ve reduced his commentary by half.
I mean, do we not understand that a rushing attempt by an RB does not need this commentary:”It was impressive what Pollard was able to do there with the ball as a running back.”
Why not simply: “It was impressive what Pollard just did.”
Then there’s what I’ve been thinking about for a few years now: Why can no announcer pronounce Tua Tagovailoa correctly?
From what I can tell, there is no “n” anywhere in that name.
Yet, every announcer on the planet pronounces that last name “Tungavailo.”
Why an “n” sound? It’s not like the pronunciation was changed to match a marketing campaign (a la Joe Theismann in college).
You could argue that it’s like it was with Favre… but it’s not. At least in saying “farve,” a new letter hasn’t been added… just a couple got switch-pronounced.
I’ve heard Tua pronounce his own name – he says it with no n sound.
So… wtf do announcers say Tungavailoa, especially when they can just say Tua?
Now there’s an email to think about this weekend between football games and during your run to the beer fridge. Someone expand on Dave’s thoughts here. I’m exhausted. I’ve been up since 6 a.m. and it was a brutal day selecting Instagram models.
The Southwest Airlines meltdown from a pilot’s perspective
• An Anonymous Southwest Airlines pilot writes:
First I’d like to start off by saying how awful all of the frontline employees at Southwest feel for our customers. Reports of families with small children, senior citizens, and college kids being stranded at airports. Sleeping on floors with nothing but their carry on luggage. Long lines for ridiculously overpriced food. And generally miserable conditions. Our airline ruined Christmas for hundreds of thousands of families. All of this could’ve been prevented.
Backing up this isn’t the first time that Southwest has suffered a major operational meltdown. Coming out of the COVID lockdowns and massive government handouts, SWA tried to capitalize on available market share by adding 25 new markets.
We didn’t have the airplanes or flight crews available to fly these routes. It resulted in an absolute meltdown over the Summer of 2021. Our software that the company used for scheduling was proven to be completely unable to handle a major disruption to the system when anything like weather or mechanical issues caused a hiccup in the system. Fast forward to Columbus Day Weekend 2021. The same thing happened.
Management still hadn’t learned that their 1970’s computer program that they have patch worked together was capable of sorting out problems when something affected the system. October is our slowest time of year and we were suffering massive cancellations and rerouting of crews all because the system couldn’t handle the problem. We were told then that upper management was sorry and that they were taking steps to fix the problem.
Now December 21 of this year the weather in Denver which is our biggest operation, was expected to drop to -20’s and high winds. This was what pulled the pin on the grenade that was about to blow up the entire system. They couldn’t get the belt loaders and tugs started because of the frozen temps. The crew that were in the deice trucks aren’t in enclosed cabs and are subjected to the elements. Southwest does not provide cold weather gear for ramp employees so they’re on their own at $18/hr to provide cold weather gear for temps that require heavy gear.
They also had third party fueler issues because of staffing. Now our wonderful VP of Ground Ops Chris Johnson decided when the weather was -20 ambient air temp and -50’s windchill that it was a good time to send a memo out to all rampers. It cancelled all personal leave and sick leave. If you called in sick and couldn’t provide a doctors note stating that you were unable to work (telemedicine was not acceptable) then it was considered insubordination and you were fired. If they didn’t accept mandatory overtime they would be fired. Guess what happened.
They had 155 rampers either quit or be fired along with 6 supervisors. That amounts to roughly 25 gates worth of rampers that were now gone and not replaces easily. Good job VP of Ground Ops Chris Johnson!
Now Southwest runs a point to point system. Which means that plane will for example be routed on any given day Tampa-Chicago-Denver-Sacramento-San Jose-Phoenix-Boise. Once that disruption in the middle of that sequence happens you have crew and aircraft out of position. Currently Southwest runs around 650 Airplanes per day and somewhere between 4000-4500 flights per day. The planes start at 0530 on the east coast and don’t finish until around 0100 on the west coast. Not all planes run that much per day but that’s the extent of how long the system runs and how large it is.
Back to the winter storm and the disruption starting in Denver and moving east. Chicago Midway airport was next to be affected a couple days later. It’s another of our larger operations. The massive cancellations started happening on the 23rd and 24th of December. On busy travel days like that it’s impossible for our system to rebook people in a timely manner.
There were crew that were completely lost inside the system. Pilot crew lounges in all the crew bases had 40-60 pilots sitting in them with nothing on their schedules other than they were required to be at work. Flight attendant lounges were full of hundreds of flight attendants waiting to be rescheduled and told where to go and what to do. Our 110 cities that we serve across America had crews sitting around and planes sitting around with no assignment and nowhere to go.
The company which is required to provide our hotel accommodations on the road were unable to figure out which cities people were in and who needed hotel rooms. The limited amount that were left because our stranded passengers were booking up all available rooms, were incredibly expensive. Stranded crews are instructed during meltdowns that they are to source their own hotel rooms and expense the company for it. Some of these hotel rooms were as expensive as $500/night.
A new flight attendant on first year pay would have a lot of trouble coming up with that kind of money. They don’t get paid very much. Phone Wait times for crew scheduling were going on 10 hrs. They had stopped answering and hanging up on the people that were able to get through. Our dispatchers who plan the flights were trying to get flights out and patch together crews that had found each other and were legal to work the flights.
After some successful attempts to get flights out, they were told that they were not to talk to scheduling anymore and try to help out. There were signs posted outside of crew rooms that pilots were not to enter the flight attendant break rooms to try and put crews together to work flights.
At this point the software that scheduling uses had lost track of everybody. Schedules were showing pilots assigned to for example to fly from Nashville to Ft Lauderdale. The problem is that the pilot was in Sacramento and the plane they were supposed to fly was in Boston. The whole thing was in shambles and they decided to shut the scheduling software off and attempt to do it all by hand. Every time they would come up with a solution, something else would come up and they’d have to start over from the beginning.
We still hadn’t heard anything from upper Management at the airline. The first thing that Lee Kinnebrew, the VP of Flight Operations did was send a memo saying that we were “experiencing an operational disruption due to sick calls, and lack of pilots picking up extra shifts.” Complete and utter bullshit. It was Christmas weekend, we were in a full on meltdown and nobody could get to work and/or nobody wanted to get stuck in the system.
Finally on the evening of December 25th, no doubt after enjoying a nice morning opening presents and having a family meal, our CEO Bob Jordan decided to show up and give a video update on the state of the airline. He made sure to blame the weather for the complete destruction of the operation even though the weather was mostly cleared out and it was simply now a function of technology.
The pilots union has been warning the company for years that something like this was inevitable but I don’t think anybody realized the size of the impact this was going to have. It was a complete failure on former CEO and current Chairman of the Board Gary Kelly. They’ve been warned countless times that something like this would happen. It took until the night of the 27th and threats from Pete Buttegig for CEO Bob Jordan to finally admit that he was to blame and that it was no longer weather. It’s really disheartening as an employee that so many people’s lives were impacted by our “Leaderships” inability to manage the airline through this crisis.
The employees of Southwest Airlines did their best to help out each other out as well as stranded travelers. There are countless stories of employees opening their homes to stranded flight crew. Providing food and a bed to people that were abandoned by the airline. Captains were buying hotel rooms for flight attendants and fellow pilots.
They also bought food, and coffee for their fellow employees. One captain I know of bought hundreds of dollars of Starbucks gift card and gave them to gate agents and rampers. Our employees were taught by Herb Kelleher to take care of each other. This is a prime example of how they’ve gone above and beyond. Crew Schedulers did their best with a crappy outdated system that was overwhelmed by the amount of cancellations.
The group responsible for finding hotel accommodations was also doing their best but the system didn’t know what city anybody was in. Customer Service personnel at the airport were overwhelmed by passengers stuck in line for up to 12 hrs trying to get rebooked. They were screamed at, spit at, and threatened with violence. Employees came in on days off to help with phone lines and also help out at the Baggage Offices to get stranded luggage sorted out and to the right place. Headquarters employees have been volunteering and doing their best to get this mess that upper management is responsible for cleaned up.
The plan for recovery was to proactively cancel 2500 flights per day starting the 26th through the 29th. This left 1500 flights/day in order to get the crews and aircraft where they needed to be in order to restart normal ops on Friday the 30th. As of this writing it sounds as though the system has recovered and they’re back to business as usual.
The majority of this was completely avoidable but unfortunately Gary Kelly is more worried about stock buy backs, dividends for investors and bonuses for management than he is in updating the obsolete Information Technology Infrastructure that Southwest Airlines uses.
New Year’s Eve Eve meal
• Homebrew Bill in Nebraska writes:
Grilled balsamic salmon for my wife. Delicious deer steak acquired in a beer trade for me. Doing heavy appetizers with the neighbors tomorrow night followed by bowling. Thanks for all you do Joe. Have a great start to 2023.
Smashing Pumpkins appreciation
• Scott in NE Ohio writes:
Gotta thank you for the link to that ‘93 Pumpkins concert in yesterday’s Screencaps. Lots of great memories with that era of music from the early 90’s when I graduated from OU and joined the real world.
My daughter bought me tickets to see them at Blossom in ‘19 and they (that lineup) were still really good. Not sure what to make of the rock opera trilogy they have coming out, but at least they’re still pumping out new music 30 years later.
Keep up the great work!
HERE WE GOOOOOOOO…John in SD vs. Alex R.!!!!
• John in SD writes:
Clumson played like an OSU team; kicking FGs, not converting 3rd/4th and short, giving up big defensive plays. Clumson fans look rough, what’s in the water they are drinking done there, moonshine? Does Debo even know who’s he yelling at half the time? OU really missed out (one year removed) from getting Josh Heupel as a good head coach.
Gamecocks tried the ultimate trolling and then lost their bowl game to a lower ranked team.
I accept the critique by Alex R., but how do you not appreciate Gus’ enthusiasm for college football and replace it with any espin commentator? The NFL doesn’t have a commentator with this amount of excitement.
RIP Pele, should have mentioned that the other night. He was a great ambassador for the sport and did a lot to help US soccer, which can’t field a better team than Morocco.
The prison posts are completely unexpected, yet amazing and eye opening. Appreciate you guys that got out (or going in) and are contributing to society. Nowhere else can you read about this, TNML, Busch Light vs IPAs, firewood stacking, ect…(IG models viewing).
Thank you for working through the holiday season like many of us did. Happy New Year’s Eve to all and especially the Screencaps community! Go Horned Frogs and Buckeyes!
Look at that…a TNML sticker in Menerbes, France
• Mike T. and Cindy T. are on the move again. INTERPOL must be closing in on them. Now they’re holed up in a new AirBnB in Menerbes where they have quite a view from their patio. It looks like Pennsylvania.
And with that, let’s close it down for 2022. I have many more emails to get to starting Monday morning when I get back at it as Screencaps attempts to go 365 days straight and complete the very first full year in the history of this column.
Have a great New Year’s Eve. Stay safe out there. No DUIs. Get those Ubers, stay home or party near the hotel. I don’t want to hear of any of you going to prison after this weekend.