The last word on Kyrie Irving’s “flat-earth” week: While We’re Waiting

Kyrie Irving Mountain Dew WFNY

Welcome to my WWW. I promise this week will not be explicitly about the Browns trading down. I (over)covered that ground quite a bit already. It’s kind of a dead period in sports, so I may use a bit of leeway to hit on some tech and culture stuff, but hopefully it gets your Friday off on the right foot.

Before we get there, here’s my weekly Patreon plug. Those who’ve signed up already have access to a 15% coupon code for GV Art that’s exclusively for our Patreon members. We’ll keep working to find benefits like that to spread to you as well as giving you extra access to us to ask questions and participate in the website. Thanks so much for those of you who have supported already and we look forward to (virtually) seeing even more of you soon!

The last word on Kyrie Irving’s flat earth theory and “news”…

There’s a whole lot of incentive in the current media environment to be first. If you can be first, you’re going to get lots of clicks. We’ve talked a lot about the idea of being first or one of many pile-ons in the current media environment. It’s an existential crisis in a lot of ways for this website. So let’s look at it through the prism of Kyrie Irving’s All-Star Flat-Earth extravaganza.

First thing’s first, let’s talk about what this really was. Kyrie Irving made some comments on a free-flowing, unserious podcast with his buddies that’s targeted pretty specifically at Cavaliers fans. Obviously, everything he said was “on the record,” but time, place, and medium is something that matters. Despite our current President’s Twitter habits, I’ve always tried to delineate between someone saying something on Twitter and someone saying something behind a mic at a podium of in a long-form blog post or article. I’ve always drawn a line between what someone would craft in written form for a magazine versus what they might say on a radio show where the conversation tends to travel. Point being, sometimes in some media, you have no idea what you’re going to end up talking about. I tend to give people more leeway in that environment for obvious reasons. People get caught up in conversation, and largely that’s something Kyrie seemed to be saying in the aftermath. Here’s the whole video, or skip to the relevant part of the transcript below.

“I mean, it was just like, a point. Like, the fact that that could actually be real news. Like, everything that’s going on, that Kyrie Irving thinks the world is flat? So, I mean, we can ask, like, relevant questions about what’s going on in the world — like, what’s really going on. You know what I’m saying? Or what I really believe. Or who I really am. That’d be nice. But the fact that that’s what everyone got out of the podcast, that’s hilarious to me.”

That’s always been one of my nightmares with the WFNY podcast. I am somewhat thankful that we’re just a little niche podcast because if too many people care about what you have to say, it means you have enough power that someone will pick you apart in an attempt to tear you down. We’ve seen it time and again. Thank goodness nobody grabs the silliest or dumbest things that I say and puts a magnifying glass on them and calls them out. Kyrie Irving isn’t so lucky.

If we wanted to do this every week with Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye’s podcast, we could create havoc. Did you hear the latest episode? Channing Frye and Kyle Korver were joking about how much less the second unit offense is built around Frye now that Korver is around. They joked about Frye having to set screens and roll to the hoop rather than popping out for open bombs. It was a light-hearted conversation, but there was probably about five-percent of seriousness or reality in there too. I could easily have transcribed some sentences and created a headline that said, “Guess which Cavaliers player feels marginalized by Kyle Korver trade?” I even could have acknowledged that I thought there was a little bit of truth to the joking, but that headline might get some legs and all of a sudden there’d be a beat reporter asking Channing Frye and Kyle Korver about it at the next shoot-around.

It’s not an exact comparison to Kyrie Irving and his flat earth podcast comments, but the whole tone of that podcast was pretty light-hearted with the guys one-upping themselves. I never would have taken it to the serious levels that it seemed to explode into for a couple of days. It was a podcast and what percentage of people who ended up talking about it actually listened to the clip? How many listened to the conversation leading up to the clip or the stuff afterward? It’s probably less than one-percent. All’s fair when you’re as high profile as Kyrie Irving, but he’s kind of right. It is hilarious that some off-the-cuff conversation about flat-earth conspiracy in a podcast with Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye and Allie Clifton can become “news.”

I got a pair of Apple AirPods…

I’ve been complaining mightily about the new iPhone and it’s lack of a headphone jack. Maybe I’m a bit of a unique use-case, but I have to go to bed with audio. I listen to talk radio or podcasts with a 15-minute sleep timer on and 99.9% of the time I am asleep before the shutoff. That was never an issue for me with previous versions of the iPhone. I would plug it into the charger, keep the headphones plugged into the jack and everything was fine. When Apple released their new iPhone with everything combined into a lightning port, there was no adapter to both charge and listen at the same time. I tried a third-party adapter, but it didn’t work. They also didn’t have their wireless headphones, or AirPods, ready when they shipped the jack-less phone. I finally got my AirPods on Wednesday.

It’s too early to have a complete review of the AirPods, but it’s a giant step forward in terms of wireless headphones. I’ve tried wireless Jaybird earbuds, but they hurt my ears, like physically. I tried the Bose SoundSport wireless buds, but they stopped working recently out of the blue. So, I do have a bit of experience with wireless headphones already. Its a bit clunky, to say the least. The AirPods feel different from the first moment you try them.

Even before I could start following bluetooth “pairing” instructions, just opening the AirPods case made them pop up as an option on my iPhone. It looks like this.

AirPod Hello Screen

You’ll notice that the iPhone gives battery levels for both the case and the earbuds. The AirPods charge inside the case and the case apparently holds more than 24 hours of battery life using the AirPods. The AirPods supposedly give you up to five hours of listening on their own and a 15 minute charge in the case will give you three more hours. My first experience is that these things charge really fast. They also perform unlike any other earbuds as they know when you pull one away from your ear and it pauses whatever it is you’re listening to. In that respect, AirPods feel like a giant leap forward.

But how would they do with exercise? That’s something that’s important to me. I ran with them on Thursday morning for just over five miles. They didn’t come out, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it a lot. They didn’t feel overly secure. In that respect they didn’t perform as well as the Bose buds (you know, when they’re actually working) which have the silicone ear piece to hold them in place.

This review is way-too-early of course, but so far, I’m really impressed by this 1.0 version of Apple’s foray into wireless earbuds. I can only imagine how great these will get over time. Plus, if they start to work with the Beats people and develop some Beats that have these chips in them, they’ll really own the whole category. That’s what Apple always wants to do, anyway, it seems.

Baywatch movie? Sorry, not sorry.

I really want to see the new Baywatch movie when it comes out. Does that make me a bad person? Should I be embarrassed? I kind of don’t care. This is the right way to head on into your weekend.