Making an Athlete (Episode 1): Former NFL TE George Wrighster on Raising QB Sons

Introducing Making an Athlete- a new YouTube Series from George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden at UnafraidShow.com, where we talk to parents, coaches, trainers, and athletes themselves about everything that goes into making an athlete. Here, you’ll find stories of overcoming adversities, roadmaps for success, and lessons from failures on the path toward raising up young athletes.

On the first episode, George Wrighster talks about growing up wanting to play QB, but not having the opportunity that is now afforded to his sons. We get into how race and privilege play a role in the potential for success in a modern athlete, and what his ultimate hopes are as he helps his kids on their athletic journey.

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Mailbag or Wrighster or Wrong podcast.

1/20/22 Wrighster or Wrong: NFL QB Confidence Rankings, Kirby Smart takes on the NCAA, Journalist vs Truck, Real-Life Cool Runnings

Wrighster1-2-22

On this episode of WRIGHSTER OR WRONG, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden rank the remaining quarterbacks in the NFL playoffs according to their level of confidence in them. Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart told some hard truths about the state of college football, and both George and Ralph discuss the reasons the sport could be headed for disaster if the NCAA doesn’t take proactive action. What do you do when an internet personality that you typically don’t like shares an opinion that you wholeheartedly agree with? A West Virginia reporter is hit by a car while on live TV, and it has the whole internet talking about the way the situation was handled. A journalist asked Wharton business school students what they believed the average salary of working Americans was, and their answers made them seem very out of touch. Jamaica has a bobsled team, so as a Cool Runnings super fan, is George now rooting against America? Finally, Instagram is adding subscription-based content, so who, if anyone, would you pay to subscribe to?

Click any of the following links to listen to Wrighster or Wrong on your preferred Podcast platform

iHeart // Apple Podcasts // Spotify // Stitcher // Radio Public // Google Podcasts

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Wrighster or Wrong podcast.

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: Kliavkoff Comments, QB Carousel, Chip Kelly Extended, Kayvon’s “Stigmatism”

thibodeaux klattt

On this episode of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden break down some of conference commissioner George Kliavkoff’s most recent comments, discuss UCLA’s decision to extend Chip Kelly (and ditch DC Jerry Azzinaro), break down the winners and losers of the ongoing QB carousel, try to figure out how Jedd Fisch and Arizona are having so much recruiting success coming off a one-win season, give an update on Arizona State’s NCAA investigation, and give their takes on Kayvon Thibodeaux’s “stigmatism” comments.

Apple Podcasts // Spotify // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher // RadioPublic // iHeart

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

12/17/21 Wrighster or Wrong: Addressing NIL and Bowl Opt-Out Complaints, George Gives His Urban Meyer “I Told You So”

WoW 12 17 2021

On this episode of WRIGHSTER OR WRONG, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden get into Name Image and Likeness detractors and the NCAA coaches that are publicly whining about Bowl Opt-Outs, and explain why the NCAA, not the players, are the real villain. Also, Urban Meyer has been fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars and George has his “I told you so” locked and loaded.”  

Click any of the following links to listen to Wrighster or Wrong on your preferred Podcast platform

iHeart // Apple Podcasts // Spotify // Stitcher // Radio Public // Google Podcasts

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Wrighster or Wrong podcast.

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: Jon Wilner Joins For a Discussion About Dan Lanning, Kalen DeBoer, and Recruiting Results

Dan Lanning

On this episode of the Pac-12 Apostles, Jon Wilner joins George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden to talk about Oregon’s hiring of Dan Lanning and all the drama that surrounded the alumni letter and the reported offer to Justin Wilcox, as well as Washington’s hire of Kalen DeBoer. The Apostles also discuss how the Pac-12 teams are performing so far during the early signing day, from underwhelming showings by Arizona State, Washington and USC, to whether this strong recruiting showing from Stanford can pull them out of a multi-year downward trajectory. 

Apple Podcasts // Spotify // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher // RadioPublic // iHeart

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

The Oregon Coaching Search Showed Twitter Spaces Could Be The Future Of College Football Communities- But Is That A Good Thing?

Twitter Spaces

The University of Oregon fan base took the “Twitter Spaces” feature to new heights this past weekend, and gave the college football world a preview of an environment in which super fans, current and former players, their family members, and school administrators all bypass media gatekeepers and broadcast rightsholders to hold an open discourse.

In the process of University of Oregon looking to hire a football coach to replace the recently departed Mario Cristobal, the fan-led audio platform commanded a continuous audience of thousands as rumors, reports, leaks, confirmations and conflicts played out in real time.

Aside from the spectacle of Dan Lanning’s brother participating in the Spaces prior to the confirmation of his hiring, you had Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens address the community post-hire, program legends and former NFL first round picks Joey Harrington and Akili Smith attempting to explain the leaked letter in which they requested the interview/hiring of Cal Head Coach and Oregon alum Justin Wilcox, and even our very own George Wrighster going head to head with Akili Smith on whether or not Mario Cristobal elevated the state of the program while national college football reporters from around the country looked on:

The novelty and excitement of Oregon’s coaching search becoming a community event set a new standard for how fans, players, and school representatives can participate and collaborate throughout the process. Like with any new technology, there are drawbacks. There was certainly an elevated buzz around the program because of the popularity of this Twitter Spaces event, but there was also a Real Housewives of Eugene-level barrage of drama, conflict, and frustration from the traditionalist swarth of fans whose primary desire is to see program harmony and a unified front, all walking in lockstep to create an attractive façade for potential recruits. For them, the Spaces might have been just a little too real.

For media, the initial reaction to the uniqueness of the Oregon Twitter Spaces had to be that this is a content goldmine. Representatives from Sports Illustrated, 24/7, ESPN, Rivals, On3, as well as many independent blogs and podcasts all either participated, or were live-tweeting notable moments from the event. Some fans even screen recorded some of the more notable moments, such as Athletic Director Rob Mullen’s appearance, and uploaded it to YouTube for posterity:

But the question for established media, as well as for the fan bases that will undoubtedly attempt to springboard off of what the Oregon community did here, and even for the programs themselves, is whether or not Twitter Spaces ultimately proves to be a net positive.

The role of media has traditionally been to play the line cook that provides palatable information for the consuming public with the ingredients served up for them by (or taken unwittingly from) the athletic departments themselves. Over time, schools have learned that with their abundant resources, they can provide these morsels in the most prepackaged and attractive manner for the consumers, often using both technology and former members of the media (that prefer stability to autonomy) to craft narratives that reflect positively upon the program’s efforts. The entire direction of collegiate sports media has been moving in the direction of “polished and pretty,” as well as “top-down control” and the real-time nature of Twitter Spaces is anything but that.

When you have fans that can goad cherished alumni into public spats, or family members of players that can publicly voice frustration with issues of scheme or personality that cause schools to have to publicly address those frustrations, much like with other forms of social media, the level of access may prove to be more of a burden than a boost.

I’m of the opinion that people can be trusted to consume information directly from the source rather than exist on rumors, innuendo, or spin fed by athletic departments to message board operators in exchange for program access. Then again I’m not managing a hundred million dollar business in the era of the transfer portal, whose success and continuity is partially dependent on the massaging of late-teenage egos. “Controlling the message” has never been more important, but in the era of Twitter Spaces, it has never been trickier. A fan with a large following, and a strong opinion on who should or should not start at quarterback, now has the ability to tempt parents and alumni to weigh in on a debate that everyone has access to, potentially in moments of extreme emotion, with the touch of a button.

It’s both an exhilarating and exhausting proposition.

While the Oregon Twitter Spaces of this past weekend was a watershed moment in college football coaching carousel history, its future might prove to bring more volatility than value. Either way, I’ll be listening.

UnafraidShow Fearless Friday Picks: 12/3/2021

Welcome to the UnafraidShow.com 2021 Fearless Friday Picks contest between George Wrigshter and Ralph Amsden.

Every week, George and Ralph will make five picks, either against the spread or the total, for the upcoming sports weekend. Each participant will start with $1000, and must risk a minimum of $20 on each pick, but can up each selection to a maximum of $100. Each winning pick pays 1:1, and we’ll keep the total throughout the season.

George Wrighster

Current total: $895

Overall record: 33-36-1 (3-2 last week, +$75)

Oregon (+2.5) vs Utah (risking $75)

Oklahoma State (-5.5) vs Baylor (risking $75)

Georgia (-6.5) vs Alabama (risking $75)

Michigan (-10.5) vs Iowa (risking $75)

Cincinnati vs Houston (+10.5) (risking $75)

This week’s picks:

Ralph Amsden

Current total: $1415

Overall record: 35-33-1 (2-2-1 last week, +$0)

This week’s picks:

Oregon vs Utah OVER 57.5 (risking $75)

Louisiana (+3) vs Appalachian State (risking $100)

Oklahoma State vs Baylor OVER 46.5 (risking $75)

Cincinnati vs Houston (+10.5) (risking $75)

Wake Forest vs Pittsburgh (-3) (risking $75)

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Wrighster or Wrong podcast.

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: Utah Claims the South, Breaking Down the Last Week of Conference Play

Britain covey

On this episode of the Pac-12 Apostles, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden lead off with Utah taking Oregon out of the college football playoff discussion, and then recap the rest of the week 12 action in the Pac-12, including Dorian Thompson Robinson’s electric performance against USC, and Washington’s head-scratching loss to Colorado in which they outgained the Buffaloes 2:1. The guys discuss the report that Arizona State is keeping Herm Edwards as their head coach, and talk about whether Chip Kelly has done enough to earn favor in the eyes of UCLA fans. Finally, a preview of the last week of conference play, with predictions. 

Apple Podcasts // Spotify // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher // RadioPublic // iHeart

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

UnafraidShow Fearless Friday Picks: 11/26/2021

Welcome to the UnafraidShow.com 2021 Fearless Friday Picks contest between George Wrigshter and Ralph Amsden.

Every week, George and Ralph will make five picks, either against the spread or the total, for the upcoming sports weekend. Each participant will start with $1000, and must risk a minimum of $20 on each pick, but can up each selection to a maximum of $100. Each winning pick pays 1:1, and we’ll keep the total throughout the season.

George Wrighster

Current total: $820

Overall record: 30-34-1 (3-2 last week, +$75)

This week’s picks:

Oregon State at Oregon (-7) (risking $75)

BYU (+7) at USC (risking $75)

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State (-4.5) (risking $75)

Penn State at Michigan State (+1.5) (risking $75)

Notre Dame (-20.5) at Stanford (risking $75)

Ralph Amsden

Current total: $1415

Overall record: 33-31-1 (3-2 last week, +$100)

This week’s picks:

BYU (-7) at USC (risking $100)

Ohio State at Michigan (+8.5) (risking $50)

Florida State (+3) at Florida (risking $50)

Arizona at Arizona State OVER 52.5 (risking $100)

Pittsburgh at Syracuse OVER 59 (risking $50)

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Wrighster or Wrong podcast.

UnafraidShow Fearless Friday Picks: 11/19/2021

Welcome to the UnafraidShow.com 2021 Fearless Friday Picks contest between George Wrigshter and Ralph Amsden.

Every week, George and Ralph will make five picks, either against the spread or the total, for the upcoming sports weekend. Each participant will start with $1000, and must risk a minimum of $20 on each pick, but can up each selection to a maximum of $100. Each winning pick pays 1:1, and we’ll keep the total throughout the season.

George Wrighster

Current total: $745

Overall record: 27-32-1 (3-1-1 last week, +$150)

This week’s picks:

USC vs UCLA (-3) (risking $75)

Utah vs Oregon (+3) (risking $75)

Ohio State vs Michigan State (+19.5) (risking $75)

Kansas State vs Baylor (+2.5) (risking $75)

Wisconsin vs Nebraska (+10) (risking $75)

Ralph Amsden

Current total: $1315

Overall record: 30-29-1 (2-3 last week, -$50)

This week’s picks:

Utah State (-5.5) vs Wyoming (risking $100)

Wake Forest at Clemson OVER 56.5 (risking $100)

Washington at Colorado OVER 43.5 (risking $100)

USC vs UCLA (-3) (risking $100)

Stanford vs Cal (-2.5) (risking $100)

Have a take you’d like us to address? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future Wrighster or Wrong podcast.