We talked with Phil Steele and sounded really nervous when doing it. You can see it in the transcript or hear it on the audio, but Phil comes at you in whole paragraphs of stat-heavy prose that's seemingly been edited, proofed, and then rewritten before coming out of his mouth. He's an awesome interview--we tried like hell to keep it at 25 minutes and under and ended up going 39 plus with him because, like his guide, he's jampacked with knowledge. At one point, we thought of being a smartass and asking him about Buffalo's secondary, but then realized that he could and would speak volubly and authoritatively to the question.
It's long. It's good. We're working on a transcript to post later today, but as you can hear, Phil speaks very, very quickly. Enjoy.
O: Phil, thank you for joining us this morning.
P: It's my pleasure, Orson.
O: I wanted to talk a little bit first about what goes into the making of your guide. It's really a panopticon eye on college football. It covers everything. Just give us an example of the time, the research, the staff you use to put this monster together.
P: Well, we have a staff of about 25 to 35 people depending on what time of year it is, and we work on football 365 days of the year. In this year's magazine on page 17 we have a picture of the 12 tvs in front of my desk. I get to watch 12 college games all day long on Saturday and 12 NFL games on Sunday. Now on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday of each week I go through the play-by-play of each college football game to make sure I didn't miss anything over the weekend.
I send a different member of my staff to different conferences. What they do is read the local papers. We try to get 2-3 sources for each team. We underline all the important stuff during the course of the year to tell me about interesting things during the week and that of course helps us out on the weekend.
Then during the offseason once December hits I start reading through everything that was underlined for the year. It gives me a real good flavor for the teams--spend a good 4-5 hours...(TBC)