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Around the Diamond With Kevin McAlpin

Tyler McComas

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Have you ever attempted to plan out an ultimate baseball trip? A cross-country journey that takes you to various cities and ballparks in America? It’s the ultimate dream for any hardcore baseball fan to experience all the nuances each stadium from Safeco Field to Fenway Park has to offer. For most, that’s a dream that will remain a fantasy. However, for Kevin McAlpin, it’s a daily job.

But to know how McAlpin is traveling the country with the Atlanta Braves Radio Network, you first have to know about his journey. A Temple University grad, McAlpin’s road started at a small AM station north of Philadelphia owned by Eagles play-by-play voice Merrill Reese. 

He was told he would do a little bit of everything, which was meant literally. McAlpin would serve multiple roles, ranging from news and sports updates, to play-by-play for high school football and basketball, to over-night shifts at the station, even when he felt his parents and girlfriend were only ones listening. It was invaluable experience to a young kid that was fresh off an internship with the Philadelphia Phillies in ballpark operations. 

From there, an opportunity with an ESPN station in Philadelphia came about, but it wasn’t the role he was looking for. Strictly dealing with promotions, McAlpin wanted to find a way, whatever the cost, to get back in front of the mic. He did so by approaching his program director and expressing the desire to fill any opening the station had. 

That’s valuable experience to any young person in the business. If you want a larger role in the station, sit down with your PD and show you’re willing to work any shift to make it happen. That’s exactly what McAlpin did, as at the age of 25, he was pulling a Friday night un-paid 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. shift. It wasn’t glamorous, but it was certainly a start in the right direction.

While most of his friends were probably out and enjoying the Philadelphia nightlife, McAlpin was balancing 90-second updates every 20 minutes, with Boston Market dinner dates alongside his girlfriend in a back room of the station. Now his wife, McAlpin calls Melissa the ‘Real MVP’ of the family, as she not only stuck by his side during the tough times, but essentially becomes a single mom during baseball season. 

Wives of successful personalities in the business don’t get the recognition they deserve, but show me someone who’s had a decent run in radio and I’ll show you someone who’s likely had a woman by his side throughout the entire journey. McAlpin is no different. 

Shortly after proving his worth as an over-night update anchor, McAlpin finally got the big break he was waiting for. Meredith Marakovits, who’s now a reporter for YES Network covering the Yankees, left the station, which opened up a position covering the Phillies as a beat reporter. Once again, McAlpin approached his PD and expressed his desire for the position. And once again, he received the new opportunity by showing ambition. 

Though the station didn’t have much money in the budget, McAlpin offered the station a deal. He’d do the first home stand to show his capabilities and a decision would be made following the series. As fate would have it, the station loved what he brought and put him on the beat for the following two seasons. McAlpin didn’t get to travel with the team in either season, but did all 81 home games for a Phillies squad that eventually became one of the best teams in the National League.

In his new role, McAlpin had a chance to meet a lot of the visiting teams, including the Atlanta Braves, who used him as a stringer for 50 bucks per game. The job included obtaining post-game audio from the Braves’ clubhouse and sending it to their post game show. It may have seemed insignificant at the time, but it would turn out to be a major connection. 

After the 2011 season, McAlpin noticed a job posted online for the Braves Radio Network. Wanting to expand its coverage, the network was looking for a full-time radio reporter to travel with the team and be there from the first day of spring training until the last game of the season.

McAlpin then reached out to a few people he had already communicated with at the Braves Radio Network and asked what they knew about the position. After being one of a couple hundred applicants, his previous working relationship paid off, when he was offered the reporter position for the 2012 season. 

For McAlpin, the 2018 season marks year No. 7 with the Braves Radio Network. His career has allowed him opportunities such as meeting Vin Scully, signing his name inside the Green Monster at Fenway Park and even the opportunity to cover the farewell season for Chipper Jones. When it comes to baseball, he’s experienced almost everything the game has to offer. 

If you take away anything from McAlpin’s experience, let it be these two lessons: First, if you’re looking for a new role at your station, make it known to your PD. Amazing things can happen in your career if you simply ask and show the desire to work. Secondly, make as many contacts as possible. Whether it’s at a press conference, game, wherever, make sure you’re meeting new contacts not only from people in your market, but others as well. 

TM: When was the very first time you got in a radio station? 

KM: I always knew I wanted to do radio or TV since I was in middle school. My high school outside of Philadelphia actually had a radio station. I was able to get my feet wet and get on the air by the time I was a freshman in high school, which was pretty awesome because there’s not a lot of high schools that have those type of opportunities. A cool fact about it, It’s actually the oldest high school radio station in the country. I was mostly a music DJ and other little things. I was just trying to get a feel of how the business works. 

TM: What’s a normal game day like for you? 

KM: Typically, I’m in the clubhouse about four hours before the game starts. I’m there gathering sound we use for the pre game show, as well as one-on-one interviews we use for our weekly show. After that, I go upstairs to edit all the sound and send it in to the studio so those guys can have it for the pre-game show. Once the game starts, I’m covering it and doing updates on social media, stuff like that. 

After the game, I’m getting all the audio for the post game show from the manager, starting pitcher and usually a couple of players. We do a lot of different Braves content, here in Atlanta. So, my day actually starts at 7:45 in the morning when I do about a 10-minute segment with our morning show, called Atlanta Braves Today. We do that every week day from the final week of spring training to the end of the season. 

Basically, I get to the ball park around 3:30 most days, if I’m lucky we’ll get a three-hour game and I’ll get home around midnight or 12:30. 

TM: Since you’re in the clubhouse for every single game of the year, how important is it for you to build really good relationships with the players and coaching staff? 

KM: That’s everything. It takes a long time to establish trust with guys, fortunately I’ve been able to do that with basically everyone I’ve dealt with over the years. The one thing, is that it only takes one screw up to de-rail that relationship you spent so much time building up. 

I think a lot of it is just earning their trust and with traveling with the team, some things happen away from the field that you’ll see and hear but keep to yourself, if you know what I mean. I always respect the guys and never run with things I see off the field. I know where our time is and where our place is, I’m lucky enough to go on the team plane and stay in the team hotel, so I just respect that guy’s privacy as much as possible. It takes one stupid tweet to mess up a relationship and it’s really hard to do your job when you do that. 

TM: With that being said, since you’re with the Braves Radio Network, is it your role to ask tough questions to a guy that’s in a slump or not playing well? 

KM: Yeah, I think you have to because the listeners aren’t idiots. There’s only so much you can try and put a positive spin on. That’s always been my personality, it’s always been how I was raised, to be a happy, look at the bright side kind of guy. But look, if a guy is struggling, you have to point that out. 

I think there’s a way you do that without crushing a guy. You can say, look, this guy is 1 for his last 20, but he had a similar stretch last year and still had 200 hits. I think you have to be honest with the fans and people that are listening, but I don’t think you have to go out of your way to bury a guy either. 

It’s easy to say Freddie Freeman is on pace to win the MVP, but it’s not as easy to question what’s going on with Ozzie Albies lately. You’ve just got to find a balance and the players understand we have a job to do. I don’t think many of the players read or listen to what we put out, some do and they’ll tell you about it, but I think you owe it to the listener to be honest and open. 

TM: Is it hard to find a story line for all 162 games during the season? 

KM: It’s hard. Even when things are going well for the team. It’s just so different from any other sport, because it is every day and you’re always trying to come up with new storylines. I think the one area we’ve been lucky with, is all the storylines that have rolled through since there’s been so many new faces on the roster the last four years. 

It can be challenging when the team has won 8 in a row, because even though that’s good, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier to create a story line from. That probably sounds weird, but it’s just another reason why baseball is so different. There’s some days where there’s not a whole lot going on, so you have to dig and find something worth talking about. 

TM: I’m guessing you have to be really up to speed on every team in the National League? 

KM: Yeah, and with Interleague play, you have to an eye on the American League. We go to Toronto this week, we’ll be in Canada about 40 hours after we play a night game and then we’ll turn around and play the next afternoon and fly out after. 

We played Boston in Fenway Park a couple weeks ago, which was easy because they’ve been killing everyone so you didn’t have to dig too deep for stuff on them. It’s not so easy when you play the Tampa Bay Rays. We played down there a couple weeks ago. 

So yeah, I try to do my homework on those teams a couple of days in advance, so when I go into a clubhouse of a team that we don’t see a lot, I’m ready and having an idea on what’s going on with them. I’ll reach out to guys that cover the other teams to see who’s accessible and best to talk to, as well as who to stay away from. But yeah, it’s not just the NL, it’s everybody. 

Fortunately, all the info you could need is at your fingertips, but you have to do keep an eye and ear on what everyone in the game is doing. To me, that’s the fun part. 

TM: How tough is it having a family and having to leave so much during the season? Is that the toughest part of your job?

KM: I would say yes, it’s tough. I have a three-year-old and for 7 months I’m part-time dad. I think the thing people don’t realize, is even when I’m home, I’ll see him for 45 minutes before he goes to daycare and then on FaceTime after he gets home. 

There’s a misconception, because when we’re home, we’re not really home. I do the best I can when we have an off day. I’ll spend the whole day with my son, turn my phone off and try to disconnect for a while, but it’s just so hard because there’s always something happening. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so lucky to be able to travel. I went to more cities in my first year covering the Braves than my parents have went to in their whole lives. I put in perspective the fact I’m traveling to places I never thought I’d go. We now know where the best places are to get lunch, or where the best bartender in town is, it’s just cool to be able to go to Los Angeles and have spots that you always hit. 

At the end of the day, I just take the positives with the negatives. I get to be home for the offseason that lasts 4 and a half months. There’s not a lot of people that can say they work every day for 7 and a half months but get 4 and half months off. I’m home for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, all the fun holidays. I would sacrifice a 4th of July barbecue to be with my family for those holidays. There’s sacrifices in every job, mine are just a little different. 

BSM Writers

The Big Ten Didn’t Learn ANYTHING From the NHL’s Mistake

To not have your product ever mentioned again on THE sports network seems like a steep tradeoff to me.

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ESPN, Big Ten

My favorite moments in life involve watching someone/something on the verge of a great moment and after a lot of struggling, get to the moment that makes them happier than you cam imagine. You can feel your scowl shift from tepid observer to interested party and then finally transition to open fandom. I was on the verge of another one of those moments coming into this week until the Big Ten decided that they would make biggest mistake since the Legends and Leaders divisions.

The conference was closing in on a brand new set of media rights to go into effect starting with the 2023 football and basketball seasons. The discussions were near a climax when the USC and UCLA called Big Ten commish Kevin Warren. Then, the negotiations relaunched and something special was about to happen. The Big Ten was inches away from declaring themselves the richest and most forward-thinking conference in the entire country and if they could win a few football games, they’d be head ahead of the SEC.

You can argue until you are Gator Blue in the face but the fact is, the Big Ten was about to explode and pass the SEC. The conference was about to have games on FOX, ABC/ESPN, CBS and NBC. All of the networks. ALL OF THEM. They were also developing a package for a streaming service to test the waves of the web. It all sounded so damn smart.

Then, the Big Ten went dumb.

The conference got greedy and asked for too much from what would have been their most profitable partner in cachet, ESPN. Reportedly the conference asked ESPN for $380 million per year for seven years to broadcast the conference’s second-rated games… at best. My jaw hit the floor.

Pure, unapologetic greed got between the Big Ten and smart business. The conference forgot a lesson that the NHL learned the hard way. ESPN dominates sports. ESPN is sports.

I don’t need to go to far back in the archives to remind you that ESPN’s offer to the NHL for media rights wasn’t as lucrative financially as NBC’s was, but the NHL took the short-term money and ignored the far-reaching consequence. ESPN essentially wiped them from the regular discussion. Yes, there were some brief highlights and Barry Melrose did strut ass into the studio on occasion, but by no means was that sport a featured product anymore.

One afternoon I had someone tell me that they were upset ESPN was airing a promo for an upcoming soccer match that ESPN was carrying. He told me, “they’re only promoting it because they have the game.”

That’s kind of how this thing works. ESPN is in business with some sports and not others so it makes a lot of sense to promote those you are in business with, yeah? ESPN doesn’t spend a lot of time promoting Big Brother, Puppy Pals or ping pong either. Why would they? There is no incentive too.

Here’s the sad question. Why would ESPN bother promoting the Big Ten? Why would ESPN spend extra time on the air, on their social platforms, on their digital side, to promote something they don’t have access to? The Big Ten is a big deal, but is it that big of a deal?

I am not suggesting that ESPN will ignore the Big Ten. They will still get discussed on College GameDay. But why would the network’s premiere pregame show for decades go to any Big Ten games and feature the conference?

There will be highlights still shown on SportsCenter, but I’m willing to bet they get shorter.

The Big Ten chose network television and a streaming service over the behemoth that is ESPN. As far as streaming is concerned, consider that over half of all NFL frequent viewers still don’t know that Thursday Night Football games are on Amazon only this year. That’s a month away and that’s people who call themselves frequent NFL viewers and that’s the biggest, baddest league in the land. Good luck telling them Purdue/Rutgers is on Apple or Amazon. Streaming is a major part of the future, but it still isn’t the now.

ESPN may seem like the safe bet, but that’s because it’s the smartest bet. NBC is a fine network that spends a bajillion dollars on America’s Got Talent and The Voice. Fine shows, but tell me where I can watch highlights of the recent Notre Dame/Stanford game.

CBS is a wonderful network that dominated with the SEC package for a long time, but that’s because the very best SEC game each week went to CBS. Will they still dominate if they have the league’s #2 package? Because why wouldn’t FOX, Big Ten Network co-owner FOX, get the best game each week for Big Noon Saturday?

There isn’t a single one of us that has a good damn idea where college football will be in three, five or seven years but I do know that ESPN isn’t going anywhere. I know ESPN has elite talent at every level of production and on-air that’s been in place for a really, really long time. I also know ESPN cares way more about sports than the other networks. CBS would like the Big Ten to do well, but CSI: Las Vegas is a priority, too.

The NHL went for quick money and it cost them market share. The sport is still trying to recover after being largely ignored by ESPN for 17 years. It wasn’t out of spite, it was out of business. The NHL once thought it didn’t need ESPN. Where’s the NHL now?

The money the Big Ten will generate is amazing, I will not deny that. It seems like a boondoggle of a lifetime to grab this cash. However, to not have your product ever mentioned outside of Saturdays ever again on the network that literally everyone associates with sports seems like a steep tradeoff to me. The Big Ten is going to get paid a lot now but in the long term, they will pay the most.

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BSM Writers

Producers Podcast – Nuno Teixeira, ESPN Radio

Brady Farkas

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BSM Writers

Lance Zierlein Isn’t Taking Shortcuts

“That really hammered it home for me; man, you just can’t take shortcuts.”

Brian Noe

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Jack of all trades, master of none. The only thing I dislike about that saying is, to me, it implies that a person isn’t special in any one particular area. That isn’t the case with Lance Zierlein. The guy has been crushing morning drive in Houston for 25 years and knocking out NFL draft evaluations for eight years now at NFL.com. It isn’t possible for anybody to master draft analysis, but Zierlein’s talent evaluations stand out so much that NFL coaching staffs and front offices pay attention to his views.

In addition to his on-air duties and draft analysis, Zierlein used to provide gambling advice for bettors through his own handicapping business. This dude gets around. Zierlein has proven to be valuable in many different areas. It’s no wonder that new opportunities have become available to him over the years. In our conversation, Zierlein talks about not taking shortcuts. He also mentions how he tries to avoid taking himself too seriously on the air, and reveals the most gratifying experience of his career. Enjoy!

Brian Noe: How did you initially break in to the radio business?

Lance Zierlein: Radio started for me 25 years ago. Actually it started before then; I started my own handicapping business 28 years ago when I was really young. Then I hustled my way on radio as a football analyst, an expert in my early 20s. I sent stuff out to a bunch of stations, got on, gave out my phone number for my pick line, which I answered myself and gave out picks. That was my living. 

From there, 610AM became an all-sports station in the fall of ‘94. By ‘95 the general manager of the station liked me on the radio and so I was doing a weekend sports show for a couple of hours on Sunday. By ‘97 I was doing morning drive. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since. I quit a job making $400 a week working 60 hours a week. It was just ridiculous. It was like some horrific management position in a field I had no idea what I was doing. I just quit and bet on myself and started my own business and three years later I’ve got a morning sports talk show. It’s been that way ever since.

BN: What has been your career path when it comes to writing?

LZ: I’ve been writing for a while. I started my own football newsletter in 1998. It was a sports newsletter, then in 2001 it became a football only newsletter. I did that for a while. I was a fantasy football writer for the Houston Chronicle. I had a blog in the Chronicle that was fairly heavily trafficked. I covered everything but really started to focus in on the NFL draft and some fantasy football stuff and the Houston Texans.

Some people over at the NFL noticed me. I planted some seeds over there and introduced myself to people at NFL Media. In October of 2014, they reached out to me about being their new NFL draft analyst. Shortly thereafter I was hired. I’ve worked there since the fall of 2014. So eight NFL drafts and 25 straight years of drive-time radio as well.

BN: When you think about all of those different avenues whether it’s handicapping, sports radio, or being a draft analyst — which is like scouting — which do you think you’ve had to learn the most about to know what you were talking about really well?

LZ: Oh man, well for me radio was never formulaic. I didn’t learn in college, I was just a natural talker and thinker and entertainer. I’m not necessarily predictable.

I think the most that I had to learn was the NFL draft. Handicapping is something that you learn as well. I learned in the pool halls of New Orleans when I was going to school at Tulane. I had a mentor who was a former vice president of finance for a company there. He just taught me about handicapping as being an analytical process where you try to find the right side of the puzzle. There’s a puzzle between two teams, various players, here’s the point spread and you try to work the puzzle out and find the right side. That took time too.

When it came to the draft you’re talking about having to really learn all of the specific factors for every position. From long snapper to punter to kicker to every position on the offensive side and defensive side. Even if you think you know what you’re doing and even if you have a scouting manual like I had to work off of, until you actually watch a ton of tape and make mistakes in evaluations, which you don’t know until two and three years down the road in many cases, and learn from those mistakes and alter your process and dial in your process to match the changing tides of NFL and college football, you really can’t get there.

I think the most learning I had to do believe it or not, and my dad was an NFL and college football coach my whole life, I think it’s interesting; the most learning I had to do really was the scouting and the evaluating process before the NFL draft. I think that was the most work I had to do from start to finish. And I still think that I’m learning in that as well.

BN: Doing draft evaluations is difficult. Handicapping games is difficult. Between the two, which do you think you were thrown into the deep end more? Most when it comes to that?

LZ: Handicapping I was trying to pick winners for people and I didn’t really feel like I had anything to lose. I was doing something I loved to do. I had left a job I hated that I should have never even been in. To me I was master of my own domain. I had my own company. But there’s a pressure that comes with that because although I didn’t need much money to survive and I was married to my first wife at the time, there is a pressure with knowing that you have to win so that people will sign up for the next month and you can pay bills.

When it comes to being thrown into the fire, listen I’ve got to write 500 players a year and every one of them is going to live on the internet forever. There’s receipts on 500 players. When I got thrown in I’m having to call defensive back coaches I know to ask questions about certain things having to do with cornerbacks, safeties. I’m talking to pass rush specialists. I’m talking to coaches primarily and really getting an education. I was lucky enough to talk to some guys who really gave me some help along the way.

But if you just watch a tape, the tape will speak to you. I had Jerry Angelo who was the GM of the Bears who one time told me just say what you see. Just say what you see. I really lived off that for the first couple of years. Then beyond that I started to really learn to be more technical with some of the things I was looking at at every position. Having 500 players that you’re writing up, from what I recall from a former editor there, he got 15 million hits internationally on my scouting reports over a relatively short period of time during the draft.

That really hammered it home for me; man, you just can’t take shortcuts. You have to really understand these guys, know these guys. If you project them wrong that’s fine, but don’t miss because you took shortcuts. It’s going to be there for everyone to read and see. I would say thrown to the wolves much more in the evaluation.

BN: Which of the three would you say is the most gratifying for you between sports radio, handicapping back in the day, and the writing/analyst work that you do?

LZ: God, that’s such a hard question because they’re three very different times of my life. The handicapping stuff was me just getting a shot to springboard into sports and into radio. I always knew handicapping was going to be a way for me to get into radio. I planned it as a side door into radio and my plan worked. I was pretty good at what I did.

Radio was just incredible because it introduced me to my wife. She was a listener so it introduced me to her. We had such a great following. Athletes liked the show. That’s gratifying on a level in my 20s and in to my 30s, I don’t think anything can match that when people around the city know who you are. You’re having fun every single day. You’re coming into the radio station and it’s just a lot of fun. You’re just kind of on a wild ride. You don’t really recognize it until after it’s over.

Football was special in a different way because my dad was a lifelong coach. He’s been a coach since I was one or two years old. He’s won a Super Bowl ring. He’s coached for a variety of college and pro teams. The first time he was reading my scouting reports when he was with the Arizona Cardinals, he came across them. One of the other coaches showed him.

When he really realized wow, he knew I did radio, he knew I did some of the scouting stuff on my own in a newsletter, I don’t think he really took it all that seriously. When he realized in reading my scouting reports for offensive lineman that I was really pretty good at it, and that he agreed with much of it, and he’s now calling me every other day to talk about prospects and get my thoughts on guys, you just can’t imagine the amount of happiness that gave me as a son to know that my dad had that level of respect for my work.

It’s really a second job. Radio is what I had done and this is a dramatically different job. If you’re doing NFL draft analysis for NFL.com, I’m following a scouting protocol. This is not radio. It’s a totally different discipline and job. Knowing that he really had a great deal of respect and that other Arizona Cardinals coaches started calling me and asking my opinions on certain players, it’s hard to really put into words how gratifying that is.

Then through the process knowing that there are people in the league who really respect my work and guys I’ve become friends with who are general managers now who respect what I do. There’s just an immense feeling of satisfaction in doing that and knowing I’ve got number one radio shows at four different stations in Houston.

Then to be able to do this with professionals that are in my dad’s trade. I grew up watching my dad as a coach, I know how tough that profession is for front office personnel, for coaches, and to know that people have a respect for the work that I do, that’s a level of gratification that’s completely different. That’s like a cherry on top. If I never did anything again tomorrow, I would be happy with what I’ve accomplished in my time in sports.

BN: Football fans turn into mini GMs when the draft rolls around. A lot of their evaluations are way off. [Laughs] Do you see a common thread between some of the evaluations that are just not accurate?

LZ: That’s a tough question. I think some people are way too opinionated and firm in opinions and they have not spent nearly enough time actually watching the players. I think it’s really more they’re aggregating opinions from other people and then turning it into their own, which is kind of an incomplete analysis. I think that’s a mistake that some people make.

I think there’s a belief that who you are now is who you’re going to be in the future. That’s the most basic mistake that everyone makes. You have to learn you’re not giving grades for who a player is right now, you’re giving grades for who a player is going to be in three to five years. Learning to do that does not happen overnight. It’s hard. It forces you to think differently. It forces you to really focus on traits and the habits of successful people.

Whether it’s certain successful traits, there are traits that can lead to success, explosiveness, speed, length, toughness, and you’ve got to look for those, and then you worry about NFL coaches coaching up the rest of it. Don’t get too hyper-focused. I think a lot of people get too hyper-focused on who a player is right now and not who a player is going to be later. Then also on the flip side, they get too enamored with stats and names as opposed to understanding what typically works in the NFL.

BN: How about your future? Say five years from now, what you’re doing, where you’re doing it at, what would be ideal for you?

LZ: I really don’t know. I think honestly if the right opportunity came with an NFL team and somebody I respected as a general manager, that would be something I would have to consider. I’m not sure that that right opportunity and all the things would fall in place. I don’t know that that would ever be the case. I’m not sure I see myself doing that in five years.

I think honestly, I feel like I have an eye for talent outside of football. I think I have an eye for talent in radio. I’ve brought five to seven people in who have become radio people and good hosts. I think at some point that might be something that I want to do is become more of a program director. If not a program director a talent scout to bring in the next generation of radio professionals.

I could see myself doing that because I do think I have an eye for people who have it. I didn’t learn the traditional way and so I understand that you don’t have to go through the traditional methods to be someone who can be captivating or entertaining or someone with upside. I think I recognize when people have that kind of upside. I think I’d love to be involved in that side of radio at some point in the future.

I’ve got a football business along with the former director of analytics for the Tampa Bay Bucs. It’s kind of a scouting tool and a recruiting tool for colleges. We’re already working with college teams and with high school teams. I think the handicapping stuff is out for me moving forward. [Laughs] That was an avenue and a vehicle and I still love trying to solve the puzzle, but I don’t put the same time into it anymore. There are different directions I can go in, but I’m happy where I am right now both in radio and the draft stuff. I’m just going to keep letting things play out and we’ll see what happens.

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