Ep 56 – Smokey

Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Hello, good night. This is you’ll die trying. I’m Jonathan Carroll.

I’m Nathan Morris.

And we have a guest in the studio dude, for those of you who participated in the Who’s the lucky avid podcast listener, thank you for your participation in the contest. The winner of that contest, the most avid listener who has and it has been recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records has listened to every episode 2323 times is Mike gross. Welcome, Mike to the studio. Oh, thank

you very much.

Oh, Mike. Gross. You’re such a funny guy. So, Mike, do you have any nicknames?

Yes, smoke is what my friends call me.

Why do you have the nickname smokey?

That goes back to college when I was in my fraternity and I was the only one in the fraternity that smoked. So smoked. It was legal. So tobacco, tobacco smoking. Yeah. And my roommates were mopey and Dopey so it all

rhymes smokey. mobian dos? Yes. Nathan, do you have a nickname Nemo for Nathan Morris,

Nathan. Yeah, and at from Nathan mo for Morrison in the late Mojo Hollowell. Who gave me that nickname? Okay. Oh, Mojo. Yeah, well, that’s

sweet. God rest his soul. Nemo.

Nemo, people call me that all time.

I might start that. Yeah, that’s fun. Yeah. Yes. Thank you for asking. Yeah, I do have a nickname. And it’s a self imposed one I was in I believe it was the eighth grade and I decided I wanted a nickname because some of my friends had them. I thought they were cool. But I wasn’t cool enough for someone to give me one because I think that’s how you get one. You don’t ever give it yourself kind of grandparents. You can say you’re going to be named a certain way. But it’s not until the kid mumbles something and that becomes your name Barbie. So mine is mine is mosquito.

You nicknamed yourself mosquitoes embarrassing, but

I’ve promised 100% authentic vulnerability in this episode cowlick,

can you to logically suspend the truth on that?


you sound like Immanuel Kant. No sound like Dr. Jonathan Eric Carroll.

No, I can’t. The problem was I just I wanted a fun nickname. And I couldn’t think of one and that’s what I ended up choosing. And I didn’t choose it until I was signing people’s yearbooks. And so now people look back at your books and they see someone named miski. No idea. No. And I’m sorry to all of my former classmates for that momentary lapse in judgment. But the nickname Yeah, it didn’t stick. No one calls me mosquito mosquito. That’s your new name. Dr Ma.

So anyway, Mike gross. Welcome to welcome to this 56th episode. Was it 56? Yeah, sorry. Is it cuz he’s the most avid listener, sir. 2000. How many times 328? And in all seriousness, thank you. Yes.

And thank you for that. $50 to get me to listen to

each episode. Listening, that means a lot. It really does. Enjoy it. Certainly. I mean, that says a lot because you’re really bright guy. And you have a lot of podcasts that you like, and that means a lot. So thank you so much. So Mike is a an engineer. Yeah. metallurgical engineer. Yes. With a Bachelor’s and a Master’s of Science in metallurgical engineering. From the Missouri University of Science and Technology, otherwise known as the MIT of the west or Rolla is it’s in Rolla, Missouri. So, you know, smart cookie. Nathan,

don’t be coming to me after that. I have an associate’s degree in mortuary science

there. That’s wonderful. Yeah, that’s great to shake a stick at and I don’t think I could do that. So I would like to. Mike, give us a sense of before we kind of jump into the conversation for the day, give us a little bit about what your life looks like, what what makes you tick.

What I what I most want to do, as far as in my career. Two things Number one is I want to see local businesses succeed. There’s a lot of manufacturing in this area, and that’s my background is in manufacturing. So I want to see a lot of healthy manufacturing in this area. The other thing is I do a lot of work with the universities, particularly with Western Kentucky. University, and I very much enjoy that interaction. And that really is the future. And so whether it’s talking with the students one on one advising, talking about the curriculum, etc. So that’s the things that I’m really focused on in my career. It’s so you’re

on the board is at the Alumni Board at Western Kentucky.

It’s actually the Ogden college Advisory Board Advisory Board. Yes. Yeah.

That’s great. Well, thank you for your service. Thank you. Nathan, how are you doing?

I’m good. I’m good. My mind’s blown already. I just yeah, I’m gonna paint the picture here. You got to brilliant human beings over here. I’m gonna sit over here and just color in my little coloring book while

they discuss. I had a client today who had socks that you color in. Now that’s cool. They were like candy canes and snowflakes? Do they have them really colored in? They one of them was colored and the other one wasn’t? And that’s sweet. And that is cool. Yeah, it’s awesome. I’d like to have a bow tie color.

And then wash out and then do it again and do it again, based on how you feel I could sit in meetings. I don’t think you should do it while you’re in a meeting. Okay. Yeah. So I’ve

been thinking a little bit recently, gentlemen. And by the way, let me just say how cool it was to see you two guys. What what you might thought were meeting and only for Mike to tell Nathan that he had seen Nathan and heard Nathan sing at a camp. Yes, some several years ago, some 3040 years and got

that 42 years ago, I was negative. However, it’s that

embryonic choir capsule. But anyway, that was pretty cool to see you guys get reacquainted. But as we jump into this, I’ve been thinking a little bit about the role that ambiguity plays in, in leadership. So let me flesh that out a little bit. A lot of people operate in the world as if it’s black and white. As if there are rights and wrongs, there are goods and Bad’s there are safes and there are dangerous. And sometimes that’s true. I always think of the poor person who wore a long tie to work in front of this big machine to warrant having a sign that has a stick figure that says no long tie around this machine, you know, like something bad had to happen, I guess. And you’re a manufacturing guy, you know how important first of all safety first, right? Oh, absolutely. Practice safety practices or your Trang. So I think it’s important to recognize that yes, there are some times some some rights and wrongs, there are some clear blacks and whites. At the same time, there’s a lot of ambiguity, what some people might call gray area, there’s room for discernment. And that this is where critical complex thinking comes into play. Leaders I think are brought into space, ambiguous spaces, every day, an employee comes and they they want to take some PTO some some time off, paid time off, or somebody wore something to school. And it’s, it’s right at the kind of dress code limit. And the assistant principal in charge of that has to kind of deal with it. There’s constant barrage of decisions that come to leaders. And I don’t think that all of those decisions are easily made, many of them are in the swamp of ambiguity. And I’ve personally believe that it’s one of our most important human goals is to become comfortable in ambiguity, but I don’t think a lot of people are, I wondered if you would talk a little bit about how you’ve encountered ambiguity in your leadership roles that you’ve played, Nathan and your work as it continues to expand and you acquire and this this is growing and Mike and your work and upper and senior level management positions and multiple companies. what do what do you experience about ambiguity? And what’s it mean for you to be a leader in the midst of ambiguity?

Well, for me, when you when you talk about ambiguity, there are some black and whites in my opinion, when you talk about regulation, okay, that that, to me, is a clear black and white, like it or not, you have now you’ve stepped down a notch something like a company policy, okay? Does that need to be enforced 100%. That’s where you start getting into the ambiguity, because there are some circumstances that arise up periodically that are not adequately addressed necessarily than what I’ve seen. So in those cases, make a policy for everything you can’t and so in those cases, it does require a little bit of additional discussion amongst either managers or with a with a larger team and go further down. Most of the decisions that I would make are what I would call in the ambiguity in the ambiguous so you just really listen to your team, get a lot of input and finally make you know, listen to the recommendations and finally make a decision.

I think that is a description of leadership that works so well in the 20 First Century, and I bet our fathers and our fathers fathers did not encounter a kind of leadership like that all the time, because oftentimes is kind of a from the top down, hierarchical method, as opposed to flat world, let’s work together co elaborate, literally work with one another to come up with policies that work. Instead it was here’s what we say do it or you’re gone. It’s very different world.

No, that’s and the most effective leadership. It’s not some people, especially young people, in my experience, they think that leadership has given instructions given directions. There has to be some of that. But by and large, it’s listen to your team, listen to the recommendations, and then make that decision. And and also explain your thinking. Yeah, all very important.

And it doesn’t the decision doesn’t have to reflect the thinking of the group, obviously. Because no, no, no, because you’re still the leader. Right? Exactly. Which is different from being in other circles where you are in a gather people to be a group of all leaders. Like, for instance, one of the things I get to do is facilitate groups and group process for therapeutic purposes. And I don’t want to come into that and be the expert in the room, I’m not never going to be I want to facilitate a group of all leaders, where everyone comes in with their own life and life story, their own grief and process. And they know best what it means to be them they know how to carry what they’re carrying. And I’m not here to tell them what that what they’re doing is right or wrong. They there is no right or wrong. That’s that’s the key. I mean, when it comes to something like grief, or pain or sadness, there’s no right or wrong, there’s what you’re experiencing is very personal. And I want people to be leaders, I want it to be a group of all leaders so that if I’m not there, and this happens, sometimes if I get hung up and I come in late, the group will be already in process. I just come in and sit down. And eventually I start facilitating but I don’t have to, they’ve got it their group of leaders in another context like a manufacturing facility or plant in a series of multiple locations of funeral homes, like you, Nathan are owning and operating. There has to be more specific leadership coming from you. But there’s still wisdom to collaboration and policy formation, right?

Yes. And not every decision requires such a collaboration, obviously, right? That’s just some of the more complex ones. It’s always good to get that input, number one to help to help the leader make the best decision. But then number two is that leader is not going to be the leader forever. So how do you develop the people underneath you? And in order to do that, you need to challenge them to do their own thinking before you to say up this is what we’re doing. Cut them off.

So constant succession planning really exactly. Yeah, they were all just interims Yes. It’s true to think that way. That’s humbling. Yeah, it

really is. Two things. One, one of it ambiguous. This is really odd, but new market that we’re in. I was told not to wear a suit.

Yes, tell tell this you don’t have to disclose but just talk about what that means. Cuz you everyday

you wear a suit at a funeral home and sag black, gray or dark navy. Which suit Am I gonna wear today? You know, white shirt tie with stripes that are customarily diagonal? Regimental? Yeah, I kind of do. But it’s you have a tartan? Oh, yeah. We got a new location end of last year. And I was advised when I came in whatever you do, don’t wear a suit. Except on funeral days. So I’m like, that doesn’t make any sense to me, as apparently, this whole come as you are jeans and T shirt is totally fine and good enough. So what I’ve done is I’ve actually continued to wear the suit, I take my keep my jacket off. And then I say I’m wearing this outfit for them for your loved one. And they appreciate that. So then that takes down any wall that they may have, because apparently it creates this sense of separation between me and them. A lot of you know, really hard working farmers farming community. And I admire that and appreciate that. That’s something where I have a dress code here. It’s like suit, your pin your name tag, but that’s when I have to be like, okay, you don’t have to wear your jacket to that market. Yeah, there’s that. And then you said, you know, we’re all just it’s a constant succession plan. You know, there’s ran into an instance last week or someone on our team, someone that’s very vital was offered a job at another place. And they said they really wanted to stay and I was like, Well, wait a second. First off, are we holding you back? And that was hard for me to say to him because I want someone to excel so well that they’re just like launching into, you know, the next stratosphere? Yeah, that’s the word. And they said no, they that we weren’t they wanted to stay. So gamma rays and they stayed.

They’re gonna stay anyway. Right.

I hope so. But yeah, I think it’s showing it’s showing commitment to and, and you know, them coming to us continuously. Anyway, I just think that that whole, constantly working with and creating leaders and people who are going to succeed secede you and

how do you experience that running into policymaking? Because your team is in multiple locations, which is true of a large corporation. Oh, yes, they were they have people not only in the region but internationally in multiple continents, which is that’s a whole other ballgame. Really. Right. But how do you deal with trying to equip people for leadership while maintaining your role as the leader? Empowering, thinking and independence and collaboration, while at the same time maintaining that position of authority, which is by nature and birthright yours,

I compare it to maintaining a fire. You know, you have to constantly stoked to toe poke and poke it. And that’s funny. Have you ever noticed in the podcast needless to say, like we finished each other since it’s yeah, it’s kind of it’s kind of sweet and cute.

My studio husband, we are we’re studio spouses. Yeah, yeah, I like that better. Because it’s alliterated. For our listening pledge, correct.

Studio spouse studios? Well, I think it’s kind of that of a fire. You know, you’re constantly having to baby it. Essentially. That’s probably a terrible word, because we look at it in a negative way. But we’re having to nurture 10 to 10. To this fire, and yeah, you get to walk away for a little bit. And then you know, the flame dwindles a little bit, and then you walk back over to with another log, and you get it on there. And you get to hear your kindling going. I mean, it’s just that’s what I compare it to. Yeah, it’s, I don’t wanna say it’s exhausting, because I really enjoy it. I like being the guy that can go and chop down the tree and get the logs ready for the fire. Mm hmm. So that kind of,

that’s a good image. I like the analogy. Thank you, Mike. And so this is interesting. So my smoky, smoky, smoky, smoky, smoky, which is different than pokey smoky, but I want to ask you at your at the height of the largest volume. How many people would you say you were overseeing

the site where I was working as 700? People?

Okay. And so you as an executive senior leadership position, had basically generalized oversight over 700 people. Yes. And then Nathan, you’re at knocking on the door of 50. And then I’m, you know, I’m an army of one. You are? Yeah. So here we have three levels. Because I still have to practice leadership, right? Because there there are many me’s. Many, not many, many me’s there. There’s the me who wants to knock off in the afternoon. And then there’s the me who wants to get up special early and go in and do some writing, and then there’s the meat there. So I’m still I still have to practice leadership in my own life, just the way all of us do. But it’s interesting that we have these three kind of diverse levels of employee to employer ratio, but we all have the same task, which is to figure out what leadership means. When you hear the word leadership both of you, it doesn’t matter who goes first, what does the word mean to you? What does that word mean? Leadership.

I’m gonna say example, just solid, steadfast. Sure, like the picture a statue, not a statue in the sense of like this boring, like, I’m going to be stuck here. But yeah, you know, they’re larger than life yet. relatable in different

ways. A cuddly statue, like a cuddly statue, a kindly


I like those. I there’s the statue of the older man and woman that I think was purchased and donated by, by maybe the bill jagah. friend of ours, I think, here in Owensboro in Davis County on the Davis County, courthouse lawn, have y’all seen it? The north side? Uh huh. Northside. And it always makes me want to go and sit next to them and just cuddle up. It’s sweet. It’s very hard. And so

that’s my, that’s my picture.

Okay, I bet you first word that popped in my mind is integrity. Yeah, very, very important.

Why wasn’t that the first word that came to our minds?

Because we have none. That’s right. Yeah.

So integrity. So you for you. A leader is someone who is integrity in a lot of different ways. Yeah. Not only having personal moral fortitude, but also it was able to integrate, yes, both different peoples diverse web diverse backgrounds and educations. I mean, I bet it’s interesting for you going in and being an upper level management, but walking through a lobby where there’s a bunch of people who are looking for jobs who are, you know, maybe covered in various forms of artistry, tattoos and piercings. Exactly. And they may be looking for a job they may or may not want to work, and so you’re trying to blend these personalities. With various management styles and make products and ship them worldwide and like that I’m sure that that particular part in your always evolving career was challenging.

Yeah, well, it’s sometimes you just, I’ve had to learn over the years, you know, the initial shock, when you see what you just described, you have to look past that. Yeah. Yeah. At the end of the day, everybody’s, everybody deserves respect. We’re all the same. That’s right.

We you mentioned that I thought you did so eloquently, when you’re talking about Elon Musk, and, and and yourself, and how really, we’re all whether you have 50,000 employees or 50. We’re all doing the same thing. Putting, as my dad used to, say, putting our pants on one leg at a time. Exactly what else? Interesting. So what do you think is the what do you think is most at risk right now, as you’re both experienced leadership, and you’re reading about leadership? What’s at risk in the 21st century? With with leadership, what, what are the pitfalls that nobody’s talking about?

I sometimes worry that leaders get too wrapped up in the short term, as opposed to the long term. That could be, you know, like, NetMeeting next quarter’s goals meeting, you know, that next happier goals versus the long game. Yeah. And especially when you when you were not a publicly traded company, but you look at some of the publicly traded companies and some of the decisions that are being made, you know, is that the the stock price is a very high consideration. I understand that. But is that the best consideration for the long term health of the company?

Yeah, Nathan and I struggled with that as when we went to Wall Street. We had the IPO for the podcast, and it was hard listening to The Economist really pushed back on us on our asking price for that that starting rate.

Two cents. Not not not quite not quite. Me stop.

Yeah. You really? Yeah.

I think it’s sad that people are forgetting about the people.

Well, this is what I wanted to ask you. Go for it, keep keep going.

You know, how can I expect my people to take care of the people, the community if I’m not taking care of my people, Hmong people?

And that’s, oh, go ahead. No, I

100% agree. I was nodding my head. Yes.

Yeah. Cuz that’s when I mean, when you see these two kinds of worlds that that you two men are in and you merge them. You have shareholders and public concerns and international issues and tariffs and all these massive mind boggling I have no idea how to think about it. realities. And then you have a local, relatively local company. Bottom line, but people how to the larger corporations care for their people. And how do these smaller companies, they’re so people oriented? Stay also focused on the bottom line? I don’t know how they do that.

I don’t either. That’s maybe islands answers. Maybe they don’t do it very well. Yeah.

I don’t know that. I don’t know that. I would like to think that I we do it relatively well.

Yeah. Because you always have your hand on the pulse of the people. But also, yes, the numbers. Yeah,

absolutely. I do a weekly I do weekly, if not just like a daily rundown of our bottom line. But there’s definitely a weekly meeting as to what’s going on. We I stay abreast to all the financial aspect, but, you know, again, the people they’ve got to be trained, trained on how to take care of people. There’ll be trained, trained to how to present and trained how to lead because in the funerary I’ll use it Dr. Carroll word funeral. I can’t even say funerary.

There we go. world It’s the magic table form of funeral Yeah, that he did you make it sound like a made up word? No. I learned it in Egypt, actually. Oh, we went to the Valley of the Kings and we saw King Tut. grave and they were talking about the funerary surroundings and the bucolic setting of the pharaohs death places.

When you get we need to get to a point where like, if I can’t insert an intelligent word, I’ll start to talk and then I’ll go right.

Alright, I just have to be watching. Yeah, yes. You have to pay attention. Okay. Okay. I’m really just looking off into space sleeping. If I were sleeping, you’d hear it as my wife. Well, that’s

that’s what that’s what I was thinking about constantly is investing in these people and teaching them how to even lead because that’s what a funeral director does is they lead literally literally named, it’s like I am going to lead you now. Director you called upon our home. So yeah, I have to have my hands in both pots.

Well, I know that you two men also have a Heart. In addition to a mind for business, you have a heart for faith, not to suggest that faith is not also about the life of the mind. And that leadership also employs the heart. But you’re both persons who employ a particular kind of spirituality. So I wonder if, well, let me ask you this, how does your proclivity towards spirituality make you a better leader. And I asked it because the word disciple, to me has the word, discipline, disciples, the root of discipline, and the root of all of that in English would be to follow. And so there’s this inherently spiritual component to the idea of leadership, I wonder what that means to you how you employ it, how you think about it. So it’s

easy to understand the concept that you’ve always got to be gracious to the boss. I think some leaders fall short the other direction. But as far as, as far as for me, you know, we’re all created in God’s image. And so the Imago Dei, yes, so it’s, it’s keeping that in mind, when you’re addressing employees, you know, sometimes you do have to deal with particular issues, right? Sometimes you just want to make sure that you say hi to him in the morning or greet me, I’ll say, say, Hello, take the time to just say two or three words to them, instead of just walking past them. Yeah, make, you know, brighten up their day a little bit. And I find that it brightens my day as well.

That’s lovely. So I hear you talking about an embodiment of your spirituality that it isn’t an intellectual assent to a set of ideas. Like I believe this theologically, and I believe this theologically, but instead it’s I’m going to embody what I believe so that people don’t hear about it. They see it. Show me Don’t tell me.

Yeah, that gets to be in our circles, it gets to be a little bit tricky when you have those types of conversations. Because yes, that opens up all sorts of possibilities that you may not positive and negative, positive and negative. So, yes, embody it. Yeah, I think that’s gonna have to

talk about it. When I was growing up, they would say, you know, your life might be the only Bible that somebody ever reads.

Yeah, no, that’s pretty cool. If asked, I don’t hesitate to discuss it, but I don’t initiate right. That’s fair.

That’s fair. How about you, because I think Nathan, in your context, people are more open about spirituality, because a part of your life includes worship. But even for people who aren’t worshiping people, even for gatherings of people who become a community who aren’t worshiping communities, nonetheless, they gather for a what might be called service, memorial service, funeral service, which is interesting, because really, historically, worship is service. So it’s kind of a tautology, to say worship is to say service and to say services as a worship. So there’s no such thing as a service of worship, but nonetheless, it’s a part of your life.

I feel I feel like I’m constantly at church.

Do you have opportunity to have conversations where people share with you their particular questions doubts their wrestling’s because obviously in my world, especially as I do grief work, you know, there’s a lot of emotionality involving God, where work, where was God, where were you God? angry at God doubtful. You know, Ted Turner, you’ll know Ted Turner, who kind of turned away from God because his sister was killed or died early, Young. Anger. And you know what the Christian and Jewish traditions have that built into it. If you read the Psalms, a third of them are psalms of lament, where the psalmist says men and women alike are praying poems of anger and and resentment, and sometimes just downright resignation, which is almost worse and indifference which is the worst toward God, even so much as saying, you know, we were going to thrash our enemies and take their babies and smash their heads against the rocks like that’s there. That’s in the text. Where were you, God, Jesus himself praise that prayer while he’s dying. Why have you forsaken me? Do you encounter people who wrestle with their faith? Are you able to host those conversations in the hallway or in family arrangements? Conferences sometimes where you’re able to lead people that way?

I’ve assisted a family one really sticks with me is the lady son died in a car crash in the 80s. And she thought that God force you know, forsake force. So look at for second forsaken person that had abandoned her. There we go. And upon her deathbed her dying wish was that nothing of God to be spoken at her funeral. Yeah, and so the Met but they wanted a minister. So I assisted this family, and we had some incredible conversations that I will, you know, keep continue to keep confidential but they still I carry them with me that was in 2012. That they literally gave him one minute at the cemetery and three minutes at funeral home for the service and strict schedule as far as what to say and not to say so as to honor her wish, because of her continued grief from her son dying in 1984. In a car crash, wow. But to answer that question, yes, I am able to see real, human, real human question fit in physical form, if that makes sense, like sitting around the table, not just the families who have lost somebody to cancer and this progressive, you know, long drawn out process where someone who’s dies in a car crash at 27 years young, and they’re sitting there just with their thoughts, and they’re like, God, what in the heck happened here? I go to church all the time. And then they’re talking to me about this stuff. And I’m able to literally just listen and talk about how much they’re loved. I don’t try to sway them. Because that’s real. Could you I couldn’t imagine that. What they’re feeling. But I really do get to hear some very intimate, intimate faith filled, and faith LIS

stories well said. And, and if there is a God, God is in both of those kinds of conversations

in that room at that moment. 100% Without a shadow of doubt. Wow. And that’s what I meant when I said I’m constantly at church is I’m literally constantly at church, you have to be, you know, not in the physical. Like, yeah, magic and mortar, brick and mortar, I’m literally in church. Well,

church was never intended to be a place it was always a people, community of people. So ecclesia, from which we get the word church, because in Spanish, it’s iglesia from the Greek, which means those called out. Color of those people who are called out gathered up to be the spiritual community, as Martin Luther King called the beloved community. That’s church. So when I was in youth group, we had T shirts that said, don’t go to church on the front. And on the back, it said, be the church. A little bit of a stick there. But I think there’s, you know, what catchy, but it’s still true. Don’t go be. And I think that that’s a helpful way of thinking about and I think it’s true leadership. I think there’s a lot of talk about leadership these days. And there’s not a lot of doing,

people love the title. Yeah, yeah, we run into those people. And I love the title, David. I literally would spend more time figuring out what their title should be than actually

doing what the job requires. It’s amazing. Yes. That was good, guys. So I’m gonna pivot for men and talk about something a little bit more serious. And that is Mike’s addiction to sports. Oh, so tell us what you enjoy doing in your off time?

Oh, in my off time. Yeah. Number one sport is baseball. Okay, fair team, St. Louis Cardinals, every player? I would say it’s Yachty. Really? Yes. Okay. No, carpenter. No, that’s that. My better half’s favorite.

Okay, so Nathan, you like carpenter?

That’s not my better half.

When I went to my first car, Cardinals game with joy. It was for my birthday. And she said go in the the team store and get a jersey. Which that’s just so fun. Yeah, yes. She’s so sweet. We went to a Knicks game recently. She’s

like, go and I won for $800. Because you’re there. You know what I mean? So you don’t

it’s like going to a concert. I’ll have that $150 t shirt. So she’s like, go in the next door and get out. No, babe, I can’t do that. It’s just it’s expensive. And so anyway, she told me to go in the cardinal store. And I was like, Well, we I know. We’ll be back. And I I mean, I think baseball jerseys are awesome. Yeah, much better than basketball jerseys. Even better than football jerseys, of which I have Russell Wilson’s from the Seattle Seahawks. But anyway, I got the choice. And I didn’t have a Cardinals player that I knew, because I wasn’t a follower of the Cardinals because I grew up watching and enjoying the Yankees. Oh, man. Alright. So anyway, I picked out one based on my wife’s maiden name. Her maiden name is carpenter. And so I got number 13 carpenter and went out and kind of surprised her with that and then come to find out that guy’s really good. Always very good. Very handsome. That’s what your better half that’s what

Yes. My better half. Would you like that comment?

Nathan, you do think he’s Yes. Absolutely. And he’s a great player. Third base, right.

Third base now. Yes.

Okay, that’s good. The most darqueze spoken of sports and forever.

Nathan, what’s your favorite sport?

My favorite sport. If I had to choose I guess I’ll say football except played it.

You did. What was your position?

I was a kicker. could have gone to college chose music. Okay. I was Yeah, kick the guy that just kicked your goal or I was extra point field goal kick off. I was not a punter. I was Greg. He was very Good, I could not punt. Okay. I actually gave up my position to Greg because I said he was better than I and the team needed him.

First of all impeccable grammar skills just now. Well done. Oh, and such a sign of humility on your part. School. Were you going to kick it?

Well, I could have gone to one A, B, one a or walked on at UK or Eastern Kentucky University Western Kentucky University.

Wow. Hmm. Mike, did you ever think about playing sports? Do they have sports at Rolla?

Yes, they have sports. I would say the football team this past year was was very good. They actually went it’s a division two school of counting. They actually went they actually went to a they actually have division two bowls. I didn’t realize that. But they went to a bowl game this year. I didn’t know they had that either. I didn’t. Yeah. So but the sports are, are adequate. I mean, they have plenty of teams. But the I would say the swimming team has probably been the most successful for the school.

Why do y’all think there is such an impetus toward sports? Why is it that sports have the power in people’s lives that they have?

Well, look at what’s going on right now with the basketball tournament, right?

So as we record, we’re in the middle. We’re kind of at the front middle of March Madness, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, and it’s always men sports why? That’s another question. But what do you think? What? How does it draw people together? Because it also pushes people apart? Oh, absolutely. Or houses divided? Well, really, are you gay? And you have so that’s one example. That’s in my house. Really? Yeah.

Yeah. My youngest daughter went to Louisville and to my to my four went to UK what to do, but it’s a lot of fun to listen to him.

It’s just such a powerful force in our culture. And there is conversation about NFL owners who may be engaged in some misdeeds. And what will the league do or not do about owners who engage in those misdeeds? There was an NBA team owner who had been recorded saying some very scandalous and racist epithets and the league kind of clamped down on him and forced him to sell his his team. I mean, there’s just so much it sports is not about entertainment anymore. To me.

How much do they make the NCAA Tournament and just the tournament? Isn’t it like a billion or 500 million or something crazy and just short amount of time? I can’t imagine student athletes,

but even people who don’t follow it or getting involved they fill out the brackets, everyone? Yeah,

I have not. I didn’t

Did you? I felt that one did it do is it doing well?

I lost the Louisville game and that’s the only one I’ve lost

so far. Louisville, Minnesota, where Rick Pitino son Richard, Richard damn beat you avail Well, Rick is in Athens celebrating his Greece when

Yep, I’ve had a very good run so far this year, but that’ll fall apart tomorrow.

Well, I just I think it’s it’s very interesting. And well, who’s this baseball player who plays for the angels who just got the 430,000,012 year contract?

The guy with a nice beard has a beard. So I’m gonna just say he has a beard.

Trunk. Mike Trout,

Mike Trout. Two thirds of men have beards. I’m gonna Google it. I don’t. That’s the two of us do them. So yeah, Mike Trout, youngest player, biggest sports contract in all sports have appeared 430 million in 12 years, which is what about 36 million a year but all tech

a lot. You’re probably thinking Bryce Harper. That was the other big contract is here.

Anyway, I just think sports are kind of crazy right now. And I think it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s fun, and it brings people together. And I love that and then it also because it brings out the worst in people. I mean, have you seen these recent stories about particularly because of the proximity NBA players with fans? And they’re, you know, the fans are yelling terrible things and the players are yelling things back and they’re getting fined and fans are getting kicked out. It’s like what? But what are we here for like it’s supposed to be something that brings us together exactly fun. Why can’t it be like fireworks, we’re all looking in one direction. We’re doing an offering and no one’s mad at anybody

until they tip over and shoot you in the face.

Well, enough about your personal experience.

Saturday missiles will get you every

Well, I’m grateful to you, Smokey, gross. Thank you, good man. And I’m grateful for the level of integrity and craftsmanship and leadership you’ve brought to your world both professionally and personally and for your spirituality and for your sense of humor. Very grateful for you and thank you for being Our first listener, guests.

Yes. Thank you for having me.

Really, really? I’ve enjoyed it.

That’s neat. That’s neat. Yeah, I’m happy.

So if we have all of our listeners to be guests on our show, we should be able to record one more time. We’re just call us. We know who you

are as optimistic and say that we would have episodes for the next few years.

Yeah. Well, I think so. Yeah, it’s, it’s amazing. I’m always amazed. And I say it every time. I’m always amazed at how these numbers are, are demonstrating that people are, in fact listening. And everyday somebody will come and say something, and it just means the world to us. That means we’re not just yeah, the podcast, it just means we’re not here by ourselves, that we’re all struggling. And we all need to hear somebody else say what we are thinking, and then maybe offer up some way of thinking about it differently. So I’m grateful to you, Mike for just that. And, Nathan, I’m gonna give you the parting opportunity.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much, again, for listening. Be sure to hit that five star, please sure to visit you’ll die or forward slash you’re trying. Be sure to shoot us an email at you’ll die trying

so good at that. Thank you. It’s your spiritual gift. Is it? Yeah, thank you. I’m Jonathan. I’m Nathan.

I’m Mike. This is you’ll die try until next time.