I Am Athlete: Podcast review

**This was written before the IAA/Pivot podcast split. Updates are at the bottom**

I Am Athlete is a popular podcast, located on Youtube and other popular podcast platforms. It is very popular among football and non-football fans alike, as shown in its lively comment section. The show features Brandon Marshall, Chad Johnson, Fred Taylor, and Channing Crowder, all of whom are ex-NFL players. In this post, I will discuss my experience with the show and my views on some of the topics they touch on.

My experience with the I Am Athlete podcast

I discovered the I Am Athlete podcast in the trending section of Youtube. I was late to the game, so it was already in season 2. Just like many fans of the show, I was instantly enchanted by the cast. From then on, I was a weekly subscriber to the Youtube channel, as well as its sister podcast ‘I Am Woman’.

Season 1

As I was coming in late, I had a lot of catching up to do. I would watch the newest episodes when they came out, then also go back and see what I missed. I soon realized season 1 was different than season 2, as it didn’t include the same four core cast members and the set-up was less intimate. I didn’t really care for Omar or Reggie, so I found myself being less and less drawn to re-watching those episodes.

Season 2

The second season of IMA was unlike anything on Youtube right now. I know there are other sports podcasts out there, some with very famous names and faces, but there was something special about this show. Not only were the cast members each notable football players, but they also [seemed to] have a great friendship that came through in the conversation. They touched on a lot of interesting topics and hosted a lot of interesting guests:


  • Fatherhood
  • Investments
  • Family
  • Growing up
  • Current events/sports
  • Playing in the NFL
  • Marriage/relationships
  • …and more


  • Stephon Diggs
  • Terrell Owens
  • Cam Newton
  • Jake Paul
  • Michael Vick
  • Adewale Ogunleye
  • Dwayne Wade
  • …and more

Reoccurring themes in season 2

The personalities of each cast member came through so clearly, and I watched every episode. Because of this, I noticed some reoccurring themes. Some I liked, some I could’ve lived without, but they are what made up the show.

“As men, we…”

This phrase intrigued me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, yes, the cast was all men, so they were certainly qualified to speak on the experiences of being men. However, they are far from the average man. Each of them has millions in their bank accounts and have for several years. Their job was based heavily on their physicality, which very few people of the modern day can relate to. “As rich, black men, we…”/”as ex-NFL players, we…”/”as famous men, we…” would often be more appropriate qualifiers. Because they’ve been rich and famous for so long and had such a unique job, “as men” seems too general to me for a lot of their experiences, since so many men can’t relate to many aspects of their lives. Not only that, but they were often extremely general statements and were not necessarily scalable or true.

“Fashion icon”

This reoccurring theme was comical to me. Fashion and clothes are a frequent point of discussion on the podcast, and to be fair, each man did have their own distinctive style. Likewise, Brandon often commented on the outfits of guests who were actively involved in the sphere of fashion, such as Dwayne Wade or Stephon Diggs. However, I’ve never really been impressed with anybody’s outfits on this show. Although the clothes featured may have been expensive, they aren’t that nuanced or groundbreaking for anyone to be considered a “fashion icon”. For the amount of time they discuss their clothes, their outfits be simplified quite easily:

  • T-shirts/sweatshirts either covered with sporadic images/words -or- a single word or phrase across the chest + jeans + color-coordinating shoes + a corresponding flat-brim hat
  • Matching sweatshirt + sweatpants combo + color-coordinating shoes
  • High fashion/name brand top + fashionable pants

Downsides of the podcast

Although I did binge it for a while, I became increasingly less interested as the episodes went on. Below, I’ve given a couple aspects of the podcast I saw repeated that I didn’t necessarily love.

Unmasked personality traits

As the shows went on, the deeper aspects of their personalities show through. This was fascinating in terms of learning more about them, but some of those traits are not ones I necessarily find appealing. One example was their desire for status and money. It was clear that how much money they have in the bank was an important to them and relates to how their view themselves in social circles. A clear example of this was during the Dwayne Wade episode and they’re discussing how many millions they have in the bank. Another example was in the infamous Brandon shouting at everyone episode. He showed a less-than-desirable side to himself, especially when he wasn’t able to apologize for it after the fact. These people are not perfect, and I don’t expect them to be, but the deeper and less desirable sides of their personalities did come out as the episodes progressed.

Inflated egos

Similar to their personalities showing through, it was clear to me that these men see themselves on a higher standing than most people. This was probably due to the fact that they are on a higher standing than most people. They have more money, more influence, and a much larger platform than most NFL players, let alone regular people. However, this was bound to go to their heads, which I sense in their conversation. Furthermore, it was enforced in the comment section, with all the high praise and admiration. It’s not necessarily their faults, but it’s something I find persisting throughout the show.

Shouting arguments

The one thing I can’t stand from ESPN and other sports analysis shows is the passionate shouting matches that end up nowhere. Unfortunately, this show has these more often than I would like. For me, it was the conversation and comradery that these men had that made the show special. The vibrant yelling, for me, is not the content I want to see.

My overall thoughts

At its peak, this podcast was not just another sports podcast. It gave insight into the lives of men who have reached the pinnacle of American football and are living the aftermath. Furthermore, they are still men, fathers, husbands, and friends, who openly discuss those different parts of their lives. I loved the conversations and perspectives they brought and enjoyed the unique content they were able to create together. Overall, I would still recommend season 2 of this show to anyone who knows football or was looking for an engaging podcast, just don’t read too much into it.


(March 2022): Since I’ve written this post, two of the I Am Athlete hosts (Fred Taylor and Channing Crowder) have split off to create their own podcast called The Pivot. As I said in this post, the more negative traits of the hosts were starting to show and it was becoming something other than what it was in it’s prime. Now that I’m reading this back, I wonder if the negative traits I was seeing came from the entire group or was mostly fueled by Brandon. As of now, I no longer watch I Am Athlete, and I exclusively watch the Pivot. I feel like losing Channing and Fred really made the podcast not worth tuning into, no matter what guest they have on. I don’t have any plans to return to this podcast, so there will likely be few more, if any, updates here.

Leave a Reply