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The Mask That Eats The Face

Wright Thompson
Senior Writer, ESPN

New York Times Bestselling Author, The Cost of These Dreams

The Mask That Eats The Face

There is only one Wright Thompson. You’ve read his articles. You’ve heard his voiceovers on ESPN 30 for 30s and College Gameday. But to say his pieces are ALL about sports is not the case – Wright Thompson figures people out. He jimmies the lock to the furnaces inside the people he profiles and does an analysis of the fuel that fires their ambition.

 

Whether it be Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or Pat Riley or Urban Meyer, he strips the away the self-serving myths and fantasies to reveal his characters in full. There are fascinating common denominators: it may not be that these individuals are more “human” and more like us than we thought. Simply put, Wright Thompson is the GOAT at his craft.

 

The best stories happen when you get past the fame and deal with someone who is an exceptionally driven human being who is otherwise, except for that drive, dealing with the same issues that everyone else is.

 

Throughout this podcast, you are going to get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes encounter with someone who has spent many, many hours around some of the best athletes and coaches in the history of sports. What I want you to take from this, as Wright so eloquently states, is that these ultra-famous, successful individuals are no different than you and I. Outside of their tremendous drive and skill, they experience and deal with the same issues, anxieties, and frustrations as the next person.

 

Also, just a warning, this interview is uncensored and does contain some explicit language. However, it does not take away from the brilliance that is Wright Thompson!

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SHOW NOTES (TIMESTAMPED TO VIDEO)

 

03:15 – How Wright is able to tell a story better than anyone else

 

 05:15 – The difference between the mask you wear and your true self (Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods)

 

09:00 – “Greatness is, by necessity, lonely”: The best sacrifice to achieve the things they achieve

 

10:30 – Heisman Trophy Winner Billy Cannon’s story: “Are you Billy Cannon?” “Well, I’m what’s left of him.”

 

13:20 – The two sides to everyone’s story

 

16:10 – Where does Wright get the ability to write like he does?

 

18:50 – Peeling back the curtain on Tiger Woods. Who is he really?

 

21:50 – Most favorite person Wright has profiled

 

24:00 – Are humans hard-wired to handle fame? Using Johnny Manziel and Tiger Woods as case studies

 

30:00 – Why Wright got off of Twitter

 

36:20 – Why are we all so lonely and angry?

 

38:40 – The difference in how sports stars were viewed in the 50’s as opposed to today. Using Mickey Mantle and LeBron James as an example

 

42:30 – The anxiety epidemic and how it became so prevalent

 

46:20 – Who is the one person Wright ultimately wants to profile?

Everyone has a story they tell about themselves, and then there is a story other people tell about them. I think those stories are never the same. I think the actual truth lies somewhere in the middle of those two stories.

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