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Jefferson White Will Take Fans Behind The Scenes Of ‘Yellowstone’ With His New Podcast

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Jefferson White Will Take Fans Behind The Scenes Of ‘Yellowstone’ With His New Podcast

You know what fans of Yellowstone want? More Yellowstone! Luckily, Jefferson White, who fans know better as ranch hand/former bronc rider Jimmy Hurdstrom, is ready to deliver with The Official Yellowstone Podcast. This 10-episode podcast series will explore the world of Yellowstone, both on and off screen. Featuring interviews with cast members Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser, Wes Bentley, Luke Grimes, Kelsey Asbille, and more, the podcast will explore the legacy of the Duttons and share insights into the motivations and inner workings of its rich cast of characters, straight from the actors themselves.

Unlike other TV podcasts, The Official Yellowstone Podcast will go beyond normal recaps and traditional interviews. The series will also feature conversations with experts like Forrie J. Smith, Mo Brings Plenty (both also cast members), and other authorities who share thoughts on the cultures and communities that are essential parts of the Yellowstone story. They cover everything from the cattle business to the rodeo circuit to internal politics on the neighboring reservation. Similar to the show itself, The Official Yellowstone Podcast prides itself on providing an authentic and complete rendering of the modern American West in all its complexity.

We had the opportunity to speak to host Jefferson White about his love of all things Yellowstone, his interviewing technique, and which cast members will appear on later episodes of the podcast.

Decider: With your Stories From The Bunkhouse YouTube series and your beautiful on-set photography, you are the unofficial historian of Yellowstone. How did you first get involved with The Official Yellowstone Podcast and 101 Studios?

Jefferson White: Thanks so much for saying that. I’m a huge fan of the show and have been since I first read the script for the pilot four years ago now. The folks approached me about the podcast and what made me most excited about it was the opportunity to dig a little deeper and talk to some of my coworkers, specifically the cast, the crew and the creative team.

I was particularly interested in learning about what it’s been like for them to dig into the community and culture of the modern American West—a world that has been so new to me and so endlessly fascinating. The podcast is an opportunity to share perspectives on all things Yellowstone with my peers and collaborators. Peers is a strong word—I should call them my “wisers and betters.”

You play two roles for Yellowstone fans: first, your character, Jimmy Hurdstrom, is essential to the show; and second, you are one of the show’s premier experts and biggest fans. How do you balance both roles?

What reconciles those two roles is that Jimmy is in a constant state of learning. He’s always scrambling to keep up, and that’s very much how I feel myself. I’m far from an expert in this world, I’m still very much a beginner. Cowboying and ranching are lifelong pursuits that I’m about four years into. [laughs]. Jimmy and I both have a ton to learn, and we’re both committed to doing our best to learn it.

There will be 10 episodes of The Official Yellowstone Podcast in total. How much of the podcast have you recorded so far?

We’ve done four or five interviews, and I head to Vegas later today to do another five or six interviews, which I’m really looking forward to. It’s such a beautiful opportunity to talk to folks. I’ve gotten to chat with some of my friends like Jake Ream, Ian Bohen, Denim Richards, but I have also been able to get to know the actors that I don’t share much screen time with. There are many actors on the show whom the character of Jimmy never encounters. I have enjoyed learning more about them personally and getting insight into creative processes.

One episode I can’t wait to listen to is “Love in the Time of Yellowstone” with Kelly Reilly and Cole Hauser talking about crafting Beth and Rip’s relationship. Have you interviewed either Kelly Reilly or Cole Hauser yet?

I’ll be speaking to Kelly Riley first, and I’m really looking forward to it. She’s such an incredible force of nature on the show, and I’ve been such a huge fan of her work as Beth for the last four years. For some on the show, both behind the scenes and on screen, cowboying is a lifelong pursuit, but acting is Kelly’s lifelong pursuit. She’s such an incredible actor with such an amazing body of work. I’m so excited to keep learning from her.

The Official Yellowstone Podcast understands that while Yellowstone is known as a show about cowboys… it’s also a show for cowboys. Audiences just got a glimpse of that with the appearance of legendary horse trainer Buster Welch in Episode 5. How will the podcast explore the show’s trademark authenticity?

Many of the folks on the show really have spent their lives in the American West ranching and cowboying. The podcast is a deeper dive into the backgrounds of these cowboy actors whose actual lives really line up with the fictional trajectory of Yellowstone. Working with them and learning from them has been crucial for me as an actor and a pleasure besides.

On the podcast, I talk to Forrie J. Smith and Mo Brings Plenty, both guys who have spent their whole lives in this world. Something the writers of Yellowstone do so successfully is to convey the sense that these characters have rich full backstories even if they don’t have a lot of screen time. That’s absolutely the case for a lot of these actors as well as their characters. The podcast has given me an opportunity to learn about and explore the real-life experiences of these actors who you don’t get to see on screen as you’d like to.

Obviously, most of the talent that will be featured on The Official Yellowstone Podcast are your friends and colleagues. Does that make your job easier or more difficult? How do you prepare for these recordings?

What makes it easier is that all these actors and crew members are incredibly talented, brilliant people. At the end of the day, it’s my job to ask questions and be authentically curious, which is easy because all these people have fascinating lives. It’s easy to be curious when everybody I’m talking to has such a fascinating story and has such a wealth of information and experience. I am a huge fan of these artists’ work so it is natural for me to want to dig deep and uncover their stories.

Jefferson White, Yellowstone
Cam McLeod

The Official Yellowstone Podcast will feature the upcoming prequel series, 1883. Will you be one of the first to welcome stars Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Sam Eliott and LaMonica Garrett to the Yellowstone family? What can you tell us about those episodes?

I’m incredibly excited to get to know those actors just as a huge fan. The cast of 1883 is remarkable. I’ve been so excited for the show as those casting announcements have come out. It feels like the icing on the cake that I get to talk to them. As a huge fan of Yellowstone, I am so excited about 1883. I’ve been ravenously eating up every little tidbit, every screenshot, every image that the creative team has shared. I can’t wait to watch 1883 as a fan.

Can you tell us some of the upcoming guests Yellowstone fans can expect to hear on the podcast?

Folks have been very generous in making time to do these interviews with me. I’m going to be speaking with Forrie J. Smith, Kelly Reilly, Cole Hauser and Luke Grimes very soon. We’ve already spoken to Mo Brings Plenty, Kelsey Asbille, Jake Ream, Ian Bohen, Denim Richards and Wes Bentley. We’ve got them all; we got all the hits! [laughs] I really enjoyed the rich and fascinating conversation that I had with Wes. We talked all about the character of Jamie and how Wes approaches working on that complicated character. I’m really looking forward to engaging in more conversations like that on the podcast with the Yellowstone cast and crew.

You can listen to the first episode of The Official Yellowstone Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

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Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

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Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

Legendary NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden died Tuesday morning at 85, the NFL announced. News of the football icon’s passing hit Twitter on Tuesday evening, and athletes, coaches and broadcasters from across the sports world reacted.

Fellow broadcasting legend Dick Vitale, who is currently battling cancer, called Madden “the greatest analyst of all time of any sport” in his Twitter tribute.

Former Yankees pitcher and notable Raiders fan CC Sabathia said “your legacy will live forever.” Madden coached the then-Oakland Raiders from 1969-78, a couple of years before Sabathia, a Vallejo, California native, was born. Lakers star LeBron James had similar words about Madden’s lasting legacy, adding an infinity emoji.

Former tennis star and social justice activist Billie Jean King recalled meeting Madden as a “privilege.”

Radio voice of the Rangers Kenny Albert, a five-sport broadcaster who’s been with FOX Sports since its inception in 1994, shared a photo circa 26 years ago to remember Madden.

ESPN’s Bomani Jones took a bit of a shot at current color commentators, noting that Madden “set an unreachable standard.”

Frank Caliendo, who’s made a career out of impersonations, including one for Madden, said he was surprised how emotional he felt.

Several football players, and others, including Saints running back Mark Ingram II and former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, credited Madden with being part of the reason why they love football.

Rams wide receiver and NFL MVP contender Cooper Kupp quote the late coach in his tribute: “The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.”

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

MINNEAPOLIS — The Knicks got back another body in rookie point guard Miles McBride, who was cleared from protocols Tuesday and rejoined the team in Minnesota.

But there is no longer any hype for the rookie’s return. Kemba Walker is back as the starting point guard and coming off winning Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors with four standout games, including his Christmas Day spectacular. The Knicks have gone 2-2 since Walker regained the starting job.

“It’s great,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He had a great week. He’s playing great basketball. The team winning helps him get recognized and he was a big part of driving that winning. It’s great for the team.’’

McBride was also spectacular in his last outing before getting COVID-19, when he played the entire second half Dec. 16 in Houston and seemingly earned a spot in the rotation. In fact, McBride had strung together two decent outings before he was ruled out. But things have changed since his emergence and McBride is likely back to being a bit player.

Without a practice, McBride wasn’t even expected to see time when the Knicks faced the Timberwolves to kick off a four-game road trip.

Miles McBride
NBAE via Getty Images

Of course, with Walker’s arthritic knee, anything is possible. The Knicks play Detroit on Wednesday in a back-to-back, so it’s uncertain whether Walker will complete both contests. In addition, Immanuel Quickley is out of COVID-19 protocols but Thibodeau wasn’t sure he was ready for meaningful minutes.

That left Walker against the depleted Timberwolves, who were missing their three top players (Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell), all because of COVID-19 .

Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker
USA TODAY Sports

When McBride got sidelined by the virus and Derrick Rose needed ankle surgery, Walker was resurrected by Thibodeau and it’s been a stunning comeback story.

Though Thibodeau has clear reservations about Walker based on his nine-game banishment due to his defensive malaise as an undersized point guard, he admitted after the Christmas Day triple-double against Atlanta that Walker is playing “much more aggressive.”

Walker’s triple-double that featured 10 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds was a lot different than his prior outing, when he scored 44 points against Washington.

“I thought his passing was terrific,’’ Thibodeau said before the Knicks resumed their schedule.

“Kemba had control of the game. The game tells you what to do. That’s what I loved about the way he played. I don’t think he forced anything. They puts size on him and were aggressive in their pick-and-roll coverage. He didn’t fight it. He attacked pressure the way you like to attack pressure. You don’t fight pressure with pressure. Don’t try to split it. Get rid of it, go to the backside. Let the game tell you what to do.’’

The Knicks coach is finally seeing all the elements of what Walker can do. Before his demotion, Walker was nothing more than a no-defense, 3-point shooter whose plus-minus was an abysmal minus-122.

Thibodeau was also concerned about his durability in sitting out two of the three back-to-back sets. The last load management game in Atlanta in late November triggered Thibodeau’s decision.

But now it’s only superlatives from Thibodeau in judging the last four games.

“Sometimes it’s going to be his shooting, sometimes it’s his penetration and getting in the paint to force a collapse and sometimes they’re being aggressive with their traps get rid of the ball quickly,’’ Thibodeau said. “The overall play, his rebounding. When your guards rebound, those are key to fast breaks. The more guard rebounding we get the better we can be. ‘’

The Knicks still have three players in protocols — centers Nerlens Noel and Jericho Sims and the newly infected Wayne Selden. Quickley and Kevin Knox were cleared on Christmas but were held out for conditioning.

No matter. The Knicks go as Kemba goes.

“He’s much more aggressive,’’ Thibodeau said. “That was the challenge. At the beginning of the year he and Evan were two new starters. Sometimes guys are trying to fit in. he’s being very aggressive which is the way we want him to play. Not deferring at all. When he and Julius [Randle] are aggressive like that our team is different.’’

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Bar raises dramatically for Zach Wilson in matchup with Tom Brady, Buccaneers

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Zach Wilson and Tom Brady

When Zach Wilson stares across the MetLife Stadium field at the opposite sideline this Sunday, it won’t be Trevor Lawrence he’ll be looking at as his game-day counterpart.

Lawrence, drafted by Jacksonville one spot before the Jets selected Wilson at No. 2 overall last April, is a contemporary.

This Sunday at MetLife, the Jets rookie quarterback won’t be staring at a contemporary on the other sideline. He’ll be staring at the GOAT.

Tom Brady.

The bar raises dramatically for Wilson and the Jets, who are coming off of their feel-good, get-well win over the woeful Jaguars and Lawrence this past Sunday.

Brady and Buccaneers, who are 11-4, NFC South division champions and seeking to repeat as Super Bowl champions, play the Jets, who are 4-11 and seeking more signs of development from their rookie quarterback.

To say this is a step up in competition for Wilson and the Jets going from Lawrence and the Jags to Brady and the Bucs is as obvious as pointing out that Tampa Bay receiver Antonio Brown has had a few off-the-field incidents during his otherwise stellar NFL career.

There hasn’t been a lot to keep the interest of the Jets fan this season — other than watching Wilson’s development. That took an unfortunate pause for the four games Wilson missed with a knee injury, but he’s been back for five games and has looked like a better quarterback, throwing only two interceptions in those games (none in the last three) since returning from his injury.

The problem, though, is that Wilson hasn’t been producing enough touchdowns, throwing for three of them and rushing for four others in the past five games.

Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg; AP

Baby steps, though.

Wilson was the better quarterback this past Sunday when matched up with Lawrence, who threw for more yards than Wilson did, but Wilson ran for 91 yards, including his electric 52-yard scoring jaunt, and made key throws when he needed them.

Wilson will not win Sunday’s game against Brady and the Bucs throwing for the 102 yards he had against the Jaguars. He and the Jets will need more.

Consider this: Brady enters the game having thrown 37 TD passes and for 4,580 yards this season and averages a league-high 305.2 passing yards per game.

Then this: The Buccaneers average 29.5 points per game this season, second most in the NFL.

And this: Wilson doesn’t have a single 300-yard passing game, averages 183 passing yards per game and has thrown seven TD passes in 11 games.

Seven TD passes is a pedestrian two-game total for Brady.

Wilson and the Jets are playing with house money anyway in what always has been a developmental season, so Sunday against Brady should, at its very least, be a great measuring-stick learning experience for Wilson, who’s studied Brady on tape.

Wilson revealed this month that he watched film of Brady before the Jets played the Eagles on Dec. 5 in an effort to pick up tips on how Brady worked against the Eagles defense when he played them earlier in the season.

“I thought it was really cool to see kind of how he went through his whole process, how he navigated the pocket, different things like that,” Wilson said at the time.

On Sunday, Wilson gets to see that process up close as Brady tries to dissect a Jets defense that has yielded 29.9 points per game this season, the most in the NFL.

That puts an added onus on Wilson to produce on the other side of the ball, because he knows Brady is going to get his. Wilson will likely need to produce four TDs — any way he can — for the Jets to simply remain competitive with the Super Bowl champs.

That’s a lot to ask of a 22-year-old kid who’s produced just 11 TDs in his 11 starts, up against Brady, who’s thrown 618 TD passes and for 83,784 yards in his remarkable career.

It, too, is a lot to ask playing against an aggressive Tampa Bay defense that’s ranked No. 9 in the NFL in points allowed (20.8 per game) and is led by former Jets head coach Todd Bowles, who’d surely like to send a holiday message to his former employer.

If you don’t think Bowles will be blitzing the bejesus out of Wilson, then you probably think Antonio Brown is a living saint.

The good news for the Jets is that Wilson has shown incremental improvements, particularly when it comes to his decision-making and quicker releases on his throws.

“He’s coming along, he’s getting more comfortable, he’s calmer back there,’’ Jets coach Robert Saleh said Monday. “He’s in a great headspace and it’s going to be fun to watch him grow, continue to grow.’’

A big part of that growth will take place this Sunday as he watches the GOAT operate from the opposite sideline at MetLife.

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