I've got something different on the blog today, which coincides with this month’s 1-year anniversary of the GrassNGear podcast. A podcast that I never thought could exist and certainly not something I ever thought of being a part of when I first started blogging FM back in August 2015. I am a reluctant podcaster, make no mistake…but after a year of frequently podding, I've had a lot of fun with Daniel Gear [of Bolivia fame].
Firstly, what is GrassNGear? Essentially it's a podcast, about Football Manager. But that wouldn't really give you an accurate genre to place it in. GrassNGear probably fits within the 'Games/Hobbies' categories of podcasts…over others like Sports/Games etc.
Why/how did it come to exist? This is a hard one to answer. Over on FMSlack, 'GrassNGear' became a reference point for anything nonsensical relating to Dan and I. Over time, Dan's humour/piss taking and my awkwardness/stubbornness were two atoms creating a compound: GrassNGear. It became an 'FM identity' long before it ever became a piece of Football Manager content.
When we finally got round to talking about a podcast, it coincided with 'the end' of The Deep Lying Podcast. In my eyes (ears?), the most successful FM podcast that's ever been…with George/Ed & friends chatting nerdiness for over 100 episodes. A few podcasts sprung out from the void (I created a timeline for this), and I include GrassNGear in this list. I remember messaging Dan probably in January 2018, simply stating: "we should probably do a podcast one day"…"yes - we should" was the reply!
Over a month of bouncing ideas off each other, we decided we should be an 'alternative podcast' than what was currently being offered, with games, fun & laughter as the central focus. We did not want to make podding a chore for us (we both have young families and full-time jobs), so we decided on a few things from the onset:
No set schedule - we'll pod when we want. If we didn't like it (we had two in draft at the time: 21 Questions & Around The World), then that would be it. Finito.
If we did continue, we'd make games the central focus. But again, we wouldn't restrict ourselves…if we wanted a different style of pod, we'd simply do it.
Although real life football chat is sometimes unavoidable, we would make Football Manager the topic in discussion and in games.
We'd make sure we always pod together. We've had loads of guests on. In fact, I actually need them to play some of the more complex games we put together…but Grass would always be with Gear. Even when we're both not there (see episode XI for example).
We'd number podcasts with Roman Numerals. Why? Because it's GrassNGear.
I'm pleased to see us stick to this model and have released 25 episodes of GrassNGear to date, a quarter of a century. Hooray! A big part of the satisfaction when making this podcast is to see others enjoy and laugh along with us, so I'd like to thank everybody who has interacted with us during our 1st year as a pod. It's appreciated and I am genuinely humbled as to how it's gone down.
Below, I've run some 'Director's Commentary' over each episode with the Soundcloud link to each one. I have also included the Twitter details of most of the amazing guests we’ve had on GnG, so you can find them and follow their work.
Thanks for reading/sharing/caring,
♥ ‘Grass’ ♥
21 Questions - Episode II
Grass: "I remember us having a Skype call with the intention of recording Episode I - Around The World, until Dan asked if we wanted to play 21 questions instead. So that meant Episode II coming before I. We considered reverse numbering going forward to add further confusion, but we ditched it in the end and Episode III returned to 'normality'".
Quote of the pod: "Just take a breather"
Around The World - Episode I
Grass: "On my solitary appearance on the Deep Lying Podcast, I enjoyed putting together a 'community update' of people's save games from a geographical outlook. So I thought we'd make a podcast of it. Obviously Dan was the true star of this pod, butchering pronunciations and getting his continents all mixed up. Lovely stuff.
Quote of the pod: "He’s currently in Libya managing Al-Audi”
Snakes - Episode III
Grass: "A return to board games for episode III: SnakesNLadders. I loved playing this, I think it was the first alcohol-induced pod and it certainly showed! Two grown men rolling dice and having fun, what's not to like?"
Quote of the pod: "I hope to be the true FM Snake of the Community”
4141 - Episode IV
Grass: "We wanted to do a tactical style podcast based around our 4141s that we were rocking in FM18. Dan also had the ingenious idea (and plan) to bring James (@FMPressure) on the podcast (a 4141 guru and all-round top guy). His entrance was brilliant and further reinforced GnG's unpredictability and descent into madness!"
Quote of the pod: "Well, you’d have to ask James…"
Guest: James (@FMPressure)
Panini Pictionary - Episode V
Grass: "Everybody was going Panini sticker crazy with the 2018 FIFA World Cup approaching. So I thought it would be a good idea to open a pack live on air and then draw a player each (in a Panini style) and see if we can guess who we've each drawn. Great fun, especially when Dan starts discussing paninis.
Quote of the pod: "Do you like panini Tony?"
Fantasy Daft - Episode VI
Grass: "We played Fantasy Draft mode. I picked players born in the 1st half of the year and Dan those from the 2nd half of the year. There were some laughs along the way as I painfully tried to commentate through it all"
Quote of the pod: “Grass Snake Vs Panther”
Dear Geary - Episode VII
Grass: "James (@FMPressure) once made a great offline comment about Dan, it's a bit explicit for this blog so DM me if you want to know about this gem…but the crux is that Dan talks sense. Like it or not, he's the FM Community's agony uncle we need and this was a great episode. Hopefully we can do a sequel in 2019.
Quote of the pod: “It’s up to Ed whether he can make a long-term relationship out of it”
Konichiwa Bitches - Episode VIII
Grass: "As part of the World Cup hype, we chose Japan as our adoptive nation to support. I'm really happy how we linked Japan, real life football and Football Manager together in a podcast. It eventually led us to recruit, a now good friend, Hiro Yoshimoto. Hiro was seconded to our Social Media role for the World Cup, replacing Pedro who took annual leave. Hiro was amazing and made a cameo guest appearance in episode X.
Quote of the pod: “Konichiwa Bitches”
Mr And Mr - Episode IX
Grass: "Our mate Oliver Jensen was getting married, so I thought we should have a wedding themed pod to celebrate the event. Obviously we had the task of mixing in Football Manager, but I'm happy with the games and laughs that occurred. The wedding speeches were amazing and kudos for Mr Jensen's Mr & Mr game.
Quote of the pod: "Dilly Dilly"…"Dilly Dilly"…"Dilly Dong"
Guest: Oliver Jensen (@fmFutbolManager)
Countdown - Episode X
Grass: "The pod that nobody remembers (even though it featured Hiro Yoshimoto)? Well that was the case in our survey we did for episode XVIII - see Pointless. But I loved recording this pod, which replicated one of the UK's most famous TV shows. I failed at maths and Dan failed with words. Totally GnG."
Quote of the pod: "I thank the bosses for allowing me to undertake this role direct from Tokyo. I love Football Manager and I am privileged to be on the best FM Podcast”
Guest: Hiro Yoshimoto
Mrs And Mrs - Episode XI
Grass: "Quite possibly the best FM Podcast ever recorded is the one that is delivered by two women who have never played the game. Figure that one out!"
Quote of the pod: "Hi Morgan, why Bolivia fame?"
Guests: Morgan & Stacy
Blind Date - Episode XII
Grass: "Another TV show-style pod. The Football Manager discussion was about Dan's transfer recruitment, perhaps outshone by the pod that went before it…but a solid entry nevertheless in GnG lore."
Quote of the pod: “Who’s gonna make it to Kasimpasa and get a year’s supply of kebab?”
Rap Battle - Episode XIII
Grass: "This pod perhaps came 1 year too soon, as the discussion around gegenpressing would be more relevant and insightful now that FM19 has introduced lines of engagement for pressing triggers. Still, a great chat with Matthias and I enjoyed our little rap battle to kick start the pod. Wu Tang!"
Quote of the pod: “A Scribe-Grasshopper mixtape could be brilliant”
Guest: Matthias (@Mr_Scribe)
Vietnamese Millionaire - Episode XIV
Grass: "I'm unsure if Dan or I will make much money from this pod, or achieve any fame whatsoever. But we at least made Dan a Vietnamese Millionaire…something that equates to around £30. It was a great podcast to record…I didn't think Dan could go all the way and my shock was genuine. Big thanks to CurtyFM who was on standby as the 'Phone A Friend'…the poor guy spent his evening waiting by the phone…then when it finally did ring we only used him for 34 seconds. Trololol"
Quote of the pod: “Love me some dongs”
Guest: Curty (@CurtyFM)
Newgen Or No Newgen - Episode XV
Grass: "Dan was playing a rather choice game on Twitter and then asked if he could play it on the pod. Luckily we took out…those things…and added in some FM instead. I enjoyed Dan leading on this one and just went along with his madness."
Quote of the pod: “There’s a Twitter account that plays a game sometimes, called Cock-Or-No-Cock”
FM19 New Features - Episode XVI
Grass: "With FM19 fast approaching, everybody was talking about new features. James (@FMPressure) had the ingenious thought that it would be a good idea to produce a pod based around this very topic…but with a twist. With this in mind, I wanted to replicate the 'Fighting Talk' show that Radio 5Live do and 'Just A Minute' on Radio 2…so I needed guests. Luckily we were able to attract both Oliver and James back in to GnG HQ. The twist was those guys and Dan defending ridiculous ideas that I had drafted out pre-pod. Signs of hesitation and repetition would result in a 'buzz' from me. The lads did well.
Quote of the pod: "You see, it's like a nipple"
Fake FM19 News - Episode XVII
Grass: "More FM19 hype. This time on the subject of people's saves. Dan wanted to go down a 'Breaking News' type direction…which I fully embraced. We were able to get on some big names like Oliver Jensen, Paul The Northman and Golden FM.
Quote of the pod: "My channel is starting to look like JustM1kePlays channel: completely dead”
Pointless - Episode XVIII
Grass: "This pod required some effort, not just from me who had the arduous task of structuring a pod in order to be as close as to the TV show as possible…but also the FM Twitter Community who were asked to complete a questionnaire. Their responses led to a really fun game of Pointless with JimG and Ted coming on to help out Dan who was on drugs.
Quote of the pod: “Porn is a genre, that’s correct”
Dear Grassy - Episode XIX
Grass: "I went to the Sports Interactive HQ for the FM19 Alpha capture event, I could have done a Q&A with Miles Jacobsen…I could have verbally reviewed FM19. Instead, Dan wanted to ask me about who I thought was the best dressed content creator. He GnG'ed it."
Quote of the pod: “They had a really nice tap there”
Would I Lie To You - Episode XX
Grass: "Following on from Pointless, came another great TV programme to replicate: BBC's ‘Would I Lie To You’. Dan wanted to have a 'podcast theme', so we invited a co-host from the OneMoreGame, TheFMNotebook & WingingIt podcasts. It was great fun putting this one together and the guys were brilliant at covering lies or adding comedic relief to bend the truth. Notably Mike According, who went to great lengths by reading out his children's bedtime story live on air."
Quote of the pod: “Sweetie Baby, where’s my Sweetie Baby?”
21 Questions REBOOT - Episode XXI - GrassNGear
Grass: "One of the joys about GnG, is that some of the games we've played have replay value. 21 Questions on the 21st pod, an ode back to the original GnG simply made sense. Dan was keen for this, but instead it was his turn to guess my FM feature."
Quote of the pod: “You’ve not probed me enough”
Cards Against Football Manager - Episode XXII
Grass: "This pod was requested by Mark from the WheelFellOff podcast months ago. I held it in the back of my mind, as we needed the right concoction of humour and personalities for it to work. I always knew Dan could be counted on to generate laughs (at least from me), but getting Loki and Chris on was a brilliant coup for us. Two great guys that are genuine on/off air."
Quote of the pod: “If he’s having a bad game, just pop it on”
Timeline - Episode XXIII
Grass: "Making timelines is something I enjoy doing. I did this for FM podcasts a few months ago. FM Twitter is also the gift that keeps giving, so much stuff happens, so I thought I would it would be fun to get Dan and guest to plot them on a timeline. This particular guest was a throwback to Vietnamese Millionaire: ‘34 second CurtyFM’. A top guy who is great podding material, I'd have him back in a heartbeat.”
Quote of the pod: “Whilst everybody is hyping up the German shit, I’ll dive on in”
Guest: Curty (@CurtyFM)
Room 101 - Episode XXIV
Grass: “Lots of people talk about adding things into Football Manager, but there are things GrassNGear would like to take out. We went down the Room 101 route, which was a popular UK TV show around 10-15 years ago. Big thanks for Daz (@FMheathen) who came on with us, he’s a long time player and contributed to the semi-serious FM discussion.
Quote of the pod: “I can’t believe I am saying this, but I fucking agree with him [Tony]”
Guest: Daz (@FMheathen)
Around The World Again - Episode XXV
Grass: “The previous three episodes of GnG had guests on, so it always felt right to have a more intimate pod between Dan and I. We decided pretty early on we wanted to reboot another previous episode: Around The World. This time, I came equipped with a few community saves and made Dan guess them. Can’t believe he thought ‘God Save The Queen’ was an opera, what the actual fuck mate ?!?
Quote of the pod: “Just sounded like an opera to be fair”
We only work in the short-term. Dan and I have a few pods lined up for February & March, but we have no idea beyond this. I suppose this is the magic of the pod, 2019 could well see the end of GrassNGear…but similarly it could also be the year we reach world wide fame and fortune. Who knows.
Subscribe, like, share and laugh along with us to find out…