There can't be a better way to produce great vibes for the program than the Being Bret Bielema series. The first episode played at noon Thursday. It was flat out awesome. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema was captured in all his glory in the opening episode.
Kudos to Bo Mattingly's radio team and the great video group at JM Associates in Little Rock. The first episode was pure Bielema, all the stuff that Arkansas fans know and love. There's background on some of the words that slipped from his lips during the last year, including the "borderline erotic" comments following the victory over Texas in the bowl game. And, there's explanation of the "hop on my wife" slip after the victory over Ole Miss.
The last one was a true Freudian slip, as he confessed on tape with Bo. But mostly, he's not making mistakes when he says what he says.
"Everything is with a purpose, it's all calculated," Bielema said.
That much I figured. He's a marketing major. As he said in the first episode, he's trying to get Arkansas out there as many times as possible in a day. He's good at it.
"There are things I said, I probably shouldn't say," Bielema said.
The borderline erotic thought was not a slip.
"It was not," he said. "I said that on purpose. If we play the way we say we are going to play and the other team can't do anything about it, that's what I'm talking about We took a knee at the end of a game like that against Texas, that's borderline erotic."
There were nice references to the way Bielema comes across from several at the start, including Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. He called Bielema "very blunt." There is not doubt.
Athletic director Jeff Long said, "I don't think of him as polarizing, but as I step back maybe I can see that. He is who he he is and that might offend some people. But he also encourages. He's very real."
Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated said, "He says what we wish we could say when someone sticks a mic in our face."
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports said, "What he is saying is what has been outlawed for coaches to say."
The first episode is 10 minutes. Like good stories, it was way too short. But there's more to come. I can tell this much from that first 10 minutes, I can hardly wait. It's going to be good and pure Bielema. That has to be good.
The second episode is next week on Thursday, March 3. The series features unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access and a candid look at Bielema.
Each episode is roughly 8-10 minutes in length and will delve into Bielema’s personality on and off the field. Mattingly - host of Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly - is the host for the series.
"From a company standpoiint we have been wanting to work on other projects besides the radio show," Mattingly said. "We have alwats felt like we are a content company and moving forward we planning on teaming up with JM Associates in producing some really cool content outisde of the box.
"The Bielema thing became something that was possible because we had approached the University and said you have a really interesting football coach and everybody that has beebn around him for five or 10 minutes wants to be around him more. He is just really engaing and has such an engaging personality tthat we said 'if you expose this to people, I think it is going to help you. It is going to make your program more intriguing
"Oregon has uniforms, you have a personality for a head coach. Bielema is quick to point out that he would much rather be known for championships, but being a marketing major he understands that parents and kids wanting to play for a coach is important in recruiting.
"So that allowed us along with our relationship allowed us to have the oportunity to go behind the scene to have unprecedented access and show what kind of guy he is. I think it is really informative and entertaining and candid stuff - just him being being him. Bret Bielema being Bret Bielema.
"It is as fun as the people who see him on the surface might think it would be."
Where to find the series:
Each episode will be posted at 12 PM CST on BeingBretBielema.com, Facebook.com/BeingBretBielema, and on YouTube via Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly. “BEING Bret Bielema” is a co-production of JM Associates and Bo Mattingly.
“BEING Bret Bielema” Release Schedule:
Episodes 1 & 2 – February 25 & March 3rd
Episodes 3 & 4 – April
Episodes 5 & 6 – July
Episodes 7 & 8 – August
About the producers of BEING Bret Bielema:
Sports Personality, LLC, the creators and producers of the award-winning radio show SportsTalk with Bo Mattingly, and JM Associates of Little Rock (content production arm of BASS LLC, and longtime partner with ESPN) have partnered to co-produce “BEING Bret Bielema” and several other future projects.
“You’ve never seen Bielema quite like you will in this series. I think viewers will find it to be insightful and entertaining.” – Bo Mattingly, executive producer
”Bret Bielema is going to surprise people with how engaging and real he is. What a character Arkansas has in their head coach.” – Mike McKinnis, executive producer