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The only constant in life is change.
In the early afternoon of Feb. 8, the day after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, we taped what we didn't know then would be the final episode of the "Yahoo Sports NFL Podcast" with Terez Paylor and Charles Robinson.
For the forty-five minutes after the microphones turned off, with the arduous 2020 NFL season finally in the rear-view mirror, Terez, Charles and producer Brett Rader talked about the future and change. There were plans to refresh the artwork for the show, to update theme music that was going stale, to change the name of the podcast to better reflect the hosts and a show that found its footing over the course of the previous three seasons and racked up over 1,000 five-star reviews from podcast listeners in the process.
The next day, everything changed.
When we lost Terez, we lost a friend, a son, a brother, a partner, a football-dork (his words) and a colleague who brought his beaming smile, bellowing laugh, and gargantuan energy to every video, article, podcast and interview he touched. He wanted everything to be great, to get better.
Two weeks before the Super Bowl, in an interview with NFL legend Jerry Rice, which was being sponsored by a large potato chip company, Terez kept asking for one more question with Jerry, to ask about Rice's 1987 season, then his 1993 season, much to the chagrin of the PR team on the call, who were desperately trying to move Rice onto his next scheduled interview.
On occasion, if a piece of news broke in the hours following a podcast shoot, Terez would lead the charge to go back and re-tape a segment, often late at night, with his usual, "let's do this."
His drive to be better, to push for something new and something different drove our choice to evolve this podcast into something familiar, yet different — to adopt a new name and new creative choices. In the end, to roll with change.
Introducing You Pod to Win the Game
There were many concepts for version 2.0 of the "Yahoo Sports NFL Podcast" that we kicked around while Terez was still with us and after we lost him. One constant idea was the portrayal of the head coach news conference: the minor-key mumblings of Bill Belichick (Terez would always recite the New England coach's, "we're onto Cincinnati" shtick), new Detroit head coach Dan Campbell's promise to, "bite your kneecap off" and of course, former Jets HC Herm Edwards' classic meltdown about the most basic element of playing sports, "you play to win the game."
Indecipherable coach-speak, circular front-office corporate jargon and the attempts to interpret both had always been a key element of our NFL podcast 1.0 and will continue to be a focus of the show thanks to Charles Robinson's persisting stature as one of the league's most well-connected journalists, one who has an ear in every NFL locker room and front office.
We will not replace Terez because he simply cannot be replicated. We hope our audience trusts that his fingerprints are all over the new version of the show and will join us on this next evolution of the podcast he helped create and pushed to change, even after his death.
Elsewhere in the Yahoo Sports podcast catalogue
Our NFL coverage is not the only recipient of a new look.
Our college athletics podcast hosted by Dan Wetzel, Pete Thamel and SI's Pat Forde also transitions today to the "College Football Enquirer," embodying that student newspaper feel for a podcast that has been making listeners burst their sides for three seasons.
Their coverage of NCAA scandals, college athletics' monumental shift in labor compensation, fast food chicken sandwich wars and the latest weird animal stories has quickly turned the podcast into one of the foremost resources in the college sports community. ESPN's Paul Finebaum recently remarked on his show, "There are a million college football podcasts, but [this] is easily at the top of the list."
Finally, the "Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast" continues to inform, educate and entertain fantasy football junkies across the globe with insights and strategy from Yahoo's award-winning fantasy analysts. The "Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast" will again deliver daily football coverage starting Aug. 2 all the way through the end of the 2021 NFL regular season.
Please support Terez Paylor's legacy by supporting the Terez A. Paylor scholarship at Howard University:
• Buy an All-Juice Team hoodie or tee from BreakingT.com/Terez. All profits directly fund the scholarship.
• Donate directly at giving.howard.edu/givenow. Under “Tribute,” please note that your gift is made in memory of Terez A. Paylor. Under “Designation,” click on “Other” and write in “Terez A. Paylor Scholarship.”