7 - Matt Barnes Is Cruising

That's Matt Barnes, next to cult hero sports guy Gus Johnson. Matt is the focus of this episode of The Middle.

He and I met in 2009 when he so courteously complimented my two-minute segment on live TV. It was my first time on live television, and I was nervous, so when he went out of his way to write me a message, it amplified my adrenaline and meant a lot. He was a big deal to a lot of us Ohio University graduates and certainly still is.

Matt works as a TV sports reporter in Columbus, Ohio, telling stories about Olympians and national champion football teams and Super Bowls and plenty of others. Recently, he told the story of Zach Farmer, a 21-year-old Ohio State baseball pitcher who was given a terminal cancer diagnosis. It's a tough story, but it shows Matt's professionalism and talent, which he's had since far before he and I met.

He's been featured in national commercial campaigns, he's been on billboards, he's won plenty of awards...so, as I normally do, I asked, "what's next?" He told me he doesn't look at "next" the same way I do. He's good now, content, comfortable, and I admire the hell out of that. It's something I haven't yet figured out.

We talk about expectations and how he stays level, and then we make some jokes and meander through lots of topics. It's a fun one.

There are three episodes left before the finale. So, if you'd like to subscribe so The Middle comes to your phone or computer automatically, the show is available on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, TuneIn, Mixcloud, and a few more places. I'd also recommend listening from the beginning, if you have the time.

If you're an iTunes subscriber and have a few spare minutes, give the show a rating - it really helps me out. Thanks for listening.