This week beginning 14th December 2015 the show celebrates its 200th podcast with all the crew
assembled, experienced NFL broadcaster Nat Coombs, American sports specialist Iron Mike Carlson, stand-up comedian Dan Louw and the esteemed producer Harry Holgate. This week's guest is one of the All-Pro line up who has featured frequently on the pod, comedian and actor Marek Larwood.
In the last year, the podcast has taken a leap forward from something of jovial fun and fraternity mantra, to the go to podcast for NFL fans in the UK thanks to Coombs and Carlson’s stellar work on Channel 4 last year and which is much missed this season. Although their work on the NFL games at Wembley in October and November were highly praised.
The show still pays studio rates for the studio time, it is a freelance production under the umbrella of Nat Coombs' MeMo Interactive, with sponsorship now from male grooming company ManCave, where customers can email the show weekly with many answered on the show.
This interaction with the listeners and subscribers is vital to the longevity of the podcast over the last 200 shows. The hosts like their fans want genuine heartfelt analysis on a sport that when the show started in 2010 was very much on the sidelines. Now when Tom Brady and Deflategate was rampant in the off season, the BBC put the story on their Sport website as a lead story, and now it shows highlights. The sport is now closer to the centre than the margins, and it is the output of podcasts such as Americarnage, Fourth Down and Out and Double Coverage.
The quality of the show is undisputable, the quality and knowledge expressed in the show is second to none. The continued on the hoof content serves the pod well and while people may get lost in the shuffle with so many strong personalities on display, it is where the straight man of Coombs can maintain control. Although the quality of the show is apparent when some parts are missing, last week's #199 starred David Whitney who with Nat and Dan (Mike is absent) they have three side splitting moments of high hilarity starting with Old Tom Coughlin still in charge of Whitney’s favoured New York Giants in twenty years time,
‘Get me a banana on the field. Take Beckham out and put a banana in!’
‘Sir, Beckham stopped playing for us 10 years ago’
As any podcast it has these slight tangents and diversions that in other less able producers hands would turn into a mess but Harry’s sure hand makes it a great lesson, even when he has little or one microphone to work with.
With Carlson off this week, the guest is David Whitney (stand-up comedian) whose knowledge of NFL is as strong as any die hard fan, and in spite of his absence Carlson has still produced a 60 second NFL round-up of the week's action - an example of how much the show means to him. In an email I ask Carlson about the show, 'the biggest problem is reach, on C4 we can reach a hundred thousand people, many of whom aren't fans. We're always looking for ways to reach potential audience; we're better on sports than any humour site, and funnier than most sports sites.'
This continued mix of light heartedness and serious analysis is a facet of the shows popularity and staying power.
For this writer, having met the crew behind the scenes I am overjoyed they have reached this milestone. Usually you say here is to the next 200. But how about a different toast, here is to the first
TV show, After Dark Americarnage.
If you have not listened to the show please attempt to do so at www.americarnage.co.uk and follow the show and stars on twitter: @Americarnage @NatCoombs @DanLouw @dwhitters
Follow me @NextToTheAisle