Keeping it casual

26 May,2024 08:10 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Junisha Dama

A new podcast on YouTube by two frends is bringing some comic relief to the world of sports

Samriddh Jain and Tanaay Shah

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What's the conversation like when you are hanging out with friends, watching a sport on TV? Two friends, Samriddh Jain and Tanaay Shah, are exploring exactly that through their podcast, The Casuals Sports Show. The duo makes it clear that they have no insights or scoop, the show is simply a commentary among friends who are fans of sports.

"American sports media has been doing this for a while," says Jain. The idea for a sports comedy podcast came from there after the two listened to several podcasts of that genre while studying abroad. Some podcasts that have inspired them include Pardon My Take, MMA Hour, The Great Cricketer, and Football Ramble, among others. Shah says, "There's nothing like that here in India where it's just two friends watching a game and talking about it with a free flow. You will have news, but no sports shows that are just funny." Jain adds, "These kinds of voices are missing in the Indian sports media landscape. That's where I think the Casuals can slip in."

Jain and Shah have known each other since they were 10 years old and were part of Mumbai's Kenkre Football Club. Now, they are "fans who are trying to have fun". They keep it casual through quips, and talk mainly about what they feel about a sport they have watched. "Both of us gravitate towards sports because of the community aspect. If two to three people are watching something, I am usually there even if I don't know much about the sport", says Jain. Between the two, they watch everything from football, cricket, MMA, boxing, basketball, tennis, American football, and F1. "If there's a game at 2 am, we usually meet and watch it or watch it in our own time but when we meet we do discuss it," says Shah, explaining how this eventually led to them starting their podcast.

Professionally, Jain is away from the world of sports and works as a data analyst in marketing. Shah on the other hand has been a player and had considered being a coach, but now works with the Professional Fighters League. The two are new to the world of podcasting but have had some help from fellow podcasters. "We're not comics, so we don't write our jokes," they laugh, explaining that the show is non-scripted, aside from a few talking points. But their goal is to reach anyone watching any sport including local sports.

This is what led them to cover their first live sporting event, the Zoroastrian Premier League 2024 (ZPL). "Live sports is something else! People are cheering, screaming their opinions. We also knew some people who were playing, so it was a lot of fun," says Jain. But it happened all thanks to logistics, as the two could not shoot an episode in a studio but needed to shoot one. It allowed them to talk about local sports and how sports is all about community.

The duo plans to explore more conversations covering world championships and other sporting events that are rarely watched. "A lot of people messaged me when we spoke about MMA because it's usually missed and it's not as popular as say cricket or football", says Shah.

The Casuals Sports Show - which has garnered 100 subscribers so far on YouTube on @thecasuals_sportsshow - will soon see guests from the world of sports as well. "We are only four episodes in, so we're still learning. We just want to create a community. Sports is about watching it with people, enjoying it with people. That's the entire premise behind the show", concludes Jain.

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