Since launching his career as a journalist three decades ago, Michael Silver has demonstrated an uncanny ability to connect with the sports world’s most compelling figures—and to get them to open up about their most cherished convictions and experiences. From Dennis Rodman to Anna Kournikova, from Joe Montana to Marshawn Lynch, Silver’s interview subjects have consistently delivered, and no one in his field has a more diverse and impressive array of relationships.
Now the award-winning writer (Sports Illustrated, Yahoo! Sports, GQ) and television personality (NFL Network) is set to launch a podcast which will bring these interactions to life on a recurring basis. At a time when the intersection of sports, politics, pop culture and social media has never been more crowded, Pass It Down will take listeners on an entertaining and enlightening joyride.
Riding shotgun will be Silver’s daughter, Natalie, a UC Berkeley graduate (like her parents) who has experience in the realms of music, national politics, journalism, comedy, film, social media and college-football recruiting. Natalie’s ability to filter her father’s exploits through a contemporary prism while processing pro football and other mainstream sports through a fresh set of eyes will lend a multi-generational layer to the conversations and infuse them with a tinge of humor.
Ep. 35: Inauguration Special
Natalie and Mike relive some awesome and loathsome moments from past presidential inaugurations--and, with the help of a special guest who purports to be an expert on such matters, explore the uncertainty and anxiety gripping a divided nation as it prepares for a (hopefully) peaceful transition of power.
Ep. 34: Amy Trask, Princess of Darkness (Part 1)
Back in the ‘90s, after one of the many times that Mike was banned from the Raiders’ locker room by legendary owner Al Davis, Amy--the NFL’s first woman CEO--had to cut a $10,000 check to the league to pay off the fine. Their remarkably chummy professional relationship survived that and many other adventures, including the 2002 Sports Illustrated profile that spawned her iconic nickname. In Part 1 of our wide-ranging conversation, Amy explains to Natalie why Al despised her dad (it’s a compliment… really!), reflects on the late legend’s penchant for second chances and push for social justice and reveals why the Raiders resonated with her as a kid.
Ep. 33: Playoff Preview with NFL Network’s Cynthia Frelund and Taylor Bisciotti
Two highly intelligent football analysts--whose physical appearances happen to inspire Barbie comparisons and foot-fetish propositions--take turns dropping NFL-related knowledge and detailing their journeys to high-profile TV gigs. From Cynthia’s days as a data nerd to Taylor’s experience as a crime victim while reporting a story on crime-ridden neighborhoods, these highly accomplished journalists have defied stereotypes every step of the way.
Ep. 32: NBA Coaching Trailblazer Lindsay Gottlieb
Six years after taking Cal to its first Final Four, Lindsay Gottlieb stunned the basketball world in June of 2019 when she left to take an assistant coaching job with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Since that time she has run a full-team film session from owner Dan Gilbert’s couch, crafted a theoretically foolproof scouting report that held Rockets star James Harden to 55 points and helped demonstrate that the qualities that enable someone to coach at the highest level are not gender-specific. We cover some of the high points of Lindsay’s journey, from dreaming of playing shortstop for the Yankees to getting tossed out of a Hawaiian gym to receiving a surprise video message from Kobe Bryant before Cal’s Final Four run.
Ep. 31: Bachelorette Finale Special With Series Creator Mike Fleiss
As he prepares for the two-episode finale of what he calls The Most Challenging Season Ever(!), Bachelor/Bachelorette creator Mike Fleiss assesses the “miracle” of the franchise’s enduring popularity, host Chris Harrison’s future and the moment he realized that the televised search for “true love” was a viable concept. We also hear about Fleiss’ other Hollywood ventures--including the ill-fated screenplay he and Mike wrote in their early 20s--and why an early Bachelorette taping at a Chargers game landed Silver on Drew Brees’ bad side.
Ep. 30: 30 for 30: A Look Back at 7 Months of Awesomeness
The Pass It Down guest list has been star-studded and the content sublime--and now, 30 episodes into its existence, it’s obviously time for a retrospective. Mike and Natalie talk about their process and share some revelations while showcasing excerpts from interviews with Steve and Maddy Kerr, Packers coach Matt LaFleur, hip-hop legend Luke Campbell, Brandi and Chad Chastain, coaching legend Barry Switzer, Saints star Cam Jordan and his father (former Vikings star Steve), Donte Stallworth, two doctors (Greg Huhn and Ajay Nirula) at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.