Freezing Cold Takes Founder, Fred Segal Checked in with the Scoop B Radio Podcast. Press Play Below To Listen!
Fred Segal left a full-time job that paid six figures to start Freezing Cold Takes!
He has not looked back since.
His Twitter and Instagram accounts spoof things that reporters and athletes say that aren’t quite accurate!
The Celtics 1 through 8 (getting Kyrie and Hayward back) are more talented than the Warriors 1-8. It's why the Celtics will win the title next season.
— Jason Smith (@howaboutafresca) June 30, 2018
Segal and I discussed it on a recent episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
Check Out Our Q&A Below:
From Attorney to Cold Takes
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: No, that’s fair. Fred Segal on Scoop B Radio, one thing I found very interesting, as I was preparing for this interview with you, you left a six-figure job to start Cold Takes. Why?
Fred Segal: Yes. Well, because I didn’t liked my six figure job. I was an attorney and it’s not something you just do like on the fly. When I was, when I was, when I started the Freezing Cold Takes feed, I was an attorney and that was my gig and that’s what I thought would be doing for the rest of my life. But when you start doing something that you enjoy, and let me say this, it’s not really, it’s not the concept of Cold Taking which I enjoy, well I do, but like I didn’t, I didn’t say I want to be a Cold Take guy for the rest of my career. I want to be a content provider for sports on the Internet for the rest of my career. Uh, so there’s a difference. Like I plan on doing a lot more than just this, but this is really what’s gotten me to be able to, um, to start where I am and then you kind of branch out. But what I was doing as an attorney, I was an attorney for eight years and for two years of it, the last two years, I was trying to find my way out, and then one day I just said, yeah, I got to leave, but I had to convince my wife, I have two kids and everything, so it’s just one of the things that you gotta do what you want to do and I’m making a lot less money now, I’ll tell you that, at this moment. But you’re happier when you do what you want to do, Scoop. You know, it’s like, would you want to be doing something where you’re making more money and then you’re not podcasting as much, or looking for scoops or talking about basketball? You’d be a lot less happy.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: I couldn’t imagine life without basketball. It’d be pretty boring.
Fred Segal: Exactly! It gets to a point, a tipping point.
Cold Takes and Michael Kay
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: For sure. For sure. Scoop B Radio, one on one with Fred Segal, you, more specifically for those listening, you left a position as a healthcare transactional attorney, i’m reading this in Sports Business Chronicle, and two situations played an integral part in boosting Freezing Cold Takes, first was sending around a radio segment, shout out from Michael K, YES! Network, See ya! And then he was also a broadcaster, he does YES! Network, he does ESPN radio. I guess that is kind of what changed the game. What specifically happened with Michael Kay?
Fred Segal: Well, Michael Kay was the first thing that happened, I had just started the Freezing Cold Takes feed probably in November 2015. I did it on Twitter and it was strictly for fun, just to get a rise out of people who, the journalists and the talking heads who make predictions. I didn’t have any thoughts about what it would be or anything. And one day I was driving home from work and um, Michael supposedly, I got a ton of new followers and I probably only had a thousand followers at the time, and I wrote a tweet, ‘Why did I get so many new followers?’ Turns out Michael Kay had, and he has a radio show in New York, had mentioned it on his show. I don’t know how he found it, but he mentioned the feed, so at that point I saw someone had taken notice, and then two months later the big thing that happened was that Sports Illustrated picked it up and did like a whole article on it. And then it blew up. And in the article he, the writer, interviewed Michael Kay and quoted him, and so it gave it more credibility. But once the sports illustrated article came out, that’s when it blew up. And this was probably in February 2016.
Journalists fearing Segal
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Do you think that you make journalists nervous?
Segal: Um, some, I think, to an extent, when they post things on Twitter. I think they think about it sometimes and craft the way that they’re going to make their predictions in a certain way, but I don’t know how much I’m changing the way they do things. However, what annoys them the most, and you talked about this type of thing happening to you, is when they make a prediction and immediately 50 people tag me to them. That’s (laughs) what bothers them the most, I think. I mean, that gets under their skin the most and that’s why, if they do dislike me, that’s why, more than me posting their old takes, that’s really the main source of angst against the feed.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Let me follow that up by asking, do you think it annoys them more than it keeps them accountable or vice versa?
Fred Segal: I think it annoys them, more than anything, and I think it also annoys them when, so a lot of the people who were following me will tag me to anything, even if it’s not really even a take. Like even if I would never post it, it doesn’t really even qualify. It doesn’t make sense for them to tag me, but they’ll still do it anyway. Then the journalists have to get the last word too, like “it’s not even a take, you shouldn’t even be tagging me in this.” Just a troll on the internet, like you’re never going to win that argument because trolls don’t care. But, uh, that’s what annoys them the most.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Did you ever have a desire to be a sports journalist, I guess? Did you have a desire to do that?
Fred Segal: No, never. I mean, maybe growing up in some way, but never. I never desired to do it. I think a lot more people now desire to be commentators because there’s so many more platforms and avenues for people to commentate without having a specific job at a specific newspaper for a specific publication.You can start your own podcast, Scoop B Radio, for no money, with no backing, I mean it doesn’t cost any money to start and you could do it yourself and say whatever you want. Back when I was growing up, I mean I graduated high school, 1999, the Internet was just out, but we didn’t have platforms for us to create our own content. So back then it’s like you have to really start out and want to be a journalist from day one or you’re just going to do something else. But now it’s different. I think there’s so many people who just want to be a commentator and they’d commentate on everything, they’d choose, regardless of how many people listen or not, but you could find a way to do it now anywhere.
Best People for content
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: I tell people, as a writer who also has a podcast and has relationships with athletes and public figures, that there are two people that are a reporter’s dream, because they answer questions and give you content, and this is, of course, in entertainment, sports and politics, and there’s two people that come to mind, US President Donald Trump and Charles Barkley, you can just sit them down and just let them talk and pick and choose quotes all day. Comparatively speaking, who would you say is a Twitter’s dream for your platform to get hella content and you know people are going to retweet and like and give you plenty of views for it?
Fred Segal: There’s plenty of people. Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith and Colin Cowherd all will generate enormous amount of traffic if anything is talked about with them. Anybody who dislikes strongly or has a stigma to them that they are kind of a ‘larger than just a person’ stigma about them is going to get a substantial amount of traffic. Now I can tell you, Lavar ball, that guy, you post anything about him, automatic, substantial traffic, yet everybody says that they’re tired of him. So to me, I don’t really care what he says or does, but if he does something that’s noteworthy, I’m going to post it if it’s related to my feed. You know, guys like that. Anybody who people dislike a lot, Clay Travis, he does anything, I’ll get 30,000 tweets @ing me to him. Those are the types that are going to get the most, even though people say that they’d never want to see or listen to them, Stephen A. is one of those guys, too. Everyone clowns him, but man, he brings the traffic.
Friends in the media
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Who would you say, over the last few years since starting your platform in the media, you’ve actually made good friends with, based upon your platform?
Fred Segal: Well, friends, I don’t know if I’ve ever really met anybody, but I think that all the journalists and talking heads and anyone in media, they all know about the scene and in some ways you’ve interacted with it. I don’t know how many people I’ve made friends with, but I could talk to them, DM them. This is important, not important, I would say, but funny. I’ll get a lot of DM’s from people, high level people in the media who’s sending me something to post about, someone that they may not like in the media, a bad take, because they can’t do it, and they’ll say, “don’t say I sent it to you”. It happens a lot and you get to kind of figure out who doesn’t like who. Very interesting, to say the least, like you kind of feel out like who doesn’t like who, who is disliked the most? Things like that. It’s pretty interesting.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Without naming names, is any of that surprising to you?
Fred Segal: No, I mean it’s just like any other job or fraternity. When I was a lawyer when I in, you know, I’m from south Florida, I live in south Florida, down in West Palm Beach, but I was practicing in Miami and within the confines of South Florida law community, it’s the same thing. People don’t like each other. People kind of talk behind each other’s backs, within the confines of professionalism. It’s the same thing with the journalists. They don’t like each other. A lot of them are jealous. Jealousy is a big, big proponent in journalism. A lot of people don’t believe that a certain person should be at the platform that they have. People think that they’ve worked harder and they get jealous because of it and it probably makes them want to send me their takes, those people take the post.
Miami sports teams, LeBron, and Wade
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Scoop B Radio on the line with Fred Segal, talking jealousy, talking old takes exposed, talking sports, who were your teams growing up?
Fred Segal: Dolphins, all South Florida teams, Dolphins, Miami Heat, and the Florida Marlins when they came out in 1993, I was 12 years old, and University of Florida. Probably the most passion in our family comes from University of Florida sports, basketball, football. My Dad went there, a big huge fan, and I graduated from University of Florida as well, so that’s really, we love college football and college basketball, and that’s my team, but in terms of, we had season tickets to the Miami Dolphins back when Marino was there, and it was great, and we had season tickets to the Heat. My Dad worked downtown right across the street from the arena, so we used to go to those games too. And the Heat became really big with LeBron, really took the city by storm, but Miami, I grew up there, they’re very fair weather, very fair weather fans. You aren’t winning, they’re not coming.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Tell me something. When you look at LeBron, obviously drafted by Cleveland, came to Miami, left Miami, went back to Cleveland, left Cleveland, moved to LA. From a Miami perspective, did you understand the point of view that Cleveland had after his first stint with them, and how does Miami take to him post-Miami?
Fred Segal: Post-Miami, I understood why, I didn’t think he was going to leave, it kind of caught us by surprise, Like we wondering why he’d ever go back after he’s been in Miami, Miami has this complex about how they’re much more superior than Cleveland in every way, but to him, to Lebron, we realized that to LeBron, that’s not true, because that’s where he grew up and he just loves Cleveland and no one could understand that, except for him, but now I think Lebron was kinda just like a fly-by guy to people in Miami and I don’t think people care too much about him. They disliked him a lot when he left, but I think now they don’t really care that much about him, but they’ve kind of embraced Dwyane Wade a lot more. Like Dwyane Wade is the guy in Miami now, even more now, especially once he came back. In Miami, growing up in Miami, there are two athletes from Miami that are beloved by everybody, it used to be just one, the most beloved athletes in Miami. One is Dan Marino and now Dwyane Wade, and those two, that’s it. There’s nobody who even comes close to those guys, and Dwyane Wade’s really been embraced, and I think it’s because once he came back and he stayed with the Heat and he’s just, he is the face of the franchise.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: What do you remember most about Dwyane Wade, because we’re around the same age, and I know that I was in college when they won the championship in 2006, moreso the aura that they had, when you added Shaq, you added Alonzo Mourning, he came back from the kidney and all those different things, what do you remember most about Wade?
Fred Segal: Well, I think with Dwayne Wade, he’s just always been the Miami Heat Guy. Young, great player, and really kind of embraced everything, the fashion and style, he embraced everything about Miami and from the second he got here, and especially when he rose up to be a superstar, he became that guy and he’s kind of become Miami, and really kind of gets it. Like, I don’t think there’s ever been a player who’s come down here who’s really, Alonzo Mourning maybe, Alonzo Mourning is loved down here too, and it took him awhile to get that back. Alonzo Mourning is Miami’s guy, he just doesn’t have it on the court, the same level as Dwyane Wade does, but there’s a high school named after him here, but Dwayne Wade just embraced Miami and even when LeBron came it was kind of, towards the end, LeBron knew he had to take over, but Dwayne Wade Kinda just personified the Miami-ness of the Heat and kind of took it to another level, and that’s really what Dwayne Wade is and was and always be, and he’s really taken it to another level now. I mean, you could just see he’s really into father time and he’s becoming an ambassador. Ever since he came back from Cleveland and he asked to come back, he’s kind of just taking this ambassador role, and I think that’s what he’s going to keep doing. That’s what Alonzo mourning did, and he’s been doing it forever, but I think Dwyane Wade is going to take it to another level.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: When I think about Miami and what I thought was pretty cool, you walk into the arena and you see Michael Jordan’s jersey retired. You see Dan Marino’s jersey retired. That being said, do you ever see Miami retiring LeBron James’s jersey?
Fred Segal: I don’t know, they retired Shaq’s, so, I don’t think that they’re going to. I just don’t. I don’t know. It’s tough and they’ll probably ended up doing it. Miami is all about ceremonies and they’ll do it just so they have LeBron up there. They’re into ceremonies, they’re into marketing and showing themselves and all the people who connect it to Miami and all that kind of stuff, the glamor of it. I didn’t even understand Shaq’s jersey. I feel like people like Tim Hardaway deserve it more than Shaq.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: I agree about Tim Hardaway.
Fred Segal: Yeah, Tim Hardaway was the guy. The Mourning team, and that was back when I was in high school and we used to go to all the games. Oh man, I love those teams. We had one of the biggest grinders, Pat Riley, loved him. PJ Brown, we had Tim Hardaway and those guys and Mourning, but I mean, yeah they’ll probably end up doing it. I don’t think they should, I mean, he was there for four years, he gave us two titles, but he just doesn’t fit, he’s not a Heat guy. Like, people look back at LeBron’s career and they don’t think ‘Heat’.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: It’s interesting you say that because when Jason Kidd was inducted into the Hall of Fame, I asked a couple of my friends, I said, does he retire a Net, like if you see his picture, does he retire a Net? Does he retire a Maverick? Some people say Net, some people say Maverick.
Fred Segal: It should be the Nets. I mean, when he won the title with the Mavericks, he wasn’t the primary guy. It should be the Nets, I mean that’s when Jason Kidd became Jason Kidd. And LeBron, the whole Miami thing is just, it was a stop by. It seemed more like a rental, and I think Heat fans feel that way about him. But they loved him, I mean, we loved him when he was here, and the second he left, ehh. (laughs) That’s why we love guys like Marino, he stayed his whole career. Miami people love Dan Marino.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Anything else is blasphemous.
Fred Segal: Yeah. And Wade’s that guy, there’s no one even close in the city to those two guys. It’s a very fair weather city when it comes to sports, there’s people who really like their team. They’ll love it, but it’s not the same as Cubs fans, like the die hard Cubs fans or stuff like that.
Platforms outside of Twitter
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Fred Segal on Scoop B Radio, you see a lot of news networks, taking out certain news and twisting it and making it something of its own, do you see anything similar happening in in your years on Freezing Cold Takes where it’s more than just Twitter?
Fred Segal: Yeah, I think more people are noticing what’s going on in video, I mean articles are a little bit out there, but it’s mostly video you’ll see, or someone making a Instagram post story or something like that. But people love video. On my Instagram page, I’ll get the most traffic through video. People love the video, little video clips of people saying things that didn’t turn out to be true or during a game someone says, “oh, he’s not going to score there” and they score and stuff like that, so that’s because they’re real-time. You didn’t have that back in the day when you had to write an article after the game. If a team came back and won, all that real-time stuff, all those real time reactions, when people have time to think about it, what they’re going to say, what they’re going to do, it’s not the same. So a person gets traded, person gets signed, “That team’s going to win the championship”, people quote that, maybe if they thought about it for 24 hours, they won’t say it.
Advice: being yourself, and Stephen A. Smith and Kevin Durant
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: You got me thinking, brother, Scoop B Radio on the line with Fred Segal. Before I get out of here, I’m curious to know what’s the best piece of advice that you received from people as you started your platform and how much backlash did you get from people in your circle for leaving a good job to start this network?
Fred Segal: Well, I think the best advice you get first leaving what you’re doing, I think that there gets to be a point when you think to yourself that you want to do something else or you want to do something drastic with your life, you should sit on it for a decent period of time, a couple of months. And if it keeps nagging at you and you know that it is the right thing to do, then you have to sit there and find a way to do it. And because it’s just, you’re not going to be fulfilled with yourself if you’re doing something you don’t want to do. And I can tell you right now that I don’t know what’s going to happen with Freezing Cold Takes, but I know that I’ll never regret leaving practice of law, so if you can get that feeling where you know you’re never going to regret it, no matter what happens, then do it, but in terms of what type of advice, you just have to trust yourself and be yourself. So if you see everybody has different types of personalities, so let’s say you see somebody like Stephen A. Smith who, all these guys like Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, right? They go out on a limb and they create, and Stephen A. Smith will yell and scream and do all of this self-promotion, but that’s who he is. It may be an exaggeration a little bit, but that’s the type of personality he has, he has the personality to be able to do that. When someone else looks at that and says, “I need to do that to become big,” but you don’t have that personality, you don’t have that in you, then it’s going to look really bad. You’re not gonna make it. You have to find what’s in within yourself, what fits your personality and create it that way, and if you feel uncomfortable doing something, then don’t do it because it’s not gonna work, so you just have to be comfortable with it. You have to be able to be able to take chances and risks and do things, but still be comfortable within yourself that you’re doing it. Because I get a lot of advice, I need to do this, I need to do that. I need to do this to be bigger, and some of it I’m just not comfortable with and I know I wouldn’t be comfortable so I can’t do it, because it’s just not going to work because I’m not gonna enjoy it and I’m not going to do it well. Like, guys like Stephen A. and Colin Cowherd, they’re the best at what they do in the manner they do it. The best self-promotional debater guy. There’s no one else who’s better than him at that. It takes a lot of work, I’m sure, as much as people think it’s cheap, which it is. It could be cheap and he’s okay with it.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: I thought that the rant he had about Kevin Durant a year or two ago, just about who, Stephen A. talked to in his camp as far as sources are. Stephen. A Smith became the story.
Fred Segal: Yep, it helped him, I guess. Sometimes, when Stephen A. Smith goes overboard, I think he’s embarrassed about it, but for the most part he knows what makes him his money, he makes a lot of money. I think the players have to ignore it. Guys like Kevin Durant can’t ignore the noise, but Kevin Durant backs it up. I feel like people, you know, Kevin Durant, seems to be very sensitive, kind of like a baby, but when it comes down to it, in the Finals for the past two years, he’s dominated. So it doesn’t really hurt him, It’s just a bad look. I don’t know, if he’s going to keep dominating, then why does it really even matter? I mean he shouldn’t care, but it is what it is.