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Volume 25 No. 24
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Weekend Plans With Fox Sports' Michael Lombardi: Diving Into The Next Chapter

Fox Sports analyst MICHAEL LOMBARDI this year transitioned back into the media fast lane after a long career in NFL front offices, most recently with the Patriots and Browns. After spending years working alongside everyone from AL DAVIS to BILL BELICHICK, Lombardi now spends his time analyzing the game while going head-to-head with personalities like COLIN COWHERD and SKIP BAYLESS. Lombardi is also hard at work on a book and recently launched the new "MAKE ME SMARTER" football podcast with host NICK WRIGHT. In addition, he can be heard breaking down NFL matchups each Friday with BILL SIMMONS on The Ringer's podcast network. He said, "It's been a fun time for me. The decision to leave the Patriots was based on the feeling that it was time to get my other career started. I wanted to write a book and I needed to work on it. When you leave the league, you're used to getting up early and working late. I didn't want this to be a retirement; I wanted this to be the next chapter. That's what I'm trying to make it about."

ALL ABOUT APPROACH: My preparation for the work week is the same as it was with the Patriots and Browns. I study the NFL teams during the week, usually starting on Monday and then I typically don't finish till Friday. I try to make notes for myself that give me insight, much like I would do if I was still in the league. The most important thing is to stay on top of it. When you leave the NFL, the hardest thing to do is stay in touch with the draft. So Saturdays for college football are very important. I have to stay on top of everything from who the players are, who the teams are, how they play, everything. I do Fox' pregame show on Sunday from 11:00-12:00pm ET, where I have a segment with Cowherd, DAVE WANNSTEDT, CHARISSA THOMPSON and CHARLES TILLMAN.

: The idea for the podcast really came from Fox Sports National Networks President JAMIE HOROWITZ. We both have a shared affection for MALCOLM GLADWELL's "Revisionist History," and what we wanted to have was a podcast that would have a unique point of view of the NFL from someone who sees the league in a different way. We're not trying to be critical of anyone, we're just trying to explain things from a different perspective and present a side of the story that's compelling and also educational. Horowitz' vision was to be quick, talk about three or four things, get in and out, and work from there. It's been effective and hopefully people learn something from listening to it and are engaged in it. 

TV REPS: It's always difficult to transition back into television. I don't think I've quite hit my stride yet, it takes some time. You need reps to get better. There's been good chemistry between Bayless, Cowherd, SHANNON SHARPEJASON WHITLOCK and myself. I've enjoyed each platform I've been on because we've been able to have conversations whether we all agree with one another or not. We've been able to listen to each other's point of view which I think is the elixir of life. 

DON'T CALL IT WORK: When I'm away from football, my family and I will head to the beach house in New Jersey. That's always a great place to get away to where I still have both friends and family. The thing, though, for me is that football really isn't a job. I don't have to force it because it comes naturally. I'm also a big reader, I read a lot about ROBERT KENNEDY and LYNDON JOHNSON in my free time. Curiosity is the greatest hobby you can have.