BEST FRIDAYS IN FOOTBALL: Urban Meyer, Buddy Martin, An ESPN Producer and The Man Behind The Curtain
Updated: Jan 1
Together, the two of them have combined for eight authored books and three national championships. And now, they have paired up on their next endeavor that’s destined for success.
Making up the “Best Friday’s in Football” podcast, Urban Meyer and Buddy Martin now join forces with two producers every Friday to discuss college football’s hottest topics.
Meyer and Martin have both had successful career in their respective fields and hope to add a successful podcast to their running resumes.
“I’m glad we’re doing this,” Meyer told Martin in one of the podcast’s opening episodes.
“You’ve always been one of my favorites to have conversation with. And it goes beyond just the Florida Gators and the Ohio State Buckeyes.”
And now those conversations about the Florida Gators, the Ohio State Buckeyes and beyond will be made available wherever podcasts can be listened to.
However, it isn’t that easy.
Even wildly successful professionals rely on others. And in this case, Meyer and Martin are counting on the help of a dynamic duo.
The man behind the curtain, Brenden Martin, is once again the driving force for Buddy. Buddy’s son Brenden is director and co-executive producer of the "Best Fridays in Football" and will be teaming up with Andy Billman, a major force in the ESPN’s Thirty for Thirty and SEC Storied.
“Brenden Martin is a maven in the sports media industry,” Billman said of Martin. “His talent, creativity and hard work are a big reason why the Buddy Martin Show is a success and why the Best Friday’s in Football is on its way to becoming the premiere football podcast.”
Known by some, but destined to be known by many, finding Brenden Martin’s name in the credits of a sports podcast is surprising… kind of. He’s been The Man Behind the Curtain for his dad Buddy for over 25 years, including in 1996 when the two of them pioneered Florida Sportstalk Radio in Ocala/Gainesville.
“I’m not a huge sports fan,” Brenden admits. “I think you always naturally go away from what your family wants you to do, right? I wanted to be in production. That’s really more my skill set. I’m a techie and geeky person… that’s what I was attracted to.”
But what he quickly found out he wasn’t attracted to was the manual labor that went into the entry level positions in TV production.
Living in Colorado at the time, Martin spent years running cable through the Rocky Mountains.
“That was my job for a long time… just dealing with that cable,” Brenden Martin says. “And it was a horrible job. And it was freezing cold. There was no money, it was sleeping in the back of trucks and it sucked and it wasn’t fun. We were literally burying it under snow and running it through trees… all this crazy stuff.”
His blue-collar work ethic eventually paid off when a spot in the production truck opened up and he was given an opportunity to learn the dance of live broadcast.
“In 10 years or so, maybe a little less, I had gotten to do a lot of cool things,” Brenden says. “I did an entire season with the NFL. I did seven seasons with the NBA. I did seven seasons with the NHL. Everything came through Denver.”
In those 10 years of learning, Brenden Martin also did a lot of thinking.
Was all that cable really necessary? Was that production truck actually needed? Couldn’t all of this be done through the internet?
Then, in the years before 2010, it was this abstract thought.
Now, we know it as streaming.
Brenden Martin was wanting to cut cables way before every household in America did.
“I always said to myself, ‘There’s gotta be a better way to do this.’,” Brenden said. “I don’t think we need that TV truck. I don’t think we need all those cables. I feel like we could do this with the internet. Everyone told me I was crazy.”
We now know the only crazy ones are those who didn’t think of it sooner.
After leaving the traditional side of television, Brenden joined forces with his dad at Gator Country.
There, the Martin boys covered the Florida Gators during the glory days of Gators football, while picking up a few quality talents in the process. ESPN’s Laura Rutledge, then Laura McKeeman, had her own recruiting show with Gator Country under the production of Martin.
Together, Brenden and Buddy built a multimedia brand which was voted the best college football website by the Washington Post.
The young producer had struck gold. Well maybe not financially — but artistically and technically.
The use of online streaming was the perfect platform for his dad to do this thing and others — the Buddy Martin Show is broadcast five times a week — now, they’ve sprinkled highly successful individuals in Meyer and Billman.
“Dad and I have been chasing this dream for a long time … 25 years or more,” Brenden says of this new endeavor. “We have made a lot of mistakes and a few false starts, but I think we finally got it right. It’s extra special I get to accomplish it with my dad.”
Brenden currently serves as President of Buddy Martin Media. The Martins are focused on the BFF.
And with the track record of this quartet, they’re known for being some of the best. Providing the “Best Fridays in Football” is sure to be the least of their accolades when all is said and done.