Chris Long is living up to his last name — and playing the long game in building a media business.
The two-time Super Bowl champion spoke to The Post about a wide range of business and football topics, and revealed exclusively that his “Green Light” podcast will be partnering with Amazon’s Amp live audio platform on Thursdays during the NFL season.
Long, who played defensive end for the Rams, Patriots and Eagles from 2008 through 2018, has worked with Amazon on NFL studio coverage in the past, and saw this as an opportunity to be “more dressed down and casual.”
Long did not want to go into sports media and have to wear a suit and tie all the time.
“Did you see Amazon’s pregame show last week? Fitzy [Ryan Fitzpatrick] wore a Hawaiian shirt. Andrew Whitworth had a hoodie underneath his suit. I’m just more dressed down. It’s better than working with someone else. And Amazon’s cutting edge. The landscape’s changing and they have the firepower to be able to hit a curveball or moving target.”
There will be regular contributors and fan interactions on the show.
“When you’re producing a podcast, sometimes you get bogged down on the details, and when you have people sending in questions it’s a great opportunity to be off the cuff,” Long said.
Long has been working with Blue Wire, a four-year-old podcast network founded by Kevin Jones, on expanding his media umbrella. It’s an arrangement where Long handles the content, while Blue Wire takes care of the marketing sales. The two sides have a deal on a revenue split.
“The reason that Blue Wire was so attractive is I’m driving the subscriptions and downloads, but the back end stuff that I have zero interest in dealing with is taken care of,” Long said. “You get to be part of a big network but you also get to be an independent contractor.”
The idea of being his own boss was important to Long.
“That’s a big deal for me,” he said. “I work 10 minutes from my house [in Charlottesville, Va.].”
They have marketing arrangements with Wynn — which collaborated with Blue Wire on a massive $3.5 million studio at their casino on the Las Vegas strip — and Miller Lite.
“As you get older, I don’t go to the bar as much, but I’m a big day drinker,” Long said. “Whether I’m out on the water, hanging out outside with my buddies or whatever, a light beer goes down smooth. When it’s 85-90 degrees or hotter, and you get a cold Miller Lite, that’s always been one of my favorite beers. When they came to the table, I was fanboying a little bit.”
Long is also expanding his Green Light umbrella, and brought aboard brother, offensive lineman Kyle Long, who has officially retired from the NFL this past offseason.
One enticement was the promise of a “chill boss” — and a way to have some of his own content autonomy. Long’s former Eagles teammate Beau Allen, — the two went viral along with Lane Johnson for wearing dog masks after defeating the Vikings in the 2018 NFC championship game — is also joining Green Light as a contributor.
While the word podcast implies an audio medium, the business has evolved all over the place in recent years. Long’s team wants to create big impressions on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Twitch and more.
Long is spreading the ball around, so to speak. Other regular contributors on his own podcasts include the college football writer Nicole Auerbach, Stanford Steve (Scott Van Pelt’s friend on midnight “SportsCenter”) and Nate Collins, the former Bears defensive tackle who played with Long at Virginia.
“As we grow, sometimes when the pod’s too crowded, and I can only do 90 minutes, and we have so many people we can have in — I want it to be Chris Long and Friends. I don’t want it to be all about me,” Long said.