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Dan Le Batard and Friends Are Making a Musical

Kyle Koster
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Meadowlark Media is producing an original musical chronicling the 2021 NFL season, The Big Lead has learned. Slated for release the week of February 28th, the as-yet-unnamed project is being produced by Nashville-based singer-songwriter JT Daly with Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz executive producer Mike Ryan Ruiz co-writing. A conventional streaming release is being eyed, though fans of the show will have the opportunity for early access.

Further details will be revealed as the completion date nears.

A makeshift studio has been constructed at the company's South Beach studios and portions have already been recorded with Daly embedded. Perhaps most notably, every Meadowlark personality will be contributing to the final product and will have a singing part. The audacious endeavor was borne out of a joke in Slack and wanting to take a big swing. Writing, recording, and producing a musical from scratch qualifies as such. 

The original idea was to focus solely on the big game in Los Angeles, but has shifted to a more macro view of the football year, which culminated in a Rams' championship last night.

"JT's a genius and he gets the show so while it's an aggressive turnaround, I’m hopeful we can do it," said Ruiz. "So far, I'm proud of what we've done and am really excited for people to hear it. It’s not some cheap public domain karaoke deal. It's a legitimate, honest-to-God musical. With a cohesive story and everything."

Daly, a longtime listener and fan, compared the tight turnaround to being a touring musician. “There’s an old joke,” he said. “How long does it take to set up a sound system? The answer is always how long you have to set it up. It’s always enough time, whether that’s a half-hour or two hours. That’s the approach I’m taking.”

He jumped at the opportunity to work with Ruiz and the rest of the crew. “It’s art to me, the stories they tell,” Daly said. “And story arcs are my favorite part of sports. The villains, the heroes, what’s the story to tell.”

Internally, this is being seen as a big-tent event to showcase the roster of in-house talent and the largest creative collaboration since FreeDumb, the 24-hour marathon Le Batard and Friends created last summer. Listeners of the flagship program know how integral musical numbers have been through the years. The show's final day on ESPN Radio featured a cameo-filled, 12-minute version of Stat of the Day. 

This time they are really going for it. 

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