Former Chicago Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long and Paul Swan, a tire carrier for the No. 3 of Austin Dillon and former linebacker for the Bowling Green State University football team, debuted their new weekly show on NASCAR's YouTube channel a few days ago. Here it is:
Initial impression? This may be some of the best follicle-for-follicle beard content out there. Long took a few minutes to speak to The Big Lead about the new project and bask in the warm comfort of encountering another human being named Kyle in the wild.
Kyle Koster: Just a heads-up: all of my questions are going to be about being named Kyle. Do you like your name?
Kyle Long: It's a simple name but it's a unique name. I think it's a pretty name.
KK: I looked up its meaning when I was 8 and it's Scottish Gaelic for "from the strait." That fact has never interested anyone in the history of my life.
KL: That's strong, though. A geographic term.
KK: There were so many Kyles in my high school class. The name was hot for, like, five years and then it sort of went away.
KL: It's funny you say that. I only know a handful of Kyles and it's always nice to support each other.
KK: I like that. What I don't like is the Kyles Punching Drywall stuff that you see on the internet. Seems borderline hateful to me.
KL: It's divisive. It's one of those things were you have to be a drywall specialist if your name is Kyle.
KK: So you're going around drumming up your own business?
KL: Exactly. It's diabolical.
KK: If I told you five years ago that you'd be hosting a NASCAR show or that we'd be in a global pandemic, which would have been more surprising to you?
KL: Probably the NASCAR show but luckily they're letting Paul and I do pretty much whatever the hell we want. We just have a good time. It'll be like our conversation here so far. He's a tire-carrier so he's within the walls of the sport we're talking about. I'm on the outside so I can ask him questions that may be looked at as dumb and he can answer them. Or he can find someone who has the answer.
We also have a lot of overlapping interests in other sports. He's into golf. We like crushing beers. I like to send him a SnapChat when I'm drinking a nice Miller Lite.
KK: When you are a Long, does your dad take you out into the woods when you're 14 and say 'son,I want you to follow my footsteps and go into media'?
KL: I think coming home from middle school and seeing the NFL Films production crew at the house when you first walk through the door. Steve Sabol was at our house. Like, keep it down, dad's being interviewed. That was just normal at the time. It'd be like if my dad was in business overseas and was speaking on the phone in another language. If he'd done that, I would have been speaking a diffrent language doing business. But he was in the media and I learned a lot from osmosis there.
The reason I'm doing this is because I think the masses would enjoy NASCAR and the culture that surrounds it and right now there might not be that doorway for them to walk through and say this is a show I can latch onto because I'm not going to get all NASCAR. There will be some football, some viral stuff.
I want NASCAR to be inclusive to the masses. I want to be able to talk night races with my offensive line regardless of what they look like, where they're from, or if they've ever heard of Dale Earnhardt.
KK: That's been a huge push in the sport over the past few years. That's probably smart to use you as a gateway drug.
KL: I think NASCAR has been incredible at making strides year in and year out and it doesn't happen without a really good group at the top. Even guys who aren't driving now, like Dale Earnhardt Jr. He's someone that I really look up to and I commend the way that he's tackling these hard-hitting topics that others may be brushing under the carpet for a long time.
Guys like Alvin Kamara hear that and decide, you know what, I'm a NASCAR fan. Who doesn't like fast cars? Who doesn't like having a cold beer on Sunday with the boys? It's another camaraderie opportunity. I feel like this could be a great weekly thing for people to do. Enjoy a great sport with a lot of talent.
KK: What have you learned already?
KL: It's hard to be yourself at first. But when we forget the camera is on, that's when we do our best stuff.
Paul and I haven't met in person yet, though. I feel like we've had online dating with each other through the pandemic getting ready for the show. We've hit it off. I'm looking forward to kicking his ass on the golf course but I'm also looking forward to his energy kicking my ass on set.
The Kyle Long Show is back with a new episode next week. People do, in fact, enjoy fast cars and drinking cold beer with the boys. Look no further than most country songs for proof.