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The Brain Behind Freezing Cold Takes Is Just A Regular Guy With A Family

Hot takes beware!

That’s because the Twitter account Freezing Cold Takes is always on the prowl to poke fun at the most notable sports journalists in the industry. What started as an innocent and good-hearted way to troll on social media has grown the page to over 402,000 followers and has become a must-follow for any sports fan.

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Freezing Cold Takes (@OldTakesExposed) | Twitter

There was never any bad intentions when the account began in November of 2015, and that still holds true today, even though Fred Segal, the brand’s creator, knows a lot of people in the sports media dislike what the page is all about. But that’s ok with him. At the end of the day, managing a page that calls out journalists for being wrong doesn’t even come close to what his most important job is, which is being a dad and dedicating the majority of his time to the day-to-day aspects of parenthood.

“I’m with them 24 hours a day,” Segal said. “​As I started to do social media a lot more, I learned a lot about different social media accounts with other companies. I help out other companies with their accounts. They’re businesses, things like that. I’m basically doing a hodgepodge of different things. Before I did this, I was an attorney for eight years, But now I’m a full-time dad.”

The account has grown so much and taken on a life of its own, that Segal is never in short supply of content. That’s because his followers do a lot of the leg work, by constantly tagging him in tweets from notable people that have made a cold take. In the past week, Freezing Cold Takes was even mentioned by Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey. It’s become normal for big names in sports to help contribute to the account. That’s something Segal never envisioned when he started the account.

As much fun as the account is, which is what it’s intended to be, some journalists don’t find it very entertaining to have their work or takes mentioned on a page where bad takes are opposed. Instead of being a badge of honor, some journalists view it as a cheap and senseless way to poke fun. It’s a tad ridiculous to have that feeling towards the page, however, not everyone is able to find the humor that Segal had when he began Freezing Cold Takes.

For now, not much is going to change with the Twitter page. Cold takes will continue to be exposed and the account will see it’s number of followers rise to over 403,000 in the near future. But Segal doesn’t want to try and grow things too much. To him, that would take away from what makes the account so fun and unique. What does that strategy actually mean? Segal answered that and more during the Q&A.

Tyler McComas: ​So where did the idea of Old Takes Exposed come from?

Fred Segal:​ ​I used to be an avid Twitter user to get all my sports news. When I did this I used to see all the journalists pat themselves on the back when they got something right. I also remember a lot of their tweets and articles turned out to be wrong. I thought about just making an account that trolls journalists and posting when they got something wrong. I didn’t expect it to be what it is, my intention was just to troll them for fun.

I started in November 2015 and it took off pretty quickly. A couple of local video people got a hold of it and it turned into all these people tagging the account. Pretty soon it started to become more of a real-time thing. So if something happened in the news like a coach getting fired, I was working as a lawyer at the time, so I got really good at searches. A lot of the search codes are the same as the legal websites that lawyers use, when a coach got fired, I could look at the date that he was hired and see all the people that were praising him at the time. That type of stuff happened, then Sports Illustrated wrote an article about me. At that point, things blew up to around 5-digit followers. I was around 2,500 at the time and then it blew up to around 15,000 within the next couple of days. From there it really started to get noticed by everybody and started to become well-known. I just kept doing it as a hobby.

TM:​ How often do you even have to search for content? Is the audience doing most of the work?

FS: ​It happens a lot. It’s probably 75 percent the content now. I won’t miss it, because if it’s somebody really prominent I’ll get tagged several times right after the tweet is posted. Or if someone tweets out someone’s going to win and they end up losing, I’ll get tagged about 1000 times. But it’s also very annoying to the person who tweeted it. It’s probably why they hate the feed, well, a lot of people don’t like it, and it’s because, anytime they post anything even remotely interesting related to sports that looks predictive, I’ll get tagged 30 times. So there are some people that really hate that. 80% of the stuff I get tagged in, I won’t even post. Some of the stuff doesn’t even apply as a cold take. You really have to wade through all that stuff.

TM: ​So do you feel like the people getting retweeted view it more as annoying or a badge of honor?

FS: ​A lot of journalists and TV personalities don’t like it. Being tagged all the time is probably the most annoying thing to them. In terms of getting retweeted, it’s changed over the past few years, it’s more of a badge of honor type thing. I don’t think people get as upset about it as they used to. I think as Twitter has evolved and as the account has evolved, I think people have realized that complaining about people who post when they’re wrong, makes them look really bad. I think people are realizing if they just make fun of themselves, they look a lot better.

There’s a faction of journalists who feel they do really important work and are putting themselves out there, writing articles that are useful to the media and the public to understand what’s going on. And then there’s people like me, who just post old takes. It’s just a personality with some people, they’ll never reconcile with it being fun. They’re very serious about their work. That’s what I get with some people and they call me useless (laughs).

TM: ​Who do you feel like your audience has the most fun picking on?

FS:​ Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd, Doug Gottlieb, those guys are always getting tagged almost instantaneously after every post. They have a big following and they’re very high-profile in the sports media industry. Also, they tend to put themselves out there.

This is especially true for Colin Cowherd, because anything he says that is remotely provocative or predictive, a clip of it gets posted on the Fox Sports social media page. He may have 4 or 5 a day, so he’s going to get tagged a lot more, as opposed to a local radio host who says the same thing as Cowherd, but doesn’t have the same type of social media bandwidth.

TM: ​What’s the future for Freezing Cold Takes?

FS:​ It’s a niche and I’m not sure how much more it can expand, without ruining it. I think a lot of people have a lot of different ideas on what we can do with it, but I think that it might not be necessarily good to continue to expand, because if you continue to do more, it kind of ruins it. Personally, I’m happy where I’m at and parlayed this into a lot of different kinds of things. As long as I can continue that, I’m just going to continue to do Freezing Cold Takes as it is. I really don’t want to mess with things too much.

TM:​ Have you ever met any of the sports media personalities you continually retweet? If so, was that awkward?

FS:​ No, I’ve really never met any of them in person. I don’t really go anywhere. I’m with my family in south Florida and I’m not a part of the media. I also think not being in the media is why the account really works. I don’t know a lot of people in the media. I have relationships with a few, but not very many. With that being the case, it doesn’t affect my relationship with anybody. I’m just a regular guy with a family.

Tyler McComas
Tyler McComashttp://34.192.167.182
Tyler McComas is a columnist for BSM and a sports radio talk show host in Norman, OK where he hosts afternoon drive for SportsTalk 1400. You can find him on Twitter @Tyler_McComas or you can email him at [email protected].

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