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  • Writer's pictureJack Vita

'Bachelorette' contestant Garrett Powell on NFL Draft, Braves, Bachelor secrets and Christian faith

Jack welcomes a very special guest to the show; it's golf pro Garrett Powell, contestant and fifth-place finisher on season 15 of The Bachelorette (Hannah Brown's season)!

Garrett not only collected roses on national television, but he's also a huge sports fan! Garrett weighs in on day 1 of the NFL Draft (00:00 - 27:05). He and Jack attempt to project how each of the five quarterbacks selected in round one of the Draft will perform at the professional level. A Birmingham, Alabama resident, Garrett is a BIG Atlanta Braves fan! He shares his thoughts on the Braves' slow start to the season, Madison Bumgarner's 7-inning no-hitter, Dansby Swanson burning sage at Truist Park in hopes of igniting a hot streak, Bryce Harper getting drilled in the face and Anthony Rizzo striking out Freddie Freeman, as Jack provides a recap of the latest news from around Major League Baseball (27:05 - 1:02:00). Later on, Garrett opens up about his experience on The Bachelorette, and shines some light on some things that viewers probably aren't aware of, regarding the true reality of reality television and The Bachelor franchise (1:02:00 - 1:29:00). He shares his casting story and opens up about how going on television sunk him in to a season of deep depression. Yet through it all, he shares how hitting his lowest point brought him to the greatest joy he's ever known: his relationship with Jesus Christ (1:29:00 - END). Garrett also answers questions from the listeners regarding his season, a behind-the-scenes look at The Bachelor franchise, and of course, controversial figure (who is now Garrett's good friend), Luke P! Come for the Draft, stay for the roses!

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Talking with Garrett Powell from season 15 of The Bachelorette (Hannah Brown's season) was a real treat. I truthfully had no idea what I was in store for; I didn't even watch his season of The Bachelorette. I had watched previous seasons of the franchise, but had lost interest. In this episode of the Jack Vita Show, Garrett shined a lot of light on some of the dark secrets of the show. It should be informative to viewers. He talks about how producers build relationships and friendships with the contestants, gain their trust, and then attempt to use it to manipulate them and get them to what they want the contestants to do. Garrett provides examples, and discussing how he believes the season's "villain" Luke Parker was easily manipulated by production to act like a jerk, create conflict, and behave in a manner that wasn't true to his character in order to make compelling television. Perhaps reality television isn't "reality" after all with this franchise.

Garrett shares his story of how he was recruited to be on the show, and reluctantly went on it as the opportunity presented itself. He also opens up about how his life changed for the better and for the worse after the show. He would sometimes run quick errands, and get stopped to take pictures with large crowds of people, sometimes being stuck at Target for two and a half hours. He discusses how he sunk in to a season of depression following the show, detailing some of the nastiness he experienced from social media users and internet trolls. In his time of depression, he rededicated his life to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which gave his life hope, direction and a purpose. He discusses how his pastor, friends and even Luke P helped play a role in getting him back on the right track!

Garrett is also a huge sports fan. He played at a very high level of high school football, even playing in a camp with NFL players Jameis Winston and Ameer Abdullah. After getting injured, he had few opportunities to play football at the collegiate level, so he picked up golf. He immediately fell in love with golf and played on a junior college team, before transferring to Mississippi State, where he was able to major in golf management, and was able to become a PGA pro. To be clear, Garrett is not a golfer that plays on the PGA Tour; he instead is a club pro that gives lessons and competes in tournaments from time to time.

Garrett's football background made him the perfect guest on this show for the day after the NFL Draft. He brought a level of expertise and experience that I don't bring — in fact, we differed on how we project the quarterbacks of the 2021 NFL Draft to perform at the professional level. Garrett believes Justin Fields will be the best pro out of the whole bunch, as I am a little more skeptical of Fields. I'm high on Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Mac Jones, in that order. Admittedly, I never watched Trey Lance play. I don't watch a lot of FCS football, and he only played one game last fall before the season was pushed to the spring, which he wisely opted out of. Therefore, I don't have a fair opinion on Lance, although I believe his upside could be very high. Fields is a question mark for me. He was one of my favorite guys in college football both on and off the field, but his games against Northwestern and Indiana — two top 20 defenses — raised some red flags for me. In those two games, he threw for a combined total of 30-57, 414 yards, 2 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, and he was sacked eight times. Then there was the Clemson game, where he threw six touchdowns with a cracked rib or two. His potential is so high, and I really hope he's a great pro, but I have a difficult time projecting him. Will be the guy we saw against Clemson, or the guy we saw against Northwestern? Garrett and I exchange ideas, and I really value his insight.

Garrett is a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan, again making him a very fitting guest for this week. The Braves have gotten off to a cold start and currently stand at 12-14, just one game out of first place in what has been a lackluster NL East thus far. The Braves had quite a week. After tallying just one hit and no runs through 14 innings of last Sunday's double-header vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks, Dansby Swanson burned some sage around Truist Park, in hopes of igniting a hot streak. Immediately after, the Braves took three of four from the Chicago Cubs at Truist Park. I'm not a believer in superstitions. I'm not superstitious. But I do believe that superstitions and rituals can restore confidence in an individual or team. There was an episode of Rocket Power (available for streaming at Paramount+) where the gang discovers a seashell that they believe to be filled with good luck. When they lose the shell, they discover that the shell in itself wasn't bringing good luck, but it was helping them find confidence and relieve stress that was helping them to perform better in their respective extreme sports. I think that's what may be going on with the Braves. Swanson hopes that the Braves can leave their lackluster month of April in the rearview, and as the team gets healthy and returns Max Fried and Mike Soroka, it can play like the team it was from 2018-2020, when it won the NL East three straight times.

We also discuss the legitimacy of Madison Bumgarner's 7-inning no-hitter that he threw against the Braves last Sunday. Major League Baseball is refusing to acknowledge it as a no-hitter, which Garrett and I find to be hypocritical. If the league determines that 7 innings is enough to determine a true winner and a loser from the game, and that 7 innings constitute a full baseball game, then how can it say that Bumgarner's complete game no-hitter not count as a true no-hitter? What else are we supposed to call it? Jayson Stark made a great point on MLB Network Friday, that this no-hitter, and the controversial decision from the league office will make itself more memorable than other no-hitters. In fact, from this point forward I will refer to future 7-inning no-hitters as a "Bumgarner".

Elsewhere around the league, Bryce Harper got hit by a nasty 97 MPH fastball in the face, and thankfully didn't break anything. He should be back in action soon. After Cardinals' reliever Genesis Cabrera hit Harper on Didi Gregorious on consecutive pitches, both dugouts were warned and Cabrera was unable to removed from the game, thanks to the league's new three-batter minimum rule. Phillies' manager Joe Girardi blew his top and was quickly ejected, and the Phillies were unable to retaliate. Listen, I don't think any pitcher should ever throw at an opponent's head, but I have no problem with a message pitch being sent in response. Cabrera's intention wasn't to bean anybody, but the Phillies should have the right to send a message pitch back that says, "If you can't command your inside stuff, don't throw us inside." If Nolan Arenado or Paul Goldschmidt had gotten hit in the back or in the rear end, in response, it would make sense. I'd have no problem with that, and I actually enjoy when teams get chippy with each other. The animosity and rivalries make for good entertainment. There's a reason that whenever the benches clear, a guy is intentionally thrown at or when a player charges the mound, it pops up almost immediately on MLB's Twitter account.

The San Francisco Giants are playing some great baseball, as five of their starting pitchers have an ERA below 2.30. It's unrealistic to expect that kind of output from pitching staff, much less a rotation that was more-or-less scrapped together by other teams' castoffs, but I'm beginning to rethink my initial projection of the Giants. Entering the season, I expected them to be one of the National League's worst teams; now I'm thinking they could hang in the hunt for a while. It's hard to imagine them surpassing the Dodgers or the Padres, and the Diamondbacks have a feisty bunch this year as well. The NL West could end up being the league's best division this year.

Garrett and I also exchange ideas on the MLB All-Star Game and Barry Bonds' place in MLB history. My idea to improve the All-Star Game is to once again make it count for something. The World Series team from the winning league should get to choose whether they want home field advantage for game 7, OR if they want the World Series to be played in its entirety under their league's rules. Could you imagine a National League team forcing an AL team to play without a designated hitter for a full series? Wouldn't that be interesting? I think so.

I had an awesome time talking with Garrett Powell, who is a great guy, and hope he comes back to the Jack Vita Show again soon.

For more sports and entertainment analysis, follow me on Twitter @JackVitaShow, and subscribe to the Jack Vita Show on iTunes or wherever podcasts are found.


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