Camel Fighting, Dodo Birds, and Leaky Black: A Guide to the Inside Jokes of the Eye on College Basketball Podcast with Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander

David Glidden
11 min readMar 13
Photo by Saj Shafique on Unsplash

As is the case with any long-running friendship, inside jokes have flourished during the decade-plus tenure of Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander hosting the Eye on College Basketball podcast. Often a result of Parrish’s spontaneous and eccentric focus on a mundane topic or off-hand comment by Norlander, these inside jokes fuel the fan culture around college basketball’s most popular podcast.

“Camel fighting, dodo birds, and Leaky Black”

These days, every episode of the Eye on College Basketball podcast includes as its opening intro this absurdity of a phrase, jubilantly belted out by Gary Parrish:

Welcome to the Eye on College Basketball podcast, where we sometimes discuss camel fighting, dodo birds, and Leaky Black.

It wasn’t always this way, and for a two-year stretch it was just “where we sometimes discuss camel fighting and Leaky Black”, without any mention of the extinct dodo. This is that story.

Camel Fighting

It all started on a Friday, January 11th, 2019, when an innocent Trivia Time led to an impromptu five-minute segment on camel fighting. At 6:33 into the episode, Parrish asks Norlander if he can name the leading scorer in the nation at the time. Norlander immediately responds with the first being Chris Clemons of the Campbell University Fighting Camels. At 7:07, Parrish reacts, and a momentous discussion follows:

GP: That’s pretty impressive! I didn’t think you’d be able to get that! I figured you’d be able to get Chris Clemons because I know how much you love Chris Clemons, he’s a Campbell Fighting Camel, I didn’t know if you’d be able to get the other ones though, so hey, good on you. The Campbell Fighting Camels, did you know there is a such thing as fighting camels?

MN: Are there docile camels?

GP: I mean you can fight camels, there’s camel fighting. Did you know that?

MN: Stop.

GP: There’s camel fighting in Turkey.

MN: Uh, what?!

David Glidden

In the District of Columbia with @egbarnett. Ops at @TheoremOne.