ESPN Daily

By ESPN, Pablo Torre

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 Mar 2, 2020

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 Jan 30, 2020

Description

Wake up to the best sports story you'll hear all day. Monday through Friday, host Pablo Torre brings you an inside look at the most interesting stories at ESPN, as told by the top reporters and insiders on the planet. The breaking news of SportsCenter. The deep dive storytelling of 30 for 30. Get the very best of ESPN. Daily.

Episode Date
How Heisman Frontrunner Caleb Williams Ignited USC’s Renaissance
2012
USC quarterback Caleb Williams does kinda look like Patrick Mahomes. They’ve got similar heights, and builds, and almost the same mop of curly hair, kept high and tight beneath a headband. And Williams also plays like Mahomes: making tackle-defying scrambles and ridiculous throws on the run. His playmaking magic has brought the Trojans back to life: they’re somehow one win away from the college football playoff. Paolo Uggetti has been covering Williams since he was a viral sensation at Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C., and he helps us get to know Williams and understand his meteoric rise. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 30, 2022
Why Iran vs. USA Is About Much More Than Soccer
1868
Iran faces the US today in the final game of their group stage. It’s a win or go home for young Team USA, who earned two draws in their earlier group stage games vs. Wales and England. Off the field, Iran remains under a global spotlight after months of protests against their own regime because of the country’s stance on women’s rights. This isn’t the first time Iran and the US have met on the field during times of intense geopolitical opposition: back in 1998, the Americans lost to Iran and were eliminated from the World Cup, after the previous several decades of tensions between the two nations which saw the Iran Hostage Crisis and American support for Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war. Sam Borden is on the ground in Qatar, and he brings us up to speed on how the tournament’s gone for Team USA so far, and explains what’s at stake for both sides ahead of the match. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 29, 2022
Alex Smith on NFL’s Thanksgiving Leftovers: Jags, Jets, and Russell Wilson
1734
Sunday’s slate of NFL action saw multiple game winning 2-point conversions, an 86 yard walk-off overtime TD run, and most unlikely of all, a dominant Jets QB performance. In Jacksonville, Trevor Lawrence led the Jags to a comeback win against the Ravens. Jets QB Mike White delivered 3 touchdowns in New York’s victory over the Bears, after replacing the currently benched Zach Wilson. And the Broncos haven’t been able to make their partnership with Russell Wilson work just yet…as tensions flared in their loss to the Panthers. Our Monday QB Alex Smith tells us what he saw on the field from these games and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 28, 2022
The Great Imposter and Me, Part 2 (Encore)
2486
The story of Barry Bremen, a.k.a. “The Great Imposter” was already sufficiently ridiculous. Bremen was an average, suburban dad, husband, and insurance salesman who’d risen to national fame by sneaking into major sporting events. But in 2019, nearly a decade after Barry Bremen’s death, his family received a mysterious letter that changed everything. The Barry Bremen legacy was bigger and more profound than any of them had ever realized. In an encore of one of our favorite episodes of the year, Jeremy Schapp brings us Part 2 of a tale unlike any other: one of family, and identity, and how technology has changed so many lives…and revealed so many secrets. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 25, 2022
The Great Imposter and Me, Part 1 (Encore)
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It’s a story so wild we couldn’t fit it into one podcast. If you’re of a certain age, you probably remember Barry Bremen. In the late 70’s, Barry was best known for dressing up as pro athletes and sneaking into televised sporting events…beginning with the 1979 NBA All-Star Game, where he shot layups on the court with stars like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Moses Malone. And while his “Great Imposter” persona brought him fame, an appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and more adventures, Barry was also a totally normal family man…and a beloved dad. Bremen died of cancer in 2011, but his story didn’t end there. In an encore of one of our favorite episodes of the year, “The Great Imposter and Me” reveals the most unbelievable part of the Barry Bremen story, which came long after he’d hung up his phony uniforms and disguises. Jeremy Schaap brings us this story in two parts, for ESPN Daily.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 24, 2022
When Giannis Met Milwaukee: A Love Story (Encore)
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Athletes often say they love the city where they play, but Giannis Antetokounmpo takes it to a new level. He’s called Milwaukee home since the team drafted him in 2013. It wasn’t a given that the Greek native, a son of Nigerian immigrants, would stay in the midwestern city. But his massive 2020 contract extension shows the love is mutual. In an encore of one of our favorite episodes from the last year, our own ESPN Daily producer (and Wisconsin native) Ryan Nantell digs into a legendary anecdote from Giannis’ rookie season that shows why he and Milwaukee have been such a good fit. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 23, 2022
Butt Fumble at 10: A Play That Will Live In Infamy
1877
10 years ago today, the “Butt Fumble” was born. On November 22, 2012, a crisp Thanksgiving night, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots visited the Mark Sanchez-led New York Jets at MetLife Stadium…where in the second quarter, Mark Sanchez turned the wrong way after a snap and ran right into his right guard’s butt and fumbled the ball to an awaiting Patriots defense that promptly ran it in for a touchdown. The play became a symbol of the Jets’ dysfunction, and has been immortalized forever through video clips, replays, and memes. Former Jets head coach Rex Ryan takes us back to that dark day in Jets history, and ESPN Daily producer Chris Tumminello, who attended the Butt Fumble game, helps us commemorate the notorious anniversary. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 22, 2022
Alex Smith on Chiefs Thrill, Cowboys Dominance, and Heinicke Magic
2368
Week 11 in the NFL had the makings of a snoozefest…until the Chargers and Chiefs battled it out on Sunday night, with the Chiefs pulling off yet another last-second comeback. Just a week after putting the NFL on notice with a win over the Bills in the game of the year, the Vikings got embarrassed at home by the Dallas Cowboys. The NFC East’s good day continued as the Washington Commanders beat the Houston Texans to improve to 6-5 after starting the season 1-4…and more importantly, they finally named Taylor Heinicke their starting QB going forward. And amid all the outrage over the Colts’ hiring of Jeff Saturday as their interim head coach…prompted us to think, what actually makes someone qualified to be a head coach anyway? We brought in Alex Smith for another edition of QB Confidential, so he could help us make sense of all of this. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 21, 2022
JJ Redick on Mental Health vs. Mental Toughness
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It’s no surprise that the athlete's mental health has been one of the biggest topics in sports in recent years, as more and more players are coming forward with the struggles they face in dealing with the constant pressure. But screaming fans and high-stakes moments are exactly what makes sports so compelling. So today, in a special crossover episode with The Old Man & The Three podcast, we offer an extended conversation with JJ Redick, who has both thrived and suffered under the pressure of elite competition, on how we should think about the strain on athletes’ mental health…while also acknowledging that watching athletes succeed or fail in high pressure situations is exactly what makes them worth watching. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 18, 2022
On the Ground in Qatar for the Most Controversial World Cup Ever
2419
The World Cup, the biggest sporting event on the planet, begins this Sunday. While every World Cup is extreme in its own way, nothing compares to what’s going on in Qatar right now. There is the migrant worker crisis (which this podcast reported on two weeks ago). There’s the fact that Qatar is the smallest country to ever host the World Cup. And there are concerns about the rights of the LGBTQ community in Qatar and the possibility of protests in a country that historically has been very tightly controlled. Sam Borden has been covering all of the issues surrounding Qatar’s bid for years, and reports from on the ground in Doha about the most controversial World Cup ever. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 17, 2022
“We Can’t Do This Forever.” Klay Thompson on the Warriors, Rehab, and Boating
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Klay Thompson is one of the best shooters in NBA history. He’s one half of the Splash Brothers, a five-time NBA All-Star, and a four-time NBA champion. He is also an avid boater. But he’s 32 years old…and coming off a torn ACL injury which was immediately followed by a torn Achilles. Couple that with the emergence of younger role players such as Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins…and the Warriors’ slow start to this season, and all of a sudden Thompson’s future with the dynasty he’s been a cornerstone for is murkier than ever. Ramona Shelburne joins us to explain how Thompson’s role has been changing…and charts the course for how both he and the Warriors can make it through these troubled waters. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 16, 2022
Why Men’s College Basketball is Going Back to the Future
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For years One-and-Done has been the name of the game in men’s college basketball, with top programs courting superstar freshmen to play for one season before they head to the NBA. But now, with college players now legally raking in cash via Name, Image and Likeness deals, the calculus is starting to change. Many players can make as much, if not more in college than in trying their luck in the pros. It all means that college basketball in 2022 looks at once very new…but also, a little old…as star players like Gonzaga’s Drew Timme and Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe have returned for their senior seasons and brought back the notion of “college basketball veteran.” So Myron Medcalf gets us ready for the 2022-23 men’s college basketball season…and he takes us on a campus tour unlike any we’ve ever seen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 15, 2022
Alex Smith on Vikings/Bills Instant Classic, Tua’s Brilliance, and Playing for Dan Snyder
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With Week 10 of the NFL in the books, Alex Smith stops by to talk about the Game of the Year…and catch of the year, courtesy of Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson in the Vikings’ win over the Bills. Josh Allen now leads the league in interceptions, but is it time to panic in Buffalo just yet? Elsewhere in the AFC East, the now-first place Miami Dolphins steamrolled the Browns…and MVP chants echoed down on QB Tua Tagovailoa. And after everything we saw Sunday…are the Eagles still the best team in the NFL? Alex Smith answers these questions, and reflects on his time in Washington ahead of the Commanders-Eagles game on Monday Night Football. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 14, 2022
Battlefields to Ballfields: How Veterans are Helping Solve the Sports Officiating Crisis
1748
There may be no more thankless job than referee. At best, your existence is completely invisible. No one notices when you do a terrific job. At worst, you become enemy #1 for fans or coaches or in lower levels, angry parents. Combine that with low pay and high pressure, and it's no wonder why officiating is undergoing a crisis at the moment. Not enough people are willing to do the job…a job without which, the games quite literally can not go on. But, today, on Veteran’s Day, we bring you the story of a solution. And it’ll make you think differently about what this job actually is. And the people who really would love to do it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 11, 2022
The Band is on the Field, 40 Years Later
2360
It’s arguably the greatest play in college football history. November 20th, 1982. Stanford vs. Cal. A legendary rivalry known as the “Big Game,” that was made even bigger that year by the presence of Stanford’s all-world QB, John Elway. What happened in the final seconds still echoes across 40 years…the iconic call of Cal Radio’s Joe Starkey exclaiming, “The band is out on the field!” With a new E:60 special airing Sunday, Jeremy Schaap tells the story of how five laterals and a trombone became an indelible part of college football history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 10, 2022
Brittney Griner Transferred to Russian Penal Colony
1835
After being detained in Russia for 265 days, Brittney Griner is currently in the process of being transferred to a penal colony. Nobody knows where she is, and we might not find out for a while. The transfer comes shortly after U.S. officials were able to meet with Griner in person last week, and it was previously thought that the midterm elections could have been a turning point for Russia to begin negotiations for her release. But now, T.J. Quinn tells us how nobody pretty much knows anything at this point…and he explains what the message is that Russia is trying to send. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 09, 2022
The Drug Company that Landed Brett Favre in Hot Water
2564
You’ve probably heard about Brett Favre’s involvement in a welfare fraud scandal in his home state of Mississippi. The Hall of Fame quarterback is accused of accepting money intended for the poorest citizens of America’s poorest state, and using the money to fund a volleyball facility at his alma mater: the University of Southern Mississippi. But Favre’s role in that case only became known to investigators when they began looking into something else entirely: a little-known drug company in Florida that was promising to give the entire football world the miracle it needed around concussion science. Mark Fainaru-Wada investigates the real story behind Prevacus and its gunslinging investor. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 08, 2022
For Sale: Washington Commanders?
1676
When the news broke that Daniel Snyder enlisted Bank of America to help him explore a potential sale of the Washington Commanders on Wednesday, the reaction was shock…and, in some corners, celebration. Snyder has been embattled for years in controversies with fellow owners, accusations of a toxic workplace environment, and calls to change the name of the team…the latter of which came to fruition in 2020 after years of Snyder refusing to do so. Don Van Natta tells us how Snyder seems to have run out of options once again…and how the US Department of Justice may have been the final tipping point. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 07, 2022
The Human Cost of Qatar’s World Cup
3206
In a few short weeks, one of the most controversial sporting decisions in recent memory will become a reality – Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup. Almost everything from the selection process itself, to the claims of human rights abuses, to the promises made by Qatar’s government to improve conditions for migrant workers, has been thrust into the spotlight on the world’s biggest stage. Since it was awarded the world cup in 2010, more than 6,500 workers have reportedly died in Qatar, one of the richest countries in the world and one that has spent $220 billion to build stadiums and infrastructure. Jeremy Schaap traveled to Qatar’s capital city of Doha, where he visited the new stadiums, and spoke with workers and government officials…and he tells us what could be the true legacy of Qatar’s World Cup. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 04, 2022
How the Brooklyn Nets Devolved into Chaos
2513
Since we last talked to Nick Friedell two weeks ago, the Brooklyn Nets’ vibes have gone from great to bad…to worse. Last Thursday, Kyrie Irving tweeted a link to a film littered with antisemitic tropes and later refused to answer questions about it. In addition, the Nets have lost 5 of their last 6 games and are in last place in the Atlantic Division. On Tuesday, head coach Steve Nash and the team parted ways, and now the Nets are reportedly looking to hire Celtics coach Ime Udoka, who just six weeks ago was suspended by Boston for the entire season for engaging in an inappropriate workplace relationship. So Nick fills us in on everything that’s happened in the last week, why things in Brooklyn seem so bleak, and where the team goes next. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 03, 2022
First Instagram, Next: March Madness - How the Cavinder Twins Conquered College Hoops and TikTok
1877
When the Name Image and Likeness revolution arrived, we all assumed the biggest winners would be the obvious: The star quarterbacks, the All-Americans, the prospects already on their way to the pros. But in the social media economy, it turns out, what you’re really monetizing is your audience. So today, we tell the story of the NIL pioneer Cavinder Twins, Hanna and Haley, two college basketball players writing the rules on this new economy as they go… as they head to the University of Miami and bring their millions of followers with them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 02, 2022
From Rock Bottom to Rocky Top: Is Tennessee Football Finally Back?
2381
There may be no other team that embodies the chaotic nature of college football more than Tennessee. The Volunteers have seemingly cycled through various head coaches since ousting the architect of their 90’s glory years, Phillip Fulmer, in 2008…and have done so with very little success. Lane Kiffin infamously left the program in flames after one year at the helm. Derek Dooley, Butch Jones, and Jeremy Pruitt spent the rest of the decade in a revolving door of coaches, each one being no less mediocre than the last. But finally, it looks like the right guy is in charge at Rocky Top. Josh Heupel has the Vols sitting at No. 2 in the nation after knocking off Alabama, and they have a meeting with No. 1 ranked Georgia this weekend. So ahead of that clash of top teams, and as this year’s first College Football Playoff rankings are released, we sit down with Ryan McGee…and he tells us how his beloved Tennessee is finally revitalized. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 01, 2022
QB Confidential: Alex Smith on Joe Burrow’s Unique Football Mind
2497
Bengals QB Joe Burrow is one of the most exciting young players in the NFL: from his talent on the field to his gameday outfits to how he talks about football, Burrow’s development is considered to be ahead of schedule. In just his second season, Burrow led Cincinnati to the Super Bowl, and the Bengals have high hopes for this year and beyond. Alex Smith sat down with Burrow ahead of Monday Night Football and tells us what makes his football mind so incisive, and reflects on what they have in common. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 31, 2022
Bryce Harper: Will Baseball’s “Chosen One” Fulfill His Destiny?
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America was first introduced to Bryce Harper when he was just 16 years old, thanks to a Sports Illustrated cover story that proclaimed the teen as “Baseball’s Chosen One.” The article, written by SI’s Tom Verducci, chronicled Harper’s seemingly mythical feats: Hitting a 570-foot home run as a high school freshman. Crushing a homer off the back wall of Tropicana Stadium. Boldly stating he wanted to be the greatest player of all-time. It created a hype around the teenager that seemed impossible to live up to. And yet, Harper has done just that. And now the two-time MVP is about to step up to the plate for his first World Series appearance, after propelling the Philadelphia Phillies through the NLCS with a game-winning homer this past Sunday. Tom Verducci was there at Citizen’s Bank Park to witness Harper’s heroics in the NLCS, 13 years after he first covered him as a 16-year-old high school phenom. He tells us what it's been like to chronicle “Baseball’s Chosen One” since the very start. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 28, 2022
A Beautiful Grind: John Urschel’s Life in Football and Mathematics
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What’s your passion? That one thing that gets you out of bed in the morning? For John Urschel, it’s two things: football and math. Urschel followed the football path first, playing in college at Penn State and eventually for the Baltimore Ravens. But during his time in the NFL, he realized how much he missed math…and decided to go back for his PhD at MIT…while he was still competing on the field. Urschel joins the show to tell us about his unique life in football, and how mathematics are key to understanding the sport that’s been transformed by analytics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 27, 2022
How Overtime Elite Could Become the Next Route to NBA Stardom
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The way NBA prospects get to the league looks nothing like it used to. We’ve been importing future MVPs from overseas for years now: that’s the story of Victor Wembanyama, next year’s projected No. 1 pick. And we’ve watched the G League become the NBA’s own minor league system. That’s the story of Scoot Henderson, projected to go No. 2. But the story of Amen and Ausar Thompson — who could maybe round out the top five in next year’s draft — is something very different. Israel Gutierrez explains the rise of Overtime Elite: a viral video account that’s become a league unto itself, where the Thompson twins have taken up residence, and where they’re getting everyone to click. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 26, 2022
How Biggie Smalls Inspired Zion’s Return to the Court
1976
It had been 533 days since we last saw Zion Williamson compete in a real live NBA game until this season. The 22-year-old phenom has dealt with a foot injury that kept him out all of last season, and struggled with the perception he was out of shape. But this season (despite a fall on Sunday that left him with a bruised rear end) Zion has looked every bit the sensation he was predicted to be coming out of Duke. It’s a turnaround he credits, in part, to the music of the Notorious B.I.G. We called up ESPN reporter Andrew Lopez to explain how Zion turned things around, whether this latest injury is anything to worry about, and what we might see from him the rest of the season. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 25, 2022
NFL Week 7: Tua’s Return, Alex Smith Bowl, GOATs Out to Pasture?
2615
Tua Tagovailoa is back: but does he need to learn how to slide? And is he the same QB he was before his frightening concussion three weeks ago against the Bengals? Elsewhere in the NFL’s Week 7, we got the Alex Smith Bowl, as the Kansas City Chiefs jet swept all over the San Francisco 49ers. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady continued to struggle this season as both their teams have now started 3-4 for the first time since Rodgers took over as the starter in Green Bay…way back in 2008. Are these two GOAT’s finally washed? Or can they still turn their seasons around? We called up Alex Smith for answers, in yet another installment of QB Confidential.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 24, 2022
Sole and Valor: The Mystery of the NFL’s Last Barefoot Kicker
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In the 1980s NFL, barefoot kickers were a fleeting and rare phenomenon, with little to no evidence to back up any claims of a strategic advantage. The last known barefoot kick in the league was recorded in 2002, and executed by St. Louis Rams kicker Jeff Wilkins…or so we thought. Sam Borden kicks off an investigation into a football mystery… and embarks on a quest for truth…and justice…and a heel turn for the ages. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 21, 2022
Why The Biggest World Series Bet Ever Is a Sure Thing
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In Houston, everyone knows the name “Mattress Mack.” He’s a furniture store owner whose charitable efforts during Hurricane Harvey and in other times need have made him famous among Houstonians. But “Mattress Mack,” whose real name is Jim McIngvale, has become famous nationally for another reason: he consistently places some of the largest sports bets in history. But make no mistake, Mack is not your ordinary high roller…it’s all part of a strategy designed to sell furniture, while at the same time giving the local community something to cheer for. And now, if his beloved hometown Houston Astros manage to win the World Series, Mack stands to win more than 70 million dollars, the largest sports bet payout in history. And if the Astros lose? Well, as Dave Fleming explains there’s more to the bet and Mattress Mack than meets the eye - and even if the Astros lose, McIngvale still wins. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 20, 2022
No Sleep Till Brooklyn: Can Kyrie, KD, and Ben Simmons Survive This Season?
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The Brooklyn Nets were the talk of the NBA offseason, and as their season tips off tonight, it seems like the dust has settled…for now. But what’s Kevin Durant’s future just months after he requested to be traded away? Can Kyrie Irving change the narrative around him this season? And what will Ben Simmons look like after more than a year away from the game? Nick Friedell shares his conversations with Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons with us, and he takes us for a ride through the Nets’ offseason drama as they take the court for a new season. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 19, 2022
The NBA is Back: Zach Lowe Previews the Most Wide-Open Season in Years
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You may have heard that the NBA has just gone through the most dramatic offseason in memory. The league also has more star talent right now, top to bottom, than it has in years. And anyone who’s telling you that they know who’s going to win it all is a liar. So, today, as the season tips off tonight, we consult the very particular brain of Zach Lowe, who studies these games more deeply than anyone else in the business. And he makes us smarter about the drama on the court itself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 18, 2022
Josh Allen Hurdles Chiefs, Eagles Soar, & NY Football is Back?
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In Kansas City, Josh Allen hurdled to victory (literally) and led the Buffalo Bills on a game-winning drive over the Chiefs, in a rematch of last year’s explosive AFC Divisional Round matchup. Jalen Hurts and the Eagles preserved the only undefeated record in the NFL, beating the Cowboys 26-17. Across the NFC East, Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale helped beat his former team, the Ravens, thanks in large part to a Lamar Jackson interception and a strip sack in the last three minutes. And in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers was upset by the surging New York Jets, who’ve won their last three games (yes, you read that correctly). So we called up our Monday morning QB Alex Smith for this week’s installment of QB Confidential. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 17, 2022
A Hater’s Guide to Football Analytics
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If you watch football, you’ve probably heard the word “analytics” so many times, it’s lost all meaning. But what if we told you there’s a better way to understand football analytics…by instead using the word “evidence?” Our resident football professor Bill Barnwell is here with a lesson in making sense of analytics, what it means when coaches use information to make decisions on the field, and what people get wrong when they criticize teams using analytics. We also look ahead to this weekend’s juiciest games, including a rematch between the Bills and Chiefs and an NFC East showdown between the Eagles and Cowboys. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 14, 2022
Is Dan Snyder Done As Washington’s NFL Owner?
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NFL ownership is one of the most exclusive, fiercely protected clubs imaginable. There is no American sport as profitable or as visible as the NFL, and there are only 32 teams — 32 pieces of the most valuable real estate in American culture… each of them worth billions of dollars. Which means that entering this club requires another powerful person to want to leave. Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder, you may have noticed, does not want to go anywhere. But, today, ESPN’s Don Van Natta breaks news about how the most controversial owner in football has been fighting, in secret, to keep his Washington Commanders. And he brings us deep inside the viciously guarded club that may finally want him out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 13, 2022
Is Victor Wembanyama the Best NBA Prospect Ever? (Seriously)
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Meet the NBA Draft prospect that is the reason for a “race to the bottom like we’ve never seen,” as one NBA GM told Adrian Wojnarowski. Victor Wembanyama is a 7’4 18-year old from France, currently playing for Metropolitans 92…and did we mention that he’s 7’4? Forget about a unicorn, this guy is an alien, something we have never seen before. There is so much hype around Wembanyama, that some have said that if he was in the same class as LeBron James, LeBron would be the second pick. ESPN Draft analyst Jonathan Givony isn’t one for gushing and hyperbole when it comes to prospects, but even he is all-in on Wembanyama…and he tells us why. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 12, 2022
NHL Season Preview: Sound the Goal Horn of Plenty
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Pucks drop tonight around the National Hockey League as the regular season begins, but what's changed since the Colorado Avalanche hoisted the Stanley Cup back in June? Can Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers challenge Nathan McKinnon and the defending champs? In the Eastern Conference, do Sidney Crosby and his aging crew of Penguins have what it takes to make one more run? And what should we make of Buoy, the Seattle Kraken’s new mascot? Our resident NHL expert Greg Wyshynski brings us up to speed on everything in the hockey world and tells us who we should be rooting for as hockey season starts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 11, 2022
Alex Smith's QB Confidential: NFL Week 5
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If you had to sum up the NFL’s Week 5 in one word, it would have to be bizarre. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held off the Atlanta Falcons, thanks in part to a bewildering roughing the passer call against the Falcons on a crucial third down in the fourth quarter. The Chargers survived the Browns, even after head coach Brandon Staley decided to go for it on a fourth down at midfield late in the game – with a two-point lead – and left many people, even Chargers receiver Keenan Allen, scratching his head. Matthew Stafford was sacked for the 21st time this season as the Rams still couldn’t get on the right track. So we called up our Monday morning QB, Alex Smith, and he gives us his insight on what it’s like to be in the shoes of Stafford and Allen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 10, 2022
MLB’s Wild Card Weekend is Pure Chaos: Jeff Passan Explains
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MLB’s Wild Card weekend begins today, with a new format that seems primed to produce maximum chaos: eight teams facing off over the next three days for the right to advance to the Divisional round. And while we may still have questions about how this is all going to work, Jeff Passan helps us make sense of everything, and why the biggest winners might be the underdogs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 07, 2022
Bill Barnwell Makes You Smarter about NFL Week 5
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We’re just under a quarter of the way through the NFL season, and so many teams are still facing questions about their quarterback situations. In Pittsburgh, Mike Tomlin benched veteran Mitchell Trubisky halfway through the Steelers’ Week 4 matchup for rookie Kenny Pickett, in search of a “spark” on offense. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who previously publicly welcomed the idea of a QB controversy, might now actually have one as the Cowboys are 3-1 with backup Cooper Rush in place of the injured Dak Prescott. So we called up Bill Barnwell to survey the quarterback landscape…and make us smarter heading into Week 5. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 06, 2022
The Wild Cheating Scandal Consuming Professional Chess
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During a match in September, chess grandmaster and world champion Magnus Carlsen made his opening move, and then promptly resigned from play and walked off. This moment sent the chess community into a frenzy, as later it was revealed Carlsen had resigned in protest, accusing his opponent, Hans Niemann, of cheating. But was there evidence to back up Carlsen’s claims…and just how prevalent is cheating in pro chess? Brin-Jonathan Butler brings us inside the controversy that is consuming elite professional chess, a world which is also the focus of his book "Grandmaster: Magnus Carlsen and the Match that Made Chess Great Again." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 05, 2022
Truth Be Told: The Fight for Women’s Professional Soccer
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Nearly a year ago, the National Women’s Soccer League faced a crisis. Explosive allegations from players of abuse, sexual harassment, and unrelenting coercion by one of the NWSL’s most successful head coaches set off a reckoning across the entire league. The commissioner resigned. Games were canceled. Players had no collective bargaining agreement and the specter of a canceled season loomed, all while governing bodies opened investigations into misconduct and toxic work environments. And on Monday, a long-awaited report investigating the failures of the NWSL was released by former acting attorney general Sally Yates, which detailed systemic abuse within the league, and specifically “a culture of abuse, silence, and fear of retaliation” that perpetuated the misconduct. Jennifer Karson-Strauss directed the new E60 film, “Truth Be Told: The Fight for Women’s Professional Soccer,” and joins the show to discuss the film’s investigation into allegations of abuse, sexual coercion and a toxic work environment in the league, as well as the lack of action taken by NWSL leadership. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 04, 2022
Inside the NFL’s Concussion Protocol with Alex Smith
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Week 4 in the NFL saw the Bills storm back (in a literal storm) from down 20-3 to the Baltimore Ravens. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers held off rookie Bailey Zappe and the Patriots in overtime, and Patrick Mahomes casually threw 3 TDs against Tom Brady and the Bucs. But undeniably, the biggest story of NFL Week 4 actually took place on Thursday night, when the Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa suffered a frightening head injury against the Bengals. The injury came just four days after Tua suffered what appeared to be another serious head injury in Week 3, but nonetheless was cleared by an independent neurologist to return to the game. We called up Alex Smith, who’s been through concussion protocol multiple times himself, to have an in-depth and honest conversation about how players view the NFL’s concussion protocol…and what needs to change. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 03, 2022
Betsy & Irv: A Love Story 40 Years in the Making
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The story of Betsy Sailor and Irv Pankey is unlike any you’ve heard before. It’s a story that, for years, was shrouded in darkness, tied inextricably to the unspeakable crimes of a former Penn State football player named Todd Hodne. ESPN’s Tom Junod and Paula Lavigne first brought Hodne’s horrific crimes to light this spring in their meticulously reported feature “Untold.” But in the midst of their reporting, they stumbled onto another, completely opposite story. A story of compassion, friendship, and ultimately, 40 years later…love. You can watch the short film "Betsy & Irv" on ESPN+. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 30, 2022
Investigating Brett Favre and the Mississippi Welfare Fraud Scandal
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If you find all the headlines about Brett Favre and the unfolding welfare fraud scandal in Mississippi kind of dizzying, that is completely understandable. Even over the past week, the names, allegations, and revelations haven’t stopped. And all of it raises valid questions about possible criminal charges — not only for Brett Favre, but also the state’s former Governor: Phil Bryant. So we talked to the government investigator who helped uncover the largest fraud scandal in Mississippi history, state auditor Shad White. And we try to understand what’s been happening behind the scenes as one of the most famous retired athletes in this country is accused of defrauding the poorest people in America’s most impoverished state…and where this case goes next. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 29, 2022
How Phoenix Moves on from Robert Sarver
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The aftermath of the Robert Sarver investigation has been anything but what the NBA had hoped. Sarver, the subject of a massive investigation by ESPN and later the NBA, was suspended one year for racist and misogynistic behavior. Fans and players felt it wasn’t enough, and had been calling for the Phoenix Suns’ owner’s banishment from the league. The WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, who Sarver also owns, came forward and said they were excluded from the investigation altogether. One week later, Sarver has put both teams up for sale. Baxter Holmes, the ESPN reporter who kicked off this entire saga, explains why Sarver suddenly changed his mind about selling, what this means for the NBA…and how this story is far from over. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 28, 2022
Jeff Passan on Aaron Judge vs. Shohei Ohtani MVP Debate
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Aaron Judge is having one of the greatest offensive seasons in baseball history. He’s on his way to setting the American League record for home runs in a season, and is on pace to claim the Triple Crown, something that has only been done once since 1967. In anything resembling normalcy, Judge would be a shoe-in for American League MVP. And yet, Shohei Ohtani exists. The Angels’ pitcher/designated hitter/unicorn is once again doing something that no player has ever done…playing all-star caliber baseball as a pitcher and a hitter. Jeff Passan, a man who is not afraid to make tough decisions, settles the debate once and for all. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 27, 2022
Dolphins Survive Butt Punt, Colts Stun Chiefs in a Bizarre NFL Week 3
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When you punt the ball off the butt of your own personal protector and still win the game, you know it’s a strange week around the NFL. The Dolphins upset the Super Bowl favorite Bills, despite a tuchus-deflected punting mishap that rivaled the “Butt Fumble” in ridiculousness. The Chiefs stumbled against a Colts team that had looked hapless in their first two games. The Raiders dropped to 0-3, making them the only winless team in the league despite splashy off-season moves. And the Eagles proved why they are perhaps the class of the NFC by staying undefeated with a dominating win over the Commanders. Our resident football brainiac Bill Barnwell joins us to break down an NFL Week 3 that seemed to defy any logical explanation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 26, 2022
Claw & Order: The Ballad of South Carolina Mascot Sir Big Spur
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What’s in a name? When it comes to the University of South Carolina’s live rooster mascot Sir Big Spur, the answer is a whole lot of ruffled feathers. Over the course of four fowl weeks, the Gamecocks’ mascot went from Sir Big Spur, to the Cock Commander (kind of) to The General, to Sir Big Spur again. So with something of an identity crisis hatching in Columbia, we called up Ryan McGee to stick his beak in this story and give us the strange-but-true history of the Gamecocks’ mascot. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 23, 2022
The Federer Model: Life Lessons from the Tennis Icon
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With Roger Federer announcing his retirement following this weekend’s Laver Cup in London, most sports fans thoughts will immediately go to his 20 Grand Slam Titles (3rd most all-time) and his storied rivalries with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. But for writer David Epstein, Federer represents something much bigger–a model for how to develop athletes, raise our kids, and discover our individual talents. Rather than specializing in one sport early on, like Tiger Woods did with golf, Federer played many different sports as a child, and didn’t focus on tennis seriously until later. Epstein explains why this model of development works, why it might be more effective than the often-cited 10,000 hours model…and why it made Roger Federer into the dominant athlete he is today. You can find more of David Epstein’s work through his free Range Widely newsletter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 22, 2022
Brett Favre’s Role in the Mississippi Welfare Scandal
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Brett Favre is a legendary figure in his home state of Mississippi for his Hall of Fame NFL career. But now, Favre is making headlines in Mississippi (and across the country) for very different reasons. Favre, and others, are accused of diverting millions of dollars in welfare funds to go toward the construction of a volleyball stadium at the University of Southern Mississippi. The same school where Favre’s daughter played volleyball and where Favre himself is an alum. It is all part of a sprawling investigation into fraud and misuse of money that is meant to assist Mississippi’s neediest citizens, the state with the highest poverty rate in the nation. Anna Wolfe, a reporter from Mississippi Today who’s been investigating the case from the very beginning, joins us to unpack a story that is about much more than just a famous football player. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 21, 2022
The NBA’s Robert Sarver Problem, Explained
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Last week, after the NBA announced a one year-suspension of Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, many NBA players and stakeholders spoke out: saying the punishment wasn’t strong enough. Sarver was accused of racist, sexist, and misogynist behavior by scores of employees, chronicled by ESPN in an investigation from fall 2021. It’s a situation that in some ways mirrors that of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was banned for life from the NBA when audio tapes revealed he had made racist statements. But thus far, the NBA has maintained that Sarver’s behavior does not warrant the same punishment as Sterling’s. So today, Brian Windhorst explains why the NBA ruled as it did with Sarver, whether the backlash from the players will amount to anything, and what the whole affair says about the balance of power in the NBA.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 20, 2022
Alex Smith Comes Back for Week 2 in the NFL
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Week 2 in the NFL saw not one, but TWO 20-point comebacks. The Las Vegas Raiders somehow blew a 20-0 halftime lead to fall to Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals in overtime, while the Miami Dolphins overcame a signature Lamar Jackson performance thanks to Tua Tagovailoa’s 400 passing yards and six touchdowns. The 49ers lost Trey Lance for the season, extending the Jimmy G era in San Francisco for another year. We called up Alex Smith, our Monday morning QB, to help us make sense of everything that happened. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 19, 2022
The Survivor: From the Holocaust to the Munich Massacre, One Athlete’s Incredible Story
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50 years ago this month marks one of the darkest moments in sports history – the Munich Massacre, when Palestinian terrorists murdered 11 members of the Israeli delegation at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Shaul Ladany, now 86, was one of the Israeli athlete’s who survived the massacre, just as he had survived World War II and the Holocaust when he was a child. Ladany’s life is explored in the new E60 documentary, “The Survivor.” Jeremy Schaap traveled to Israel and Germany to profile a man of unmatched endurance and perseverance, someone who still competes to this day after surviving the worst horrors of the 20th century. “The Survivor” will debut on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, and will be available on ESPN+ following the premiere. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 16, 2022
Bill Barnwell Makes You Smarter About NFL Week 2
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The NFL’s Week 2 kicks off tonight with a thrilling AFC West showdown between the Chiefs and Chargers. So what did we learn about Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert in their Week 1 games? Bill Barnwell returns to make us smarter about football, previewing tonight’s game and what the Chargers need to do to contain Mahomes…and the Chiefs’ tasting menu of solutions for curtailing Herbert. Elsewhere, Bill tells us why we shouldn’t be too high on the Steelers after their Week 1 win, what’s up with Dak and the Cowboys, and how we should think about Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett after some poor decision making to end Monday night’s game in Seattle. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 15, 2022
EuroBasket, Explained: The Tournament Luka, Giannis, and Jokic are Desperate to Win
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For years, European players were something of an afterthought in the NBA. They were (often unfairly) labeled as soft, not tough enough and frankly not good enough to hang with their American counterparts. But those days are long gone. Two European players, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic have combined to win the last four NBA MVP awards, and Slovenian Luka Doncic is maybe the NBA’s best player under 25. All of which makes EuroBasket 2022 arguably the most competitive basketball tournament in the world after the NBA Playoffs. EuroBasket, which is now played every four years, features the top national teams from across Europe, in an atmosphere that is akin to a mix of March Madness and Soccer’s World Cup. Former Vice President for Strategic Research with the San Antonio Spurs, Kirk Goldsberry was reporting on the ground from EuroBasket, and explains why understanding Europe is essential to understanding the modern NBA. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 14, 2022
Sue Bird on the WNBA Finals, Retirement, and a Career Like No Other
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It has been an all-time WNBA playoffs, full of historic performances and dramatic upsets…as well as one reluctant farewell. So, today, ahead of Game 2 of the Finals, with the Connecticut Sun trying to even the series in Vegas against the Aces, we bring you someone who knows this league better than anyone else. Someone who dominated it over 21 years, and 13 All-Star Games, and 4 titles, and more assists *and more wins than anyone else in the history of her sport: Sue Bird, who also tells us what it’s really like to say goodbye. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 13, 2022
NFL Week 1: Kicking and Screaming with Alex Smith
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The NFL’s first Sunday of 2022 kicked off in chaotic fashion…and we mean literally. The Dallas Cowboys were embarrassed on their home field by Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, losing QB Dak Prescott to a hand injury in the process. Chargers QB Justin Herbert showed off his superpowers against the Raiders, while Aaron Rodgers and his new receivers worked through some chemistry issues. The Bengals and Steelers went to overtime and saw a missed extra point and two missed field goals…while Trey Lance’s first start for the 49ers was a wash in Chicago. Our Monday morning QB Alex Smith returns to make you smarter about the NFL’s opening Sunday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 12, 2022
Will Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel’s Unconventional Style Work in Miami?
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New Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel doesn’t look or sound like other NFL head coaches. He’s young, self-deprecating, and his press conference sound bites are plastered all over social media. But just a year ago, few NFL fans knew who he was at all. So we called up our Dolphins beat reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques, to understand how McDaniel made the jump from boy-genius offensive coordinator with San Francisco…and whether his unconventional style can work now that he is the man in charge in Miami. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 09, 2022
Bill Barnwell’s Super-Sized NFL Preview: Part 2 - The NFC
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In the second part of our two-part mega NFL preview, Bill Barnwell joins us to take a look at what’s going on in the NFC. As the Los Angeles Rams prepare to defend their Super Bowl title in year two of the Matthew Stafford era, the San Francisco 49ers are all-in on Trey Lance as QB1…or are they? Tom Brady retired, then just as quickly un-retired to come back for his 21st season in the NFL, but will he still be the Tom Brady we all know and hate at age 45? Will Aaron Rodgers keep up the psychedelic highs on the field that led to his MVP season a year ago, or will the Packers come down after losing Davante Adams and ZaDarius Smith? And then there’s the NFC East…which may just be the worst division in football. And of course, we couldn’t let Bill leave without getting a way-too-early Super Bowl LVII prediction out of him. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 08, 2022
Bill Barnwell’s Super-Sized NFL Preview: Part 1 - The AFC
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Our NFL regular season preview with our old friend Bill Barnwell is so big that we couldn’t even fit everything into one episode. So in today’s edition, we talk all things AFC. In the East, there’s Josh Allen and the Bills trying to finally get over the hump, the Dolphins are finally going all-in on the Tua Tagovailoa experiment, there’s whatever the hell is going on with the offense in New England, and the Jets are also a football team. In the group of death, aka the AFC West, there should be no shortage of offensive firepower with Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Derek Carr, and Russell Wilson at the helm. The Baltimore Ravens look to bounce back in the AFC North after injuries derailed their 2021 campaign and Lamar Jackson enters his contract year, while the Bengals try to make it back to the Super Bowl. And in the AFC South, a new regime in Jacksonville hopes to get the most out of second-year QB Trevor Lawrence…and Bill explains why he thinks the Tennessee Titans are one of the teams most likely to decline in 2022. Make sure to listen again tomorrow for Bill’s preview of the NFC. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 07, 2022
How Davante Adams Ended Up in Las Vegas (hint: Derek Carr)
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Before Davante Adams became arguably the best receiver in the NFL with Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback, he was a star at Fresno State. But then-Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr wasn’t just the guy throwing Adams the ball…he was one of Adams’ best friends. They’ve spent eight years apart in which Adams blossomed and Carr became the franchise quarterback for the Las Vegas (and Oakland) Raiders, but the duo is finally back together…after Carr reached out this offseason to woo Adams away from the Frozen Tundra. Tim Keown gives us the inside story of how one of the NFL’s elite playmakers ended up in the desert. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 06, 2022
How Whitney Houston’s Super Bowl National Anthem Has Endured (ENCORE)
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The link between the musical icon Whitney Houston and sports is specific and indelible, through her iconic rendition of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXV. While her performance was breathtaking, much of what made it truly special, and the events surrounding it, have been overlooked. E:60’s Jeremy Schaap relives a classic Super Bowl memory, and why Whitney’s high notes from that night continue to echo a decade after her passing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 05, 2022
Will Albert Pujols Get to 700 Home Runs?
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Albert Pujols was the most dangerous hitter in baseball for more than a decade, putting up monumental statistics with such precision he earned the nickname, “The Machine.” But after signing a massive free agent deal with the Angels, injuries and age caught up with him. Today, Pujols is back in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform and just might be looking like his old self again. With 700 home runs in sight as his career comes winding down, Alden Gonzalez joins the show to help us understand the man and the machine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 02, 2022
Ryan McGee’s College Football Buffet
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There is no white tablecloth at the restaurant of college football. Things are going to get messy. From the College Football Playoff contenders, to the happenings at Tony Stark’s house, there is a lot to consume here. So ahead of Week 1 of the season, Ryan McGee prepares a multi-course menu and tells us why you might as well unbuckle your Sunbelt right now. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 01, 2022
The Incredible Origin Stories of Aaron Donald
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Before he went virtually unrecruited, before he slid to the 13th pick in the loaded 2014 draft, Aaron Donald was already a Hall of Famer to those who knew him best – but only to them, apparently. Ryan Hockensmith joins the show to share Donald’s origin story from kindergarten, through his high school days, all the way to last year’s Super Bowl victory…a win that could seal Donald’s reputation not just as the greatest defensive player of his generation, but the greatest defensive player of all-time.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 31, 2022
The Long-Awaited Promise of Kelsey Plum
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Kelsey Plum was one of the most dominant college basketball players we have ever seen, a top draft pick, and a would-be franchise savior for the team that picked her, the San Antonio Stars (now the Las Vegas Aces). But the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer struggled with her transition to the pros, and it turned out her team didn’t need saving…she did. Now in her fifth season in the WNBA, Plum is finally playing to her potential and helped lead the Aces to the #1 overall seed in the playoffs. Katie Barnes tells us the story of how, after years of searching, Kelsey Plum has found herself, both on and off the court. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 30, 2022
Is Coco Gauff the Next Great American Tennis Star?
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Coco Gauff has been on the verge of greatness ever since she picked up a tennis racket at 6 years old. It was then that her father Corey shamelessly stole the Richard Williams playbook and developed a 10 year plan for his talented daughter. But now, after years of ups and downs, both professionally and mentally, Coco Gauff arrives at the 2022 U.S. Open in New York City as an 18-year-old woman full of expectations and aspirations. All of which she gladly accepts – on her own terms. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 29, 2022
The Thicc Six Episode: The Making of Big Man TDs (Encore)
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“Thicc Six.” It’s a phrase that exploded across Twitter last season in the NFL, usually when a quarterback throws a touchdown to an open…and eligible…offensive lineman. But, why are we seeing so many Big Man touchdowns all of sudden? And what makes them so awesome? Mike Golic Jr. takes us into the trenches and into the psychology of the NFL’s largest men, and explains why their moment in the spotlight brings so much joy to so many. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 26, 2022
Talking About Practice: What Everyone Got Wrong About Iverson's Rant (Encore)
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We’re talking about practice…no, really. It’s been 20 years since Allen Iverson’s infamous rant, the one you’ve seen clips of pretty much everywhere, where Iverson goes off in response to a question about his practice habits. That roughly one-minute sound bite has come to be one of the most lasting moments of Iverson’s career…but it was the rest of that press conference that truly offers a window into Iverson’s life and career. It was the culmination of frustrating ends to two consecutive seasons, grief over the murder of his best friend…and the microscope he had been under since he was 17 years old. Justin Tinsley joins us to reflect on Iverson’s press conference, the fallout from it, and what everyone got wrong in the two decades since. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 25, 2022
Kobe and Alto: A Bond Between Two Champions (Encore)
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It’s been over two years since a helicopter crash claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, three members of the Altobelli family and four others. Alyssa Altobelli was a teammate of Gianna’s, and she was accompanied by her parents John and Keri. As it turns out, John was a legendary figure in his own right as the head baseball coach of Orange Coast College, a junior college in Orange County. In his 27 years at the helm of the program, John won over 700 games and four state championships. ESPN’s Chris Connelly explains the mutual respect John and Kobe had for each other, and just how big of an impact John had on his team…and in his community. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 24, 2022
Why NFL Scouts Love Big Butts (Encore)
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As the NFL preseason rolls along, we’re getting a look at several of this year’s rookies, both hyped and unsung, franchise saviors and camp invites fighting for a roster spot. But when it comes to evaluating these prospects, there is one BIG feature that NFL scouts have been obsessed with. Yes, NFL scouts love big butts, and they cannot lie. But there’s a lot more to it than scouts simply gossiping about gluteals. There’s plenty of science behind why rear ends matter for athletic performance. And ESPN’s Dave Fleming joins us to share the data that can back it up. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 23, 2022
“TuAnon” Unmasked: The Secretive Star of Dolphins Twitter Speaks (ENCORE)
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Over the course of two seasons in the NFL, a story has been brewing around Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. For a while, the beats of the story were pretty familiar––promising young quarterback comes into the league, has his ups and downs, and leaves so many wondering if he’ll ever be the star they dreamed he could be. But last season, that story took a turn unlike any we’ve ever seen. That’s because a subset of fans decided to take control of the narrative themselves and, via Twitter, launch “TuAnon,” a conspiracy theory fixated on an alleged plot inside the Dolphins and throughout sports media to undermine Tua at every turn. So ESPN’s Dolphins beat reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques set out to find the mystery superfan at the center of the entire thing. And what he got was not just an interview, but a journey down a rabbit hole that gets deeper each day. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 22, 2022
From Refugee to the Boxing Ring: Ramla Ali Is Fighting To Make History
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Ramla Ali doesn’t know when her birthday is. Born in Somalia, she and her family became refugees after fleeing during the country’s civil war in the early 1990s, leaving all important documents behind. Ali grew up in London where she developed a love for boxing - and she got really, really good at it. Eventually, Ali became the first Somalian woman to box at the Olympics…and outside of the ring, Ali became a model and humanitarian, founding a women’s boxing club that exploded in popularity around London. This Saturday, Ali is attempting to make history, where she’d be one of the first women to box professionally in Saudi Arabia. Michael Rothstein shares how Ramla Ali got here, and how she’s already made history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 19, 2022
A Miami Billionaire, Big-Time NIL Money, and the Changing Face of College Sports
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College athletes being able to strike deals profiting off of their name, image and likeness promised to change college sports, for better or for worse. Since the rules were altered more than a year ago, names are starting to emerge as players in the field. One of those names belongs to John Ruiz…a Miami area business man who is striking some pretty hefty deals with student athletes at his beloved alma mater, the University of Miami: the kinds of deals that have some wondering if a line is being crossed. John Barr joins the show to tell us who Ruiz is, and why he believes that he can profit off his love of the U, without breaking any rules in the process. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 18, 2022
WNBA Playoff Preview with LaChina Robinson
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The WNBA playoffs tip off tonight, after a season dominated by stories about Brittney Griner’s detainment in Russia. On the court, legends such as Sylvia Fowles and Sue Bird are retiring and stars like A’ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum are lighting up the next generation. Could this finally be the year for the Connecticut Sun? Or will the Chicago Sky become repeat champions? LaChina Robinson joins the show to explain the changes to the WNBA’s playoff format, and tells us what we should be watching this postseason. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 17, 2022
Patriots’ Playcalling Mystery: Who is New England’s Offensive Coordinator?
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Question: who’s calling offensive plays for the New England Patriots this season? Head Coach Bill Belichick has dodged the question thus far, saying that the team is “going through a process.” And while assistant coaches Matt Patricia and Joe Judge split playcalling duties in the Patriots’ first preseason game…the answer may lead right back to the man who’s always been considered a defensive mastermind: Bill Belichick himself. Seth Wickersham explains what’s going on in Foxborough, and whether Bill Belichick is secretly a master of the other side of the ball as well. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 16, 2022
The Rise of the Black Quarterback
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There is no bigger job in America than NFL quarterback. No position is so disproportionately influential on the field or visible off of it, and no job is so culturally ingrained in our national imagination. A quarterback is a star athlete, a team spokesman, a locker room leader and a prom king: a main character, in other words. But the NFL spent literal decades refusing to cast Black players in that role. As we see QBs like Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson prepare for the upcoming season, we ask Jason Reid to examine the unique, oft-forgotten history of the Black quarterback, and how it explains some ongoing conversations that the NFL still cannot escape. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 15, 2022
Why Sylvia Fowles is Looking Forward to Life, and Death, after Basketball
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Much of the attention in the WNBA this season has gone to the farewell tour of Sue Bird, but she’s not the only legend retiring this year. Sylvia Fowles is hanging up her sneakers after 15 seasons, 8 all-star appearances, an MVP award, and countless other accolades. Fowles may be the best pure center to ever play in the WNBA, but her excellence hasn’t drawn the same spotlight as some of the league’s other top stars. Kevin Van Valkenberg explains why “Mama Syl” is one of the most beloved figures in the WNBA, and the surprising plans she has for her post-basketball life…becoming a mortician. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 12, 2022
How Serena Williams Changed the Game
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The word “GOAT” gets thrown around a lot, but when it comes to Serena Williams, it’s not hyperbole. From her first major in 1999 at the age of 17, to her record-breaking 23rd major in 2017 (the most in the Open Era), Serena has been synonymous with dominance. On Tuesday, Serena announced her “evolution” away from tennis in a Vogue article and plans to step away at the conclusion of this year’s US Open. ESPN Senior Writer and tennis encyclopedia Howard Bryant looks back on Serena’s legendary career one more time…before it comes to a close. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 11, 2022
Aaron Judge Chases 61 HRs and MLB History* (Kind Of)
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For 37 years, Roger Maris’ single-season home run record of 61 stood alone as possibly the greatest single-season achievement in baseball. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa broke the record in 1998, and so did Barry Bonds three years later. But those achievements came at the height of the steroid era, and in the more than two decades since, no player has topped Maris’ mark. But this season, the Yankees’ Aaron Judge is on pace to comfortably surpass Maris. Jeff Passan joins us to explain what Judge topping Maris would mean for Major League Baseball, and whether fans might come to regard Judge as the true single-season home run king. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 10, 2022
Sean McVay’s a Super Bowl Champion. Now What?
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For many, becoming an NFL head coach is the career pinnacle… and then it completely takes over your life. The hours, the pressure, the volatility, the responsibility for the jobs and families riding on the team's success. It can be overwhelming. Even if you are the boy genius. Seth Wickersham explains how Rams Coach Sean McVay, the youngest coach ever to win a super bowl, is now facing questions no 36-year-old has confronted before. What do you do after you’ve reached the summit at such a young age? Is it possible to have a life outside of football? Or are the demands of the job – the obsessiveness, the anxiety, the adherence to a round-the-clock schedule where you’re never fully unplugged – necessary prerequisites for NFL head coaching success? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 09, 2022
The NFL’s Appeal in the Deshaun Watson Case, Explained
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When former federal Judge Sue L. Robinson handed Deshaun Watson a six-game suspension last week, the reaction from many was clear: it wasn’t enough. Robinson’s ruling acknowledged Watson’s “egregious” behavior, which had been chronicled in dozens of accounts of sexual misconduct, but said she was bound by precedent of punishment in previous NFL cases. Now, the league is appealing Watson’s suspension – hoping for a stronger punishment while setting a new precedent for how the National Football League handles cases like these going forward. ESPN’s Cleveland Browns reporter Jake Trotter tells us what the NFL’s appeal means for Watson’s future, whether he might take the league to court, and what it all says about how the NFL administers player discipline going forward. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 08, 2022
Sam Alvey Keeps Losing. So Why is the UFC Fighter So Happy?
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Losing night after night isn’t easy for any athlete, but veteran UFC fighter Sam Alvey’s winless streak is something to behold. Alvey, whose nickname is “Smile’n,” hasn’t won a fight since 2018. After going 0-7-1 in his last 8 fights, if Alvey loses tomorrow night against Michal Oleksiejczuk, he’ll own the longest winless streak in UFC history. So why is Alvey still smiling? That’s the question Ryan Hockensmith wanted to answer when he traveled to Alvey’s farm in Tennessee where he lives with his wife, a former America’s Next Top Model winner, six kids under the age of 10, and a menagerie of animals. What emerges is a portrait of a fighter whose life philosophy flies in the face of every cliche we’ve come to expect from an athlete.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 05, 2022
The Wild Chase for the LeBron James Triple Logoman Card, feat. Drake
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The lucrative world of sports collectibles has gone from 0 to 100 in the past two years. And just this summer, the chase for a rare LeBron James Triple Logoman Card that ended up selling for $2.4 million ​​saw nonstop hype as bids included multiple bounties, an offer of a Lamborghini for the person who discovered the card… and even rap megastar Drake is goin’ in on the hunt, intriguing both experienced collectors and novices who are starting from the bottom. So today, ESPN collectibles expert Dan Hajducky takes care to bring us a massive story about sports cards as investments, and one dance between card collectors that has seemed to last forever. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 04, 2022
Tampering, Tom Brady, and the NFL’s Miami Dolphins Investigation
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Another NFL punishment has been doled out just a day after QB Deshaun Watson’s suspension: the Miami Dolphins were stripped of two draft picks, their owner Stephen Ross was suspended until October, and fined $1.5 million. The discipline came as a result of the league investigators finding tampering violations of “unprecedented scope and severity.” The allegations first surfaced from former head coach Brian Flores’ lawsuit against the NFL and the Dolphins, which suggested the team tampered with an unnamed QB, later revealed to be Tom Brady. The league also found that Dolphins improperly contacted former Saints head coach Sean Payton about joining the team. Jeff Darlington explains the origins of the investigation, what it means for the Dolphins, and what happens next. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 03, 2022
Deshaun Watson Suspended 6 Games
1964
In the history of sports punishment, there is no case quite like the one of Deshaun Watson. The Browns had acquired the star quarterback from the Texans back in March, amid dozens of civil lawsuits, filed by dozens of women who accused him of sexual assault and misconduct. And even though Watson wouldn’t face criminal charges, the question was never if Watson would be suspended by the league this season: it was for how long. ESPN’s Cleveland Browns reporter Jake Trotter explains how a quarterback’s “predatory conduct” only warranted a six-game suspension, potentially returning him to America’s televisions by October 23rd. And what the NFL might do next, as a result. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 02, 2022
Is Jalen Rose the First Jalen? We Solve a Sports Name Mystery (CLASSIC)
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Generation Jalen is officially upon us. At the NBA Draft in June, three different Jalens were selected. Four more were picked in the NFL Draft in April. And then there’s Jalen Brunson, who just signed a $100M contract with the Knicks. Jalen Hurts, who’s at camp right now, is the starting quarterback for the Eagles. Jalen Ramsey, who just won a Super Bowl with the Rams. And Jaylen Brown, who is in the middle of trade rumors for Kevin Durant. So, what caused this name to spread across not just sports, but all of society? For years our colleague, friend and basketball veteran Jalen Rose has maintained that today’s Jalens are named for him (whether they know it or not). We honor Jalen Rose’s mother, Jeanne Rose, exploring the history and mystery of his name in sports and beyond. With data, experts, and extensive interviews, the Jalen question is finally resolved. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 01, 2022
The Yankee Legend Lost to History
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No organization in sports takes their history more seriously than the New York Yankees. And it’s no wonder why. They’ve won 27 championships. Legendary names like Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, Rivera, all are enshrined in their Monument Park in Yankee Stadium. But there’s one Yankees legend the organization hopes to forget: Dandy, their short-lived, and almost entirely forgotten, mascot. Jeremy Schaap tells Dandy’s story, whose brief existence has been all but scrubbed from pinstripe history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 29, 2022
How a Fake Cricket League Scammed Online Bettors
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It’s a story so crazy it seems destined for a Hollywood treatment. Several weeks ago, reports of a mysterious fake cricket league run out of a rural town in India captured worldwide attention. The fake league reportedly broadcast their matches on the internet, and purported to be legitimate matches from the Indian Premier League, the most lucrative cricket league in the world. To anyone with a passing familiarity with the game, it should have been obvious that something wasn’t right – because the actual IPL had concluded their season weeks earlier. But the target of the scam, according to police, were online bettors from countries like Russia, without a strong cricket tradition. Jarrod Kimber has been covering the sport for 15 years, and he explains how and why this scam happened…and why those who know cricket know this kind of thing is par for the course.  You can find more of Jarrod Kimber’s cricket coverage on Patreon.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 28, 2022
LIV Golf Arrives at Ground Zero’s Doorstep
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The LIV Golf Tour makes its latest stop this week at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey, bringing all the drama that this Saudi Arabian-funded venture has fostered since its inception. However, this week’s tournament not only adds the controversial brand of our former President, but it’s all being held at the doorstep of New York City’s hallowed Ground Zero, inciting even larger protests from families of 9/11 victims. Alan Shipnuck, the reporter who has followed this league from the start, tells us what all this means for the present and future of golf. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 27, 2022
Will Juan Soto be Baseball’s Biggest Trade Ever?
2001
At 23 years old, Juan Soto is the type of generational talent that hasn’t been available this early in his career since maybe Babe Ruth. But the Washington Nationals are seeking to do just that after Soto turned down a 15-year, $440 million contract extension a few weeks ago. Several teams are interested, but only a few can even afford to give up players and prospects necessary to make it all work, let alone give him the contract he wants. So with a week to go until the MLB’s trade deadline, Jeff Passan tells us which teams are all-in on the Soto sweepstakes…and how his contract negotiations even got to this point. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 26, 2022
Mina Kimes on NFL Training Camp-A-Palooza
1991
NFL training camps are open and the storm clouds of drama are swirling. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have yet to work out a deal to extend his contract, making him the last big name left with his future up in the air, after Kyler Murray agreed to a massive extension with the Cardinals just last week. All eyes are on the quarterback competition in Carolina, between Baker Mayfield, who’s gearing up for a revenge tour, and Sam Darnold, who started for the Panthers last season. Mina Kimes takes us through all the QB shakeups and shares her complicated feelings on Seattle’s QB battle between Geno Smith and Drew Lock, and addresses Russell Wilson’s move to Denver. Let’s ride! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 25, 2022
Tim Kurkjian: A Baseball Life
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There are many ways to describe ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian: Brilliant. Hilarious. Competitive. And above all, passionate. Passionate about the game of baseball. But as of tomorrow, there’s another way to describe Tim Kurkjian: Hall of Famer. This weekend, as baseball inducts a new class into the Hall of Fame, Kurkjian will receive the Career Excellence Award from the Baseball Writers Association of America. So today, we celebrate the life and career of our favorite baseball nerd: the story of a short, skinny kid who took a love of baseball, and not much else, and made it all the way to Cooperstown. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 22, 2022
Brian Windhorst on Russ, LeBron, and Durant’s Hidden Agenda
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The NBA’s offseason started off in an absolute frenzy, with Rudy Gobert being shipped from Utah to Minnesota and several other superstars such as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Donovan Mitchell have been brought up in perpetual trade rumors. And then there’s the ongoing soap opera between the Lakers and Russell Westbrook. Since then however, the market has gone quiet…almost too quiet. So we asked our NBA fortune teller (and meme legend) Brian Windhorst to tell us what’s really going on in front offices around the league, if the reports of an alliance between LeBron and Westbrook are actually true, and whether Kevin Durant has had a hidden agenda all along. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 21, 2022
Trinity Rodman Owns Her Last Name
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When people hear the name Rodman, they quickly think of NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman. But there’s another Rodman making headlines: 20-year-old Trinity has exploded onto the scene of women’s soccer, quickly becoming one of the faces of the NWSL. She’s also nominated for Best Breakthrough Athlete at tonight’s ESPY Awards. ESPN reporter Charlotte Gibson tells the story of how Trinity rose out of her humble beginnings to set records and take home titles, all while still in her teens. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 20, 2022
The Case of Henry Ruggs III and a Family Seeking Answers
2009
NFL fans woke up on the morning of November 2, 2021 to the news that Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III had been involved in a fatal car crash that took the life of a 23-year-old woman named Tina Tintor. The news of Ruggs’ involvement rocked the NFL, and left many unanswered questions: questions not just from the family of Tina Tintor, but also how Ruggs, who lost his best friend in another fatal crash in Alabama years earlier, could allegedly be so reckless behind the wheel. Eight months later as Ruggs faces multiple felonies including driving under the influence resulting in death and reckless driving, ESPN’s Liz Merrill shares the details of this story. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 19, 2022
What MLB Could Learn From the Savannah Bananas
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Ask any fan what they’d want to change about Major League Baseball and you’d hear mostly the same answers: The games take too long. The pace of play is too slow. Too many strikeouts leading to less action on the field… Enter the Savannah Bananas, a team that is thrilling fans by turning baseball into part-circus, part-professional wrestling with a dash of Harlem Globetrotters mixed in. Since arriving in the Coastal Plain League in 2016, the Savannah Bananas have sold out every night with over 4,000 fans in attendance and have a waitlist for tickets in the thousands. The team has become known for their Dancing Players, Dad Bod Cheerleading Squad, Banana Nanas Senior Citizen Dance Team, and Breakdancing First Base Coach. In 2021, The Bananas even launched a new version of baseball, Banana Ball – a new spin on the sport with a two-hour time limit where there are no walks, no bunting, and fans can catch foul balls for outs. It’s all part of a philosophy that puts fan entertainment first, and isn’t afraid to break any of baseball’s sacred traditions - and Alden Gonzalez joins us to explain how the Bananas could be changing the sport for the better. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 18, 2022
The Olympics, an NBA Veteran, and a Medical Mystery (ENCORE)
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NBA veteran Aron Baynes arrived at the Tokyo Olympics as one of Team Australia's most trusted big men. But during a group stage game against Italy, Baynes mysteriously fell in the bathroom during a break. When he was discovered by team staff, he had lost the ability to walk and had to be carried out on a stretcher. No one knew what was wrong. Brian Windhorst tells the story of Baynes’ medical mystery and the ordeal that followed: from being isolated in a Japanese hospital, weeping in pain day after day, to learning how to walk again...and what his path back to the NBA looks like. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 15, 2022
College Football and the Multiverse of Madness
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The college football universe is in flux. Entire schools, entire conferences and even entire rivalries have apparently entered their own version of the transfer portal. With the latest news that USC and UCLA, once the marquee universities of the Pac-12, are headed to the Big Ten, everyone else is panicking and wondering what’s next. So to help decipher all this chaos, Spencer Hall gives us a tour of the college football landscape and he shares his spiteful dream for what happens next. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 14, 2022
The Great Imposter and Me (Part 2)
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The story of Barry Bremen, a.k.a. “The Great Imposter” was already sufficiently ridiculous. Bremen was an average, suburban dad, husband, and insurance salesman who’d risen to national fame by sneaking into major sporting events. But in 2019, nearly a decade after Barry Bremen’s death, his family received a mysterious letter that changed everything. The Barry Bremen legacy was bigger and more profound than any of them had ever realized. Jeremy Schapp brings us Part 2 of a tale unlike any other: one of family, and identity, and how technology has changed so many lives…and revealed so many secrets. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 13, 2022
The Great Imposter and Me (Part 1)
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It’s a story so wild we couldn’t fit it into one podcast. If you’re of a certain age, you probably remember Barry Bremen. In the late 70’s, Barry was best known for dressing up as pro athletes and sneaking into televised sporting events…beginning with the 1979 NBA All-Star Game, where he shot layups on the court with stars like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Moses Malone. And while his “Great Imposter” persona brought him fame, an appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and more adventures, Barry was also a totally normal family man…and a beloved dad. Bremen died of cancer in 2011, but his story didn’t end there. The latest E60 special “The Great Imposter and Me” reveals the most unbelievable part of the Barry Bremen story, which came long after he’d hung up his phony uniforms and disguises. Jeremy Schaap brings us this story in two parts, for ESPN Daily. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 12, 2022
Party of One: Why Chet Holmgren is the Talk of NBA Summer League
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We might never have seen anyone quite like Chet Holmgren in the NBA. This year’s second overall pick in the NBA Draft is over 7 feet tall, but he’s only 190 pounds. With a 7’ 6” wingspan, Holmgren can dribble up the floor and take step-back threes like a guard. There is so much hype around Holmgren…but there are also just as many questions. Will he be the prodigy that showed up and dominated in his first Summer League appearance? Or will he be bullied and pushed around by stronger big men once the season starts? Only one thing is certain about Chet Holmgren: we want to see more. ESPN’s Tim Keown joins us to profile the biggest (literally) storyline out of this year’s rookie class. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 11, 2022
Brittney Griner’s Guilty Plea, Explained
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WNBA star Brittney Griner has been held in Russia on drug charges since February. Since then, her family, teammates and fans have implored President Biden to do everything in his power to bring Griner home. But yesterday, Griner pleaded guilty in a Russian courtroom, raising questions about Griner’s case, and her status as “wrongfully detained.” TJ Quinn explains why Griner chose to plead guilty…and what the United States might have to give up to bring her home. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 08, 2022
What’s Going on in Brooklyn? Meme God Brian Windhorst Explains
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If you were on social media at all last weekend, you’ve seen the clip of Brian Windhorst on “First Take” – palms in the air, looking to the heavens like he’s the subject of a Renaissance painting and questioning what exactly the Utah Jazz were planning following the trade of Royce O’Neale. Hours later, Jazz All Star Rudy Gobert was traded to Minnesota, and Windhorst instantly became Twitter’s NBA Nostradamus. Given his new fame, Windhorst took the time for us little people at ESPN Daily, and tells us about how he’s handled life in the limelight…oh, and also what’s going on with the Brooklyn Nets. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 07, 2022
Is the Starting Pitcher Going Extinct?
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The starting pitcher has long been baseball’s marquee attraction, the guy who fans come out to see…but the job description has begun to change in recent years. Complete games are almost nonexistent, and the average outing for a starter has shrunk to barely scratching five innings. The numbers say pitching fewer innings is smart strategically…but is it good for the game and for fans? Jeff Passan explains to us how the position that was once the workhorse, has been reduced to a show pony…and what, if anything, can be done to fix it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 06, 2022
Anthony Robles’ Unstoppable Quest for Pullup Glory
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The pullup has humbled all of us – from our middle school gym classes to any attempt to get into shape. Doing one, for many, is considered a victory, but then there’s Anthony Robles. The NCAA wrestling champion, who was born with one leg, brings his unbreakable will to take on not just the pullup bar, but one of Guinness’s most-hallowed records. So today, Ryan Hockensmith brings us to Arizona and tells the story of one man’s final pursuit of athletic immortality. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 05, 2022
After Jackie: What Happened with Baseball and Black America? (Encore)
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Today on the 4th of July, we revisit a special episode. It’s been 75 years since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, becoming the first Black player to take the field in Major League Baseball in 1947. Jackie was a specific player chosen at a specific time, when baseball was highly aligned with Black popular culture. But what happened between baseball and Black America in the decades after Jackie’s pivotal act? Why didn’t baseball become a majority Black sport, like basketball and football? Why didn’t MLB follow the culture into hip hop or grow its Black fan base? Jesse Washington uses his own lapsed baseball fandom to explore these questions with guests like Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Jackie’s son David Robinson, and current players and executives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 04, 2022
The Greatest Rule in Sports: Hockey’s EBUG
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It’s the dream of every sports fan: the star player on your favorite team goes down with an injury. The coach is desperate, and someone needs to step up. Somehow you, the average sports fan, get picked out of the stands to hit with the bases loaded, or step in at quarterback, or take the game winning shot. Obviously, that never happens in real life, or in sports, really…except for extremely rare occasions in hockey, thanks to the EBUG rule: which stands for Emergency Back-Up Goaltender. It’s a rule that requires NHL teams to have a random person standing by in the arena, ready to hit the ice should either team’s two goalies both get injured. Jeremy Schaap interviewed some EBUGs who have been called to action, and he brings us the stories of the lucky few who have lived every fan’s dream. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 01, 2022
The New York Mets: Best Worst Team In Sports (Encore)
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The New York Mets and their fans have been sports punchline fodder for decades. Case in point: Bobby Bonilla Day. Every July 1, this player who’s been retired for many years gets paid more than a million dollars. And it’s seen as the epitome of Mets dysfunction. But Mets fans are a resilient (if occasionally delusional?) bunch, and keep coming back for heartbreak. Author Devin Gordon refers to the team as the “Best Worst Team in Sports” in his book, “So Many Ways To Lose,” and he shares his research into the highs and lows of the Mets, their passionate fans and unique legacy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 30, 2022
Stop Saying Commish Rob Manfred Hates Baseball
1985
It is a universal truth that commissioners of pro sports leagues will face deafening boos when they appear in public. Rob Manfred, MLB’s commish, is no exception. A lawyer and seemingly mild-mannered bureaucrat, Manfred has become one of the most hated figures in American sports thanks to a number of public gaffes and unpopular responses to baseball’s various scandals. Today, Don Van Natta takes us inside the world of Rob Manfred (after sitting down with him nearly ten times this year!) and what Manfred thinks his job really is. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 29, 2022
Who Gets to be the Face of the WNBA?
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Jonquel Jones has won almost every on-court WNBA accolade there is. Since being drafted sixth overall in 2016, Jones has been named the WNBA’s Most Improved Player, Sixth Woman of the Year, and MVP. Before that, she was Maryland’s Gatorade Player of the Year in high school, and a WBCA All-American. But despite being one of the most decorated players in basketball, many people outside of diehard WNBA fans may not have heard of Jones. Being Black and gay and describing herself as more masculine, Jones sits at an intersection that has traditionally struggled to attract brands and media, even though the WNBA is the most inclusive American professional sports league. ESPN’s Katie Barnes talks to us about Jones’ identity, and they tell us if this will finally be the season that Jones wins a title…and if she’ll finally get to be herself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 28, 2022
Unrivaled: Inside Hockey’s Bloodiest Rivalry
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The Avalanche beat the Lightning to win the Stanley Cup last night, sending the trophy back to Colorado for the first time since 2001. It was an era when the Avalanche, and their archrivals the Detroit Red Wings, were engaged in a multi-year blood feud that became the center of the hockey universe. It was a rivalry perhaps best remembered for a game played 25 years ago, on March 26, 1997 in Detroit’s Joe Lewis Arena, and is now better remembered as “Fight Night at the Joe.” During the first period, Detroit’s Darren McCarty sought revenge on Colorado’s Claude Lemieux for a violent check in the previous year’s playoffs on the Red Wings’ Kris Draper. The hit caused severe injuries to Draper’s face, enraging the Red Wings, who were furious that Lemieux refused to even apologize to Draper. Now, a quarter-century later, those who were part of it are opening up about what made the rivalry so intense, as part of the latest E:60 special “Unvrivaled.” Detroit native Dave Fleming joins us to discuss the trajectory of the rivalry and why we may never see anything like it again. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 27, 2022
Title IX @50: Who Gets to Play? Trans Youth in Sports
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For all the strides Title IX helped women make in sports, it’s never been a more contentious time for who gets to compete as a woman. In Part 4 of the documentary “37 Words,” filmmaker Clare Marash met transgender kids whose right to participate in society as themselves is in question by dozens of state legislatures — on the field and in life. And in our final episode to mark 50 years since Title IX became law, host Allison Glock and Clare Marash look at the future of civil rights around education and sports through families fighting for their kids to play. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 24, 2022
Title IX @50: From the Basketball Court to the Supreme Court
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In the fifty years since Title IX became law, countless women and allies have fought for gender equality in sports and civil rights protections. Filmmaker Dawn Porter shares more about her “37 Words” documentary with host Allison Glock. They dig into the ways Title IX shows up in the lives of legends like Dawn Staley and Abby Wambach, as well as unknown heroes like a Georgia mom who took her daughter’s harassment case to the Supreme Court. Plus, what the new Angel City Football Club in L.A. seeks to do for women’s sports as a business. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 23, 2022
Title IX @50: How Yale’s First Women Rowers Exposed Discrimination
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Yale’s campus in the 1970s was a complex place for women. The school had only recently admitted female students, and even attending class could feel like a battle. To then take up space in sports as well? It was all very new. ESPN’s Allison Glock and “37 Words” filmmaker Nicole Newnham share how some bold Yale women found a valuable tool to seek equity: Title IX legislation. The Yale women’s crew team invoked the law when they stripped naked in front of the school’s athletic director, a protest against inadequate resources. And around the same time there was Alexander v. Yale, a groundbreaking case that established sexual harassment as gender discrimination, and required procedures to address it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 22, 2022
Title IX @50: Billie Jean King + Gloria Steinem: How Sports Met the Women’s Movement
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When Title IX became law 50 years ago, just 37 words of legislation established gender equity in education and athletics. ESPN Films’ new documentary series “37 Words” explores how that fight was won, and the impact it had across sports and society. In the first of four episodes with ESPN’s head of W Studios Allison Glock, documentary director Dawn Porter breaks down how sports converged with the women’s equality movement in the 60s and 70s. We focus on two icons: Gloria Steinem, the feminist author and activist, and former World No. 1 tennis champ and women’s advocate Billie Jean King. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 21, 2022
NBA Draft Preview with Jonathan Givony
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As the Golden State Warriors swim in champagne after their NBA Finals win, the rest of the league turns its attention to the NBA Draft. The top three picks are clear, but it’s anyone’s guess on what order. Will the Orlando Magic take Jabari Smith, a dynamic shooter who just looks like the perfect fit for the modern NBA? Or will they take Chet Holmgren, the 7-footer out of Gonzaga with the skinny frame? What about Paolo Banchero, perhaps the most NBA-ready player in this draft class? Jonathan Givony has been an NBA Draft expert for 19 years. He tells us how he thinks the Draft is going to play out…and what the teams picking these players should expect from them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 20, 2022
The Boy Who Lost His Autographs
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Picture yourself going to a ballpark as a kid. You remember how big everything felt, how you were just in awe of being so close to the players. That’s how 11-year-old Elyjah Blankenberg felt when he went to a spring training game between the Yankees and the Orioles, and he worked up the courage to get several autographs…including one from his favorite player, DJ LeMahieu. But the euphoria was short lived, when Elyjah lost his binder full of autographs…and nobody could find it. Ryan Hockensmith tells us the story of Elyjah’s lost treasures…and how the power of the internet rallied to help a young boy reclaim the magic of the game. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 17, 2022
Andrew Wiggins: From Bust to Finals MVP?
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The Golden State Warriors are one win away from their fourth NBA title in the past eight years. And while Steph Curry has been the consensus favorite to win the Finals MVP, his rough shooting performance in game 5 has opened the door for another Warrior teammate: Andrew Wiggins. Not only has Wiggins managed to slow down Jayson Tatum on defense, but he was undoubtedly the best player on either team in game 5. Malika Andrews sat down with Wiggins, and she tells us how he has shed the “bust” label from his days in Minnesota and how he has resurrected his career in the Bay Area. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 16, 2022
Stanley Cup Final Preview: Can Lightning Strike Thrice?
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The Stanley Cup Final begins tonight! The Tampa Bay Lightning are chasing history as they look to be the first team to three-peat as champions in 40 years…but standing in their way are the Colorado Avalanche, who just might be the NHL’s next IT team. It’s the Final matchup that many expected we’d get, so we call up our NHL expert Greg Wyshynski to tell us how these teams got here, and let us know what else we might see as they face off. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 15, 2022
Phil Mickelson, Saudi Arabia, and the Battle for the Future of Golf
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The PGA Tour has long been the gold standard of professional golf, rooted in tradition and nostalgia. But that may all be changing with the arrival of LIV Golf, the flashy new league with an unlimited bankroll thanks to its funding by the government of Saudi Arabia. ESPN’s Kevin Van Valkenberg was in London this weekend to cover LIV’s inaugural tournament, and he joins us to describe what he saw, and where the league…and golf’s moral compass…might go from here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 14, 2022
“TuAnon” Unmasked: The Secretive Star of Dolphins Twitter Speaks
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Over the course of two seasons in the NFL, a story has been brewing around Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. For a while, the beats of the story were pretty familiar––promising young quarterback comes into the league, has his ups and downs, and leaves so many wondering if he’ll ever be the star they dreamed he could be. But last season, that story took a turn unlike any we’ve ever seen. That’s because a subset of fans decided to take control of the narrative themselves and, via Twitter, launch “TuAnon,” a conspiracy theory fixated on an alleged plot inside the Dolphins and throughout sports media to undermine Tua at every turn. So ESPN’s Dolphins beat reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques set out to find the mystery superfan at the center of the entire thing. And what he got was not just an interview, but a journey down a rabbit hole that gets deeper each day. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 13, 2022
How NBA Finals Announcer Mike Breen Found His “Bang!”
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Hall of Fame announcer Mike Breen is back with his infamous “Bang!” call for the NBA Finals. The first two games went sadly “Bang!”less (as Breen was out due to Covid), and frankly they didn’t feel the same. That’s because Breen has called more NBA Finals games than anyone. So ahead of the Warriors-Celtics Game 4 tonight, we got the origin story of his single-syllable exclamation, and how his Hall of Fame career took shape. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 10, 2022
Hope, Heartbreak, and Ukraine’s Quest for the World Cup
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In the midst of war, residents of Ukraine were able to rally around something that gave them hope: their national soccer team. Ukraine beat Scotland 3-1 to set up a chance at a World Cup bid, but ultimately fell short in heartbreaking fashion to Wales. Wright Thompson was there to witness it all, and he tells us what he saw in Kyiv, and what sports can mean to a country in the face of war.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 09, 2022
Why Celtics Star Jayson Tatum Was Born Believing in Himself
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Now it seems obvious that Jayson Tatum was destined for NBA stardom, the one to watch for the Celtics as they square off against Golden State in Game 3 of the NBA Finals tonight. But Tatum beat the odds on a few levels to get here, thanks in large part to the dedication and relentless confidence of his mom, Brandy Cole. ESPN’s Liz Merrill gives us insight on Tatum’s deepest relationship, and how he grew from the roots planted by his mother. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 08, 2022
The Life and Legend of Rickey Henderson
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Rickey Henderson is not only the MLB’s all-time stolen base king, not just the all-time leader in runs scored, he’s one of the best players the game has ever seen…or as baseball writer Bill James once said, “you could cut him in half and have two Hall of Famers.” But Henderson wasn’t always as revered as he is now, as his bold personality clashed with baseball purists at the time. Howard Bryant, author of the new book RICKEY: The Life and Legend of an American Original, looks back on Rickey’s 25-year career and tells us why baseball was never able to control him…no matter how hard it tried. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 07, 2022
Julie Foudy Explains Equal Pay (At Last) in US Soccer
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The US Women’s National Team has fought for equal pay in soccer for more than 20 years. And it seems to be here at last. A new labor agreement with US Soccer levels pay across gender, and could be a template for equity on the global stage. Guest host Sarah Spain joins two-time World Cup champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist (and Laughter Permitted podcast host) Julie Foudy to explain how the deal happened, how it works, and how it’ll benefit the men’s and women’s teams. Plus, Sarah and Julie talk owner-to-owner (Red Stars and Angel City FC, respectively) about the current National Women’s Soccer League season. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 06, 2022
Mina Kimes and the First Pitch
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The ceremonial first pitch is a tradition almost as old as baseball itself, with presidents, celebrities and non-MLB athletes taking to the mound to aim for home plate. But the only person who may truly care about any first pitch…is the one throwing it, with the gut-wrenching feeling that they might biff. Our very own Mina Kimes will be in that position soon, throwing a first pitch for her beloved Seattle Mariners. So we called up MLB Insider Jeff Passan and enlisted legendary pitching coach Tom House to help us understand just what Mina’s getting into. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 03, 2022
The NBA’s Top Bettor Handicaps the Finals
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The NBA Finals tip off tonight, and we caught up with Bob Voulgaris. The alleged former shadow GM of the Dallas Mavericks is of course also one of the most successful bettors in NBA history. He breaks down the matchup between the Boston Celtics, who are looking for their 18th championship in franchise history, and the Golden State Warriors, who return to the Finals for the sixth time in the past eight years. Voulgaris tells us what each team needs to do to get their hands on the Larry O’Brien Trophy…and lets us in on his favorite to win it all. Our first conversation with Bob, which includes fascinating behind the scenes details from his time working for Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks, is available HERE. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 02, 2022
Steph Curry: The College Years
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Steph Curry is vying for his fourth NBA title. But ever wonder what he was like in college? At tiny Davidson College in North Carolina, he was kinda just like everyone else: going to the library, eating late-night chicken parm, helping his friend pack CDs…all while his basketball star was rising. Andscape’s David Dennis Jr. has known the NBA 3-point record holder, three-time champion and expected 2022 Finals MVP since those days. He hops in the time machine with stories of Steph that reveal his personality and character, before he was an NBA legend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 01, 2022
The Legend of the Red Panda: NBA Halftime’s Can’t Miss Act (ENCORE)
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An NBA halftime lasts just 15 minutes. It’s a time for players to leave the court, fans to run to the bathroom or grab another beer, or, a break, for all intents and purposes. But for Rong Niu - it’s her time to shine. Rong, better known to audiences as the Red Panda, has been astounding NBA halftime audiences around the country for thirty years, with her 7-and-a-half-foot-tall unicycle, a stack of white bowls, and not much else. Rong Niu, the Red Panda herself, joins the show today to tell us her story - and how she became an NBA legend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 31, 2022
Blood in the Garden: How the 90s Knicks Gave Rise to the Modern NBA (ENCORE)
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Despite decades of mediocrity, the New York Knicks inspire an almost religious devotion from their rabid fanbase. The Nets may play across town with three of the biggest stars in NBA history, but New York still bleeds blue and orange. That was never more evident than in the 1990s, when you could watch the Knicks fight on the court…figuratively and literally…at Madison Square Garden. Under the direction of head coach Pat Riley, and led by players like Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley and John Starks, the Knicks pioneered a style of basketball that was physical, intimidating, and rarely beautiful. Chris Herring, author of Blood in the Garden: The Flagrant History of the 1990s New York Knicks, explains how a team known for its tough guy image paved the way for the modern NBA. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 30, 2022
Sound Sports: A Blind Man’s Journey to the Broadcast Booth (ENCORE)
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Bryce Weiler grew up listening to the likes of Brian Barnhart call Illinois basketball games, and as a young man who’d been blind since infancy, he fell in love with the pictures painted on the radio. During college in Indiana, Weiler forged a relationship with the basketball team, and then found his way to the broadcast booth himself. ESPN’s Sam Borden went to visit Weiler and learn more about his process as a live game analyst for college hoops (see more coverage from College GameDay here). He shares the story of a broadcaster motivated to prove that everyone deserves opportunity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 27, 2022
10,000 Hours of Lying: The Myth of Mastering a Skill (ENCORE)
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Practice, practice, practice. The theory goes that with enough repetition, time, and hard work, anyone can become the master of their craft. 10,000 hours has long been heralded as the golden benchmark to achieving greatness in almost anything. But best-selling author and ESPN Daily mythbuster David Epstein puts the theory to the test again, and explains why the 10,000 hours myth has gained so much attention. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 26, 2022
Crying Jordan: The GOAT of Memes (ENCORE)
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When Michael Jordan began to cry during his Basketball Hall of Fame induction speech, that moment would turn one of basketball’s greatest players to the meme seen ‘round the Internet. Now, 10 years after Crying Jordan first became a meme, it's still just as popular as ever, popping up anywhere and everywhere. ESPN’s Dave Fleming once again brings us the origin story of this legendary meme, and tells us why every corner of society just can’t get enough of it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 25, 2022
The Guy Behind the Guy: Sachin Gupta’s Groundbreaking NBA Journey
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With over 20 million people from 20 different countries across the most populated continent on the planet, you can make a pretty good case that the very concept of an “Asian-American” is incredibly oversimplified. There are some experiences however, that happen to unite Asian-Americans. For example, almost any Asian-American working in sports media can tell you about their shared experiences, from media personalities to NBA point guards…to the guy who ran the Minnesota Timberwolves until yesterday, Sachin Gupta. As part of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Heritage Month, SportsCenter anchor Kevin Negandhi tells us the story of the first Indian-American to ever be President of Basketball Operations for an NBA team, why the smartest people in the NBA respect him so much, and what his still-unfolding journey says about all of us. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 24, 2022
NBA Playoffs: Time to Believe in “Heat Culture?”
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When Jimmy Butler didn’t return to the second half of Game 3 vs. the Celtics, the Heat showed no signs of cooling down. Career performances from Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo and yes, even Max Strus, gave Miami the surge it needed to take the series lead, up 2-1. Ahead of Game 4 in Boston, Nick Friedell dissects the finest sample of Heat Culture we’ve seen so far…and he tells us what it means for the rest of the series. Then, a check in on the Western Conference Finals…where the Mavs are in danger of turning into dust…on the verge of being swept by the Warriors, now down 3-0. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 23, 2022
Will Novak Djokovic Ever Be Beloved?
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Novak Djokovic is arguably the greatest men’s tennis player of all time. His 20 Grand Slam titles place him just one behind Rafael Nadal for the most ever. He’s been ranked #1 in the world for a record 370 consecutive weeks. And he’s the defending champion heading into the French Open, which begins this weekend. But despite his brilliance on the court, Djokovic has never been beloved by tennis fans in the same way his rivals Nadal and Roger Federer have been. This past January, Djokovic found himself the center of controversy ahead of the Australian Open, when he was deported by the Australian government because of his vaccine status. Sam Borden traveled to Djokovic’s native Serbia to learn how he is preparing for his return to Grand Slam tennis following the fiasco in Australia. Borden also explains how Djokovic’s upbringing in a country that was torn apart by war has shaped his identity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 20, 2022
The Rat Trick: The Legend of the Florida Panthers’ Rodent Tradition
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The Florida Panthers are at home tonight for Game 2 of their 2nd round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. And while the Panthers are down 1-0 in the series…Florida’s league-leading offense has reinvigorated their fans for the first time in a generation. They are so excited, in fact, that they have begun throwing rats onto the ice. It’s a hair-raising tradition that dates back to the ‘95-’96 season, when a Cinderella Panthers team made the Stanley Cup Final in just their third year of existence. Emily Kaplan is here to explain how the Panthers rat tradition started, if it may or may not have contributed to the team’s long misfortunes…and the ways in which this generation’s Panthers are trying to write a new ending to their own tale. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 19, 2022
What it Could Take to Bring Brittney Griner Home
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WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia since February. She’s been accused of carrying vape cartridges that contained cannabis oil in her luggage…charges that could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Last week, news came out that Griner’s pretrial detention in Russia had been extended by another month, and the US State Department announced that it now regards Griner as wrongfully detained. ESPN’s T.J. Quinn explains what these developments mean for Griner’s case, and what the US government may be doing to help win her release. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 18, 2022
GOAT Skier Mikaela Shiffrin’s Mental Transformation
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May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s a major topic in sports right now, as more elite athletes share personal struggles. Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin is one of the greatest of all time, hurtling down the slopes at breakneck speed. But in Beijing this year she stopped just seconds into a race where she was expected to take gold. Alyssa Roenigk talked to Shiffrin about this moment in Beijing, and how she’s taken a new approach to speaking her mind, public scrutiny and processing family grief. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 17, 2022
Windhorst: Celtics, Mavs Advance + Conference Finals Preview
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The best two words in sports are Game Seven, and we got two…in the form of major beatdowns. Grant Williams and the Celtics shut down Giannis and the Bucks at home to punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals. In the West, Playoff Luka added to his growing legacy with a shower of 3s to lead the Mavericks past the Suns. Brian Windhorst helps us process what happened Sunday, and sets up the Conference Finals. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 16, 2022
Gabe Kapler: The Most Interesting Man in Baseball
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Picture a baseball manager. Whatever image you’ve conjured in your mind of, say, a slightly out of shape, older man who’s all business - it probably doesn’t match Gabe Kapler, who manages the San Francisco Giants. Kapler is an enigma: an uber-buff fitness geek who only eats red meat. He sports well manicured facial hair and speaks in verse, sounding more like a poet than a baseball player. Tim Keown introduces us to Kapler, and how he’s rewriting baseball’s unwritten rules…and reimagining what it means to be a manager. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 13, 2022
The Most Hated Man in Hockey (Update)
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Brad Marchand contains multitudes. Sure, the Boston Bruins winger could be called the most hated man in hockey…he’s served two suspensions in just this season. But Marchand is also one of the top scorers in the NHL, integral to the Bruins’ offense. He’s known for cheap shots, punching opposing players, licking faces, and was once given the nickname “Little Ball of Hate” from former President Barack Obama. With the Bruins facing elimination from the playoffs tonight, Greg Wyshynski tells us what Marchand can do to help his team, and explains his complicated legacy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 12, 2022
JJ Redick: Inside the Flopper’s Studio
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These NBA playoffs are full of flopping. You’ve seen it: the flailing of the arms, the swing of the head, or the legs going akimbo. NBA players over the years have honed their skills in making it look like they got fouled, and some take it to the level of an artform. Retired NBA veteran, current ESPN analyst and “Old Man and the Three” podcast host JJ Redick gives us a masterclass in flopping, from his time in the game and a professional giver of takes today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 11, 2022
‘It’s the Wild West’: How NIL Money is Changing College Sports
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When the Supreme Court ruled last summer that college athletes could earn money from their Name, Image, and Likeness, it was hailed as a positive breakthrough in college sports. But now that the NIL era is here, the reality is not so binary…rather, this new economy in college sports is getting very messy, very quickly. ESPN’s David Hale is here to tell us what’s really going on across the collegiate landscape, what the hidden cost of NIL is for athletes, and how to fix a system that might already be broken. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 10, 2022
Windhorst on NBA Playoffs: Eight Teams Standing
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The NBA playoffs are bringing it! The 76ers held off the Heat on Sunday to tie the series at two games apiece, while the Mavericks stayed hot at home and beat the Suns 101-111. In Milwaukee the Bucks took Game 3 against the Celtics in a Saturday buzzer beater and face off again Monday night. Plus, with Ja Morant likely out for Monday the Grizzlies are in poor position to win against the Warriors, coming off a 30-point Game 3 loss. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst is here to tell you what to watch for as the playoffs remain open to many paths ahead. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 09, 2022
Talking About Practice: What Everyone Got Wrong About Iverson's Rant
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We’re talking about practice…no, really. It’s been 20 years since Allen Iverson’s infamous rant, the one you’ve seen clips of pretty much everywhere, where Iverson goes off in response to a question about his practice habits. That roughly one-minute sound bite has come to be one of the most lasting moments of Iverson’s career…but it was the rest of that press conference that truly offers a window into Iverson’s life and career. It was the culmination of frustrating ends to two consecutive seasons, grief over the murder of his best friend…and the microscope he had been under since he was 17 years old. Justin Tinsley joins us to reflect on Iverson’s press conference, the fallout from it, and what everyone got wrong in the two decades since.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 06, 2022
What’s Next for Sue Bird
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If Sue Bird’s WNBA career was a person, it would be old enough to drink. The 12-time All-Star, five-time first-team All-WNBA selection, Olympic Gold Medalist, four-time world champion, and recent NCAA women’s tournament megacast star may (or may not) hang it up after this 21st season. As the WNBA tips off, Bird and Pablo discuss her legendary career, how she’s seen the league change, and important ephemera like AOL screen names. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 05, 2022
All the F1 Drama as Drivers Take on Miami
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Last season’s F1 drama was off the charts. The controversial, showstopper ending crowned Max Verstappen champion even as fans grumbled that all-time great Lewis Hamilton got robbed. Now, it’s mechanical challenges causing grief for Hamilton as he heads to the first-ever Miami Grand Prix with half a dozen drivers ahead of him. ESPN F1 editor and lifelong fan Laurence Edmondson catches us up on all the racing gossip, what to expect in Miami, and why US fans are finally catching on to Formula One. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 04, 2022
Reffing the Refs: Examining the NBA’s Most Scrutinized Job
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When it comes to NBA referees, especially in the postseason, it’s hard not to think of that proverb about children: “They should be seen, and not heard.” But in recent days, NBA fans have been hearing plenty about the refs. Everyone from Draymond Green to Chris Paul to Joel Embiid have weighed in, frustrated by how the playoffs have been called. But in the eyes of NBA writer Ben Dowsett — our referee whisperer if you will — there’s also a lot more to this fraught dynamic than meets the eye. Dowsett takes us inside the world of NBA officiating to show us why everyone is frustrated with them, whether or not the league’s quest for accountability is doing anything…and why some teams are quietly redefining what it means to “work the refs.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 03, 2022
Lapsed Fan’s NHL Playoff Preview: Greg Wyshynski
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The NHL playoffs begin tonight and if you, like us, need to play catch up, ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski is here to give us his annual lapsed fan’s guide. From the back-to-back defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning to the Alex Ovechkin-less Washington Capitals, to the surprising resurgence of the LA Kings, Wyshynski has everything you need to know about whichever team you’re backing.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 02, 2022
Doc Rivers on the 30th Anniversary of the LA Riots
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30 years ago today, April 29, 1992, the city of Los Angeles went to war with itself. Riots erupted on the streets following the acquittal of four LAPD officers in the beating of motorist Rodney King. It was a verdict that provoked outrage because the incident was captured on video, triggering a national debate over police brutality. Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers was a guard for the Los Angeles Clippers in 1992. Doc shares how the sports world at large reacted to the verdict and the riots that followed, and how the social responsibilities of an athlete have changed in the 30 years since. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 29, 2022
Top Prospect Derek Stingley Jr.’s Complex NFL Legacy
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Derek Stingley Jr. is one of the most coveted defensive backs in tonight’s NFL Draft, and his name might sound familiar to older NFL fans. Derek Jr. is the grandson of Darryl Stingley, a young New England Patriots wide receiver who was paralyzed by a notorious, vicious hit from Oakland Raiders safety Jack Tatum in 1978. ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski brings us the story of how the Stingley family endured despite that tragedy, and continued to pursue an NFL legacy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 28, 2022
Why NFL Scouts Love Big Butts
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With the NFL Draft just one day away, you’ll likely hear all about a player’s hand size, or their 40-yard-dash time, or their wingspan…but there’s one measurement that NFL scouts pay more attention to than you might realize…and it’s right behind you. Yes, NFL scouts love big butts, and they cannot lie. But there’s a lot more to it than scouts simply gossiping about gluteals. There’s plenty of science behind why rear ends matter for athletic performance. And ESPN’s Dave Fleming joins us to share the data that can back it up. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 27, 2022
Mina Kimes Previews the 2022 NFL Draft
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When the NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night from Las Vegas, the Jacksonville Jaguars will be first on the clock. What happens from there is pretty much anyone's guess. Will Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson be first off the board? Or will Georgia’s Travon Walker complete his rapid ascent to the very top of draft boards? Will Liberty’s Malik Willis or Pitt’s Kenny Pickett be the first QB taken? Like so much in Vegas, the answers are very much up in the air. Mina Kimes has been grinding tape in preparation for NFL Draft 2022 and was courteous enough to let us copy off her homework.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 26, 2022
Why a Sweep is the Least of the Brooklyn Nets’ Problems
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The Celtics-Nets series started off as one of the more intriguing matchups in the first-round of the NBA playoffs. But after a pair of late-game meltdowns by Brooklyn, the herculean efforts of Jayson Tatum, and a blowout at home in Game 3, the Nets find themselves facing a sweep at home. We called up our Nets correspondent Nick Friedell ahead of Game 4 to get a sense of what’s at stake for Brooklyn in this series…and why a broom might not be enough to clean up this mess. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 25, 2022
When Giannis Met Milwaukee: A Love Story
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Athletes often say they love the city where they play, but Giannis Antetokounmpo takes it to a new level. He’s called Milwaukee home since the team drafted him in 2013. It wasn’t a given that the Greek native, a son of Nigerian immigrants, would stay in the midwestern city. But his massive 2020 contract extension shows the love is mutual. As the Bucks seek to defend their NBA title, our own ESPN Daily producer (and Wisconsin native) Ryan Nantell digs into a legendary anecdote from Giannis’ rookie season that shows why he and Milwaukee have been such a good fit. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 22, 2022
How Aidan Hutchinson Wrote His Way to the NFL Draft
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Aidan Hutchinson made football his destiny. His childhood dream was to follow in the footsteps of his father Chris Hutchinson, the former Michigan linebacker who won a Rose Bowl and has the fourth-most sacks in Wolverine history. This dream was much more than just a passive thought: it was one of the many written goals that Aidan used as a guiding principle in his life and led him to breaking his dad’s records, bouncing back from a season-ending injury, and being a Heisman finalist. Ryan Hockensmith tells us about Hutchinson and the path that presumably will culminate in him being the first pick in this year’s NFL Draft. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 21, 2022
Nets Owner Joe Tsai and the NBA’s China Conundrum
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For decades the NBA has been in an intricate, expensive dance with China’s government. While the league has become wildly popular in China, its business there is increasingly complicated over issues like free speech and China’s record on human rights. If there’s one man who personifies the layers and complexities of NBA-China relations it’s Joe Tsai, the Chinese billionaire who owns the Brooklyn Nets. ESPN investigative reporter Mark Fainaru-Wada breaks down the ties of Tsai’s company, Alibaba, to the Chinese government, and his stance on social and political issues in China compared to the US. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 20, 2022
Why Congress is Investigating the Washington Commanders
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If ever there was an NFL team that was going to be investigated by the United States Congress, it was going to be the Washington Commanders. From allegations of fostering a toxic workplace environment to sexual harrassment to their long overdue name change, the franchise under owner Daniel Snyder is constantly in the news…and not for success on the field. But if previous scandals and offenses haven’t seemed to move the needle enough for the league, now Snyder and the Commanders are under scrutiny for something we know the NFL cares about: money. ESPN’s Commanders reporter John Keim explains why politicians on Capitol Hill are now digging into the team’s finances, and whether this latest scandal could finally bring the league to step in and force out owner Daniel Snyder. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 19, 2022
Being Mel Kiper Jr. (Re-Spin)
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The NFL Draft is an American institution. And for the past four decades, the unmistakable voice of that institution has been Mel Kiper Jr. His “Big Board” and mock drafts have become a rite of spring, a yearly ritual that signals your team will soon be “on the clock.” It is a remarkable climb for someone who used a typewriter to compile draft reports as a teenager, before the NFL Draft was even televised. Mel joins the show to explain how he helped turn his personal obsession into a national obsession…and made us all draft nerds in the process. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 18, 2022
After Jackie: What Happened with Baseball and Black America?
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It’s been 75 years since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, becoming the first Black player to take the field in Major League Baseball in 1947. Jackie was a specific player chosen at a specific time, when baseball was highly aligned with Black popular culture. But what happened between baseball and Black America in the decades after Jackie’s pivotal act? Why didn’t baseball become a majority Black sport, like basketball and football? Why didn’t MLB follow the culture into hip hop or grow its Black fan base? Jesse Washington uses his own lapsed baseball fandom to explore these questions with guests like Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Jackie’s son David Robinson, and current players and executives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 15, 2022
Why NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Suddenly Looks Like the Olympics
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The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships begin today in Fort Worth, but you’d be forgiven if you mistook it for the Tokyo Olympics this past summer. That’s because no sport has been transformed by the Name, Image and Likeness revolution across college athletics as much as Women’s Gymnastics. Previously, Olympic stars like Tokyo All-Around Gold Medalist Suni Lee had to choose between cashing in on the lucrative endorsement deals that come with Olympic success, or competing in college. Now, under NIL, that is no longer an issue, meaning Lee will compete for an NCAA title this weekend as a freshman at Auburn. And Lee is not alone. Fellow US Olympians Jade Carey (Oregon St.), Jordan Chiles (UCLA), and Grace McCallum (Utah) will all be competing in Fort Worth, in what is shaping up to be perhaps the most competitive NCAA championships ever. Alyssa Roenigk breaks down how the sport is being transformed, as well as the names and teams you need to know before this weekend’s championship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 14, 2022
What It Takes to Catch Sports Betting Cheats
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Sports betting has become exponentially more popular and accessible, with gambling on games now legal in more than 30 states. It’s a wildly difficult industry to oversee, though, with a patchwork of legislative details in each state, and varying rules on the types of bets that are legal or not. Even who has jurisdiction over what changes when you cross state lines. Paula Lavigne took a deep dive into the private companies that sell their services for oversight and fraud detection. She explains what they do - and don’t do. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 13, 2022
Crying Jordan at 10: The GOAT of Memes
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When Michael Jordan began to cry during his Basketball Hall of Fame induction speech, that moment would turn one of basketball’s greatest players to the meme seen ‘round the Internet. Now, 10 years after Crying Jordan first became a meme, it's still just as popular as ever, popping up anywhere and everywhere. ESPN’s Dave Fleming brings us the origin story of this legendary meme, and tells us why every corner of society just can’t get enough of it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 12, 2022
Masters: Scottie Scheffler’s Win, Tiger Woods’ Wild Return
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We catch America’s Caddie, Michael Collins, fresh off the Masters in Augusta. He breaks down how Scheffler staved off the competition, and what got him his first winning green jacket. Plus, why Tiger Woods’ return was full of a different kind of love than we’ve seen from him in the past, even as all of us fans managed our greedy expectations. And what can we expect from the all-time great, as he continues to recover from a harrowing 2021 car accident. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 11, 2022
The Legend of the Red Panda: NBA Halftime’s Can’t Miss Act
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An NBA halftime lasts just 15 minutes. It’s a time for players to leave the court, fans to run to the bathroom or grab another beer, or, a break, for all intents and purposes. But for Rong Niu - it’s her time to shine. Rong, better known to audiences as the Red Panda, has been astounding NBA fans around the country for thirty years, with her 7-and-a-half-foot-tall unicycle, a stack of white bowls, and not much else. Rong Niu, the Red Panda herself, joins the show today to tell us her story - and how she became an NBA legend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 08, 2022
Jeff Passan Hacks the 2022 MLB Season
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After a lockout that put the entire 2022 MLB season in jeopardy, Opening Day has miraculously arrived. The start of a new season represents a blank slate for all teams, both contenders and pretenders. MLB Insider Jeff Passan makes sense of the offseason’s most dramatic moves and shares which teams he finds most intriguing this coming season. Are the Dodgers setting up for a World Series repeat? Will Pablo’s beloved Yankees be able to overcome their AL East rivals, the talented Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays? Plus, Jeff fills us in on MLB’s new tech to fight sign-stealing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 07, 2022
“This was a Failed Coup.” Inside Phil Mickelson’s Exile from Golf
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The 2022 Masters Tournament tees off Thursday, but it will be without at least one of golf’s all-time greats: Phil Mickelson, who has won three times at Augusta and in 2021 became the oldest major champion ever by winning the PGA Championship at the age of 50. Mark Schlabach shares the stunning story of how Mickelson flirted with joining a breakaway golf league funded by the Saudi Arabian government, and in the process took aim at the PGA itself. It’s a saga that has made Mickelson a persona non grata in the golf world, essentially an exile from golf, and uncertain future on the PGA tour. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 06, 2022
Can the Lakers’ Season Be Saved? Storylines from the NBA’s Home Stretch
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As the NBA regular season winds down, there’s plenty of drama unfolding across the league. In Los Angeles, LeBron and the Lakers’ experiment continues to implode, hampered by injuries and a porous defense. Is there enough time for the team to bounce back and sneak into the postseason? And in the Eastern Conference, where Kyrie Irving is now free to play in Brooklyn’s home games: could the Nets be the most dangerous last-team-in in NBA postseason history? Brian Windhorst helps us parse through these questions and more, as we inch closer to the NBA playoffs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 05, 2022
South Carolina Are Women’s CBB Champs + Kansas-UNC Men’s Final Preview
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Dawn Staley’s South Carolina Gamecocks are your women’s NCAA basketball champions! Katie Barnes joins us from Minneapolis to break down how Aliyah Boston and company steamrolled over the Huskies, and handed UConn head coach Geno Auriemma his first ever loss in a championship game. Then, Myron Medcalf sets the scene for the men’s championship tonight, after a pair of semifinal matchups which saw Duke and Coach K taken down by their rival UNC in a thriller, and Villanova falling to David McCormack and the Kansas Jayhawks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 04, 2022
The Making of Coach K (Re-Spin)
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Love him or hate him, the mark that Mike Krzyzewski has left on men’s college basketball is indelible. Nobody has won more Division I men’s college basketball games than Coach K; he has won five national titles, made 13 Final Fours, and turned Duke University into one of the most iconic institutions in American life. And now, with his retirement imminent, he heads into his final Final Four, where he and Duke will take on their biggest rival North Carolina. In this special encore presentation, Wright Thompson takes us back to share exactly where Coach K came from, what it means for his reign to come to an end, and the legacy he’ll leave behind.  This episode originally ran on March 4, 2022. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 02, 2022
NCAA’s Wake Up Call: A Reckoning on Gender Inequity in Basketball
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Shocking upsets. Buzzer beaters. Cinderella stories. This year’s Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament has been overflowing with drama and thrills. But last March, Oregon’s Sedona Prince posted a TikTok revealing the drastic differences between the women’s and men’s college basketball weight rooms during the NCAA tournament. After the video went viral, and reports of other disparities circulated, the NCAA was forced to apologize, and promised to review and remedy inequities throughout the game. So as the Women’s Final Four tips off tonight, ESPN’s Dan Murphy explains how much progress has been made in the past year, and how the business of women’s college basketball is still limited, economically, in ways that have nothing to do with the quality of their game itself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 01, 2022
Blue Blood: Inside the Duke/UNC Rivalry
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Duke vs. UNC: when a rivalry is as storied as the one, it's hard to find ground that hasn’t already been tread. However, through the grace of the sports gods, that rivalry is headed towards uncharted territory. This Saturday, Duke will face UNC in the NCAA’s Final Four - and it’s the very first time these two teams have met in the tournament. ESPN Senior Writer and North Carolina native Ryan McGee explains why one of college basketball’s longest-running rivalries means so much to so many, and how excited UNC is at the prospect of playing spoiler to Coach K one more time. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 31, 2022
“WHAT ARE WE DOING!?” Taylor Twellman on the Rebirth of the USMNT
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In the fall of 2017, the US Men’s National Soccer Team lost a decisive qualifying match against Trinidad & Tobago, and with it, a spot in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It was a humiliating defeat for a team that hadn’t missed a World Cup since 1986. Afterwards, ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman delivered an epic rant, blasting the culture of US Soccer that, in his view, had grown complacent and arrogant. Now, more than four years later, the Americans are on the cusp of redemption. Barring a complete blowout loss tonight against Costa Rica, the Americans can book their ticket to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Taylor Twellman explains how the USMNT has changed their ways following the debacle in Trinidad, and what we can expect from a young roster that appears to be just getting started. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 30, 2022
The Olympics, an NBA Veteran, and a Medical Mystery
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NBA veteran Aron Baynes arrived at the Tokyo Olympics as one of Team Australia's most trusted big men. But during a group stage game against Italy, Baynes mysteriously fell in the bathroom during a break. When he was discovered by team staff, he had lost the ability to walk and had to be carried out on a stretcher. No one knew what was wrong. Brian Windhorst tells the story of Baynes’ medical mystery and the ordeal that followed: from being isolated in a Japanese hospital, weeping in pain day after day, to learning how to walk again...and what his path back to the NBA looks like. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 29, 2022
We’ll Get the First-Ever Duke vs. North Carolina Final Four Game
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The Final Four is set! On Sunday, we learned UNC and Duke will meet for the first time ever in the NCAA tournament. And the Kansas Jayhawks punched their ticket to the next round, taking down Miami 76-50. And this year’s Cinderella story, the Saint Peter’s Peacocks, finally got turned back into a pumpkin by UNC. On Saturday, Duke beat Arkansas 78-69, sending Coach K to his 13th and final Final Four. And Villanova stuck to their fundamentals in their takedown of Houston, 50-44. Myron Medcalf takes us inside all of the tournament action and tells us what to watch for in the Final Four. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 28, 2022
From Coach Peck to Dawn Staley: Women’s NCAA Tournament Trailblazers
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The South Carolina Gamecocks are the women’s number one overall seed, and take the court in the Sweet Sixteen tonight. After blowing out their first two opponents by an average of 37 points, SC coach Dawn Staley will be looking to take another step towards her second national title. But before Staley won her first championship came coach Carolyn Peck, the first Black woman to coach a team to an NCAA basketball title, with Purdue in 1999. Today, Carolyn Peck shares her story with us, and explains how she actually invited Dawn Staley to become the second member of her all too exclusive club … and what came next for both of these trailblazers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 25, 2022
Revisiting A Murder in Memphis: The Lorenzen Wright Story
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It’s been over a decade since NBA veteran Lorenzen Wright was murdered. Wright’s twin sons, Lamar and Shamar were just ten years old when their father was killed. Their mother, and Wright’s ex-wife, Sherra pleaded guilty to facilitating the murder of her husband in 2019, then attempted to reverse her plea to not guilty, but has since dropped the bid and will serve out the remainder of her sentence. And this week, one of the suspects who was accused of the crime, Billy Ray Turner, was found guilty of murder by a Tennessee jury. Through the loss of their father and the arrest of their mother, Lamar and Shamar Wright have pushed on, and are now playing college basketball together. Lisa Salters shares the story of Wright’s murder and the family he left behind, also covered in the E:60 A Murder in Memphis, available on demand now in the ESPN app. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 24, 2022
How Gonzaga’s Drew Timme Became College Basketball’s Biggest Star
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Gonzaga’s Drew Timme might be the biggest star in college basketball. From his questionable facial hair to his taunting theatrics, Timme is more than just the top scorer on the #1 team in the country. He’s an entertainer who is part of a dying species in the one-and-done era: a star upper-classman who lives and plays like he never wants college to end. Timme and the Zags are in search of redemption after last year’s loss in the NCAA Championship game to Baylor. But first, they’ll have to get past Arkansas in the Sweet 16. Tim Keown explains what makes Timme tick, how the tournament’s going for him, and what we should expect to see next. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 23, 2022
Sound Sports: A Blind Man’s Journey to the Broadcast Booth
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Bryce Weiler grew up listening to the likes of Brian Barnhart call Illinois basketball games, and as a young man who’d been blind since infancy, he fell in love with the pictures painted on the radio. During college in Indiana Weiler forged a relationship with the basketball team, and then found his way to the broadcast booth himself. ESPN’s Sam Borden went to visit Weiler and learn more about his process as a live game analyst for college hoops (see more coverage from College GameDay here). He shares the story of a broadcaster motivated to prove that everyone deserves opportunity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 22, 2022
Mina Kimes on Deshaun Watson, Baker Mayfield, and NFL Free Agency Frenzy
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On Friday, the Cleveland Browns acquired QB Deshaun Watson, in a massive trade that sent shockwaves across the NFL. Last year, Watson was accused of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior by multiple massage therapists, and there are currently 22 pending civil lawsuits against him. The Watson trade comes on the heels of a Texas grand jury declining to indict Watson on criminal charges, which re-ignited interest for several NFL teams, including Cleveland, who went big to make the trade happen. However, Watson could still face disciplinary action from the NFL as a result of the allegations. Mina Kimes discusses the timeline of events surrounding Watson, and what his deal means for the NFL at large. Mina and Pablo also unpack the other biggest NFL trades from the last week, including Davante Adams to the Raiders and Von Miller to the Bills. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 21, 2022
Surviving a Moose Attack on the Way to the Iditarod
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The Iditarod is the most famous dog sled race in the entire world, run across 1000 miles through the Alaskan wilderness. And while the event brings to mind images of furry dogs and beautiful landscapes, the race is incredibly challenging and dangerous. Liz Merrill traveled up north and spent time with Bridgett Watkins, an ER nurse who is competing in the race for the first time this year despite her team enduring a brutal attack by a bull moose in February. Merrill shares Watkins’ experience and story of survival.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 18, 2022
The Debate Over Swimmer Lia Thomas at the NCAA Championships
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This week, University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, a transgender woman, will compete in the NCAA championships. It’s the culmination of a season that has included records and conference championships, as well as backlash and outcry from those who believe she should not be allowed to compete on the women’s team. The NCAA had considered making changes to its policies around trans athletes ahead of this week’s NCAA Championships, but kept their current guidelines in place, clearing the path for Lia to swim for a national title. ESPN’s Katie Barnes joins us from the Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Atlanta with the very latest on Lia’s story, the potential public protests, as well as the ripple effect in state legislatures across the country, where Thomas has been invoked as an example for lawmakers seeking to restrict trans youth participation in sports. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 17, 2022
Betting the NCAA Tournament with Chris “The Bear” Fallica
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Every year, when the calendar turns to March, it’s time for just one thing in the world of sports: college basketball….a lot of it. And for Chris “The Bear” Fallica, March is a time when numbers reign supreme. From seeds to statistics, to of course, betting odds…Fallica is a college basketball savant. He joins the show to share his path from research producer to sports betting analyst, where he is frequently seen making picks against the spread on College Gameday, and helps guide us through the NCAA Tournament action based on those numbers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 16, 2022
Tom Brady: Un-Retired
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Tom Brady has done it to us AGAIN. It’s been mere weeks since he supposedly hung up his cleats, but now he’s ready to lace them back up and play another season in Tompa Bay. We called up our resident Brady expert Seth Wickersham to tell us why we probably should’ve seen this coming…what we might expect from Brady and his Bucs this season…and whether Cristiano Ronaldo had anything to do with it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 15, 2022
WNBA’s Brittney Griner Detained in Russia: What We Know
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WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested by Russian police at an airport near Moscow last month. Griner is being held on charges that she was transporting hashish oil, a marijuana concentrate, which is illegal in Russia. The details of Griner’s arrest were not public until early March. That sparked outcry over the lack of attention around Griner’s case, but also concern that publicity could further endanger her. ESPN investigative reporter T.J. Quinn explains what we know and how a delicate dance plays out from here, as government officials and those closest to Griner fight to bring her home. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 14, 2022
Hockey’s Russian Backlash + Jack Eichel’s Return to Buffalo
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Alexander Ovechkin tied Jamomir Jagr this week for the third most goals in NHL history. But just as Ovi is climbing the ladder of hockey immortality, he is facing scrutiny like never before following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ovechkin, like the 40 other Russian players in the NHL, have avoided directly condemning the war, which has invited public backlash. But it’s an almost impossible situation for Russian players, knowing that opposition to the war could invite harassment for their families back in Russia. Emily Kaplan explains how the hockey world has been shaken by the war in Ukraine. Then, she updates on a different kind of controversy: Jack Eichel’s return to Buffalo to play against his former team following a bitter fight over how to treat his neck injury. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 11, 2022
Sixers-Nets Preview + NBA Round-Up with Zach Lowe
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All eyes will be on Philadelphia tonight when James Harden and the Sixers take on Harden’s former team, the visiting Brooklyn Nets…who may or may not have simply been a cog in a long-play by Harden and Daryl Morey to get to Philly all along. Oh, and Ben Simmons will be there too, though he won’t be playing due to an injury. Zach Lowe tells us all about this possible conspiracy and catches us up on what’s been going on around the league, including a couple of pantheon performances by LeBron James. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 10, 2022
Bill Barnwell on NFL Mega Deals: Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers
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Aaron Rodgers is staying in Green Bay, and Russell Wilson is heading to Denver to the Broncos! While the details of the Rodgers deal are still being ironed out, Russell Wilson will call the Mile High City his new home, and he enters an AFC West that’s loaded with star QBs like Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. Bill Barnwell unpacks the latest in these blockbuster NFL moves and explains how they’ve upended the seats of power in the NFL. Plus, Calvin Ridley’s gambling suspension. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 09, 2022
March Madness is Wildly Wide Open
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The thrill of March Madness has long been the allure of upsets – the single-elimination Cinderella runs and David v. Goliath battles. ESPN’s Myron Medcalf is about to cover his 12th straight NCAA tournament, and he shares why this year’s potential for dramatic upsets is high. We break down this season’s unprecedented parity, and which teams and divisions deserve more eyes as the tournament begins. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 08, 2022
Saving the Regular Season: Live from the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference
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It’s a special live episode of ESPN Daily! This weekend in Boston, some of the brightest minds from across the sports world gathered for the annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. One of the panels, led by our own Pablo Torre, focused on the growing concern that many of the major sports' regular seasons feel like they don’t matter as much as they used to, with players and media focused solely on championship rings. The panel entitled “Maximizing Competitive Meaning” featuring the NBA’s Evan Wasch, Brad Pursel of MLS, and Sam Schwartzstein, formerly of the XFL, addressed this very question, and examined how fixing the regular season just may require tinkering with some of sports most sacred traditions. We’re excited to bring you this panel, in podcast form!  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 07, 2022
The Making of Coach K
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Love him or hate him, the mark that Mike Krzyzewski has left on men’s college basketball is indelible. Nobody has won more Division I men’s college basketball games than Coach K; he has won five national titles, made 12 Final Fours, and turned Duke University into one of the most iconic institutions in American life. And now, as Coach K prepares to say goodbye to the program he built at Duke, Wright Thompson takes us back to share where he came from, what it means for his reign to come to an end, and the legacy he’ll leave behind. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 04, 2022
Baseball Opening Day Canceled: How We Got Here
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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Tuesday that the first two series of the regular season, over 90 games in total, would be canceled. Negotiations between MLB and its Players Association have dragged on since the lockout began in December, and the current tensions have been brewing for years. MLB Insider Jeff Passan called it one of the darkest days in baseball. He tells us why the players are upset, whether or not this was inevitable…and just how far both sides are from an agreement. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 03, 2022
How Vladimir Putin Uses Sports to Maintain Power
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The entire world has watched in shock and horror this past week as the Russian Army invaded Ukraine. At the center of it stands one man, whose thinking and motivation everyone is seeking to better understand: Russian president Vladimir Putin. But as it turns out, there may be no better way into the mind of Putin than through his deep, deliberate impact on the world of sports. Investigative reporter TJ Quinn traveled to Russia in 2018 to report on Putin’s ties to the sports world, and how he has used major events like the World Cup and the Olympics to maintain his grip on power. Quinn explains what we can learn about Putin through the lens of sports, and why athletes and officials are finally fighting back against him. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 02, 2022
NFL Combine Confidential with Domonique Foxworth
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The NFL combine: an annual spectacle that is part job interview, part gym class, and part reality TV show. It is also a critical moment in deciding the future of a new class of NFL draft prospects. An exceptionally good or bad performance in the combine will make a prospect’s draft stock rise or fall, meaning millions in potential salary is on the table. But just how useful is the combine in actually predicting a player’s NFL career? And what is it like for the players to run the gauntlet of medical evaluations, physical tests, and character evaluations? ESPN’s Domonique Foxworth went through the process in 2005. He shares all the secrets from inside the scouting combine, and why it may not be as important as we think. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 01, 2022
Cowboys Cheerleaders Accuse Top Executive of Locker Room Spying
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For six years the Dallas Cowboys had a secret. One of their top executives was accused of spying on several cheerleaders in a locker room: and the team wrote a big check to make it all go away. Don Van Natta investigates this story for ESPN and shares the other bombshell accusation that was made, what it reveals about Jerry Jones’ team, and what happens next for the women at the center of this incident. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 28, 2022
What If Every NBA Rule Was Up for Grabs
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While NBA players and their style of play have changed drastically in the league’s 75 years of existence, the rules that govern the game have mostly stayed the same. The popularity of the All-Star Game’s “Elam Ending” shows that changing many of basketball's long-standing rules could improve the game for fans, players and the league. ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry dives deep into which rules should get scrapped and what to do instead. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 25, 2022