ESPN Daily

By ESPN, Pablo Torre

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 Mar 2, 2020

 Jan 30, 2020


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
The Man Who Invented the NFL Draft: Being Mel Kiper Jr.
The NFL Draft is American institution. And for the past 40 years, 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.
Apr 16, 2021
The Dual Narratives Around Deshaun Watson’s Massages
Allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against Deshaun Watson have until this week played out through lawyers’ statements and accuser anonymity. Now, more women are attaching their names to court filings and speaking in public. While some of Watson’s corporate sponsors are suspending deals with him, some women are speaking in support of Watson, saying their experiences with him were not inappropriate. Investigative reporter John Barr walks us through the conflicting narratives at play in these developments. Then, ahead of the WNBA draft Thursday night, Kevin Pelton weighs in on the league’s eligibility rules.
Apr 15, 2021
The Next Great Quarterback Prospect (Is Someone You’ve Never Heard Of)
Quarterback Trey Lance is projected to be a top-10 pick in this year’s NFL draft. But the 20-year-old from North Dakota State has largely flown under the radar, overshadowed by big names like Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. Lance and his family have bucked trends from the start, and his path to the NFL has seemed fast, and yet also circuitous. Tim Keown shares Lance’s story, and why he’s captured the attention of NFL scouts everywhere.
Apr 14, 2021
Daryl Morey On the Sports Analytics Revolution
Daryl Morey, Philadelphia 76ers general manager, co-founded an event 15 years ago that’s become the hub of all things data-driven in sports. At the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, researchers, athletes, coaches and commentators swap takes on the digital trends changing how games are played, and how business is done. Morey joins Pablo to definitely not apologize for anything, to discuss the rise of sports analytics, and how data can make teams and the NBA game itself even better. Then, Myron Medcalf gives us a view from Minnesota, where Twin Cities teams postponed games in the wake of the police shooting of Daunte Wright.
Apr 13, 2021
How Breaking Baseball’s Unwritten Rules Is Changing The Game (For Good)
Baseball is steeped in time-honored traditions and a code of unwritten rules. But players in today’s game are starting to break those rules: flipping their bats, admiring their home runs, and, say, hitting a Grand Slam when up 10-3 in the 8th inning. Ok, that last one was just Fernando Tatis Jr. ESPN’s Joon Lee explains how baseball’s youngest generation is challenging the establishment and injecting their personalities into the game - and why that’s changing the sport for the better. Then, Pablo shares the story of a prison basketball game where an unlikely play-by-play star was born.
Apr 12, 2021
Full Circle: The Freddie Freeman Story
You might know about Freddie Freeman, the baseball player...the gold glover and four time All-Star...who battled back from covid to win NL MVP last year. But the Freddie Freeman you don’t know is even more remarkable. Buster Olney joins the show to take us inside Full Circle: The Freddie Freeman Story: airing this Sunday on E:60, and presents an exclusive and emotional portrait of one of the game’s best players. Freeman opens up as never before about the loss of loved ones, as well as the struggles he and his wife have endured in starting of a family of their own.   
Apr 09, 2021
Sports and Georgia: MLB, the Masters, and Beyond
MLB moved the All-Star Game out of Georgia, after the state passed a law hampering voting access. As MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred takes heat from many directions, baseball’s move has cast a different kind of spotlight on the Masters tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. It’s teeing off as scheduled, and that’s not surprising to ESPN senior writer and baseball historian Howard Bryant. He breaks down the business side of MLB’s decision, how it’s reverberating, and the many stakeholders in play. Then, Pablo shares a personal connection with the pimento cheese sandwich, a time-honored staple at the Masters.
Apr 08, 2021
Field Yates On The NFL Draft QB Chaos
When the Jets traded Sam Darnold to the Panthers on Monday, they essentially announced to the world that they will be selecting a quarterback with the 2nd pick in the upcoming NFL draft. And at the top of this year’s draft…they’re not alone. The 2021 QB Draft class is one of the deepest in memory, and the top 5 QB prospects could all potentially be picked in the top 10. Some, like Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, are considered as sure a bet as any prospect since Andrew Luck. Others, like North Dakota State’s Trey Lance may not have the big program pedigree...but are still projected to be among the first players taken. Field Yates joins the show to assess the top 5 QB prospects...and makes his prediction for where they might end up. Then, ahead of the Masters Tournament, Sam Borden shares the story of Tim Tucker, golf genius Bryson DeChambeau’s caddie, and their unique dynamic.
Apr 07, 2021
Baylor Bears Are NCAA Champs: How Gonzaga Lost Its Perfect Season
The Baylor Bears are your NCAA champions, for the first time in the program’s history. After decimating Houston in the Final Four, Baylor put on an offensive showcase powered by impressive scoring runs, and ended Gonzaga’s quest for a perfect season. Jalen Suggs and the Zags’ offense were unable to get anything going against the stalwart Baylor defense. Myron Medcalf joins us from Indianapolis to break down the title game and reflect on the 2021 tournament. Then, Pablo remarks on Aaron Rodgers’ self-aware debut as Jeopardy guest host.
Apr 06, 2021
NCAA: Gonzaga Buzzer Beater, Baylor Blowout, and Stanford Women’s Champs
Gonzaga and Baylor tip off tonight in the NCAA Championship after a thrilling pair of Final Four games. Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs hit a wild game-winning buzzer-beater in overtime on Saturday vs. UCLA that sent Sports Twitter into overdrive, as Gonzaga furthered its quest for a perfect season. Also on Saturday, Baylor blew out Houston with Jared Butler landing 17 points, and five players recording double figures. Jeff Borzello recounts Suggs’ 3 heard ‘round the world. And LaChina Robinson breaks down how Stanford bested Arizona in another neck-and-neck game to become the women's champions.
Apr 05, 2021
Final Four Weekend: Gonzaga’s Perfect Run + Paige Bueckers’ Magic
This weekend, the men’s and women’s NCAA Final Four games tip off in Indianapolis and San Antonio, respectively. On the men’s side, Gonzaga will look to fend off surprising UCLA, who just upset #1 Michigan, while Baylor and Houston face off in a rare Lone Star State showdown. Myron Medcalf is on the ground in Indianapolis and shares his insights on each Final Four matchup. For the women, powerhouse UConn, lead by star freshman Paige Bueckers, will do battle with Arizona, who’s making its first Final Four appearance. And Dawn Staley’s South Carolina Gamecocks look to continue their defensive stand against tournament favorite Stanford. LaChina Robinson is on site in San Antonio to preview the pair of games, and reflects on the women’s tournament thus far. Then, Katie Barnes updates us on the BFFs of the tournament: Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs and UConn’s Paige Bueckers, as they each prepare for the semifinals.
Apr 02, 2021
MLB Opening Day: Tim Kurkjian on Fans’ Return, Houston’s Reckoning, and Playoffs for the...Mets?
Baseball’s Opening Day is finally here! After a shortened 2020 season, MLB is back with a 162 game schedule and plenty of exciting storylines. With fans back in the stands, will the Houston Astros finally receive the reckoning many thought they’d get following their cheating scandal? Will Francisco Lindor live up to the hype and take the Mets to the postseason? Can the upstart Padres match up with the defending champion Dodgers? Tim Kurkjian runs through everything you need to know heading into this baseball season, and even gives Baltimore Orioles fans something to hope for. Then, new Cubs TV play-by-play announcer Boog Sciambi talks with Pablo about taking up the iconic broadcasting mantle at Wrigley Field.
Apr 01, 2021
Funny Money, a Secret Recording, and the Unraveling of a Powerhouse Football Program
When the winningest team in high school football hired the most controversial coach in high school football, heads turned all over the state of Georgia. What ensued was a 15-month saga of small-town, big time football that ended up dividing an entire town. Mark Schlabach brings us a story of funny money, a secret recording, and the unraveling of a powerhouse high school football program in Valdosta, Georgia.
Mar 31, 2021
The New York Mets: Best Worst Team In Sports
The New York Mets and their fans have been sports punchline fodder for decades. But Mets fans are a resilient (if occasionally delusional?) bunch, enduring heartbreak after heartbreak in the long history of the organization. Author Devin Gordon refers to the team as the “Best Worst Team in Sports” in his new book, “So Many Ways To Lose,” and he joins the show to discuss his research into the highs and lows of the Mets, their passionate fans, and unique legacy.
Mar 30, 2021
How Far Will Nationals Star Juan Soto Go?
Nationals superstar Juan Soto has won a World Series, made a highlight reel’s worth of big hits, and holds a batting title. All that at 22 years old. A fan favorite in Washington, Soto is known for his swagger and disregard for baseball’s traditional decorum, as well as his megawatt smile. Jeff Passan recently talked with Soto for ESPN’s Cover Story, and he joins the show to explain how Soto’s swing - and his presence - are changing baseball for good. Then, Bill Barnwell runs through the biggest NFL news in trades and free agency.
Mar 29, 2021
Gonzaga Greatness, Cinderellas and Sister Jean: Sweet 16 Preview
The men’s Sweet 16 begins this weekend, full of unlikely contenders and March stalwarts. Oral Roberts is the Cinderella of the tournament so far, but Loyola Chicago has the power of 101-year-old nun Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt on their side. Gonzaga’s on the brink of a perfect season, but they’ll likely have to get through another #1 seed like Baylor. Myron Medcalf joins us from Indianapolis to preview the next set of matchups, based on his analysis on the tournament so far. Then, Ryan McGee tells us why Bristol Speedway’s become a dirt track this weekend -- the first NASCAR race on dirt in 50 years.
Mar 26, 2021
Deshaun Watson Faces Assault Allegations
Texans QB Deshaun Watson has been named in over a dozen civil lawsuits filed by a number of Houston area women over the last several days, alleging varying degrees of sexual misconduct and assault. ESPN investigative reporter John Barr takes us through the timeline and details of the cases, and where the legal action could go from here. Then, Texans reporter Sarah Barshop brings us up to speed on the team and NFL’s responses, and what this means for Watson’s future on the field in Houston and around the league.
Mar 25, 2021
Jeremy Lin and Pablo Torre on Asian-American Identity and Racism
In the time since we reached out to basketball pro Jeremy Lin about the mass shooting in Atlanta where eight people died - six of them women of Asian descent - ten more people have died in a Colorado shooting. Jeremy Lin joins us to share experiences with Pablo as first generation Asian Americans. Lin details his evolution on speaking out against stereotypes, understanding systemic injustice, and framing his identity in the limelight of sports during the NBA’s “Linsanity” period. Plus, what he’s focused on now around levers of social change and his basketball career. Then, Pablo pays tribute to a bird that met its demise via a pitch from Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, 20 years ago.
Mar 24, 2021
The Evolution of Zion Williamson
In his second NBA season, at just 20 years old, Zion Williamson is putting up numbers that land him alongside legends like Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal. Maybe you caught him in the All-Star Game, but if you haven’t been watching Pelicans games, you’re missing the evolution of a unique basketball talent. ESPN’s Andrew Lopez shares Zion’s accomplishments, and what it’ll take to get him to MVP status. Then, the most famous bowler of all time is retiring after 41 (yes, 41!) years. We remember Pete Weber’s career.
Mar 23, 2021
What’s In a Name...Image, and Likeness? Social Media and College Athletes
This year’s March Madness hasn’t come without its share of controversy. Michigan’s Isaiah Livers and others have tweeted and donned shirts with the phrase #NotNCAAProperty. And women’s players cried foul online over a paltry weight room and other disparities with the men’s team. It was just the latest example of social media’s power for college athletes, and that includes growing followings across all sports and types of schools. ESPN college sports reporter David Hale details new options and support for player empowerment and profit. And he explores what NIL (name, image, likeness) reform can look like.
Mar 22, 2021
College Basketball’s BFF’s Jalen Suggs and Paige Bueckers + Sue Bird on Women’s Bracket
Gonzaga freshman Jalen Suggs and UConn freshman Paige Bueckers are the faces of the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments. But the two stars go way back: they grew up in neighboring Minnesota cities, and first met when they both were in elementary school. As their basketball careers took off, Suggs and Bueckers stayed in touch and have relied on each other for support, and have remained friends off the court. Katie Barnes shares the story of their unique friendship, and whether NCAA championships are in their future. Then, Sue Bird makes a case for her UConn Huskies to win another women’s championship.
Mar 19, 2021
Louis Riddick on NFL Free Agency (And the Mind of Bill Belichick)
We’re still many weeks away from the 2021 NFL Draft, and free agency is in full swing. Bill Belichick and the Patriots have been aggressive in acquiring new pieces, while his ex-QB Tom Brady and the Bucs have been focused on bringing back the roster that won the Super Bowl. Louis Riddick breaks down the latest moves as only he can, shares insights from behind the scenes, and tells us what comes next. Then, as the NCAA tournament kicks off, Dave Fleming confirms a trend among male fans ... who get a certain surgery in vast numbers every March.
Mar 18, 2021
Serena Williams, Tom Brady, Roger Federer: The Surprising Science Behind Epic Athletes
Serena Williams. Tom Brady. Roger Federer. What really goes into making a G.O.A.T.? And extending that greatness for decades? Reporter, best-selling author, and current host of the podcast How To!, David Epstein is one of sports’ top mythbusters. His books The Sports Gene and Range delve into athletes’ lives, minds and habits to find the building blocks of success. Epstein applies his findings to trends like more superstars performing well as they age, and why getting kids to specialize in one sport might actually lead to injury rather than wins.
Mar 17, 2021
NBA Coastal Elites: The Geography of Basketball Success
Are all NBA superstars destined to leave smaller market teams for Brooklyn, L.A. or Miami? Across the league, high-performing players are gravitating to coastal teams and bigger markets. The trend’s been building for years, increasingly splitting the league into teams that “have” or “have not.” Kirk Goldsberry plots the map and salary data, why this trend is bad for the NBA, and what strategies could turn things around. Then, as part of ESPN’s Women’s History Month celebration, hear from Lisa Salters’ sit-down with NFL referee Sarah Thomas.
Mar 16, 2021
2021 Bracketology With Jay Bilas
The NCAA Tournament is set! It’s been anything but a normal college basketball season, and March Madness will continue the trend. Gonzaga could become the first team since 1976 to go undefeated and win a national championship, with Baylor, Illinois and Michigan also at the top. Georgetown, led by legendary Hoya Patrick Ewing, is back in the Big Dance. Duke is not in the tournament for the first time in decades. Jay Bilas breaks down the field, region by region, and the path to win it all. Then, insight from the WNBA’s Natasha Cloud as heard on LaChina Robinson’s “I’m Speaking” podcast series, one year since Breonna Taylor’s death.
Mar 15, 2021
Dak Prescott’s New Deal and the NFL’s Shrinking Salary Cap
The Dallas Cowboys have finally signed Dak Prescott to a four-year, $160 million deal, just five months after his season ending injury. For years, the Cowboys' front office had refused to give in to Dak’s contract demands...until now. ESPN's NFL analyst Mina Kimes breaks down one of the biggest deals in quarterback history and looks at how a shrinking salary cap is impacting NFL rosters. Then, Tottenham superfan (and mom to Mina Kimes) Sun Min Kimes shares her English Premier League takes ahead of this weekend’s match vs. Arsenal.
Mar 12, 2021
March 11, 2020, One Year Later: Rudy Gobert On Being The NBA’s Patient Zero
One year ago today, on March 11, 2020, the NBA...and the entire world...suddenly stopped. That night, there was one athlete who found his way to the spotlight, and inadvertently became the face of the COVID pandemic as we knew it then: Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert. Lisa Salters joins the show to share Gobert’s personal perspective on that night, and Gobert opens up about what it was like to be branded as Patient Zero of American sports. Then, a reflection on what it was like to cover the day in sports on March 11, 2020.
Mar 11, 2021
Has the NBA’s 3-Point Obsession Gone Too Far?
In basketball there is no greater symbol of the 3-point shot than Golden State’s Steph Curry, who’s spawned a thousand imitators with his prowess. But for every 3-point attempted, is a more dynamic dunk lost? That’s what’s got the NBA on notice. Because, as with any trend, the 3-point obsession may be going too far. ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz explores a new sentiment around the NBA: that the 3-point shot is draining the game of the exact excitement it was meant to deliver. Then Pablo shares the story of a hockey mom who came to the rescue of a man who helped her kids on the ice.
Mar 10, 2021
March Madness Preview: Who Can Beat Gonzaga?
It’s March, and the 2021 Madness is almost here. Excited beyond belief after a cancelled 2020 tournament, ESPN’s Myron Medcalf is your guide. What’s happened with the bluebloods, as Duke, Kentucky, and Michigan State fight to make it to the Big Dance? Which standout stars might lead their teams to glory? Will 24-0 Gonzaga hold onto its dominance? How have the starts and stops of this pandemic season helped or hurt contenders? Then, Pablo breaks down Dak Prescott’s new deal with the Dallas Cowboys.
Mar 09, 2021
Ali-Frazier: The “Fight of the Century” 50 Years Later
Fifty years ago today, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier met in their first iconic boxing match, known as “The Fight of the Century.” It was 1971, with the civil rights movement in full swing and the nation divided over the war in Vietnam. Jeremy Schaap, boxing historian and host of E60 and Outside the Lines, shares how political and cultural views were projected onto Ali and Frazier, with their different personalities, history and fighting styles. The night itself was a grand celebrity spectacle (Frank Sinatra took a gig as a photographer, just to get in the building). And while Frazier won unanimously, the fight has a more complex and nuanced legacy. Half a century later, it remains one of sports’ biggest moments.
Mar 08, 2021
The Biggest Contract In San Diego Padres History (Is Not Fernando Tatis Jr.’s)
Fernando Tatis Jr.’s massive 14-year, 340 million dollar deal with the Padres shattered MLB records. But it’s actually not the most important signing of the Padres this offseason. That belongs to Matt LaChappa, who signed with the team again in February, just as he has every year for more than a quarter-century. It’s a baseball story unlike any other: LaChappa is the longest tenured player in Padres history, despite never playing in a major league game. In 1996, LaChappa was a pitcher with San Diego’s minor league affiliate, when he suffered a heart attack while warming up in the bullpen. LaChappa survived, was left permanently disabled and in need of round-the-clock and costly medical care. Ever since, every offseason, the Padres have honored their commitment to Matt and his family by signing him a basic minor league contract, allowing Matt to remain on the team’s health insurance. In a sport where money and loyalty between players and clubs are constantly put to the test, Chris Connelly joins the show to tell a very different kind of baseball story Then, Pablo shares his excitement (or lack thereof) for this weekend’s NBA All-Star festivities.
Mar 05, 2021
Can Claressa Shields Make Women’s Boxing Must-See TV?
At just 25 years old, Claressa Shields might already be the best women’s boxer of all time. The Flint, Michigan native is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. She’s undefeated in her professional career. And she’s already won titles in three different weight divisions. But this Friday, she is attempting something that could fundamentally change the entire sport. Shields is headlining the first ever all-female pay-per-view boxing card...and doing it without the backing of a major broadcast network. She’s hoping to prove that women’s boxing can draw viewers and put female fighters on a path to one day making the same money as their male counterparts. ESPN’s Michael Rothstein joins the show to tell us about Claressa Shields’ rise as a fighter and how the trail she is blazing might take her to a whole new sport entirely. Then, Pablo reflects on his beloved New York Knicks in their current, fleeting moment of triumph.
Mar 04, 2021
James Harden Returns to Houston With New Boo: Brooklyn
Tonight James Harden enters his former basketball home, Houston’s Toyota Center, as a member of the Brooklyn Nets. It’s his first time facing the Rockets since his very messy trade in January. After a slow start, Harden and the Nets are thriving. He’s notched seven triple doubles in their recent eight-game winning streak. And that’s even with star Kevin Durant sitting out for injury. ESPN’s Malika Andrews explains how Harden has gone from being a bonus for the Nets, to a reliable asset and leader. Then, Pablo interviews new co-owner of the National Women’s Soccer League’s Chicago Red Stars, Sarah Spain.
Mar 03, 2021
Future UConn Star Azzi Fudd is Unbreakable
Meet Azzi Fudd, number one women’s high school basketball player in the nation. Fudd has won medals for USA basketball, was the first sophomore to win Gatorade National Player of the Year, and dominated Steph Curry’s camp as one of only two girls participating. Despite her unlimited potential, Fudd has endured setbacks, from major injury to the loss of friends and mentors, including Gigi and Kobe Bryant. Katie Barnes shares their ESPN Cover Story, “Azzi Fudd is Unbreakable,” about the young star’s journey and next steps.
Mar 02, 2021
Bill Barnwell Breaks Down NFL Quarterback Moves
The NFL quarterback carousel is in full rotation. Russell Wilson reportedly hasn’t requested a trade, but may want out of Seattle. The Deshaun Watson Texans saga has hit a stalemate. Carson Wentz has been shipped off from Philly to Indianapolis. And there are more marquee names likely on the move. Bill Barnwell makes a triumphant return to help us make sense of this chaotic offseason. Then, Pablo reflects on Renee Montgomery as the first former WNBA player to become a team owner and executive, buying a stake in the Atlanta Dream.
Mar 01, 2021
Zach Lowe on NBA Midseason + Top Shot Update
The Utah Jazz are surprisingly the best team in the NBA. After demolishing the Los Angeles Lakers this week, the Jazz claimed the top spot in the Western Conference -- while the Philadelphia 76ers reign in the East. However, this season is far from over. ESPN’s senior NBA writer Zach Lowe joins the show to dissect the biggest NBA storylines in his midseason report, including potential trades. Then Brian Windhorst returns for an update on NBA Top Shot, where more than $200 million dollars has now traded hands for “digital collectibles.”
Feb 26, 2021
An NHL Star Is Accused of Assault. Is He Being Targeted For Opposing Vladimir Putin?
It’s a hockey story that spans from Manhattan to Moscow. Here in America, Artemi Panarin is a star winger, an MVP candidate, and arguably the best player on the New York Rangers. But back home in Russia, the 29-year-old is something far more dangerous: the most vocal athlete opponent of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Today, Emily Kaplan explains the explosive accusations that have sidelined Panarin from the National Hockey League. Then, The Washington Post’s Moscow correspondent, Isabelle Khurshudyan, gives us the view on Panarin from inside Russia...and whether the Kremlin could actually be involved.
Feb 25, 2021
Tiger Woods: Latest Updates + “America’s Son” Documentary
On Tuesday morning, Tiger Woods was involved in a serious car accident outside of Los Angeles, where he was taken to a hospital to treat his injuries. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne brings us the latest from her reporting on the scene. Then, another listen to Pablo’s conversation with ESPN’s Lauren Stowell about her documentary on Tiger Woods, “America’s Son.” She re-examines “Tigermania,” which only grew after Woods’ Masters win in 1997, through the prisms of race and history. “America’s Son” can be screened on ESPN+.
Feb 24, 2021
Inside the Dual Legacies of NFL Players Union Boss DeMaurice Smith
Last year's CBA should have been a defining moment for DeMaurice Smith and the labor force of America's most popular sport. Instead, some players -- and some owners -- have come to see Smith as an asset to management. Don Van Natta explains Smith’s negotiations with the NFL on behalf of the players union…and whether or not Smith is ultimately in an unwinnable position.
Feb 23, 2021
Spring Training 2021: Dominant Dodgers, Upstart Padres, and Everybody Else
MLB spring training is upon us! After a long offseason of big trades and bigger contracts being signed, baseball has finally returned. The defending World Series champion Dodgers bolstered their already deep rotation by signing Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer, but the biggest threat to their potential dynasty might be 122 miles down the 5 Freeway. The Padres locked up Fernando Tatis for the next 14 years in addition to adding Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and Blake Snell to their pitching rotation. In the American League, the Yankees are poised to finally get over the hump…if they can stay healthy. Jeff Passan joins us to break down everything we need to know about spring training. Then, Pablo reflects on Naomi Osaka’s speaking against violence toward Asian-Americans.
Feb 22, 2021
The Game Before: One City's Soccer Obsession and Its COVID Crisis
The Italian town of Bergamo is fiercely loyal to its soccer team, Atalanta B.C. As the perennial underdogs made a run to the Champions League 2020 quarterfinals, Atalanta drew tens of thousands of Bergamo fans to hug, cry, sing and celebrate for their win. No one knew then it was the last time they’d gather like that. Just as fans returned to their homes, Bergamo became an epicenter of coronavirus infection that led to thousands of deaths. Sam Borden tells the story of how a tight-knit culture and fandom made Bergamo vulnerable to the pandemic. And how that very closeness, along with the hope of cheering Atalanta again, offers a path forward from devastating loss.
Feb 19, 2021
Can NBA Top Shot Become Basketball’s Bitcoin?
Pelicans star Zion Williamson has starred in almost super-humanlike highlights in his young NBA career, but are they worth hundreds of thousands of dollars? It’s a concept that the NBA is banking on, with their newest digital memorabilia venture: NBA Top Shot, a marketplace that is something of a cross between trading cards and Bitcoin. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst explains what NBA Top Shot is, its value, and the risks involved when entering the volatile world of crypto. Then, a preview of Friday’s show: where Sam Borden takes us to Bergamo, Italy, a sports-crazed town devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Feb 18, 2021
Paige Bueckers Dominates at UConn + WNBA Free Agency Moves
University of Connecticut freshman Paige Bueckers has notched three straight 30-point games. This historic run has placed her in conversation with all-time great UConn stars like Diana Taurasi and Breanna Stewart. Could she catapult to greatest UConn player...ever? ESPN’s LaChina Robinson breaks down how Paige makes plays. Then, over in the WNBA, it’s a hot free agency season. Candace Parker left L.A. after more than a decade. The Liberty signed Natasha Howard. And there are more major moves to discuss. And Howard University men’s basketball coach Kenny Blakeney explains why his team cancelled the rest of their season.
Feb 17, 2021
The Life of Legendary Georgetown Coach John Thompson Jr.
The late John Thompson Jr. was one of the most legendary coaches in the history of college basketball. As head coach at Georgetown, Thompson was the first Black coach to win a championship. And his towering influence off the court might even surpass his basketball success. Jesse Washington joins the show to remember Coach Thompson's impact and share stories from their co-authored autobiography, "I Came As A Shadow." And check out the new initiative from ESPN and The Undefeated, Black History Always.
Feb 16, 2021
Former NFL Players Sue Over Discrimination in Concussion Claims
The NFL's concussion settlement set terms for compensating retired players who show cognitive impairment after playing football. But two NFL veterans have taken legal action because they say the claims process discriminates against Black players, making it harder for them to be compensated. Ryan Smith joins the show to discuss the cases of Najeh Davenport and Kevin Henry, why and how race was factored into their claims, and how the NFL has responded.
Feb 15, 2021
20 Years Later: How Dale Earnhardt's Death Changed NASCAR Forever
NASCAR is back this weekend, with the 63rd running of The Great American Race...The Daytona 500. But the excitement this year is tempered by the sobering reminder that it’s the 20th anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt. When Earnhardt died in an accident on the final lap of Daytona in 2001, the tragedy finally prompted a change in NASCAR that many thought was long overdue. Safety standards and equipment designed to prevent the type of injury that killed Earnhardt became widely adopted. There may not be a bigger example of how far the sport has come than last year’s Daytona 500, when Ryan Newman’s car flipped, was driven through, and landed upside down in a fiery collision during the final lap. Many first believed that Newman had died, but he walked out of the hospital two days later, largely due to the additional safety measures put in place in the wake of Earnhardt’s death. ESPN’s Ryan McGee joins us to talk about the latest E:60 film, “Intimidator,” examining Earnhardt’s legacy and how his death changed NASCAR forever.
Feb 12, 2021
The Great Super Bowl Rings Heist
It’s a heist story straight out of Hollywood, about a thief who would make Danny Ocean proud. Who is this criminal mastermind, who stole the New York Giants’ Super Bowl rings? Meet Sean Murphy: a die-hard Patriots fan, owner of a moving company, and a self-described master thief. He, like many Pats fans, watched in agony as the New York Giants pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history in 2008. A few months later, Murphy was researching local jewelers for a potential target when he came across E.A. Dion, a family-owned business…who also happened to be making the Giants’ Super Bowl rings. From there, a super-sized heist was put into motion. ESPN correspondent Sam Borden joins us to take a look back at how Murphy pulled off the steal...and how he got caught.
Feb 11, 2021
The Rise Of The Suns’ Devin Booker
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is perhaps the most overlooked superstar in the NBA. At age 24, Booker is the only active NBA player with a 70 point game, and his dominating eight game stretch in the NBA Bubble this summer earned him a reputation as one of the league’s premiere scorers. ESPN analyst Michael Wilbon takes us back to Booker’s roots in the latest “Cover Story, ” and chronicles the Gen-Z phenom’s path from 6th man at Kentucky, to his connection with Kobe Bryant, to his relationship with new teammate Chris Paul. Then, a close read of Tom Brady’s Instagram as he basked in his reaffirmed G.O.A.T status.
Feb 10, 2021
New Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson’s Next Chapter
Calvin Johnson is officially a Pro Football Hall of Famer! Johnson (a.k.a. “Megatron”) spent nine seasons with the Detroit Lions, and is regarded as one of the greatest wide receivers of all time. During his NFL career, he sought solutions for pain management and found cannabis. He’s now teamed up with former Lion Rob Sims for a new post-NFL chapter: a cannabis startup. ESPN Detroit Lions reporter Mike Rothstein joins us to explain Johnson’s relationship with his old team five years after his retirement, and go behind the scenes of his new venture. Then, Howard Bryant shares a remembrance for the late Pedro Gomez, the beloved ESPN baseball reporter who passed away this weekend.
Feb 09, 2021
Super Bowl LV: How Tom Brady’s Bucs Upset The Chiefs
Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are Super Bowl champions! Tampa’s defense held the Chiefs to three field goals, while Gronk and Brady’s historic connection catapulted the Bucs to victory. Despite Patrick Mahomes’ acrobatic throws on the run while battling a lingering foot injury, the KC offense looked lackluster. And the Chiefs’ defense had no answer for Brady, who’s now earned his seventh Super Bowl ring. Plus we had (some) fans in the stands, an eye-popping halftime show by The Weeknd, and even a fan on the field. Bill Barnwell takes us through the biggest factors in the Big Game. Then Pablo pays homage to basketball scout Tom Konchalski, known for his hand-mailed newsletters and commitment to his craft.
Feb 08, 2021
REPLAY: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif: From Super Bowl Champ to the COVID Frontline
As a bonus episode on the eve of Super Bowl LV, we are respinning our December show on Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. In February 2020, Duvernay-Tardif was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after the Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV...and then, everything changed. With the world coming to a standstill as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Duvernay-Tardif, the only player in the NFL today with a medical degree, immediately took action and began working at a long-term healthcare facility in his native Quebec. In July, Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020-21 regular season to continue his efforts on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. Canada's TSN feature producer Matt Dorman has covered Duvernay-Tardif’s singular journey up-close, and shares his remarkable story.
Feb 06, 2021
Super Bowl LV: Can the Bucs Slow Down Patrick Mahomes?
Super Bowl LV is finally here! After a turbulent season, Tom Brady and his newfound Bucs host Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, who are seeking their second-straight title. What’s changed for these teams since they met in Week 12? Do the Bucs have a new plan to stop the Chiefs’ explosive offense? And can Tom Brady walk away with yet another Super Bowl ring? Mina Kimes brings us her insights and previews the big game. Then, 50 years ago astronaut Alan Shepard’s took a golf shot on the surface of the moon. Victoria Nenno of the US Golf Association Museum details the only out-of-this-world sports moment
Feb 05, 2021
Travis and Jason Kelce: Bond of Brothers
Love him or hate him, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is one of the best in the NFL. But beyond the flamboyance and flash, there’s a side most people haven’t seen...especially when it comes to his big brother, Eagles center Jason Kelce. Ahead of Travis’s second-straight Super Bowl appearance, Lisa Salters brings us inside the relationship between the two brothers. In fact, Patrick Mahomes’ favorite target may never have made it to the league if not for big brother Jason’s interventions along the way. Then, director Ken Rodgers explains how he used deepfake technology to bring former Raiders owner Al Davis and former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle “back to life” for the new 30 for 30 film “Al Davis vs. The NFL.”
Feb 04, 2021
Why 10 Super Bowl Appearances Won't Satisfy Tom Brady
This Sunday, Tom Brady will make his tenth Super Bowl appearance, where he’s seeking his seventh ring. It’s a season that began with doubts about whether Brady could succeed away from New England and Bill Belichick...and has only strengthened his case as the greatest QB of All-Time. Seth Wickersham has covered Brady up-close for two decades, and joins the show to explain how Brady’s acknowledgment of his own limitations on the field has led him to a career of seemingly unlimited success. Then, Doug Kezirian takes us inside the incredibly popular, sometimes bizarre world of Super Bowl prop bets.
Feb 03, 2021
Alive: The Drew Robinson Story
Twenty-eight-year-old Drew Robinson is attempting a Major League Baseball return unlike any other. Robinson worked his way through the minors for many years, and in 2017 he finally made the Texas Rangers’ Opening Day roster. But what followed was a bumpy path up and down between leagues and teams. All the while, Robinson struggled with mental health concerns. On April 16th, 2020, Drew Robinson attempted suicide. He lived. And now, with ongoing rehabilitation and therapy, Robinson is re-engaging with pro baseball. ESPN’s Senior MLB Insider Jeff Passan shares his reporting behind the ESPN+ special from E:60, “Alive: The Drew Robinson Story.”
Feb 02, 2021
Matthew Stafford Blockbuster: Will the Rams’ Massive Gamble Pay Off?
The NFL’s biggest trade in years broke Saturday night, with Detroit Lions QB Matt Stafford heading to the LA Rams in exchange for Rams QB Jared Goff, two future first-round picks, and a third-round pick. It’s a move that some say vaults the Rams immediately into Super Bowl contention...but if it fails to pay off, it could hamper the franchise for years to come. Bill Barnwell breaks down whether the Rams’ gamble was worth it...and just how the Lions might go about their rebuilding process under new head coach Dan Campbell. Then, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk and Marc Spears pay tribute to the late NBA reporter Sekou Smith, who passed away last week due to complications from COVID-19.
Feb 01, 2021
Deshaun Watson’s Next Destination + Inside the Mind of Bill Walton
One day after the Houston Texans announced David Culley as their new head coach, reports emerged that QB Deshaun Watson has officially requested a trade from the team. Bill Barnwell outlines the three most intriguing destinations for the QB. Hint: two of them are in the AFC East. Then, we take a trip inside the mind of basketball icon and ESPN personality Bill Walton. He takes us on a journey through his career and beyond, and offers his advice to Pablo on life, the universe and everything.
Jan 29, 2021
Is G League Ignite the NBA’s New Star Factory?
The G League Ignite is the first of its kind: a developmental team, attempting to implement an alternate track to the NBA, outside of the college basketball pipeline. The idea is that players gain skills at the pro level, while earning a salary. Four top prospects are on board, and ESPN’s NBA draft expert Mike Schmitz scouted them ahead of the G League “bubble” next month. He lays out the stakes for the players, the NBA, and the NCAA. Then, more from Pablo on the GameStop financial story that’s all over the internet, and how it’s connected to sports.
Jan 28, 2021
How 9/11 Set Robert Saleh on the Path to Coaching the New York Jets
It’s been just days since Robert Saleh began his tenure in possibly the most challenging job in football...head coach of the New York Jets. But the former 49ers Defensive Coordinator is already drawing praise from players and analysts alike, who think he may just be the guy who can turn around the long struggling franchise. But Saleh’s path to the Jets sideline has been as unusual as it is groundbreaking. Jets reporter Rich Cimini brings us the story of how September 11th, 2001 changed Saleh’s life forever, and set him on a course to become the first Muslim head coach in NFL history. Then, Domonique Foxworth joins us to discuss the lack of diversity in NFL coaching hires.
Jan 27, 2021
Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol: Black Mamba and White Swan
One year ago the world lost Kobe Bryant. Few knew about the bond Kobe shared with Pau Gasol. He remembers his former Laker teammate as a true friend, father and competitor. Gasol has spent time with the Bryant family over the past year, and shared his insights on Kobe’s life and loss with ESPN NBA Insider Ramona Shelburne. Hear what her reporting revealed about the softer side of the Black Mamba.
Jan 26, 2021
Super Bowl is Set: Brady Beams + Mahomes Magic
Kansas City has a date with Tampa for Super Bowl LV. It’ll be the first Super Bowl in NFL history with a home team also hosting the big game. Bill Barnwell breaks down the games that got them there. Tom Brady threw three interceptions, but looked every bit the GOAT in the Bucs’ win over the Packers. And Patrick Mahomes looked as healthy as ever in the Chiefs’ rout over the Bills. Plus, Hank Aaron’s legacy in baseball and beyond with Dr. Damion Thomas of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Jan 25, 2021
NFL Conference Championship Preview: G.O.A.T.S Graze, Young Guns Blaze
The NFC and AFC Conference Championship games kick off this weekend with some of the best matchups...and most compelling storylines in recent memory. Will Aaron Rodgers redeem his abysmal Week 6 performance against Tom Brady and the Bucs? With Patrick Mahomes’ status in limbo, who will be the X Factor between the Chiefs and Bills? Mina Kimes explains why she’s more excited for this weekend than the Super Bowl, and gives her prediction for who will play for the Lombardi Trophy. Then, Bucs superfan and legendary broadcaster Dick Vitale shares his wisdom going into the weekend.
Jan 22, 2021
Deshaun Watson’s Murky Future with the Texans
Deshaun Watson is everything the Houston Texans want in their quarterback. But after a lackluster season, Texans leadership has made this once-happy marriage look tough to fix. Tensions rose as owner Cal McNair excluded Watson from the new GM decision, after saying he’d have input. Now fans are looking for signs as to whether Watson wants out. ESPN Texans reporter Sarah Barshop shares where Houston management went wrong, what Watson’s thinking, and what it’ll take to patch things up. Then, Mina Kimes takes us through the career, legacy, and faces of the now retired Philip Rivers. 
Jan 21, 2021
The Evolution of Joel Embiid + Mets Fire GM
Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid is known as the NBA’s biggest troll. But new Sixers coach Doc Rivers is committed to Embiid as the face of the franchise. And while the star’s stock remains volatile, it’s now trending up. Ramona Shelburne shares insights from her recent reporting and conversations with Embiid. Then, Jeff Passan takes us behind his reporting on New York Mets general manager Jared Porter’s harassment of a female journalist, and what the fallout says about baseball culture.
Jan 20, 2021
Which Conor McGregor Will Show Up at UFC 257?
Saturday’s UFC 257 main event is Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier in a much-hyped fight. It’s McGregor’s first bout since the pandemic lockdown last March, and ESPN’s Ariel Helwani shares insight from his sit-down with the fighter nicknamed “Notorious.” The roller coaster of McGregor’s moods, scandals, wins and losses all factor into what we could see this weekend. Then, why the Flat Earth F.C. says a lot about the shape of misinformation.
Jan 19, 2021
NFL Divisional Playoffs: Air Aaron, Henne-thing Is Possible, and Brees Says Goodbye?
The NFL divisional playoffs went down to the wire, and the conference championship games are set! Tom Brady and the Bucs made the Saints pay for some costly turnovers, as Tampa finished off New Orleans. Led by backup QB Chad Henne, the Kansas City Chiefs held on to beat the Cleveland Browns after Patrick Mahomes went down with a concussion. Aaron Rodgers played like he was immortal, with the Packers proving the mortality of the Rams defense. The football cosmos favored the Buffalo Bills against the Baltimore Ravens. So what’s all this mean for who keeps winning? Bill Barnwell brings his best takes. Then retired MLB player Doug Glanville shares what being a Black father means for his next move in baseball.
Jan 18, 2021
Lake Erie’s Revenge: The Cleveland Browns’ Date With AFC Destiny
When the Cleveland Browns took down their rivals the Steelers last weekend, decades of football angst was released. The Browns got their first playoff win since the 1990s, and now they’ll face reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. Led by quarterback Baker Mayfield, the Browns are desperate to prove that this team and this season is different. ESPN Browns reporter Jake Trotter brings us inside their historic season, and traces Baker’s rise. Then, head to Buffalo with ESPN Bills reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques and a fan very close to ESPN Daily, for a look at Bills mania ahead of their second home playoff game.
Jan 15, 2021
Harden to the Nets: Behind the Massive NBA Trade
James Harden will reunite with Kevin Durant and become a member of the Brooklyn Nets. In a blockbuster three-way deal, the landscape of the entire NBA has shifted. Harden will also join new teammates Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan, bringing new hope to the Nets organization. Ramona Shelburne brings us her reporting on how the deal went down, plus what this means for Brooklyn and the entire NBA.
Jan 14, 2021
NHL Drops the Puck! Hockey’s Old Rivals and New Divisions
The NHL is back tonight! This shortened season boasts new (corporate sponsored) divisions, including an all Canadian division, plus old and unique rivalries rekindled. After completing its 2020 season in two Canadian city bubbles, it feels like anything can happen in hockey for 2021. Can the Leafs finally advance to the playoffs? Will #1 overall pick Alexis Lafrenière spur on the Rangers? Greg Wyshynski brings us up to speed on everything we need to know to follow NHL action. Then, in honor of Nick Saban’s most recent championship win, Pablo shares a rare moment when the iconic coach opened up for the cameras.
Jan 13, 2021
Crimson Tide are 2021 Champions in Extraordinary College Football Season
The Alabama Crimson Tide are your 2021 College Football Champions! Spencer Hall hashes the 52-24 win over Ohio State, and reflects on the teams’ paths to the end. In a season unlike any other, Monday night’s championship game marked a finish line that at times seemed out of sight. Then, Pablo reflects on sports and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Jan 12, 2021
NFL Wild Card Playoffs: Who Won, Who Got Slimed, And Why
The NFL’s Super Wild Card Weekend was filled with heartbreak for some - like Indianapolis and Washington. Others saw particular triumph, like Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson, who earned his first playoff victory, and the Cleveland Browns, who won in their first postseason appearance since 2002. Bill Barnwell shares insights on what we saw from the first slate of postseason games, as we look forward to the divisional round. Then, Andrea Adelson previews tonight’s College Football Championship, Ohio State vs. Alabama, on the scene from Miami.
Jan 11, 2021
Francisco Lindor: New Hope For Mets Fans?
With the 2021 baseball season still months away, the Cleveland Indians dealt two of their stars, Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco, to the New York Mets in a blockbuster deal. Could this be the hope Mets fans are looking for? Buster Olney joins the show to explain how the trade went down. Then Atlanta Dream forward Elizabeth Williams reflects on the Georgia race for US Senate, and Raphael Warnock’s defeat of Dream co-owner Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
Jan 08, 2021
Replay: The National Anthem in Sports
In the wake of insurrection at the US Capitol, we are respinning our September episode focused on sports and the national anthem. We hear it before every major game: “The Star Spangled Banner.” Throughout sports history, the national anthem has unified the U.S. in historic moments. It’s also served as a platform to call for change. And right now, athletes are staking their claim on the anthem more than ever, to make history themselves and protest peacefully. We explore the topic with guests Dr. Damion Thomas, sports curator of the National Museum of African American History and Culture; Jon Batiste, musician and band leader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (who performed the national anthem for the NBA’s 2020 restart); and Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce. 
Jan 07, 2021
The Golden State Warriors’ Path to Regain Glory
Tonight, the Golden State Warriors start a two-game home stand against the Los Angeles Clippers, on the heels of a hot streak from star Steph Curry. After 18 months of bad luck, this Warriors team still finds itself uncertain of when they’ll be real title contenders again. But Curry and company are heating up, and rookie James Wiseman is gaining wisdom. ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz shares just how good this team can be. Then Pablo reflects on Jerry Jones’ positive spin on a dubious record held by the Cowboys this season.
Jan 06, 2021
The Tale of Manti Te’o
It’s one of the most bizarre sports stories ever. In 2012, Manti Te’o had led Notre Dame to an undefeated regular season, was named Defensive Player of the Year, and was the Heisman Trophy runner up...all while supposedly reeling from the death of his girlfriend: Lennay Kekua. A girlfriend who, it turned out...had never existed. Don Van Natta examines the story of Te’o’s catfishing for a new edition of ESPN’s Backstory, “The Tale of Te’o,” and joins the show to share what he learned about how the Te’o hoax unfolded, and why so many of us got fooled.
Jan 05, 2021
Bill Barnwell: The Stakes of NFL Week 17
That’s a wrap on the NFL’s regular (and yet highly irregular) season! The final playoff berths in each conference have been claimed, with the Washington Football Team taking the hotly contested NFC East crown. In the AFC, Cleveland secured its first trip to the playoffs since 2002, and the Miami Dolphins missed the window in a blowout loss to the Bills. Bill Barnwell looks at who had the most to gain or lose in Week 17, and gives his playoff picture. Then, Pablo pays tribute to the late Gerry Marsden, former anthem singer for Liverpool FC.
Jan 04, 2021
Breaking Down Tonight’s College Football Playoff Semifinals
2020 is over. 2021 is here….and things are already looking up because New Year’s Day brings us the College Football Playoff Semifinals. Will Ohio State avenge last year’s playoff loss to Clemson? Can Notre Dame hang with Alabama’s high powered offense? ESPN’s CFP guru Heather Dinich has the answers. She joins the show as Ryan McGee fills in as host for Pablo Torre. Then Andrea Adelson shares why Sarah Fuller's first kick for Vanderbilt meant so much to her.
Jan 01, 2021
The Great Athlete Autograph Experiment
It’s a simple question that athletes have been asked for decades: “Can I have your autograph?” But in the era of selfies and TikToks...athlete autographs aren’t prized like they used to be. And when the pandemic hit, athletes were put even further out of reach from fans, in bubbles and empty arenas. ESPN writer Ryan Hockensmith was an athlete autograph hound as a kid, and decided to embark on a project 14-year-old Bentley Baker and his dad, Andy. Bentley wrote letters to players and coaches across basketball, sent them to the bubble, and eagerly awaited responses. Hear the story of who wrote back. Then, Pablo shares what he’s most looking forward to in the world of sports.
Dec 31, 2020
The High School Runner Who Fought the Legacy of Robert E. Lee
In Tyler, Texas, a high school runner named Trude Lamb decided she could no longer race for her team wearing the name of a losing Confederate general: Robert E. Lee. The admittedly shy young woman spoke out to change her school’s name. Her words gained national attention, along with harmful comments and threats. In a year marked by social justice activism from athletes, hear one teenager’s story of fighting for change, and what it took to win. Then, ESPN's Holly Rowe reflects on a historic year of action on and off the court for the WNBA.
Dec 30, 2020
How Sports Trading Cards Went from Hobby to ‘Asset Class’
In August 2020, a rookie year baseball card for Angels superstar Mike Trout sold for nearly $4 million. The modern-day card broke a record previously set by a much older rare Honus Wagner card of the early 1900s. And the eye-popping price could be surpassed again soon. Trading cards have transformed into investments, fueled by a mysterious rating system and eccentric power brokers. Dan Hajducky tells us strange stories from the world of sports cards. Then Mike Greenberg shares his thoughts on why the return of baseball meant so much in 2020.
Dec 29, 2020
Stefon Diggs Is Buffalo’s Miracle Man
The Buffalo Bills are headed to the playoffs having won their first AFC East title in 25 years. The not-so-secret ingredient to Buffalo’s success in 2020? Receiver Stefon Diggs. After leaving Minnesota on a down note Diggs has found a home In Orchard Park - and clicked especially well with Josh Allen, the Bills young QB. Sam Borden profiled Diggs for ESPN Cover Story, and joins the show to tell us about Diggs’ success in Buffalo, love for Bills Mafia and search for a favorite chicken wings spot. Then, Mina Kimes pays tribute to Patrick Mahomes, and his impact on sports and beyond in 2020.
Dec 28, 2020
When Eagles Fans Booed Santa: The Notorious True Story (Re-Air)
It’s one of the most infamous fan stories in sports history: when Eagles fans booed Santa at halftime of a 1968 game played at Franklin Field. But who was the Santa in question - and why was he booed and pelted with snowballs? Outside the Lines’ Jeremy Schaap joins Mina Kimes to reflect on the enduring legacy of the Philadelphia Santa. (This delightful holiday podcast first ran in December 2019.)
Dec 25, 2020
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif: From Super Bowl Champ to the COVID Frontline
In February, Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after his team won Super Bowl LIV...and then, everything changed. With the world coming to a standstill as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Duvernay-Tardif, the only player in the NFL today with a medical degree, immediately took action and began working at a long-term healthcare facility in his native Quebec. In July, Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020-21 regular season to continue his efforts on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. Canada's TSN feature producer Matt Dorman has covered Duvernay-Tardif’s singular journey up-close, and shares his remarkable story. Then, ESPN Senior Writer Allison Glock reflects on how walking, running and hiking have helped many through the pandemic.
Dec 24, 2020
Why Athletes Want Trademarks for Everything
Tompa Bay. Danny Dimes. The Process. You’ve heard these names and phrases. But do you know think of them as a business? ESPN’s Ryan Hockensmith takes us into the strange world of athletes and the trademarks they seek, as they try to turn viral moments and images into income. Hear why trademark applications are booming, how they work, and the "all-time" trademark story of 2020 (hint: Lou Williams plus chicken wings). Then, Stephen A. Smith ponders Lebron James’s tumultuous and triumphant 2020.
Dec 23, 2020
Zach Lowe On NBA Season Tipoff
The NBA tips off tonight, in time to ensure Christmas basketball in 2020! Headed into the season, LeBron’s Lakers still sit atop the West, and maybe the entire league. Mavericks star Luka Doncic appears to be the early frontrunner for MVP, but does he have what it takes to earn that status? And with Giannis Antetokounmpo signed and Kevin Durant returning from injury, can Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo repeat last year’s surprising playoff run? Zach Lowe brings us the latest on the James Harden situation, and more. Then, Josh Hermsmeyer breaks down the best and worst of movie football coaches.
Dec 22, 2020
So Many Touchdowns: Bill Barnwell On High-Scoring NFL Offense
This Sunday in the NFL solidified the post-season fates of teams like the Seahawks and Bills. The games also showcased high-scoring offenses across the league like the Chiefs, Saints, Ravens, and Cowboys. Bill Barnwell joins the show to assess how and why scoring has increased, and how these high powered offenses will fare in each conference come playoffs. Then, the Muppets take Monday Night Football! Pablo talks with ESPN’s Rico Labbe, who directed and produced the Muppets for a special guest appearance.
Dec 21, 2020
Who’s In? Who’s Out? CFB Playoffs On The Line This Weekend
In one of the strangest college football seasons ever, the most recent college football playoff rankings have stirred up new controversy. And the stakes are now raised: not just for each of the teams in Saturday’s conference title games, but also for the playoff committee itself. SEC Network’s Spencer Hall sorts through what may or may not be influencing these powerbrokers, and looks at how strong each of the title contenders really are. Then Sean Gibson, great-grandson of legendary baseball player Josh Gibson, discusses MLB designating Negro Leagues as major leagues, his great-grandfather’s career, and the impact on baseball.
Dec 18, 2020
The Infinite Race: What Drives the Legendary Tarahumara Runners
The latest 30 for 30 documentary “The Infinite Race” explores the story of the Tarahumara. The indigenous runners in Mexico are famous for running incredible distances on mountain trails, often barefoot or in sandals. Director Bernardo Ruiz takes us behind the making of the film, which grapples with the impact of modern, Western ultrarunners taking interest in the Tarahumara, and the pressures on their villages from drug cartels and violence.
Dec 17, 2020
Why Shaq Barrett’s On A Mission For NFL Defensive Greatness
Bucs pass rusher Shaq Barrett’s road to the NFL was anything but a given. Joining the Broncos after many childhood and college challenges, Barrett struggled to distinguish himself through his first seasons in the NFL. But a special summit for pass rushers set him on a path to greatness. Now he’s a key factor in Tampa Bay’s stout defense. ESPN’s Sam Borden shares what motivates Barrett, and how he’s upped his game with the Bucs. Then, Dave Fleming brings his “Tao of Poo” to Lamar Jackson’s situation vs. the Browns on Monday night.
Dec 16, 2020
Malika Andrews on Kyrie, KD, and the Brooklyn Nets
It’s been nearly a year and half since superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant both signed with the Brooklyn Nets, a move that promised to reset the balance of power in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. But with Durant recovering from a ruptured achilles tendon, it wasn’t until this Sunday that basketball fans finally got to see these two on the same court. Durant and Irving both looked sharp in their preseason debut, but there are still plenty of question marks about how these two stars will co-exist. Add to that first-time head coach Steve Nash, and rumors swirling around James Harden’s interest in joining the Nets, and it's clear––this season in Brooklyn will be anything but boring. Malika Andrews brings us the latest from inside Barclays Center. Then, Cleveland native Jeff Passan joins the show to discuss how his hometown is reacting to their baseball team changing its name.
Dec 15, 2020
Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 14
Sunday’s NFL action had it all: the Bills won their second primetime game in six days, handing the Steelers their second loss of the season. And we saw a number of upsets, like Jalen Hurts and the Eagles beating the Saints, and surprise performances, like Mitch Trubisky and the Bears. Elsewhere, the Dolphins revealed some weaknesses in Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, and the Raiders were blown out by the Colts. Bill Barnwell joins the show to explain what it all means for the playoff picture as the regular season nears a close. Then, more on Florida basketball player Keyontae Johnson, who collapsed during a game on Saturday.
Dec 14, 2020
The Inheritance of Archie Manning
Archie Manning is a beloved football icon, known as the father of NFL QBs Peyton and Eli Manning, and for his own success at Ole Miss and with the Saints. Archie grew up in tiny Drew, Mississippi and was vaulted to college football stardom in 1969 just a few weeks after suffering a dire family tragedy. Wright Thompson spent time with Archie and his wife Olivia during close-to-home pandemic life, and shares his reporting on the formation of a football patriarch. You can read Wright Thompson's story on Archie Manning here (subscription required).
Dec 11, 2020
Is Hope Building For The Washington Football Team?
In an NFL season full of unlikely things, the Washington Football Team notched a real head-scratching outcome when they handed the Pittsburgh Steelers their first loss of the season, 23-17. The victory came as a surprise, since Washington’s record is just 5-7. But it seems that hope is starting to brew for Washington fans, and even the NFC East as a whole. ESPN’s John Keim has covered the NFL in Washington since the 1990s. He breaks down how far the team might go, the amazing return of QB Alex Smith after a near-fatal injury, and how head coach Ron Rivera has run the team while battling cancer. Then, author Tim Wigmore of “The Best: How Elite Athletes Are Made” talks about younger siblings’ athletic advantage.
Dec 10, 2020
Twice The Fight: A Football Family Battles With Cancer
Andy Hoffman and his family found the national spotlight back in 2013 when his 7-year-old son, Jack, who was battling a brain tumor, scored a 69-yard touchdown in a Nebraska Red and White intrasquad football game. Since then, Andy has made it his mission to help his son and children like him to beat this disease, by raising funds for pediatric brain cancer research through his Team Jack foundation. Seven year later, Jack, now 15, is healthy enough to pursue his dreams of playing high school football. But over the summer, his father Andy was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Now, Andy Hoffman is still fighting: to raise awareness for pediatric brain cancer, to savor the time he has left, and to cheer for his son on the football field. As part of ESPN’s V Week, Chris Connelly joins the show to bring us this story, as told by E:60. 
Dec 09, 2020
Where In The World Is James Harden?
On December 1, the Houston Rockets opened up training camp without their star James Harden. After requesting a trade, the face of the Rockets franchise has been spotted partying in Atlanta and Vegas. After an off-season full of upheaval, the Rockets are searching for a new identity: with a new front office, head coach, and supporting cast of characters. Tim MacMahon joins the show to tell us about the current, turbulent state of the franchise, including why Harden wants out, and how this season might play out for Houston. Then, Pablo reflects on the anniversary of John Lennon’s death, which was announced during Monday Night Football. 
Dec 08, 2020
Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 13, Redemption, and the Playoff Picture
As the NFL playoff picture gets in focus, Sunday’s Week 13 games brought redemption for some. Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield threw five touchdown passes in the Browns’ rout over the Titans. The Jets found a bizarre new way to remain winless, losing in the final seconds to Derek Carr and the Raiders. And in a day seemingly full of NFL weirdness, Jalen Hurts took over at QB for the Eagles, and the Seahawks lost to the Giants. Bill Barnwell details the “why” and “how” of Sunday’s action, with implications for this year’s playoffs. Then “Laughter Permitted” podcast host and former USWNT soccer player Julie Foudy explains the recent legal settlement between US Soccer and the women’s team.
Dec 07, 2020
The Curious Case of Frank Gore
Frank Gore might be the most underrated legend in the NFL. He sits number 3 on the all-time rushing list behind only Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton. He’s been to a Super Bowl and made 5 Pro Bowls. But now, in his 16th NFL season, Gore finds himself on a team that might not win a single game. Tim Keown joins the show to examine why Gore has remained so under appreciated despite putting up Hall of Fame level numbers, how he manages to keep pushing forward despite playing on the NFL’s worst team, and whether he can continue playing into 2021 and beyond. Then, Ryan McGee joins the show to talk about tomorrow’s surprising matchup between BYU and Coastal Carolina, and educate us on the ways and customs of Myrtle Beach, SC.
Dec 04, 2020
Tiger Woods: America’s Son
At just 14 years old, Tiger Woods once called himself the “Michael Jordan” of golf. His rise to sports superstardom in the late 1990s sparked “Tigermania” across America, which only grew after his Masters win in 1997. “Tiger Woods: America’s Son” is a special from The Undefeated airing on ESPN and coming to ESPN+ next week. It’s the story of Woods’ ascendence, through the prism of race and history. The documentary’s director, ESPN’s Lauren Stowell, shares how she made the film, and why she wanted to tell this side of Tiger’s story.
Dec 03, 2020
Beyond Soccer: Why Diego Maradona Meant Everything
The world lost one of the biggest names in sports when Diego Maradona died on November 25th, at age 60. Early in his career, Maradona was a young soccer star for a struggling Argentina. As his country reinvented itself, he went on to become an infamous global icon. Known for his creativity and dominant goal scoring, Maradona brought Argentinians a World Cup victory when they needed it most, all while becoming entangled in scandal after scandal. ESPN senior writer Wright Thompson shares his reporting on the soccer legend, and what his death means to his home country of Argentina.
Dec 02, 2020
Rachel Nichols On NBA’s Return To Action Outside The Bubble
It hasn’t even been two months since the LA Lakers were crowned NBA champions, and the league is already gearing up for a new season. Today, as teams open up training camps amidst a surging pandemic, Rachel Nichols joins the show to discuss if basketball can safely happen outside of a bubble, and how free agency has shifted power in the league after the shortest offseason in NBA history. Then, Mina Kimes tells us what it was like to be a lifeline on David Chang’s history-making episode of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”
Dec 01, 2020
Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 12 + COVID Changes
Sunday’s slate of NFL games ranged from the completely normal to increasingly bizarre. Aaron Rodgers aimed to send the Bears back to hibernation, with a dominant Packers victory. The 49ers started to get their groove back, beating the LA Rams on a last-second field goal. COVID chaos was in the mix, too, with the Broncos starting a wide receiver at QB due to a team coronavirus outbreak, and the Ravens-Steelers game moved yet again. Bill Barnwell breaks down everything we saw on Sunday, and what to expect as the league grapples with its biggest bout of COVID chaos yet. Then, Pablo examines a different kind of chaos in Saturday’s boxing bouts.
Nov 30, 2020
A Rare Conversation with Former Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkie (Re-Air)
When the Philadelphia 76ers announced they were hiring Daryl Morey to be their president of basketball operations, it turned heads across the NBA. Not just because of Morey's track record with the Houston Rockets, but because of his close relationship with former 76ers GM Sam Hinkie. Hinkie's tenure with the 76ers was polarizing. With some accusing him of tanking and turning the team into a laughingstock, and others admiring his long-term vision for the team's success...a vision that has come to be embodied by the now ubiquitous phrase "Trust the Process." Hinkie, who was ousted from the franchise in 2016, now works not in basketball but in business, and has founded a venture capital firm called Eighty-Seven Capital. In a re-spin of an ESPN Daily bonus episode, Hinkie joins Pablo Torre for a rare, wide-ranging interview that covers his time with the Sixers, his exit from basketball, and his perspective on life away from the game.
Nov 27, 2020
Rocky Bleier: From The Steelers To Vietnam And Back (Re-Air)
For generations, countless men and women from around the sports world have served in our nation’s military. But none have a story quite like Rocky Bleier. Bleier won a college football national championship with Notre Dame, but during his rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Three months into his deployment to Vietnam, Bleier was shot through the thigh and suffered a grenade blast to his foot. Doctors told him he’d never play football again. But Bleier would go on to rejoin the Steelers and win four Super Bowls with the team in the 1970s. In 2018, Bleier and ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi traveled to Vietnam, to the Hiep Duc Valley, where Bleier served, and where many of his fellow soldiers were killed in an ambush. We re-spin this show as the Steelers continue their undefeated 2020 season.
Nov 26, 2020
Jeremy Lin on His NBA Hopes, “Linsanity,” and a Season in China
Jeremy Lin rocketed to basketball stardom with the Knicks, and “Linsanity” ensued. But in 2019 when his Toronto Raptors won it all, free agent Lin couldn’t land a contract in the league. He spent the last season in China with the Beijing Ducks, where he says he gained fresh perspective on the game, from technical skill to his mentality. Lin now hopes to return to the NBA, and he’s entered free agency for the 2020-21 season. He joins the show to reflect on the ups and downs of his career, and why he feels more ready than ever for the NBA.
Nov 25, 2020
College Basketball’s Uncertain Return to the Court
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last March, it forced sports everywhere to shut down. And while the NBA, NHL and MLB were all eventually able to return to action, college basketball was forced to cancel the rest of their season...including their marquee event, the NCAA Tournament. Now, more than eight months later, college hoops makes its cautious return with a tipoff on Wednesday. Myron Medcalf tells us the teams and players to look out for on the court, and also whether the sport itself will be able to complete its season...and what March Madness might look like in a pandemic. Then, Heather Dinich sets the scene for tomorrow’s college football playoff rankings, amidst another round of postponements and positive COVID tests.
Nov 24, 2020
NFL Insider Dan Graziano Breaks Down Week 11
Week 11 in the NFL brought plenty of drama. Two overtime finishes, a last-second touchdown on the Vegas strip, a devastating injury to Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow, and the benching of Miami Dolphins signal caller, Tua Tagovailoa. Oh and Taysom Hill made his long-awaited debut as a starting quarterback in New Orleans. ESPN NFL Insider Dan Graziano joins the show to break down Sunday’s action. Plus, more on the legacy of the Ice Bucket Challenge, and saying good-bye to its second co-founder, who just died from ALS.
Nov 23, 2020
Can the Pittsburgh Steelers Go Undefeated?
The Pittsburgh Steelers (9-0) are the NFL's last remaining unbeaten team, thanks to a stingy defense and an offense loaded with talented skill players. After narrow victories over Tennessee, Dallas, and Baltimore created quite a bit of skepticism, the question still remains: can the Pittsburgh Steelers go undefeated? Former Steelers defensive back Ryan Clark joins the show to discuss the evolution of Ben Roethlisberger, the rise of Chase Claypool, why Mike Tomlin is under-appreciated, and whether a team that is carried by its defense can prevail over the high-powered offenses in today’s NFL. Then, on the news of the Warriors' Klay Thompson's injury, Andre Iguodala weighs in on his friend’s road to recovery.
Nov 20, 2020
Seahawks' DK Metcalf: Chasing Down Glory
No athlete in the NFL is quite like Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf. He’s a terrifying combination of size, and strength, and speed. But how did Metcalf become this incredible threat for Seattle? ESPN senior writer Dave Fleming tells us what drives 22-year-old Metcalf, and how the Seahawks are turning him into even more: Fleming profiled Metcalf for ESPN Cover Story, out today on Then, Tim Keown talks to us from inside the Ball family compound, on the night LaMelo Ball is drafted into the NBA.
Nov 19, 2020
Breaking Down Tonight’s NBA Draft: The Players, The Picks, and Virtual Fashion
Tonight, in a studio in Bristol, Connecticut, the 2020 NBA Draft will (finally) unfold. After a five month postponement, tonight’s draft will no doubt look different from drafts past: no cheering fans or players shaking the commissioner’s hand on stage. But with top prospects Lamelo Ball, James Wiseman, and Anthony Edwards all still in play for the number one pick, and players still donning their finest suits over Zoom, there will be no shortage of entertainment. ESPN’s Mike Schmitz, who scouts draft prospects around the globe, tells us what to expect from the top three picks -- Minnesota, Golden State, and Charlotte -- and shares which prospects will have an immediate impact on the league. Then, Pablo shares the story of a racing pigeon who was sold at auction for a record *beaking* $1.9 million.
Nov 18, 2020
Woj On NBA Trades And His Giannis Podcast Special
The NBA’s trade moratorium ended Monday, with rumored trades of huge stars like James Harden and Russell Westbrook, and the shuffling of Chris Paul to the Suns. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski brings us the latest as he doggedly works his sources and gets trade tips. Plus, as the draft approaches, Woj dishes about his new series on reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the 2013 draft that brought him to the NBA. Hear how Giannis got into basketball as a child in Greece, and what he’s done in two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Nov 17, 2020
Murray Magic and the Return of Jameis: Domonique Foxworth on NFL Week 10
The NFL’s play of the season is being called the “Hail Murray.” Kyler Murray’s 43-yard prayer was answered by DeAndre Hopkins among and above three Bills defenders to give the Cardinals a 32-30 win. It was perhaps the craziest moment in an already wild day in the NFL...a day that saw the return of Jameis Winston after Saints starter Drew Brees left the game with a rib injury, as well as a Ravens-Patriots game that was almost invisible at times, thanks to some wacky New England weather. ESPN analyst and former NFL cornerback Domonique Foxworth takes us through Sunday’s biggest moments, and examines the NFL’s new proposal for diversity in coaching and management. Then, Pablo discusses the path of new Marlins GM Kim Ng, MLB’s first female GM.
Nov 16, 2020
Is This Kyler Murray’s Moment?
He’s maybe 5’ 10”....he’s just 23 years old...but in only his second season, Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray has been playing at MVP level. The first overall pick from the 2019 draft is starting to deliver success to a Cardinals team that hasn’t been competitive since Carson Palmer was under center. Coached by Kliff Kingsbury, who mentored QBs like Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield in college, much of the Cardinals’ magic relies on the relationship between Kingsbury and Murray. Ahead of their matchup with the 7-2 Buffalo Bills, we examine what’s made Murray so effective this season, his unique abilities (including his baseball background), and if 2020 has the makings of a Murray MVP season, with ESPN Cardinals reporter Josh Weinfuss. Then, Bob Ryan shares a special tribute to late Boston sports legend Tom Heinsohn. 
Nov 13, 2020
Jeff Passan on MLB Offseason Scandals
This week, news of recently re-hired White Sox manager Tony La Russa’s second drunk driving arrest sent shockwaves through the baseball world. La Russa is among a group of MLB decision makers which includes newly rehired Red Sox manager Alex Cora, and former Astros GM AJ Hinch, who seem to be getting second chances, in spite of their past questionable actions. As we make our way through this MLB offseason, Jeff Passan joins the show to bring us the latest on the La Russa story, and also break down new Mets owner Steven Cohen’s introductory press conference. Then, Katie Barnes explains women’s college basketball prospect Azzi Fudd, and her decision to commit to UConn.
Nov 12, 2020
Rocky Bleier: From The Steelers To Vietnam And Back
For generations, countless men and women from around the sports world have served in our nation’s military. But none have a story quite like Rocky Bleier. Bleier won a college football national championship with Notre Dame, but during his rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Three months into his deployment to Vietnam, Bleier was shot through the thigh and suffered a grenade blast to his foot. Doctors told him he’d never play football again. But Bleier would go on to rejoin the Steelers and win four Super Bowls with the team in the 1970s. In 2018, Bleier and ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi traveled to Vietnam, to the Hiep Duc Valley, where Bleier served, and where many of his fellow soldiers were killed in an ambush. Today, in honor of Veterans Day, Tom Rinaldi joins the show to recount Bleier’s incredible football comeback in the wake of a devastating combat injury, and how his return to Vietnam helped him reconcile with the past.
Nov 11, 2020
Scott Van Pelt on a Masters Unlike Any Other
The 2020 Masters Tournament tees off Thursday from Augusta, and it’s going to look, sound and feel very different from its traditional April home. Gone are the pastel azaleas and the roar of the patrons; in are fall foliage and sounds of silence from Amen Corner. But it’s still The Masters, and someone will be getting a green jacket. Will Tiger Woods repeat his 2019 victory? Or will current favorite Bryson DeChambeau win his second straight major? We check in with Scott Van Pelt as he prepares to make the journey to Augusta, and ask him what he’s watching for in this year’s tournament. Then, ESPN’s Bonnie Ford brings us her reporting on the Vendée Globe, one of sailing’s most grueling races, and is considered the ultimate socially distanced sporting event.
Nov 10, 2020
Bill Barnwell: NFL Week 9 + Midseason Awards
The NFL’s regular season is more than half done, and Bill Barnwell gives us a clearer picture of who’s leading, who’s trailing behind, and why. The Saints decimated Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. The Steelers clung to victory against the Cowboys to remain undefeated. And the Bills upset MVP-frontrunner Russell Wilson and his Seahawks. Hear more on Bill’s midseason awards, and what could make Monday’s Patriots-Jets game interesting. Then, Pablo explores the relationship between sports and White House, and how it might change.
Nov 09, 2020
Death At The U: Who Killed Bryan Pata?
Bryan Pata was a standout defensive lineman for the University of Miami Hurricanes, and the 22-year-old was projected to be a 2nd or 3rd round pick in the NFL Draft. But on November 7th, 2006, after returning home from football practice, Pata was shot and killed in the parking lot of his apartment complex. 14 years later, Pata’s murder remains unsolved. Over the years, police have pursued multiple leads in Pata’s case, but they have never made an arrest, or even publicly named a person of interest. But now, during a recent court hearing, police say they believe they know who was responsible for Pata’s death, and that an arrest will come in the foreseeable future. ESPN’s Paula Lavigne, who reported extensively on the case, brings us up to date on the investigation.
Nov 06, 2020
Clemson’s Rising Star QB: DJ Uiagalelei
With QB Trevor Lawrence sidelined with COVID-19, Clemson’s freshman backup QB DJ Uiagalelei steps into the spotlight this Saturday vs. Notre Dame. Uiagalelei has been touted for his arm strength and decision making, and received his first Power Five offer in the sixth grade. David Hale brings us everything you need to know about Clemson’s rising star, from his early beginnings to what he’s contributed to Clemson so far. Then, “Ted Lasso” star Jason Sudeikis joins the show to tell us about being a bright spot in the pop culture/sports world in 2020.
Nov 05, 2020
Replay: The National Anthem in Sports
We hear it before every major game: “The Star Spangled Banner.” Throughout sports history, the national anthem has unified the U.S. in historic moments. It’s also served as a platform to call for change. And right now, athletes are staking their claim on the anthem more than ever, to make history themselves. In a respin of our September episode, we explore the topic with guests Dr. Damion Thomas, sports curator of the National Museum of African American History and Culture; Jon Batiste, musician and band leader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (who performed the national anthem for the NBA’s 2020 restart); and Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce.
Nov 04, 2020
Doc Rivers on the Rise of Athletes’ Focus on Voting
Election Day 2020 has arrived. It’s an unprecedented one in many ways, including that dozens of stadiums and arenas are serving as polling places. That’s a direct result of athlete attention on voting, which took off this summer across sports leagues, but particularly in the NBA. Veteran NBA player and coach Doc Rivers takes us behind the scenes, to tell the story of how - against a backdrop of social and political unrest, as players gathered in the “bubble” due to the pandemic - voting took center stage. Plus we hear from voters outside Staples Center in Los Angeles. You can find information on where and how to vote HERE.
Nov 03, 2020
Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 8
Halfway through the NFL’s regular season, its power players look the same…but somehow different. The once mighty Patriots have now lost four in a row, and the Bills lead the AFC East, with Tua Tagovailoa’s Miami Dolphins gaining traction. The Steelers remain undefeated and sit atop their division, so how good are they? Then in the NFC East, the Eagles lead the pack with a stunning 3-5-1 record. Bill Barnwell brings us up to speed on all of Sunday’s NFL action. Plus US Soccer alum, Angel City FC co-owner, and “Laughter Permitted” podcast host Julie Foudy talks about the rise in viewers for women’s sports.
Nov 02, 2020
Bonus Episode: A Rare Conversation with Former Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkie
When the Philadelphia 76ers announced this week they were hiring Daryl Morey to be their president of basketball operations, it turned heads across the NBA. Not just because of Morey's track record with the Houston Rockets, but because of his close relationship with former 76ers GM Sam Hinkie. Hinkie's tenure with the 76ers was polarizing. With some accusing him of tanking and turning the team into a laughingstock, and others admiring his long-term vision for the team's success...a vision that has come to be embodied by the now ubiquitous phrase "Trust the Process." Hinkie, who was ousted from the franchise in 2016, now works not in basketball but in business, and has founded a venture capital firm called Eighty-Seven Capital. He joins Pablo Torre for an extremely rare, wide-ranging interview that covers his time with the Sixers, his exit from basketball, and his new life away from the game.
Oct 30, 2020
Trevor Lawrence, COVID-19, and College Football
On Thursday, Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence announced he had tested positive for COVID-19, shocking the college football world. David Hale explains what the diagnosis means for Lawrence and the rest of the sport. Then, after the Big Ten decided to reverse its initial decision to not play this fall, their season is underway...and the conference is now dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Wisconsin Badgers, leading them to cancel their game this weekend with Nebraska. In another Big Ten showdown, Ohio State plays Penn State this Saturday, featuring possible Heisman challenger QB Justin Fields. Kirk Herbstreit joins the show to preview that matchup, and to assess the college football landscape so far. Plus, a preview of our first-ever bonus episode. Former 76ers basketball executive Sam Hinkie gives a rare interview as his friend and colleague Daryl Morey takes his old job.
Oct 30, 2020
Is Antonio Brown Worth the Risk for Brady and the Bucs?
Antonio Brown is back in the NFL after agreeing to a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday. On the field, Brown is one of the most prolific wide receivers in NFL history, with over 11,000 receiving yards and 80 touchdowns in a career that began as a humble 6th round pick. But off the field, Brown has had ongoing issues: from social media outbursts to troubling sexual assault allegations and an arrest. After serving an eight-game suspension for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy, Brown will reunite with Buccaneers QB Tom Brady, who was Brown’s teammate for one game in New England last season, before Brown was released by the Patriots. Mina Kimes, who profiled Brown back in 2015 for ESPN the Magazine, joins the show to discuss his tumultuous journey to this point, and to assess whether the hall-of-fame caliber wide receiver is worth the risk for an already surging Buccaneer offense. Then, Pablo weighs in on the surprising news that the Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly about to hire former Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey.
Oct 29, 2020
L.A. Dodgers Are World Series Champions
The Los Angeles Dodgers are your 2020 World Series Champions. After a thrilling come-from-behind victory in Game 6, including a solo Mookie Betts home run, LA finally earned its first championship ring since 1988. But the victory was as strange as the season which preceded it, with Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner receiving COVID test results and getting pulled from the game. Jeff Passan joins the show from the scene in Arlington to break down what happened in Game 6. Why did the Rays pull pitcher Blake Snell? And what does the completion of this season mean for MLB going forward? Then: a tribute to Edmonton Oilers great Joey Moss.
Oct 28, 2020
Tua Time Has Finally Arrived in Miami
After drafting rookie Tua Tagovailoa fifth overall this April, the Miami Dolphins immediately envisioned him as their franchise quarterback of the future. But with Tua coming off a hip injury that ended his college career, the Dolphins decided to start the season with veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who led the team to a surprising 3-3 record heading into their bye week. Now, despite Fitzpatrick’s success, Miami is starting Tua against the LA Rams on Sunday. What’s behind the roster change, and how is the locker room reacting? ESPN Miami reporter Cameron Wolfe explains what’s at stake for the Dolphins at QB, and how the team and fans alike are responding to the prospect of Tua Time in Miami. Then, how Mike Tyson’s podcast might surprise you.
Oct 27, 2020
Bill Barnwell: NFL Week 7 and Trades
Sunday’s slate of NFL games brought a few wild endings and surprising upsets. The Cardinals beat the Seahawks in the final minute of overtime. The Browns defeated the Bengals thanks to a last second Baker Mayfield touchdown pass. Todd Gurley accidentally scored a touchdown for the Falcons, setting up Matthew Stafford to deliver a Lions touchdown on the final play of the game - giving the Falcons another new way to lose. Bill Barnwell breaks down this Sunday’s NFL action, and what’s at stake ahead of the NFL trade deadline, just 8 days away. Plus, Khabib Nurmagomedov claimed his 29th straight victory on Saturday. Hear why he’s retiring.
Oct 26, 2020
Jon Gruden’s Raiders and Tom Brady’s Bucs: A Special Relationship
The Las Vegas Raiders take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, pitting Raiders head coach Jon Gruden against both his former team and former “Tuck Rule” game foe, Tom Brady. Gruden’s personality and coaching style has long been a part of NFL lore, throughout his first stint with the Oakland Raiders, time in Tampa, and now a return to the newly moved Vegas team. ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez gets at what makes Gruden tick, brings us up to speed on the 2020 Raiders, and weighs the impact of a rash of positive COVID tests. Plus, how the Raiders are settling into their Nevada home (and how Gutierrez is settling into his Vegas digs).
Oct 23, 2020
UFC 254: Can Khabib Nurmagomedov Stay Undefeated?
UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov is 28-0 inside the octagon. He is the UFC Lightweight Champion and viewed by many as the best pound-for-pound fighter in mixed martial arts. But on Saturday at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi, Nurmagomedov will face his greatest challenge yet: defending his title against his highly-skilled opponent, Justin Gaethje, and doing so just a few months removed from the death of his father and trainer, who passed away from COVID-19 in July. ESPN's Brett Okamoto previews Saturday's highly anticipated showdown, and tells us how Nurmagomedov is guided by his "father's plan." Then, Sam Borden shares the story of former Packers backup QB Graham Harrell playing flip cup with Aaron Rodgers at a fraternity party.
Oct 22, 2020
The Most Epic Mascot Fight in College Football History
As the Big Ten kicks off this weekend, we remember the time Ohio State’s Brutus Buckeye and Ohio University’s Rufus the Bobcat got into a mascot brawl for the ages. It was 2010, and regardless of who won, the fight went viral. Did Rufus attack Brutus unfairly and without warning? Or was it simply a loveable underdog taking a jab at a college football powerhouse? Dave Fleming brings us the epic tale of that fateful September day, and the years of rivalry behind it. Plus: rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa was named starter for the Miami Dolphins, making veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick a backup yet again.
Oct 21, 2020
Jeff Passan on a World Series Unlike Any Other
Tonight, Game One of the 2020 World Series gets underway between the Dodgers and Rays. It’s a series that promises to be as strange and intriguing as the season it concludes. Will Clayton Kershaw exorcise his playoff demons and lead the Dodgers to their first title in three decades? Or will the aggressively unconventional Tampa Bay Rays upset LA to claim their first-ever championship? And with a neutral site location and limited fans in the seats, will it feel like a real World Series? Jeff Passan explains how LA and Tampa made it this far, and what the fall classic in a pandemic will look like. Then, an ode to hockey’s preeminent broadcasting scholar, Mike “Doc” Emrick, who announced his retirement on Monday.  
Oct 20, 2020
Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 6
The NFL’s sixth Sunday saw Aaron Rodgers suffer at the hands of the Buccaneers’ relentless defense, while Ryan Tannehill and the Titans clung to victory over the Texans in overtime. The Titans and Steelers both remain undefeated at 5-0, but the hapless Jets fell to 0-6 amidst drama between head coach Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Bill Barnwell brings us his insights on this weekend’s football action, and if this season has met expectations surrounding the pandemic. Then, the weirdest college football commitment video we’ve ever seen (if that is even what it was?).
Oct 19, 2020
How Saban’s Absence Will Affect Georgia vs. Alabama
On Saturday, #3 Georgia visits #2 Alabama in what could be the biggest game of the college football season. Despite not playing each other every year, the Bulldogs-Crimson Tide rivalry has a rich history in recent seasons, with numerous high profile matchups that have all ended in heartbreak for Georgia. But this year might be different. Especially because Alabama will be without head coach Nick Saban, who will miss the game after testing positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. ESPN’s Bill Connelly explains how Saban’s absence will affect the Crimson Tide, and what the Bulldogs need to do to finally come out on top. Then, Max Kellerman joins Pablo to preview this Saturday’s big fight between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez.
Oct 16, 2020
Tyrann Mathieu: How the “Honey Badger” Became an NFL Leader
Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu earned the nickname “Honey Badger,” for his fearlessness, speed and dynamic play on the football field. But one trait he doesn’t share with nature’s biggest badass is not caring. Mathieu’s dedication to his teammates and community have made him a leader, on and off the field, in spite of battling and injuries and skepticism about his character. Domonique Foxworth wrote a Cover Story on Mathieu for, and joins the show to break down what makes him a model modern NFL defenseman. Then, how the saga of the LSU-Florida cancellation plays into the bigger story of sports safety and the SEC.
Oct 15, 2020
Closing Out the NBA Bubble With Malika Andrews 
The NBA bubble has finally come to a close, with the LA Lakers crowned champion, and no positive COVID tests throughout. The impressive feat has set a high bar for sports in the pandemic. ESPN’s Malika Andrews was the longest tenured reporter inside the NBA bubble, and she returns to the show to chronicle her exit from Orlando, and reflect on what it all meant. She’s joined by ESPN producer Malinda Adams, who was also on site from Day One. And, we get some insights on what’s next for the 2021 NBA season.
Oct 14, 2020
Buffalo Bills: Super Bowl Contenders?
As if 2020 couldn’t get any weirder....the undefeated Buffalo Bills sit atop the AFC standings. The Bills take on the Tennessee Titans tonight in a rare Tuesday evening game, the result of multiple recent positive COVID tests on the Titans. With a win on Tuesday, the Bills would join Seattle as the only 5-0 teams in the NFL, a feat that surprisingly has not been due to their highly touted defense, but rather from their the play of their offense, and its leader, QB Josh Allen. After several years of inconsistency, Allen’s play has improved dramatically this season, and he now ranks 3rd in the NFL in quarterback rating. ESPN Bills reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques makes the case for why these Bills could have what it takes to make a potential Super Bowl run. Then, Mike Schur, mind behind “The Office” “Parks and Recreation” and “The Good Place” remembers Reds legend Joe Morgan.
Oct 13, 2020
Lakers Are NBA Champions + Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 5 
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are NBA champions, after a six game final series against Miami. Many dedicated the win to deceased Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. Hard to believe, but the longest season in NBA history began almost one year ago. The league has struggled with a pandemic hiatus, creating a bubble, and navigating a social movement against racial injustice that swept all of sports. And the Lakers, after all of it, came out on top, in a 106-93 win. Dave McMenamin shares all the things this victory means. Then Bill Barnwell brings us the latest on this week in the NFL: the impact of Dak Prescott’s injury, how the Raiders were able to contain Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, and to what degree NFL schedule changes affect which teams. 
Oct 12, 2020
Is This D’Eriq King’s Heisman Moment?
When the #7 Miami Hurricanes take on #1 Clemson on Saturday night, it will be a matchup of two of this year’s top contenders for the Heisman Trophy. One is a household name to college football fans: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, whose golden boy image and physical gifts have made his success seem preordained. The other, is shorter, less heralded...and has been underestimated his entire career: Miami QB D’Eriq King. King’s road to this marquee matchup has been anything but normal. After beginning his career at the University of Houston, King was asked to redshirt as a senior when the team got off to a rocky start. Instead of returning to the Cougars, King transferred to Miami for his senior year. Off the field, he’s faced personal tragedy: his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and his father died this February of a heart attack. Sam Khan Jr. has covered King since his high school football days, and joins the show to share King’s unique story. Then: an ode to Dion Waiters, the most unlikely possible NBA champion, ahead of Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Oct 09, 2020
From the Air Raid to Bigfoot: Is the SEC Ready for Mike Leach?
Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach is unlike anyone else in college football. After nearly two decades at Texas Tech and Washington State, he’s now taken his talents to the SEC, where his team has upset reigning NCAA champions LSU and lost to lowly Arkansas through the first two weeks of the season. Ryan McGee brings us some of his all-time Mike Leach stories, and discusses how his unique personality might be received in the toughest conference in college football. Then: Scottie Pippen helps you fall asleep.
Oct 08, 2020
MLB's Divisional Storylines + Rising Latino Stars
MLB’s divisional series saw tons of action on Tuesday. In the ALDS, the New York Yankees fell to the Tampa Bay Rays, bringing that series to 1-1. Earlier, the Houston Astros went up 2-0 over the Oakland A’s, thanks to George Springer’s homers. ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan brings us his playoff insights from Arlington, Texas, where he’s covering the NLDS: Ronald Acuna Jr. and the Atlanta Braves defeated the Miami Marlins 9-5, then the LA Dodgers won the first game of their series with the San Diego Padres. Later, Mauricio Pedroza joins the show to explore the rising prominence of Latino players in MLB. 
Oct 07, 2020
Inside the Bubble with Malika Andrews for NBA Finals Game 4
After Jimmy Butler’s dominant performance in Game 3 of the NBA Finals and the trash talk that came with it, Tuesday’s Game 4 promises to turn up the heat (pun intended) on the Lakers. Miami has ruined LA’s chances of a sweep, and now hopes to ride the wave of momentum to even the series. The Heat are also looking to get their injured stars Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic back from injury. Malika Andrews joins the show from inside the bubble, where she’s been for nearly 100 days, to tell us what she expects to see in Game 4, and what she’s learned from covering the strangest postseason in NBA history.
Oct 06, 2020
Bill Barnwell on NFC East + Impact of COVID-19
A crisis over coronavirus spread across the NFL in recent days. Following a rash of positive tests on the Tennessee Titans, Patriots QB Cam Newton also tested positive, as did the Chiefs practice QB Jordan Ta'amu. The Titans-Steelers game, scheduled for Sunday, has been postponed to later in the season, and the Patriots-Chiefs game, also scheduled for Sunday, is now tonight, in a Monday doubleheader. Bill Barnwell breaks down the impact of COVID-19 on NFL teams’ schedules and rosters, and assesses the NFC East, currently the worst division through four Sundays of action. Then, a remembrance of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson.
Oct 05, 2020
WNBA Finals + Satou Sabally on Her Rookie Season
The WNBA finals tip off tonight in the Bradenton, Florida bubble. The Seattle Storm, led by Sue Bird in her bid for a fourth championship, take on 2020 MVP A’ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces. ESPN’s LaChina Robinson previews the contenders and the path that got them here. Then Dallas Wings All-Rookie Satou Sabally shares stories from inside the WNBA bubble. We talked to her throughout the summer, to get a portrait of a rookie season unlike any other. Plus, Josh McCown on what it’s like to be with the Eagles as the NFL’s only “Quarantine Quarterback.”
Oct 02, 2020
The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius
Runner Oscar Pistorius became the first double leg amputee to compete in the Olympic Games, when he took the track in London in 2012, inspiring athletes around the world. Then in 2013, Pistorius’ girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead at his home, and he was convicted of her killing, in one of South Africa’s most infamous trials. Dan Williams was a correspondent for ESPN in South Africa from 2007 to 2013, where he covered Pistorius' athletic career and court proceedings. Williams is featured in the four-part documentary “The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius,” available on ESPN+ now.
Oct 01, 2020
LeBron James and the Miami Heat: From Champions to Breakup to NBA Finals Opponents
The NBA Finals tip off tonight between the Miami Heat and LA Lakers. And while the series is loaded with intriguing storylines, perhaps none is bigger than the drama surrounding LeBron James facing off against his former team. LeBron won two rings in Miami, and with the help of superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, seemed destined for years more of dominance. But in 2014, LeBron decided to take his talents back to Cleveland, stunning many within the Heat organization: Heat team president Pat Riley was furious that a team he thought would be a decade-long dynasty went up in smoke. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst takes us inside the complicated relationship between LeBron and Riley...and what it means for one of the most unexpected NBA Championship matchups we’ve seen in years.
Sep 30, 2020
MLB Playoffs Preview
Ready or not, it’s time for playoff baseball! After one of the strangest (and shortest) MLB regular seasons in history, the postseason begins today...and it’s shaping up to be equally bizarre. 16 teams have advanced to the Wild Card round, which consists of a best-of-three game series played at the higher seeded team’s home ballpark. The format is primed for unpredictability, in a season that has been defined by it. Will the Dodgers and Yankees fulfill the predictions of so many, and cruise to a World Series battle of the titans? Or will some of the more unexpected participants, like the Miami Marlins and the Toronto (aka Buffalo) Blue Jays shock everyone? Jeff Passan joins the show to explore how we ended up with these wild playoffs, and what he expects to see going forward. Then, “Remember the Titans” at 20: how Trevor Rabin’s iconic score embedded itself in sports history.
Sep 29, 2020
Bill Barnwell on NFL Undefeated Teams + Monday Preview
Through three NFL Sundays only a handful of teams remain undefeated. Russell Wilson led the 3-0 Seahawks to a thrilling win over Dak and the Cowboys. The 3-0 Bills blew a 28-3 lead, but Josh Allen’s 4th quarter heroics secured the victory for Buffalo. Meanwhile, the 3-0 Bears scored three touchdowns in the 4th, coming from behind to beat the Falcons. Bill Barnwell compares the league’s leaders, and previews tonight’s Chiefs-Ravens game. Plus, a few words show the power of LeBron James.
Sep 28, 2020
SEC Football Kicks Off 
After months of debate and uncertainty, the SEC kicks off this weekend, three weeks later than originally planned. It promises to be a strange season in so many ways...there are no non-conference games, limited fans will be allowed in stadiums, and tailgating will be forbidden on campus. Meanwhile, coaches like LSU’s Ed Orgeron and Alabama’s Nick Saban focus on preparing their players for the new normal. And new coaches like Mississippi State’s Mike Leach and Ole Miss’s Lane Kiffen promise to bring even more intrigue to the conference. Spencer Hall from the SEC Network’s “Thinking Out Loud” brings us all the updates you need to know about the SEC, and everything else happening around college football.
Sep 25, 2020
A Football Family Carries On After Coronavirus Takes Coach
In football-obsessed Oxford, Mississippi, Nacoma James was a beloved high school football coach and math teacher at Lafayette High School. In August, James died due to complications of coronavirus. In September, the school decided to play football this season. James’ widow Laticia supports the team, even as she struggles to find her way back to socializing in a town centered on the sport. ESPN’s Elizabeth Merrill shares the story of James’ life and untimely death at age 42, and weighs the community’s pain at his loss, alongside the risk of the pandemic and its deep love of football.
Sep 24, 2020
The Stanley Cup Final and NHL Bubble Confidential
The Stanley Cup playoffs have been a major success in the age of the pandemic, as the league’s bubble sites in Toronto and Edmonton returned little to no positive tests since their launch in early August. With Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars set to take place on Wednesday, ESPN’s Emily Kaplan joins the show as one of the few American sports reporters currently in Edmonton, to talk about the action on the ice and give us a glimpse at life inside the NHL bubble. Among her revelations: why fly fishing is a running joke amongst players, why avoiding eye contact is critical, and something called “the prison yard.” Plus, why Michael Jordan believes the timing is “perfect” for him to become a NASCAR owner.
Sep 23, 2020
Inside Jimmy Butler’s Psyche
The Miami Heat lead the Boston Celtics 2-1 in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals, thanks largely to a dominant postseason performance from Jimmy Butler. Through his ten seasons in the league, Butler’s ferocious competitiveness and polarizing personality have contributed to departures from his previous three teams. But now, in the Miami Heat, Butler seems to have found a home and team that is as passionate about the game as he is. With the Heat two wins away from a trip to the finals, and Butler as their unquestioned leader on the court, the 31-year old may finally rise to the next level of NBA stardom. Nick Friedell has covered Butler since he first came into the league, and takes us inside Butler’s psyche. Then, an ode to golfer Danny Lee’s 6-putt Saturday.
Sep 22, 2020
NFL: Injury Updates and 0-2 Lessons with Bill Barnwell
The NFL was hampered by injuries to stars around the league on Sunday. Among them? Saquon Barkley going down for the Giants, Carolina RB Christian McCaffrey, and many, many 49ers, including Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Bosa, and Raheem Mostert. Considering the impact of those injuries, many teams have now dropped to 0-2. Bill Barnwell discusses the severity of injuries around the league, and explains what’s at stake for football’s winless teams. Plus, a tribute to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: athletic inspiration.
Sep 21, 2020
Are the Denver Nuggets the Team To Beat?
The Denver Nuggets are the Cinderella story of this year’s NBA playoffs. After overcoming back-to-back 3-1 deficits in their series vs. the Jazz and the Clippers, and squashing any hopes for a potential “Battle of LA,” the Nuggets tip off tonight against LeBron James and the Lakers. Zach Lowe explores how Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets got here - and whether they have what it takes to get past the Lake Show. Then, how “Quarterback Whisperer” Bruce Arians is finding new ways to loudly motivate Tom Brady.
Sep 18, 2020
Fifty Years On, USC-Bama Game Holds New Meaning for Players
In September 1970 the USC Trojans, a racially integrated team, traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to take on the Crimson Tide, where only white players were allowed on the roster. And the game - a blowout by USC - put college football in the South on solid ground toward desegregation. Sam Borden spoke to several players who suited up that day for USC and Alabama, and shares their account of the legendary game with Pablo Torre. In this current moment of national dialogue on racial justice and police violence, and with college athletes speaking out more than ever before, these alums also consider how much progress has been made in the past 50 years, or not. Plus, how politics plays into the Big Ten college conference decision to hold a season, after all.
Sep 17, 2020
The Legend of MLB Umpire Joe West
Joe West is the MLB’s longest tenured umpire, and certainly the most recognizable. Over the course of his 40-year-plus career, he’s been at the center of numerous controversies, and his confrontational style has made him a figure that both players and fans love to hate...even if they grudgingly respect him. Tim Kurkjian recently profiled West, who is on track to break the all-time record for games as an umpire early next year, and joins Pablo Torre to tell the story of one of baseball’s all time characters.
Sep 16, 2020
Dan Le Batard on Heat-Celtics Rivalry
Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals tips off tonight between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. The Heat have been one of the biggest surprises in this year’s NBA playoffs, after first sweeping the Indiana Pacers, and then knocking off the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in the second round. Now, in taking on the Celtics, the Heat renew a bitter rivalry from earlier this decade, when the two teams faced off in three consecutive playoffs. Dan Le Batard joins Pablo Torre to explore the buildup behind this series, as well as how Miami is embracing this new underdog version of the Heat, a role they certainly never played when they were winning championships with LeBron and Dwyane Wade.
Sep 15, 2020
NFL QBs Report: Week One
The NFL’s season kicked off to a thrilling start, as Tom Brady earned his first loss as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer to the New Orleans Saints. Meanwhile, Cam Newton rushed for two TDs in his debut as a New England Patriot. Around the league, 2018’s draft class had a chaotic day, with Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson squaring off while Josh Allen took on Sam Darnold...and Josh Allen. Bill Barnwell surveys the weekend’s football action, and examines where these quarterbacks stand following their week one performances.
Sep 14, 2020
Trevor Lawrence Has The Loudest Voice in College Football
In any normal year, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence would already have an enormous voice in college football. He is the most well-known player in the country, a Heisman Trophy favorite, and is widely expected to be the first overall player taken in the 2021 NFL Draft. But 2020 is no ordinary year, in college football or anywhere else: and Lawrence is increasingly speaking out on issues ranging from the global pandemic to racial injustice. It’s not a role Lawrence has asked for, but it found him, as fellow players, the media, even the President of the United States want to hear what Lawrence has to say. Hallie Grossman joins the show to explain just how Lawrence found himself in the middle of every issue in college football, and how he plans on using his massive platform. 
Sep 11, 2020
The Anthem in Sports: What’s Next
We hear it before every major game: “The Star Spangled Banner.” Throughout sports history the national anthem has unified the U.S. in historic moments. It’s also served as a platform to call for change in our country. And right now athletes are staking their claim on the anthem more than ever, to make history themselves. We take a deep dive into this present moment, and how it speaks to the past and future of the anthem’s role in sports. Our guests are Dr. Damion Thomas, sports curator of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Jon Batiste, musician and band leader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (who performed the national anthem for the NBA’s 2020 restart), plus Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce. As the NFL lines up to start its season, we also explore playing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in the pregame, and whether anthems should continue as part of sports.
Sep 10, 2020
Deshaun Watson Is Ready To Be Heard
QB Deshaun Watson takes the field for the Texans on Thursday night, armed with a fresh 4-year deal worth over $177 million, the second biggest in NFL history behind only the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes. Watson has found success at every level of his football career...from the public housing project in Georgia where he grew up, to Clemson where he won a national championship, and now in the NFL, where he’s made two straight Pro Bowl appearances. Through it all, Watson has remained quiet off the field, rarely speaking on anything outside of football. But following the killing of George Floyd, Watson has begun to use his voice. He marched in the streets of Houston with Floyd’s family, and helped lead a campaign to remove the name of a pro-slavery politician from a building at Clemson. Tim Keown interviewed Watson about his career and impact as a Black quarterback, and discusses his reporting with Pablo Torre.
Sep 09, 2020
NFL Week One Preview
The NFL season is already here (at last!) as the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs face the Deshaun Watson-led Houston Texans this Thursday. Week One’s full slate of games has something for every football fan: Tom Brady debuts with the Bucs, Joe Burrow takes the helm for the Bengals, and the Cowboys get the chance to live up to the hype surrounding their offense. Mina Kimes joins Pablo to preview this week’s football action.
Sep 08, 2020
As KBO Eyes Playoffs: Inside the Korean Bat Flip
Korean baseball energy is very much about the audience, performance and celebration. That includes big time bat flips. Mina Kimes traveled to Korea to get to the bottom of how a taboo in MLB became a signature of KBO play. In a re-spin of one of our favorite episodes, Pablo Torre asks Mina about her journey to Korea to investigate how bat flipping became part of their game, tied to the bigger history of the sport abroad.
Sep 07, 2020
Kentucky Derby Runs Amid Racing Crisis
The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby is Saturday, resuming after a four month delay due to the pandemic. While the event brings more attention and eyeballs to the sport of horse racing, the Derby also invokes a conversation surrounding the sport’s biggest crisis. The new ESPN podcast series "Bloodlines" looks into the deaths of horses at California’s Santa Anita racetrack, since a spike in fatalities began in 2019. Animal rights activists have been calling for reforms and even pushing for horse racing to be shut down altogether. The controversy has raised numerous questions about the complicated relationship between horses and the Bloodlines, and how the “sport of kings” found itself in jeopardy. 
Sep 04, 2020
Inside the Washington Football Team's Workplace Culture
The Washington Football Team’s offseason has been anything but quiet. In July, the team changed its name after years of public protests. And in the past couple weeks, a series of exposés in the Washington Post have highlighted the team’s workplace culture, which a number of current and former female employees have alleged is rife with sexism and harassment. Jeremy Schaap interviewed four of these women this week, and brings us their stories of working for an organization that they say was openly hostile to the women employed there.
Sep 03, 2020
College Football Season: What Comes Next?
College football is off to a strange and uneven start. The SEC, ACC, and a few other conferences kicked off their season last weekend. Meanwhile the Big 10, which cancelled its season, seems to be muttering about regrets or even reconsidering, and the Pac-12 remains firmly out of the picture. Paul Finebaum explains the decisions and power struggles still at play even as college football kicks off, which stars are opting out to prepare for the NFL draft instead, and what it will take for the season to stay on course in coming weeks.
Sep 02, 2020
Why Lionel Messi Wants Out of FC Barcelona
Lionel Messi is arguably the most famous athlete on the planet. The soccer superstar has claimed practically every individual and team accolade at the club level, and has rewritten the record books in his 17 years with FC Barcelona. But now, the man who many consider the greatest soccer player in history, says he wants to move on from the club he has played for his entire pro career. Messi's discontent for Barcelona has been brewing for months, but after a humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals, his frustrations seem to have finally come to a head. ESPN's Sam Borden explains the origin of Messi's breakup with Barcelona, and explores where the Argentine star might be headed next. Then, J.A. Adande shares his experience as a young reporter covering the late John Thompson, Georgetown basketball coaching legend.
Sep 01, 2020
Michael Jordan's Role as NBA Mediator
NBA players wanted team owners to listen. That's what they told the GOAT. Following the Milwaukee Bucks' boycott over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, and the further postponement of more NBA playoff games last week, next steps were unclear. LeBron James, a go-to leader on activism, reportedly walked out of a players meeting. Then, a surprising ally reached out from the ownership side: Michael Jordan. With the playoffs now resumed, Jackie MacMullan breaks down why MJ was suited to work as a mediator, and how leadership and activism play into Jordan and James' legacies.
Aug 31, 2020
Kelly Loeffler vs. the Atlanta Dream: The Battle over Black Lives Matter
Over the summer, Georgia senator and Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler criticized the WNBA's support for Black Lives Matter via a letter sent to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. The letter prompted Dream players to wear shirts emblazoned with "Vote Warnock," Loeffler's political rival, and sparked a war of words between Loeffler and the players. As of now, Loeffler remains a co-owner of the Dream - and the players remain as politically engaged as ever. On the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech from which the Atlanta Dream take their name, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne takes us inside the battle between Loeffler and the Dream's players. Will Loeffler's stance ultimately be a gift or liability for her on election day? And what comes next when a team's own players are actively fighting to end their owner's political career?
Aug 28, 2020
How the Bucks' Boycott Sparked a Wave of Sports Postponements
On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks sent shockwaves around the world when they did not take the floor for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic as an act of protest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Shortly afterwards, the other two NBA playoff games slated for Wednesday were postponed - with each team's players refusing to play. From there, games across the WNBA, MLB, and MLS were postponed, as athletes everywhere expressed their solidarity. Later last night, NBA players met to discuss their next moves, and how to move forward together. Malika Andrews brings us the latest from the bubble on how things are playing out.
Aug 27, 2020
How To Stop Lamar Jackson in 2020 (Hint: Pray)
Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson seemed like he'd finally put the doubters to rest, after a jaw-dropping season where he became just the second unanimous MVP in NFL history. But following a shocking early exit from the playoffs at the hands of the Tennessee Titans, Jackson has once again faced questions about whether he can ever be a championship quarterback. Now entering his third season under center for Baltimore, Jackson will be drawing maximum attention from opposing defenses, who have had an entire off-season to scheme for him. The question is: will any of it work? Or is Jackson simply too transcendent a talent to be contained? ESPN's Domonique Foxworth discusses whether Jackson and the Ravens can live up to the hype, and what defenses can try to do to prepare.
Aug 26, 2020
Do It For the 'Gram: How Social Media is Transforming High School Hoops
Social media has given national audiences a front row seat to high school basketball players like never before. Instagram accounts belonging to UConn recruit Paige Bueckers and California's Kyree Walker have reached half-a-million followers and climbing. Then there's LaMelo Ball and Bronny James (LeBron's son) who've used the hype surrounding their families, plus their own on-court highlights to propel their follower counts to over 5 million. But behind the scenes, coaches are concerned that the appeal of social media fame is warping how players approach the game. Scouts and recruiters are wondering if the skills actually match the hype. And experts are questioning if these kids can handle the pressure and pain that comes with added online scrutiny. ESPN's Joon Lee joins the show to explore how Instagram is changing the culture of basketball, and if it's for the better, or for worse.
Aug 25, 2020
Luka and the Point God: NBA Playoffs Wild Weekend
Luka Doncic arrived in style on Sunday, hitting an overtime buzzer beater to even the series between his Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers at 2 games apiece. It capped off a historic 43 point triple double for the 21 year old prodigy. Meanwhile, Chris Paul bullied his way past the Houston Rockets keeping the Oklahoma City Thunder in the fight. ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz joins the show to discuss these standout performances from the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Aug 24, 2020
Enes Kanter: Enemy of the State
In a time when athletes everywhere are speaking out about causes that are personal to them, perhaps no one has risked more...and been more outspoken...than Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter. Kanter grew up in Turkey, which has been embroiled in a years-long fight over leadership of the nation. Kanter became involved in Turkish politics when he voiced support for Fethullah Gulen, a US based Muslim cleric who was blamed for a coup attempt by Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Since the coup attempt, the Turkish government has cracked down on anyone with ties to Gulen, and has sought to extradite Kanter back to Turkey where he would almost certainly face severe punishment. Jeremy Schaap reported on Kanter's struggles for E:60 last year, and joins the show to discuss his findings. Then, Enes Kanter himself brings us his firsthand perspective on what it's like being a fugitive from his homeland.
Aug 21, 2020
LaMelo Ball: The Most Famous Mystery in Basketball
Tonight, the NBA holds its draft lottery, when the hopes and dreams of 14 franchises hinge on a set of bouncing ping-pong balls that will decide their fate. And while we don't know which team will be picking first...many suspect the first player selected will be 18-year-old LaMelo Ball. LaMelo, his older brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo, and their father LaVar Ball, have become basketball's most famous...some would say most They have millions of followers on social media and their own reality show, "Ball in the Family." But somehow, LaMelo has remained something of an enigma for hoop fans, largely because he's spent the past several years playing in Lithuania and Australia, instead of committing to a big time college program. In January, ESPN's Tim Keown spent time with Ball in Australia, and shares his up-close reporting on Ball as a person and as a player.
Aug 20, 2020
Alex Smith's Return to Football
The injury that Washington quarterback Alex Smith suffered to his right leg on November 18, 2018 not only threatened his football career, it nearly cost him his leg, and even his life. This week, more than a year and a half later, he returned to the practice field, cleared to resume football activities. ESPN's Stephania Bell joins the show to chronicle Smith's rehabilitation, and explain just what drove him to return to action.
Aug 19, 2020
NFL 2020 Season Preview with Mina Kimes
August plays host to NFL preseason in a normal year. However, 2020 is anything but...normal. While the NFL isn't planning a bubble, it is adapting practice and training around coronavirus risk. With no full preseason scrimmages, how ready is each team to jump right in, and how are coaches vetting their lineups? ESPN NFL analyst (and former ESPN Daily host) Mina Kimes runs through the chances for Joe Burrow and the Bengals, how things are going in Tampa for Tom Brady, and whether her Seahawks have improved this offseason.
Aug 18, 2020
Doris Burke on NBA Playoffs
The NBA's shortened regular season has wrapped and now, it's on to a uniquely historic playoffs. The matchups are set and all the action tips off tonight in Orlando. The Bucks and Lakers were the teams to beat before the pandemic. Are they still? Will Giannis Antetokounmpo walk away as MVP? How will the Lakers fare against Damien Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers, surprise bubble darlings? Doris Burke brings us her analysis and context from Orlando, insights on which teams are poised to succeed, and her reflections on what it's taken to get to the postseason.
Aug 17, 2020
Desus & Mero: No Box Seats in the Pandemic
Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, aka The Bodega Boys, make New York sports fandom - in all its glory and shame - a big part of “the brand” they’ve built during their rapid rise as comics. The podcast hosts turned Showtime stars join Pablo Torre to talk sports fan life now, like what’s lost when you can’t see a Yankees game in person, their NBA bubble style, why new faces in Madison Square Garden can’t fix the Knicks’ fortunes. Plus, what’s it like to be wined-and-dined by that other basketball team across town.
Aug 14, 2020
UFC 252: The Fight for Daniel Cormier's Legacy
This Saturday is UFC 252 in Las Vegas, where Daniel "DC" Cormier will fight Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title. Now 41-years old, Cormier has been on the brink of retirement for over a year, and is hoping to win and leave the sport on top. DC's career has been turbulent, filled with personal tragedies and countless second-place finishes. Can a victory on Saturday alter the narrative for Cormier, or will DC forever be remembered as second best? ESPN's Ariel Helwani, who profiled Cormier last year for E:60, joins Pablo Torre to discuss DC's life and legacy. Then, Pablo shares his experience as a virtual fan at Monday's Pacers-Heat game.
Aug 13, 2020
MLB Eyes Playoff Bubble and the Rise of Fernando Tatis Jr.
Major League Baseball has already weathered multiple outbreaks of COVID-19, prompting the league to update its protocols, after the integrity of its season was threatened. Now, the league is considering taking the same route as the NBA and NHL to ensure a successful postseason: playing inside a bubble. Jeff Passan brings us the latest on MLB's efforts to contain the coronavirus. Then, Jeff shares his reporting on the breakout star of this MLB season, the San Diego Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. Jeff's recent profile of Tatis Jr. for ESPN Cover Story took him to the Dominican Republic to tell the budding superstar's story.
Aug 12, 2020
The Fate of College Football's 2020 Season
College football's 2020 season hangs in the balance. Over the weekend, the Mid-Atlantic Conference cancelled its season. Today, big meetings and movements are expected from the Big Ten, PAC-12, and other conferences as they consider their options amidst growing concern around coronavirus. It's a decision that's become both political and personal, as conferences across the country have navigated the variations in protocols at the state, city, and university levels. On Monday, President Trump even weighed in on the situation, tweeting "Play College Football!" Adam Rittenberg brings us the latest, specifically on the Big Ten. Then, Cal offensive lineman Valentino Daltoso, who helped organize the PAC-12's "We Are United" movement, weighs in with the player perspective.
Aug 11, 2020
Tom Brady, Buccaneer: Inside the QB's New Routine
As the NFL regular season looms, QB Tom Brady is adjusting to his new role in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pocket. Different playbooks, unfamiliar facilities, and a new climate all present challenges to the veteran QB. Meanwhile, his Buccaneer teammates are adjusting to a new play caller under center. ESPN's Jenna Laine brings us her reporting on how Brady is getting used to working in Tampa with a new team. Then, 18-year NFL veteran QB Josh McCown explains how difficult it is to learn a new playbook - considering McCown has learned 16 different ones over the course of his long football career.
Aug 10, 2020
Pete Alonso: Poking the Polar Bear
New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso set the record for rookie home runs in 2019, and announced himself as New York's other young superstar alongside the Yankees' Aaron Judge. But before the "Polar Bear" took MLB by storm, as a child growing up in Tampa, he was the target of bullying. Baseball became Alonso's escape, but even as his career took him to the University of Florida, bullying followed him. ESPN baseball insider Buster Olney spent time with Alonso ahead of his E:60 profile, which airs this Sunday at 5pm ET on ESPN, and joins the show to discuss the struggles Alonso battled on his journey to MLB.
Aug 07, 2020
Allegations of Abuse at NBA China Academies
A recent ESPN investigation uncovered allegations of abuse, as well as a lack of schooling for athletes at three NBA China basketball academies. The report comes at a time when scrutiny on the NBA's relationship with China has never been greater. In October Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted his support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, prompting a severe reaction from China, which included pulling NBA broadcasts from the airwaves despite the league's widespread popularity in the country. Investigations into human rights abuses in the Xinjiang province, where one of the basketball academies was located, have also prompted many to criticize the NBA's ties to China. ESPN investigative reporter Steve Fainaru brings us his latest reporting on what happened inside the NBA China academies, and how the league is addressing these concerns.
Aug 06, 2020
How PAC-12 Player Demands Will Impact College Football
College football continues to grapple with how to proceed with a season, with plans that vary in conferences across the country. A group of PAC-12 players published a document in the Players Tribune with a list of demands surrounding a number of issues: player health and safety, wealth inequality, and racial injustice. The players are threatening to opt out of the season if their concerns are not addressed to their satisfaction, posing an unprecedented challenge to the conference and the NCAA. UCLA football players Elisha Guidry and Otito Ogbonnia join the show to explain why they got involved with the movement. The ESPN's Mark Schlabach gives more context on the PAC-12 players' actions within the college football landscape.
Aug 05, 2020
MLB and NFL: COVID-19 Impact on Athletes
As live sports resume, pro athletes are grappling with the threat of coronavirus, to their own health, their families and their careers. MLB has suspended multiple games due to COVID-19 outbreaks, and the NFL has seen several players choose not to take part in the 2020 season, with a deadline this week to for opt-outs. While frequent testing and other protocols have been enacted across pro leagues, there is still a lot that’s unknown about the physical impact of the virus, even on a healthy, young athlete’s body. ESPN injury analyst Stephania Bell has been paging through medical studies and the leagues’ protocol documents. She has an insider’s take on how teams and players are making decisions about their risk.
Aug 04, 2020
JJ Redick: Life with the Pelicans in the NBA Bubble
The NBA has made it through its first games of the restart, and JJ Redick of the New Orleans Pelicans is happy to be hooping once again - with rookie star Zion Williamson, no less. We get an inside look from the bubble in Orlando (including Redick’s third-best hotel situation), and all the reasons the 14-year pro says this season is unlike any other. Hear how Redick and his teammates are keeping momentum and focus, on and off the court, including actions around racial justice issues. Plus, Redick talks to Pablo about future podcast plans and finding his voice.
Aug 03, 2020
Why the NHL Restart Can Work (Hint: Canada)
Lace up your skates and throw on your sweaters, hockey fans...well, at home anyway. This weekend kicks off the NHL's return to play, beginning with round robins for the top four seeds in each conference and qualifying rounds for the remaining teams. Edmonton and Toronto play host to the Western and Eastern Conference bubbles. ESPN NHL insider Greg Wyshynski gives us the lowdown on how the playoffs will work, what hockey will look, sound, and feel like without fans, and why the league chose Canada. Greg also tells us who he thinks will take home the Stanley Cup.
Jul 31, 2020
Dr. Anthony Fauci on the Return of Sports in America
Dr. Anthony Fauci joins Pablo Torre to discuss the challenges, risks, and rewards of the return of sports in America after more than four months of shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. It's an issue that has become increasingly stark in recent days, with the outbreak of COVID-19 on the Miami Marlins. Dr. Fauci weighs in on MLB's response to the Marlins' situation and what it means for the rest of baseball season. He also examines leagues operating in a bubble, like the NBA, and assesses the NHL's decision to play in Canada. While the NFL commences its training camps and college football considers its options, Dr. Fauci explores the possibilities surrounding football season, and describes the long term effects of coronavirus on athletes. Then, one of Dr. Fauci's high school basketball teammates gives us some insight on what Fauci was like as an athlete.
Jul 30, 2020
NBA Restart: Which Teams Have the Advantage?
After more than four months on hiatus, the NBA returns to play tomorrow night from its bubble in Orlando. The players have acclimated to their resort setting - minus Clippers guard Lou Williams, who ventured outside of the clean site for some wings - and the teams are finally set to tip off. Which teams will benefit most from the long pause? Which players have the most to prove? And will we see Zion Williamson in action with the Pelicans on Thursday? ESPN's Jackie MacMullan picks the top contenders, and explains why she believes Lou Williams about his wing journey.
Jul 29, 2020
MLB Marlins’ Coronavirus Outbreak, Plus Dodgers v. Astros Rivalry
On Monday, at least 11 players and two coaches for MLB’s Miami Marlins tested positive for coronavirus, after completing their opening series against the Philadelphia Phillies. The positive tests resulted in multiple MLB game postponements, and raised larger concerns about the league’s health and safety protocols. ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez joins Mina Kimes to discuss what happened, and whether the league’s 60-game season could be in jeopardy. Then, Alden and Mina preview Tuesday’s highly anticipated rematch of the 2017 World Series, which the Astros won, but was thrown into question by the sign-stealing scandal, and left the Dodgers very sore. Houston hosts Los Angeles (a matchup that would not have happened in the regular 2020 season plans) for the first of a two-game series.
Jul 28, 2020
Next Steps for the NFL: Training Camps Will Open
The NFL and its players have reached an agreement, and pro football is moving forward with a 2020 season. Training camps are set to open this week. There won't be a football bubble, as teams plan to play in their home markets. There won't be a preseason, as that has been eliminated. There won't be a lot of time to decide, with just seven days for players to announce if they'll report to camp. But, as of now, there will be football. ESPN NFL Insider Dan Graziano explains how the deal came together, what training camp will look like, and the latest news from around the league.
Jul 27, 2020
Boxer Christy Martin's Fight for Her Life
World champion boxer Christy Martin is a trailblazer in her sport, just named as an inductee into the Boxing Hall of Fame. She was perhaps the first female fighter to make national headlines. But behind her successful career, Martin faced emotional and physical abuse from her trainer and then-husband, Jim Martin, who also shamed her about her sexuality. In 2010, Jim violently attacked Christy and left her for dead. ESPN's Allison Glock interviewed Christy Martin about her career and harrowing fight for survival, plus how she has moved forward with her life and love with her girlfriend, a decade later.
Jul 24, 2020
Play Ball! MLB Opening Day is (Finally) Here
It's a day that seemed like it would never come. But somehow, improbably, MLB's Opening Day is finally here. ESPN MLB Insider Jeff Passan joins us from Washington, DC where tonight the Yankees and Nationals will begin what promises to be the oddest season in baseball history. From testing and safety, to Mookie Betts' massive new deal, and where the Blue Jays will be playing...Passan breaks down everything you need to know about baseball in 2020.
Jul 23, 2020
Inside the WNBA Bubble + Season Preview
After a months-long delay, the 2020 WNBA season finally tips off this Saturday when the New York Liberty and no. 1 overall pick Sabrina Ionescu take on the Seattle Storm and veteran star Sue Bird. Aside from the action on the court, the season promises to be unlike any other in the league's history. Every game will be played from the league's "clean site" at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. In addition, some of the league's most notable names have chosen not to play, either for health reasons, or to focus their attention on issues of social justice and racism. ESPN's LaChina Robinson joins the show to explain how the WNBA's bubble compares to their NBA counterparts in Orlando...and also breaks down what to expect on the court, in a season where everyone is figuring it out on the fly.
Jul 22, 2020
How Simone Biles Showed a New Way to Win
Winning a combined 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, Simone Biles is the most decorated American gymnast, full stop. And her story intersects with the two most famous and winning coaches of USA Gymnastics, Bela and Martha Karolyi. The Karolyis are the subject of a new 30 for 30 investigative podcast, "Heavy Medals: Inside the Karolyi Gymnastics Empire." It includes a look at their complicity in the rampant sexual abuse of athletes by medical director Larry Nassar, and how Biles navigated their restrictive culture and spoke out against abuse. ESPN's Alyssa Roenigk shares the story of how Biles found a way to win outside the norms of USA Gymnastics and the Karolyis.
Jul 21, 2020
With College Football's Season at Stake, Who Makes the Call?
While pro leagues across the US are getting back to play, college football leaders are taking several different approaches to the risk of COVID-19. Some schools and conferences have already cancelled fall sports altogether, while others have announced they're limiting games to in-conference opponents. And there are some conferences, big ones like the SEC, which have yet to make a decision on how or whether to have a fall 2020 college football season. ESPN's college football reporter Heather Dinich walks Pablo Torre through the gamut of options and why there's such a patchwork of possibilities, including the scenario of a spring 2021 season. Then Emily Applegate, former employee of the Washington football team, discusses her experiences of harassment within the organization after being named in last week's Washington Post article.
Jul 20, 2020
What Will Sports Sound Like Without Fans?
The roar of the crowd has always been the soundtrack of sports. Whether it's a hearty "De-FENSE!" chant in football, or a cascade of boos after a blown call in baseball...the crowd is the emotional heartbeat of any game. But now, with the coronavirus pandemic making crowds impossible...and MLB, NHL, and NBA on the verge of returning to play...sports are suddenly going to sound completely different. And for athletes and fans alike, it's going to take some getting used to. Mina Kimes chats with players, broadcasters, and writers from around the sports world about the impact of the sound of sports - before, during, and after the pandemic.
Jul 17, 2020
The Future is Now: Christian Pulisic is America's First Global Soccer Star
The soccer world was stunned last year when the English Premier League powerhouse Chelsea FC forked over 73 million dollars for 20-year old American Christian Pulisic. It was a record amount of money paid for an American...and immediately made the Hershey, PA native the most visible American ever on the soccer stage. And while Pulisic has shown unparalleled potential at every step of his career thus far, since the EPL's post-quarantine restart, he seems to have fully hit his stride, earning three goals and a beautiful assist in 7 matches. ESPN's Sam Borden explains why Pulisic's signing with Chelsea was so unique, and how his talent combined with soccer's global reach could one day make him the biggest American sports star worldwide. Then, Bill Barnwell discusses how the deadline for Dak Prescott to sign a contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys came and went...without a new deal for Dak.
Jul 16, 2020
MLB's Black Voices and the Exile of Oakland A's Bruce Maxwell
In the fall of 2017, Oakland A's catcher Bruce Maxwell was the only MLB player to kneel in protest of racial injustice, in support of Colin Kaepernick. Maxwell was not backed up by his teammates, or by MLB at large. A high-profile encounter with police further complicated Maxwell's career, and he wound up leaving MLB. Now, the killing of George Floyd has led Black players to organize in a whole new way, while Maxwell remains apart. Howard Bryant shares Maxwell's story, the history of Black player voices in baseball, and today's Players Alliance.
Jul 15, 2020