ESPN Daily

By ESPN, Pablo Torre

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 Mar 2, 2020

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 Jan 30, 2020

Description

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

Episode Date
The Greatest Rule in Sports: Hockey’s EBUG
2083
It’s the dream of every sports fan: the star player on your favorite team goes down with an injury. The coach is desperate, and someone needs to step up. Somehow you, the average sports fan, get picked out of the stands to hit with the bases loaded, or step in at quarterback, or take the game winning shot. Obviously, that never happens in real life, or in sports, really…except for extremely rare occasions in hockey, thanks to the EBUG rule: which stands for Emergency Back-Up Goaltender. It’s a rule that requires NHL teams to have a random person standing by in the arena, ready to hit the ice should either team’s two goalies both get injured. Jeremy Schaap interviewed some EBUGs who have been called to action, and he brings us the stories of the lucky few who have lived every fan’s dream. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 01, 2022
The New York Mets: Best Worst Team In Sports (Encore)
2249
The New York Mets and their fans have been sports punchline fodder for decades. Case in point: Bobby Bonilla Day. Every July 1, this player who’s been retired for many years gets paid more than a million dollars. And it’s seen as the epitome of Mets dysfunction. But Mets fans are a resilient (if occasionally delusional?) bunch, and keep coming back for heartbreak. Author Devin Gordon refers to the team as the “Best Worst Team in Sports” in his book, “So Many Ways To Lose,” and he shares his research into the highs and lows of the Mets, their passionate fans and unique legacy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 30, 2022
Stop Saying Commish Rob Manfred Hates Baseball
1985
It is a universal truth that commissioners of pro sports leagues will face deafening boos when they appear in public. Rob Manfred, MLB’s commish, is no exception. A lawyer and seemingly mild-mannered bureaucrat, Manfred has become one of the most hated figures in American sports thanks to a number of public gaffes and unpopular responses to baseball’s various scandals. Today, Don Van Natta takes us inside the world of Rob Manfred (after sitting down with him nearly ten times this year!) and what Manfred thinks his job really is. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 29, 2022
Who Gets to be the Face of the WNBA?
2671
Jonquel Jones has won almost every on-court WNBA accolade there is. Since being drafted sixth overall in 2016, Jones has been named the WNBA’s Most Improved Player, Sixth Woman of the Year, and MVP. Before that, she was Maryland’s Gatorade Player of the Year in high school, and a WBCA All-American. But despite being one of the most decorated players in basketball, many people outside of diehard WNBA fans may not have heard of Jones. Being Black and gay and describing herself as more masculine, Jones sits at an intersection that has traditionally struggled to attract brands and media, even though the WNBA is the most inclusive American professional sports league. ESPN’s Katie Barnes talks to us about Jones’ identity, and they tell us if this will finally be the season that Jones wins a title…and if she’ll finally get to be herself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 28, 2022
Unrivaled: Inside Hockey’s Bloodiest Rivalry
3068
The Avalanche beat the Lightning to win the Stanley Cup last night, sending the trophy back to Colorado for the first time since 2001. It was an era when the Avalanche, and their archrivals the Detroit Red Wings, were engaged in a multi-year blood feud that became the center of the hockey universe. It was a rivalry perhaps best remembered for a game played 25 years ago, on March 26, 1997 in Detroit’s Joe Lewis Arena, and is now better remembered as “Fight Night at the Joe.” During the first period, Detroit’s Darren McCarty sought revenge on Colorado’s Claude Lemieux for a violent check in the previous year’s playoffs on the Red Wings’ Kris Draper. The hit caused severe injuries to Draper’s face, enraging the Red Wings, who were furious that Lemieux refused to even apologize to Draper. Now, a quarter-century later, those who were part of it are opening up about what made the rivalry so intense, as part of the latest E:60 special “Unvrivaled.” Detroit native Dave Fleming joins us to discuss the trajectory of the rivalry and why we may never see anything like it again. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 27, 2022
Title IX @50: Who Gets to Play? Trans Youth in Sports
2315
For all the strides Title IX helped women make in sports, it’s never been a more contentious time for who gets to compete as a woman. In Part 4 of the documentary “37 Words,” filmmaker Clare Marash met transgender kids whose right to participate in society as themselves is in question by dozens of state legislatures — on the field and in life. And in our final episode to mark 50 years since Title IX became law, host Allison Glock and Clare Marash look at the future of civil rights around education and sports through families fighting for their kids to play. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 24, 2022
Title IX @50: From the Basketball Court to the Supreme Court
2294
In the fifty years since Title IX became law, countless women and allies have fought for gender equality in sports and civil rights protections. Filmmaker Dawn Porter shares more about her “37 Words” documentary with host Allison Glock. They dig into the ways Title IX shows up in the lives of legends like Dawn Staley and Abby Wambach, as well as unknown heroes like a Georgia mom who took her daughter’s harassment case to the Supreme Court. Plus, what the new Angel City Football Club in L.A. seeks to do for women’s sports as a business. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 23, 2022
Title IX @50: How Yale’s First Women Rowers Exposed Discrimination
2161
Yale’s campus in the 1970s was a complex place for women. The school had only recently admitted female students, and even attending class could feel like a battle. To then take up space in sports as well? It was all very new. ESPN’s Allison Glock and “37 Words” filmmaker Nicole Newnham share how some bold Yale women found a valuable tool to seek equity: Title IX legislation. The Yale women’s crew team invoked the law when they stripped naked in front of the school’s athletic director, a protest against inadequate resources. And around the same time there was Alexander v. Yale, a groundbreaking case that established sexual harassment as gender discrimination, and required procedures to address it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 22, 2022
Title IX @50: Billie Jean King + Gloria Steinem: How Sports Met the Women’s Movement
2297
When Title IX became law 50 years ago, just 37 words of legislation established gender equity in education and athletics. ESPN Films’ new documentary series “37 Words” explores how that fight was won, and the impact it had across sports and society. In the first of four episodes with ESPN’s head of W Studios Allison Glock, documentary director Dawn Porter breaks down how sports converged with the women’s equality movement in the 60s and 70s. We focus on two icons: Gloria Steinem, the feminist author and activist, and former World No. 1 tennis champ and women’s advocate Billie Jean King. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 21, 2022
NBA Draft Preview with Jonathan Givony
2048
As the Golden State Warriors swim in champagne after their NBA Finals win, the rest of the league turns its attention to the NBA Draft. The top three picks are clear, but it’s anyone’s guess on what order. Will the Orlando Magic take Jabari Smith, a dynamic shooter who just looks like the perfect fit for the modern NBA? Or will they take Chet Holmgren, the 7-footer out of Gonzaga with the skinny frame? What about Paolo Banchero, perhaps the most NBA-ready player in this draft class? Jonathan Givony has been an NBA Draft expert for 19 years. He tells us how he thinks the Draft is going to play out…and what the teams picking these players should expect from them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 20, 2022
The Boy Who Lost His Autographs
1645
Picture yourself going to a ballpark as a kid. You remember how big everything felt, how you were just in awe of being so close to the players. That’s how 11-year-old Elyjah Blankenberg felt when he went to a spring training game between the Yankees and the Orioles, and he worked up the courage to get several autographs…including one from his favorite player, DJ LeMahieu. But the euphoria was short lived, when Elyjah lost his binder full of autographs…and nobody could find it. Ryan Hockensmith tells us the story of Elyjah’s lost treasures…and how the power of the internet rallied to help a young boy reclaim the magic of the game. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 17, 2022
Andrew Wiggins: From Bust to Finals MVP?
1688
The Golden State Warriors are one win away from their fourth NBA title in the past eight years. And while Steph Curry has been the consensus favorite to win the Finals MVP, his rough shooting performance in game 5 has opened the door for another Warrior teammate: Andrew Wiggins. Not only has Wiggins managed to slow down Jayson Tatum on defense, but he was undoubtedly the best player on either team in game 5. Malika Andrews sat down with Wiggins, and she tells us how he has shed the “bust” label from his days in Minnesota and how he has resurrected his career in the Bay Area. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 16, 2022
Stanley Cup Final Preview: Can Lightning Strike Thrice?
2089
The Stanley Cup Final begins tonight! The Tampa Bay Lightning are chasing history as they look to be the first team to three-peat as champions in 40 years…but standing in their way are the Colorado Avalanche, who just might be the NHL’s next IT team. It’s the Final matchup that many expected we’d get, so we call up our NHL expert Greg Wyshynski to tell us how these teams got here, and let us know what else we might see as they face off. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 15, 2022
Phil Mickelson, Saudi Arabia, and the Battle for the Future of Golf
2391
The PGA Tour has long been the gold standard of professional golf, rooted in tradition and nostalgia. But that may all be changing with the arrival of LIV Golf, the flashy new league with an unlimited bankroll thanks to its funding by the government of Saudi Arabia. ESPN’s Kevin Van Valkenberg was in London this weekend to cover LIV’s inaugural tournament, and he joins us to describe what he saw, and where the league…and golf’s moral compass…might go from here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 14, 2022
“TuAnon” Unmasked: The Secretive Star of Dolphins Twitter Speaks
2782
Over the course of two seasons in the NFL, a story has been brewing around Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. For a while, the beats of the story were pretty familiar––promising young quarterback comes into the league, has his ups and downs, and leaves so many wondering if he’ll ever be the star they dreamed he could be. But last season, that story took a turn unlike any we’ve ever seen. That’s because a subset of fans decided to take control of the narrative themselves and, via Twitter, launch “TuAnon,” a conspiracy theory fixated on an alleged plot inside the Dolphins and throughout sports media to undermine Tua at every turn. So ESPN’s Dolphins beat reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques set out to find the mystery superfan at the center of the entire thing. And what he got was not just an interview, but a journey down a rabbit hole that gets deeper each day. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 13, 2022
How NBA Finals Announcer Mike Breen Found His “Bang!”
2183
Hall of Fame announcer Mike Breen is back with his infamous “Bang!” call for the NBA Finals. The first two games went sadly “Bang!”less (as Breen was out due to Covid), and frankly they didn’t feel the same. That’s because Breen has called more NBA Finals games than anyone. So ahead of the Warriors-Celtics Game 4 tonight, we got the origin story of his single-syllable exclamation, and how his Hall of Fame career took shape. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 10, 2022
Hope, Heartbreak, and Ukraine’s Quest for the World Cup
2252
In the midst of war, residents of Ukraine were able to rally around something that gave them hope: their national soccer team. Ukraine beat Scotland 3-1 to set up a chance at a World Cup bid, but ultimately fell short in heartbreaking fashion to Wales. Wright Thompson was there to witness it all, and he tells us what he saw in Kyiv, and what sports can mean to a country in the face of war.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 09, 2022
Why Celtics Star Jayson Tatum Was Born Believing in Himself
2167
Now it seems obvious that Jayson Tatum was destined for NBA stardom, the one to watch for the Celtics as they square off against Golden State in Game 3 of the NBA Finals tonight. But Tatum beat the odds on a few levels to get here, thanks in large part to the dedication and relentless confidence of his mom, Brandy Cole. ESPN’s Liz Merrill gives us insight on Tatum’s deepest relationship, and how he grew from the roots planted by his mother. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 08, 2022
The Life and Legend of Rickey Henderson
2242
Rickey Henderson is not only the MLB’s all-time stolen base king, not just the all-time leader in runs scored, he’s one of the best players the game has ever seen…or as baseball writer Bill James once said, “you could cut him in half and have two Hall of Famers.” But Henderson wasn’t always as revered as he is now, as his bold personality clashed with baseball purists at the time. Howard Bryant, author of the new book RICKEY: The Life and Legend of an American Original, looks back on Rickey’s 25-year career and tells us why baseball was never able to control him…no matter how hard it tried. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 07, 2022
Julie Foudy Explains Equal Pay (At Last) in US Soccer
2087
The US Women’s National Team has fought for equal pay in soccer for more than 20 years. And it seems to be here at last. A new labor agreement with US Soccer levels pay across gender, and could be a template for equity on the global stage. Guest host Sarah Spain joins two-time World Cup champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist (and Laughter Permitted podcast host) Julie Foudy to explain how the deal happened, how it works, and how it’ll benefit the men’s and women’s teams. Plus, Sarah and Julie talk owner-to-owner (Red Stars and Angel City FC, respectively) about the current National Women’s Soccer League season. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 06, 2022
Mina Kimes and the First Pitch
3063
The ceremonial first pitch is a tradition almost as old as baseball itself, with presidents, celebrities and non-MLB athletes taking to the mound to aim for home plate. But the only person who may truly care about any first pitch…is the one throwing it, with the gut-wrenching feeling that they might biff. Our very own Mina Kimes will be in that position soon, throwing a first pitch for her beloved Seattle Mariners. So we called up MLB Insider Jeff Passan and enlisted legendary pitching coach Tom House to help us understand just what Mina’s getting into. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 03, 2022
The NBA’s Top Bettor Handicaps the Finals
1970
The NBA Finals tip off tonight, and we caught up with Bob Voulgaris. The alleged former shadow GM of the Dallas Mavericks is of course also one of the most successful bettors in NBA history. He breaks down the matchup between the Boston Celtics, who are looking for their 18th championship in franchise history, and the Golden State Warriors, who return to the Finals for the sixth time in the past eight years. Voulgaris tells us what each team needs to do to get their hands on the Larry O’Brien Trophy…and lets us in on his favorite to win it all. Our first conversation with Bob, which includes fascinating behind the scenes details from his time working for Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks, is available HERE. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 02, 2022
Steph Curry: The College Years
2651
Steph Curry is vying for his fourth NBA title. But ever wonder what he was like in college? At tiny Davidson College in North Carolina, he was kinda just like everyone else: going to the library, eating late-night chicken parm, helping his friend pack CDs…all while his basketball star was rising. Andscape’s David Dennis Jr. has known the NBA 3-point record holder, three-time champion and expected 2022 Finals MVP since those days. He hops in the time machine with stories of Steph that reveal his personality and character, before he was an NBA legend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 01, 2022
The Legend of the Red Panda: NBA Halftime’s Can’t Miss Act (ENCORE)
2217
An NBA halftime lasts just 15 minutes. It’s a time for players to leave the court, fans to run to the bathroom or grab another beer, or, a break, for all intents and purposes. But for Rong Niu - it’s her time to shine. Rong, better known to audiences as the Red Panda, has been astounding NBA halftime audiences around the country for thirty years, with her 7-and-a-half-foot-tall unicycle, a stack of white bowls, and not much else. Rong Niu, the Red Panda herself, joins the show today to tell us her story - and how she became an NBA legend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 31, 2022
Blood in the Garden: How the 90s Knicks Gave Rise to the Modern NBA (ENCORE)
2353
Despite decades of mediocrity, the New York Knicks inspire an almost religious devotion from their rabid fanbase. The Nets may play across town with three of the biggest stars in NBA history, but New York still bleeds blue and orange. That was never more evident than in the 1990s, when you could watch the Knicks fight on the court…figuratively and literally…at Madison Square Garden. Under the direction of head coach Pat Riley, and led by players like Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley and John Starks, the Knicks pioneered a style of basketball that was physical, intimidating, and rarely beautiful. Chris Herring, author of Blood in the Garden: The Flagrant History of the 1990s New York Knicks, explains how a team known for its tough guy image paved the way for the modern NBA. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 30, 2022
Sound Sports: A Blind Man’s Journey to the Broadcast Booth (ENCORE)
2079
Bryce Weiler grew up listening to the likes of Brian Barnhart call Illinois basketball games, and as a young man who’d been blind since infancy, he fell in love with the pictures painted on the radio. During college in Indiana, Weiler forged a relationship with the basketball team, and then found his way to the broadcast booth himself. ESPN’s Sam Borden went to visit Weiler and learn more about his process as a live game analyst for college hoops (see more coverage from College GameDay here). He shares the story of a broadcaster motivated to prove that everyone deserves opportunity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 27, 2022
10,000 Hours of Lying: The Myth of Mastering a Skill (ENCORE)
1966
Practice, practice, practice. The theory goes that with enough repetition, time, and hard work, anyone can become the master of their craft. 10,000 hours has long been heralded as the golden benchmark to achieving greatness in almost anything. But best-selling author and ESPN Daily mythbuster David Epstein puts the theory to the test again, and explains why the 10,000 hours myth has gained so much attention. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 26, 2022
Crying Jordan: The GOAT of Memes (ENCORE)
2503
When Michael Jordan began to cry during his Basketball Hall of Fame induction speech, that moment would turn one of basketball’s greatest players to the meme seen ‘round the Internet. Now, 10 years after Crying Jordan first became a meme, it's still just as popular as ever, popping up anywhere and everywhere. ESPN’s Dave Fleming once again brings us the origin story of this legendary meme, and tells us why every corner of society just can’t get enough of it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 25, 2022
The Guy Behind the Guy: Sachin Gupta’s Groundbreaking NBA Journey
2456
With over 20 million people from 20 different countries across the most populated continent on the planet, you can make a pretty good case that the very concept of an “Asian-American” is incredibly oversimplified. There are some experiences however, that happen to unite Asian-Americans. For example, almost any Asian-American working in sports media can tell you about their shared experiences, from media personalities to NBA point guards…to the guy who ran the Minnesota Timberwolves until yesterday, Sachin Gupta. As part of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Heritage Month, SportsCenter anchor Kevin Negandhi tells us the story of the first Indian-American to ever be President of Basketball Operations for an NBA team, why the smartest people in the NBA respect him so much, and what his still-unfolding journey says about all of us. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 24, 2022
NBA Playoffs: Time to Believe in “Heat Culture?”
2350
When Jimmy Butler didn’t return to the second half of Game 3 vs. the Celtics, the Heat showed no signs of cooling down. Career performances from Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo and yes, even Max Strus, gave Miami the surge it needed to take the series lead, up 2-1. Ahead of Game 4 in Boston, Nick Friedell dissects the finest sample of Heat Culture we’ve seen so far…and he tells us what it means for the rest of the series. Then, a check in on the Western Conference Finals…where the Mavs are in danger of turning into dust…on the verge of being swept by the Warriors, now down 3-0. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 23, 2022
Will Novak Djokovic Ever Be Beloved?
2665
Novak Djokovic is arguably the greatest men’s tennis player of all time. His 20 Grand Slam titles place him just one behind Rafael Nadal for the most ever. He’s been ranked #1 in the world for a record 370 consecutive weeks. And he’s the defending champion heading into the French Open, which begins this weekend. But despite his brilliance on the court, Djokovic has never been beloved by tennis fans in the same way his rivals Nadal and Roger Federer have been. This past January, Djokovic found himself the center of controversy ahead of the Australian Open, when he was deported by the Australian government because of his vaccine status. Sam Borden traveled to Djokovic’s native Serbia to learn how he is preparing for his return to Grand Slam tennis following the fiasco in Australia. Borden also explains how Djokovic’s upbringing in a country that was torn apart by war has shaped his identity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 20, 2022
The Rat Trick: The Legend of the Florida Panthers’ Rodent Tradition
2457
The Florida Panthers are at home tonight for Game 2 of their 2nd round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. And while the Panthers are down 1-0 in the series…Florida’s league-leading offense has reinvigorated their fans for the first time in a generation. They are so excited, in fact, that they have begun throwing rats onto the ice. It’s a hair-raising tradition that dates back to the ‘95-’96 season, when a Cinderella Panthers team made the Stanley Cup Final in just their third year of existence. Emily Kaplan is here to explain how the Panthers rat tradition started, if it may or may not have contributed to the team’s long misfortunes…and the ways in which this generation’s Panthers are trying to write a new ending to their own tale. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 19, 2022
What it Could Take to Bring Brittney Griner Home
2174
WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia since February. She’s been accused of carrying vape cartridges that contained cannabis oil in her luggage…charges that could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Last week, news came out that Griner’s pretrial detention in Russia had been extended by another month, and the US State Department announced that it now regards Griner as wrongfully detained. ESPN’s T.J. Quinn explains what these developments mean for Griner’s case, and what the US government may be doing to help win her release. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 18, 2022
GOAT Skier Mikaela Shiffrin’s Mental Transformation
2273
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s a major topic in sports right now, as more elite athletes share personal struggles. Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin is one of the greatest of all time, hurtling down the slopes at breakneck speed. But in Beijing this year she stopped just seconds into a race where she was expected to take gold. Alyssa Roenigk talked to Shiffrin about this moment in Beijing, and how she’s taken a new approach to speaking her mind, public scrutiny and processing family grief. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 17, 2022
Windhorst: Celtics, Mavs Advance + Conference Finals Preview
2658
The best two words in sports are Game Seven, and we got two…in the form of major beatdowns. Grant Williams and the Celtics shut down Giannis and the Bucks at home to punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals. In the West, Playoff Luka added to his growing legacy with a shower of 3s to lead the Mavericks past the Suns. Brian Windhorst helps us process what happened Sunday, and sets up the Conference Finals. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 16, 2022
Gabe Kapler: The Most Interesting Man in Baseball
2456
Picture a baseball manager. Whatever image you’ve conjured in your mind of, say, a slightly out of shape, older man who’s all business - it probably doesn’t match Gabe Kapler, who manages the San Francisco Giants. Kapler is an enigma: an uber-buff fitness geek who only eats red meat. He sports well manicured facial hair and speaks in verse, sounding more like a poet than a baseball player. Tim Keown introduces us to Kapler, and how he’s rewriting baseball’s unwritten rules…and reimagining what it means to be a manager. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 13, 2022
The Most Hated Man in Hockey (Update)
2359
Brad Marchand contains multitudes. Sure, the Boston Bruins winger could be called the most hated man in hockey…he’s served two suspensions in just this season. But Marchand is also one of the top scorers in the NHL, integral to the Bruins’ offense. He’s known for cheap shots, punching opposing players, licking faces, and was once given the nickname “Little Ball of Hate” from former President Barack Obama. With the Bruins facing elimination from the playoffs tonight, Greg Wyshynski tells us what Marchand can do to help his team, and explains his complicated legacy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 12, 2022
JJ Redick: Inside the Flopper’s Studio
2609
These NBA playoffs are full of flopping. You’ve seen it: the flailing of the arms, the swing of the head, or the legs going akimbo. NBA players over the years have honed their skills in making it look like they got fouled, and some take it to the level of an artform. Retired NBA veteran, current ESPN analyst and “Old Man and the Three” podcast host JJ Redick gives us a masterclass in flopping, from his time in the game and a professional giver of takes today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 11, 2022
‘It’s the Wild West’: How NIL Money is Changing College Sports
2317
When the Supreme Court ruled last summer that college athletes could earn money from their Name, Image, and Likeness, it was hailed as a positive breakthrough in college sports. But now that the NIL era is here, the reality is not so binary…rather, this new economy in college sports is getting very messy, very quickly. ESPN’s David Hale is here to tell us what’s really going on across the collegiate landscape, what the hidden cost of NIL is for athletes, and how to fix a system that might already be broken. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 10, 2022
Windhorst on NBA Playoffs: Eight Teams Standing
2654
The NBA playoffs are bringing it! The 76ers held off the Heat on Sunday to tie the series at two games apiece, while the Mavericks stayed hot at home and beat the Suns 101-111. In Milwaukee the Bucks took Game 3 against the Celtics in a Saturday buzzer beater and face off again Monday night. Plus, with Ja Morant likely out for Monday the Grizzlies are in poor position to win against the Warriors, coming off a 30-point Game 3 loss. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst is here to tell you what to watch for as the playoffs remain open to many paths ahead. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 09, 2022
Talking About Practice: What Everyone Got Wrong About Iverson's Rant
2270
We’re talking about practice…no, really. It’s been 20 years since Allen Iverson’s infamous rant, the one you’ve seen clips of pretty much everywhere, where Iverson goes off in response to a question about his practice habits. That roughly one-minute sound bite has come to be one of the most lasting moments of Iverson’s career…but it was the rest of that press conference that truly offers a window into Iverson’s life and career. It was the culmination of frustrating ends to two consecutive seasons, grief over the murder of his best friend…and the microscope he had been under since he was 17 years old. Justin Tinsley joins us to reflect on Iverson’s press conference, the fallout from it, and what everyone got wrong in the two decades since.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 06, 2022
What’s Next for Sue Bird
2116
If Sue Bird’s WNBA career was a person, it would be old enough to drink. The 12-time All-Star, five-time first-team All-WNBA selection, Olympic Gold Medalist, four-time world champion, and recent NCAA women’s tournament megacast star may (or may not) hang it up after this 21st season. As the WNBA tips off, Bird and Pablo discuss her legendary career, how she’s seen the league change, and important ephemera like AOL screen names. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 05, 2022
All the F1 Drama as Drivers Take on Miami
2238
Last season’s F1 drama was off the charts. The controversial, showstopper ending crowned Max Verstappen champion even as fans grumbled that all-time great Lewis Hamilton got robbed. Now, it’s mechanical challenges causing grief for Hamilton as he heads to the first-ever Miami Grand Prix with half a dozen drivers ahead of him. ESPN F1 editor and lifelong fan Laurence Edmondson catches us up on all the racing gossip, what to expect in Miami, and why US fans are finally catching on to Formula One. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 04, 2022
Reffing the Refs: Examining the NBA’s Most Scrutinized Job
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When it comes to NBA referees, especially in the postseason, it’s hard not to think of that proverb about children: “They should be seen, and not heard.” But in recent days, NBA fans have been hearing plenty about the refs. Everyone from Draymond Green to Chris Paul to Joel Embiid have weighed in, frustrated by how the playoffs have been called. But in the eyes of NBA writer Ben Dowsett — our referee whisperer if you will — there’s also a lot more to this fraught dynamic than meets the eye. Dowsett takes us inside the world of NBA officiating to show us why everyone is frustrated with them, whether or not the league’s quest for accountability is doing anything…and why some teams are quietly redefining what it means to “work the refs.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 03, 2022
Lapsed Fan’s NHL Playoff Preview: Greg Wyshynski
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The NHL playoffs begin tonight and if you, like us, need to play catch up, ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski is here to give us his annual lapsed fan’s guide. From the back-to-back defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning to the Alex Ovechkin-less Washington Capitals, to the surprising resurgence of the LA Kings, Wyshynski has everything you need to know about whichever team you’re backing.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 02, 2022
Doc Rivers on the 30th Anniversary of the LA Riots
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30 years ago today, April 29, 1992, the city of Los Angeles went to war with itself. Riots erupted on the streets following the acquittal of four LAPD officers in the beating of motorist Rodney King. It was a verdict that provoked outrage because the incident was captured on video, triggering a national debate over police brutality. Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers was a guard for the Los Angeles Clippers in 1992. Doc shares how the sports world at large reacted to the verdict and the riots that followed, and how the social responsibilities of an athlete have changed in the 30 years since. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 29, 2022
Top Prospect Derek Stingley Jr.’s Complex NFL Legacy
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Derek Stingley Jr. is one of the most coveted defensive backs in tonight’s NFL Draft, and his name might sound familiar to older NFL fans. Derek Jr. is the grandson of Darryl Stingley, a young New England Patriots wide receiver who was paralyzed by a notorious, vicious hit from Oakland Raiders safety Jack Tatum in 1978. ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski brings us the story of how the Stingley family endured despite that tragedy, and continued to pursue an NFL legacy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 28, 2022
Why NFL Scouts Love Big Butts
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With the NFL Draft just one day away, you’ll likely hear all about a player’s hand size, or their 40-yard-dash time, or their wingspan…but there’s one measurement that NFL scouts pay more attention to than you might realize…and it’s right behind you. Yes, NFL scouts love big butts, and they cannot lie. But there’s a lot more to it than scouts simply gossiping about gluteals. There’s plenty of science behind why rear ends matter for athletic performance. And ESPN’s Dave Fleming joins us to share the data that can back it up. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 27, 2022
Mina Kimes Previews the 2022 NFL Draft
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When the NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night from Las Vegas, the Jacksonville Jaguars will be first on the clock. What happens from there is pretty much anyone's guess. Will Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson be first off the board? Or will Georgia’s Travon Walker complete his rapid ascent to the very top of draft boards? Will Liberty’s Malik Willis or Pitt’s Kenny Pickett be the first QB taken? Like so much in Vegas, the answers are very much up in the air. Mina Kimes has been grinding tape in preparation for NFL Draft 2022 and was courteous enough to let us copy off her homework.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 26, 2022
Why a Sweep is the Least of the Brooklyn Nets’ Problems
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The Celtics-Nets series started off as one of the more intriguing matchups in the first-round of the NBA playoffs. But after a pair of late-game meltdowns by Brooklyn, the herculean efforts of Jayson Tatum, and a blowout at home in Game 3, the Nets find themselves facing a sweep at home. We called up our Nets correspondent Nick Friedell ahead of Game 4 to get a sense of what’s at stake for Brooklyn in this series…and why a broom might not be enough to clean up this mess. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 25, 2022
When Giannis Met Milwaukee: A Love Story
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Athletes often say they love the city where they play, but Giannis Antetokounmpo takes it to a new level. He’s called Milwaukee home since the team drafted him in 2013. It wasn’t a given that the Greek native, a son of Nigerian immigrants, would stay in the midwestern city. But his massive 2020 contract extension shows the love is mutual. As the Bucks seek to defend their NBA title, our own ESPN Daily producer (and Wisconsin native) Ryan Nantell digs into a legendary anecdote from Giannis’ rookie season that shows why he and Milwaukee have been such a good fit. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 22, 2022
How Aidan Hutchinson Wrote His Way to the NFL Draft
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Aidan Hutchinson made football his destiny. His childhood dream was to follow in the footsteps of his father Chris Hutchinson, the former Michigan linebacker who won a Rose Bowl and has the fourth-most sacks in Wolverine history. This dream was much more than just a passive thought: it was one of the many written goals that Aidan used as a guiding principle in his life and led him to breaking his dad’s records, bouncing back from a season-ending injury, and being a Heisman finalist. Ryan Hockensmith tells us about Hutchinson and the path that presumably will culminate in him being the first pick in this year’s NFL Draft. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 21, 2022
Nets Owner Joe Tsai and the NBA’s China Conundrum
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For decades the NBA has been in an intricate, expensive dance with China’s government. While the league has become wildly popular in China, its business there is increasingly complicated over issues like free speech and China’s record on human rights. If there’s one man who personifies the layers and complexities of NBA-China relations it’s Joe Tsai, the Chinese billionaire who owns the Brooklyn Nets. ESPN investigative reporter Mark Fainaru-Wada breaks down the ties of Tsai’s company, Alibaba, to the Chinese government, and his stance on social and political issues in China compared to the US. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 20, 2022
Why Congress is Investigating the Washington Commanders
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If ever there was an NFL team that was going to be investigated by the United States Congress, it was going to be the Washington Commanders. From allegations of fostering a toxic workplace environment to sexual harrassment to their long overdue name change, the franchise under owner Daniel Snyder is constantly in the news…and not for success on the field. But if previous scandals and offenses haven’t seemed to move the needle enough for the league, now Snyder and the Commanders are under scrutiny for something we know the NFL cares about: money. ESPN’s Commanders reporter John Keim explains why politicians on Capitol Hill are now digging into the team’s finances, and whether this latest scandal could finally bring the league to step in and force out owner Daniel Snyder. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 19, 2022
Being Mel Kiper Jr. (Re-Spin)
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The NFL Draft is an American institution. And for the past four decades, the unmistakable voice of that institution has been Mel Kiper Jr. His “Big Board” and mock drafts have become a rite of spring, a yearly ritual that signals your team will soon be “on the clock.” It is a remarkable climb for someone who used a typewriter to compile draft reports as a teenager, before the NFL Draft was even televised. Mel joins the show to explain how he helped turn his personal obsession into a national obsession…and made us all draft nerds in the process. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 18, 2022
After Jackie: What Happened with Baseball and Black America?
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It’s been 75 years since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, becoming the first Black player to take the field in Major League Baseball in 1947. Jackie was a specific player chosen at a specific time, when baseball was highly aligned with Black popular culture. But what happened between baseball and Black America in the decades after Jackie’s pivotal act? Why didn’t baseball become a majority Black sport, like basketball and football? Why didn’t MLB follow the culture into hip hop or grow its Black fan base? Jesse Washington uses his own lapsed baseball fandom to explore these questions with guests like Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Jackie’s son David Robinson, and current players and executives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 15, 2022
Why NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Suddenly Looks Like the Olympics
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The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships begin today in Fort Worth, but you’d be forgiven if you mistook it for the Tokyo Olympics this past summer. That’s because no sport has been transformed by the Name, Image and Likeness revolution across college athletics as much as Women’s Gymnastics. Previously, Olympic stars like Tokyo All-Around Gold Medalist Suni Lee had to choose between cashing in on the lucrative endorsement deals that come with Olympic success, or competing in college. Now, under NIL, that is no longer an issue, meaning Lee will compete for an NCAA title this weekend as a freshman at Auburn. And Lee is not alone. Fellow US Olympians Jade Carey (Oregon St.), Jordan Chiles (UCLA), and Grace McCallum (Utah) will all be competing in Fort Worth, in what is shaping up to be perhaps the most competitive NCAA championships ever. Alyssa Roenigk breaks down how the sport is being transformed, as well as the names and teams you need to know before this weekend’s championship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 14, 2022
What It Takes to Catch Sports Betting Cheats
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Sports betting has become exponentially more popular and accessible, with gambling on games now legal in more than 30 states. It’s a wildly difficult industry to oversee, though, with a patchwork of legislative details in each state, and varying rules on the types of bets that are legal or not. Even who has jurisdiction over what changes when you cross state lines. Paula Lavigne took a deep dive into the private companies that sell their services for oversight and fraud detection. She explains what they do - and don’t do. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 13, 2022
Crying Jordan at 10: The GOAT of Memes
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When Michael Jordan began to cry during his Basketball Hall of Fame induction speech, that moment would turn one of basketball’s greatest players to the meme seen ‘round the Internet. Now, 10 years after Crying Jordan first became a meme, it's still just as popular as ever, popping up anywhere and everywhere. ESPN’s Dave Fleming brings us the origin story of this legendary meme, and tells us why every corner of society just can’t get enough of it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 12, 2022
Masters: Scottie Scheffler’s Win, Tiger Woods’ Wild Return
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We catch America’s Caddie, Michael Collins, fresh off the Masters in Augusta. He breaks down how Scheffler staved off the competition, and what got him his first winning green jacket. Plus, why Tiger Woods’ return was full of a different kind of love than we’ve seen from him in the past, even as all of us fans managed our greedy expectations. And what can we expect from the all-time great, as he continues to recover from a harrowing 2021 car accident. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 11, 2022
The Legend of the Red Panda: NBA Halftime’s Can’t Miss Act
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An NBA halftime lasts just 15 minutes. It’s a time for players to leave the court, fans to run to the bathroom or grab another beer, or, a break, for all intents and purposes. But for Rong Niu - it’s her time to shine. Rong, better known to audiences as the Red Panda, has been astounding NBA fans around the country for thirty years, with her 7-and-a-half-foot-tall unicycle, a stack of white bowls, and not much else. Rong Niu, the Red Panda herself, joins the show today to tell us her story - and how she became an NBA legend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 08, 2022
Jeff Passan Hacks the 2022 MLB Season
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After a lockout that put the entire 2022 MLB season in jeopardy, Opening Day has miraculously arrived. The start of a new season represents a blank slate for all teams, both contenders and pretenders. MLB Insider Jeff Passan makes sense of the offseason’s most dramatic moves and shares which teams he finds most intriguing this coming season. Are the Dodgers setting up for a World Series repeat? Will Pablo’s beloved Yankees be able to overcome their AL East rivals, the talented Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays? Plus, Jeff fills us in on MLB’s new tech to fight sign-stealing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 07, 2022
“This was a Failed Coup.” Inside Phil Mickelson’s Exile from Golf
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The 2022 Masters Tournament tees off Thursday, but it will be without at least one of golf’s all-time greats: Phil Mickelson, who has won three times at Augusta and in 2021 became the oldest major champion ever by winning the PGA Championship at the age of 50. Mark Schlabach shares the stunning story of how Mickelson flirted with joining a breakaway golf league funded by the Saudi Arabian government, and in the process took aim at the PGA itself. It’s a saga that has made Mickelson a persona non grata in the golf world, essentially an exile from golf, and uncertain future on the PGA tour. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 06, 2022
Can the Lakers’ Season Be Saved? Storylines from the NBA’s Home Stretch
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As the NBA regular season winds down, there’s plenty of drama unfolding across the league. In Los Angeles, LeBron and the Lakers’ experiment continues to implode, hampered by injuries and a porous defense. Is there enough time for the team to bounce back and sneak into the postseason? And in the Eastern Conference, where Kyrie Irving is now free to play in Brooklyn’s home games: could the Nets be the most dangerous last-team-in in NBA postseason history? Brian Windhorst helps us parse through these questions and more, as we inch closer to the NBA playoffs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 05, 2022
South Carolina Are Women’s CBB Champs + Kansas-UNC Men’s Final Preview
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Dawn Staley’s South Carolina Gamecocks are your women’s NCAA basketball champions! Katie Barnes joins us from Minneapolis to break down how Aliyah Boston and company steamrolled over the Huskies, and handed UConn head coach Geno Auriemma his first ever loss in a championship game. Then, Myron Medcalf sets the scene for the men’s championship tonight, after a pair of semifinal matchups which saw Duke and Coach K taken down by their rival UNC in a thriller, and Villanova falling to David McCormack and the Kansas Jayhawks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 04, 2022
The Making of Coach K (Re-Spin)
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Love him or hate him, the mark that Mike Krzyzewski has left on men’s college basketball is indelible. Nobody has won more Division I men’s college basketball games than Coach K; he has won five national titles, made 13 Final Fours, and turned Duke University into one of the most iconic institutions in American life. And now, with his retirement imminent, he heads into his final Final Four, where he and Duke will take on their biggest rival North Carolina. In this special encore presentation, Wright Thompson takes us back to share exactly where Coach K came from, what it means for his reign to come to an end, and the legacy he’ll leave behind.  This episode originally ran on March 4, 2022. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 02, 2022
NCAA’s Wake Up Call: A Reckoning on Gender Inequity in Basketball
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Shocking upsets. Buzzer beaters. Cinderella stories. This year’s Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament has been overflowing with drama and thrills. But last March, Oregon’s Sedona Prince posted a TikTok revealing the drastic differences between the women’s and men’s college basketball weight rooms during the NCAA tournament. After the video went viral, and reports of other disparities circulated, the NCAA was forced to apologize, and promised to review and remedy inequities throughout the game. So as the Women’s Final Four tips off tonight, ESPN’s Dan Murphy explains how much progress has been made in the past year, and how the business of women’s college basketball is still limited, economically, in ways that have nothing to do with the quality of their game itself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 01, 2022
Blue Blood: Inside the Duke/UNC Rivalry
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Duke vs. UNC: when a rivalry is as storied as the one, it's hard to find ground that hasn’t already been tread. However, through the grace of the sports gods, that rivalry is headed towards uncharted territory. This Saturday, Duke will face UNC in the NCAA’s Final Four - and it’s the very first time these two teams have met in the tournament. ESPN Senior Writer and North Carolina native Ryan McGee explains why one of college basketball’s longest-running rivalries means so much to so many, and how excited UNC is at the prospect of playing spoiler to Coach K one more time. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 31, 2022
“WHAT ARE WE DOING!?” Taylor Twellman on the Rebirth of the USMNT
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In the fall of 2017, the US Men’s National Soccer Team lost a decisive qualifying match against Trinidad & Tobago, and with it, a spot in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It was a humiliating defeat for a team that hadn’t missed a World Cup since 1986. Afterwards, ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman delivered an epic rant, blasting the culture of US Soccer that, in his view, had grown complacent and arrogant. Now, more than four years later, the Americans are on the cusp of redemption. Barring a complete blowout loss tonight against Costa Rica, the Americans can book their ticket to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Taylor Twellman explains how the USMNT has changed their ways following the debacle in Trinidad, and what we can expect from a young roster that appears to be just getting started. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 30, 2022
The Olympics, an NBA Veteran, and a Medical Mystery
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NBA veteran Aron Baynes arrived at the Tokyo Olympics as one of Team Australia's most trusted big men. But during a group stage game against Italy, Baynes mysteriously fell in the bathroom during a break. When he was discovered by team staff, he had lost the ability to walk and had to be carried out on a stretcher. No one knew what was wrong. Brian Windhorst tells the story of Baynes’ medical mystery and the ordeal that followed: from being isolated in a Japanese hospital, weeping in pain day after day, to learning how to walk again...and what his path back to the NBA looks like. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 29, 2022
We’ll Get the First-Ever Duke vs. North Carolina Final Four Game
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The Final Four is set! On Sunday, we learned UNC and Duke will meet for the first time ever in the NCAA tournament. And the Kansas Jayhawks punched their ticket to the next round, taking down Miami 76-50. And this year’s Cinderella story, the Saint Peter’s Peacocks, finally got turned back into a pumpkin by UNC. On Saturday, Duke beat Arkansas 78-69, sending Coach K to his 13th and final Final Four. And Villanova stuck to their fundamentals in their takedown of Houston, 50-44. Myron Medcalf takes us inside all of the tournament action and tells us what to watch for in the Final Four. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 28, 2022
From Coach Peck to Dawn Staley: Women’s NCAA Tournament Trailblazers
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The South Carolina Gamecocks are the women’s number one overall seed, and take the court in the Sweet Sixteen tonight. After blowing out their first two opponents by an average of 37 points, SC coach Dawn Staley will be looking to take another step towards her second national title. But before Staley won her first championship came coach Carolyn Peck, the first Black woman to coach a team to an NCAA basketball title, with Purdue in 1999. Today, Carolyn Peck shares her story with us, and explains how she actually invited Dawn Staley to become the second member of her all too exclusive club … and what came next for both of these trailblazers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 25, 2022
Revisiting A Murder in Memphis: The Lorenzen Wright Story
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It’s been over a decade since NBA veteran Lorenzen Wright was murdered. Wright’s twin sons, Lamar and Shamar were just ten years old when their father was killed. Their mother, and Wright’s ex-wife, Sherra pleaded guilty to facilitating the murder of her husband in 2019, then attempted to reverse her plea to not guilty, but has since dropped the bid and will serve out the remainder of her sentence. And this week, one of the suspects who was accused of the crime, Billy Ray Turner, was found guilty of murder by a Tennessee jury. Through the loss of their father and the arrest of their mother, Lamar and Shamar Wright have pushed on, and are now playing college basketball together. Lisa Salters shares the story of Wright’s murder and the family he left behind, also covered in the E:60 A Murder in Memphis, available on demand now in the ESPN app. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 24, 2022
How Gonzaga’s Drew Timme Became College Basketball’s Biggest Star
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Gonzaga’s Drew Timme might be the biggest star in college basketball. From his questionable facial hair to his taunting theatrics, Timme is more than just the top scorer on the #1 team in the country. He’s an entertainer who is part of a dying species in the one-and-done era: a star upper-classman who lives and plays like he never wants college to end. Timme and the Zags are in search of redemption after last year’s loss in the NCAA Championship game to Baylor. But first, they’ll have to get past Arkansas in the Sweet 16. Tim Keown explains what makes Timme tick, how the tournament’s going for him, and what we should expect to see next. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 23, 2022
Sound Sports: A Blind Man’s Journey to the Broadcast Booth
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Bryce Weiler grew up listening to the likes of Brian Barnhart call Illinois basketball games, and as a young man who’d been blind since infancy, he fell in love with the pictures painted on the radio. During college in Indiana Weiler forged a relationship with the basketball team, and then found his way to the broadcast booth himself. ESPN’s Sam Borden went to visit Weiler and learn more about his process as a live game analyst for college hoops (see more coverage from College GameDay here). He shares the story of a broadcaster motivated to prove that everyone deserves opportunity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 22, 2022
Mina Kimes on Deshaun Watson, Baker Mayfield, and NFL Free Agency Frenzy
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On Friday, the Cleveland Browns acquired QB Deshaun Watson, in a massive trade that sent shockwaves across the NFL. Last year, Watson was accused of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior by multiple massage therapists, and there are currently 22 pending civil lawsuits against him. The Watson trade comes on the heels of a Texas grand jury declining to indict Watson on criminal charges, which re-ignited interest for several NFL teams, including Cleveland, who went big to make the trade happen. However, Watson could still face disciplinary action from the NFL as a result of the allegations. Mina Kimes discusses the timeline of events surrounding Watson, and what his deal means for the NFL at large. Mina and Pablo also unpack the other biggest NFL trades from the last week, including Davante Adams to the Raiders and Von Miller to the Bills. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 21, 2022
Surviving a Moose Attack on the Way to the Iditarod
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The Iditarod is the most famous dog sled race in the entire world, run across 1000 miles through the Alaskan wilderness. And while the event brings to mind images of furry dogs and beautiful landscapes, the race is incredibly challenging and dangerous. Liz Merrill traveled up north and spent time with Bridgett Watkins, an ER nurse who is competing in the race for the first time this year despite her team enduring a brutal attack by a bull moose in February. Merrill shares Watkins’ experience and story of survival.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 18, 2022
The Debate Over Swimmer Lia Thomas at the NCAA Championships
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This week, University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, a transgender woman, will compete in the NCAA championships. It’s the culmination of a season that has included records and conference championships, as well as backlash and outcry from those who believe she should not be allowed to compete on the women’s team. The NCAA had considered making changes to its policies around trans athletes ahead of this week’s NCAA Championships, but kept their current guidelines in place, clearing the path for Lia to swim for a national title. ESPN’s Katie Barnes joins us from the Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Atlanta with the very latest on Lia’s story, the potential public protests, as well as the ripple effect in state legislatures across the country, where Thomas has been invoked as an example for lawmakers seeking to restrict trans youth participation in sports. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 17, 2022
Betting the NCAA Tournament with Chris “The Bear” Fallica
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Every year, when the calendar turns to March, it’s time for just one thing in the world of sports: college basketball….a lot of it. And for Chris “The Bear” Fallica, March is a time when numbers reign supreme. From seeds to statistics, to of course, betting odds…Fallica is a college basketball savant. He joins the show to share his path from research producer to sports betting analyst, where he is frequently seen making picks against the spread on College Gameday, and helps guide us through the NCAA Tournament action based on those numbers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 16, 2022
Tom Brady: Un-Retired
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Tom Brady has done it to us AGAIN. It’s been mere weeks since he supposedly hung up his cleats, but now he’s ready to lace them back up and play another season in Tompa Bay. We called up our resident Brady expert Seth Wickersham to tell us why we probably should’ve seen this coming…what we might expect from Brady and his Bucs this season…and whether Cristiano Ronaldo had anything to do with it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 15, 2022
WNBA’s Brittney Griner Detained in Russia: What We Know
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WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested by Russian police at an airport near Moscow last month. Griner is being held on charges that she was transporting hashish oil, a marijuana concentrate, which is illegal in Russia. The details of Griner’s arrest were not public until early March. That sparked outcry over the lack of attention around Griner’s case, but also concern that publicity could further endanger her. ESPN investigative reporter T.J. Quinn explains what we know and how a delicate dance plays out from here, as government officials and those closest to Griner fight to bring her home. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 14, 2022
Hockey’s Russian Backlash + Jack Eichel’s Return to Buffalo
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Alexander Ovechkin tied Jamomir Jagr this week for the third most goals in NHL history. But just as Ovi is climbing the ladder of hockey immortality, he is facing scrutiny like never before following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ovechkin, like the 40 other Russian players in the NHL, have avoided directly condemning the war, which has invited public backlash. But it’s an almost impossible situation for Russian players, knowing that opposition to the war could invite harassment for their families back in Russia. Emily Kaplan explains how the hockey world has been shaken by the war in Ukraine. Then, she updates on a different kind of controversy: Jack Eichel’s return to Buffalo to play against his former team following a bitter fight over how to treat his neck injury. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 11, 2022
Sixers-Nets Preview + NBA Round-Up with Zach Lowe
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All eyes will be on Philadelphia tonight when James Harden and the Sixers take on Harden’s former team, the visiting Brooklyn Nets…who may or may not have simply been a cog in a long-play by Harden and Daryl Morey to get to Philly all along. Oh, and Ben Simmons will be there too, though he won’t be playing due to an injury. Zach Lowe tells us all about this possible conspiracy and catches us up on what’s been going on around the league, including a couple of pantheon performances by LeBron James. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 10, 2022
Bill Barnwell on NFL Mega Deals: Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers
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Aaron Rodgers is staying in Green Bay, and Russell Wilson is heading to Denver to the Broncos! While the details of the Rodgers deal are still being ironed out, Russell Wilson will call the Mile High City his new home, and he enters an AFC West that’s loaded with star QBs like Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. Bill Barnwell unpacks the latest in these blockbuster NFL moves and explains how they’ve upended the seats of power in the NFL. Plus, Calvin Ridley’s gambling suspension. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 09, 2022
March Madness is Wildly Wide Open
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The thrill of March Madness has long been the allure of upsets – the single-elimination Cinderella runs and David v. Goliath battles. ESPN’s Myron Medcalf is about to cover his 12th straight NCAA tournament, and he shares why this year’s potential for dramatic upsets is high. We break down this season’s unprecedented parity, and which teams and divisions deserve more eyes as the tournament begins. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 08, 2022
Saving the Regular Season: Live from the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference
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It’s a special live episode of ESPN Daily! This weekend in Boston, some of the brightest minds from across the sports world gathered for the annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. One of the panels, led by our own Pablo Torre, focused on the growing concern that many of the major sports' regular seasons feel like they don’t matter as much as they used to, with players and media focused solely on championship rings. The panel entitled “Maximizing Competitive Meaning” featuring the NBA’s Evan Wasch, Brad Pursel of MLS, and Sam Schwartzstein, formerly of the XFL, addressed this very question, and examined how fixing the regular season just may require tinkering with some of sports most sacred traditions. We’re excited to bring you this panel, in podcast form!  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 07, 2022
The Making of Coach K
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Love him or hate him, the mark that Mike Krzyzewski has left on men’s college basketball is indelible. Nobody has won more Division I men’s college basketball games than Coach K; he has won five national titles, made 12 Final Fours, and turned Duke University into one of the most iconic institutions in American life. And now, as Coach K prepares to say goodbye to the program he built at Duke, Wright Thompson takes us back to share where he came from, what it means for his reign to come to an end, and the legacy he’ll leave behind. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 04, 2022
Baseball Opening Day Canceled: How We Got Here
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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Tuesday that the first two series of the regular season, over 90 games in total, would be canceled. Negotiations between MLB and its Players Association have dragged on since the lockout began in December, and the current tensions have been brewing for years. MLB Insider Jeff Passan called it one of the darkest days in baseball. He tells us why the players are upset, whether or not this was inevitable…and just how far both sides are from an agreement. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 03, 2022
How Vladimir Putin Uses Sports to Maintain Power
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The entire world has watched in shock and horror this past week as the Russian Army invaded Ukraine. At the center of it stands one man, whose thinking and motivation everyone is seeking to better understand: Russian president Vladimir Putin. But as it turns out, there may be no better way into the mind of Putin than through his deep, deliberate impact on the world of sports. Investigative reporter TJ Quinn traveled to Russia in 2018 to report on Putin’s ties to the sports world, and how he has used major events like the World Cup and the Olympics to maintain his grip on power. Quinn explains what we can learn about Putin through the lens of sports, and why athletes and officials are finally fighting back against him. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 02, 2022
NFL Combine Confidential with Domonique Foxworth
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The NFL combine: an annual spectacle that is part job interview, part gym class, and part reality TV show. It is also a critical moment in deciding the future of a new class of NFL draft prospects. An exceptionally good or bad performance in the combine will make a prospect’s draft stock rise or fall, meaning millions in potential salary is on the table. But just how useful is the combine in actually predicting a player’s NFL career? And what is it like for the players to run the gauntlet of medical evaluations, physical tests, and character evaluations? ESPN’s Domonique Foxworth went through the process in 2005. He shares all the secrets from inside the scouting combine, and why it may not be as important as we think. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 01, 2022
Cowboys Cheerleaders Accuse Top Executive of Locker Room Spying
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For six years the Dallas Cowboys had a secret. One of their top executives was accused of spying on several cheerleaders in a locker room: and the team wrote a big check to make it all go away. Don Van Natta investigates this story for ESPN and shares the other bombshell accusation that was made, what it reveals about Jerry Jones’ team, and what happens next for the women at the center of this incident. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 28, 2022
What If Every NBA Rule Was Up for Grabs
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While NBA players and their style of play have changed drastically in the league’s 75 years of existence, the rules that govern the game have mostly stayed the same. The popularity of the All-Star Game’s “Elam Ending” shows that changing many of basketball's long-standing rules could improve the game for fans, players and the league. ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry dives deep into which rules should get scrapped and what to do instead. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 25, 2022
The Most Hated Man in Hockey…Returns
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Brad Marchand contains multitudes. Sure, the Boston Bruins winger could be called the most hated man in hockey, back on the ice tonight after serving his latest suspension - his second of the season. But Marchand is also one of the top scorers in the NHL, integral to the Bruins’ offense. He’s known for cheap shots, punching opposing players, licking faces, and was once given the nickname “Little Ball of Hate” from former President Barack Obama. Greg Wyshynski joins us to discuss Marchand’s reputation, his impact on the Bruins, and how we’ll look back on his legacy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 24, 2022
Catching the Wikipedia Sports Vandals
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We’ve all turned to Wikipedia, the massive volunteer-run database, for more answers than we’d care to admit. And we’re so often reminded that anyone - anyone - can edit Wikipedia entries whenever they want. So when massive sporting events like the Olympics happen, and sports become a shared cultural touchstone, you can bet that Wiki-vandals will pounce. They edit Wikipedia entries and turn them into a modern-day, digital bathroom wall. ESPN’s Dave Fleming takes us inside the secret world of Wikipedia sports vandalism, shares how this phenomenon began, and tells us what Wikipedia is trying to do to stop it.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 23, 2022
The Battle Over “Play Like a Champion Today” (Re-Spin)
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“Play Like a Champion Today.” It’s one of the most iconic phrases in sports, and it’s long been synonymous with Notre Dame. Over the years, legendary Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz has told the story of the team’s famous sign, and the traditional pregame slap that’s performed as they take the field. Holtz put up the sign, yes. But where did he get the idea? Another powerhouse college program disputes Holtz’s claims. ESPN’s Dave Wilson tells us who might - or might not - deserve credit for one of the most famous sentences in sports. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 22, 2022
How to Survive 135 Miles: The World’s Most Impossible Run (Re-Spin)
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The Badwater ultramarathon is known as the world’s most impossible run. From grueling mountain climbs to scorching, 100+ degree temperatures in the middle of Death Valley, it’s a 135 mile race that only a select group of individuals have ever finished. Enter Kelaine Conochan, who pushed her mind, body, and soul to its limit, in pursuit of completing the race in July of 2021. She wrote about her Badwater experience for ESPN.com, and shares what she lost - and found - in her 37 hours of running, chafing, chugging flat Coca-Cola, and flat out surviving. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 21, 2022
Trae Young: The Making of the NBA’s Favorite Villain
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With a 3-pointer and a bow at Madison Square Garden’s center court, the Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young added to his growing legend in last year’s playoffs. To understand that moment, and the 23-year-old NBA All Star that authored it, ESPN’s Dotun Akintoye traced Young’s roots back to tiny Pampa, Texas and a love for basketball passed down through generations. Akintoye explains the mental makeup and leadership potential of a young man who's not afraid to play the villain. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 18, 2022
Former Angels Staffer Stands Trial for Death of Pitcher Tyler Skaggs
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When Angels’ pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in July of 2019, it sent shock waves across baseball. There was an outpouring of grief and sorrow for the loss of a promising young player, teammate, and husband at just 27 years old. But the shock of Skaggs’ death was only compounded when Eric Kay, who had been the Angels’ own director of communications, was arrested and accused of supplying the opioids that lead to Skaggs’ death. Now, more than two years later, Kay is on trial in federal court, and could face upwards of 20 years in prison if convicted. The trial has also seen testimony from a number of Skaggs’ former teammates, including former Mets’ ace Matt Harvey, who also acknowledged that he received drugs from Kay. ESPN investigative reporter TJ Quinn joins us from the site of the trial in Fort Worth, Texas to explain what Eric Kay, and baseball at large, is facing.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 17, 2022
Swimmer Lia Thomas and NCAA Transgender Policy
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This season, University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas took to the pool for first time as a transgender woman, on the women’s team. Thomas’ gender transition was several years in the making, and she adhered to guidelines from her sport’s governing bodies as she returned to competition. But when Thomas started winning and breaking records this season, her story made news well beyond the swimming world, and critics of transgender inclusion in sports took particular note. As Thomas heads to the Ivy League championships, ESPN’s Katie Barnes tells the story of this barrier-breaking swimmer, the policies and politics that surround her. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 16, 2022
“Stay on the f---ing phone!” Inside the Harden/Simmons Trade Talks
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It was the blockbuster trade NBA fans had been waiting for: James Harden for Ben Simmons. It was a seismic swap that finally came together in the closing moments ahead of the trade deadline, with Sixers president Daryl Morey shouting “Stay on the f---ing phone!” to Nets GM Sean Marks. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne takes us inside all of the conversations that led to James Harden becoming a 76er, and shares how the trade’s actually been brewing for years. And while both Ben Simmons and James Harden are getting a fresh start: is this truly the final chapter of their sagas? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 15, 2022
LAst Team Standing: Bill Barnwell on Rams Championship
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The Los Angeles Rams have won Super Bowl LVI! Bill Barnwell tells us what it took for LA to bring home the Lombardi Trophy. The Rams went all-in on the NFL’s biggest season in history, and after injuries to key players and struggling to establish the run, it was none other than Aaron Donald, Matthew Stafford, and Cooper Kupp who put the team on their back. How did they beat the Bengals? And what does Bill make of this dramatic season? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 14, 2022
Super Bowl Preview with Alex Smith (Almost Live From Disneyland)
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The NFL season ends this Sunday in Inglewood, when the Los Angeles Rams host the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. Pablo met up (in person!) with our resident QB Alex Smith to get his perspective on how these teams match up, and how the view is different one year removed from his own time on the field. We dig into the qualities of Rams underrated QB Matthew Stafford, and what it’s like to line up against the force that is Aaron Donald. With the Cinderella Cincinnati Bengals, we explore how Joe Burrow got here this quickly. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 11, 2022
How Whitney Houston’s Super Bowl National Anthem Has Endured
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It has been ten years since Whitney Houston died on February 11, 2012. The link between the musical icon and sports is specific and indelible, through her iconic rendition of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXV. While her performance was breathtaking, much of what made it truly special, and the events surrounding it, have been overlooked. E:60’s Jeremy Schaap relives a classic Super Bowl memory, and why Whitney’s high notes from that night continue to echo a decade after her passing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 10, 2022
Welcome to the Jungle: How the Bengals became Super Bowl Cinderellas
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Outside of maybe Joe Burrow himself, there are not a lot of people who thought the Cincinnati Bengals would be playing for the Lombardi Trophy this Sunday. The franchise is just a couple years removed from having the worst record in the NFL and prior to the 2021 season, they hadn’t won a playoff game in more than three decades…and they entered this season with 125-1 odds of making it to the Super Bowl. It all adds up to one of the most shocking Super Bowl appearances ever, one that has even stunned the city it calls home. ESPN’s Bengals reporter Ben Baby explains how the franchise turned it around so fast (hint: Joe Burrow), and just what the city of Cincinnati is making of their unexpected success. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 09, 2022
Simmons For Harden? Possible NBA Trade Deals, Explained
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The NBA is in a frenzy, as the trade deadline approaches. Rumors have swirled about some of the league’s biggest stars but ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has the truth. He pulls back the veil of the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets front office as the Ben Simmons saga may continue past the deadline. With some teams already making moves, Windhorst has the details on some possible deals that could tighten the arms race. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 08, 2022
Matthew Stafford’s Second Chance (Re-Air)
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When the Los Angeles Rams traded for Matthew Stafford this offseason, they delivered one of the NFL’s biggest arms to one of its biggest brains: head coach Sean McVay. Over a dozen years in Detroit, Stafford put up big individual numbers, but the Lions’ lackluster talent meant that his ability was often squandered on teams that had no real chance at contending for a Super Bowl. That is no longer the case, as Stafford, McVay, and the rest of the Rams franchise know that nothing less than the Lombardi Trophy will be considered a success: it’s Super Bowl or bust in LA, and they’re on the cusp of reaching that goal. Today, Seth Wickersham takes us behind the scenes of how the Stafford trade went down, what it all says about quarterbacks in the modern era, and how Cabo, apparently, is the nexus of power in the NFL. Then, a look back at the play that changed not only Tom Brady's career...but also the NFL itself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 07, 2022
Conflicted About the Beijing Olympics? You’re Not Alone.
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The Beijing Olympics began this week, and while many will be supporting their country’s athletes from afar, the shadow of China’s complicated human rights record will be dimming the glamour of the games. From the disappearance of tennis star Peng Shaui to the horrific treatment of the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang province to China’s anti-democracy and free speech crackdowns, the moral and ethical complications of placing the games in China have highlighted tensions within the International Olympic Committee. Sam Borden explains the sociopolitical context of the Beijing Olympics, and why these games feel so much more complicated. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 04, 2022
Brian Flores’ NFL Discrimination Lawsuit, Explained
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Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit this week against the NFL and three teams, alleging discrimination and racism in their hiring practices. The suit includes shocking details, alleging that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered Flores $100,000 per loss to improve the team’s draft position. Flores also allegedly learned that the New York Giants’ head coaching job he was set to interview for was no longer available, through an accidental text from Bill Belichick. Ryan Smith explains the lawsuit, its relationship to the NFL’s Rooney Rule for coach hiring, and what’s next.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 03, 2022
Why Ja Morant’s Grizzlies Are the Most Entertaining Team in the NBA
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If you’re not paying attention to the Memphis Grizzlies this season, you might want to start now. Led by the electric Ja Morant, the Grizzlies have the NBA’s third best record, and have earned a reputation for their swagger and fearlessness. Tim MacMahon shares why things are finally clicking in Memphis, tracks Ja Morant’s rise, and explains what makes this team so entertaining - and if they can make a run in the NBA postseason. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 02, 2022
2022 Winter Olympics Viewer’s Guide: What to Watch for in Beijing
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The Winter Olympics begin this week, but if you’re anything like us, you probably need some help getting up to speed on who to watch out for in Beijing. There’s Red Gerard, defending gold medalist in snowboarding from the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, whose family just might be the Gronkowskis of the Olympics. There is the most decorated American skier ever, Mikaela Shriffin, who finally gets the spotlight to herself with the retirement of Lindsey Vonn. And then there’s Chloe Kim, who famously won gold in 2018 at the age of 18…but her path back to the snow has been a rocky one. Our resident Olympics correspondent Alyssa Roenigk is here to fill you in on everything you need to know for the 2022 Winter Games.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 01, 2022
Bengals, Rams Are Super Bowl Bound: Alex Smith on Conference Championships
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The Bengals and Rams are going to Super Bowl LVI! In the AFC Championship, Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ defense took the Chiefs to overtime and won in Arrowhead, sending Cincinnati to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1988. And, in the NFC Championship in Los Angeles, the Rams capitalized on a lackluster performance from Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers’ offense. Alex Smith breaks down the games, and shares his memories of the maybe-soon-to-be-retired Tom Brady. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 31, 2022
The Thicc Six Episode: The Making of Big Man TDs
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“Thicc Six.” It’s a phrase that has exploded across Twitter this NFL season, usually when a quarterback throws a touchdown to an open…and eligible…offensive lineman. But, why are we seeing so many Big Man touchdowns all of sudden? And what makes them so awesome? Mike Golic Jr. takes us into the trenches and into the psychology of the NFL’s largest men, and explains why their moment in the spotlight brings so much joy to so many. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 28, 2022
The Lakers’ Russell Westbrook Experiment is Failing. Why?
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When the Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook last summer, championship expectations were set. But now, they currently sit in the eighth seed of the Western Conference with a .500 record. They might even miss the playoffs. It’s become clear that the Westbrook experiment playing out on this Lakers team is failing. So who’s at fault? And what’s next? Ramona Shelburne takes us inside Crypto.com Arena to answer all of our questions, and game out solutions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 27, 2022
Kobe and Alto: A Bond Between Two Champions
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It has been exactly two years since a helicopter crash claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, three members of the Altobelli family and four others. Alyssa Altobelli was a teammate of Gianna’s, and she was accompanied by her parents John and Keri. As it turns out, John was a legendary figure in his own right as the head baseball coach of Orange Coast College, a junior college in Orange County. In his 27 years at the helm of the program, John won over 700 games and four state championships. ESPN’s Chris Connelly explains the mutual respect John and Kobe had for each other, and just how big of an impact John had on his team…and in his community. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 26, 2022
Jeff Passan on Bonds, Clemens, and the Most Controversial HOF Ballot Ever
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On Tuesday, the Baseball Hall of Fame will announce the results of what may be the most controversial ballot in Cooperstown history. It’s not only the final year players like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, and Curt Schilling can appear on the writers’ ballot, but also the first year David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez are eligible. So our baseball insider Jeff Passan walks us through the process of HOF voting and what’s at stake. He also explains why he chose to give us his own Hall of Fame vote, and how he thinks Cooperstown should tell the history of baseball’s PED era. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 25, 2022
Alex Smith on the NFL’s Epic, Insane, Unbelievable Playoff Weekend
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The football was very, very good this weekend. Mere seconds were the difference in NFL seasons living and dying, as all four games came down to their final play. Our Monday Morning QB, Alex Smith is here to unpack what may be the best couple days of playoff football ever. Mahomes vs. Allen lived up to the heavyweight billing with a quarterback duel for the ages, trading touchdowns and finally ending in overtime. Smith also takes us through why Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense froze out in Green Bay, why Matthew Stafford and the Rams are inching closer to the ultimate home field advantage, and how Joe Burrow and the Bengals stunned the top seeded Titans. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 24, 2022
Mina Kimes on NFL Divisional Playoff Matchups
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The NFL divisional round playoffs are here! In the NFC, the Niners are looking for another upset on the road: this time in Lambeau, vs. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. And Matthew Stafford’s LA Rams have a date with Tom Brady and the Bucs, in Tampa. Over in the AFC, Joe Burrow and the Bengals will face a healthy Derrick Henry and the Titans, while Josh Allen and the Bills meet Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, in a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship. Mina Kimes takes us inside each matchup, and tells us what she’s watching for in this weekend’s games.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 21, 2022
Longsnappers: The NFL’s Unsung Special Teams Artists
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The NFL longsnapper lives and dies in football’s “game of inches.” These unsung heroes have to aim the ball and get it to the kicker when the game is on the line. But what goes into the art and science of longsnapping? Dave Fleming brings us onto the field and shows us what the world looks like from a longsnapper’s point of view, and shares how these niche players do their high-precision, high-pressure jobs upside down where perfection is the only acceptable standard. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 20, 2022
Blood in the Garden: How the 90s Knicks Gave Rise to the Modern NBA
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Despite decades of mediocrity, the New York Knicks inspire an almost religious devotion from their rabid fanbase. The Nets may play across town with three of the biggest stars in NBA history, but New York still bleeds blue and orange. That was never more evident than in the 1990s, when you could watch the Knicks fight on the court…figuratively and literally…at Madison Square Garden. Under the direction of head coach Pat Riley, and led by players like Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley and John Starks, the Knicks pioneered a style of basketball that was physical, intimidating, and rarely beautiful. Chris Herring, author of Blood in the Garden: The Flagrant History of the 1990s New York Knicks, explains how a team known for its tough guy image paved the way for the modern NBA. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 19, 2022
The Last Save: Inside the Blue Jackets Goaltenders’ Friendship and Tragedy (Re-Air)
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Over the summer, Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks was struck and killed by fireworks at a 4th of July celebration in Michigan. It was a tragedy that hit especially hard for Kivlenieks’ friend and teammate, fellow netminder Elvis Merzlikins. The two goaltenders shared more than just their position: they were among just a handful of NHL players from the tiny nation of Latvia. Merzlikins even invited Kivlenieks to live with him and his wife in Columbus. Emily Kaplan joins the show to share the story of their friendship, the tragedy that took one life far too young, and how the Blue Jackets plan to honor their fallen teammate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 18, 2022
Alex Smith + Louis Riddick on NFL Super Wild Card Games
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The heroics and heartbreak of the NFL playoffs are here! Our Monday QB Alex Smith breaks down all the action from a Super Wild Card weekend that delivered…from Cincinnati breaking its 31-year playoff curse, to the Cowboys finding yet another year of heartbreak as the clock ran down to 0…to the Bills decimating the Patriots. Then, ESPN’s Louis Riddick previews the first Monday Night Wild Card matchup in over 30 years…a rubber match between two familiar NFC West foes in the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 17, 2022
Bill Barnwell Tames the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend
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NFL Super Wild Card Weekend is here! This supersized first round of playoff action has it all. The AFC playoffs will see the Raiders travel to Cincinnati to take on Joe Burrow - who’s in danger from Las Vegas DE Maxx Crosby, the Patriots and Bills grinding through single digit temperatures, and T.J. Watt making a stand, as the Steelers visit the Chiefs. The NFC side of things sets up an Eagles team who may be getting hot at the right time vs. the Super Bowl champion Bucs, a matchup laden with playoff history between the Cowboys-Niners, and Kyler Murray’s playoff debut when the Cardinals play the Rams. Bill Barnwell helps us make sense of every playoff game, under-the-radar player and storylines you may have missed, and what comes next. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 14, 2022
What Went Wrong for Brian Flores and the Dolphins
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The end of the NFL regular season inevitably means a round of firings of head coaches from the league's underperforming teams. But this year, one name came as a shock: Brian Flores. He was fired by the Miami Dolphins after compiling a record of 24-25 in his three seasons at the helm. The Dolphins nearly made it to the playoffs in 2020, and bounced back from an 0-7 start this season to finish 9-8. ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques explains what led to Flores’ ousting…and why it may have had nothing to do with football. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 13, 2022
DeMar DeRozan: The MVP Candidate Fueling the Chicago Bulls
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The most surprising MVP candidate in the NBA this season basically spent a dozen years hiding in plain sight: DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls. Remembered by many as being the player on the other end of the Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard trade, DeRozan is having his best season yet at age 32. Now playing for the upstart Chicago Bulls, DeRozan isn’t just leading the 1st place team in the Eastern Conference: he’s feeding into a championship hunger that dates back to Michael Jordan and the 90s. Bulls beat writer Jamal Collier sat down with DeRozan, and he joins the show to share his story, and tells us what the mood is like in Chicago now that the Bulls are back. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 12, 2022
How Georgia Beat Bama to Be College Football Champions
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The Georgia Bulldogs are your 2022 College Football Champions! The biggest night in CFB was a thriller until the very end, with Georgia and Alabama trading touchdowns late into the fourth quarter. After a season that saw continued discussion of changing the College Football Playoff, the introduction of NIL freedom for players, and SEC omnipresence, Mike Golic Jr. breaks down the game that won the title, what the win means for Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, a former assistant of Nick Saban’s, and what’s ahead for the ever-dominant SEC. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 11, 2022
Alex Smith on Wild End of NFL Regular Season
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The NFL’s regular season has left us with wider eyes than when it started. Our Monday QB Alex Smith breaks down the Sunday chaos where the improbable ruled: the Raiders won in overtime, narrowly evading the vaunted tie scenario and keeping the Chargers out of the playoffs. Earlier, the 49ers pulled off the comeback to beat the Rams in LA in OT. And the Colts, who had a win-and-in scenario in Jacksonville, will now have to settle for front row seats at the college National Championship Game – by the way that’s where we found ESPN’s Dave Fleming and his daughter Ally, decked out for the Dawgs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 10, 2022
Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 18, Playoff Picture, and a Bizarre NFL Season
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The NFL finishes its first 17-game regular season this weekend, and stakes around the league are high. With numerous records across the sport on the verge of breaking this Sunday, Bill Barnwell reflects on what a weird football season it’s been, and answers our most burning questions headed into the playoffs, like: could the Saints sneak into the NFC race with Taysom Hill under center, or even unknown QB Ian Book? Are the Titans the worst #1 seed the AFC has ever seen? And should the Raiders and Chargers declare a temporary truce so they both can make the playoffs? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 07, 2022
Behold, the Porta Potty: Meet the Unsung Heroes of Stadium Events
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If you’ve ever been to a sporting event, you’ve probably held your breath, closed your eyes, and had the shared human experience of using a porta potty. But behind this unglamorous, stomach-turning necessity are the companies and people responsible for supplying and cleaning them, especially on NFL gamedays. Ryan Hockensmith traveled to Orchard Park for a Buffalo Bills game and tailgate, and went behind-the-scenes with a sanitation company on a typical Sunday. He shares his reporting with us, and takes us inside the industry: the sights, sounds, smells, and sucks of porta potties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 06, 2022
Will the Kyrie Irving Part-Time Experiment Work?
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Kyrie Irving is expected to play his first game of the season for the Brooklyn Nets tonight, after missing 35 games because he is not vaccinated for Covid-19. New York City has a vaccine mandate, meaning Irving is prohibited from playing home games in Brooklyn. But now, after initially saying they would not allow Irving to play part-time, the Nets have reversed course, and the team is allowing him to play on the road. ESPN’s Brooklyn Nets reporter Nick Friedell explains the Nets’ game plan, how they arrived at the decision to bring Kyrie back, and what the rest of Brooklyn’s season could look like with Irving playing only on the road. We also ask Nick about his past life covering the Golden State Warriors, and Klay Thompson’s impending comeback. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 05, 2022
Is the 10,000-Hour Rule a Myth We Need to Bust?
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Practice, practice, practice. The theory goes that with enough repetition, time, and hard work, anyone can become the master of their craft. The 10,000-Hour Rule was derived from performance research and then Malcolm Gladwell made it famous everywhere from sports to investing. But best-selling author David Epstein joins the show to put the theory to the test. He explains why the concept of 10,000. hours to mastery is so appealing, and so wrong. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 04, 2022
Our Monday QB Alex Smith on NFL Week 17
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The NFL regular season is hurtling to a dramatic finish, as the playoff picture became clearer in Week 17. The Bengals and the Chiefs rang in the new year with fireworks from both offenses, culminating in a division-clinching, game-winning field goal for Cincinnati. Tom Brady showed us that he’s still Tom Brady. He led the Buccaneers to a comeback win over the Jets, after Antonio Brown suddenly fled the game. In the NFC West, Kyler Murray led the Cardinals to a win over the Cowboys, while Matthew Stafford overcame his first half struggles against the Ravens to lead the Rams to victory…with some help from a couple of LA’s mid-season acquisitions. Our Monday QB Alex Smith breaks down what he saw and gives insight on Baker Mayfield ahead of Monday Night Football’s matchup between the Steelers and Browns. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 03, 2022
What We’re Made Of: A Vaccine Pioneer and Her Olympian Daughter (Re-air)
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Two-time Olympic gold medalist Susan Francia's mother, Dr. Kate Karikó, has seen her lifelong work come to fruition in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Karikó’s dedication to her research amidst adversity inspired her daughter, who became an elite rower and Olympian. In a re-air of one our favorite episodes, ESPN’s Julie Foudy once again takes us through the story of Dr. Karikó’s perseverance, her mRNA breakthroughs behind the vaccine, and the mother-daughter relationship at the center of the E:60 feature “What We’re Made Of.”  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 31, 2021
The Mystery of the Backyard Bowling Balls (Re-Air)
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David Olson is a quiet, Midwestern father of three, living an ordinary life. That is until one day this summer, when doing some home renovation, he discovered some bowling balls buried under the steps leading to his backyard. And not just two, or three, or 10 or 20 bowling balls. In total, Olson uncovered a whopping 162 bowling balls from his property, and ended up going viral with his story. Where had the balls come from? How did they end up at Olson’s house? Ryan Hockensmith re-tells this stranger-than-fiction story of man’s unexpected discovery…and the unexpected way in which it ultimately transformed his life.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 30, 2021
EXCLUSIVE: Was a Former NBA Bettor Running the Mavs? (Re-Air)
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Bob Voulgaris turned his career as a professional, data-driven NBA bettor into a dream job when Mark Cuban made him Director of Quantitative Research and Analysis for the Dallas Mavericks. But tension built between Voulgaris and then-GM Donnie Nelson, and relationships with players got muddy. Reports in The Athletic this year claimed the former bettor was running the show behind the scenes in Dallas. Then, during the offseason, the GM, coach and Voulgaris all left the team. Today, we respin our October conversation with Bob Voulgaris––his first interview since leaving the Mavs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 29, 2021
The Game Before: One City's Soccer Obsession And Its COVID Crisis (Re-Air)
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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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 28, 2021
The Purrfect Tale of Baseball’s Rally Cat (Re-Air)
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Cats made many cameos in sports in 2021, from a stray at Yankee Stadium to a dangling feline in Miami. But ESPN’s Liz Merrill has the original wild and twisting tale of the St. Louis Cardinals’ Rally Cat. When the kitten crawled onto the field during the bottom of the sixth in a 2017 game against the Kansas City Royals, Yadier Molina proceeded to hit a go-ahead grand slam on the very next pitch. Hear the story…once again…of the all-out search that followed for the Rally Cat, and the heated fight over where it should live. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 27, 2021
When Eagles Fans Booed Santa: The Notorious True Story (Re-Air)
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It’s one of the most infamous fan stories in sports history: when Eagles fans booed Santa at halftime of a game played at Franklin Field. But who was the Santa in question - and why was he booed and pelted with snowballs? As our annual ESPN Daily Christmas tradition, we re-air this episode featuring Outside the Lines’ Jeremy Schaap and Mina Kimes, and their reflection on the enduring legacy of the Philadelphia Santa.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 24, 2021
How the World’s Biggest Sportsbook Makes the Odds
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Sports leagues, media outlets and more used to look down on betting as corrupting the supposed purity of athletics. But in 2018 the Supreme Court dealt a new hand, allowing all states to legalize betting. Now gambling is a fast-growing part of mainstream sports. Betting lines on games appear on ESPN’s own news ticker. Sports books are opening everywhere and phone-based apps keep evolving. But Las Vegas is still the nerve center of it all, and global sports correspondent Sam Borden takes us inside the Westgate sportsbook to see how the pros who make the odds find their perfect numbers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 23, 2021
Momentum: An Odyssey into the Most Overused Word in Sports
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Momentum: it’s a concept used by coaches, players, and announcers alike to describe the shift in energy in a game or play. Ask any coach - if your team has the momentum, that’s a good thing. But momentum has its fair share of doubters. What exactly is momentum? Is it measurable? Or do you just know it when you see it? David Hale is a momentum skeptic, and decided to embark on a personal quest to separate fact from fiction regarding the most overused word in sports. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 22, 2021
Why College Football Crowds are Storming the Field
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Storming the field: it’s a time-honored sports tradition where players, coaches, and fans in the stands descend upon the field after a victory. This year we’ve seen it in record numbers in college football, spawning countless Instagram posts and fuming turf managers. So, why are we seeing it happen so much more, and what’s the larger impact? ESPN’s Dave Wilson takes us inside this misunderstood ritual. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 21, 2021
Covid + Sports: Why It’s Not March 2020 All Over Again
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Sports leagues around the world have seen a surge of positive coronavirus tests, leading to postponed games and hollowed out rosters. But we are a long way from March 2020, on several levels. With vaccines, boosters and rapid tests, leagues are rewriting their policies and taking concerted action to curb the spread of the omicron variant. ESPN’s Stephania Bell lays out impacts and changes in the NFL and other leagues. Then Dr. Joseph Allen, author of the book “Healthy Buildings” and public health expert at Harvard University, weighs the risks ahead for sports and society. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 20, 2021
Urban Fired: Bill Barnwell on Why Meyer Crashed and Burned in NFL
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In the end, the Urban Meyer era in Jacksonville lasted just 13 games. Meyer was fired with a 2-11 record in Jacksonville, but it was issues off the field that ultimately doomed his tenure with the club. There was the video of woman dancing near his lap that went viral, there were the reports of him calling his assistant coaches “losers,” and then this week, reports surfaced that he kicked and berated former Jags kicker Josh Lambo. Bill Barnwell explains what the firing means for Meyer, Jacksonville, and the rest of the NFL.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 17, 2021
Tiger Woods Returns to Golf Alongside His Son
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Tiger Woods is poised to return to the golf course this weekend at the PNC Championship. It’s been less than a year since his horrific car accident. The highlight of this father-son tournament might just be watching the best golfer of his generation play alongside his son, Charlie Woods. ESPN Senior Golf Analyst and host of “America’s Caddie,” Michael Collins, tells us about the dynamic between Tiger and his son, some striking similarities, and what’s next for the legend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 16, 2021
Is Jim Harbaugh Finally Michigan’s Messiah?
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It took SEVEN YEARS into Jim Harbaugh’s tenure for the Michigan Wolverines to finally beat their bitter rival, the Ohio State Buckeyes. And with another win over Iowa, the Wolverines are, at last, Big Ten Champions. But the hard work is just beginning, as college football’s giants, Georgia and Alabama, stand between the Wolverines and a CFB title (sorry, Cincinnati). ESPN’s Tom VanHaaran joins the show to discuss the excruciating build up to this monumental moment for Harbaugh and Michigan, and whether “Michigan’s Messiah” can erase seven years of pain with just two more wins. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 15, 2021
Fistful of Steel: The Rise of Bubba Wallace
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The world of NASCAR doesn’t have anyone else like Bubba Wallace. The 28-year-old is the only Black driver in NASCAR’s Cup Series, the highest level of the sport — making Wallace both an athlete and an ambassador, whether he likes it or not. Millions across the country learned his name in 2020 when he emerged as a leading voice for racial justice, successfully lobbying his sport to ban the Confederate flag. But for a name that is familiar to so many, Wallace’s story and journey are not as well-known. Ryan McGee interviewed Wallace for E60’s special, “Fistful of Steel – The Rise of Bubba Wallace,” which airs tonight at 7:30pm ET on ESPN, and McGee joins ESPN Daily to share his insights on an athlete whose life has become a window into the evolution of his sport, and of America itself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 14, 2021
Formula One Racing’s Shocking Finale + Alex Smith on NFL Week 14
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Formula One’s grand finale on Sunday shocked the world, and ESPN’s Laurence Edmonson was there as Max Verstappen got the title by passing Lewis Hamilton in a controversial final lap. Edmonson joins the show from Abu Dhabi to share the utter soap opera of it all, and where the sport goes from here. Then Alex Smith shares how the Dallas Cowboys earned their role as first in the NFC East after fending off a late Washington Football Team surge, and sets up Monday Night Football’s Rams-Cardinals clash. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 13, 2021
How the Heisman Trophy Lost its Luster + F1 Season Finale
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The Heisman Trophy is college football’s most prestigious individual award. Its list of winners are a who's who of the most legendary names in the sport’s history: Doak Walker. Roger Staubach. Bo Jackson. Barry Sanders. Charles Woodson. For years, the annual Heisman race debate was the center of the college football season, a topic that drew almost as much attention as rankings and bowl appearances. But in recent years, as the College Football Playoff has become the center of all conversation in the sport, the Heisman’s status seems to have dimmed somewhat. And perhaps no season has seen less anticipation surrounding the trophy than this one. So, with the Heisman ceremony tomorrow night, Ryan McGee answers every question we have about college football’s most famous trophy, and how relevant the award is today. Then, hear why Ryan describes this Sunday’s Formula One grand finale in Abu Dhabi as “the greatest driver versus driver showdown in the history of the sport,” where Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are set to race. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 10, 2021
Bill Barnwell on NFC Playoff Picture + College Coaching Carousel
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The NFC is anyone’s for the taking at this point in the NFL season. Teams like the 49ers and Washington Football Team are on the fringe, with the Eagles threatening. Further down in the standings, the Falcons and Panthers might be long shots, but their postseason hopes aren’t dead…yet. Bill Barnwell assesses the NFC playoff picture, and shares his insights on how the college football coaching carousel could impact the NFL’s coaching jobs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 09, 2021
Most Powerful Curse in the NFL? The 1925 Pottsville Maroons
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Extra, extra, read all about it! Maroons Championship STOLEN! The Pottsville Maroons were one of the greatest early NFL teams, but the league stripped them of their 1925 championship and gave it to the (then) Chicago Cardinals. Thus, a curse was born. Almost a century later, could the stolen championship be behind the Arizona Cardinals’ lack of Super Bowl success? Dave Fleming wrote the book on it, called Breaker Boys: The NFL’s Greatest Team and the Stolen 1925 Championship. He takes us inside the story, and his mission for NFL justice. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 08, 2021
How Kevin Durant is Breaking NBA Analytics
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Kevin Durant is playing some of the best basketball of his career. He’s leading the league in scoring and has led the Brooklyn Nets to the best record in the Eastern Conference. But his recent success is due largely to something that is practically extinct in the modern NBA: the midrange jump shot. Kirk Goldsberry dissects why it’s made him more exciting to watch than ever. Then, ESPN Daily producer and resident bark-aeologist Erin Vail shares her paw-er ranking of the NHL’s best team dogs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 07, 2021
Alex Smith on NFL Sunday & Louis Riddick on Monday Night Football
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The Detroit pride was strong on Sunday: the Lions finally won their first game of the season (their first win in 364 days) thanks to a game-winning touchdown pass from Jared Goff. Meanwhile, Bengals-Chargers was a battle between sophomore quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert, where Herbert soared with over 300 yards and three touchdowns, and Burrow slumped with two interceptions. And the Chiefs climbed back up in the very crowded top of the AFC, with their win over the Broncos. Plus, Louis Riddick tells us how Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots can continue their streak of success, headed into Buffalo for a battle of the AFC East vs. the Bills on Monday Night Football. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 06, 2021
College Football’s Week of Chaos: Playoff Finalists, Format Changes, and Coaching Carousel
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College football’s championship weekend is here. And after marquee matchups like the SEC title game, between #1 Georgia and #3 Alabama, and #2 Michigan vs. #13 Iowa in the Big Ten Championship, the College Football Playoff committee will decide who is in, and who is out of this year's playoff. But beyond determining this year’s finalists, the committee is also coming off a meeting where they discussed the potential of expanding the playoff. And, in the midst of everything, several big name head coaches made moves to take new roles, like Lincoln Riley to USC and Brian Kelly to LSU. Heather Dinich explains who we could see in the playoff, what changes were discussed, and when a decision on reformatting the CFP could actually happen.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 03, 2021
How JJ Redick Sees the NBA Landscape
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JJ Redick doesn’t consider himself a “take person” or “talking head.” At least not yet. As a player-turned-analyst who just retired after 15 seasons in the NBA, Redick says he doesn’t miss the game. The newly minted ESPN studio talent joins the show to tell us who’s looking like the best in the league, measure the NBA’s entertainment quotient, and weigh in on the importance of athletes’ mental health. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 02, 2021
Jeff Passan on MLB’s Massive Deals, Looming Lockout, and Offseason Chaos
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It’s been a wild few days across Major League Baseball, with a flurry of free agents signing massive deals with new teams. Max Scherzer to the Mets. Javy Baez to the Tigers. Corey Seager to the Rangers. But the reason for this flurry of spending is maybe the last thing you’d suspect: a looming labor stoppage. Tonight, at midnight, MLB’s collective bargaining agreement expires, meaning owners could begin a lockout that would effectively put a halt on the entire baseball industry until a new deal is struck. Jeff Passan takes us inside the high stakes negotiations between the owners and players, shares what’s at stake for both sides, and brings plenty of Diet Mountain Dew along for the ride. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 01, 2021
How to Survive the World’s Most Impossible Run
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The Badwater ultramarathon is known as the world’s most impossible run. From grueling mountain climbs to scorching, 100+ degree temperatures in the middle of Death Valley, it’s a 135-mile race that only a select group of individuals have ever finished. Enter Kelaine Conochan, who pushed her mind, body, and soul to its limit in pursuit of completing the race in July 2021. She wrote about her Badwater experience for ESPN.com, and shares what she lost - and found - in her 37 hours of running, chafing, chugging flat Coca-Cola, and flat out surviving.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 30, 2021
Monday QB Alex Smith on NFL Week 12
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The further we get into the NFL season, the more questions we have. But after Week 12, the playoff picture is coming into frame...kind of. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens grinded out a win in a defensive matchup with their major rivals the Cleveland Browns. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers appear to be back in form after thrashing the L.A. Rams, who have suddenly lost three in a row after starting the season 7-1. Bill Belichick’s revenge tour is picking up more steam after the New England Patriots picked up their sixth straight win...and Carson Wentz’s Hail Mary attempt wasn’t enough to beat Tom Brady and the Bucs. Our Monday morning QB Alex Smith tells us what we’ve learned this week...and gives a nod to his former coach, Jim Harbaugh. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 29, 2021
The Fight for the Soul of Manchester United (Re-Spin)
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When arguably the world’s most popular athlete, Cristiano Ronaldo, took the pitch for arguably the world’s most popular soccer club, Manchester United, two truly global sports brands were reunited on the legendary pitch at Old Trafford. Months earlier the same iconic stadium was literally stormed by Man United supporters fighting against the globalization of the sport they love. Wright Thompson was there for Ronaldo’s return to the team, and explains why emotions and identities around this team run so deep, in a re-spin of one of our favorite episodes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 26, 2021
How Golfer John Daly Helped a Family Through Tragedy (Re-Spin)
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When an unknown 25-year-old named John Daly showed up at the 1991 PGA Championship literally the night before - as the ninth alternate - he pulled off biggest upset in golf history and became an instant icon. That was 30 years ago. What’s less well known, but no less significant, is the story of another man who attended that tournament. During the first round, Tom Weaver, a spectator and father of two, was struck in the chest by lightning and died at the scene. ESPN’s Bob Harig shares the story of Tom Weaver, and the gift the Daly sent his family afterwards, that lives on to this day, as we re-spin this episode. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 25, 2021
Four Days of Sports Gluttony: Your Thanksgiving Weekend Guide
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Thanksgiving weekend is all about one thing: the sports. From the NFL to the NHL to the National Dog Show and beyond, it’s a weekend to stuff yourself silly with on-the-field action. Emily Kaplan and Domonique Foxworth have examined the full smorgasbord of athletic options, and offer up a guide to maximize your sports gluttony.    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 24, 2021
Connor McDavid 101: Is He the Next Great One?
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Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid is having his best season yet, having already netted a pair of viral highlight goals that have broken the internet. But looking beyond the mind blowing moves and hockey accolades and comparisons to Edmonton’s last Great One, who is Connor McDavid? Emily Kaplan asks John Buccigross to give us Connor McDavid 101, and tells us why this might finally be the year the hockey megastar brings the Stanley Cup back to Edmonton. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 23, 2021
China’s Missing Tennis Star + Week 11 in the NFL
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Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai is a three-time Olympian and former number one in the world for women’s doubles. Earlier this month she accused a powerful Chinese political figure of sexual assault, and then was not seen or heard from for weeks. This past weekend the public saw and heard Peng via a video clip of a Chinese tennis competition, and a video call between her and sports officials, including IOC President Thomas Bach. ESPN’s Dan Murphy shares the latest, and why big questions remain about Peng’s safety. Then, we call up our Monday Morning QB Alex Smith to recap the NFL action in Week 11. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 22, 2021
The NBA’s Invasion of Alien Big Men
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Once upon a time, if you were an NBA 7-footer you played center, in the paint, with your back to the basket. But over the past decade, the NBA has been invaded by a new type of big man…one who is increasingly rendering the entire concept of “positions” obsolete. Players like Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who can play like guards on offense, and match up with anyone on the floor on defense. And now, a new generation is emerging, with the Cavaliers rookie standout Evan Mobley, and likely lottery pick Chet Holmgren from Gonzaga. ESPN’s Mike Schmitz breaks down just when this trend of alien big men began, what makes them so valuable, and the alien prospect that NBA teams are already clamoring to draft. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 19, 2021
Louis Riddick on Mac Jones: The Patriot Way Redux
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The Patriots face the Falcons tonight, after their fourth consecutive win on Sunday, and Mac Jones is playing at a level that is making the rest of us look silly for doubting him. Bill Belichick’s team enters the second half of the season hot on the tails of a playoff spot, so Louis Riddick explains what we all missed with Jones at draft time, and how The Patriot Way is leading to success yet again. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 18, 2021
Why Are Players Hoarding Kobes? Saga of a Shoe Shortage
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It’s the most important piece of gear for a basketball player: the shoes. And one of the most popular, iconic basketball shoes, Kobes, are no longer being mass produced by Nike. So what’s an NBA player to do once his favorite shoe stops being made? Brian Windhorst takes us inside the wild secondary market that’s developed, and tells us why the shoe is so coveted, especially if you’re a size 17. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 17, 2021
Why Do Fired College Coaches Still Make Millions?
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Dead money: it’s the money a college or university still owes a coach after they’re fired. And over the past decade, there has been more than half a billion dollars worth of it paid out in college sports. But where does that money come from, and which schools are the biggest offenders? ESPN investigative reporter Paula Lavigne looked into the outsized spending of dead money across college programs, and explains what’s behind it. Hear the findings from Lavigne’s and Mark Schlabach’s reporting on buyouts for coaches in college football, and men's and women's basketball Power 5 programs.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 16, 2021
The NFL’s New Normal: Monday QB Alex Smith on Week 10
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The NFL continues to redefine our sense of normalcy from week to week, and our Monday morning QB Alex Smith is here to ground us. The Chiefs took sole possession of first place in the wild AFC West. Elsewhere, Russell Wilson couldn’t shake off the rust in his return with the Seahawks, as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers gave Seattle its first shutout in a decade. And every football fan’s nightmare is coming true, as the New England Patriots won their fourth straight, with rookie QB Mac Jones delivering a signature win over the Cleveland Browns. Plus, the first tie of the season between the Steelers and Lions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 15, 2021
The Warriors Are Back
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The Warriors all but disappeared from any conversation about a title, after losing the 2019 NBA Finals. But ESPN’s Nick Friedell assures us the Warriors are back, with star point guard Steph Curry and former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green bringing their unique synergy. Friedell tells us how coach Steve Kerr is experimenting with lineups this season, how the rebuilding of the program is altering the Warriors’ place in a crowded Western Conference, and what the revamped team could look like once Klay Thompson returns. Plus, ahead of Friday's World Cup qualifying match, Sam Borden discusses the cherished USMNT vs. Mexico rivalry that is set to change forever. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 12, 2021
To Punt, or Not To Punt? Football’s Age-Old Question
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Presbyterian college football head coach Kevin Kelley never punts. It’s a philosophy that brought him major success at the high school level in Arkansas, where his unconventional thinking resulted in nine state titles in 18 seasons, and an innovation award presented to him by Robert DeNiro. But Kelley’s leap from high school to college landscape has been met with its fair share of criticism. Hear Ryan McGee discuss why, after a 72-0 loss that shook the NCAA’s smallest Division I program, Kelley continues to search for angles and advantages that work in favor of a program that admittedly has nothing to lose. Then, Paolo Uggetti shares his report on San Diego State’s Matt Araiza, a left-legged kicking phenomenon who booms punts, nails field goals, and crushes kickoffs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 11, 2021
Allegations of Racism and Misogyny Within the Phoenix Suns
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An ESPN investigation, featuring interviews with more than 70 current and former Phoenix Suns employees, reveals accusations of racism and misogyny against Suns owner Robert Sarver -- and a toxic workplace many employees believe was emboldened by his behavior. The allegations range from racially insensitive and lewd language to conduct some employees felt was inappropriate and misogynistic. ESPN’s Baxter Holmes shares his reporting on this story, the NBA’s response, and what happens from here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 10, 2021
A Season of Change For Men’s College Basketball
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The 2021 college basketball season tips off tonight and so much has changed since Baylor was crowned the national champion. ESPN’s Myron Medcalf breaks down the top seeded teams, including what it’ll take for Gonzaga to rebound from last year’s heartbreak. Plus, there’s Duke’s legendary Coach K beginning his farewell tour, and coaches getting used to how the transfer portal - along with name, image and likeness rules - are truly changing the game. We have all you need to get ready for the season. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 09, 2021
NFL Week 9 with Monday QB Alex Smith
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From Jordan Love’s disappointing debut as Green Bay Packers QB1 to the L.A. Rams getting dominated by the Tennessee Titans at home on Sunday night, the NFL saw more than its fair share of big upsets and strange moments in Week 9. So we bring our own starting QB, Alex Smith to discuss. Plus, how Aaron Rodgers’ vaccination status loomed over the weekend...and what we think of the ManningCast curse. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 08, 2021
Should Barry Bonds Be In The Baseball Hall of Fame?
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Barry Bonds’ baseball achievements are staggering: from home run records to MVP awards to Gold Gloves to mind-boggling slugging and on-base percentages, the numbers place him squarely among the game’s all-time greats. But Bonds’ successes have been tarnished by what is known about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. For the last nine years, Bonds has been eligible for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame and each year, when the ballots are tallied, has come up short. Now he is in his final year on the writers’ ballot, making the issue of his worthiness for selection more urgent than ever before. Jeremy Schaap joins the show to ruminate on Bonds’ career: the stupendous feats of his youth; his relationship with managers, teammates and the media; his late-career performance surge; and the steroids controversy, all of which is chronicled in the new E60 special BONDS, which Schaap hosts this Sunday at 9:30 pm ET.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 05, 2021
Bill Barnwell on Rodgers’ Vaccine Status, Chiefs Struggles and More
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It’s been a head spinning week in the NFL. On Wednesday, reports surfaced that Packers QB Aaron Rodgers tested positive for covid, and will not play in Sunday’s marquee matchup vs. the Chiefs. Rodgers previously told the media and his team that he was “immunized,” and has undergone other treatments that did not include the vaccine. So QB Jordan Love will see his first NFL start against a Chiefs team that seems beleaguered by turnovers and bad defense. Elsewhere, Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. may be coming to the end of his career in Cleveland, after his father Odell Beckham Sr. posted a video on social media blaming QB Baker Mayfield for Beckham’s poor performance. And, the New Orleans Saints are dealing with two massive injuries to QB Jameis Winston and WR Michael Thomas. Bill Barnwell takes us through all of these NFL storylines and more at the halfway point of the season. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 04, 2021
Braves Win World Series! Then: How New NBA Rules Truly Change The Game
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The Atlanta Braves are World Champions! So Tim Keown joins us from Houston, where he takes us through how the Braves got here. Then, when the Brooklyn Nets host the Atlanta Hawks tonight, two of the most divisive players of the modern NBA will face off. James Harden and Trae Young are two of the best players in the league, thanks in part to their skill with the dark arts of drawing fouls. But this offseason, the NBA decided to crack down on offensive players engaging in so-called “foul hunting” and the results are being felt across the league. Brian Windhorst explains why many think the new rules are changing the game for good, even if not everyone is happy about them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 03, 2021
NHL Blackhawks Sexual Abuse Case: Explained
1987
When pro hockey player Kyle Beach reported his sexual assault by a Chicago Blackhawks video coach in 2010, the team failed to act. Beach filed a lawsuit against the team as “John Doe” and a 100-plus page report on his experience, as well as the team’s handling of the incident, has led to resignations from team leaders who were involved. Emily Kaplan tells us how the Blackhawks and the National Hockey League failed one of their own by covering up abuse, and what happens next as the truth is told. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 02, 2021
NFL’s Halloween Belongs to the Backup QBs
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Halloween fell on the eighth Sunday of this NFL season, and it belonged to backup QBs. Cooper Rush put on his Dak Prescott costume and led the Dallas Cowboys to a last minute game winning TD. The Saints’ Trevor Siemian stepped in for the injured Jameis Winston and defeated Tom Brady, and Mike White performed arguably the most unlikely feat of the day, in breathing life into the Jets’ fan base by leading them to an upset win over the Bengals. ESPN Daily’s QB-1 Alex Smith breaks down how a bunch of backups managed to trick everyone on a very strange day of football. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 01, 2021
Full Circle: The Freddie Freeman Story (Re-Air)
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You might know about Freddie Freeman, first baseman for the Atlanta Braves, who you’ll see take the field tonight in Game Three of the World Series vs. the Houston Astros. Freeman’s also 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. In a re-air of our episode from April, Buster Olney takes us inside the E:60 documentary Full Circle: The Freddie Freeman Story, 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 a family of their own.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 29, 2021
The Mystery of the Backyard Bowling Balls
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David Olson is a quiet, Midwestern father of three, living an ordinary life. That is until one day this summer, when doing some home renovation, he discovered some bowling balls buried under the steps leading to his backyard. And not just two, or three, or 10 or 20 bowling balls. In total, Olson uncovered a whopping 162 bowling balls from his property, and ended up going viral with his story. Where the balls had come from? How did they end up at Olson’s house? Ryan Hockensmith explains this stranger-than-fiction story of man’s unexpected discovery…and the unexpected way in which it ultimately transformed his life.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 28, 2021
Can Notre Dame Claim “Play Like a Champion Today?”
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“Play Like a Champion Today.” It’s one of the most iconic phrases in sports, and it’s long been synonymous with Notre Dame. Over the years, legendary Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz has told the story of the team’s famous sign, and the traditional pregame slap that’s performed as they take the field. Holtz put up the sign, yes. But where did he get the idea? Another powerhouse college program has some thoughts which dispute Holtz’s claims. ESPN’s Dave Wilson tells us who might - or might not - deserve credit for one of the sports world’s most famous sentences. Then, listeners and friends of ESPN Daily share their sports superstitions with us, ahead of Halloween. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 27, 2021
Houston’s Empire Strikes Back: World Series Preview With Jeff Passan
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Deep in the heart of Texas we find Jeff Passan, as the Houston Astros host Game 1 of the World Series tonight against the Atlanta Braves. For the Astros, it’s a chance for some vindication, after being baseball’s public enemy number one for their sign stealing scheme in 2017. For the Braves, it’s a chance to win their first World Series in a quarter century, and cap a stunning postseason run for a team that had the worst regular season record of any in the playoffs. Jeff Passan is in Houston, and breaks down everything you need to know for the Fall Classic.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 26, 2021
NFL Week 7: Goff-Stafford Showdown, Bengals Lead AFC, Panic Time in KC?
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Jared Goff returned to his former team at SoFi Stadium as a member of the Detroit Lions on Sunday, after the QB’s new coach made critical remarks about his performance, with the Rams’ Matt Stafford facing his old Lions teammates. Our own Monday Quarterback Alex Smith breaks down that ex’s matchup and more. Smith and guest host Emily Kaplan talk the Kansas City Chiefs’ blowout loss to the Tennessee Titans, plus Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ upset victory over Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. And our Week 7 spin around includes tribute to National Tight Ends Day. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 25, 2021
SPECIAL SERIES: The Legacy of PTI
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Intense arguments that give way laughter: it's a feature on the set of Pardon The Interruption. In this fourth and final installment of the PTI podcast series, we look at how Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon can tick each other off *and* bring out the best in the other. Because behind the yelling, there is always love and respect. Their contrasting thoughts and behaviors have sparked important conversations that transcend sports. Hear journalists, sportscasters and a longtime appreciator of the show, Barack Obama, reflect on the enduring impact of PTI. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 24, 2021
EXCLUSIVE: Was a Former NBA Bettor Running the Mavs?
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Bob Voulgaris turned his career as a professional, data-driven NBA bettor into a team job when Mark Cuban made him Director of Quantitative Research and Analysis for the Dallas Mavericks. But tension built between Voulgaris and then-GM Donnie Nelson, and relationships with players got muddy. Reports in The Athletic this year claimed the former bettor was running the show behind the scenes in Dallas, and today the GM, coach and Voulgaris are no longer with the team. Now, Voulgaris sits down for his first interview since he left the Mavs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 21, 2021
Turf Toe Tales: The NFL’s Most Dreaded Injury?
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Turf toe. It’s a known injury in football. But behind the cutesy name lies an injury NFL players dread more than any other, involving a teeny tiny bone in the foot. Turf toe can be incredibly painful and long lasting, with no real remedy for players other than time. And it can lead to permanent damage, if not properly healed. ESPN Senior Writer Dave Fleming takes us inside his cabinet of sports curiosities, with terrible tales of turf toe from around the NFL. Then, Pablo shares an update on the Ben Simmons saga. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 20, 2021
How Did Ben Simmons and the 76ers Get Here?
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For the people of Philadelphia, and of the basketball world, the relationship between Ben Simmons and the 76ers was broken the moment he passed up a dunk in Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs against the Hawks. After the game, head coach Doc Rivers and star Joel Embiid appeared to point the finger at Simmons in their press conference, and it seemed all but certain that Simmons’ days in Philly were numbered. Since that game, Simmons has made it known that he wants to be traded, at first refusing to report for training camp. But the 76ers have been unable to find a willing trade partner. Now, as the NBA season tips off today, Simmons is still a 76er…albeit not a happy one. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne digs deep into the NBA's messiest, longest divorce, and why the secret to understanding it begins well before that infamous Game 7. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 19, 2021
Alex Smith on Wild NFL Week 6 + Chicago Sky Win WNBA Final
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It was a wild Sunday across sports…from the Cowboys and Patriots overtime thriller…to the Chicago Sky claiming their first ever WNBA title. Across the NFL, it was a week that featured no shortage of close games and marquee matchups. The Steelers held off a second-half rally from the Seattle Seahawks with a game-winning overtime field goal. Dak Prescott and Mac Jones battled back-and-forth until the Cowboys walked it off in their own OT game to extend their winning streak to five. The Ravens and Chargers met in an AFC showdown, but Baltimore blew out LA with another master class from Lamar Jackson. And the Kliff Kingsbury-less Cardinals pulled off yet another statement win over Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns. Our Monday morning quarterback Alex Smith brings us his reactions from Sunday’s slate of NFL action. Then, LaChina Robinson checks in from Chicago, where the city is celebrating its first professional basketball championship since the days of Michael Jordan, as the Chicago Sky came back from a double digit deficit in the fourth against the Phoenix Mercury. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 18, 2021
SPECIAL SERIES: PTI’s Star Power
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From the beginning of PTI, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon created a whole new world in the realm of sports talk television. But this didn’t happen without the help of notable athletes, coaches, and sportscasters joining them on set. Hear why sports figures loved joining the guys to tell them their best stories for segments like "Five Good Minutes." And the PTI team reminisces about how a casual trip to the White House led to meeting an unexpected fan in the Oval Office. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 16, 2021
Zach Lowe’s NBA Season Preview
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The new NBA season tips off this Tuesday, and the pool of contenders for the championship is deeper than it’s been in years. The consensus favorites just months ago were the Brooklyn Nets, but with Kyrie Irving potentially being unable to play due to vaccination requirements, the Eastern Conference is far from assured. Can the Bucks repeat their stunning run of a season ago? Will the 76ers be able to move past their own Ben Simmons drama and finally fulfill the process prophecy? In the Western Conference, can the Lakers find a way to make it work with Westbrook and Carmelo joining LeBron and A.D.? Will the Suns bounce back from their heartbreaking defeat in the Finals? Zach Lowe gets you up to speed on everything you need to know for a wide-open NBA season. Then, with the WNBA Finals now tied 1-1, LaChina Robinson previews game 3 between the Chicago Sky and Phoenix Mercury. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 15, 2021
The Last Save: Inside the Blue Jackets Goaltenders’ Friendship and Tragedy
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When the Columbus Blue Jackets open their season this evening, they will be missing one of their own. Over the summer, Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks was struck and killed by fireworks at a 4th of July celebration in Michigan. It was a tragedy that hit especially hard for Kivlenieks’ friend and teammate, fellow netminder Elvis Merzlikins. The two goaltenders shared more than just their position: they were among just a handful of NHL players from the tiny nation of Latvia. Merzlikins even invited Kivlenieks to live with him and his wife in Columbus. Emily Kaplan joins the show to share the story of their friendship, the tragedy that took one far too young, and how the Blue Jackets plan to honor their fallen teammate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 14, 2021
Jon Gruden’s Emails: What Happens Next in Vegas and WFT Implications
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Last Friday, a 2011 email from Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden containing racist language surfaced in reporting by the Wall Street Journal. Gruden apologized in his postgame press conference following the Raiders loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday. But by Monday, additional reporting uncovered many more of Gruden’s emails containing sexist, racist, and homophobic remarks, sent in correspondence to various NFL higher-ups and decision makers. Gruden resigned as head coach within the hour. ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez joins us to discuss the Raiders reaction to Gruden’s comments, where the team goes from here, and the ripple effects around the NFL. Then, former Washington Football Team employee Emily Applegate shares her perspective on the NFL’s investigation into Washington’s toxic culture: the league's investigation is what led to Gruden’s emails being revealed, some which were messages to then Washington executive Bruce Allen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 13, 2021
NHL Begins: Catching the Great One? Fear the Kraken? Lightning Dynasty?
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The 2021-22 National Hockey League season gets going tonight, back on ESPN after 16 years. Our Greg Wyshynski shares what's at stake for hockey’s biggest stars, what we’ll see from defending champs the Tampa Bay Lightning, and expectations for the league's newest team, the Seattle Kraken. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 12, 2021
NFL Week 5: Bills Hurdle Over Chiefs, Chargers Comeback, Kickers’ Nightmares
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After an hour plus rain delay in Kansas City, Josh Allen and the Bills delivered a statement win and literally hurdled past the Chiefs. Across the AFC, the Chargers and the Browns put up a combined eighty nine points, as Justin Herbert led the Chargers to a thrilling comeback win. Elsewhere, NFL kickers had a terrible, no good, very bad Sunday. In addition to a number of missed extra points, the end of the Packers-Bengals game saw five (!) missed field goals, before Mason Crosby nailed the game winner in overtime. Alex Smith takes us inside the film room and surveys all the action from the field. Then, Louis Riddick returns to preview Monday Night Football’s matchup from Baltimore.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 11, 2021
SPECIAL SERIES: PTI Gets a Life of Its Own
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Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon made first impressions at The Washington Post that went on to influence two decades of television, and counting. In the early years of PTI they created a world within the show. That included “Stat Boy” Tony Reali to correct them, a cast of singular journalists who joined them on set, and legendary pranks that were so convincing they rocked the sports world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 09, 2021
A Reckoning in Women’s Pro Soccer
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Former National Women’s Soccer League players Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim went public last week with accusations against coach Paul Riley of sexual coercion and harassment, in an investigative report from The Athletic. Teams cancelled games, the league commissioner stepped down, and players re-took the field with demands for reform. Reporter Caitlin Murray has covered women’s pro soccer since the NWSL started in 2012. She gives the history and impact of this reckoning across the league, and where it goes from here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 08, 2021
Can the Astros Silence the Haters and Win Back Baseball’s Respect?
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When the Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox this afternoon in Game 1 of the ALDS, they will remain, to many, as one thing: the most hated team in baseball. It’s a stigma the Astros have carried for the past two seasons, ever since the cheating scandal from their 2017 World Series run came to light. But at the same time, the Astros have had a spectacular run of success. They’ve won their division title in four of the last five seasons, and have made the ALCS the past four seasons. This year, they finished with the second best record in the American League. The team’s success has made Astros players defiant in the face of the public backlash. It’s also made them intent on winning another World Series, hoping to rewrite their legacy as something more than just “the team that cheated.” Alden Gonzalez spent time with the Astros, and shares his reporting on their search for vindication in the eyes of the baseball world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 07, 2021
Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, and the NBA’s Vaccine Dilemma
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The Brooklyn Nets held their first practice at home in New York Tuesday and there was one notable absence: Kyrie Irving. The seven-time All-Star had been with the team last week as they held training camp in San Diego. But in New York City, where proof of Covid-19 vaccination is required for indoor activities, Kyrie has been absent. It’s a situation that could potentially force Irving to miss every Nets home game, and cost him millions of dollars in the process. The dilemma speaks to the challenges the NBA is facing as it tries to adhere to a patchwork of regulations across the country, while also respecting the small number of players wary of the vaccine. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst lays out how Kyrie’s standoff got to this point, why the Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins relented and ultimately got vaccinated, and explains the dilemma faced by the NBA, as it attempts to persuade vaccine hesitant players to get the shot. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 06, 2021
Jeff Passan: MLB Wildcard Games Preview
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MLB playoffs begin tonight with the Yankees visiting the Red Sox in the AL Wild Card game. Jeff Passan returns to tell us what we should be keeping an eye on at Fenway, and what the Dodgers vs. Cardinals matchup could bring on Wednesday. Then, Jeremy Schaap shares his story of attending a crucial Yankees vs. Red Sox game over 40 years ago...when Bucky bleeping Dent hit the home run which gave the Yankees the lead tha they never relinquished. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 05, 2021
Alex Smith on NFL’s Week 4: Brady Back in NE, Murray Magic, and Jets Win
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Back in Foxborough to play his old team and his old coach, Tom Brady became the NFL’s all-time leading passer as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers eeked out a win after a missed field goal by the Patriots. Kyler Murray and the Cardinals established themselves with a 37-20 thrashing of the Rams in LA, while the Cowboys’ hot start continued with a win over the previously undefeated Panthers … AND the Jets got their first win of the season! Alex Smith takes us inside the huddle and breaks down what we saw in Week 4. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 04, 2021
SPECIAL SERIES: The Birth and Life of Pardon the Interruption
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You know the show PTI, you love the show PTI. But how did it all start? Twenty years into “Pardon the Interruption,” co-hosts Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon and a cast of media luminaries share the tale of the duo's meeting at The Washington Post. Hear how the dynamic in the legendary newsroom unexpectedly set them up for success with the show. Kornheiser and Wilbon reflect on their reluctant beginnings in television. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 02, 2021
Bill Barnwell’s NFL Rookie QB Report Card
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In the first three weeks of the NFL season, the 2021 rookie quarterback class has...struggled. Bears QB Justin Fields was sacked nine times on Sunday, Jaguars’ playcaller Trevor Lawrence has been turning over the ball under pressure, and Zach Wilson hasn’t been set up to succeed by the Jets. Bill Barnwell assesses what’s gone wrong for the rookie QBs so far, and whether we’ll see improvement. Then: Pablo asks for your help! It’s October, so in the spirit of the season we’re asking you to share your sports superstitions...and you might just hear them on the show. Leave us a message at 424-438-0717. Tell us about your weird, wacky sports stories of ghosts, curses, rituals and the supernatural. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 01, 2021