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The (Mostly True) Legend of Lane Kiffins USC Firing : 9/29/23
Its one of the most infamous legends in recent college football history: how Lane Kiffin was fired from USC&in the dead of night&on a tarmac, at LAX. You might have heard that version of the story: but today, David Hale joins the show to tell us what actually happened to Kiffin that night, how Kiffin ended up at USC in the first place, and what his many junctures in college and pro football coaching have taught him so far.
Woj on the Damian Lillard Blockbuster Trade: 9/28/23
Damien Lillard is now a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. The former Portland superstar joins Giannis Antetokounmpo on a team that instantly jumped to the top of the NBA Championship betting odds. All offseason, it seemed Lillard was headed to South Beach, as the superstar made no secret of his desire to joinin the Miami Heat. But Wednesdays shocking three team deal between Milwaukee, Portland and Phoenix has reshaped the NBA landscape with less than a month before the season tips off. Adrian Wojnarowski explains how the trade unfolded, what it means for each team&and how the rest of the league will try to keep up.
Dolphins-Bills: Inside the Battle for AFC East Supremacy : 9/27/23
The Miami Dolphins are the NFLs hottest team, after dropping an incredible 70 points against the Denver Broncos. But this week, theyll face a familiar foe when they shuffle up to Buffalo to take on the Bills in an early battle for the AFC East lead. Has Miamis offensive speed met its match in Buffalos stalwart defense? What kinds of QB heroics will be see from Tua Tagovailoa and Josh Allen? Is this going to be an AFC playoff preview? With the premiere matchup in the AFC East on deck with the Bills and the Dolphins, Marcel Louis-Jacques tells us what to expect from both teams on Sunday.
James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers: What Went Wrong: 9/26/23
Theres never been an NBA player quite like James Harden. Whether hes dominating the court at the highest level of play one night or turning nearly invisible the next, his presence and persona leaves fans asking a seemingly eternal question: what exactly is going on inside Hardens head? And while his latest falling out with the Philadelphia 76ers might feel unsurprising, its also been unpredictable. So today, just days before the start of Sixers training camp, Ramona Shelburne takes us inside the team and inside James Harden's mind to explain how this all unfolded, why things went south, how soon Harden will show up, and how this whole saga may finally come to an end.
NFL Week 3: Dolphins Hit Gold Rush, Charger-ing Hits Different, Cardinals Mastermind Win: 9/25/23
Week 3 in the NFL went beyond some teams Wildest Dreams&like the Miami Dolphins, who racked up an astounding 70 points thanks to Tua Tagovailoa and the speed of the Fins offense. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Chargers nearly suffered Death By A Thousand Cuts by handing the ball back to the Vikings late in the 4th quarter, but the Bolts were the Lucky Ones and escaped with a win, 28-24. Then, the Arizona Cardinals had the Electric Touch and stunned the Cowboys 28-16&and no, it wasnt a Glitch, Taylor Swift was cheering on Travis Kelce at the Kansas City Chiefs win over the Bears. So today, Andrew Hawkins brings his own Style and helps us navigate the Labyrinth of Sundays games&and he shares his thoughts on tonights Monday night matchups&are you Ready For It?
Coach Prime and Colorado Are For Real. But is That Enough to Beat Oregon?: 9/22/23
When Deion Sanders was named head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes, everything in Boulder, Colorado changed. Suddenly, every game for the Buffs is primetime television home or away night or day. Their rivalry game, last Saturday against Colorado State, broke viewership records, and had the country glued to their screens well past 2 in the morning out east. With each win, and each riveting quote, Coach Prime has quickly become the center of not only college football, but arguably, all of American sports. The stars dot the sidelines, and now, Colorado is 3-0 and facing their toughest test yet: a trip to Eugene to take on the Oregon Ducks. So today, Kyle Bonagura shares his experiences in Boulder this season and explains how Deion Sanders has not only had an impact on the local community, but also captured the attention of the nation.
Going Green: The History of Notre Dame's Special Jerseys, from Rockne to Today: 9/21/23
Tradition is one of the most polarizing aspects of college football. One on hand, there are teams like Oregon, who seem to roll out a new uniform combo every week. And then there are schools like Notre Dame who seem to only stick with the iconic gold helmets and navy blue jerseys. Its been their look for what feels like a century, and it seems like they never deviate from it. However, every few years Notre Dame will don green jerseys, and their reception is just as mixed as you might think. Some of the Irishs signature victories have come in green&but so have some of their most humiliating defeats. So are the green jerseys a blessing, a curse, or just a piece of fabric? Our good friend, Ryan McGee, helps us find that out.
Inside the As Messy Divorce from Oakland: 9/20/23
Today marks five months exactly since Oakland fans had their worst fears confirmed: The Athletics were leaving town, having reached an agreement for a shiny new stadium in Las Vegas. Fans felt betrayed and most of all, blindsided by the news. Up to that point, there had been promising talks about building a stadium in Oaklands Howard Terminal, and As owner John Fisher has never explained his reasoning for killing that deal&until now. So today, ESPNs Tim Keown brings us his findings from his sit down with Fisher a rarity in itself and why there still might be a chance that the As stay put.
The Passan Awards: MLBs Most Electrifying Players and Timeless Moments from 2023: 9/19/23
Between the introduction of the pitch clock, the widening of the bases& and two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani being Shohei Ohtani&the 2023 MLB season has been one for the history books. And as the regular season winds down, what better way to honor history, than with baseball's newest and most coveted award&the first annual Passans! So Today, live from the ESPN Daily Red Carpet, our favorite baseball nerd recognizes his top players, moments and innovations backed by completely legitimate science from an unprecedented baseball season.
NFL Week 2: Dolphins Speed to 2-0, Giants Comeback, Bengals in Trouble?: 9/18/23
Sundays slate of NFL games saw some teams continue their good fortunes, like Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins who survived a last minute drive from Mac Jones and the Patriots. Some teams bounced back from their Week 1 struggles, like the New York Giants, who completed a thrilling comeback over the Arizona Cardinals, and the Kansas City Chiefs and Travis Kelce, who celebrated his return from injury with a touchdown in KCs win over the Jaguars. The San Francisco 49ers beat the Rams again, but LA isnt quite looking like the bottom dwellers we expected. For other teams like the now 0-2 Cincinnati Bengals - it might be time to panic&especially since QB Joe Burrow admitted to reaggravating his calf injury. So today, Kevin Clark, host of the podcast This is Football, helps us survey Sundays games and tells us everything we need to know about the biggest wins and losses of the week.
How the Number 865 Changed Dolphins Coach Mike McDaniels Life: 9/15/23
You could argue that the Miami Dolphins have the most exciting offense in the NFL right now. That can be backed up by Miamis thrilling upset over the Los Angeles Chargers a week ago, where Tua Tagovailoa looked like he belonged in the conversation around the leagues most elite quarterbacks. Much of the credit belongs to quirky head coach Mike McDaniel, who has reinvigorated this offense over the past two seasons and brought a level of excitement not seen in decades. Weve previously covered his meteoric rise here on the show, but what if I told you it almost never happened? Today, ESPNs Jeff Darlington brings a chapter of McDaniels life that is rarely discussed but essential to understanding how he operates, and how hes redefining the paradigm of NFL coach.
Short Kings: Why NFL Teams are Ditching the Deep Ball and What's to Blame: 9/14/23
There are few moments like it in sports. The quarterback takes a deep drop, steps up and unleashes a bomb. Time feels like it stops, 70,000 fans collectively hold their breath, waiting to see if it will be agony or ecstasy on the other end. The long passing game has long been the sizzle to the steak that is NFL football. But today, ESPNs Brooke Pryor takes us on a deep dive into the deep ball, and investigates whether its going the way of the single wing offense, destined for the graveyard of football past.
The WNBAs Superteam Era Enters the Postseason: 9/13/23
The first regular season of the WNBAs superteam era has concluded, and we set our sights towards the playoffs. The two most talked about teams all season have been the Las Vegas Aces, who added the GOAT Candace Parker to their championship core of Aja Wilson, Chelsea Gray, and Kelsey Plum. Meanwhile in the Eastern Conference, the New York Liberty brought in Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, and Courtney Vandersloot to complement Sabrina Ionescu. The investments seem to have paid off for both teams, as theyve secured the top two seeds in the postseason and are in prime position to win it all, despite a season-ending knee injury to Parker for Las Vegas. Dont sleep on the rest of the field, though. The Atlanta Dream are making their first playoff appearance in five years, led by top draft pick Aliyah Boston. The Minnesota Lynx, Dallas Wings, Washington Mystics, Connecticut Sun, and Chicago Sky are all in the mix this year. So today, ESPNs LaChina Robinson joins us to break down everything you need to know about this years WNBA postseason&and reflect on the most important player who isnt in it.
The Crossover: 50 Years of Hip Hop and Sports: 9/12/23
It has now been 50 years since a new genre of music was birthed out of the Bronx: Hip Hop. And over the last half century, it has grown and spread across the globe to become one of Americas greatest exports. And throughout its life, the genre has developed this symbiotic-like relationship with sports. They became two pillars of Black culture& empowering a community to be heard and celebrated against the backdrop of cultural oppression and political persecution. So today, ahead of the premiere of E:60s The Crossover, our good friend, Justin Tinsley, joins the show to explain how hip hop, and sports, became the dominant voices of a generation. You can check out the latest E60 special, "The Crossover: 50 Years of Hip Hop and Sports" narrated by Busta Rhymes, tonight at 7:30 Eastern on ESPN or afterwards on ESPN plus.
Aaron Rodgers. Josh Allen. Tonight on Monday Night Football.: 9/11/23
The NFL is back, and Sundays action-packed slate of games didnt disappoint: but tonight, its time for the most anticipated matchup of Week 1: Bills at Jets on Monday Night Football. After a hype-filled offseason, well finally get to see if future Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers can deliver hope for a playoffs-starved Jets fanbase. And for Josh Allen and the Bills - who have claimed the AFC East crown for the past three seasons - questions are swirling around how much longer their championship window remains open. So before you tune in to Joe Buck and Troy Aikman tonight, we called up ESPN NFL Nation reporters Rich Cimini and Alaina Getzenberg who each cover the Jets and Bills, respectively to get a sense of where these two AFC East rivals are, and what we can expect to see from them after the kickoff.
Is It Time to Believe in Deion Sanders and Colorado?: 9/8/23
When Deion Sanders first took the reins of a woeful Colorado program that went 1-11 last season, he wasted no time in shaking things up. Sanders told Buffalos holdovers to hit the transfer portal, because he was bringing his own luggage with him to Boulder. That luggage turned out to be 86 new players, and an unprecedented 51 transfers to overhaul the Buffs roster. The reaction across the college football universe ranged from intrigue to skepticism&and last Saturday, the Coach Prime era began with a 45-42 win at TCU&a team that played in the National Championship a year before. Shedeur Sanders, Deions son, broke the school record for passing yards in his first outing as the Buffaloes quarterback. Travis Hunter played over 120 snaps on both sides of the ball, making his presence felt at wide receiver and cornerback. It was enough to silence the skeptics for at least one week. And so ESPNs Adam Rittenberg, who has been keeping tabs on the scene in Boulder since Primetimes arrival, tells us if he himself is now a believer, or if it was just a case of beginners luck.
Sean Payton Doesnt Forget Anything: 9/7/23
The job of NFL head coach is notoriously brutal. It involves endless hours of grinding tape and scheming up gameplans, not to mention endless headaches from logistical challenges, personnel issues, and public relations battles. Its not for the faint of heart. And yet, after a theoretically relaxing season away from the game of football, 59-year-old Sean Payton has elected to return to the grind as the new head coach of the Denver Broncos. So today, with the NFL season upon us, ESPNs Seth Wickersham explains how, in spite of the litany of grudges and grievances Payton has held against the league for many years, he just cant quit this game.
Mina Kimes Previews the 2023 NFL Season: 9/6/23
The wait is over: The NFL regular season is finally upon us, and there will be football every weekend from now until February. The season officially kicks off this Thursday when the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs take on the Detroit Lions, who have a lot to prove themselves. Theres also an abundance of young quarterbacks, gunning to be the new faces of the league as the new guard transitions in. But the old guard isnt completely ready to hand over the reigns just yet, as the Aaron Rodgers experience has relocated to New York. And whos title window is still open? Our favorite football nerd, Mina Kimes, helps us ring in the new season and returns to answer all the burning questions you might have looming.
Satchel Paiges Legend and Legacy, 75 Years After His MLB Debut (ENCORE): 9/5/23
The Negro Leagues biggest star, pitcher Satchel Paige, is a figure who at times feels more myth& more legend than man: his fastball was supposedly clocked at 105 mph, he estimated that he threw more than 50 no-hitters throughout his career, and he claimed to have had such a command of the baseball that he could allegedly work both corners of a chewing gum wrapper&and even his age itself is a hotly debated topic still to this day. So today, guest host Justin Tinsley explores the life and legacy of Satchel Paige, a man whose legendary feats may always be debated, but whose impact on the game is without question.
Baseball is who I am. The Unforgettable Story of Sarah Langs (ENCORE): 9/4/23
If youre a baseball fan, odds are youre probably familiar with the story of Lou Gehrig. The New York Yankees legend who left the game in 1939 after he was diagnosed with ALS and is honored around the Major Leagues on Lou Gehrig Day every June 2. And today, theres someone else in baseball who is fighting the exact same fight Gehrig fought over 80 years ago: Sarah Langs. Sarah is a baseball researcher and analyst, and has worked for ESPN and MLB. Shes one of sports medias brightest young voices, and Buster Olney joins us today to share her story&and how she remains unphased after life threw her a devastating curveball. For more information on Sarahs Fist Bumps for ALS campaign, click here.
How Sean Taylors Brother is Continuing His Legacy at Safety: 9/1/23
Sean Taylor was one of the most gifted and respected defensive players of his generation, and his 2007 death during a burglary gone wrong rocked the NFL. But with a new college football season kicking off in earnest this weekend, another chapter in the Taylor family legacy is being written. Lisa Salters brings us the story of Seans younger brother, Gabriel Taylor, now a starting safety for Rice University. Its the story of a young man learning to step out of his older brothers shadow, and how nearly 15 years after Seans death, Gabriel keeps his spirit alive, one snap at a time.
A World Cup Victory, a Forced Kiss, and a Reckoning with Sexism in Spain: 8/31/23
Spain are the Womens World Cup champions for the first time ever. That should be the story. The moment should have been euphoric, a historic triumph for the best players in the world. But it all changed when Spanish Soccer Federation President Luis Rubiales grabbed and kissed forward Jenni Hermoso without her consent. Now, instead of celebrating, Spanish players have taken a stand and are refusing to play another game for Spain unless Rubiales is removed from his position, which he has refused to step away from voluntarily. ESPN Soccer reporter Alex Kirkland is based in Madrid, and joins the show to take us inside this firestorm&which shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
The Most Watched Womens Sporting Event in History: Nebraska Womens Volleyball?: 8/30/23
Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska is the house that Tom Osborne built. Its the hallowed place where so many Cornhusker fans of a certain age remember the football team dominating the 1990s, winning national championships, and breaking NCAA records. Memorial Stadium also holds the record for longest streak of sellout games&but theres one game taking place there tonight that might set a whole nother record of its own. The Nebraska womens volleyball team is set to play against the University of Nebraska, Omaha tonight at Memorial Stadium, and a crowd of over 91,000 is expected. That has the potential not just to set a new attendance record at the stadium&it can possibly be the most attended womens sporting event in the world. So today, ESPNs Liz Merrill tells us how this all came together, why its such a big deal&and why its really not as much of a surprise as outsiders might think it is.
The Secret History of the Burpee: The One Exercise to Rule Them All: 8/29/23
If youve ever played sports, or really, any physical activity, then youre most likely familiar with the Burpee. Weve all done them and from junior high gym class, to military boot camp, to the Crossfit Games, the burpee remains undefeated. This unique blend of strength training and cardio is often used to bring teams together such as in the case of the Detroit Lions under head coach Dan Campbell despite simultaneously tearing your insides apart. But where did this whole thing begin? And why? And where did that name come from? Today, ESPNs Dave Fleming tells the tale of the secret history of the burpee. The humble calisthenic that became the one exercise to rule them all.
2023 College Football Preview with Spencer Hall: 8/28/23
This might be the most anticipated college football season in recent memory. USC looks ready to build off of last season and rally around the reigning Heisman Trophy winner in Caleb Williams, but can their defense keep up? Can Colorado, now led by Deion Sanders, be competitive after so many years as a Pac-12 cellar dweller? The Big 12 also prepares for its last season before realignment shakes up the entire conference as we know it, so how will Texas and Oklahoma do in their farewell tours before they bolt for the SEC? And speaking of the SEC, Georgia lost several key contributors from last years national championship team, but can their new faces do enough to help them run it back? And why does it feel so quiet over in Alabama? ESPNs Spencer Hall surveys the college football landscape for us, and he tells us what to expect from this season.
Can Caleb Williams and USC Finish the Job?: 8/25/23
The 2022 college football season was almost a dream for USC. Led by a flashy new coach in Lincoln Riley who brought his star quarterback Caleb Williams with him the Trojans finished with an 8-1 record in the Pac-12. Williams cemented himself as the best player in the nation throughout his Heisman-winning campaign, and there was an electricity surrounding the Coliseum that hadnt been felt in a generation. But the dream came to a sudden halt in the Pac-12 Championship Game, as the Trojans lost to Utah for the second time in 2022. Giving away a 15-point fourth quarter lead to Tulane in the Cotton Bowl only rubbed salt in the wounds, and the Achilles heel of this team became evident, as their defense ended the year one of the worst in the nation. So today, ahead of their season opener this weekend, ESPNs Paolo Uggetti tells us how Williams has been prepping for the new season, what USC has done to address their glaring holes on the opposite side of the ball&and if its enough to get them to the College Football Playoff for the first time.
Simone Biles is Back: What Are Her Paris 2024 Chances?: 8/24/23
While weve hit a break in Taylor Swifts Eras Tour, Simone Biles leg has just begun. Biles returned to competition at the US Classic in early August, where she became an all around champion after a two-year hiatus from gymnastics. Back in 2021, Biles pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics due to mental health concerns - and many wondered if that was the last time wed ever see her on the mat. But now, she intends to return to the Games at the 2024 Paris Olympics. So today, Alyssa Roenigk tells us why Simone Biles is ready to begin again&and how since Tokyo, everything has changed for US gymnastics.
Bill Barnwell Predicts This Seasons NFL Risers and Fallers: 8/23/23
As always the offseason brought a ton of change: In Chicago, the Bears doubled down on their franchise quarterback, Justin Fields, and surrounded him with talent. Head coach Sean Payton returns to the sidelines in hopes of fixing Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos. The Minnesota Vikings decided that now is the time to look to the future, despite winning 13 games in 2022. So with the start of the NFL season right around the corner, fans throughout the league are filled with hope and anticipation that the beginning of a new year always brings. Those great expectations can end in playoff appearances and Super Bowl wins, or missed opportunities and overwhelming disappointment. Bill Barnwell delivers his annual dissertation on which teams are set to rise and which can expect a fall when all is said and done this NFL season.
Why J.J. Watt, Tom Brady, and Ryan Reynolds Are Investing In British Soccer: 8/22/23
Stop us if youve heard this before: American football icon travels across the Atlantic to inspire a small market English football club and in the process, falls in love with the people and community. And while Ted Lasso might be finished (for now), there are some real life examples of American athletes and celebrities getting involved with English football: LeBron James has been a partial investor in Liverpool FC since 2011, Tom Brady is an investor of Birmingham City, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney own Wrexham FC, and as of May: J.J. Watt and his wife Kealia are minority owners in Burnley FC. Connor OHalloran toured the small town of Burnley with the Watts, and he talked to them about their experience with the team, the fans who love the club, and why they wanted to buy into English soccer.
Why Jiu-Jitsu is the Key to Tua Tagovailoas 2023 Season: 8/21/23
The 2022 season started off great for Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. After struggling in his first two seasons in the NFL, it looked like he had turned a corner alongside new head coach Mike McDaniel and star wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. But then Tua suffered an injury against the Bills that left almost everyone concerned for his health. The following week against Cincinnati, Tua suffered a concussion, in a horrifying scene on national television. And not too long after that, he suffered another, effectively ending his season and almost his career. But Tua ultimately decided to return, and may have found a way to protect himself on the field: by learning jiu-jitsu. So today, ESPNs Marcel Louis-Jacques explains how Tuas martial arts training can translate onto the field&and how it might be the key to him staying healthy and prolonging his career.
Is MLS Too Easy for Messi?: 8/18/23
When we last talked about Lionel Messi on this show, ahead of his debut for Inter Miami, we talked about how he might find Major League Soccer tougher than expected. But as it turns out, we were very, very wrong. Messi continues to remind us why he is the GOAT, as hes scored nine goals in his first six matches throughout the Leagues Cup, and hes barely broken a sweat while doing so, even at the age of 36. So today, ahead of the Leagues Cup final between Inter Miami and Nashville SC this weekend, ESPNs Luis Miguel Echegaray tells us why Messis absolute dominance says more about Messi than it does about MLS&and how it will help the league in the long run.
The Blind Side Controversy: Sorting Fact from Fiction: 8/17/23
In 2009, audiences flocked to the theater to see a heartwarming movie, The Blind Side. Based on a true story, the film depicts a young, Black man named Michael Oher who came from an unstable background, getting adopted by a wealthy white family, who then helped propel him to NFL stardom as an offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens. By the time its box office run ended, The Blind Side earned the moniker "highest-grossing sports movie of all time" and was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, where Sandra Bullock won Best Actress for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy. But now, in real life, the sentimental story has gone sideways. Its central character, Michael Oher, claims the Tuohy family never adopted him at all, and instead took advantage of him. The Tuohy family strongly denies these claims. So today, Michael Fletcher, who first broke this story, digs into these stunning allegations and explains how the truth of Michael Ohers story has become harder to find.
The 'Chargering' Phenomenon: How Real Is It?: 8/16/23
The Chargers are a little different from some of the teams that have never won a Super Bowl. They seem to always find themselves in the playoff hunt. Theyve always had great names on the team: Dan Fouts, Junior Seau, LaDanian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, Phillip Rivers. Even this current iteration of the team has premiere talent with quarterback Justin Herbert, running back Austin Ekeler, wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, edge rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, and in the secondary with Derwin James and JC Jackson. But for some reason, regardless of talent, the Chargers have always come up short in the biggest spots. Often in spectacular fashion. According to Lindsey Thiry, theres a name for that phenomenon: Chargering. She joins the show to explain how chargering has been around as long as the team has, how its the only logical explanation for some of the most spectacular collapses in the teams history&and what this years team can do to put chargering behind them once and for all.
The Hug Heard Round the World, One Year Later: 8/15/23
One year ago, a Little League qualifying game that should have been remembered as one teams ticket to Williamsport, became known for so much more. One batter, Isaiah Jarvis, was hit in the head by a wayward pitch. He was able to take first base and stay in the game, however the opposing pitcher, Kaiden Shelton, was still visibly shaken up by what had transpired. Then, the world stopped when Jarvis walked to the mound with a gift that everyone could use a lot more of compassion. He embraced Shelton, offered him some words of encouragement, and the game went on. So today, Liz Merrill tells us the story of that moment and how a couple of 12-year-olds reminded us all about the power of sportsmanship.
How the Opioid Epidemic Became Personal for Giants Pitcher Logan Webb: 8/14/23
Life can change in an instant. For San Francisco Giants pitcher Logan Webb, that instant came on a December evening in 2021, when a national epidemic opiate addiction stopped being a statistic and became personal. In that moment of profound loss, he discovered a new purpose that would take him well beyond the baseball field, and mean more than throwing strikes or winning games ever could. So today, ESPNs Sam Borden tells the story of Webbs new mission: raising awareness on the perils of addiction, while honoring the memory of a cousin&and a friend&gone too soon.
The Jordan Love Era in Green Bay Kicks Off: 8/11/23
The Green Bay Packers kick off their preseason schedule tonight, and for the first time in three decades, someone not named Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers will be under center. Jordan Love will finally get the nod as QB1 after three years as Rodgers understudy. And we may finally be getting closer to knowing if Love can fill some Hall of Fame-sized shoes and be Green Bays third consecutive franchise quarterback&or if we still have more unanswered questions. ESPNs Rob Demovsky has covered the Packers for 27 years, and he joins the show to tell us about this new era in Green Bay&and how familiar this transition feels.
Gregg Popovich and Chateau dYquem, the Ultimate Pairing: 8/10/23
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has an unparalleled resume: head coach and GM of the Spurs for over 25 years, the all-time winningest coach in NBA history, and five championship rings to show for it. And after this weekend, Pop will finally be able to add Hall of Famer to that list of accomplishments. What will he do after his induction ceremony? Probably celebrate with his favorite wine: Château dYquem, which has its own extensive and sustained history of excellence. So today, ESPNs Baxter Holmes tells you about the symbiotic relationship between one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, and the drink that can possibly be his equal.
The Seattle Kraken BookTok Hockey Romance Controversy, Explained: 8/9/23
The Seattle Kraken are the NHLs newest expansion team, and from their inception, theyve done things a little differently. Case in point: their social media approach. Back in the spring during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Krakens TikTok account was discovered by BookTok. If youre now asking yourself, what is BookTok? youre not alone. BookTok is a community on TikTok which is comprised of creators and readers discussing all things books. BookTok embraced the Kraken, and the Kraken started posting videos that specifically targeted BookTok. The moment represented two niche fandoms coming together&and it seemed like the end of the story&until last week, when things took a bit of a turn. If this story sounds a bit absurd so far, stay with us: it actually touches on some of the biggest issues in sports, social media, literature&and objectification. So today, Greg Wyshynski helps us explain the Seattle Kraken BookTok hockey romance controversy&and he tells us what happens when the worlds of fiction, online fandom&and real-life athletes&collide.
What the Collapse of the Pac-12 Means for the Future of College Football: 8/8/23
The good news, if you're a Pac-12 Football fan, is that the 2023 seasons looking pretty good. Last year's Heisman Trophy winner, Caleb Williams, is returning to USC. And Five Pac-12 Teams are represented in the First Top 25 Coaches Poll The bad news& well&after 2023, the Pac-12 as weve traditionally known it is basically headed to the dustbin of history. So today, college football insider Heather Dinich explains the sudden and stunning disintegration of a Power 5 conference&whether any of its peers should be worried about their own futures& and how different college football may look when the carousel finally stops turning.
What Does Damar Hamlins Football Future Look Like?: 8/7/23
When Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin went down on the field in the middle of a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football back on January 3rd, the last thing on anybodys mind was his return to football&the number one question was if he would even survive. Now, seven months later, Hamlin has miraculously responded to both those questions with a resounding yes. Hes been a full participant at Bills training camp, and hes slowly transitioning back to his identity as a young player trying to keep a roster spot. So today, ESPN Bills reporter Alaina Getzenberg gives us the latest on Hamlins comeback&and gauges how secure his roster spot really is.
Ali Krieger on USWNTs Group Stage Woes + Round of 16 Preview: 8/4/23
The US Womens National Soccer Team have found themselves in an unfamiliar position going into the knockout stage of the World Cup: with their backs against the wall. The USWNT, who have historically dominated the tournament since its inception and have never finished worse than third place, struggled through the group stage&and it wont get any easier, as a physical Sweden team awaits them in the round of 16. ESPNs Ali Krieger is a former member of the USWNT herself, and she tells us what shes seen on the pitch from her old team, how expansion of womens soccer around the world has elevated this edition of the World Cup&and why theres still hope for a USA three-peat.
Will Aaron Rodgers and the Jets Live Up to the Hype?: 8/3/23
The New York Jets might not have wanted to see themselves on HBOs Hard Knocks, but theyre about the only people who felt that way. In ESPN Jets reporter Rich Ciminis words, everyone wants to see the Jets. And for good reason: they have an exciting core of young talent and personalities on both sides of the ball such as Sauce Gardner and Garret Wilson, and they just traded for one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Aaron Rodgers, who had openly stated that his only desire was to play this year in a Jets uniform. On top of that, Rodgers recently agreed to restructure his contract, essentially giving back $35 million to give the front office some cap flexibility. Its an unprecedented pay cut, and today Cimini tells us if its all enough to turn the Jets into legit Super Bowl contenders.
'You Ever Look at a Ninja?': ÿThe Untold Stories of Joe Thomas HoF Career: 8/2/23
The life of an NFL Offensive Lineman isnt an easy one. If you do your job well, you are pretty much invisible, taking all the punishment so that your teammates can get all the glory. Its all about sacrifice for the greater good of the team. And then, theres the curious case of Joe Thomas, who had one of the most prolific careers in NFL history, despite playing on some horrible Cleveland Browns teams. Thomas played over 10,000 consecutive snaps throughout his 11-year career, none of which came in the playoffs. In fact, the only time Thomas was on a winning team was in his rookie season. But he remained loyal to Cleveland, and will finally get his glory this weekend as hes enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. So today, ESPN Browns reporter Jake Trotter brings you Thomas story, and explains how he found joy in the least expected place.
Jonathan Taylor and the Colts: What Went Wrong?: 8/1/23
The tension between NFL owners and running backs is continuing to escalate. In the latest development, Jonathan Taylor and the Indianapolis Colts have come to a stalemate, with Taylor reportedly requesting a trade following a meeting with Colts owner Jim Irsay. Irsay has been vocal about not wanting to extend Taylors contract, which ends after this season&and about paying running backs in general. Irsays stance follows a recent trend among NFL executives: devaluing the running back position, signing them to less money, and selecting them later in the draft. What happens in the Taylor-Irsay saga has the potential to determine what path the NFL goes down at-large when it comes to their offensive backfields. So today, ESPN Colts reporter Stephen Holder brings us the latest from Colts training camp&and where this dispute might go next.
Inside the 49ers QB Room: 2023 Outlook for Brock Purdy, Trey Lance, and Sam Darnold: 7/31/23
Every football season in San Francisco brings fans another chance to lose their minds over who is starting under center. QB1 for the Niners has become a gig that no one can seem to hold onto for more than a season or two: from Jimmy Garoppolo to Trey Lance, back to Jimmy Garoppolo, and then to Brock Purdy it seems like you never know whos going to be in the pocket for the 49ers. Were not calling it a curse, or even a controversy, but it has been unpredictable. So today, Nick Wagoner takes us through the QB room of 2023, where Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy, is returning from elbow surgery. The Niners once-heir apparent, Trey Lance is battling with another former top draft pick, Sam Darnold, for the number two spot. And he tells us what this all means for a roster thats ready to win now.
Mallory Rubin on the Return of Orioles Magic: 7/28/23
The Baltimore Orioles have the best record in the entire American League. Yes, you read that correctly. When you think of the best team in the AL East, you might think of the New York Yankees, or Boston Red Sox, or even the Tampa Bay Rays in recent years. But this year its the Os who stand head and shoulders above the rest. The same team who lost 110 games two seasons ago is now led by two of the most exciting prospects in baseball in Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson&and theyll be taking center stage this weekend, as they host the Yankees on Sunday Night Baseball, marking the first time the Orioles have done so in five years. So today, long-suffering Orioles fan Mallory Rubin of The Ringer joins the show to break down what this run means for the Os faithful&and how long this particular version of Orioles magic can last.
The Ballad of Gardner Minshew: The NFL's Most Interesting QB?: 7/27/23
Journeymen quarterbacks dont typically merit long, in-depth profiles from national reporters, nor, for that matter, from this show. But very little about Gardner Minshew is typical. With his handle-bar mustache, emotions all over his sleeves, and propensity to fashion unexpected magic off the bench, Minshew has become a walking NFL meme the internet always eager for another round of Minshew Mania. So today, ESPNs Ryan Hockensmith tells us about his lunch with Minshew, which unearthed even more surprising details about the Indianapolis Colts quarterback, including the time he tried to break his own hand with a hammer. And then, theres the video of a postgame hug with his dad from 2021, which explains the passion that drives and defines Gardner Minshew II.
Whos on the Hot Seat in 2023? Bill Barnwells NFL All-Pressure Team: 7/26/23
Training camp is officially underway and the dawn of a new NFL season is upon us. But with a new season, there are new questions: Who will live up to their expectations? Who will disappoint? Who will rise out of nowhere? And for some people around the league, the stakes are even higher. Can Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa return to his elite form? How will Kirk Cousins cement his legacy with the Minnesota Vikings? Will the Dallas Cowboys keep winning when head coach Mike McCarthy assumes playcalling duties? So today, Bill Barnwell explains who has everything to prove among both players and coaches. This is the 2023 NFL All-Pressure Team.
The Northwestern Hazing Scandal, Explained: 7/25/23
For more than 150 years, Northwestern University has been known more for its academics than its prowess on the gridiron. The type of school that seems like the last place you would expect to find a scandal involving hazing and abuse in its football program. But over the last couple weeks, a growing list of accusations and alleged victims has come forward. Pat Fitzgerald, the Wildcats long time head coach and a decorated former player himself, has been fired, and the university is facing multiple lawsuits&with more likely coming. So today, ESPNs Adam Rittenberg explains this complex case from the beginning. What we know, what we dont&and where it might be heading next.
SEC in 2023: Ryan McGee on Georgia Future, New Look Bama, and Vols Violations: 7/24/23
The SEC sparks the conversation around college football at the start of seemingly every season: and its usually SEC teams were talking about at the end of the season, too. And after an offseason dominated by off the field tragedy at Georgia, violations at Tennessee, and the impending addition of both Texas and Oklahoma to the most powerful conference in college sports, 2023 promises to be no different. Ryan McGee was at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Nashville for SEC Media Days, so he stopped by to get us prepared for the new season of SEC football.
A Mothers Vow, a Worldwide Search, and the Mystery of the Dallas Mavericks Barbie: 7/21/23
Throughout human history, the allure of rare and mysterious artifacts has always summoned our bravest and most intrepid explorers to scour the ends of the earth. The Ark of the Covenant. The Holy Grail. And now, the Dallas Mavericks Barbie. The ultra-rare Mavs Barbie, the product of a late 90s collaboration between Mattel and the NBA, has given collectors everywhere headaches for years as the missing piece to their Barbie collections. She is so hard to find, in fact, that some collectors have even questioned her existence. So today, ESPNs Dave Fleming takes us inside his quest for Mavericks Barbie, why shes so hard to find&and how he helped put an end to one collectors 25-year pursuit.
The Daniel Snyder Era Ends in Washington: 7/20/23
Washington D.C. football fans rejoice: Today, NFL owners are expected to ratify the sale of the Commanders, ending Daniel Snyders tenure as owner. After nearly a quarter century of mediocrity, marked by scandal, accusation, ineptitude, and toxicity, an ownership group led by Josh Harris will take the reins. So today, as Washington fans prepare to meet the new boss whom theyre praying is anything but the same as the old boss ESPNs John Keim tells us how it all went so wrong during the Snyder years&and what hope now looks like in DC.
Life Lessons From the NBAs Most Surprising Free Agent Deal: 7/19/23
When you think of the most recognizable players in the NBA, forward Bruce Brown wouldnt be very high on the list. Were not even sure hed crack the top 50. But after having a breakout postseason in 2022-23 and winning a title with the Denver Nuggets, Brown was considered one of the most coveted free agents among teams with championship aspirations&which ultimately led to his two-year, $45 million contract with the Indiana Pacers. Even then, understanding his value is a lot more complicated than simply pointing to a stat sheet. So today, Ben Cohen of the Wall Street Journal is here to enlighten us and explain why Bruce Brown is cashing in, what he can teach all of us about being overlooked&and how being a good teammate can be its own super power.
On the Road with Shohei Ohtani: 7/18/23
You arent nuts, we did just do a Shohei Ohtani episode two weeks ago. But when youre dealing with MLBs brightest star, a unicorn who can blow you away from the pitchers mound and then blow you out from the batters box, every day is something brand new. So, do a piece on Ohtani one day, and just a few hours after its published, he might have another historic moment. ESPNs Tim Keown took a different approach. He hung around the Los Angeles Angels clubhouse for an entire week, bookended by two Ohtani starts, to get to the bottom of who Ohtani really is, on and off the diamond. So today, Keown shares his findings&and gives us some insight into what the future might hold for Shohei Ohtani, at the trade deadline, and beyond.
2023 Womens World Cup Preview: Can USWNT 3-Peat?: 7/17/23
The United States Womens National Soccer Team has established themselves as one of the most dominant powerhouses in sports - ever. In the eight Womens World Cups played, USA has won four of them, reached the semifinals each tournament, and has never finished lower than third place. As this edition of the team takes the field for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, well see the familiar faces of Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz, Rose Lavelle, and Kristie Mewis among others but theres also 14 players on the roster making their World Cup debut. This years squad is no exception to the expectations on their shoulders - and are well aware of the additional pressure that comes with the prospect of winning three World Cups in a row - something no team, mens or womens, has ever accomplished. So today, with a three-peat on the line, Jeff Carlisle tells us what we can expect to see from a USWNT that continues to chase history.
Messi Takes Miami: What Leos Arrival Means for Soccer in America: 7/14/23
Lionel Messi, the best soccer player of the 21st century, perhaps of all time, is coming to America. And yes, Pele decamped to New York to join the Cosmos nearly half a century ago& and David Beckham bent the soccer universe by joining the LA Galaxy in 2007. But THIS is different&this is quite possibly even bigger. So today, ahead of Messis official debut for Inter Miami in MLS, ESPNs Luis Miguel Echegaray tells us what it all means&and why Miami, specifically, is the perfect landing spot for the one and only Leo Messi.
Chiefsaholic: Superfan, Twitter Personality&Bank Robber? (UPDATE): 7/13/23
Six months ago, ESPNs Liz Merrill introduced us to the mystery of Chiefsaholic, the Kansas City Chiefs superfan who lived a lavish lifestyle, but also had been arrested for robbing an Oklahoma bank in December. So much has happened since we told that story: while awaiting his next court date, Chiefsaholic, whose real name is Xavier Babudar, reportedly cut off his ankle monitor, threw it in the woods, and skipped town. A manhunt spanning across multiple states ensued and finally came to an end last Friday, when Babudar was apprehended by the FBI. And only then did we learn that his arrest was just the tip of the iceberg. So today, Liz Merrill returns to expand on the mystery of Chiefsaholic, whose tale has somehow become even harder to believe.
The Enduring Mystery Behind Jon Grudens Email Scandal: 7/12/23
Its been 21 months since then-Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden announced his resignation. Gruden had faced mounting criticism after the Wall Street Journal and New York Times obtained emails he had written between 2011 and 2018, while Gruden was working at ESPN. Several messages contained racist, homophobic, and misogynistic language directed towards several people, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. The scandal ended Grudens coaching career, likely for good. But to this day, a puzzling curiosity has remained: how did such an obscure set of emails get in the hands of the media? Don Van Natta, Jr. and Seth Wickersham have spent the last several months trying to answer that question, and now have an exclusive new report out for ESPN. As Gruden pursues a lawsuit against the NFL, Van Natta joins the show to help us pull at the threads of this mystery. He shares what might have motivated the leakers, and how the leaks triggered a chain of events that ultimately led to Dan Snyders pending sale of the Commanders.
30 Years Since Jimmy Vs ESPYs Speech: Dont Give Up, Dont Ever Give Up: 7/11/23
When former national champion college basketball coach and ESPN analyst Jim Valvano accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for his battle with cancer at the first ESPY Awards, no one was sure if he would have the strength to even take the stage. What followed was a rousing 11-minute long call to action that spurred a new chapter in the fight against cancer. Michael OConnor, director of the SC Featured special, The Speech, shares the details of Jimmy Vs life that became encapsulated in one incredible moment of determination as his health failed, to deliver his message to the world and launch a foundation that continues working to achieve his final dream finding a cure for cancer. To date, ESPN has helped the V Foundation raise more than $195 million for game-changing cancer research, accounting for more than half of the $310 million the V has granted to date. For more on how to donate, go to V.org/donate.
Inside the Worst Team in NBA History: 7/10/23
When you think of historically bad professional sports teams, there are the 1962 Mets, the 1976 Buccaneers. More recently, youve got the 2008 Detroit Lions or the 2017 Cleveland Browns or even this years Oakland Athletics&and then, there are the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers. The storied franchise that had recently parted with Wilt Chamberlain and three other Hall of Famers, and hired their new coach from a classified ad in the Philadelphia Inquirer. This was a team that had three separate 13-game losing streaks, and didnt even reach double digits in the win column. Anthony Olivieri talked to members of that Sixers team, and he shares their stories about how they became the worst NBA team of all time.
Satchel Paiges Legend and Legacy, 75 Years After His MLB Debut: 7/7/23
The Negro Leagues biggest star, pitcher Satchel Paige, made his MLB debut 75 years ago this Sunday when he took the mound for the Cleveland Indians. Paige is a figure who at times feels more myth, more legend than man: his fastball was supposedly clocked at 105 mph, he estimated that he threw more than 50 no-hitters throughout his career, and he claimed to have had such a command of the baseball that he could allegedly work both corners of a chewing gum wrapper&and even his age itself is a hotly debated topic still to this day. So today, on what might have been his 117th birthday, guest host Justin Tinsley explores the life and legacy of Satchel Paige, a man whose legendary feats may always be debated, but whose impact on the game is without question.
Did Shohei Ohtani Just Have the Best Month in MLB History?: 7/6/23
At this point, weve run out of superlatives to describe Shohei Ohtani. Hes not just doing things that nobody has seen in a century, hes doing things that nobody has ever seen. In the month of June alone, Ohtani hit 15 home runs and drove in 29 RBI, while averaging .394, all while pitching over 30 innings, with 37 strikeouts along the way. And it all has us wondering, was that the best month from an individual player in MLB history? So we called up Jeff Passan to get the definitive answer.
How MLB Prospect Arjun Nimmala Swapped Cricket for Baseball: 7/5/23
When you think of a top baseball prospect, or really any prospect in modern sports, you probably think of the kid whos specialized from an early age and spent countless hours with personal coaches and trainers to perfect their craft&and then, theres Arjun Nimmala. Nimmala grew up playing cricket on his family trips to India, but those skills have translated pretty well to the baseball diamond&and have made the 17 year old a likely high first round pick in Sundays MLB Draft. So today, Kylie McDaniel charts Nimmalas unusual path to professional baseball &and what his success would mean to a nation of more than 1 billion potential baseball fans.
The Great Imposter and Me, Part 2 (ENCORE): 7/4/23
The story of Barry Bremen, a.k.a. The Great Imposter was already sufficiently ridiculous. Bremen was an average, suburban dad, husband, and insurance salesman whod risen to national fame by sneaking into major sporting events. But in 2019, nearly a decade after Barry Bremens death, his family received a mysterious letter that changed everything. The Barry Bremen legacy was bigger and more profound than any of them had ever realized. In an encore of one of our favorite episodes, Jeremy Schapp brings us Part 2 of a tale unlike any other: one of family, and identity, and how technology has changed so many lives&and revealed so many secrets.
The Great Imposter and Me, Part 1 (ENCORE): 7/3/23
Its a story so wild we couldnt fit it into one podcast. If youre of a certain age, you probably remember Barry Bremen. In the late 70s, Barry was best known for dressing up as pro athletes and sneaking into televised sporting events&including the 1979 MLB All-Star Game in Seattle, where he was berated by an unamused Tommy Lasorda. And while his Great Imposter persona brought him fame, an appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and more adventures, Barry was also a totally normal family man&and a beloved dad. Bremen died of cancer in 2011, but his story didnt end there. In an encore of one of our favorite episodes, The Great Imposter and Me reveals the most unbelievable part of the Barry Bremen story, which came long after hed hung up his phony uniforms and disguises. Jeremy Schaap brings us this story in two parts, for ESPN Daily.
Is Novak Djokovic Unbeatable? Wimbledon 2023 Preview: 6/30/23
Novak Djokovic is a man on a mission heading into next weeks Wimbledon: following wins at the Australian and French Opens this year, Djokovic is at the top of his game and looks nearly unstoppable. Will #1 seed Carlos Alcaraz or Daniil Medvedev be up to the challenge? On the womens side, Polands Iga Swiatek is ranked #1, but shell face tough competition from Aryna Sabalenka and last years champion Elena Rybakina. Could Americans Jess Pegula and Coco Gauff make a serious run? Patrick McEnroe shares his insights on this years tournament, and who and what hes most excited to see from the Championships.
The Surprising Link Between 3-Point Shooting and Golf: 6/29/23
Its not exactly a hot take to say Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are the greatest shooting backcourt in NBA history. And today, their shot-making ability of a different kind will be on display, as they go head-to-head against Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce in The Match, a nationally televised charity golf event. But when it comes to sharpshooters hitting the links, the Splash Brothers are just the tip of the iceberg. Baxter Holmes spent months speaking to some of the best three-point shooters in NBA history&and now, hes here to tell us why so many cant quit that little white ball, why theyre so well-suited to the sport&and whether any might launch a new career on the course.
Elly De La Cruz Has Arrived: 6/28/23
Elly De La Cruz just might be the most exciting player in baseball, and he hasnt even been in the Major Leagues for a full month yet. While his performance has been turning heads, its his unique combination of power and speed that has infused the Cincinnati Reds with an energy that the city hasnt seen in a long time. So today, Jeff Passan brings us the story of De La Cruz, tells us how real the hype is, and explains how hes giving Reds fans something they havent had in more than a decade: hope.
Brian Windhorst: The Oracle of the NBA Offseason: 6/27/23
The NBA offseason is underway, with several big names already tied into upcoming trades. The next step is free agency, which officially begins on Friday. Bradley Beal, Chris Paul, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart and James Harden are all in the news, as are the annual will Damian Lillard leave Portland questions. So today, Brian Windhorst unpacks the moves weve already seen, and breaks out his crystal ball to take a look at whats to come, once free agency officially begins.
Trinity Rodman Owns Her Last Name (ENCORE): 6/26/23
The US Women's National Team opens training camp today in preparation for next months World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand. The goal for team USA? Nothing less than a three-peat. The roster returns some of the biggest names in soccer&like Megan Rapinoe, Julie Ertz, and Alex Morgan&but also features 14 players making their World Cup debuts. So today ESPN reporter Charlotte Gibson tells the story of one of those new faces, 21-year-old Trinity Rodman. Trinity is the daughter of basketball hall of famer Dennis Rodman, but her quest to attach a new legacy to her famous last name is all her own.
Before Victor Wembanyama, there was Frederic Weis: 6/23/23
Frederic Weis was supposed to be Victor Wembanyama before Victor Wembanyama. The 72 Frenchman was drafted by the Knicks in the first round of the 1999 NBA Draft, and was thought to be the next great European star to crossover to the States. But one year later, in the Olympics, Weis would be on the receiving end of one of the most memorable dunks ever, when Vince Carter literally dunked over him. The narrative around Weis began to shift suddenly he was too soft for the NBA, and he would never actually play in an NBA game. But that narrative never reflected the full truth. Now, 23 years later as the arrival of Wembanyama is celebrated Sam Borden gives us the story of the rise and fall and rise again, of Frederic Weis& and how, after so many years, and a great deal of pain, basketball has proved to be Frederic Weiss salvation.
The Thompson Twins Are Ready to Introduce Themselves to the NBA (ENCORE): 6/22/23
The way NBA prospects get to the league looks nothing like it used to. Weve been importing future MVPs from overseas for years now: thats the story of Victor Wembanyama, tonights projected No. 1 pick. And weve watched the G League become the NBAs own minor league system. Thats the story of Scoot Henderson, projected to go either No. 2 or No. 3. But the story of Amen and Ausar Thompson who could maybe round out the top five in tonights NBA Draft is something very different. Israel Gutierrez explains the rise of Overtime Elite: a viral video account thats become a league unto itself, where the Thompson twins have taken up residence, and where theyre getting everyone to click.
A Crash Course on Tight End University: 6/21/23
Class is officially in session at Tight End University. Think of an offseason trade event, featuring the best tight ends in the NFL. Its happening right now in Nashville for the third year in a row, and its the brainchild of San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle. So today, NFL reporter Turron Davenport gives us a crash course on his experience at TEU&and breaks down how the position is changing the league.
How Victor Wembanyama Became the Next Generational NBA Prospect (ENCORE): 6/20/23
Hes the most talked about NBA prospect since LeBron James, but Victor Wembanyama is unlike any basketball player weve seen before. The 75 Frenchman is just 19 years old, and dazzles fans and scouts alike with his dynamic movement and impressive eight-foot wingspan. But until now, we hadnt heard much from Wembanyama himself. Jonathan Givony sat down with Wembanyama for an hour in Paris to talk to him about his life in basketball so far and his upcoming NBA career and today, he shares his story with us.
The Orangeburg Massacre: A Forgotten Story of a Team and Tragedy (ENCORE): 6/19/23
Over 55 years ago, one of the most horrible tragedies of the civil rights movement took place in Orangeburg, South Carolina when police opened fire on a group of Black protesters outside of a bowling alley. The protesters had gathered to push for the desegregation of All-Star Bowling Lane, and when all was said and done 31 people had been shot, most of them students at nearby South Carolina State University. Three men lay dead, two members of the South Carolina State football team and a high school athlete. Andscape Senior Writer, David Dennis Jr., author of THE MOVEMENT MADE US: A FATHER, A SON, AND THE LEGACY OF A FREEDOM RIDE, tells the story of this underreported massacre.
Fathers Day, Sports, and Family Connection: A Conversation with Luke Russert: 6/16/23
For much of his life, Luke Russert felt he was growing up in the shadow of his late father, political journalist and moderator of NBCs Meet the Press Tim Russert - who was a huge Buffalo Bills fan. After pursuing journalism himself, Luke decided to confront the pain of his loss and go on a journey of self discovery, which he wrote about in his new book, Look For Me There: Grieving My Father, Finding Myself. Through his travels around the world, he saw signs of his father, at places like a baseball stadium in Hiroshima, and at the Western Wall, where Luke happened to purchase a Buffalo Bills yarmulke. So today, Luke Russert joins senior writer Xuan Thai to talk about life, loss, and the powerful connection sports creates between children and parents&and what it would mean for the Bills to finally win a Super Bowl. Then, hear a parting shot on Fathers Day and baseball from Jeremy Schaap.
NBA Draft Preview: Who Goes After Wembanyama?: 6/15/23
Jonathan Givony has been covering the NBA Draft for twenty years. And so he breaks out his notebook to review his draft notes on one Nikola Jokic, maybe the biggest steal in draft history. He also provides an update on Victor Wembanyamas all but certain path to joining the Spurs. And then he takes us through the rest of the draft. Who will go second between Brandon Miller and Scoot Henderson? Will anyone trade up to find their next guy? And who are the sleepers outside of the lottery and into the second round? Givony breaks down everything&and everyone&you need to know in this years draft class.
How the Shocking PGA Tour-LIV Golf Deal Went Down: 6/14/23
With hindsight being 20/20, there appear to be a few things PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan would like to take a mulligan on. And towards the top of this list would be using the word merger to describe this new alliance between three crucial parties: the PGA Tour itself, Europes DP World Tour, and the Saudi Public Investment Fund. It was just one of many confusing developments that shook the Tour and the world of golf this past week. So today, Mark Schlabach is here to share what he has learned about how this deal came together in the first place, why so many people are so angry about it, and whether it can withstand the many headwinds and scrutiny it now faces.
The Freedom Within: How Jordan McNairs Family Found Power in Forgiveness: 6/13/23
When Jordan McNair died five years ago today, the headlines and airwaves were dominated by outpourings of anger and desperate search for answers. McNair was a football player at the University of Maryland and collapsed during the first day of summer workouts. The trainers originally thought he was suffering from cramps, but it turned out to be something much more severe. Today, John Barr tells us the story of what happened next, and how a grieving family discovered the power of forgiveness. You can watch the Outside the Lines special, The Freedom Within, here.
Can Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets Strike NBA Championship Gold?: 6/12/23
Its been 47 years since the Denver Nuggets first joined the NBA, and In that time&things havent always panned out. But now, the Nuggets are the verge of finally striking gold, and claiming their first NBA Championship in franchise history. So, today, with a potentially decisive Game 5 tonight, Nuggets reporter Ohm Youngmisuk tells us how Nikola Jokic has Denver positioned to ascend the NBA summit&and how the Nuggets became the most quietly dominant team in the NBA.
From Disney Movie to NHL Team: How The Mighty Ducks Was Hatched: 6/9/23
The sports underdog film is a hallowed, often sacred genre. When done right, underdog stories like Rocky and The Bad News Bears can become cultural touchstones. And theres one film released in 1992 that fits the bill perfectly: The Mighty Ducks. Ever since the team came quacking onto the scene, theyve captured the hearts of a certain generation of sports and movie fans alike. Now, theyre the subject of the new E:60 duck-umentary Once Upon a Time in Anaheim. So today, we bring you a sneak beak: screenwriter Steven Brill tells us what it was like to write a movie that eventually inspired a real NHL team&which ruffled a few feathers when Disney announced the team would be named the Mighty Ducks.
My Blood and his Blood are the Same. A Coach, a Player, and a Life Saving Bond: 6/8/23
Its been nearly 70 years since Wake Forest last won the College World Series. Theyve only made the trip to Omaha twice, ever. But now, the Demon Deacons are the top-ranked team in the country, with that elusive trip to Omaha now in sight. Much of the credit will rightfully go to the leadership of head coach Tom Walter. Yet beyond whatever Walter and his team are able to accomplish this month, his legacy in Winston-Salem and as a coach is forever sealed by something he did more than a decade ago. Its a story about the bond between a coach and a player, but unlike any youve heard before. So today, on the eve of college baseballs super regionals, Ryan McGee explains how Tom Walter came to share the gift of life when a player he barely knew needed it the most.
How Jimmy Butler Became Jimmy Buckets: 6/7/23
Jimmy Butlers been underestimated for most of his basketball life. Every step of the way, Butler has been forced to prove he belonged. But now, as the six-time NBA All Star Butler leads the Heat against the Nuggets in Game 3 of the NBA Finals tonight, its easy to miss how it all started. So today Ryan Hockensmith takes us back to Butlers college days to pinpoint the moment when Jimmy Butler became Jimmy Buckets.
Where Will DeAndre Hopkins Land? Bill Barnwells Offseason Report: 6/6/23
June is one of the busiest months on the sports calendar. The NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup Final, and the Major League Baseball season are all going full tilt. But as you know, the NFL never sleeps. OTAs are winding down. Training camp is on the horizon. And one of the best receivers in the league is now a free agent after the Arizona Cardinals released DeAndre Hopkins. So with everything going on, Bill Barnwell catches Jeremy Schaap up on everything to know about the league that has no offseason.
How Oklahoma Softball Became the Most Dominant Team in College Sports: 6/5/23
When you think about dynasties in the 21st century, you might think of the New England Patriots, or Los Angeles Lakers, or the UConn womens basketball team. But theres another dynasty that you might be overlooking& one that just might be more dominant than all of them: the Oklahoma Sooners softball team. Theyve won 96% of their games since 2020, including a historic winning streak of 50 games (and counting). The Sooners have also won five national championships since 2013, and are three victories away from completing a three-peat in college softball for the first time in 23 years. So today, Hallie Grossman breaks down what makes this team so dominant, and explains how they got there.
Baseball is who I am. The Unforgettable Story of Sarah Langs: 6/2/23
Today is Lou Gehrig Day across Major League Baseball, a day to honor the New York Yankees legend when he left the game in 1939 after he was diagnosed with ALS. And today, theres someone else in baseball who is fighting the exact same fight Gehrig fought over 80 years ago: Sarah Langs. Sarah is a baseball researcher and analyst, and has worked for ESPN and MLB. Shes one of sports medias brightest young voices, and Buster Olney joins us today to share her story&and how she remains unphased after life threw her a devastating curveball. For more information on Sarahs Fist Bumps for ALS campaign, click here.
Nikola Jokic: From Dad Bod God to NBA MVP: 6/1/23
The NBA Finals begin tonight, with the Denver Nuggets on the leagues biggest stage for the first time ever. They are led by Nikola Jokic, the two-time MVP who has built a case to be called the greatest player in the world. So today, with his team hosting the Miami Heat in game one, Ramona Shelburne explains how the always humble Jokic evolved from a pudgy, soda-chugging teenager in Serbia to the playmaking center thats changing the game as we know it.
Will Florida or Vegas Win Their First Stanley Cup?: 5/31/23
After an NHL season where we thought wed see some of the blue bloods of hockey finally return to championship glory, the Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights had other plans. The Golden Knights are back in the Stanley Cup Final for their second appearance in only six years of existence, while the Panthers snuck into the playoffs as the eighth seed and upset both the Bruins and Maple Leafs on their way to their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since 1996. Its a testament to how much the NHL has grown over the years&and today, Emily Kaplan gives us a preview of the Stanley Cup Final, and tells us what to expect as both teams close in on their pursuit of history.
The Time Michael Jordan Helped a Guy Win $1 Million (ENCORE): 5/30/23
It was 30 years ago that a nearly impossible, yet unforgettable shot was made at the Chicago Stadium. On that evening, a 23-year old office supplies salesman named Don Calhoun participated in the million dollar shot contest, in which he had to make a ¾ court shot to win one million dollars. With less than a 1% chance, Dons shot sailed right into the net, and the entire arena, including Michael Jordan, went crazy. But, shortly after this incredible scene, rumors began to circulate that Don might not receive the prize money, because of some contest fineprint. Ryan Hockensmith tells guest host Emily Kaplan the story of how an unimaginable shot ultimately needed an assist from Air Jordan himself&.and how that gesture forever changed the lives of one Chicago man and his family.
Battlefields to Ballfields: How Veterans are Helping Solve the Sports Officiating Crisis (ENCORE): 5/29/23
There may be no more thankless job than referee. At best, your existence is completely invisible. No one notices when you do a terrific job. At worst, you become enemy #1 for fans or coaches or in lower levels, angry parents. Combine that with low pay and high pressure, and it's no wonder why officiating is undergoing a crisis at the moment. Not enough people are willing to do the job&a job without which, the games quite literally can not go on. But, today, on Memorial Day, we revisit the story of a solution. And itll make you think differently about what this job actually is. And the people who really would love to do it.
Robot Umpires are Here. But do they Make Baseball Better?: 5/26/23
If youre a baseball fan, odds are youve probably been upset at the umpires calling your favorite teams game on more than one occasion. That fraction of an inch between a ball and a strike is a skill that almost nobody can do at the level of a Major League umpire, and even they get it wrong sometimes. But now, those calls can be handled by the Automatic Ball-Strike System, or to put it more simply& robot umps. But as the league begins to embrace automation, we find ourselves asking: is this all really worth it? Jeff Passan has seen ABS in action in the minor leagues this season, and he explains why this shift is about more than just balls and strikes&and if human error in baseball might not be the bug we think it is after all.
How USC is Preparing for the Bronny James Experience: 5/25/23
LeBron James wont be the only show on the Hollywood hardwood this fall, assuming of course that he doesnt retire. Because his son, Bronny James, and his seven-plus million social media followers, will be suiting up just down the road from the Lakers home court, for the USC Trojans. So today, Myron Medcalf tracks Bronnys journey from high school at Sierra Canyon, through a unique recruiting window. And he explains why USC is perfectly positioned to welcome in the Bronny James experience.
How the Oakland As Stole the Plot of Major League: 5/24/23
In the nearly 150-year history of professional sports in America, very few teams if any have used the threat of relocation quite like the Athletics. The baseball club began in 1901 in Philadelphia before moving to Kansas City in 1955, and eventually settled in its present home of Oakland in 1968. But, as Slate writer Stefan Fatsis recently noted, throughout its lifetime, the As franchise has planned or threatened to move an additional 19 times. So today, as the team explores yet another possible move, this time to Las Vegas, Tim Keown documents the latest chapter in the As nomadic history...and how the fans in Oakland are responding.
Heat Culture by the Numbers: 5/23/23
The Miami Heat are one win away from being the second team in NBA history to reach the NBA Finals as an 8th seed. Its one of the most remarkable postseason runs we have ever seen, particularly because Miami lost their first play-in game and barely survived the second game to stumble into the playoffs. So how were they seemingly able to flip the switch like this? The answer is simple: Heat Culture. Its a mentality, a mantra, call it what you will& but its real. And there are numbers that back it up. So today, Kirk Goldsberry dives into the analytics and proves the scientific existence of Heat Culture.
The Rat Trick: The Legend of the Florida Panthers Rodent Tradition (ENCORE): 5/22/23
After stealing the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Florida Panthers return home tonight for Game 3. The Panthers have a real shot at closing out one of the title favorites, and returning to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in almost 30 years. And were reminded of one of the most unusual traditions in all of sports, one that originated in that first Stanley Cup run so many years ago: throwing rats onto the ice. Its a hair-raising tradition that dates back to the 95-96 season, when a Cinderella-esque Panthers team made the Stanley Cup Final in just their third year of existence. Emily Kaplan explains how the Panthers rat throwing tradition started, if it may or may not have contributed to the teams long misfortunes&and the ways in which this generations Panthers are trying to write their own tale.
The WNBA Enters the Superteam Era: 5/19/23
The WNBA is no longer asking nicely for your attention, theyre demanding it as we enter the leagues superteam era. Its impossible to ignore the New York Liberty, who built a star-studded roster featuring Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, and Courtney Vandersloot. And dont forget about the reigning champions, the Las Vegas Aces&who added none other than Candace Parker to their locker room. Oh, and Britney Griner is back too, making her return to the W tonight in Los Angeles as her Phoenix Mercury visit the Sparks. And of course, the serious stuff&as no league is immune to scandal. So ahead of tip-off tonight, LaChina Robinson takes us through all of this seasons cant miss storylines&and what it means for the future of the womens game.
Why Nick Sabans NIL Rant Wasnt Actually About Jimbo Fisher: 5/18/23
The college football universe was set on fire last May when Alabama head coach Nick Saban accused Texas A&M of buying all their players. Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher, once a Saban assistant, took offense to his former boss comments and responded with a fiery rant during a press conference. This war of words dominated college football headlines for the majority of the offseason, and even now, with tempers cooled, the question remains: Why did Nick Saban make those comments? So today, Alex Scarborough breaks down the bad blood, and describes a motivation unfamiliar to the many of the Crimson Tides coaches, players, fans, and boostersfear.
Heat vs. Celtics: A Playoff Trilogy Unlike Any Other: 5/17/23
The Boston Celtics have looked like one of the best teams in the NBA all season, and theyre just one series win away from having a shot at proving it. But first, theyll need to get past the Miami Heat, who have been playing out of their minds all postseason thanks to some legendary performances from Jimmy Butler. The Heat snuck into the playoffs as the 8th seed, and promptly stunned the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in just five games. They followed that up with a six-game dismantling of the New York Knicks to secure a rubber match with the Celtics, with Miami winning the first ECF meeting in the bubble in 2020 and the Celtics advancing in 2022. Can Miami prevail once again? Or does Boston have too much to prove? Tim Bontemps helps us find that out.
Can LeBron and the Lakers Topple the Nuggets?: 5/16/23
LeBron James and the Lakers are one step away from the NBA Finals&but back in October, that possibility seemed almost completely out of reach. The team started out the season just 2-10 and faced an upward climb back to the top of the west, with a 0.3% of even making the playoffs. But thanks to a complete roster overhaul at the trade deadline, the Lakers find themselves in a familiar position: In the Western Conference Finals against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. So today, Ramona Shelburne explains just how impressive the Lake Shows turnaround has been, and what the Denver Nuggets have to do to trigger an avalanche to come tumbling down on LA.
How Victor Wembanyama Became the Next Generational NBA Prospect: 5/15/23
Hes the most talked about NBA prospect since LeBron James, but Victor Wembanyama is unlike any basketball player weve seen before. The 75 Frenchman is just 19 years old, and dazzles fans and scouts alike with his dynamic movement and impressive eight-foot wingspan. But until now, we hadnt heard much from Wembanyama himself. Ahead of tomorrows NBA draft lottery, Jonathan Givony sat down with Wembanyama for an hour in Paris to talk to him about his life in basketball so far and his upcoming NBA career and today, he shares his story with us.
A Local Rink, a Stanley Cup Champion, and a Lifesaving Choice : 5/12/23
Ryan OReilly, center for the Toronto Maple Leafs, has become a hero on the ice for hockey fans across the league. But his mother, Bonnie OReilly, became a hero in her own right when she made a choice that ultimately ended up saving the life of a beloved member of their community. When Seaforth, Ontario rink manager Graham Nesbitt was diagnosed with a kidney disorder called Bergers Disease, Bonnie OReilly immediately put herself on the list to be a donor, connecting both of their lives forever. In honor of Mothers Day, Mike Farrell takes us inside his latest E:60 feature Little Choices, and shares a story of selflessness and sports. You can watch Little Choices on Sunday, May 14 at 12 P.M. ET on ESPN and ESPN Plus.
How the NFL Schedule Release Has Turned Into the Leagues Met Gala : 5/11/23
The 2023 NFL Schedule is set to release tonight, and we are once again reminded just how much people love football more than any other sport in the United States. Although the only new parts unveiled tonight are the time slots and dates of each game for every team, its the manner in which the 32 schedules are released that makes fans go into a frenzy. The social media and marketing departments of every NFL team will be competing tonight to see who can post the craziest, wittiest, and most viral content&so its basically like the Met Gala for the NFL. Field Yates drops by to give us a preview of tonights schedule release, and the spectacle it has become.
Steph vs. LeBron: the Final Chapter in this G.O.A.T. Rivalry?: 5/10/23
The second round playoff series between the Lakers and the Warriors has delivered no shortage of storylines, but for many NBA fans, theres only one that matters: LeBron James vs Steph Curry. Two of the greatest players of all time, who have faced each other four times in the NBA Finals, are battling once again&.this time in the Western Conference Semifinals. This time however, their roles are almost juxtaposed: LeBron finally has a supporting cast that doesnt require him to do the heavy lifting every game, while Steph has had to do everything to keep Golden States head above water in this series as they now face elimination. With Game 5 looming, the biggest question is can Golden State still make a comeback, or will the Lakers be the ones advancing to the Conference Finals? So today, Ramona Shelburne joins the show to recap the biggest moments from the series so far& and prepare us for whats to come.
The Transfer Portal, Explained: 5/9/23
If you are a college sports fan, odds are youve heard the words transfer portal way too many times recently & and thats not a coincidence. Athletes are entering the transfer portal at higher rates now than ever before. For example, At least 71 football players from the University of Colorado have entered the portal since last August, and 61 have entered since Deion Sanders was named head coach of the Buffs in December. But football isnt the only sport thats seeing a large number of players using the portal. Maryland transfer Angel Reese recently led the LSU Womens Basketball team to a national title, and since then, former Louisville star Haley Van Lith and DePaul standout Aneesah Morrow have also joined the Tigers. With so many players taking advantage of the transfer portal now, it is clear to see that the landscape of college sports has seismically changed. So today, Tom VanHaaren joins the show to tell us all about the transfer portal&and why its changing the game in college sports.
Why Connor Bedard is Hockeys Next Big Thing: 5/8/23
In hockey, theres only one player whos known as The Great One: Wayne Gretzky. But in the decades since #99 hung up his skates&theres been a whole bunch of Next Ones. Alex Ovechkin is The Great 8, Sidney Crosby was The Next One, Connor McDavid is sometimes called The Next Sidney Crosby. And for 2023s projected first overall pick&17 year old Connor Bedard, the pressure is on to follow in that legacy. So today, as the NHL prepares for the draft lottery, Emily Kaplan tells us a little more about hockeys next Next Big Thing...and whether he can live up to the hype as the games latest cant miss kid.
The Unlikely Friendship that Changed Kevin Durant Forever: 5/5/23
In June of 2005, 18-year-old Kevin Durant attended an all-star basketball camp for high schoolers that consisted of mostly juniors and seniors. During his stay at camp, he roomed with another young high schooler from Japan, named Taishi Ito, who had come to the United States to play basketball. The two were total opposites: Durant was 69 and full of hype, while Ito was 60 and was hoping to secure a D1 scholarship. The two became inseparable, as their friendship continued into their senior year of high school, and created a bond that would carry on well into their adult lives. So today, Ryan Hockensmith joins the show to tell us the story of how this unlikely friendship became one of the most important relationships in Kevins life.
Canelo Alvarez: Why Boxings Biggest Star is Finally Returning Home: 5/4/23
Canelo Alvarezs fight against John Ryder this weekend might be the biggest fight of his career, but it could be the most meaningful. For the first time in 12 years, the face of boxing gets to fight in his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico in front of all of his family and friends. The fight is set to take place at Akron Stadium in Jalisco, and up to 50,000 people are expected to fill the seats to watch their hometown hero defend his undisputed super middleweight title. So today, Mike Coppinger joins the show to tell us about his experience traveling to Guadalajara with Canelo, and why it is so special for him to fight in his hometown once again.
Damar Hamlin, Commotio Cordis, and a Life Saving Long Island Mom : 5/3/23
When Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed, seemingly lifeless, on Monday Night Football in January: the world stood still. But somewhere on Long Island, New York, one mother watched everything unfold knowingly, fully aware of what had happened to Hamlin. Because the cause of Hamlins collapse was the same condition Commotio Cordis that had taken her sons life 23 years earlier. So today, Tisha Thompson shares the story of a decades-long mission that grew from that loss, which has saved hundreds of lives, including Damar Hamlin.
Blood in the Garden 2.0: Knicks, Heat Rivalry Renewed: 5/2/23
Stop us if youve heard this before, but the New York Knicks and Miami Heat are facing off in the NBA Playoffs. That phrase alone brings back memories of the 1990s, when the two teams engaged in one of the most intense rivalries in NBA history. While the conflict lacked the ultimate glory of championships, it was always filled to the brim with bad blood, betrayals, fisticuffs, animosity, and the occasional head coach hanging onto the leg of a star player. So today, ahead of Game 2, Chris Herring, author of Blood in the Garden: The Flagrant History of the 1990s New York Knicks, explains the feud between these two franchises, and how this series is bringing the 90s back into todays NBA Playoffs.
Bill Barnwells NFL Draft Winners and Losers: 5/1/23
The pinnacle of the NFL offseason has come and gone with the NFL Draft, and this years edition was more&unusual&than others to say the least. We saw surprising trades, running backs and inside linebackers taken in the first round - the Detroit Lions took both - leaving analytics-minded people discombobulated. So with the Draft officially in the rearview mirror and the start of the season on the distant horizon, Bill Barnwell gives guest host Myron Medcalf his reactions&and tries to make sense of a weekend unlike any the NFL has seen in a few years.
The Game Inside the Game: How NBA Players Work the Refs: 4/28/23
NBA officials are human beings (at least for now)...and they are emotional beings, just like the NBA players they share the court with. So its no surprise when you see tempers flare in the heat of the moment between the two parties. And despite the contentious interactions we sometimes see on the court, players and officials often do end up forming relationships. And like any relationship, there are ups and downs. So today, Tim Macmahon takes us inside the game within the game, as NBA players try to win over the referees&and whether or not it actually works.
All Hell Broke Loose. Why Vikings Missed Their Draft Pick in 2003: 4/27/23
Before all eyes shift to the center of the NFL universe in Kansas City for the Draft tonight where the Carolina Panthers will be on the clock with the first overall pick we turn the clock back 20 years. The Minnesota Vikings had the 7th overall pick, and had just sealed a trade to send the pick to Baltimore&or so they thought. As time was ticking down, they began to notice that the ESPN broadcast logo hadnt changed, and their name was still shown on the screen instead of the Ravens. Thats when they figured out that the trade was never executed by the NFL, and with their time expired on the clock the Vikings ultimately ended up missing their pick in the draft&resulting in a moment that went down as one of the wildest scenes in NFL Draft history. So today, as we gear up to watch yet another draft go down in the books, Kevin Seifert tells us the wild story of the time when things didnt quite go according to the NFLs plan in the 2003 draft.
Aaron Rodgers Traded: Reaction from Green Bay to Broadway: 4/26/23
Aaron Rodgers is officially a New York Jet. Over a month after announcing his intention to play in New York, the 39-year-old future Hall of Fame QB is leaving small town Green Bay for the bright lights of the Big Apple. The Jets are looking for Aaron Rodgers to solve their historic quarterback issues, and help them make a push in a crowded AFC East. Meanwhile in Green Bay, fans are left wondering how or if their team will recover from losing their starting signal caller of the past 15 years. So today, its a tale of two cities: Jets reporter Rich Cimini lets us know what we can expect to see from New York this upcoming season, then Rob Demovsky tells us how Green Bay is handling the loss of their star quarterback.
Is Bryce Young Big Enough to be an Elite NFL QB?: 4/25/23
The 2023 NFL Draft is Thursday night, and all signs point to Alabama QB Bryce Young going to the Panthers as the No. 1 pick. Young has dazzled in his time at Tuscaloosa. Taking home the Heisman Trophy and building a college football Hall of Fame worthy resume as well. But its his size not his accolades that make him unique in this years draft. He stands at 5-foot-10 and just under 200 pounds, making him one of the shortest and lightest QBs potentially going at the top of the draft in decades. So today, Pete Thamel joins us to break down whether or not Young can measure up to the job in front of him.
Mina Kimes NFL Draft Preview: 4/24/23
Although Kansas City Chiefs fans are still basking in the glow of their teams Super Bowl victory, the rest of the National Football League and its fans have begun to focus on the new season that starts this Thursday&at the 2023 NFL Draft. And this years draft feels as unpredictable as any in recent memory. Before she heads to KC, Mina Kimes answers all of our most pressing draft questions: like how many quarterbacks we should expect to see taken in the first round, whos rising up the draft boards, and whether a last minute blockbuster trade could change everything.
Can Psychedelics Help Heal Athletes Bodies and Minds?: 4/21/23
We can all see the physical toll that athletes take upon their bodies. What we might not be as aware of, is the mental and emotional stress that many of them are subject to as well. Especially after retiring. So how do these athletes find ways to manage that sort of trauma? In some cases, the unlikely answer is psychedelics. One underground community of athletes journeyed to Jamaica on a retreat to take psilocybin aka magic mushrooms, to help them heal, and rediscover themselves. A journey to let go of the pain. So today, Kevin Van Valkenburg takes us inside a seldom glimpsed world&to shed some light on an unusual, but intriguing healing practice.
Can Bijan Robinson Make Running Backs Great Again?: 4/20/23
Bijan Robinson is one of the best running back prospects to enter the NFL draft in recent memory, but its looking like he wont be drafted as such. Thats because the value of the running back has changed in todays NFL due to a short shelf life at the position, the rise of the passing games, and teams finding better value in the later rounds for what was once one of the NFLs premier positions. But Bijan hopes to change all of that. So today, Hallie Grossman shares his story, and tells us how the only flaw in his game is that he may have been born in the wrong generation.
Is Dillon Brooks the Next Lebron James Agitator?: 4/19/23
Game two between the Lakers and Grizzlies is going down tonight, and this matchup proves we have something the NBA has been lacking for many years: genuine bad blood. Memphis is a team that has not only made an enemy out of Los Angeles, but the league as a whole. And Grizzlies guard, Dillon Brooks? For this series, hes set his sights on one thing: becoming the next player in a long history of players to master the art of antagonizing Lebron James. So today, Brian Windhorst joins guest host Jorge Sedano to give the historical accounting of players who were proud to be LeBron James agitators, and he tells us whether Dillon Brooks has what it takes to get under King Jamess skin&and turn this series around.
Life After LeBron James: A New Era in Cleveland: 4/18/23
You could be forgiven for not recognizing the Cleveland Cavaliers team that you watched lose in game one to the New York Knicks 101-97. The Cavs havent made a postseason visit since Lebron James made his exit back in 2018, but enter Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell has coaches and fans of the Cavaliers hoping that his leadership combined with the young talent in place, can push Cleveland deep into the playoffs. So today, Nick Friedell joins the show to tell us how this team came together, what they need to do to succeed, and how much of the Donovan Mitchell gamble is on the line this postseason.
P.K. Subbans Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview: 4/17/23
The Stanley Cup playoffs are the most thrilling, unpredictable, and tense two month tournament in all of sports: and it all starts tonight. With a historically great Boston Bruins steamrolling the league, scoring leader Connor McDavids Edmonton Oilers still chasing his first championship with the team, and the perpetually disappointing Toronto Maple Leafs attempting to make it out of the first round since 2004, the road to hoisting Lord Stanleys Cup is as difficult as ever. So today, Norris Trophy winner and three time NHL All-Star turned ESPN hockey analyst P.K. Subban joins Emily Kaplan to get us hyped for the postseason, ahead of puck drop.
Running for Martin: 10 Years Later, One Boys Legacy: 4/14/23
Tomorrow marks ten years since the Boston Marathon Bombing&a day that changed the city, and its iconic race, forever. Three people were killed in the blasts that day, including eight-year old Martin Richard. In the days and weeks following the attack, Martin Richard, as much as anyone, became the face of the victims. A photo of him, holding a sign reading No More Hurting People. Peace. became an instantly iconic symbol of all that was lost on that tragic day. Now, ten years later, Martin Richards friends and family are running the marathon in his honor. Chris Connelly joins guest host Emily Kaplan to tell the story of the little boy whose memory lives on in the hearts of so many who will be running for him on marathon Monday.
The Pitch Clock Ticks On: Jeff Passan on MLBs New Era: 4/13/23
Were barely two weeks into the MLB season and things are already looking&unusual. In addition to the slew of game-changing rules introduced this year, were already seeing some other surprises on the diamond. For example, the team currently leading the NL West is NOT the Dodgers, or the Padres, but rather the Arizona Diamondbacks. The young Baltimore Orioles are shaping up to be one of the more fun teams to watch, and the Tampa Bay Rays are doing things that havent been done since the 80s&the 1880s! So today, Jeff Passan joins the show to give us his assessment on the state of baseball at this moment, and determine how the new rules will affect the future of the league.
The Time Michael Jordan Helped a Guy Win $1 Million: 4/12/23
It was 30 years ago this week that a nearly impossible, yet unforgettable shot was made at the Chicago Stadium. On that evening, a 23-year old office supplies salesman named Don Calhoun participated in the million dollar shot contest, in which he had to make a ¾ court shot to win one million dollars. With less than a 1% chance, Dons shot sailed right into the net, and the entire arena, including Michael Jordan, went crazy. But, shortly after this incredible scene, rumors began to circulate that Don might not receive the prize money, because of some contest fineprint. Ryan Hockensmith tells guest host Emily Kaplan the story of how an unimaginable shot ultimately needed an assist from Air Jordan himself&.and how that gesture forever changed the lives of one Chicago man and his family.
Brian Windhorst Previews the NBA Playoffs: 4/11/23
The biggest soap opera in sports is beginning its home stretch tonight as the NBA Postseason gets going with the play-in round. From now until late June, well be staring at our television screens every night watching the best teams battle for a chance at the NBA Finals. Two months of pure drama is surely on the way, and we have some coming right out of the gates with the Western Conference play-in game between the Timberwolves and the Lakers. So today, Brian Windhorst tells guest host Emily Kaplan what we can expect from the NBA playoffs.
WNBA Draft Preview: Aliyah Boston #1&Then What?: 4/10/23
Its been just one week since LSU and Iowa played for the NCAA Championship in the most watched womens college basketball game ever. But now, the attention turns almost immediately to the pro game, with tonights WNBA draft&and an opportunity for womens basketball to continue its historic momentum. So today, ESPN womens basketball reporter Alexa Philippou tells guest host Emily Kaplan what to expect from tonights draft and previews a WNBA season that promises to revolve around two super teams&and potentially, a historic new rivalry.
Is the NBAs Load Management Problem Fixable?: 4/7/23
As exciting as this NBA season has been&there is still a two word euphemism that the league just cant seem to shake off: load management. In a league where fans buy tickets or tune-in specifically to see a handful of superstars, no one is happy when they spend the game on the bench. So today, Baxter Holmes tells us what he found out while researching the NBAs biggest problem&and whether anyone has a decent solution for it.
Ryan McGee on the Circus of Minor League Baseball: 4/6/23
Everybody remembers their first real job. For ESPNs Ryan McGee, it was working for a minor league baseball team, the Asheville Tourists, getting paid the handsome sum of $100 a week. In exchange, McGee pulled the tarp, lined the basepaths, dealt with drunk fans&and came away with a lifetime of stories that he has put into his new book Welcome to the Circus of Baseball. So today, with the Asheville Tourists and countless other minor league teams opening their season, McGee shares with Justin Tinsley the lessons that sports fans everywhere can take from the magic and charm of minor league baseball.
Does Tiger Woods have any Masters Magic Left?: 4/5/23
The Masters is the most highly anticipated event in the golf world, and this year the pros are bringing more than just their clubs. The drama between the members of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf is still fresh, and with tensions continuing to rise, fans are left wondering what will happen when they all meet at Augusta National? Tiger Woods will also be at the tournament. With the golf legend still recovering from his car accident, everyone is waiting to see what he will be capable of on the links. So today, Michael Collins joins the show to give us an inside look into this exciting tournament, and explain just how different the Masters will be this year.
How College Athletes Face Social Media Abuse From Gamblers : 4/4/23
The college basketball season has officially come to an end, and if the Mens tournament taught us one thing this season, its that it is pretty much impossible to predict the results. And in a world where sports gambling is more popular than ever, for every shocking upset, or Cinderella run, there is likely a slew of bettors on the other side who are not happy about the outcome. Take the TCU-Gonzaga matchup in the 2nd round of this years tournament as an example: TCUs Damion Baugh hit a half-court shot with 0.7 seconds left to cover the spread against the Bulldogs, and consequently, Baugh received a collection of threats and abuse in his Instagram DMs despite the shot having no direct result on the outcome of the game. So today, ESPNs Sports Betting Reporter David Purdum joins Justin Tinsley to discuss the correlation between the rise of sports betting, and the increase in social media abuse directed towards college players and if there is any way to protect student athletes.
UConn vs. San Diego State: The Perfectly Weird Ending to a Bizarre Mens NCAA Tournament: 4/3/23
Congrats if you somehow saw this national championship coming. Back in October, in the preseason AP poll, the San Diego Aztecs were ranked 19th. And the UConn Huskies&they couldnt even crack the top 25. But five months and a whole lot of tournament madness later&here we are. So today, Myron Medcalf is on the ground in Houston and tells us whether the UConn Huskies will take home their fifth National Championship&or if the Aztecs of San Diego State can stun the world, and end a tournament like no other with one last upset.
Caitlin Clark vs. Aliyah Boston: The Biggest Womens Final Four Ever? : 3/31/23
The Womens Final Four games are going down tonight in Dallas. LSU is set to take on Virginia Tech first, and then Iowa tips off against South Carolina in undoubtedly the biggest matchup in college basketball this year. Were all anxiously waiting to see if Caitlin Clark, the newly crowned National Player of the Year, can upset Aliyah Boston and the undefeated Gamecocks. With so much at stake for these four teams, Holly Rowe is here to give us a preview of tonights matchups and prepare us for whats to come in the biggest Womens March Madness ever.
Listen: The Tragic Murder of Lauren McCluskey: 3/30/23
The murder of University of Utah heptathlete Lauren McCluskey by her ex-boyfriend is a cautionary tale of failure. One where every layer of protection in place meant to help a young woman who comes forward simply collapses under the weight of ignorance, complacency and incompetence. So today, after a four-year investigation, Nicole Noren joins the show to talk about everything we learned from the death of Lauren McCluskey and how easily this whole ordeal could have been prevented. Listen, a documentary reported by Nicole Noren and TJ Quinn is available now on ESPN+.
The Manager Games: College Basketballs Underground March Madness Tournament: 3/29/23
As the old saying goes, Not all heroes wear capes... especially not the ones in college basketball. These unsung heroes, otherwise known as student managers, are the backbone of the entire program. They clean the locker rooms, do the laundry, get practice ready, and help coaches with whatever else they need. Their passion for the game is what drives them to perform these tasks on a daily basis, and although these jobs are anything but glamorous, they do come with competitive perks. In arenas around the country, student managers compete against one another in a tournament known as the Manager Games. These games take place the night before the real D1 matchups, and these teams have the opportunity to advance all the way to the Final Four where they battle for the championship, and a chance to be recognized across their campus. So today, Jake Trotter explains to guest host Justin Tinsley the origin of an underground tournament where team managers finally get a chance at their very own One Shining Moment.
Can LeBron and AD Lead the Lakers to a Playoff Push?: 3/28/23
Dont look now, but the Lakers are suddenly healthy as the NBA regular season enters its final couple of weeks. But even with Lebron and AD healthy and on the floor together for the first time since late February, they suffered an ugly defeat at home to the Bulls on Sunday. So the question remains&just who are these guys, really? Today, guest host Justin Tinsley talks to Dave McMenamin, who takes us inside Lebrons surprise return to the court, details his conversation with AD about the big mans battles to get back and stay on the court, and explains how the future of Lakers basketball is under evaluation&right now.
Passan Time: MLB Pitch Clock Debuts + Pablo Says Goodbye: 3/27/23
Its about time we talk about one of the more interesting changes weve seen play out in sports: the introduction of the pitch clock to Major League Baseball. While the concept of a pitch clock is nothing new, its ratification has resulted in one of the biggest rule changes any major sport has ever seen. The goal is to reduce game time, which has run over three hours long since the turn of the millennium. But is this sweeping change enough to keep fans engaged with the game? Jeff Passan clocks in to talk about what weve seen from the pitch clock so far and its implications for the future&and Pablo says goodbye to ESPN Daily.
Meet Flaujae Johnson: LSU Guard By Day, Rapper By Night: 3/24/23
LSUs starting guard Flaujae Johnson is lighting up the court during this NCAA Tournament. But thats not the only passion and skills Flaujae possesses: shes also a rapper and a businesswoman. The 19-year-old prodigy currently has a distribution deal with Jay-Zs Roc Nation, where she makes music that highlights her fathers legacy. In her free time, Flaujae continues to build her success by navigating and negotiating her NIL deals. With her basketball and music careers continuing to soar, we cant help but wonder&.where did it all start? Maya Jones shares the story of a young girl from Savannah, Georgia whose trials and tribulations have culminated in the person Flaujae is today.
The University of Colorado Enters the Prime Time Era: 3/23/23
The Deion Sanders aka Coach Prime era is underway at the University of Colorado. And with spring practice beginning, Prime Time has moved from the locker room to the field. His assignment? Revitalize a program in Boulder that has fallen into obscurity since their glory days of the 1990s. All eyes are watching to see how this is going to play out, so ESPN senior college football writer Adam Rittenberg joins the show to tell us what he saw and heard in Boulder. And what we can expect from the first season of Colorados Deion Sanders era.
Where Does Ja Morant Go From Here?: 3/22/23
It has been a crazy three weeks for Ja Morant. The Grizzlies superstar and former second overall pick in the NBA Draft has been away from the team since March 4, the day after he was on Instagram Live waving around a gun inside a strip club. Morant stepped away to receive counseling, and the NBA later suspended him for eight games without pay for conduct detrimental to the league. That suspension ended on Monday, when he was on the Memphis bench for their win over the Dallas Mavericks. So with Morant widely expected to return to the court tonight against the Houston Rockets, Tim McMahon tells guest host David Fleming about the fallout from that night in Denver on March 3&and how Morant can move forward from the decision that put his entire career in jeopardy.
Cheers, Boos, and Protests: Cuban Baseball Returns to Miami: 3/21/23
Here in the United States, baseball is known as the national pastime. In Cuba, however, its something even bigger: baseball is part of their national identity. And there is no place where questions of Cuban identity and heritage take more center stage than Miami, the center of the Cuban diaspora in the United States. Its been more than 60 years since the Cuban national team played a game in Miami, not since Fidel Castro rose to power in 1959&and their return brought back the complex feelings of pride, anger, and so much more within Cuban Americans. So today, Alden Gonzalez takes us inside a city, a community, and a stadium where emotions are running high&and easy answers are nowhere to be found.
Japans Roki Sasaki Is Baseballs Next Phenomenon: 3/20/23
The next big thing coming to America from Japan might not be a baseball unicorn like Shohei Ohtani&it might be a once-in-a-generation starting pitcher who could actually be even bigger. His name is Roki Sasaki, and while he might not be ready to make the jump to Major League Baseball yet, hes already making waves in baseball on the worlds stage. As Sasaki takes the mound for Japan tonight against Mexico in the semi-finals of the World Baseball Classic, Jeff Passan tells us all about Sasaki's electric arm and the almost spiritual connection he has with the game of baseball&that comes in-part from an unforgettable tragedy.
Womens March Madness Preview with Andraya Carter: 3/17/23
If youve been paying attention to womens college basketball this year, South Carolina is the favorite, by far, to win another national championship. But maybe the field still has something to say about that. Theres Iowa, led by arguably the face of March Madness in Caitlin Clark&UConn who might just be getting healthy at the right time&and you cant forget about powerhouse LSU, led by Alexis Morris. So as the biggest teams in the country prepare to battle for a shot at cutting down the nets. As all the stars are aligning and preparing to shine in the largest spotlight ever for the womens college game Andraya Carter joins the show to give us an inside look at the bracket, from a perspective that only a former player can provide.
Aaron Rodgers Takes his Talents to East Rutherford, NJ: 3/16/23
Aaron Rodgers went on the Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, putting an end to the lingering questions about his future by proclaiming, I intend to play for the New York Jets. The trade is all but a formality at this point, as both teams continue to negotiate and come to an agreement on compensation for the 39-year-old future Hall of Famer. And in Green Bay, theyre prepared to roll with 2020 first round pick Jordan Love who has backed Rodgers up for the first three years of his career as their QB of the future. But is Love ready to follow in the footsteps of Rodgers, and Brett Favre before him? ESPNs Packers reporter Rob Demovsky has seen every moment of Rodgers career in Green Bay, and he takes us inside the breakup between one of the NFLs legendary franchises&and arguably its greatest player ever.
Bill Barnwells Guide to NFL Free Agency: 3/15/23
Not too long ago we spent our Sundays glued to the television watching our favorite teams battle for a chance at the Super Bowl. But in an NFL with seemingly no offseason, here we are already. Free agency is upon us and it is both equally chaotic and eventful. Thanks in no small part to Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, a trade at the very top of the draft, and, of course, Aaron Rodgers&who has yet to make a final decision on his future. So today, Bill Barnwell joins the show to help us understand everything going on across the league, as the 2023 league year officially starts.
Eight Minutes in Tuscaloosa: What Happened the Night Jamea Harris was Killed: 3/14/23
Alabama is the top seed in the men's NCAA tournament for the first time in its history, but even as March Madness begins, a larger story, one with much more significant consequences, is impossible to ignore. Former Crimson Tide player Darius Miles and his friend Michael Davis were officially indicted by a grand jury last week on capital murder charges for the shooting of 23-year-old Jamea Harris in January. Those indictments come just days before freshman star Brandon Miller, who was at the scene of the killing, leads Alabama in its first tournament game. And while prosecutors have been clear that Miller faces no criminal charges, controversy continues to swirl around what he did on the night in question. Reporter Michael Rothstein was part of a team of journalists at ESPN who have poured over the evidence in an attempt to paint the fullest picture possible about what exactly happened the night Jamea Harris was killed.
March Madness Preview with Myron Medcalf: 3/13/23
As the calendar flips to March, theres one sporting event that goes straight to the top of our priority list: the NCAA Basketball Tournament. And we cant remember the last time the Big Dance seemed this unpredictable. Theres Alabama with their first No. 1 seed in program history, and then we have the traditional blue bloods like Duke, Kentucky, and Michigan State&but their seeding is a lot lower than were accustomed to. So today, we enlisted our friend Myron Medcalf fresh off writing 12,000 words on Selection Sunday for ESPN.com to prepare us for the Madness.
Grizzly vs Wrestlers: Or How I Learned to Never Go Shed Hunting: 3/10/23
Last October, four teammates from the Northwest College wrestling team set out for a hike just outside Yellowstone National Park. For two of them, Brady Lowry and Kendell Cummings, the trip would bond them together for the rest of their lives, courtesy of a grizzly bear. Today, ESPNs Ryan Hockensmith navigates this tale of survival, loyalty, friendship and redemption while we hear all the harrowing details straight from the mouths of these two brave men.
A Million Dollar Shot, a Viral Video, and the Story that Nobody Knew: 3/9/23
You probably saw the video back in 2015. Then-56-year-old Scott Park, standing at half court, fires a shot to potentially win a million dollars at the ACC Tournament&only for it to barely reach the free throw line. It immediately went viral after a reporter posted the footage on Vine (remember Vine?). In true internet fashion, the negative comments piled on. But as our friend Ryan McGee found out and shares with us today, there was so much more to this story than the social media response&its about the limits of science, and storytelling&and ourselves.
Inside Anthony Richardsons Historic NFL Combine Performance: 3/8/23
Going into the 2023 NFL Combine, the top two quarterbacks in this years draft class were presumed to be Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud, but that was before Anthony Richardson arrived. The Florida QB impressed: raising eyebrows with his 40-yard dash time, and setting QB records with his vertical jump and broad jump. Its Richardsons stellar marks that highlight how NFL scouting is a guessing game at best. ESPN NFL reporter Stephen Holder was embedded with Richardsons team in Indianapolis over the weekend, and he takes us behind the scenes of one of the most impressive pre-draft performances in NFL history&as the league tries to make sense of it all.
Mountain GOAT: Mikaela Shiffrin on the Brink of Skiing History: 3/7/23
Mikaela Shiffrin is only 27 years old, and shes already the GOAT. Her dominance of alpine skiing is in the same category as Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, and Serena Williams&and she has an opportunity to further build on her legacy this weekend by surpassing the 34-year-old record for wins currently held by Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark in his home country. Its a far cry from where Shifrrin was a year ago, when she crashed out of the Beijing Olympics three times while still mourning her fathers death. So today, as Shiffrin chases history, Alyssa Roenigk brings us up to speed on Mikaelas quest for greatness&and gives us a crash course in a snowy sport thats picking up speed.
The Most Hated Man in Hockey (ENCORE): 3/6/23
Brad Marchand contains multitudes. Sure, the Boston Bruins winger could be called the most hated man in hockey&hes served eight suspensions in his career, and he was recently fined the max amount for a dangerous trip on an opponent. But Marchand is also one of the top scorers in the NHL, integral to the Bruins league-leading offense. Hes 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 in the midst of a historic season, Greg Wyshynski tells us what Marchand can do to help his team, and explains his complicated legacy.
Honestly, I Thought it was Money. Caitlin Clark has the Most Swag in College Hoops: 3/3/23
March Madness is set to tip off just over a week from now, and among all the players who will be competing both men and women there is no one who loves the spotlight more than Caitlin Clark. The junior guard, sometimes referred to as the female Steph Curry, will be leading Iowa in hopes of securing pretty much the only thing missing from her legendary collegiate resume: a national title. So today, we ask one Basketball Hall of Famer Holly Rowe to tell us the story of this player who might just be headed in that same direction.
F1 Season Preview: Are Red Bull and Max Verstappen the New Dynasty?: 3/2/23
When Liberty Media took control of Formula 1 racing in 2017, they made a bet on being able to grow the sport in the United States. F1 has always attracted an audience of hundreds of millions overseas but now, with millions tuning into races on ESPN domestically, and millions more binging Formula 1: Drive to Survive on Netflix, all signs point to a bet that has paid off. So today, ESPN F1 editor Laurence Edmondson joins us ahead of the 2023 season to tell us who is leading the pack, who is chasing them, and how, in the end, this sport of inches ultimately comes down to the fateful decisions of a bunch of nerdy engineers.
Why Creed III is Personal for Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors: 3/1/23
The Rocky franchise is one of the most quintessential sports series of all time. It spawned six sequels, and Philadelphia has embraced its fictional leading man as part of the cultural identity embedded in the city itself. And as Creed III - the third sequel in a franchise that, itself, is a sequel gears up for its release this weekend, its director/star Michael B. Jordan and co-star Jonathan Majors are stepping into the Hollywood spotlight. So today, Chris Connelly takes us inside the making of a sports movie thats more personal for them than you might think.
How a Disputed $55M Loan Plays into Federal Probe of the Commanders: 2/28/23
No NFL franchise has endured more public turmoil in recent years than the Washington Commanders and their owner Daniel Snyder. There have been allegations of sexual misconduct, a toxic workplace environment, the changing of the teams controversial name& not to mention the federal investigation into the teams finances. But now there are new allegations of potential fraud by Snyder in connection to how he treated his own business partners. So today, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Don Van Natta delivers his latest investigation into Snyder and the Commanders a staggering story about a hidden loan that led to Snyders fellow billionaires crying foul forcing the league, and even Roger Goodell& to step in.
NFL Combine Confidential with Domonique Foxworth (ENCORE): 2/27/23
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 prospects 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 players NFL career? And what is it like for the players to run the gauntlet of medical evaluations, physical tests, and character evaluations? ESPNs 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.
The Orangeburg Massacre: A Forgotten Story of a Team and Tragedy: 2/24/23
Just over 55 years ago this month, one of the most horrible tragedies of the civil rights movement took place in Orangeburg, South Carolina when police opened fire on a group of Black protesters outside of a bowling alley. The protesters had gathered to push for the desegregation of All-Star Bowling Lane, and when all was said and done 31 people had been shot, most of them students at nearby South Carolina State University. Three men lay dead, two members of the South Carolina State football team and a high school athlete. Andscape Senior Writer, David Dennis Jr., author of THE MOVEMENT MADE US: A FATHER, A SON, AND THE LEGACY OF A FREEDOM RIDE, tells the story of this underreported massacre.
Lamar Jacksons Contract Stalemate, Explained: 2/23/23
Things are just a bit messy in the NFL right now. With Patrick Mahomes giving Kenny Powers-style victory speeches and a hallucinating Aaron Rodgers trying to eat two meals a day in total darkness, you can see how things are really just&out of sorts. And as if things couldnt get any crazier, the Ravens are now in a predicament: they are refusing to give Lamar Jackson the contract that he wants and believes he deserves. So, today, Jeremy Fowler walks us through his and ESPN colleague Jamison Hensleys new reporting into the NFLs premiere contract standoff. And he shines a light on whats to come.
Behind the Scenes of the Kevin Durant Trade : 2/22/23
The NBA is a study in chain reactions many of which have been chronicled on this podcast. Like the fact that in November of 2021, our colleague Baxter Holmes published a bombshell investigation into the broken workplace culture of Robert Sarvers Phoenix Suns. And now, 15 months later, those Suns have a new billionaire owner, Mat Ishbia&who promptly went out and apparently gave the Brooklyn Nets whatever they wanted for Kevin Durant. So we asked Brian Windhorst to take us behind the scenes, in Brooklyn and Phoenix, as the dominos very quickly started falling& And how that power dynamic also helps explain why Russell Westbrook is staying in Los Angeles.
How Bill Russell Transformed College Basketball: 2/21/23
Bill Russells life touched so many different areas that trying to figure out how to properly honor his legend is a task in itself. His name adorns the Finals MVP Award, he was the first Black head coach in NBA history, the 11 titles he won with the Boston Celtics are still the standard by which champions are measured. And his impact was just as large off the court where the civil rights activist fought for racial justice at every step of his life. Martenzie Johnson takes us inside the foundational chapter of Russells life, where he transformed a small program that didnt even have a gym to practice in, into back-to-back national champions&and changed the entire sport of basketball along the way.
The Legend of the Red Panda: NBA Halftimes Cant Miss Act (ENCORE): 2/20/23
An NBA halftime lasts just 15 minutes. Its 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 - its 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. With the NBA All-Star this past weekend, we celebrate a star who has been at the top of her game for decades&and who we believe belongs in the Hall of Fame one day. Rong Niu, the Red Panda herself, joins the show today to tell us her story - and how she became an NBA legend.
Chiefsaholic: Superfan, Twitter Personality&Bank Robber?: 2/17/23
Who is Chiefsaholic? Imagine a Chiefs superfan wearing a werewolf costume with a Chiefs cap, a KC shirt, and a red fanny pack. Thats Chiefsaholic, and in recent years hes been a staple at Chiefs games both home and away, while at the same time becoming a fixture on social media for seemingly sparing no expense when it comes to proving his Chiefs devotion. But now everything Chiefs fans thought they knew about Chiefsaholic has been turned upside down, after he was arrested for robbing a bank in Tulsa, Oklahoma this December. The shocking revelation has led many to wonder, was Chiefsaholic funding his Chiefs fandom by robbing banks? With so many elements to this story, Liz Merrill is here to unravel this mystery which must be heard to be believed.
How Brittney Griner, Breanna Stewart, and the Superteam Era Are Changing the WNBA: 2/16/23
On the surface, there is an unprecedented level of excitement surrounding the WNBA. TV viewership numbers have been trending upwards, and the league has entered the superteam era thanks to some splashy free agency signings like Breanna Stewart to the New York Liberty and Candace Parker to the Las Vegas Aces. But beneath all the hype, there are still some major issues that havent been addressed&such as the fact that the worlds best womens basketball players still fly commercial, unlike the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB, who all charter private flights. And as we found out, the real issue goes much deeper. So Ramona Shelburne helps us examine the changing landscape of the WNBA, and maps out what could be the next steps in the evolution of the sport.
The Story Behind the Super Bowls Most Famous Phrase: 2/15/23
For years, Super Bowl winners have used a four-word phrase to commemorate their iconic victory: Im going to Disney World! (or alternately, Im going to Disneyland!) In all its simplicity, this phrase has stretched across many generations of winners&.all the way up to this past Sunday night, and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes. Sam Borden tracked down the origin of this famous sentence for SC Featured, and he explains how this magic phrase became an institution unto itself.
Love in the Time of Hockey Riots (Valentines Day ENCORE): 2/14/23
12 years ago, the Vancouver Canucks lost Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins, in Vancouver. Canucks fans didnt exactly hide their frustrations, as a riot engulfed the city. Now, more than a decade later, arguably the most enduring image of that night was a photo of a couple, kissing on the ground, surrounded by police in riot gear. In an encore fit for Valentines Day&and of one of our favorite episodes&Greg Wyshynski caught up with the couple, and the photographer, and joins the show to share how that iconic image endures to this day.
The Kansas City Chiefs Are Super Bowl LVII Champions: 2/13/23
The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl champions! MVP Patrick Mahomes re-injured his ankle shortly before halftime and faced limited opportunities as Phillys time of possession kept him off the field, but that didnt stop him from shining bright like a diamond and leading yet another Mahomesian comeback, proving that hell be here forever. With the game tied late (and a questionable holding call against the Eagles), Kansas City ran the clock down for the game winning field goal&and they ran this town tonight. Alex Smith was in Glendale, Arizona for the game, and he breaks down everything that led to the Chiefs hoisting the Lombardi Trophy once again.
Robert Griffin III on a Historic Super Bowl Matchup: 2/10/23
When the Eagles and Chiefs meet in Super Bowl LVII it will mark the first time in league history that both of the starting quarterbacks in the game are Black. Its a historic, and long overdue moment in a league where roughly 70 percent of the players are Black. ESPN analyst Robert Griffin III, the former No. 2 overall pick, explains why it has taken more than 50 years to see two Black QBs in the Super Bowl&what its like for young Black QBs who arent always given the same opportunities to compete at the position.
Super Bowls Are Won in the Trenches. Chris Long Explains How.: 2/9/23
Weve all heard the football adage, games are won in the trenches. And this years Philadelphia Eagles are a prime example of this mentality. Philly has dominated along the line on both sides of the ball: their defensive line has the third-most sacks in NFL history, while their vaunted offensive line has kept Jalen Hurts safe, and is led by two generational talents in Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce. All that being said, the trenches are still the part of the field that most people understand the least. What offensive and defensive linemen actually do is really hard to comprehend, especially if you have never done it. Chris Long won a Super Bowl with the Eagles in 2018, and he shines a spotlight on the d-line he played on, and the o-line he faced in practice every day&two units that could very well decide the fate of Super Bowl LVII.
Joe Montana: Ghost of Super Bowls Past: 2/8/23
If Super Bowl Sunday is Americas most beloved holiday the holiday that the greatest and most famous quarterbacks in the sport have spent their lives dreaming about winning it does feel like Joe Montana is a bit like the ghost of Christmas past. Montana is the man Tom Brady grew up idolizing. The icon whose accolades four championships and three Super Bowl MVPs Patrick Mahomes is now actively trying to surpass. But, today, Wright Thompson takes us behind the scenes and inside the feelings of Joe Montana&whose present life offers an important clue about a superstars future.
Bill Barnwell Previews Super Bowl LVII: 2/7/23
Believe it or not, theres a lot more to Super Bowl LVII than Rihanna performing at halftime. You may have heard about a pair of brothers facing off for the first time in Super Bowl history. Or about the beef between Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, who was the Eagles head coach for 14 championship-less seasons, before being fired&whos now taking on his former team. One of Reids first moves after being hired as the Chiefs new coach the next year was to fire much of the staff&including an assistant by the name of Nick Sirianni. So Bill Barnwell joins us to break down these storylines, plus all the Xs and Os.
Travis and Jason Kelce: Bond of Brothers (ENCORE): 2/6/23
Love him or hate him, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is one of the best in the NFL. But beyond the flamboyance and flash, theres a side most people havent seen...especially when it comes to his big brother, Eagles center Jason Kelce. And Sunday, both Kelce brothers will play in Super Bowl LVII. Ahead of the Big Game (or the Kelce Bowl as some are calling it), were playing an encore of our episode with Lisa Salters, as she describes the relationship between the two brothers. In fact, Patrick Mahomes favorite target may never have made it to the league if not for big brother Jasons interventions along the way.
Why LeBron Breaking Kareems Record is About Much More than Scoring: 2/3/23
Its only a matter of when, not if, LeBron James breaks the all-time NBA scoring record, surpassing the current mark of 38,387 points held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar& which has stood for longer than LeBron has been alive. At times, it seems as if the career paths of both LeBron and Kareem have run parallel to each other. Both entered the league at 18 years old, both infamously changed teams&and both are considered to be two of the greatest players we have ever seen. Despite that, their relationship has seemed non-existent and almost adversarial at times. So with James on the cusp of breaking one of the most hallowed records in sports, one held by his most impactful critic, we turned to Brian Windhorst&who has been covering LeBron longer than anyone on the planet.
Florida Man Retires, Again. (Seth Wickersham on Why This Time Its for Real): 2/2/23
Tom Brady is retiring...again. One year to the day after announcing his first retirement, Brady posted a video on social media announcing that he was done for good. Seth Wickersham has covered Brady up close for more than two decades, and he explains why this time Brady is retiring for real&and the opportunities that are already in the works for this new chapter of his life.
The Rat Trick: The Legend of the Florida Panthers Rodent Tradition (ENCORE): 2/1/23
The NHL All-Star Weekend hits South Florida this weekend, but theres one notable snub. Viktor E. Rat, the hometown Florida Panthers alternate mascot, will not be appearing and the fans are UPSET. Because Viktor E. Rat represents more than a costume&he is the personification of one of the most unusual traditions in all of sports: throwing rats onto the ice. Its a hair-raising tradition that dates back to the 95-96 season, when a Cinderella-esque Panthers team made the Stanley Cup Final in just their third year of existence. Emily Kaplan explains how the Panthers rat throwing tradition started, if it may or may not have contributed to the teams long misfortunes&and the ways in which this generations Panthers are trying to write their own tale.
A Huge, Huge Mistake. Meyers Leonard Opens Up on Ignorance, Regret, and Forgiveness: 1/31/23
It has been more than two years since Meyers Leonard last set foot on an NBA court. The former Miami Heat center had his most productive season ever in 2019-20, a season that ended with him playing for the NBA Championship in the bubble. But after a shoulder injury derailed his 2020-21 season, Leonard filled his time playing video games. And it was during one online game session in March of 2021 when Leonard would utter an antisemetic slur that would ignite a firestorm of controversy. Meyers was suspended by the Heat, before being traded to and ultimately released by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Jeremy Schaap sits down with Meyers Leonard, who finally opens up about his huge, huge mistake as well as the feelings of shame and regret he has felt since. Its an interview that explores questions of ignorance and forgiveness&and possibly, a path back to the NBA.
Chiefs Survive, Eagles Soar: Alex Smith Untangles Championship Sunday: 1/30/23
Its Chiefs vs. Eagles in Super Bowl LVII! The Chiefs escaped with a last second win over the Bengals, thanks to some late game heroics by a hobbled Patrick Mahomes. In the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles soared past the San Francisco 49ers, who ran out of quarterbacks after losing third stringer Brock Purdy to an elbow injury, and fourth stringer Josh Johnson was placed into concussion protocol early in the second half. Alex Smith takes us inside the mindsets of the quarterbacks and helps us understand key plays, as we break down the biggest moments from Championship Sunday.
The Yips, Explained. (Why We Are All Brett Maher): 1/27/23
We are all Brett Maher&and whether you realize it or not, you are too. Every human being is at least a little bit like the Dallas Cowboys Kicker and NFLs current poster boy for choking, flop-sweating, crapping the bed, whatever word you wanna use&even if youd never admit it. Even if the person we all dream of being is Joe Burrow. So, today, David Epstein, best-selling author of THE SPORTS GENE and RANGE, takes us inside the Yips and our own brains. Where we learn actual lessons that apply to both the very best athletes in the world, and the people who watch them. To help ensure you didn't miss any of our best stories from the past year, we've collected our favorite episodes of 2022 into one playlist. We think youll love every episode on there, so check it out.
The QB Battle that Unlocked Patrick Mahomes: 1/26/23
Patrick Mahomes is undoubtedly one of the most talented quarterbacks we have ever seen in the NFL&but there was a chance that his meteoric rise almost didnt happen at all. Back in middle school, Mahomes was locked in a QB battle with a kid named Ryan Cheatham that lasted for years until his junior season. Mahomes and Cheatham grew up playing baseball and football together, and despite how fiercely competitive they were&they actually became best friends. So Ryan Hockensmith tells you everything about the position battle that made Patrick Mahomes. To help ensure you didn't miss any of our best stories from the past year, we've collected our favorite episodes of 2022 into one playlist. We think youll love every episode on there, so check it out.
Mina Kimes Deciphers NFLs Conference Championships: 1/25/23
This time of year, as the field of NFL contenders whittles down, the hot takes start to ramp up&and with it comes the usual tropes. Talk of quarterback legacies and the Cowboys never-ending failure abounds. But with Championship Sunday mere days away, we asked Mina Kimes to help us break new ground and get our heads around these two highly anticipated matchups. Can the Bengals depleted offensive line support Joe Burrow and overperform for the second week in a row? How much does Patrick Mahomes bum ankle hinder Kansas Citys offense? What gives in the strength-on-strength matchup between the Eagles O-line and the Niners D-line? Mina explains what we should really be paying attention to, and what well be talking about after its all over. To help ensure you didn't miss any of our best stories from the past year, we've collected our favorite episodes of 2022 into one playlist. We think youll love every episode on there, so check it out.
Mo Money, Mo Problems: Why MLB Spending is on the Rise, and What it Means: 1/24/23
Just a few years ago in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Baseball painted a picture of a dire financial situation across the league&but less than three years later, the finances and the contracts dished out this offseason paints the picture of a very healthy MLB economy: Aaron Judge reached a deal to stay in pinstripes for 9 years, $360 million. Trea Turner went back to the East Coast for an 11-year, $300 million agreement with the Philadelphia Phillies. Rafael Devers became the highest paid player in Red Sox history with his new extension&and even Carlos Correa himself signed over $500 million worth of contracts, before landing with the Twins. But not everyone is happy about the billions of dollars on the move this offseason. Jeff Passan returns to talk about baseballs evolving economy, and the resentment its fueling¬ among fans, but among the owners themselves. To help ensure you didn't miss any of our best stories from the past year, we've collected our favorite episodes of 2022 into one playlist. We think youll love every episode on there, so check it out.
Alex Smith Untangles the NFL Divisional Round: 1/23/23
The NFL playoffs are cruel. Take Dak Prescott&last week, he had the best game of his life against the Buccaneers. This week, his season ends on an inexplicable trick play that humiliates you in front of tens of millions of people. Or, take the Buffalo Bills&who were licking their chops to face a banged up Bengals offensive line, only to look completely outmatched in front of their home fans. So today, we ask our friend Alex Smith, a quarterback whos been there before, to tell us what impressed him during the Divisional Round this weekend. And how the four teams left standing managed to make it this far. To help ensure you didn't miss any of our best stories from the past year, we've collected our favorite episodes of 2022 into one playlist. We think youll love every episode on there, so check it out.
Cornerback Confidential: Domonique Foxworth Defends NFLs Most Underappreciated Job: 1/20/23
Domonique Foxworth has a theory. Our current ESPN colleague is convinced that the job he used to haveNFL cornerbackis more interesting than it has ever been. So today, ahead of the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, we summon the heightened and unparalleled confidence of Domonique Foxworth. He brings all his diva cornerback vibes to explain why his old job is the biggest hidden secret-to-success in the NFL. And why, during a weekend full of superstar quarterbacks and the people who obsess over themwe should actually be focusing on his positions Golden Age. To help ensure you didn't miss any of our best stories from the past year, we've collected our favorite episodes of 2022 into one playlist. We think youll love every episode on there, so check it out.
Bill Barnwell Previews NFLs Divisional Weekend: Anything Is Possible: 1/19/23
The path to the Super Bowl is starting to narrow. But after the truly super, Wild Card Weekend where we only saw one blowout, the remaining contenders are catching their breath after needing miracles, big and small, to make it out of the fourth quarter. So we called up our friend Bill Barnwell to take us through each matchup one-by-one&and he tells us what to expect from a divisional round where anything can happen. To help ensure you didn't miss any of our best stories from the past year, we've collected our favorite episodes of 2022 into one playlist. We think youll love every episode on there, so check it out.
Is 50 the new 40? The NBAs Latest Scoring Surge, Explained: 1/18/23
Its not just you, we really are seeing more high-scoring performances by NBA players than usual. Weve seen 50-point performances from Anthony Davis, Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic, Joel Embiid, Giannis, and counting this season&and thats not including Donovan Mitchells 71-point game on January 2. It seems as though the saying 50 is the new 40 has finally made its way to the NBA, and it's become the dominant trend of the season&which left us asking ourselves, why? So naturally, we turned to the only person who could answer that question for us: Former San Antonio Spurs VP Kirk Goldsberry. Kirk helps us figure out why scoring is booming&and whether this trend is here to stay. To help ensure you didn't miss any of our best stories from the past year, we've collected our favorite episodes of 2022 into one playlist. We think youll love every episode on there, so check it out.
The Greatest Rule in Sports: Hockeys EBUG (ENCORE): 1/17/23
Its 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. Its a rule that requires NHL teams to have a random person standing by in the arena, ready to hit the ice should either teams 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 fans dream. To help ensure you didn't miss any of our best stories from the past year, we've collected our favorite episodes of 2022 into one playlist. We think youll love every episode on there, so check it out.
Alex Smith on NFL Super Wild Card Weekend: 1/16/23
The NFLs Super Wild Card Weekend did not disappoint, with nailbiting finishes, surprising upsets, and a comeback for the ages. Heavy favorites like the 49ers and Bills both advanced, although Dolphins put up a bigger fight in Buffalo than many anticipated. Meanwhile, the Giants continued their surprising season behind a resurgent Danny Dimes by upsetting the #3 seed Vikings. And the Bengals finished off their divisional rival Ravens with a 98-yard thicc six fumble return on what may be the worst QB sneak attempt of all time. Alex Smith, our Monday QB, breaks all the Wild Card action down for us&and helps us look ahead to Mondays finale between the Bucs and Cowboys. To help ensure you didn't miss any of our best stories from the past year, we've collected our favorite episodes of 2022 into one playlist. We think youll love every episode on there, so check it out.
The Birth of Bills Mafia: How a Divine Blunder Branded the NFLs Most Devoted Fanbase: 1/13/23
Why are Buffalo Bills fans called Bills Mafia? Its a story thats become legend within Buffalo. But outside of Bills fandom, the story is less well known, even for the individuals involved with the creation of Bills Mafia themselves. Twelve years ago, Stevie Johnson dropped a potential game-winning touchdown pass in overtime, and seemingly blamed God on Twitter, in the aftermath. That moment sparked a movement among Bills fans, and inspired Bills Mafia as we know it now. So today, ESPN Daily investigates: hear Adam Schefter, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Stevie Johnson, Ryan Clark, and more explain their roles in how a divine blunder branded the NFLs most devoted fanbase, Bills Mafia. Buffalo Bills beat reporter Alaina Getzenberg and Bills Mafia co-founder Del Reid also share the other side of Bills Mafia: the force for charity, as the community rallies around Bills safety Damar Hamlins recovery. To help ensure you didn't miss any of our best stories from the past year, we've collected our favorite episodes of 2022 into one playlist. We think youll love every episode on there, so check it out.
NFL Super Wildcard Weekend Preview with Bill Barnwell: 1/12/23
America is a French goose of a nation on Super Wild Card Weekend. Football foie gras. About to be force-fed a seemingly endless menu of expensive, high-stakes NFL playoff games - until we luxuriously burst. So today, we ask our friend Bill Barnwell the sharpest and most empirically minded football analyst we know to explain how hes attacking these half-a-dozen dishes. Will numerous quarterback injuries spoil the meal? Is Tom Brady about to eat humble pie? Can Dak and the Cowboys sugarcoat over their recent struggles? Bill helps us manage our expectations, and our livers, in the process. -------- To help ensure you didn't miss any of our best stories from the past year, we've collected our favorite episodes of 2022 into one playlist. We think youll love every episode on there, so check it out.
I Cant Speak!: The Craziest Game in Darts History, Explained: 1/11/23
If you live in the United Kingdom, you probably know the voice of Wayne Mardle. But after last week, millions of people around the world suddenly got a taste of him calling the World Darts Championship final a genuinely historic duel between Michael van Gerwen of the Netherlands and Michael Smith of England. And Waynes commentary helped make it the most globally viral thing thats pretty much ever happened to this admittedly strange game. So, today, for everyone who watched that clip with awe (and maybe a little confusion too) we bring you Wayne Mardle himself, as he tells the glorious story of the darts game that was heard around the world. We've collected our favorite episodes of 2022 into one playlist, to help ensure you didn't miss any of our best stories from the past year.
Soccers Biggest Soap Opera: What Happened Between the Berhalters and Reynas?: 1/10/23
The family feud between the Berhalters and the Reynas is unlike anything weve seen in sports. It feels more comparable to Shakespeare, or Game of Thrones, or even Star Wars. But it became all so real when Claudio Reyna, childhood friend of USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter, and father of rising star Gio Reyna, along with his wife Danielle, exposed a 1991 domestic violence incident between Berhalter and his now-wife Rosalind&seemingly in response to Gio being benched at the World Cup. Its a tragic dispute between two of US soccers most famous families. Kyle Bonagura, who has been covering this as it unfolded, tells us what exactly caused this massive rift between former friends.
Mina Kimes on the Packers Stunning Exit, Bills Emotional Return, and the Rest of NFL Week 18: 1/9/23
The final ticket to the NFL playoffs has been punched, and it belongs to the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks stayed alive with an overtime field goal over the LA Rams, and they got the help they needed from the Detroit Lions, who spoiled the playoff hopes (and bit the kneecaps) of the Green Bay Packers. The final week of the regular season was also the most emotional, especially for the Buffalo Bills, playing for the first time since Damar Hamlins cardiac arrest on Monday night. Add to that a Jaguars team completing a shocking turnaround from a season ago to make the playoffs, as well as a Chiefs play that looked like it belonged at a kindergarten recess, and there is only one NFL analyst who can make sense of all of it, our friend Mina Kimes.
The Ballad of Stetson Bennett: From Walk-on to the Brink of CFB Immortality: 1/6/23
Its hard to find a more unlikely college football journey than that of Georgia QB Stetson Bennett. He first arrived in Athens as a walk-on in 2017 and a year later, when five-star recruit Justin Fields committed to the Bulldogs, Bennett transferred to Jones County Junior College. He returned to Georgia in 2019, and didnt get his shot as the starter for two more years after that. But now, Bennett has been a Heisman finalist, and a national championship-winning quarterback&who is about to play for his second. So we called our friend Ryan McGee to put into context how unusual Bennetts story is&and how a former walk-on is now on the brink of college football immortality.
Remembering Pelé: Sports First Global Superstar: 1/5/23
Pelé is without question one of the most famous people to ever live. He won three World Cups for Brazil from 1958-1970, and is widely regarded as the benchmark to which todays greatest players are compared. Pelé died on Dec. 29 at the age of 82. ESPN Global Sports Correspondent Sam Borden is on the ground in Brazil for the funeral, and he tells us what hes seen in Pelés hometown&and how his death has reverberated around the world.
The Damar Hamlin Story: Everybody I Talk to, I Say I Love You.: 1/4/23
Damar Hamlins name has been echoing across sports for the last two days. On Monday night, the 24-year-old Buffalo Bills safety collapsed on the field during the Bills-Bengals game in Cincinnati, where he was administered CPR and eventually taken to a Cincinnati hospital, where he remains in critical condition. Tyler Dunne, a Buffalo based journalist and founder of Go Long, a football focused newsletter, profiled Hamlin in 2021 after hed been drafted by the Bills. As the world awaits additional updates on Hamlins condition, Dunne shares Hamlins story of resiliency and family, and paints a portrait of the man the entire world is just now learning about.
Tim Kurkjian: A Baseball Life (ENCORE): 1/3/23
There are many ways to describe ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian: Brilliant. Hilarious. Competitive. And above all, passionate. Passionate about the game of baseball. But now, theres another way to describe Tim Kurkjian: Hall of Famer. Over the summer, Kurkjian received the Career Excellence Award from the Baseball Writers Association of America. In an encore, we celebrate the life and career of our favorite baseball nerd: the story of a short, skinny kid who took a love of baseball, and not much else, and made it all the way to Cooperstown. You can listen to ESPN Dailys Best of 2022 playlist here.
Unrivaled: Inside Hockeys Bloodiest Rivalry (ENCORE): 1/2/23
In June, the Avalanche beat the Lightning to win the Stanley Cup, 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 Detroits Joe Lewis Arena, and is now better remembered as Fight Night at the Joe. During the first period, Detroits Darren McCarty sought revenge on Colorados Claude Lemieux for a violent check in the previous years playoffs on the Red Wings Kris Draper. The hit caused severe injuries to Drapers 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 E:60s Unvrivaled. In an encore of one of our favorite shows from the last year, Detroit native Dave Fleming joins us to discuss the trajectory of the rivalry and why we may never see anything like it again. You can listen to ESPN Dailys Best of 2022 playlist here.
JJ Redick on Mental Health vs. Mental Toughness (ENCORE): 12/30/22
Its no surprise that the athlete's mental health has been one of the biggest topics in sports in recent years, as more and more players are coming forward with the struggles they face in dealing with the constant pressure. The screaming fans, the pressure, and the high-stakes moments are exactly what makes sports so compelling. In an encore presentation, we offer an extended conversation with JJ Redick, a man who has both thrived and suffered under the pressure of elite competition, on how we should think about the strain on athletes mental health&while also acknowledging that watching human beings succeed or fail in high pressure situations is exactly what makes them worth watching. You can listen to ESPN Dailys Best of 2022 playlist here.
Betsy & Irv: A Love Story 40 Years in the Making (ENCORE): 12/29/22
The story of Betsy Sailor and Irv Pankey is unlike any youve heard before. Its a story that, for years, was shrouded in darkness, tied inextricably to the unspeakable crimes of a former Penn State football player named Todd Hodne. ESPNs Tom Junod and Paula Lavigne first brought Hodnes horrific crimes to light this spring in their meticulously reported feature Untold. But in the midst of their reporting, they stumbled onto another, completely opposite story. A story of compassion, friendship, and ultimately, 40 years later&love. You can listen to ESPN Dailys Best of 2022 playlist here.
Truth Be Told: The Fight for Womens Professional Soccer (ENCORE): 12/28/22
In 2021, the National Womens Soccer League faced a crisis. Explosive allegations from players of abuse, sexual harassment, and unrelenting coercion by one of the NWSLs most successful head coaches set off a reckoning across the entire league. The commissioner resigned. Games were canceled. Players had no collective bargaining agreement and the specter of a canceled season loomed, all while governing bodies opened investigations into misconduct and toxic work environments. And in October, a long-awaited report investigating the failures of the NWSL was released by former acting attorney general Sally Yates, which detailed systemic abuse within the league, and specifically a culture of abuse, silence, and fear of retaliation that perpetuated the misconduct. In an encore, Jennifer Karson-Strauss directed the E60 film, Truth Be Told: The Fight for Womens Professional Soccer, and joins the show to discuss the films investigation into allegations of abuse, sexual coercion and a toxic work environment in the league, as well as the lack of action taken by NWSL leadership. You can listen to ESPN Dailys Best of 2022 playlist here.
Doc Rivers on the 30th Anniversary of the LA Riots (ENCORE): 12/27/22
A little over 30 years ago, 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. In an encore of one of our favorite shows from 2022, 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. You can listen to ESPN Dailys Best of 2022 playlist here.
Surviving a Moose Attack on the Way to the Iditarod (ENCORE): 12/26/22
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 competed in the race for the first time in 2022, despite her team enduring a brutal attack by a bull moose in February. In an encore of one of our favorite shows from 2022, Merrill shares Watkins experience and story of survival. [insert line and best of playlist link]
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