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49ers Ground Eagles, Jordan Love Arrives in Lambeau: Andrew Hawkins Recaps NFL Week 13: 12/4/23
There are just five weeks left in the regular season, but the playoff picture only seems to be getting more muddied at this stage. There are teams like the Green Bay Packers, young and led by an inexperienced QB in Jordan Love, who are finding their stride and clawing into the wild card hunt after knocking off Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Lambeau on Sunday night. At the top of the NFC, the 49ers came into Philadelphia, and left no doubt that they are the favorite, regardless of where they are playing. And over in the AFC wild card picture, the Texans continue to impress behind rookie signal caller CJ Stroud. So today, Andrew Hawkins explains what he was looking for on the field on Sunday, and tells us why the margins in the NFL are razor thin.
Jeff Passan Previews Major League Baseballs Winter Meetings: 12/1/23
The winter meetings mark the traditional beginning to Major League Baseballs offseason. And this year, with three huge names on the market, including Shohei Ohtani, the best baseball player on the planet, the hot stove is sure to heat up. So today, Jeff Passan tells us who is available, who is buying, and how smart teams should approach the free agent market this winter.
Bill Barnwell Explains the NFL Playoff Picture: 11/30/23
Thanksgiving has come and gone, and that means the playoff push is here. After 12 weeks of competition, the wheat is separating itself from the chaff. Some teams that got off to slow starts have turned their season around, and others with strong starts have fallen down the pecking order. Over the next six weeks, the field will narrow more and more as each team fights for a shot to win Super Bowl LVIII. Our NFL expert Bill Barnwell joins the show to tell us who he thinks clinches their spots in this years playoffs.. and who gets sent home come December.
Ryan McGee Breaks Down a Chaotic Conference Championship Weekend: 11/29/23
While the College Football Playoff technically doesnt start for another month, if you look closely you can see that in many ways it already has. Look no further than the fireworks of Rivalry Week: while appearing to keep up with decades old traditions, they are actually setting the table for the win-or-go-home repercussions of this weekend's conference championships. So today, Ryan McGee joins us to talk about the chaos of this unofficial bracket, and then dares to take a look at the unpredictable future of college football our favorite Saturday pastime.
Is Draymond Ready to Change? Taking Stock of His Latest Suspension: 11/28/23
The past two seasons have been tumultuous, to say the least, for Draymond Green. Throughout the Warriors dynasty of the past decade, Green has been the enforcer of the team, playing a crucial role in bringing four NBA championships to the Bay Area, pushing the envelope on league rules in the process. But now, Greens latest suspension for putting Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a chokehold has everyone questioning where he currently stands with the team. Marc J. Spears has covered the NBA and Bay Area sports for decades, so he takes us inside the mind of Draymond Green and inside the Warriors franchise as all parties figure out how to move forward.
A Mothers Vow, a Worldwide Search, and the Mystery of the Dallas Mavericks Barbie (ENCORE): 11/27/23
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, as the holiday gift-giving season kicks into full gear, we revisit a conversation between Jeremy Schaap and Dave Fleming on his quest for Mavericks Barbie, why shes so hard to find&and how Dave helped put an end to one collectors 25-year pursuit.
The Lions Look to Flip Their Thanksgiving Day Script: 11/22/23
Its that time of year, America. Its time to grab a plate and have a seat for Thanksgiving dinner. And while we may not have the same foods on our table, there is one dish we all get to dive into: the Detroit Lions playing on Thanksgiving day. If youre a Lions fan, most of those Thanksgiving games this century have sat in your stomach like leftovers gone bad&but as a quick look at the standings show, its a new day in Motown. So today, Eric Woodyard, our Michigan native and Lions insider, shares his experience growing up around this tradition, tells us where this first-place team is going and what you can expect to eat if you stop by Mama Woodyards house.
How One Glove and the UFC Changed Everything We Knew About Fighting: 11/21/23
Earlier this month, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, more commonly known as UFC, celebrated its 30th anniversary. The companys explosive growth is unprecedented in the history of sports, recently earning a $12 billion valuation. But the UFC didn't just create a new kind of sports entertainment. It brought a relatively unknown fighting style out of the underground and into the mainstream, upending our understanding of human combat. So today, Ryan Hockensmith tells the tale of the first-ever UFC event, through the eyes of one fighter who had no idea what he was getting into. Back in 2017, our friends at 30 for 30 Podcasts went even deeper on the origins of UFC. Check out their episode No Rules: The Birth of UFC.
Eagles vs Chiefs: A Super Bowl Rematch on Monday Night Football: 11/20/23
After more than a few lackluster primetime games over the first half of the NFL season, tonights Monday Night Football matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs is sure to deliver a feast to kick off Thanksgiving Week. Not only is it the two best teams from each conference, with two presumptive MVP candidates at quarterback on each side, its also only the second time weve seen a rematch from the previous years Super Bowl on Monday Night Football. So today, Andrew Hawkins joins the show to break down every major aspect ahead of tonights game, and gives his take on one&well actually two& of the most anticipated meetings of the season.
Inside CJ Strouds Rise to Superstardom: 11/17/23
Nine games into CJ Strouds NFL career, and hes already taking the league by storm. He resurrected a lifeless Houston Texans organization, and etched his name in the record books. Forget Rookie of the Year, he might be the NFLs Most Valuable Player this season. Period. But there is so much more to Stroud than his heroics on the field&so today, ESPNs Liz Merrill joins the show to tell us about where he comes from, who shaped him&and what sets him apart, as a quarterback, and as a person.
Inside Paige Bueckers Return: 11/16/23
Even if you dont follow basketball, odds are that you heard of Paige Bueckers. Even before she stepped foot on the floor at the University of Connecticut, clips of her getting buckets had gone viral as far back as when she was in middle school. And she arrived at UConn in 2020 as the next big thing; the next superstar that would lead the storied Huskies program to another national championship. But for the past couple of years, injuries have plagued Bueckers, turning her charmed tale into a story about adversity, struggle, and mental fortitude. So today, ESPNs Alexa Philippou takes us inside Bueckers road back to the court, and shows us how time away has changed her approach to the game, all while keeping a national championship run in her sights.
Was Coach Primes First Year in Colorado a Success?: 11/15/23
Colorados final home game of the 2023 season ended in agony last Saturday, a heart-wrenching 34-31 defeat their fourth in a row at the paws of the Arizona Wildcats. The prime time games and celebrities on the sidelines are gone for now, and with their record now sitting at 4-6, the Buffaloes need to win out just to be bowl eligible. But with Deion Sanders taking over a program that won one game a year ago, what does a successful season really look like for them? So today, as the sun sets on Coach Primes first year with the Buffs, ESPNs Spencer Hall joins the show to give us his review on year one of the Deion Sanders Experience in Boulder.
The Bag Game: How Billy Prestons NBA Dream Died: 11/14/23
Billy Preston was thought to be the next one-and-done player when he signed with the University of Kansas basketball team back in 2017. But before he could make that leap, a minor fender bender opened the door into a world of illegal corporate payouts that unraveled his future in an instant. So today as Kansas, and their coach Bill Self the highest paid coach in the sport prepare to take on Kentucky, Paula Levigne joins us to talk about how corporate America, the Federal Government, and the NCAA extinguished a hoop dream before it even began.
AFC North Insanity, Lions Win a Shootout, and CJ Stroud for MVP?: NFL Week 10 Recap with Kevin Clark: 11/13/23
Week 10 gave us some of the craziest finishes of the NFL season. The Houston Texans pulled off a last second victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, where rookie QB CJ Stroud basically out-Burrowed Joe Burrow himself, inserting himself into the MVP conversation in the process. Elsewhere in the AFC North, the Browns came from behind to steal a win from the Baltimore Ravens, who had been gaining momentum as a Super Bowl contender in recent weeks. The 49ers offense is back at full strength with the returns of Trent Williams and Deebo Samuel, and they look like the world beaters we saw back in Week 1 again. And in Los Angeles, the Detroit Lions had maybe their biggest win of the season over the Chargers in a shootout&which might make Brandon Staleys seat a little bit warmer. So today, Kevin Clark, host of This is Football, joins the show to discuss his biggest takeaways from Week 10.
The Michigan Sign-Stealing Scandal, Explained: 11/10/23
Michigan has been one of the top teams in college football for the past few seasons. Ever since head coach Jim Harbaugh stepped on campus, theyve stayed in the headlines, for better or worse. And now, In the midst of their undefeated season, allegations of sign stealing have taken over the narrative surrounding the team. The near-daily developments have been unexpected, and sometimes downright odd, making this situation feel as if it was pulled right from the silver screen. Sunglasses with spy cameras, fake play call signs, and 600-page manifestos have put Michigans run to the National Championship in jeopardy. So today, Mark Schlabach joins the show to explain how this all has unfurled, the difficult choices facing the Big Ten, and what the consequences for Michigan and Harbaugh might be.
Why Caitlin Clark is So Much More Than a Local Legend: 11/9/23
Caitlin Clark is one of the greatest college basketball players we have ever seen. Shes the reigning NCAA womens basketball Player of the Year after leading Iowa to the Final Four; and now in her senior season, shes poised to set or break several more records. But regardless of what Clark accomplishes, shell do it all while holding her favorite title: Being just another kid from Des Moines. So today, Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Voepel joins the show to tell us all about Clarks connection with her roots, and why it could continue to shape Iowas basketball program and Clarks career, for years to come.
How Laila Edwards Became the First Black Hockey Player on the US Womens National Team: 11/8/23
University of Wisconsins star sophomore Laila Edwards is the first Black woman to make the U.S. Womens National Hockey Team. After an incredible freshman season that ended with Wisconsins record seventh national title, she now adds representing the U.S. to her resume. Inspired by a chance meeting with Blake Bolden, the first Black woman to play professional hockey, Laila is showing a new generation that they can not only play hockey, but thrive in the sport. Ahead of tonights Team USA vs Team Canada matchup, Andscapes Branson Wright shares Lailas story, how crucial her family was to her journey to the U.S. National Team, and what her future holds.
Battlefields to Ballfields: How Veterans are Helping Solve the Sports Officiating Crisis (ENCORE): 11/7/23
Few jobs are more thankless than that of the 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 cannot go on. But, today, ahead of Veterans Day weekend, we revisit the story of Battlefields to Ballfields, an organization working to make military vets part of the solution. And in many cases, its the kind of opportunity some struggling former soldiers have dreamed of. For more on Battlefields to Ballfields, you can read McGees story here. This episode first ran on November 11, 2022.
Bengals Roll, Eagles Escape, Ravens Dominate: Jason Reid on NFL Week 9: 11/6/23
The playoff picture is slowly starting to take shape as we get deeper into the NFL season. Teams like the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens, who got off to slow starts, are finally hitting their stride. Meanwhile, other teams are starting to raise more questions than answers. Can the Kansas City Chiefs defense carry a lackluster offense to the Super Bowl? How far can the Dallas Cowboys really go with Dak Prescott under center? And will the real Miami Dolphins please stand up? So today, ESPN NFL senior writer Jason Reid joins the show to break down four of Sundays biggest matchups, and he helps us make sense of what they mean at this point of the season.
The NHL, Pride Nights, and Sports as Catalyst for Social Change: 11/3/23
Across the American sporting landscape, Pride Nights have become a popular way to reach out to the LGBTQIA+ community, a simple show of support meant to signify that sports are for everyone. In the NHL, teams have worn themed warm up jerseys that were later auctioned off for charity. But last year, Pride Nights became the epicenter of a public relations disaster for the league. A small handful of players publicly refused to participate in their teams respective Pride Night, citing their religion or fear of retribution in their home countries, and some teams opted out of wearing the warmups entirely. Backlash and debate ensued, and the NHL banned all specialty jerseys ahead of this season. They also banned the use of Pride Tape, a rainbow-patterned wrap that players would use on their sticks. But rather than make the issue go away like the league had hoped, it blew up in their faces and created even more of a PR firestorm. The ban was eventually rescinded, but the initial decision itself was a damning tell of the state of LGBTQIA+ support, or lack thereof, in society at large. So today, Emily Kaplan joins us for a candid discussion about what happened in hockey, how we can learn from it&and whos really affected when we talk about this subject.
Fire Canada: The Story Behind the NFLs New Favorite Meme: 11/2/23
There are few professions with a shorter leash than the job of an NFL coach. The league is a results-based business with 32 teams all vying for a Super Bowl ring. So if you cant build a perennial contender, you can pretty much expect to be looking for other work sooner rather than later, with the fans all too eager to see you go. Thats whats going on right now in Pittsburgh, where offensive coordinator Matt Canada has drawn the ire of so many fans that the calls for his job have now transcended outside of the Acrisure Stadium walls. The chants and signs and memes have spread to Penguins games, wrestling matches, and NFL stadiums everywhere. So today, Steelers beat reporter Brooke Pryor joins the show to explain how the Fire Canada phenomenon started in the first place, how the unique psychology of Steelers fans catapulted it into the mainstream, and if the fun and games have gone too far.
Mens College Basketball Looks a Lot Different This Year. Heres Why: 11/1/23
Another season of mens college basketball is upon us&and we really dont know what to make of it. The usual teams adorn the top of the preseason polls: Kansas, Duke, and Michigan State, but theres really no clear frontrunner that looks primed to stand above the crowd. Add to the wide-open field a whole crop of familiar faces in new places, as NIL deals and the transfer portal continue to dominate the sport. So today, Myron Medcalf returns to give us some clarity as the marathon towards March Madness starts.
Zach Lowe Explains the New NBA Tournament : 10/31/23
Ever since the NBA introduced the 82-game schedule over 60 years ago, its been a fairly predictable league. The playoffs are always a best-of-seven, with the best teams the dynasties of that particular era usually coming out on top in June. As for the regular season, its importance has come into question in recent years as the grind of a six-month road to the playoffs takes its toll on players and fans alike, and given to the rise of load management. But this year, the league is shaking things up. Enter the In-Season Tournament, a soccer-style competition with six groups of five teams all vying for the NBA Cup&and it all starts on Friday! So today, Zach Lowe explains everything you need to know about the In-Season Tournament, why its more than a gimmick, why the players might be more into it than you would think&and why it should actually be pretty fun.
First Place Teams Stumble: Andrew Hawkins on a Spooky NFL Week 8: 10/30/23
Week 8 had some scares in store for teams around the league. We saw the Kansas City Chiefs lose to the Denver Broncos for the first time in eight years, and the San Francisco 49ers drop their third straight game, and out of first place in the NFC West in the process. On the other side of the coin, the Cincinnati Bengals are finding their stride coming out of their bye week, while the Philadelphia Eagles survived a fright against the Commanders. Meanwhile, quarterbacks went down all around the league, and the Vikings might be facing a horrifying rest of the season without their starting quarterback. So today, Andrew Hawkins tells us who should be able to overcome their fears&and who might be in trouble. Halloween, Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Andy Reid, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, Deebo Samuel, Trent Williams, Brock Purdy, Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, Kyle Shanahan, Seattle Seahawks, Geno Smith, Philadelphia Eagles, AJ Brown, Jalen Hurts, Will Levis, Tennessee Titans, DeAndre Hopkins, Minnesota Vikings, Kirk Cousins, New York Giants, Saquon Barkley, New York Jets, Zach Wilson
Jeff Passans 2023 World Series Preview: 10/27/23
When the baseball season got underway, the World Series favorites were: big market juggernauts like the Yankees, Dodgers, Padres, and Mets; annual contenders like the Braves, and Astros; and plucky dark horses like the Phillies and Blue Jays. But fast forward to the end of October, and none of those front runners remain standing. The Texas Rangers and the Arizona Diamondbacks who had a combined 2% chance to lift the trophy are ready to face off in a battle of underdogs. So Jeff Passan tells David Dennis Jr. how they got here, and how he thinks this series will unfold. Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Corbin Carroll, Jordan Montgomery, Max Scherzer, Zac Gallen, Evan Longoria, Christian Walker, Tommy Pham, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Adolis Garcia, Brandon Pfaadt, MLB
Why Womens Basketball Is Bigger and Better Than Ever: 10/26/23
Womens basketball is having a moment in 2023. Attendance records have been broken not only at the WNBA Finals, but also at the University of Iowas outdoor scrimmage featuring the NCAAWs biggest star: Caitlin Clark&which took place on a football field. With the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty establishing themselves as the WNBAs superteams and the Ws recent expansion announcement, it begs the question: Is the league entering a new era? Alexa Philippou joins the show to answer the burning questions about the present and future of womens basketball.
Brian Windhorst Sizes up the Two Beasts in the NBAs East: 10/25/23
The NBAs Eastern Conference looks very, very different than it did just a few weeks ago. The Milwaukee Bucks rocked the basketball universe by shipping off Jrue Holiday to Portland in exchange for Damian Lillard, who everyone assumed would eventually end up on the Miami Heat. Holiday, meanwhile, found his way to Boston after the Celtics had already added Kristaps Porzingis. The result is two Eastern Conference powers who seem to be on a collision course. But is the NBA ever really that simple? And Philadelphia is still hoping to crash the party, though theyll have to solve their James Harden problem first. Can they actually contend without him? Brian Windhorst returns for day two of our NBA season preview, and this time he tells us everything we need to know about the East.
Brian Windhorst Breaks Down the NBAs Wild Western Conference: 10/24/23
Everyones favorite real-life soap opera, the NBA, is officially back tonight! And the moves this offseason have shaken up the league. Out west weve seen: Bradley Beal force his way to Phoenix to form a brand new big three with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, the Lakers double down on the defense-first roster that saved their season last year, and the Warriors bring in Chris Paul to share the load with Steph Curry. But the question remains, is any of that enough to topple the defending champion Denver Nuggets? Brian Windhorst joins the show to give us a full breakdown of the Western Conference&and tell us how familiar this Victor Wembanyama arrival feels.
Eagles Wear Down Dolphins, Patriots Upset Bills, Ravens Tame Lions: Louis Riddick on NFL Week 7: 10/23/23
Week 7 in the NFL was headlined by the Sunday Night matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles, two teams at the top of their respective conferences. Jalen Hurts and the Birds triumphed, and the Philly defense shut down Tua and the Dolphins, soaring to victory 31-17. And in the early slate of games, Lamar Jackson reminded us all that hes that guy as the Ravens finally put it all together in a blowout of the Detroit Lions, while the Patriots pulled off an upset over the struggling Bills. So today, ESPNs Louis Riddick breaks down some of the most noteworthy moments from around the league this week&and he lets us know if its time to panic in Buffalo.
Ryan McGees Mid-Season College Football Check-In: 10/20/23
This college football season has been full of excitement, and not always from the places weve grown to expect. Because for every Georgia and Michigan and Ohio State sitting at the top of the rankings, weve also got rebounding powers making noise, like Florida State and Texas. And unexpected teams like North Carolina pushing their way into the conversation. Not to mention a Pac-12 conference insisting on making its final season a memorable one. So today, Ryan McGee drops by to tell us what hes been looking at as the first college football playoff rankings of the season loom on the horizon.
Bill Barnwell on Why The NFL Trade Market Is Heating Up: 10/19/23
Throughout the sports world, trade deadlines tend to be one of the most reliable generators of storylines and intrigue. A star player stuck on a bad team can create months of speculation and headlines. And in other leagues such as the NBA and MLB, the trade deadline serves as the most dramatic point of the season of the midseason. But historically, the NFL had kept major player movement to the offseason, making for a largely inactive deadline until recently, that is. Last year, we saw the 49ers trade for Christian McCaffrey, who took their offense from stagnant to one of the best in the league. And the year before that, the Rams added Von Miller to a defensive line that already featured Aaron Donald, a move that would ultimately help them win the Super Bowl. So today, Bill Barnwell makes his triumphant return to ESPN Daily helping us understand how the football trade market has changed over time, and giving us a full breakdown of this years possible movers and shakers, including a few surprises.
Whats Behind Ja Morants Off-Court Struggles?: 10/18/23
Ja Morant has been an NBA superstar since pretty much the night he was drafted. A young, overlooked, and under recruited point guard that drew Damian Lillard comparisons when he was the No. 2 pick coming out of Murray State, the expectations for Morant were high and he has exceeded every single one of them & on the court. But despite his limitless basketball potential, Morants behavior off the court has become not just a distraction, but problematic. So today, a week ahead of the Grizzlies season opener which Morant wont be a part of due to a 25-game suspension ESPNs Tim McMahon joins the show to tell us how Morants issues might be putting his basketball career in jeopardy.
Inside the NFL Turf Debate: 10/17/23
Stop us if youve seen this before: a star NFL player falls down on a turf field sometimes without contact and clutches his knee or calf before being helped off the field. Hes diagnosed with a significant injury, his season ends, and then social media sounds off, calling on the league to move away from artificial turf. That cycle played out most recently when Aaron Rodgers tore his achilles just four plays into his Jets debut. But just how much is turf really to blame for these injuries? And can anything actually be done about it? The answers and solutions arent as simple as you might think. Today, Kevin Seifert joins the show to help us survey the field, literally, as we dive into the high-stakes debate between the NFL Players Association, the league, and the local officials that maintain the fields. For more on the NFLs turf debate, you can read ESPNs story here.
49ers, Eagles Fall, and a Logjam Emerges in the AFC North: Kevin Clark on NFL Week 6: 10/16/23
There are no unbeaten teams left six weeks into the 2023 NFL season. But there are still plenty of questions about every team in the league. Will the Eagles ever look like they are in high gear? Is Brock Purdy really good enough to win with the 49ers? When will Joe Burrow be healthy enough to deliver? Why doesnt Lamar Jackson look like he used to? Is this really what the Patriots season is going to be? Kevin Clark, host of This is Football, joins the show to provide answers to these questions and more.
Black Power Salute at the 1968 Olympics: A Conversation with John Carlos: 10/13/23
Youve probably seen the image: Tommie Smith and John Carlos standing on an Olympic podium in Mexico City in 1968, accepting their medals, heads bowed, with a gloved fist raised in the air. Its one of the most enduring moments not just from that Olympics, but in all of American history. It was a representation of the Black Power and Civil Rights Movements on a global stage&and you probably dont know the full story. So today, nearly 55 years after his iconic act of defiance, Dr. John Carlos sits down with David Dennis, Jr. to discuss the impact it had on himself and those around him&and we delve into the mind of a 23-year-old who was ready to change the world.
LeBrons Fall, International Dominance, and More: NBArank 2023, Explained: 10/12/23
There is probably no sport susceptible to more debate in the American consciousness than the NBA. It feels inescapable; the discussions comparing players legacies, the debates about whos the best, and the chatter around whos got next. But today, ESPNs NBArank returns for another installment, hoping to settle all questions once and for all (well, for this upcoming season at least). Kevin Pelton takes us inside this exercise: one that includes more than 150 journalists working to decide who the top 100 players in the league are&and some of the results may surprise you.
Why Oregon vs. Washington Could Decide the Pac-12, CFB Playoffs, and Heisman Trophy: 10/11/23
When you think of college football rivalries, images immediately come to mind of longtime powerhouses, schools with a deep rooted hatred of each other like Alabama and Auburn, or Oklahoma and Texas, or even USC and UCLA. Theres one rivalry thats just as strong, even if it doesnt come to you off the top of your head: Oregon vs Washington. Its a battle of Pacific Northwest supremacy, and this year especially, two of the best teams in the country featuring two quarterbacks with Heisman aspirations. So today, Kyle Bonagura tells you why you should be a little more invested in this clash of Pac-12 leaders, and what to expect when Saturdays game kicks off.
Crosby, McDavid, & Bedard: NHL Season Preview with Greg Wyshynski: 10/10/23
If theres anything last season proved, its how unpredictable the NHL can be. The Boston Bruins had a historic regular season, setting league records for wins and points, only to get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. But tonight, a new year of hockey begins, and with it, a new face that you need to know about. Connor Bedard is set to take the ice for the Chicago Blackhawks, with his debut being the most anticipated since the likes of Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby. So today, ESPNs Greg Wyshynski joins the show to tell us all about Bedards maiden voyage, McDavids hunt for his first Stanley Cup, Crosbys hunt for his last, and everything else you need to know about the NHL in 2023.
49ers Roll, Jets Get Revenge, Steelers Steal a Win: Andrew Hawkins on NFL Week 5: 10/9/23
NFL Week 5 is in the books, and this week was certainly a page-turner. The Jets defended the honor of offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett in Denver, as Gang Green beat Sean Payton and the Broncos after an offseason of back-and-forths. At Foxborough, its starting to look like the final chapter for Bill Belichick and the Patriots could be an ugly one. Meanwhile in Pittsburgh, things turned into an Edgar Allan Poe-esque nightmare for the Ravens as turnovers doomed their lead, gifting a win to the Steelers. And then in San Francisco, the 49ers closed the book on the night with an utterly dominant performance, obliterating the Cowboys 42-10. So today, Andrew Hawkins gives us the SparkNotes on Week 5, and summarizes the story of what weve seen so far across the league.
What Were Made Of: A Vaccine Pioneer and Her Olympian Daughter (ENCORE): 10/6/23
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Susan Francia's mother, Dr. Kate Karikó, has seen her lifelong work come to fruition with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. An accomplishment that has led to her being the recipient of the 2023 Nobel Prize in medicine. Dr. Karikós dedication to her research over the decades inspired her daughter to become an Olympian rower. In a re-air of one of our favorite episodes, ESPNs Julie Foudy takes us through the story of Dr. Karikós perseverance, her mRNA breakthroughs behind the vaccine, and the mother-daughter relationship at the center of the E:60 feature What Were Made Of.
Is This the Biggest WNBA Finals Matchup Ever?: 10/5/23
As much as we love an underdog story, theres nothing quite like a clash of titans. Two heavyweights, slugging it out until only one is left standing. And thats exactly what we have in this years WNBA Finals. In the first year of the Ws superteam era, we get the championship matchup weve been dreaming about since the offseason: the Las Vegas Aces vs the New York Liberty. Both teams are stacked with MVPs, All-Stars, and championship experience all around&but will it all live up to the hype? ESPN WNBA analyst LaChina Robinson joins us to break down this unprecedented Finals matchup&and tell us what it means for the league writ large.
Ramona Shelburne Decodes NBA Media Day: 10/4/23
NBA Media Day is the unofficial start to the NBA season, and in a lot of ways its like the first day of school. Youve got your new kids, like Damian Lillard, popping up with their new teams. And your returning stalwarts, like Giannis Antentokounmpo, holding court in front of reporters. Meanwhile, the media, serving as the teachers in this tortured metaphor, are quizzing everyone about their summer reading, trying to get a take on the season to come. And oftentimes, the answers we get are anything but straightforward. So we turned to our friend and NBA Insider Ramona Shelburne, to help us read between the lines and decode the most intriguing comments we heard on Media Day. Did the Celtics actually land on the winning side of the Bucks Damian Lillard trade? What is James Hardens next move in Philly? Is this LeBron James last ride? And what on earth is going on with emo-Jimmy Butler?
Jeff Passan Previews the MLB Postseason: 10/3/23
As the weather starts to cool down and summer comes to an end, it can only mean one thing for baseball fans: October is here. Twelve teams from around the league are left standing, all with a World Series trophy in their sights. Can the Baltimore Orioles continue their newfound success and capture Americas hearts? Will we see yet another chapter in the heated Dodgers-Braves postseason rivalry? Are the Houston Astros truly inevitable? Our good friend, Jeff Passan, surveys the bountiful harvest of playoff baseball upon which we now get to feast&and he tells us who he thinks will emerge victorious come November.
Kevin Clark Recaps the NFL Week 4: 10/2/23
We're about a quarter of the way through the 2023 NFL season. And in some cases, It's going about as you'd expect. The problem with those expectations? Sometimes you're the Chicago Bears. So for teams like Dallas, Buffalo, and Miami, they are who we thought they were. But then you get a surprise like the Jets almost gave the Chiefs and Taylor Swift, nearly leaving us all looking like the foolish one. So today, Kevin Clark, host of the This Is Football podcast, tells us who's living up to their potential, and who's already fallen short of the mark around the league.
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: Chāteau 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?': ’The 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.
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