Looking behind-the-headlines at each of the NBA title contenders?
Revealing how one Patriots fan stole 27 Super Bowl rings?
Uncovering the link between ‘NBA Top Shot’ and a basketball cryptocurrency?
Check, check, and check.
ESPN Daily has all that and more, kicking off your morning with the best sports story you’ll hear all day.Monday through Friday, host Pablo Torre brings you an inside look at the most interesting stories at ESPN, as told by the top reporters and insiders on the planet.
It’s where the breaking news of SportsCenter meets the deep dive storytelling of 30 for 30 .
Get the very best of ESPN — daily.
Listen to ESPN Daily Apple Podcasts
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Many podcast platforms limit the number of episodes in the show feed, but the entire archive of ESPN Daily episodes is available in the playlist above and the list below.Depending on the day and time, recent episodes might only appear in the playlist above.
April 5: NCAA: Gonzaga Buzzer Beater, Baylor Blowout, and Stanford Women’s Champs
Gonzaga and Baylor tip off tonight in the NCAA Championship after a thrilling pair of Final Four games.Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs hit a wild game-winning buzzer-beater in overtime on Saturday vs.UCLA that sent Sports Twitter into overdrive, as Gonzaga furthered its quest for a perfect season.Also on Saturday, Baylor blew out Houston with Jared Butler landing 17 points, and five players recording double figures.Jeff Borzello recounts Suggs’ 3 heard ’round the world.And LaChina Robinson breaks down how Stanford bested Arizona in another neck-and-neck game to become the women’s champions.
April 2: Final Four Weekend: Gonzaga’s Perfect Run + Paige Bueckers’ Magic
This weekend, the men’s and women’s NCAA Final Four games tip off in Indianapolis and San Antonio, respectively.
On the men’s side, Gonzaga will look to fend off surprising UCLA, who just upset #1 Michigan, while Baylor and Houston face off in a rare Lone Star State showdown.Myron Medcalf is on the ground in Indianapolis and shares his insights on each Final Four matchup.For the women, powerhouse UConn, lead by star freshman Paige Bueckers, will do battle with Arizona, who’s making its first Final Four appearance.And Dawn Staley’s South Carolina Gamecocks look to continue their defensive stand against tournament favorite Stanford.LaChina Robinson is on site in San Antonio to preview the pair of games, and reflects on the women’s tournament thus far.Then, Katie Barnes updates us on the BFFs of the tournament: Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs and UConn’s Paige Bueckers, as they each prepare for the semifinals.
April 1: MLB Opening Day: Tim Kurkjian on Fans’ Return, Houston’s Reckoning, and Playoffs for the…Mets?
Baseball’s Opening Day is finally here! After a shortened 2020 season, MLB is back with a 162 game schedule and plenty of exciting storylines.
With fans back in the stands, will the Houston Astros finally receive the reckoning many thought they’d get following their cheating scandal? Will Francisco Lindor live up to the hype and take the Mets to the postseason? Can the upstart Padres match up with the defending champion Dodgers? Tim Kurkjian runs through everything you need to know heading into this baseball season, and even gives Baltimore Orioles fans something to hope for.
Then, new Cubs TV play-by-play announcer Boog Sciambi talks with Pablo about taking up the iconic broadcasting mantle at Wrigley Field.
March 31: Funny Money, a Secret Recording, and the Unraveling of a Powerhouse Football Program
When the winningest team in high school football hired the most controversial coach in high school football, heads turned all over the state of Georgia.
What ensued was a 15-month saga of small-town, big time football that ended up dividing an entire town.Mark Schlabach brings us a story of funny money, a secret recording, and the unraveling of a powerhouse high school football program in Valdosta, Georgia.
March 30: The New York Mets: Best Worst Team In Sports
The New York Mets and their fans have been sports punchline fodder for decades.But Mets fans are a resilient (if occasionally delusional?) bunch, enduring heartbreak after heartbreak in the long history of the organization.Author Devin Gordon refers to the team as the “Best Worst Team in Sports” in his new book, “So Many Ways To Lose,” and he joins the show to discuss his research into the highs and lows of the Mets, their passionate fans, and unique legacy.
March 29: How Far Will Nationals Star Juan Soto Go?
Nationals superstar Juan Soto has won a World Series, made a highlight reel’s worth of big hits, and holds a batting title.
All that at 22 years old.A fan favorite in Washington, Soto is known for his swagger and disregard for baseball’s traditional decorum, as well as his megawatt smile.Jeff Passan recently talked with Soto for ESPN’s Cover Story, and he joins the show to explain how Soto’s swing – and his presence – are changing baseball for good.Then, Bill Barnwell runs through the biggest NFL news in trades and free agency.
March 26: Gonzaga Greatness, Cinderellas and Sister Jean: Sweet 16 Preview
The men’s Sweet 16 begins this weekend, full of unlikely contenders and March stalwarts.
Oral Roberts is the Cinderella of the tournament so far, but Loyola Chicago has the power of 101-year-old nun Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt on their side.Gonzaga’s on the brink of a perfect season, but they’ll likely have to get through another #1 seed like Baylor.Myron Medcalf joins us from Indianapolis to preview the next set of matchups, based on his analysis on the tournament so far.Then, Ryan McGee tells us why Bristol Speedway’s become a dirt track this weekend — the first NASCAR race on dirt in 50 years.
March 25: Deshaun Watson Faces Assault Allegations
Texans QB Deshaun Watson has been named in over a dozen civil lawsuits filed by a number of Houston area women over the last several days, alleging varying degrees of sexual misconduct and assault.ESPN investigative reporter John Barr takes us through the timeline and details of the cases, and where the legal action could go from here.Then, Texans reporter Sarah Barshop brings us up to speed on the team and NFL’s responses, and what this means for Watson’s future on the field in Houston and around the league.
March 24: Jeremy Lin and Pablo Torre on Asian-American Identity and Racism
In the time since we reached out to basketball pro Jeremy Lin about the mass shooting in Atlanta where eight people died – six of them women of Asian descent – ten more people have died in a Colorado shooting.Jeremy Lin joins us to share experiences with Pablo as first generation Asian Americans.Lin details his evolution on speaking out against stereotypes, understanding systemic injustice, and framing his identity in the limelight of sports during the NBA’s “Linsanity” period.
Plus, what he’s focused on now around levers of social change and his basketball career.Then, Pablo pays tribute to a bird that met its demise via a pitch from Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, 20 years ago.
March 23: The Evolution of Zion Williamson
In his second NBA season, at just 20 years old, Zion Williamson is putting up numbers that land him alongside legends like Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal.Maybe you caught him in the All-Star Game, but if you haven’t been watching Pelicans games, you’re missing the evolution of a unique basketball talent.ESPN’s Andrew Lopez shares Zion’s accomplishments, and what it’ll take to get him to MVP status.Then, the most famous bowler of all time is retiring after 41 (yes, 41!) years.We remember Pete Weber’s career.
March 22: What’s In a Name…Image, and Likeness? Social Media and College Athletes
This year’s March Madness hasn’t come without its share of controversy.Michigan’s Isaiah Livers and others have tweeted and donned shirts with the phrase #NotNCAAProperty.And women’s players cried foul online over a paltry weight room and other disparities with the men’s team.
It was just the latest example of social media’s power for college athletes, and that includes growing followings across all sports and types of schools.ESPN college sports reporter David Hale details new options and support for player empowerment and profit.And he explores what NIL (name, image, likeness) reform can look like.
March 19: College Basketball’s BFF’s Jalen Suggs and Paige Bueckers + Sue Bird on Women’s Bracket
Gonzaga freshman Jalen Suggs and UConn freshman Paige Bueckers are the faces of the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments.But the two stars go way back: they grew up in neighboring Minnesota cities, and first met when they both were in elementary school.As their basketball careers took off, Suggs and Bueckers stayed in touch and have relied on each other for support, and have remained friends off the court.
Katie Barnes shares the story of their unique friendship, and whether NCAA championships are in their future.Then, Sue Bird makes a case for her UConn Huskies to win another women’s championship.
March 18: Louis Riddick on NFL Free Agency (And the Mind of Bill Belichick)
We’re still many weeks away from the 2021 NFL Draft, and free agency is in full swing.Bill Belichick and the Patriots have been aggressive in acquiring new pieces, while his ex-QB Tom Brady and the Bucs have been focused on bringing back the roster that won the Super Bowl.
Louis Riddick breaks down the latest moves as only he can, shares insights from behind the scenes, and tells us what comes next.Then, as the NCAA tournament kicks off, Dave Fleming confirms a trend among male fans …
who get a certain surgery in vast numbers every March.
March 17: Serena Williams, Tom Brady, Roger Federer: The Surprising Science Behind Epic Athletes
Serena Williams.Tom Brady.
Roger Federer.What really goes into making a G.O.A.T.? And extending that greatness for decades? Reporter, best-selling author, and current host of the podcast How To!, David Epstein is one of sports’ top mythbusters.
His books The Sports Gene and Range delve into athletes’ lives, minds and habits to find the building blocks of success.
Epstein applies his findings to trends like more superstars performing well as they age, and why getting kids to specialize in one sport might actually lead to injury rather than wins.
March 16: NBA Coastal Elites: The Geography of Basketball Success
Are all NBA superstars destined to leave smaller market teams for Brooklyn, L.A.
or Miami? Across the league, high-performing players are gravitating to coastal teams and bigger markets.The trend’s been building for years, increasingly splitting the league into teams that “have” or “have not.” Kirk Goldsberry plots the map and salary data, why this trend is bad for the NBA, and what strategies could turn things around.Then, as part of ESPN’s Women’s History Month celebration, hear from Lisa Salters’ sit-down with NFL referee Sarah Thomas.
March 15: 2021 Bracketology With Jay Bilas
The NCAA Tournament is set! It’s been anything but a normal college basketball season, and March Madness will continue the trend.Gonzaga could become the first team since 1976 to go undefeated and win a national championship, with Baylor, Illinois and Michigan also at the top.
Georgetown, led by legendary Hoya Patrick Ewing, is back in the Big Dance.Duke is not in the tournament for the first time in decades.Jay Bilas breaks down the field, region by region, and the path to win it all.Then, insight from the WNBA’s Natasha Cloud as heard on LaChina Robinson’s “I’m Speaking” podcast series, one year since Breonna Taylor’s death.
March 12: Dak Prescott’s New Deal and the NFL’s Shrinking Salary Cap
The Dallas Cowboys have finally signed Dak Prescott to a four-year, $160 million deal, just five months after his season ending injury.
For years, the Cowboys’ front office had refused to give in to Dak’s contract demands…until now.ESPN’s NFL analyst Mina Kimes breaks down one of the biggest deals in quarterback history and looks at how a shrinking salary cap is impacting NFL rosters.Then, Tottenham superfan (and mom to Mina Kimes) Sun Min Kimes shares her English Premier League takes ahead of this weekend’s match vs.Arsenal.
March 11: March 11, 2020, One Year Later: Rudy Gobert On Being The NBA’s Patient Zero
One year ago today, on March 11, 2020, the NBA…and the entire world…suddenly stopped.That night, there was one athlete who found his way to the spotlight, and inadvertently became the face of the COVID pandemic as we knew it then: Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.Lisa Salters joins the show to share Gobert’s personal perspective on that night, and Gobert opens up about what it was like to be branded as Patient Zero of American sports.Then, a reflection on what it was like to cover the day in sports on March 11, 2020.
March 10: Has the NBA’s 3-Point Obsession Gone Too Far?
In basketball there is no greater symbol of the 3-point shot than Golden State’s Steph Curry, who’s spawned a thousand imitators with his prowess.But for every 3-point attempted, is a more dynamic dunk lost? That’s what’s got the NBA on notice.
Because, as with any trend, the 3-point obsession may be going too far.ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz explores a new sentiment around the NBA: that the 3-point shot is draining the game of the exact excitement it was meant to deliver.Then Pablo shares the story of a hockey mom who came to the rescue of a man who helped her kids on the ice.
March 9: March Madness Preview: Who Can Beat Gonzaga?
It’s March, and the 2021 Madness is almost here.Excited beyond belief after a cancelled 2020 tournament, ESPN’s Myron Medcalf is your guide.What’s happened with the bluebloods, as Duke, Kentucky, and Michigan State fight to make it to the Big Dance? Which standout stars might lead their teams to glory? Will 24-0 Gonzaga hold onto its dominance? How have the starts and stops of this pandemic season helped or hurt contenders? Then, Pablo breaks down Dak Prescott’s new deal with the Dallas Cowboys.
March 8: Ali-Frazier: The “Fight of the Century” 50 Years Later
Fifty years ago today, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier met in their first iconic boxing match, known as “The Fight of the Century.” It was 1971, with the civil rights movement in full swing and the nation divided over the war in Vietnam.Jeremy Schaap, boxing historian and host of E60 and Outside the Lines, shares how political and cultural views were projected onto Ali and Frazier, with their different personalities, history and fighting styles.The night itself was a grand celebrity spectacle (Frank Sinatra took a gig as a photographer, just to get in the building).And while Frazier won unanimously, the fight has a more complex and nuanced legacy.
Half a century later, it remains one of sports’ biggest moments.
March 5: The Biggest Contract In San Diego Padres History (Is Not Fernando Tatis Jr.’s)
Fernando Tatis Jr.’s massive 14-year, 340 million dollar deal with the Padres shattered MLB records.But it’s actually not the most important signing of the Padres this offseason.That belongs to Matt LaChappa, who signed with the team again in February, just as he has every year for more than a quarter-century.It’s a baseball story unlike any other: LaChappa is the longest tenured player in Padres history, despite never playing in a major league game.In 1996, LaChappa was a pitcher with San Diego’s minor league affiliate, when he suffered a heart attack while warming up in the bullpen.
LaChappa survived, was left permanently disabled and in need of round-the-clock and costly medical care.Ever since, every offseason, the Padres have honored their commitment to Matt and his family by signing him a basic minor league contract, allowing Matt to remain on the team’s health insurance.In a sport where money and loyalty between players and clubs are constantly put to the test, Chris Connelly joins the show to tell a very different kind of baseball story Then, Pablo shares his excitement (or lack thereof) for this weekend’s NBA All-Star festivities.
March 4: Can Claressa Shields Make Women’s Boxing Must-See TV?
At just 25 years old, Claressa Shields might already be the best women’s boxer of all time.
The Flint, Michigan native is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist.She’s undefeated in her professional career.
And she’s already won titles in three different weight divisions.
But this Friday, she is attempting something that could fundamentally change the entire sport.Shields is headlining the first ever all-female pay-per-view boxing card…and doing it without the backing of a major broadcast network.She’s hoping to prove that women’s boxing can draw viewers and put female fighters on a path to one day making the same money as their male counterparts.ESPN’s Michael Rothstein joins the show to tell us about Claressa Shields’ rise as a fighter and how the trail she is blazing might take her to a whole new sport entirely.Then, Pablo reflects on his beloved New York Knicks in their current, fleeting moment of triumph.
March 3: James Harden Returns to Houston With New Boo: Brooklyn
Tonight James Harden enters his former basketball home, Houston’s Toyota Center, as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.It’s his first time facing the Rockets since his very messy trade in January.After a slow start, Harden and the Nets are thriving.
He’s notched seven triple doubles in their recent eight-game winning streak.And that’s even with star Kevin Durant sitting out for injury.
ESPN’s Malika Andrews explains how Harden has gone from being a bonus for the Nets, to a reliable asset and leader.Then, Pablo interviews new co-owner of the National Women’s Soccer League’s Chicago Red Stars, Sarah Spain.
March 2: Future UConn Star Azzi Fudd is Unbreakable
Meet Azzi Fudd, number one women’s high school basketball player in the nation.
Fudd has won medals for USA basketball, was the first sophomore to win Gatorade National Player of the Year, and dominated Steph Curry’s camp as one of only two girls participating.Despite her unlimited potential, Fudd has endured setbacks, from major injury to the loss of friends and mentors, including Gigi and Kobe Bryant.Katie Barnes shares their ESPN Cover Story, “Azzi Fudd is Unbreakable,” about the young star’s journey and next steps.
March 1: Bill Barnwell Breaks Down NFL Quarterback Moves
The NFL quarterback carousel is in full rotation.Russell Wilson reportedly hasn’t requested a trade, but may want out of Seattle.The Deshaun Watson Texans saga has hit a stalemate.Carson Wentz has been shipped off from Philly to Indianapolis.
And there are more marquee names likely on the move.Bill Barnwell makes a triumphant return to help us make sense of this chaotic offseason.Then, Pablo reflects on Renee Montgomery as the first former WNBA player to become a team owner and executive, buying a stake in the Atlanta Dream.
Feb 26: Zach Lowe on NBA Midseason + Top Shot Update
The Utah Jazz are surprisingly the best team in the NBA.After demolishing the Los Angeles Lakers this week, the Jazz claimed the top spot in the Western Conference — while the Philadelphia 76ers reign in the East.
However, this season is far from over.ESPN’s senior NBA writer Zach Lowe joins the show to dissect the biggest NBA storylines in his midseason report, including potential trades.Then Brian Windhorst returns for an update on NBA Top Shot, where more than $200 million dollars has now traded hands for “digital collectibles.”
Feb 25: An NHL Star Is Accused of Assault.Is He Being Targeted For Opposing Vladimir Putin?
It’s a hockey story that spans from Manhattan to Moscow.Here in America, Artemi Panarin is a star winger, an MVP candidate, and arguably the best player on the New York Rangers.But back home in Russia, the 29-year-old is something far more dangerous: the most vocal athlete opponent of Russian president Vladimir Putin.Today, Emily Kaplan explains the explosive accusations that have sidelined Panarin from the National Hockey League.
Then, The Washington Post’s Moscow correspondent, Isabelle Khurshudyan, gives us the view on Panarin from inside Russia…and whether the Kremlin could actually be involved.
Feb 24: Tiger Woods – Latest Updates + “America’s Son” Documentary
On Tuesday morning, Tiger Woods was involved in a serious car accident outside of Los Angeles, where he was taken to a hospital to treat his injuries.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne brings us the latest from her reporting on the scene.Then, another listen to Pablo’s conversation with ESPN’s Lauren Stowell about her documentary on Tiger Woods, “America’s Son.” She re-examines “Tigermania,” which only grew after Woods’ Masters win in 1997, through the prisms of race and history.”America’s Son” can be screened on ESPN+.
Feb 23: Inside the Dual Legacies of NFL Players Union Boss DeMaurice Smith
Last year’s CBA should have been a defining moment for DeMaurice Smith and the labor force of America’s most popular sport.Instead, some players — and some owners — have come to see Smith as an asset to management.Don Van Natta explains Smith’s negotiations with the NFL on behalf of the players union…and whether or not Smith is ultimately in an unwinnable position.
Feb 22: Spring Training 2021 – Dominant Dodgers, Upstart Padres, and Everybody Else
MLB spring training is upon us! After a long offseason of big trades and bigger contracts being signed, baseball has finally returned.The defending World Series champion Dodgers bolstered their already deep rotation by signing Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer, but the biggest threat to their potential dynasty might be 122 miles down the 5 Freeway.
The Padres locked up Fernando Tatis for the next 14 years in addition to adding Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and Blake Snell to their pitching rotation.In the American League, the Yankees are poised to finally get over the hump…if they can stay healthy.
Jeff Passan joins us to break down everything we need to know about spring training.Then, Pablo reflects on Naomi Osaka’s speaking against violence toward Asian-Americans.
Feb 19: The Game Before – One City’s Soccer Obsession And Its COVID Crisis
The Italian town of Bergamo is fiercely loyal to its soccer team, Atalanta B.C.As the perennial underdogs made a run to the Champions League 2020 quarterfinals, Atalanta drew tens of thousands of Bergamo fans to hug, cry, sing and celebrate for their win.No one knew then it was the last time they’d gather like that.
Just as fans returned to their homes, Bergamo became an epicenter of coronavirus infection that led to thousands of deaths.Sam Borden tells the story of how a tight-knit culture and fandom made Bergamo vulnerable to the pandemic.And how that very closeness, along with the hope of cheering Atalanta again, offers a path forward from devastating loss.
Feb 18: Can NBA Top Shot Become Basketball’s Bitcoin?
Pelicans star Zion Williamson has starred in almost super-humanlike highlights in his young NBA career, but are they worth hundreds of thousands of dollars? It’s a concept that the NBA is banking on, with their newest digital memorabilia venture: NBA Top Shot, a marketplace that is something of a cross between trading cards and Bitcoin.ESPN’s Brian Windhorst explains what NBA Top Shot is, its value, and the risks involved when entering the volatile world of crypto.
Then, a preview of Friday’s show: where Sam Borden takes us to Bergamo, Italy, a sports-crazed town devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Feb 17: Paige Bueckers Dominates at UCONN + WNBA Free Agency Moves
Paige Bueckers + WNBA Free Agency Summary: UCONN freshman Paige Bueckers has notched three straight 30-point games.This historic run has placed her in conversation with all-time great UCONN stars like Diana Taurasi and Breanna Stewart.
Could she catapult to greatest UCONN player…ever? ESPN’s LaChina Robinson breaks down how Paige makes plays.Then, over in the WNBA, it’s a hot free agency season.Candace Parker left L.A.after 13 years.The Liberty signed Natasha Howard.And there are more major moves to discus.
And Howard University men’s basketball coach Kenny Blakeney explains why his team cancelled the rest of their season.
Feb 16: The Life of Legendary Georgetown Coach John Thompson Jr.
Jesse Washington Remembers Coach John Thompson Jr.Summary: The late John Thompson Jr.was one of the most legendary coaches in the history of college basketball.As head coach at Georgetown, Thompson was the first Black coach to win a championship.And his towering influence off the court might even surpass his basketball success.Jesse Washington joins the show to remember Coach Thompson’s impact and share stories from their co-authored autobiography, “I Came As A Shadow.” And check out the new initiative from ESPN and The Undefeated, Black History Always .
Feb 15: Former NFL Players Say Process for Concussion Claims Discriminates
The NFL’s concussion settlement set terms for compensating retired players who show cognitive impairment after playing football.But two NFL veterans have taken legal action because they say the claims process discriminates against Black players, making it harder for them to be compensated.Ryan Smith joins the show to discuss the cases of Najeh Davenport and Kevin Henry, why and how race was factored into their claims, and how the NFL has responded.
Feb 12: 20 Years Later – How Dale Earnhardt’s Death Changed NASCAR Forever
NASCAR is back this weekend, with the 63rd running of The Great American Race…The Daytona 500.
But the excitement this year is tempered by the sobering reminder that it’s the 20th anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt.When Earnhardt died in an accident on the final lap of Daytona in 2001, the tragedy finally prompted a change in NASCAR that many thought was long overdue.de Safety standards and equipment designed to prevent the type of injury that killed Earnhardt became widely adopted.
There may not be a bigger example of how far the sport has come than last year’s Daytona 500, when Ryan Newman’s car flipped, was driven through, and landed upside down in a fiery collision during the final lap.Many first believed that Newman had died, but he walked out of the hospital two days later, largely due to the additional safety measures put in place in the wake of Earnhardt’s death.
ESPN’s Ryan McGee joins us to talk about the latest E:60 film, “Intimidator,” examining Earnhardt’s legacy and how his death changed NASCAR forever.
Feb 11: The Great Super Bowl Rings Heist
It’s a heist story straight out of Hollywood, about a thief who would make Danny Ocean proud.Who is this criminal mastermind, who stole the New York Giants’ Super Bowl rings? Meet Sean Murphy: a die-hard Patriots fan, owner of a moving company, and a self-described master thief.He, like many Pats fans, watched in agony as the New York Giants pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history in 2008.A few months later, Murphy was researching local jewelers for a potential target when he came across E.A.
Dion, a family-owned business…who also happened to be making the Giants’ Super Bowl rings.
From there, a super-sized heist was put into motion.ESPN correspondent Sam Borden joins us to take a look back at how Murphy pulled off the steal…and how he got caught.
Feb 10: The Rise Of The Suns’ Devin Booker
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is perhaps the most overlooked superstar in the NBA.At age 24, Booker is the only active NBA player with a 70 point game, and his dominating eight game stretch in the NBA Bubble this summer earned him a reputation as one of the league’s premiere scorers.
ESPN analyst Michael Wilbon takes us back to Booker’s roots in the latest “Cover Story, ” and chronicles the Gen-Z phenom’s path from 6th man at Kentucky, to his connection with Kobe Bryant, to his relationship with new teammate Chris Paul.Then, a close read of Tom Brady’s Instagram as he basked in his reaffirmed G.O.A.T status.
Feb 9: New Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson’s Next Chapter
Calvin Johnson is officially a Pro Football Hall of Famer! Johnson (a.k.a.”Megatron”) spent nine seasons with the Detroit Lions, and is regarded as one of the greatest wide receivers of all time.During his NFL career, he sought solutions for pain management and found cannabis.
He’s now teamed up with former Lion Rob Sims for a new post-NFL chapter: a cannabis startup.ESPN Detroit Lions reporter Mike Rothstein joins us to explain Johnson’s relationship with his old team five years after his retirement, and go behind the scenes of his new venture.Then, Howard Bryant shares a remembrance for the late Pedro Gomez, the beloved ESPN baseball reporter who passed away this weekend.
Feb 8: Super Bowl LV – How Tom Brady’s Bucs Upset The Chiefs
Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are Super Bowl champions! Tampa’s defense held the Chiefs to three field goals, while Gronk and Brady’s historic connection catapulted the Bucs to victory.Despite Patrick Mahomes’ acrobatic throws on the run while battling a lingering foot injury, the KC offense looked lackluster.
And the Chiefs’ defense had no answer for Brady, who’s now earned his seventh Super Bowl ring.Plus we had (some) fans in the stands, an eye-popping halftime show by The Weeknd, and even a fan on the field.Bill Barnwell takes us through the biggest factors in the Big Game.Then Pablo pays homage to basketball scout Tom Konchalski, known for his hand-mailed newsletters and commitment to his craft.
Feb 6: REPLAY – Laurent Duvernay-Tardif – From Super Bowl Champ to the COVID Frontline
As a bonus episode on the eve of Super Bowl LV, we are respinning our December show on Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
In February 2020, Duvernay-Tardif was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after the Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV…and then, everything changed.With the world coming to a standstill as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Duvernay-Tardif, the only player in the NFL today with a medical degree, immediately took action and began working at a long-term healthcare facility in his native Quebec.In July, Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020-21 regular season to continue his efforts on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.Canada’s TSN feature producer Matt Dorman has covered Duvernay-Tardif’s singular journey up-close, and shares his remarkable story.
Feb 5: Super Bowl LV – Can the Bucs Slow Down Patrick Mahomes?
Super Bowl LV is finally here! After a turbulent season, Tom Brady and his newfound Bucs host Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, who are seeking their second-straight title.
What’s changed for these teams since they met in Week 12? Do the Bucs have a new plan to stop the Chiefs’ explosive offense? And can Tom Brady walk away with yet another Super Bowl ring? Mina Kimes brings us her insights and previews the big game.Then, 50 years ago astronaut Alan Shepard’s took a golf shot on the surface of the moon.Victoria Nenno of the US Golf Association Museum details the only out-of-this-world sports moment.
Feb 4: Travis and Jason Kelce – Bond of Brothers
Love him or hate him, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is one of the best in the NFL.But beyond the flamboyance and flash, there’s a side most people haven’t seen…especially when it comes to his big brother, Eagles center Jason Kelce.
Ahead of Travis’s second-straight Super Bowl appearance, Lisa Salters brings us inside the relationship between the two brothers.In fact, Patrick Mahomes’ favorite target may never have made it to the league if not for big brother Jason’s interventions along the way.Then, director Ken Rodgers explains how he used deepfake technology to bring former Raiders owner Al Davis and former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle “back to life” for the new 30 for 30 film “Al Davis vs.The NFL.”
Feb 3: Why 10 Super Bowl Appearances Won’t Satisfy Tom Brady
This Sunday, Tom Brady will make his tenth Super Bowl appearance, where he’s seeking his seventh ring.It’s a season that began with doubts about whether Brady could succeed away from New England and Bill Belichick…and has only strengthened his case as the greatest QB of All-Time.
Seth Wickersham has covered Brady up-close for two decades, and joins the show to explain how Brady’s acknowledgment of his own limitations on the field has led him to a career of seemingly unlimited success.Then, Doug Kezerian takes us inside the incredibly popular, sometimes bizarre world of Super Bowl prop bets.
Feb 2: Alive – The Drew Robinson Story Subtitle
Twenty-eight-year-old Drew Robinson is attempting a Major League Baseball return unlike any other.Robinson worked his way through the minors for many years, and in 2017 he finally made the Texas Rangers’ Opening Day roster.
But what followed was a bumpy path up and down between leagues and teams.All the while, Robinson struggled with mental health concerns.On April 16th, 2020, Drew Robinson attempted suicide.He lived.And now, with ongoing rehabilitation and therapy, Robinson is re-engaging with pro baseball.ESPN’s Senior MLB Insider Jeff Passan shares his reporting behind the ESPN+ special from E:60, “Alive: The Drew Robinson Story.”
Feb 1: Matthew Stafford Blockbuster – Will the Rams’ Massive Gamble Pay Off?
The NFL’s biggest trade in years broke Saturday night, with Detroit Lions QB Matt Stafford heading to the LA Rams in exchange for Rams QB Jared Goff, two future first-round picks, and a third-round pick.
It’s a move that some say vaults the Rams immediately into Super Bowl contention…but if it fails to pay off, it could hamper the franchise for years to come.Bill Barnwell breaks down whether the Rams’ gamble was worth it…and just how the Lions might go about their rebuilding process under new head coach Dan Campbell.
Then, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk and Marc Spears pay tribute to the late NBA reporter Sekou Smith, who passed away last week due to complications from COVID-19.
Jan 29: Deshaun Watson’s Next Destination + Inside the Mind of Bill Walton
One day after the Houston Texans announced David Culley as their new head coach, reports emerged that QB Deshaun Watson has officially requested a trade from the team.Bill Barnwell outlines the three most intriguing destinations for the QB.Hint: two of them are in the AFC East.Then, we take a trip inside the mind of basketball icon and ESPN personality Bill Walton.
He takes us on a journey through his career and beyond, and offers his advice to Pablo on life, the universe and everything.
Jan 28: Is G League Ignite the NBA’s New Star Factory?
The G League Ignite is the first of its kind: a developmental team, attempting to implement an alternate track to the NBA, outside of the college basketball pipeline.The idea is that players gain skills at the pro level, while earning a salary.Four top prospects are on board, and ESPN’s NBA draft expert Mike Schmitz scouted them ahead of the G League “bubble” next month.He lays out the stakes for the players, the NBA, and the NCAA.Then, more from Pablo on the GameStop financial story that’s all over the internet, and how it’s connected to sports.
Jan 27: How 9/11 Set Robert Saleh on the Path to Coaching the New York Jets
It’s been just days since Robert Saleh began his tenure in possibly the most challenging job in football…head coach of the New York Jets.But the former 49ers Defensive Coordinator is already drawing praise from players and analysts alike, who think he may just be the guy who can turn around the long struggling franchise.
But Saleh’s path to the Jets sideline has been as unusual as it is groundbreaking.Jets reporter Rich Cimini brings us the story of how September 11th, 2001 changed Saleh’s life forever, and set him on a course to become the first Muslim head coach in NFL history.Then, Domonique Foxworth joins us to discuss the lack of diversity in NFL coaching hires.
Jan 26: Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol – Black Mamba and White Swan
One year ago the world lost Kobe Bryant.Few knew about the bond Kobe shared with Pau Gasol.He remembers his former Laker teammate as a true friend, father and competitor.Gasol has spent time with Bryant family over the past year, and shared his insights on Kobe’s life and loss with ESPN NBA Insider Ramona Shelburne.Hear what her reporting revealed about the softer side of the Black Mamba.
Jan 25: Super Bowl is Set – Brady Beams & Mahomes Magic
Kansas City has a date with Tampa for Super Bowl LV.
It’ll be the first Super Bowl in NFL history with a home team also hosting the big game.Bill Barnwell breaks down the games that got them there.Tom Brady threw three interceptions, but looked every bit the GOAT in the Bucs’ win over the Packers.
And Patrick Mahomes looked as healthy as ever in the Chiefs’ rout over the Bills.Plus, Hank Aaron’s legacy in baseball and beyond with Dr.Damion Thomas of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Jan 22: NFL Conference Championship Preview
The NFC and AFC Conference Championship games kick off this weekend with some of the best matchups…and most compelling storylines in recent memory.Will Aaron Rodgers redeem his abysmal Week 6 performance against Tom Brady and the Bucs? With Patrick Mahomes’ status in limbo, who will be the X Factor between the Chiefs and Bills? Mina Kimes explains why she’s more excited for this weekend than the Super Bowl, and gives her prediction for who will play for the Lombardi Trophy.
Then, Bucs superfan and legendary broadcaster Dick Vitale shares his wisdom going into the weekend.
Jan 21: Deshaun Watson’s Murky Future with the Texans Episode
Episode Summary: Deshaun Watson is everything the Houston Texans want in their quarterback.But after a lackluster season, Texans leadership has made this once-happy marriage look tough to fix.Tensions rose as owner Cal McNair excluded Watson from the new GM decision, after saying he’d have input.Now fans are looking for signs as to whether Watson wants out.ESPN Texans reporter Sarah Barshop shares where Houston management went wrong, what Watson’s thinking, and what it’ll take to patch things up.Then, Mina Kimes takes us through the career, legacy, and faces of the now retired Phillip Rivers.
Jan 20: The Evolution of Joel Embiid + Mets Fire GM
Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid is known as the NBA’s biggest troll.But new Sixers coach Doc Rivers is committed to Embiid as the face of the franchise.And while the star’s stock remains volatile, it’s now trending up.
Ramona Shelburne shares insights from her recent reporting and conversations with Embiid.Then, Jeff Passan takes us behind his story on New York Mets general manager Jared Porter’s harassment of a female reporter, and what the fallout says about baseball culture.
Jan 19: Which Conor McGregor Will Show Up at UFC 257?
Saturday’s UFC 257 main event is Conor McGregor vs.
Dustin Poirier in a much-hyped fight.
It’s McGregor’s first bout since the pandemic lockdown last March, and ESPN’s Ariel Helwani shares insight from his sit-down with the fighter nicknamed “Notorious.” The roller coaster of McGregor’s moods, scandals, wins and losses all factor into what we could see this weekend.
Then, why the Flat Earth F.C.says a lot about the shape of misinformation.
Jan 18: NFL Divisional Playoffs – Air Aaron, Henne-thing Is Possible, and Brees Says Goodbye?
The NFL divisional playoffs went down to the wire, and the conference championship games are set! Tom Brady and the Bucs made the Saints pay for some costly turnovers, as Tampa finished off New Orleans.Led by backup QB Chad Henne, the Kansas City Chiefs held on to beat the Cleveland Browns after Patrick Mahomes went down with a concussion.Aaron Rodgers played like he was immortal, with the Packers proving the mortality of the Rams defense.
The football cosmos favored the Buffalo Bills against the Baltimore Ravens.So what’s all this mean for who keeps winning? Bill Barnwell brings his best takes.Then retired MLB player Doug Glanville shares what being a Black father means for his next move in baseball.
Jan 15: Lake Erie’s Revenge – The Cleveland Browns’ Date With AFC Destiny
When the Cleveland Browns took down their rivals the Steelers last weekend, decades of football angst was released.The Browns got their first playoff win since the 1990s, and now they’ll face reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.Led by quarterback Baker Mayfield, the Browns are desperate to prove that this team and this season is different.ESPN Browns reporter Jake Trotter brings us inside their historic season, and traces Baker’s rise.
Then, head to Buffalo with ESPN Bills reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques and a fan very close to ESPN Daily, for a look at Bills mania ahead of their second home playoff game.
Jan 14: Harden to the Nets – Behind the Massive NBA Trade
James Harden will reunite with Kevin Durant and become a member of the Brooklyn Nets.In a blockbuster three-way deal, the landscape of the entire NBA has shifted.
Harden will also join new teammates Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan, bringing new hope to the Nets organization.Ramona Shelburne brings us her reporting on how the deal went down, plus what this means for Brooklyn and the entire NBA.
Jan 13: NHL Drops the Puck! Hockey’s Old Rivals and New Divisions
The NHL is back tonight! This shortened season boasts new (corporate sponsored) divisions, including an all Canadian division, plus old and unique rivalries rekindled.After completing its 2020 season in two Canadian city bubbles, it feels like anything can happen in hockey for 2021.Can the Leafs finally advance to the playoffs? Will #1 overall pick Alexis Lafrenière spur on the Rangers? Greg Wyshynski brings us up to speed on everything we need to know to follow NHL action.Then, in honor of Nick Saban’s most recent championship win, Pablo shares a rare moment when the iconic coach opened up for the cameras.Alert Text: Hockey is back tonight! Greg Wyshynski has everything you need to know to follow the NHL’s 2021 action.Custom Category: NHL, hockey Keywords: NHL, hockey, Alexis Lafrenière, Toronto Maple Leafs, Gary Bettman
Jan 12: Crimson Tide are 2021 Champions in Extraordinary College Football Season
The Alabama Crimson Tide are your 2021 College Football Champions! Spencer Hall hashes the 52-24 win over Ohio State, and reflects on the teams’ paths to the end.In a season unlike any other, Monday night’s championship game marked a finish line that at times seemed out of sight.
Then, Pablo reflects on sports and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.Alert Text: Alabama is the 2021 College Football Champion! Spencer Hall details the win over Ohio State, and what both teams faced in their path to the finish.
Jan 11: NFL Wild Card Playoffs – Who Won, Who Got Slimed, And Why
The NFL’s Super Wild Card Weekend was filled with heartbreak for some – like Indianapolis and Washington.
Others saw particular triumph, like Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson, who earned his first playoff victory, and the Cleveland Browns, who won in their first postseason appearance since 2002.Bill Barnwell shares insights on what we saw from the first slate of postseason games, as we look forward to the divisional round.Then, Andrea Adelson previews tonight’s College Football Championship, Ohio State vs.Alabama, on the scene from Miami.
Jan 8: Francisco Lindor – New Hope For Mets Fans?
With the 2021 baseball season still months away, the Cleveland Indians dealt two of their stars, Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco, to the New York Mets in a blockbuster deal.Could this be the hope Mets fans are looking for? Buster Olney joins the show to explain how the trade went down.Then Atlanta Dream forward Elizabeth Williams reflects on the Georgia race for US Senate, and Raphael Warnock’s defeat of Dream co-owner Sen.
Jan 7: Replay – The National Anthem in Sports
In the wake of insurrection at the US Capitol, we are respinning our September episode focused on sports and the national anthem.
We hear it before every major game: “The Star Spangled Banner.” Throughout sports history, the national anthem has unified the U.S.in historic moments.It’s also served as a platform to call for change.And right now, athletes are staking their claim on the anthem more than ever, to make history themselves and protest peacefully.We explore the topic with guests Dr.Damion Thomas, sports curator of the National Museum of African American History and Culture; Jon Batiste, musician and band leader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (who performed the national anthem for the NBA’s 2020 restart); and Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce.
Jan 6: Golden State Warriors’ Path to Regain Glory
Tonight, the Golden State Warriors start a two-game home stand against the Los Angeles Clippers, on the heels of a hot streak from star Steph Curry.After 18 months of bad luck, this Warriors team still finds itself uncertain of when they’ll be real title contenders again.
But Curry and company are heating up, and rookie James Wiseman is gaining wisdom.ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz shares just how good this team can be.Then Pablo reflects on Jerry Jones’ positive spin on a dubious record held by the Cowboys this season.
Jan 5: The Tale of Manti Te’o
It’s one of the most bizarre sports stories ever.In 2012, Manti Te’o had led Notre Dame to an undefeated regular season, was named Defensive Player of the Year, and was the Heisman Trophy runner up…all while supposedly reeling from the death of his girlfriend: Lennay Kekua.
A girlfriend who, it turned out…had never existed.Don Van Natta examines the story of Te’o’s catfishing for a new edition of ESPN’s Backstory, “The Tale of Te’o,” and joins the show to share what he learned about how the Te’o hoax unfolded, and why so many of us got fooled.
Jan 4: Bill Barnwell – The Stakes of NFL Week 17
That’s a wrap on the NFL’s regular (and yet highly irregular) season! The final playoff berths in each conference have been claimed, with the Washington Football Team taking the hotly contested NFC East crown.In the AFC, Cleveland secured its first trip to the playoffs since 2002, and the Miami Dolphins missed the window in a blowout loss to the Bills.Bill Barnwell gives us his playoff picture, plus who had the most to gain or lose in the world of Week 17 contract incentives.
Then, Pablo pays tribute to the late Gerry Marsden, former anthem singer for Liverpool FC.
Jan 1: Breaking Down Tonight’s College Football Playoff Semifinals
2020 is over.2021 is here….and things are already looking up because New Year’s Day brings us the College Football Playoff Semifinals.Will Ohio State avenge last year’s playoff loss to Clemson? Can Notre Dame hang with Alabama’s high powered offense? ESPN’s CFP guru Heather Dinich has the answers.She joins the show as Ryan McGee fills in for Pablo Torre.
Dec 31: The Great Athlete Autograph Experiment
It’s a simple question that athletes have been asked for decades: “Can I have your autograph?” But in the era of selfies and TikToks…athlete autographs aren’t prized like they used to be.And when the pandemic hit, athletes were put even further out of reach from fans, in bubbles and empty arenas.ESPN writer Ryan Hockensmith was an athlete autograph hound as a kid, and decided to embark on a project with 14-year-old Bentley Baker and his dad, Andy.Bentley wrote letters to players and coaches across basketball, sent them to the bubble, and eagerly awaited responses.
Hear the story of who wrote back.
Then, Pablo shares what he’s most looking forward to in the world of sports.
Dec 30: The High School Runner Who Fought the Legacy of Robert E.Lee
In Tyler, Texas, a high school runner named Trude Lamb decided she could no longer race for her team wearing the name of a losing Confederate general: Robert E.Lee.The admittedly shy young woman spoke out to change her school’s name.Her words gained national attention, along with harmful comments and threats.In a year marked by social justice activism from athletes, hear one teenager’s story of fighting for change, and what it took to win.
Then, ESPN’s Holly Rowe reflects on a historic year of action on and off the court for the WNBA.
Dec 29: How Sports Trading Cards Went from Hobby to Asset Class
In August 2020, a rookie year baseball card for Angels superstar Mike Trout sold for nearly four million dollars.The modern-day card broke a record previously set by a much older rare Honus Wagner card of the early 1900s.
And the eye-popping price could be surpassed again soon.Trading cards have transformed into investments, fueled by a mysterious rating system and eccentric power brokers.Dan Hajducky tells us strange stories from the world of sports trading cards.Then Mike Greenberg shares his thoughts on why the return of baseball meant so much in 2020.
Dec 28: Stefon Diggs Is Buffalo’s Miracle Man
The Buffalo Bills are headed to the playoffs having won their first AFC East title in 25 years.
The not-so-secret ingredient to Buffalo’s success in 2020? Receiver Stefon Diggs.
After leaving Minnesota on a down note Diggs has found a home In Orchard Park – and clicked especially well with Josh Allen, the Bills young QB.Sam Borden profiled Diggs for ESPN Cover Story, and joins the show to tell us about Diggs’ success in Buffalo, love for Bills Mafia and search for a favorite chicken wings spot.Then, Mina Kimes pays tribute to Patrick Mahomes, and his impact on sports and beyond in 2020.
Dec 25: When Eagles Fans Booed Santa – The Notorious True Story (Re-Air)
It’s one of the most infamous fan stories in sports history: when Eagles fans booed Santa at halftime of a game played at Franklin Field.But who was the Santa in question – and why was he booed and pelted with snowballs? Outside the Lines’ Jeremy Schaap joins Mina Kimes to reflect on the enduring legacy of the Philadelphia Santa.
Dec 24: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif – From Super Bowl Champ to the COVID Frontline
In February, Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after his team won Super Bowl LIV…and then, everything changed.With the world coming to a standstill as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Duvernay-Tardif, the only player in the NFL with a medical degree, immediately took action and began working at a long-term healthcare facility in his native Quebec.
In July, Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020-21 regular season to continue his efforts on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19.TSN feature producer Matt Dorman, who has covered Duvernay-Tardif’s singular journey up-close, shares the story of a remarkable talent and his incredible sacrifice.
Dec 23: Why Athletes Want Trademarks for Everything
Tompa Bay.Danny Dimes.The Process.You’ve heard these names and phrases.But do you know think of them as a business? ESPN’s Ryan Hockensmith takes us into the strange world of athletes and the trademarks they seek, as they try to turn viral moments and images into income.
Hear why trademark applications are booming, how they work, and the “all-time” trademark story of 2020 (hint: Lou Williams plus chicken wings).Then, Stephen A.Smith ponders Lebron James’s tumultuous and triumphant 2020.
Dec 22: Zach Lowe On NBA Season Tipoff
The NBA tips off tonight, in time to ensure Christmas basketball in 2020! Headed into the season, LeBron’s Lakers still sit atop the West, and maybe the entire league.
Mavericks star Luka Doncic appears to be the early frontrunner for MVP, but does he have what it takes to earn that status? And with Giannis Antetokounmpo signed and Kevin Durant returning from injury, can Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo repeat last year’s surprising playoff run? Zach Lowe brings us the latest on the James Harden situation, and more.
Then, Josh Hermsmeyer breaks down the best and worst of movie football coaches.
Dec 21: So Many Touchdowns – Bill Barnwell On High-Scoring NFL Offense
This Sunday in the NFL solidified the post-season fates of teams like the Seahawks and Bills.The games also showcased high-scoring offenses across the league like the Chiefs, Saints, Ravens, and Cowboys.Bill Barnwell joins the show to assess how and why scoring has increased, and how these high powered offenses will fare in each conference come playoffs.Then, the Muppets take Monday Night Football! Pablo talks with ESPN’s Rico Labbe, who directed and produced the Muppets for a special guest appearance.
Dec 18: Who’s In? Who’s Out? CFB Playoffs On The Line This Weekend
In one of the strangest college football seasons ever, the most recent college football playoff rankings have stirred up new controversy.
And the stakes are now raised: not just for each of the teams in Saturday’s conference title games, but also for the playoff committee itself.SEC Network’s Spencer Hall sorts through what may or may not be influencing these powerbrokers, and looks at how strong each of the title contenders really are.Then Sean Gibson, great-grandson of legendary baseball player Josh Gibson, discusses MLB designating Negro Leagues as major leagues, his great-grandfather’s career, and the impact on baseball.
Dec 17: The Infinite Race – What Drives the Legendary Tarahumara Runners
The latest 30 for 30 documentary “The Infinite Race” explores the story of the Tarahumara.The indigenous runners in Mexico are famous for running incredible distances on mountain trails, often barefoot or in sandals.Director Bernardo Ruiz takes us behind the making of the film, which grapples with the impact of modern, Western ultrarunners taking interest in the Tarahumara, and the pressures on their villages from drug cartels and violence.
Dec 16: Why Shaq Barrett’s On A Mission For NFL Defensive Greatness
Shaq Barrett’s road to the NFL was anything but a given.Joining the Broncos after many childhood and college challenges, Barrett struggled to distinguish himself through his first seasons in the NFL.But a special summit for pass rushers set him on a path to greatness.Now he’s a key factor in Tampa Bay’s stout defense.
ESPN’s Sam Borden shares what motivates Barrett, and how he’s upped his game with the Bucs.Then, Dave Fleming brings his “Tao of Poo” to Lamar Jackson’s situation vs.the Browns on Monday night.
Dec 15: Malika Andrews on Kyrie, KD, and the Brooklyn Nets
It’s been nearly a year and half since superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant both signed with the Brooklyn Nets, a move that promised to reset the balance of power in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.But with Durant recovering from a ruptured achilles tendon, it wasn’t until this Sunday that basketball fans finally got to see these two on the same court.
Durant and Irving both looked sharp in their preseason debut, but there are still plenty of question marks about how these two stars will co-exist.Kyrie has spent the better part of training camp refusing to fulfill his contractually obligated media availability.And Durant hasn’t played in an NBA game in 18 months.Add to that first time head coach Steve Nash, and rumors swirling around James Harden’s interest in joining the Nets, and it’s clear–this season in Brooklyn will be anything but boring.
Malika Andrews brings us the latest from inside Barclays Center.Then, Cleveland native Jeff Passan joins the show to discuss how his hometown is reacting to their baseball team changing its name.
Dec 14: Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 14
Sunday’s NFL action had it all: the Bills won their second primetime game in six days, handing the Steelers their second loss of the season.And we saw a number of upsets, like Jalen Hurts and the Eagles beating the Saints, and surprise performances, like Mitch Trubisky and the Bears.Elsewhere, the Dolphins revealed some weaknesses in Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, and the Raiders were blown out by the Colts.
Bill Barnwell joins the show to explain what it all means for the playoff picture as the regular season nears a close.Then, more on Florida basketball player Keyontae Johnson, who collapsed during a game on Saturday.
Dec 11: The Inheritance of Archie Manning
Archie Manning is a beloved football icon, known as the father of NFL QBs Peyton and Eli Manning, and for his own success at Ole Miss and with the Saints.Archie grew up in tiny Drew, Mississippi and was vaulted to college football stardom in 1969 just a few weeks after suffering a dire family tragedy.Wright Thompson spent time with Archie and his wife Olivia during close-to-home pandemic life, and shares his reporting on the formation of a football patriarch.
Dec 10: Is Hope Building For The Washington Football Team?
In an NFL season full of unlikely things, the Washington Football Team notched a real head-scratching outcome when they handed the Pittsburgh Steelers their first loss of the season, 23-17.
The victory came as a surprise, since Washington’s record is just 5-7.But it seems that hope is starting to brew for Washington fans, and even the NFC East as a whole.ESPN’s John Keim has covered the NFL in Washington since the 1990s.He breaks down how far the team might go, the amazing return of QB Alex Smith after a near-fatal injury, and how head coach Ron Rivera has run the team while battling cancer.Then, author Tim Wigmore of “The Best: How Elite Athletes Are Made” talks about younger siblings’ athletic advantage.
Dec 9: Twice The Fight: A Football Family Battles With Cancer
Andy Hoffman and his family found the national spotlight back in 2013 when his 7-year-old son, Jack, who was battling a brain tumor, scored a 69-yard touchdown in a Nebraska Red and White intrasquad football game.Since then, Andy has made it his mission to help his son and children like him to beat this disease, by raising funds for pediatric brain cancer research through his Team Jack foundation.
Seven year later, Jack, now 15, is healthy enough to pursue his dreams of playing high school football.But over the summer, his father Andy was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.Now, Andy Hoffman is still fighting: to raise awareness for pediatric brain cancer, to savor the time he has left, and to cheer for his son on the football field.As part of ESPN’s V Week, Chris Connelly joins the show to bring us this story, as told by E:60.
Dec 8: Where In The World Is James Harden?
On December 1, the Houston Rockets opened up training camp without their star James Harden.
After requesting a trade, the face of the Rockets franchise has been spotted partying in Atlanta and Vegas.After an off-season full of upheaval, the Rockets are searching for a new identity: with a new front office, head coach, and supporting cast of characters.
Tim MacMahon joins the show to tell us about the current, turbulent state of the franchise, including why Harden wants out, and how this season might play out for Houston.Then, Pablo reflects on the anniversary of John Lennon’s death, which was announced during Monday Night Football.
Dec 7: Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 13, Redemption, and the Playoff Picture
As the NFL playoff picture gets in focus, Sunday’s Week 13 games brought redemption for some.Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield threw five touchdown passes in the Browns’ rout over the Titans.The Jets found a bizarre new way to remain winless, losing in the final seconds to Derek Carr and the Raiders.
And in a day seemingly full of NFL weirdness, Jalen Hurts took over at QB for the Eagles, and the Seahawks lost to the Giants.Bill Barnwell details the “why” and “how” of Sunday’s action, with implications for this year’s playoffs.Then “Laughter Permitted” podcast host and former USWNT soccer player Julie Foudy explains the recent legal settlement between US Soccer and the women’s team.
Dec 4: The Curious Case of Frank Gore
Frank Gore might be the most underrated legend in the NFL.He sits number 3 on the all-time rushing list behind only Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton.He’s been to a Super Bowl and made 5 Pro Bowls.But now, in his 16th NFL season, Gore finds himself on a team that might not win a single game.Tim Keown joins the show to examine why Gore has remained so under appreciated despite putting up Hall of Fame level numbers, how he manages to keep pushing forward despite playing on the NFL’s worst team, and whether he can continue playing into 2021 and beyond.Then, Ryan McGee joins the show to talk about tomorrow’s surprising matchup between BYU and Coastal Carolina, and educate us on the ways and customs of Myrtle Beach, SC.
Dec 3: Tiger Woods – America’s Son
At just 14 years old, Tiger Woods once called himself the “Michael Jordan” of golf.
His rise to sports superstardom in the late 1990s sparked “Tigermania” across America, which only grew after his Masters win in 1997.”Tiger Woods: America’s Son” is a special from The Undefeated airing on ESPN and coming to ESPN+ next week.It’s the story of Woods’ ascendence, through the prism of race and history.The documentary’s director, ESPN’s Lauren Stowell, shares how she made the film, and why she wanted to tell this side of Tiger’s story.
Dec 2: Beyond Soccer – Why Diego Maradona Meant Everything
The world lost one of the biggest names in sports when Diego Maradona died on November 25th, at age 60.
Early in his career, Maradona was a young soccer star for a struggling Argentina.As his country reinvented itself, he went on to become an infamous global icon.Known for his creativity and dominant goal scoring, Maradona brought Argentinians a World Cup victory when they needed it most, all while becoming entangled in scandal after scandal.
ESPN senior writer Wright Thompson shares his reporting on the soccer legend, and what his death means to his home country of Argentina.
Dec 1: Rachel Nichols on NBA’s Return to Action Outside The Bubble
It hasn’t even been two months since the LA Lakers were crowned NBA champions, and the league is already gearing up for a new season.
Today, as teams open up training camps amidst a surging pandemic, Rachel Nichols joins the show to discuss if basketball can safely happen outside of a bubble, and how free agency has shifted power in the league after the shortest offseason in NBA history.Then, Mina Kimes tells us what it was like to be a lifeline on David Chang’s history-making episode of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”
Nov 30: Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 12 + COVID Changes
Sunday’s slate of NFL games ranged from the completely normal to increasingly bizarre.
Aaron Rodgers aimed to send the Bears back to hibernation, with a dominant Packers victory.The 49ers started to get their groove back, beating the LA Rams on a last-second field goal.COVID chaos was in the mix, too, with the Broncos starting a wide receiver at QB due to a team coronavirus outbreak, and the Ravens-Steelers game moved yet again.Bill Barnwell breaks down everything we saw on Sunday, and what to expect as the league grapples with its biggest bout of COVID chaos yet.Then, Pablo examines a different kind of chaos in Saturday’s boxing bouts.
Nov 27: A Rare Conversation with Former Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkie (Re-Air)
When the Philadelphia 76ers announced they were hiring Daryl Morey to be their president of basketball operations, it turned heads across the NBA.Not just because of Morey’s track record with the Houston Rockets, but because of his close relationship with former 76ers GM Sam Hinkie.Hinkie’s tenure with the 76ers was polarizing.
With some accusing him of tanking and turning the team into a laughingstock, and others admiring his long-term vision for the team’s success…a vision that has come to be embodied by the now ubiquitous phrase “Trust the Process.” Hinkie, who was ousted from the franchise in 2016, now works not in basketball but in business, and has founded a venture capital firm called Eighty-Seven Capital.In a re-spin of an ESPN Daily bonus episode, Hinkie joins Pablo Torre for a rare, wide-ranging interview that covers his time with the Sixers, his exit from basketball, and his perspective on life away from the game.
Nov 26: Rocky Bleier – From The Steelers To Vietnam And Back (Re-Air)
For generations, countless men and women from around the sports world have served in our nation’s military.But none have a story quite like Rocky Bleier.Bleier won a college football national championship with Notre Dame, but during his rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was drafted into the U.S.Army.
Three months into his deployment to Vietnam, Bleier was shot through the thigh and suffered a grenade blast to his foot.Doctors told him he’d never play football again.
But Bleier would go on to rejoin the Steelers and win four Super Bowls with the team in the 1970s.In 2018, Bleier and ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi traveled to Vietnam, to the Hiep Duc Valley, where Bleier served, and where many of his fellow soldiers were killed in an ambush.We re-spin this show as the Steelers continue their undefeated 2020 season.
Nov 25: Jeremy Lin on His NBA Hopes, “Linsanity,” and a Season in China
Jeremy Lin rocketed to basketball stardom with the Knicks, and “Linsanity” ensued.But in 2019 when his Toronto Raptors won it all, free agent Lin couldn’t land a contract in the league.
He spent the last season in China with the Beijing Ducks, where he says he gained fresh perspective on the game, from technical skill to his mentality.Lin now hopes to return to the NBA, and he’s entered free agency for the 2020-21 season.He joins the show to reflect on the ups and downs of his career, and why he feels more ready than ever for the NBA.
Nov 24: College Basketball’s Uncertain Return to the Court
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last March, it forced sports everywhere to shut down.And while the NBA, NHL and MLB were all eventually able to return to action, college basketball was forced to cancel the rest of their season…including their marquee event, the NCAA Tournament.
Now, more than eight months later, college hoops makes its cautious return with a tipoff on Wednesday.Myron Medcalf tells us the teams and players to look out for on the court, and also whether the sport itself will be able to complete its season…and what March Madness might look like in a pandemic.Then, Heather Dinich sets the scene for tomorrow’s college football playoff rankings, amidst another round of postponements and positive COVID tests.
Nov 23: NFL Insider Dan Graziano Breaks Down Week 11
Week 11 in the NFL brought plenty of drama.Two overtime finishes, a last-second touchdown on the Vegas strip, a devastating injury to Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow, and the benching of Miami Dolphins signal caller, Tua Tagovailoa.Oh and Taysom Hill made his long-awaited debut as a starting quarterback in New Orleans.
ESPN NFL Insider Dan Graziano joins the show to break down Sunday’s action.Plus, more on the legacy of the Ice Bucket Challenge, and saying good-bye to its second co-founder, who just died from ALS.
Nov 20: Can the Pittsburgh Steelers Go Undefeated?
The Pittsburgh Steelers (9-0) are the NFL’s last remaining unbeaten team, thanks to a stingy defense and an offense loaded with talented skill players.After narrow victories over Tennessee, Dallas, and Baltimore created quite a bit of skepticism, the question still remains: can the Pittsburgh Steelers go undefeated? Former Steelers defensive back Ryan Clark joins the show to discuss the evolution of Ben Roethlisberger, the rise of Chase Claypool, why Mike Tomlin is under-appreciated, and whether a team that is carried by its defense can prevail over the high-powered offenses in today’s NFL.Then, on the news of the Warriors’ Klay Thompson’s injury, Andre Iguodala weighs in on his friend’s road to recovery.
Nov 19: Seahawks’ DK Metcalf: Chasing Down Glory
No athlete in the NFL is quite like Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf.He’s a terrifying combination of size, and strength, and speed.
But how did Metcalf become this incredible threat for Seattle? ESPN senior writer Dave Fleming tells us what drives 22-year-old Metcalf, and how the Seahawks are turning him into even more: Fleming profiled Metcalf for ESPN Cover Story, out today on ESPN.com.Then, Tim Keown talks to us from inside the Ball family compound, on the night LaMelo Ball is drafted into the NBA.
Nov 18: Breaking Down Tonight’s NBA Draft – The Players, The Picks, and Virtual Fashion
Tonight, in a studio in Bristol, Connecticut, the 2020 NBA Draft will (finally) unfold.After a five month postponement, tonight’s draft will no doubt look different from drafts past: no cheering fans or players shaking the commissioner’s hand on stage.
But with top prospects Lamelo Ball, James Wiseman, and Anthony Edwards all still in play for the number one pick, and players still donning their finest suits over Zoom, there will be no shortage of entertainment.ESPN’s Mike Schmitz, who scouts draft prospects around the globe, tells us what to expect from the top three picks — Minnesota, Golden State, and Charlotte — and shares which prospects will have an immediate impact on the league.
Then, Pablo shares the story of a racing pigeon who was sold at auction for a record *beaking* $1.9 million.
Nov 17: Woj On NBA Trades And His Giannis Podcast Special
The NBA’s trade moratorium ended Monday, with rumored trades of huge stars like James Harden and Russell Westbrook, and the shuffling of Chris Paul to the Suns.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski brings us the latest as he doggedly works his sources and gets trade tips.Plus, as the draft approaches, Woj dishes about his new series on reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the 2013 draft that brought him to the NBA.Hear how Giannis got into basketball as a child in Greece, and what he’s done in two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Nov 16: Murray Magic and the Return of Jameis: Domonique Foxworth on NFL Week 10
The NFL’s play of the season is being called the “Hail Murray.” Kyler Murray’s 43-yard prayer was answered by DeAndre Hopkins among and above three Bills defenders to give the Cardinals a 32-30 win.It was perhaps the craziest moment in an already wild day in the NFL…a day that saw the return of Jameis Winston after Saints starter Drew Brees left the game with a rib injury, as well as a Ravens-Patriots game that was almost invisible at times, thanks to some wacky New England weather.
ESPN analyst and former NFL cornerback Domonique Foxworth takes us through Sunday’s biggest moments, and examines the NFL’s new proposal for diversity in coaching and management.Then, Pablo discusses the path of new Marlins GM Kim Ng, MLB’s first female GM.
Nov 13: Is This Kyler Murray’s Moment?
He’s maybe 5′ 10″….he’s just 23 years old…but in only his second season, Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray has been playing at MVP level.The first overall pick from the 2019 draft is starting to deliver success to a Cardinals team that hasn’t been competitive since Carson Palmer was under center.Coached by Kliff Kingsbury, who mentored QBs like Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield in college, much of the Cardinals’ magic relies on the relationship between Kingsbury and Murray.Ahead of their matchup with the 7-2 Buffalo Bills, we examine what’s made Murray so effective this season, his unique abilities (including his baseball background), and if 2020 has the makings of a Murray MVP season, with ESPN Cardinals reporter Josh Weinfuss.
Then, Bob Ryan shares a special tribute to late Boston sports legend Tom Heinsohn.
Nov 12: Jeff Passan on MLB Offseason Scandals
This week, news of recently re-hired White Sox manager Tony La Russa’s second drunk driving arrest sent shockwaves through the baseball world.
La Russa is among a group of MLB decision makers which includes newly rehired Red Sox manager Alex Cora, and former Astros GM AJ Hinch, who seem to be getting second chances, in spite of their past questionable actions.As we make our way through this MLB offseason, Jeff Passan joins the show to bring us the latest on the La Russa story, and also break down new Mets owner Steven Cohen’s introductory press conference.Then, Katie Barnes explains women’s college basketball prospect Azzi Fudd, and her decision to commit to UConn.
Nov 11: Rocky Bleier: From The Steelers To Vietnam And Back
For generations, countless men and women from around the sports world have served in our nation’s military.But none have a story quite like Rocky Bleier.Bleier won a college football national championship with Notre Dame, but during his rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was drafted into the U.S.Army.
Three months into his deployment to Vietnam, Bleier was shot through the thigh and suffered a grenade blast to his foot.Doctors told him he’d never play football again.But Bleier would go on to rejoin the Steelers and win four Super Bowls with the team in the 1970s.In 2018, Bleier and ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi traveled to Vietnam, to the Hiep Duc Valley, where Bleier served, and where many of his fellow soldiers were killed in an ambush.
Today, in honor of Veterans Day, Tom Rinaldi joins the show to recount Bleier’s incredible football comeback in the wake of a devastating combat injury, and how his return to Vietnam helped him reconcile with the past.
Nov 10: Scott Van Pelt on a Masters Unlike Any Other
The 2020 Masters Tournament tees off Thursday from Augusta, and it’s going to look, sound and feel very different from its traditional April home.Gone are the pastel azaleas and the roar of the patrons; in are fall foliage and sounds of silence from Amen Corner.
But it’s still The Masters, and someone will be getting a green jacket.Will Tiger Woods repeat his 2019 victory? Or will current favorite Bryson DeChambeau win his second straight major? We check in with Scott Van Pelt as he prepares to make the journey to Augusta, and ask him what he’s watching for in this year’s tournament.
Then, ESPN’s Bonnie Ford brings us her reporting on the Vendée Globe, one of sailing’s most grueling races, and is considered the ultimate socially distanced sporting event.
Nov 9: Bill Barnwell – NFL Week 9 + Midseason Awards
The NFL’s regular season is more than half done, and Bill Barnwell gives us a clearer picture of who’s leading, who’s trailing behind, and why.The Saints decimated Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.The Steelers clung to victory against the Cowboys to remain undefeated.And the Bills upset MVP-frontrunner Russell Wilson and his Seahawks.
Hear more on Bill’s midseason awards, and what could make Monday’s Patriots-Jets game interesting.Then, Pablo explores the relationship between sports and White House, and how it might change.
Nov 6: Death At The U – Who Killed Bryan Pata?
Bryan Pata was a standout defensive lineman for the University of Miami Hurricanes, and the 22-year-old was projected to be a 2nd or 3rd round pick in the NFL Draft.But on November 7th, 2006, after returning home from football practice, Pata was shot and killed in the parking lot of his apartment complex.14 years later, Pata’s murder remains unsolved.
Over the years, police have pursued multiple leads in Pata’s case, but they have never made an arrest, or even publicly named a person of interest.But now, during a recent court hearing, police say they believe they know who was responsible for Pata’s death, and that an arrest will come in the foreseeable future.ESPN’s Paula Lavigne, who reported extensively on the case, brings us up to date on the investigation.
Nov 5: Clemson’s Rising Star QB: DJ Uiagalelei
With QB Trevor Lawrence sidelined with COVID-19, Clemson’s freshman backup QB DJ Uiagalelei steps into the spotlight this Saturday vs.Notre Dame.
Uiagalelei has been touted for his arm strength and decision making, and received his first Power Five offer in the sixth grade.David Hale brings us everything you need to know about Clemson’s rising star, from his early beginnings to what he’s contributed to Clemson so far.Then, “Ted Lasso” star Jason Sudeikis joins the show to tell us about being a bright spot in the pop culture/sports world in 2020.
Nov 4: Replay: The National Anthem in Sports
We hear it before every major game: “The Star Spangled Banner.” Throughout sports history, the national anthem has unified the U.S.
in historic moments.It’s also served as a platform to call for change.And right now, athletes are staking their claim on the anthem more than ever, to make history themselves.In a respin of our September episode, we explore the topic with guests Dr.Damion Thomas, sports curator of the National Museum of African American History and Culture; Jon Batiste, musician and band leader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (who performed the national anthem for the NBA’s 2020 restart); and Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce.
Nov 3: Doc Rivers on the Rise of Athletes’ Focus on Voting
Election Day 2020 has arrived.It’s an unprecedented one in many ways, including that dozens of stadiums and arenas are serving as polling places.That’s a direct result of athlete attention on voting, which took off this summer across sports leagues, but particularly in the NBA.
Veteran NBA player and coach Doc Rivers takes us behind the scenes, to tell the story of how – against a backdrop of social and political unrest, as players gathered in the “bubble” due to the pandemic – voting took center stage.Plus we hear from voters outside Staples Center in Los Angeles.
You can find information on where and how to vote HERE .
Nov 2: Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 8
Halfway through the NFL’s regular season, its power players look the same…but somehow different.The once mighty Patriots have now lost four in a row, and the Bills lead the AFC East, with Tua Tagovailoa’s Miami Dolphins gaining traction.The Steelers remain undefeated and sit atop their division, so how good are they? Then in the NFC East, the Eagles lead the pack with a stunning 3-5-1 record.Bill Barnwell brings us up to speed on all of Sunday’s NFL action.
Plus US Soccer alum, Angel City FC co-owner, and “Laughter Permitted” podcast host Julie Foudy talks about the rise in viewers for women’s sports.
Oct 30: Bonus Episode – A Rare Conversation with Former Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkie
When the Philadelphia 76ers announced this week they were hiring Daryl Morey to be their president of basketball operations, it turned heads across the NBA.Not just because of Morey’s track record with the Houston Rockets, but because of his close relationship with former 76ers GM Sam Hinkie.Hinkie’s tenure with the 76ers was polarizing.With some accusing him of tanking and turning the team into a laughingstock, and others admiring his long-term vision for the team’s success…a vision that has come to be embodied by the now ubiquitous phrase “Trust the Process.” Hinkie, who was ousted from the franchise in 2016, now works not in basketball but in business, and has founded a venture capital firm called Eighty-Seven Capital.
He joins Pablo Torre for an extremely rare, wide-ranging interview that covers his time with the Sixers, his exit from basketball, and his new life away from the game.
Oct 30: Trevor Lawrence, COVID-19, and College Football
On Thursday, Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence announced he had tested positive for COVID-19, shocking the college football world.David Hale explains what the diagnosis means for Lawrence and the rest of the sport.Then, after the Big Ten decided to reverse its initial decision to not play this fall, their season is underway…and the conference is now dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Wisconsin Badgers, leading them to cancel their game this weekend with Nebraska.In another Big Ten showdown, Ohio State plays Penn State this Saturday, featuring possible Heisman challenger QB Justin Fields.
Kirk Herbstreit joins the show to preview that matchup, and to assess the college football landscape so far.Plus, a preview of our first-ever bonus episode.Former 76ers basketball executive Sam Hinkie gives a rare interview, as his friend and colleague Daryl Morey takes his old job.
Oct 29: Is Antonio Brown Worth the Risk for Brady and the Bucs?
Antonio Brown is back in the NFL after agreeing to a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday.On the field, Brown is one of the most prolific wide receivers in NFL history, with over 11,000 receiving yards and 80 touchdowns in a career that began as a humble 6th round pick.
But off the field, Brown has had ongoing issues: from social media outbursts to troubling sexual assault allegations and an arrest.After serving an eight-game suspension for violating the NFLs Personal Conduct Policy, Brown will reunite with Buccaneers QB Tom Brady, who was Browns teammate for one game in New England last season, before Brown was released by the Patriots.Mina Kimes, who profiled Brown back in 2015 for ESPN the Magazine, joins the show to discuss his tumultuous journey to this point, and to assess whether the hall-of-fame caliber wide receiver is worth the risk for an already surging Buccaneer offense.Then, Pablo weighs in on the surprising news that the Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly about to hire former Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey.
Oct 28: L.A.
Dodgers Are World Series Champions
The Los Angeles Dodgers are your 2020 World Series Champions.After a thrilling come-from-behind victory in Game 6, including a solo Mookie Betts home run, LA finally earned its first championship ring since 1988.But the victory was as strange as the season which preceded it, with Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner receiving COVID test results and getting pulled from the game.Jeff Passan joins the show from the scene in Arlington to break down what happened in Game 6.
Why did the Rays pull pitcher Blake Snell? And what does the completion of this season mean for MLB going forward? Then: a tribute to Edmonton Oilers great Joey Moss.
Oct 27: Tua Time Has Finally Arrived in Miami
After drafting rookie Tua Tagovailoa fifth overall this April, the Miami Dolphins immediately envisioned him as their franchise quarterback of the future.But with Tua coming off a hip injury that ended his college career, the Dolphins decided to start the season with veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who led the team to a surprising 3-3 record heading into their bye week.
Now, despite Fitzpatricks success, Miami is starting Tua against the LA Rams on Sunday.Whats behind the roster change, and how is the locker room reacting? ESPN Miami reporter Cameron Wolfe explains whats at stake for the Dolphins at QB, and how the team and fans alike are responding to the prospect of Tua Time in Miami.Then, how Mike Tysons podcast might surprise you.
Oct 26: Bill Barnwell: NFL Week 7 and Trades:
Sundays slate of NFL games brought a few wild endings and surprising upsets.The Cardinals beat the Seahawks in the final minute of overtime.The Browns defeated the Bengals thanks to a last second Baker Mayfield touchdown pass.Todd Gurley accidentally scored a touchdown for the Falcons, setting up Matthew Stafford to deliver a Lions touchdown on the final play of the game – giving the Falcons another new way to lose.
Bill Barnwell breaks down this Sundays NFL action, and whats at stake ahead of the NFL trade deadline, just 8 days away.
Plus, Khabib Nurmagomedov claimed his 29th straight victory on Saturday.Hear why hes retiring.
Oct 23: Jon Gruden’s Raiders and Tom Brady’s Bucs: A Special Relationship
The Las Vegas Raiders take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, pitting Raiders head coach Jon Gruden against both his former team and former “Tuck Rule” game foe, Tom Brady.Gruden’s personality and coaching style has long been a part of NFL lore, throughout his first stint with the Oakland Raiders, time in Tampa, and now a return to the newly moved Vegas team.ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez gets at what makes Gruden tick, brings us up to speed on the 2020 Raiders, and weighs the impact of a rash of positive COVID tests.Plus, how the Raiders are settling into their Nevada home (and how Gutierrez is settling into his Vegas digs).
Oct 22: UFC 254: Can Khabib Nurmagomedov Stay Undefeated?
UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov is 28-0 inside the octagon.He is the UFC Lightweight Champion and viewed by many as the best pound-for-pound fighter in mixed martial arts.But on Saturday at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi, Nurmagomedov will face his greatest challenge yet: defending his title against his highly-skilled opponent, Justin Gaethje, and doing so just a few months removed from the death of his father and trainer, who passed away from COVID-19 in July.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto previews Saturday’s highly anticipated showdown, and tells us how Nurmagomedov is guided by his “father’s plan.” Then, Sam Borden shares the story of former Packers backup QB Graham Harrell playing flip cup with Aaron Rodgers at a fraternity party.
Oct 21: The Most Epic Mascot Fight in College Football History
As the Big Ten kicks off this weekend, we remember the time Ohio State’s Brutus Buckeye and Ohio University’s Rufus the Bobcat got into a mascot brawl for the ages.It was 2010, and regardless of who won, the fight went viral.Did Rufus attack Brutus unfairly and without warning? Or was it simply a loveable underdog taking a jab at a college football powerhouse? Dave Fleming brings us the epic tale of that fateful September day, and the years of rivalry behind it.Plus: rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa was named starter for the Miami Dolphins, making veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick a backup yet again.
Oct 20: Jeff Passan on a World Series Unlike Any Other
Tonight, Game One of the 2020 World Series gets underway between the Dodgers and Rays.
It’s a series that promises to be as strange and intriguing as the season it concludes.Will Clayton Kershaw exorcise his playoff demons and lead the Dodgers to their first title in three decades? Or will the aggressively unconventional Tampa Bay Rays upset LA to claim their first-ever championship? And with a neutral site location and limited fans in the seats, will it feel like a real World Series? Jeff Passan explains how LA and Tampa made it this far, and what the fall classic in a pandemic will look like.
Then, an ode to hockey’s preeminent broadcasting scholar, Mike “Doc” Emrick, who announced his retirement on Monday.
Oct 19: Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 6
The NFL’s sixth Sunday saw Aaron Rodgers suffer at the hands of the Buccaneers relentless defense, while Ryan Tannehill and the Titans clung to victory over the Texans in overtime.The Titans and Steelers both remain undefeated at 5-0, but the hapless Jets fell to 0-6 amidst drama between head coach Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.Bill Barnwell brings us his insights on this weekend’s football action, and if this season has met expectations surrounding the pandemic.Then, the weirdest college football commitment video we’ve ever seen (if that is even what it was?).
Oct.16: How Saban’s Absence Will Affect Georgia vs.
On Saturday, #3 Georgia visits #2 Alabama in what could be the biggest game of the college football season.Despite not playing each other every year, the Bulldogs-Crimson Tide rivalry has a rich history in recent seasons, with numerous high profile matchups that have all ended in heartbreak for Georgia.But this year might be different.Especially because Alabama will be without head coach Nick Saban, who will miss the game after testing positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.ESPN’s Bill Connelly explains how Saban’s absence will affect the Crimson Tide, and what the Bulldogs need to do to finally come out on top.
Then, Max Kellerman joins Pablo to preview this Saturday’s big fight between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez.
Oct.15: Tyrann Mathieu: How the “Honey Badger” Became an NFL Leader
Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu earned the nickname “Honey Badger,” for his fearlessness, speed and dynamic play on the football field.But one trait he doesn’t share with nature’s biggest badass is not caring.Mathieu’s dedication to his teammates and community have made him a leader, on and off the field, in spite of battling and injuries and skepticism about his character.Domonique Foxworth wrote a Cover Story on Mathieu for ESPN.com, and joins the show to break down what makes him a model modern NFL defenseman.
Then, how the saga of the LSU-Florida cancellation plays into the bigger story of sports safety and the SEC.
Oct.14: Closing Out the NBA Bubble With Malika Andrews
The NBA bubble has finally come to a close, with the LA Lakers crowned champion, and no positive COVID tests throughout.The impressive feat has set a high bar for sports in the pandemic.
ESPN’s Malika Andrews was the longest tenured reporter inside the NBA bubble, and she returns to the show to chronicle her exit from Orlando, and reflect on what it all meant.She’s joined by ESPN producer Malinda Adams, who was also on site from Day One.And, we get some insights on what’s next for the 2021 NBA season.
Oct.13: Buffalo Bills: Super Bowl Contenders?
As if 2020 couldn’t get any weirder….the undefeated Buffalo Bills sit atop the AFC standings.
The Bills take on the Tennessee Titans tonight in a rare Tuesday evening game, the result of multiple recent positive COVID tests on the Titans.With a win on Tuesday, the Bills would join Seattle as the only 5-0 teams in the NFL, a feat that surprisingly has not been due to their highly touted defense, but rather from their the play of their offense, and its leader, QB Josh Allen.After several years of inconsistency, Allen’s play has improved dramatically this season, and he now ranks 3rd in the NFL in quarterback rating.ESPN Bills reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques makes the case for why these Bills could have what it takes to make a potential Super Bowl run.Then, Mike Schur, mind behind “The Office” “Parks and Recreation” and “The Good Place” remembers Reds legend Joe Morgan.
Oct.12: Lakers Are NBA Champions + Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 5
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are NBA champions, after a six game final series against Miami.Many dedicated the win to deceased Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
Hard to believe, but the longest season in NBA history began almost one year ago.
The league has struggled with a pandemic hiatus, creating a bubble, and navigating a social movement against racial injustice that swept all of sports.And the Lakers, after all of it, came out on top, in a 106-93 win.Dave McMenamin shares all the things this victory means.Then Bill Barnwell brings us the latest on this week in the NFL: the impact of Dak Prescotts injury, how the Raiders were able to contain Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, and to what degree NFL schedule changes affect which teams.
Oct.9: Is This D’Eriq King’s Heisman Moment?
When the #7 Miami Hurricanes take on #1 Clemson on Saturday night, it will be a matchup of two of this year’s top contenders for the Heisman Trophy.
One is a household name to college football fans: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, whose golden boy image and physical gifts have made his success seem preordained.
The other, is shorter, less heralded…and has been underestimated his entire career…Miami QB D’Eriq King.King’s road to this marquee matchup has been anything but normal.After beginning his career at the University of Houston, King was asked to redshirt as a senior when the team got off to a rocky start.Instead of returning to the Cougars, King transferred to Miami for his senior year.
Off the field, he’s faced personal tragedy: his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and his father died this February of a heart attack.Sam Khan Jr.
has covered King since his high school football days, and joins the show to share King’s unique story.Then: an ode to Dion Waiters, the most unlikely possible NBA champion, ahead of Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Oct.8: From the Air Raid to Bigfoot: Is the SEC Ready for the Mike Leach Experience?
Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach is unlike anyone else in college football.After nearly two decades at Texas Tech and Washington State, he’s now taken his talents to the SEC, where his team has upset reigning NCAA champions LSU and lost to lowly Arkansas through the first two weeks of the season.Ryan McGee brings us some of his all-time Mike Leach stories, and discusses how his unique personality might be received in the toughest conference in college football.Then: Scottie Pippen helps you fall asleep.
7: MLB Divisional Storylines + Rising Latino Stars
MLB’s divisional series saw tons of action on Tuesday.In the ALDS, the New York Yankees fell to the Tampa Bay Rays, bringing that series to 1-1.
Earlier, the Houston Astros went up 2-0 over the Oakland A’s, thanks to George Springer’s homers.ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan brings us his playoff insights from Arlington, Texas, where he’s covering the NLDS: Ronald Acuna Jr.and the Atlanta Braves defeated the Miami Marlins 9-5, then the LA Dodgers won the first game of their series with the San Diego Padres.Later, Mauricio Pedroza joins the show to explore the rising prominence of Latino players in MLB.
6: Inside the Bubble with Malika Andrews for Game 4 of the NBA Finals
After Jimmy Butler’s dominant performance in Game 3 of the NBA Finals and the trash talk that came with it, Tuesday’s Game 4 promises to turn up the heat (pun intended) on the Lakers.Miami has ruined LA’s chances of a sweep, and now hopes to ride the wave of momentum to even the series.The Heat are also looking to get their injured stars Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic back from injury.Malika Andrews joins the show from inside the bubble, where she’s been for nearly 100 days, to tell us what she expects to see in Game 4, and what she’s learned from covering the strangest postseason in NBA history.
5: Bill Barnwell on NFC East + Impact of COVID-19
A crisis over coronavirus spread across the NFL in recent days.Following a rash of positive tests on the Tennessee Titans, Patriots QB Cam Newton also tested positive, as did the Chiefs practice QB Jordan Ta’amu.The Titans-Steelers game, scheduled for Sunday, has been postponed to later in the season, and the Patriots-Chiefs game, also scheduled for Sunday, is now tonight, in a Monday doubleheader.Bill Barnwell breaks down the impact of COVID-19 on NFL teams’ schedules and rosters, and assesses the NFC East, currently the worst division through four Sundays of action.Then, a remembrance of St.Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson.
2: WNBA Finals + Satou Sabally on Her Rookie Season
The WNBA finals tip off tonight in the Bradenton, Florida bubble.The Seattle Storm, led by Sue Bird in her bid for a fourth championship, take on 2020 MVP A’ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces.
ESPN’s LaChina Robinson previews the contenders and the path that got them here.Then, Dallas Wings All-Rookie star Satou Sabally shares stories from inside the WNBA bubble.We talked to her throughout the summer, to get a portrait of a rookie season unlike any other.Plus, Josh McCown on what it’s like to be with the Eagles as the NFL’s only “Quarantine Quarterback.”
1: The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius
Runner Oscar Pistorius became the first double leg amputee to compete in the Olympic Games, when he took the track in London in 2012, inspiring athletes around the world.Then in 2013 Pistorius’ girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead at his home, and he was convicted of her killing, in one of South Africa’s most infamous trials.Dan Williams was a correspondent for ESPN in South Africa from 2007 to 2013, where he covered Pistorius’ athletic career and court proceedings.Williams is featured in the four-part documentary “The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius,” available on ESPN+ now.
Sep.30: LeBron James and the Miami Heat: From Champions to Breakup to NBA Finals Opponents
The NBA Finals tip off tonight between the Miami Heat and LA Lakers.
And while the series is loaded with intriguing storylines, perhaps none is bigger than the drama surrounding LeBron James facing off against his former team.LeBron won two rings in Miami, and with the help of superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, seemed destined for years more of dominance.But in 2014, LeBron decided to take his talents back to Cleveland, stunning many within the Heat organization: Heat team president Pat Riley was furious that a team he thought would be a decade-long dynasty went up in smoke.ESPN’s Brian Windhorst takes us inside the complicated relationship between LeBron and Riley…and what it means for one of the most unexpected NBA Championship matchups we’ve seen in years.
Sep.29: MLB Playoffs Preview
Ready or not, it’s time for playoff baseball! After one of the strangest (and shortest) MLB regular seasons in history, the postseason begins today…and it’s shaping up to be equally bizarre.16 teams have advanced to the Wild Card round, which consists of a best-of-three game series played at the higher seeded team’s home ballpark.The format is primed for unpredictability, in a season that has been defined by it.
Will the Dodgers and Yankees fulfill the predictions of so many, and cruise to a World Series battle of the titans? Or will some of the more unexpected participants, like the Miami Marlins and the Toronto (aka Buffalo) Blue Jays shock everyone? Jeff Passan joins the show to explore how we ended up with these wild playoffs, and what he expects to see going forward.Then, “Remember the Titans” at 20: how Trevor Rabin’s iconic score embedded itself in sports history.
Sep.28: Bill Barnwell on NFL Undefeated Teams + Monday Preview
Through three NFL Sundays only a handful of teams remain undefeated.Russell Wilson led the 3-0 Seahawks to a thrilling win over Dak and the Cowboys.The 3-0 Bills blew a 28-3 lead, but Josh Allen’s 4th quarter heroics secured the victory for Buffalo.Meanwhile, the 3-0 Bears scored three touchdowns in the 4th, coming from behind to beat the Falcons.Bill Barnwell compares the league’s leaders, and previews tonight’s Chiefs-Ravens game.Plus, a few words show the power of LeBron James.
25: SEC Football Kicks Off
After months of debate and uncertainty, the SEC kicks off this weekend, three weeks later than originally planned.It promises to be a strange season in so many ways…there are no non-conference games, limited fans will be allowed in stadiums, and tailgating will be forbidden on campus.Meanwhile, coaches like LSU’s Ed Orgeron and Alabama’s Nick Saban focus on preparing their players for the new normal.And new coaches like Mississippi State’s Mike Leach and Ole Miss’s Lane Kiffen promise to bring even more intrigue to the conference.Spencer Hall from the SEC Network’s “Thinking Out Loud” brings us all the updates you need to know about the SEC, and everything else happening around college football.
Sep.24: A Football Family Carries On After Coronavirus Takes Coach
In football-obsessed Oxford, Mississippi, Nacoma James was a beloved high school football coach and math teacher at Lafayette High School.In August, James died due to complications of coronavirus.In September the school decided to play football this season.
James’ widow Laticia supports the team, even as she struggles to find her way back to social life in a town centered on the sport.ESPN’s Elizabeth Merrill shares the story of James’ life and untimely death at age 42, and weighs the community’s pain over his loss, alongside the risk of the pandemic and a deep love of football.
Sep.23: The Stanley Cup Final and NHL Bubble Confidential
The Stanley Cup playoffs have been a major success in the age of the pandemic, as the league’s bubble sites in Toronto and Edmonton returned little to no positive tests since their launch in early August.With Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars set to take place on Wednesday, ESPN’s Emily Kaplan joins the show as one of the few American sports reporters currently in Edmo.