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The first daily sports news podcast that covers everything from the world stage to the hometown. The Athletic, home to the best storytelling in sports, and Wondery, the company behind “Sports Wars” and “Gladiator,” take you beyond the box score. With the help of The Athletic’s more than 400 sports writers and editors, co-hosts Kavitha Davidson and Anders Kelto dive deep into the biggest and most fascinating stories of the day. New episodes every weekday morning. The Lead. Sports up close.

Wondery | The Athletic


    • Jan 27, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 17m AVG DURATION
    • 617 EPISODES

    Listeners of The Lead that love the show mention: kavitha, sports podcast i ve, box scores, big league, daily sports, davidson, variety of sports, sports coverage, zion, sports stories, wondery, athletic, falcons, chew, new orleans, sports fans, lead, corey, good mix, would love to see.



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    Latest episodes from The Lead

    There's An Emerging Force In World Soccer, And It's…Canada?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 27, 2022 26:22

    When you think about Canada and sports, soccer probably isn't the first thing to come to mind. But the country has recently emerged as a global power on both the men's and women's sides, with the women winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics and the men currently sitting atop the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings. With qualifiers resuming today, The Athletic's Joshua Kloke joins us to discuss how a "golden generation" of young players, including Alphonso Davies, is pushing Canada toward greatness, and picking up new fans along the way. Plus, why Canadian soccer officials believe the man who took the women's program to new heights will do the same with the men.More from Josh Kloke:https://theathletic.com/author/joshua-kloke/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    The State Of Women's College Hoops + Becky Hammon's Move To Las Vegas

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 26, 2022 19:45

    The 2021-22 women's college basketball season has ben one of the most chaotic in recent history. There's been major upsets, devastating injuries, incredible record setting performances–and we haven't even gotten to March. Today, The Athletic's Chantel Jennings joins us to make sense of all the madness and tells us about some of the key players for the top teams come tournament time. Later, we go inside Becky Hammon's seismic move back to the WNBA and discuss whether or not the former-WNBA star can bring an elusive championship trophy back to Vegas.Read all of Chantel Jennings' WNBA and College Basketball coverage here: https://theathletic.com/author/chantel-jennings/ See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    A Tale of Two Tigers: Auburn's Rise, Memphis's Fall

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 25, 2022 20:42

    We have about seven weeks to go until the start of March Madness, and there's a surprise team at the top of the rankings: the Auburn Tigers, who are holding the No. 1 spot for the first time ever. Today, The Athletic's Seth Davis tells us three key reasons why the Tigers have emerged as one of the best teams in the nation. And on the opposite end of the Tiger spectrum: a close look at all the turmoil surrounding Penny Hardaway's Memphis program, and how a season that started with big expectations is threatening to spiral out of control. Follow Seth Davis's coverage of college basketball: https://theathletic.com/author/seth-davis/?source=theleadpodcast See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Mahomes vs. Allen, And A Football Weekend For The Ages

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 24, 2022 22:56

    This was, without a doubt, one of the most entertaining weekends in the history of the NFL. Four games, every single one decided on the final play, frigid temperatures, walk-off field goals, upsets, squandered leads, and an epic, record-setting showdown between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. The Athletic's Mike Sando joins us to break down all of the action, and to look at what comes next for the four teams -- Chiefs, Bengals, Rams and 49ers -- left standing.More from Mike Sando:https://theathletic.com/author/mike-sando/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Karl-Anthony Towns Is Elevating His Game, And Himself

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 21, 2022 26:43

    Over the course of his career, Karl-Anthony Towns has faced questions over his toughness, his willingness to defend, and his maturity. Those questions have been a millstone over the former-Kentucky star as the T-Wolves struggle year after year. But that reputation might finally be changing. Today, The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski tells us about how tragic events in his personal life reshaped the 26-year-old's approach to life and basketball and why his new mindset could be the key to getting the lowly Timberwolves back to playoff basketball.Read Jon Krawczynski's story about Karl-Anthony Towns here: https://theathletic.com/3078860/2022/01/19/wolves-karl-anthony-towns-is-making-an-all-star-push-with-growth-in-his-game-and-peace-in-his-mind/ See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    ‘Write Your Own Destiny': Cam Akers's Remarkable Return To The Rams

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 20, 2022 25:28

    On Monday night, in the Rams' playoff win over the Cardinals, running back Cam Akers came up just short of 100 yards from scrimmage, which wouldn't register as that remarkable of a feat — except that Akers wasn't supposed to be playing in that game at all. Today, The Athletic's Jourdan Rodrigue takes us behind the scenes of Akers's incredible comeback, returning from one of the most devastating injuries in sports — a torn Achilles tendon — in just five and a half months. Plus, what to expect when the Rams take on Tom Brady and the reigning Super Bowl champs this weekend. Read Jourdan Rodrigue's full story about Cam Akers: https://theathletic.com/3069918/2022/01/17/write-your-own-destiny-inside-cam-akers-remarkable-return-to-rams-5-1-2-months-after-achilles-tear/?source=theleadpodcast See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Tampa's Surprisingly Sentimental Star: Meet The ‘Real' Corey Perry

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 19, 2022 17:21

    NHL star Corey Perry has built a career out of doing two things really well -- scoring goals, and getting under the skin of opponents. In fact, the former Hart Trophy winner and Stanley Cup Champion is widely seen as one of the most frustrating players to line up against. But it turns out the one-time Anaheim Duck -- now with the Tampa Bay Lightning -- has a sentimental side that the public rarely, if ever, gets to see. The Athletic's Joe Smith dug into Perry's past, speaking with family members, former coaches and teammates, and Perry himself, to understand what makes him tick and how he developed a sort of Jekyll and Hyde personality. Plus, why Perry might be the key to the Lightning winning a third straight Stanley Cup.Read Joe Smith's full story about Corey Perry:https://theathletic.com/3071139/2022/01/17/no-one-gets-to-see-the-real-him-when-the-skates-come-off-corey-perry-goes-from-nightmare-to-emotional/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Inside the Pursuit Of Japan's Next MLB Star

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 18, 2022 19:18

    The hottest name on the open market in baseball might just belong to a power hitting outfielder from Japan. Hiroshima Toyo Carp slugger Seiya Suzuki has teams from across baseball salivating at his combination of power, plate discipline, and incredible defensive prowess. But with Major League Baseball mired in a lockout, Suzuki's dreams are currently on hold. Today, The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly he tells us how the 27-year-old is coping with the waiting game and where he might land when he finally gets to the majors.Read Andrew Baggarly's story about Seiya Suzuki: https://theathletic.com/3065621/2022/01/13/japanese-superstar-seiya-suzuki-is-determined-to-be-an-impact-player-in-the-major-leagues-now-he-just-has-to-pick-a-team/ See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    NFL Super Wild Card Weekend: End Of A Curse, End Of An Era

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 17, 2022 30:36

    The NFL playoffs kicked off on Saturday, and the Super Wild Card Weekend was memorable right from the jump, with Joe Burrow and the Bengals breaking their long playoff drought, Josh Allen putting on a flawless performance to beat the Patriots, and an unforgettable finish between the 49ers and Cowboys in Dallas. Today, The Athletic's Arif Hasan joins us to break down the milestones, surprises and storylines to emerge during an exciting opening playoff weekend. Plus, senior writer Ed Bouchette offers his insights on Ben Roethlisberger at the end of an era in Pittsburgh. Follow Arif Hasan's coverage of the Vikings and the NFL: https://theathletic.com/author/arif-hasan/?source=theleadpodcast Follow Ed Bouchette's coverage of the Steelers: https://theathletic.com/author/ed-bouchette/?source=theleadpodcast See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Booker vs. The Raptor: The Secret Lives Of Mascots

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 14, 2022 23:48

    NBA fans were treated to one of stranger and more hilarious moments of the season earlier this week, when Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker took exception to the actions of the opposing team's mascot, The Raptor. What made the situation especially ridiculous was the fact that there were no fans in the arena -- just a lone red dinosaur in a basketball jersey, jumping around and trying to distract Booker while he shot free throws late in the game. In honor of this incredible moment, we're doing a deep dive on mascots today. First, former Phillie Phanatic (and founder of the Mascot Hall Of Fame) Dave Raymond joins us to share his views on the Booker situation. Then, The Athletic's Nick Kosmider and James Edwards III tell the story of the first father-son mascot duo in NBA history, and take us deep inside the secret, joyful, and challenging lives of mascots.Read Nick and James's original story:https://theathletic.com/1630387/2020/02/25/the-inside-story-of-the-nbas-first-and-only-father-son-mascots/Learn more about Dave Raymond:https://daveraymondspeaks.com/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    The Bengals And The Curse Of Bo Jackson

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 13, 2022 23:10

    The longest playoff win drought in American sports belongs to… The Cincinnati Bengals. It's been 30 seasons (and counting) since fans in Southern Ohio could celebrate an NFL postseason victory, and it all started with a tackle on one of the league's most legendary players. Today, The Athletic's Paul Dehner Jr. and Jay Morrison take us through the history of the so-called 'Curse of Bo Jackson' and tell us why this young and fearless Bengals squad may finally be the one to end their historic drought.Read Paul Dehner Jr. and Jay Morrison's story about the Bengals playoff curse here: https://theathletic.com/3062632/2022/01/11/time-for-us-to-turn-the-page-bengals-playoff-drought-resonates-across-31-years-of-players-coaches/ See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    The Making Of Paolo Banchero, Duke's Latest Superstar

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 12, 2022 22:58

    We're almost halfway through the final season of Mike Krzyzewski's legendary 42-year run at Duke, and his hopes for one last title are resting in part with Duke's latest freshman star: the dynamic 6-foot-10 big man, Paolo Banchero. Today, The Athletic's Brendan Marks tells the story of Banchero's unconventional path from aspiring drummer to potential No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. And, after a challenging stretch of their season — including a COVID-19 outbreak — do Banchero and Duke still have what it takes to give Coach K a championship sendoff? Read Brendan Marks's full story about Paolo Banchero: https://theathletic.com/2942721/2021/11/09/the-making-of-paolo-banchero-dukes-newest-freshman-superstar/?source=theleadpodcast See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Klay Thompson's Triumphant Return + Georgia's Undersized Hero

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2022 22:52

    Before Sunday night, it had been almost two and a half years -- I repeat, two and a half YEARS - since Klay Thompson last suited up for an NBA game. After tearing his ACL in 2019, he returned to health in 2020, only to rupture his achilles tendon. Now, after diligently rehabbing both injuries for months on end, he's back in the lineup for the Golden State Warriors. The Athletic's Anthony Slater, who covers the Warriors, joins us to explain what life has been like for Klay during his long absence, how he has grown in unexpected ways, and what we learned about him during his highly anticipated return against the Cavs. Then, after leading Georgia to the national championship on Monday night, quarterback Stetson Bennett will live forever in the hearts and minds -- and possibly the checkbooks -- of Bulldogs fans.More from Anthony Slater:https://theathletic.com/author/anthony-slater/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    NFL Wrap: Bucs Are Back, Steelers Survive, Raiders Refuse To Tie

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 10, 2022 23:30

    After an absolutely wild finish to the NFL's Week 18, The Athletic's Greg Auman joins us to discuss the team that is once again poised to make a deep run in the playoffs -- the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Bucs. Can they overcome a slew of injuries to once again make the Super Bowl? Plus, we recap what the playoff picture now looks like, how the stars somehow aligned for Big Ben and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and a Raiders-Chargers game for the ages that somehow did NOT end in a tie.More from Greg Auman:https://theathletic.com/author/greg-auman/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Last Chances: What's At Stake During Week 18 In The NFL

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 7, 2022 22:37

    We're heading into the final week of the 2021 NFL regular season, and for a number of teams — including the 49ers, Raiders, Chargers and Titans, to name a few — there is a lot to play for on Sunday. Today, The Athletic's Sheil Kapadia breaks down what's at stake in the NFC and AFC this weekend. Plus, the story of a football fan, a lost wedding ring, and the team that came to the rescue. Follow Sheil Kapadia's coverage of the NFL: https://theathletic.com/author/sheil-kapadia/?source=theleadpodcast See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Is Alexander Ovechkin Actually Getting Better At Age 36?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 6, 2022 23:52

    It turns out 36 is the new 20 -- at least for Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin. The aging Russian is off to the best start of his career this season, and is inching closer to a record once thought untouchable -- Wayne Gretzky's career goal scoring record. So what exactly is behind The Great Eight's white hot start? And how has he taken his game to yet another level? The Athletic's Tarik El-Bashir explains. Then, we dive into the tennis story that has become an international sensation -- Novak Djokovic's detention at an airport in Melbourne. Why is the world's #1 player being told to go home? The answer is more complicated than you might think.More from Tarik El-Bashir:https://theathletic.com/author/tarik-el-bashir/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Can LeBron Save The Lakers' Season?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 5, 2022 17:59

    The Lakers started the year as one of the NBA title favorites. Now, nearly halfway through the season, they're still struggling to stay above .500 and out of the play-in for the second consecutive year. Today, The Athletic's Bill Oram tells us why the Lakers' bet on Russell Westbrook has not paid off and whether LeBron James can carry this team back to the promised land at 37-years-old.Read all of Bill Oram's Lakers coverage: https://theathletic.com/author/bill-oram/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Georgia's Stetson Bennett And The Long Road To Respect

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2022 19:51

    The College Football Playoff National Championship is just six days away, a showdown between the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, and the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs — who have made it this far with a QB who wasn't even supposed to be their starter: Stetson Bennett. Today, The Athletic's Seth Emerson tells the story of Bennett's unlikely journey from walk-on to junior college to QB1 for a national title contender, and whether Bennett and the Bulldogs can defeat Alabama when it matters most. Read Seth Emerson's full story about Stetson Bennett: https://theathletic.com/2990959/2021/12/01/hes-just-a-baller-the-journey-of-georgia-qb-stetson-bennett-iv-a-long-road-to-respect/?source=theleadpodcastSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    How Nick Saban Built A Dynasty, One Recruit At A Time

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 3, 2022 19:14

    After blowing out Cincinnati on Friday, the Alabama Crimson Tide and head coach Nick Saban are in yet another national championship game -- their ninth in the past 13 seasons. So how exactly do Saban and 'Bama keep winning? A big part of the answer is recruiting -- Saban has brought in the top-ranked recruiting class in nine of the past 11 years. So how exactly does he do that? The Athletic's Aaron Suttles joins us today to explain why Saban thrives on the recruiting trail, and how that has enabled him to build one of the best dynasties in college football history. Plus, what does Alabama needs to do to knock off the Georgia Bulldogs on January 10th?Read Aaron Suttles and Nicole Auerbach's full story about Nick Saban, ace recruiter:https://theathletic.com/3005138/2021/12/13/soul-food-italian-suits-and-hard-truths-what-its-like-to-be-recruited-by-nick-saban/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Best of 2021 - #1: The Afghan Women's Soccer Team's Escape From Kabul

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 31, 2021 25:43

    To close out 2021, we're replaying our 10 best episodes of the year. At #1 we have 'The Afghan Women's Soccer Team's Incredible Escape From Kabul.' We hear from two women who helped orchestrate the evacuation of the Afghan Women's Soccer Team -- long a symbol of defiance to the Taliban -- just before the Kabul Airport was shut down and the ultra-conservative religious group regained complete control of the country.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Best of 2021 - #2: From San Quentin To The NBA

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 30, 2021 19:20

    To close out 2021, we're replaying our 10 best episodes of the year. At #2 we have 'From San Quentin To The NBA: 'Showtime' Taylor's Redemption.' The Athletic's Marcus Thompson joined us to discuss the incredible story of Aaron 'Showtime' Taylor, who went from calling basketball games for fun in San Quentin State Prison to calling a Golden State Warriors game at Chase Center.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Best of 2021 - #3: Reflections On Henry 'Hank' Aaron

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 29, 2021 18:45

    To close out 2021, we're replaying our 10 best episodes of the year. At #3 we have 'Reflections On Henry Aaron.' Five baseball writers from The Athletic joined us shortly after Aaron passed away to share their memories of him as a player and a human being, and to reflect on how he was shaped by -- and helped shape -- American history.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Best of 2021 - #4: The Friendship That Changed An NHL Superstar And A Rock Legend

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2021 19:06

    To close out 2021, we're replaying our 10 best episodes of the year. At #4 we have 'The Friendship That Changed An NHL Superstar And A Rock Legend.' The Athletic's Joshua Kloke joined us to explain the unlikely friendship between hockey star Joe Thornon and Canadian rock legend Gord Downie -- and how each drew inspiration from the other right up until Downie's final days.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Best of 2021 - #5: NWSL Coach Fired Over Sexual Coercion Accusations

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 27, 2021 26:38

    To close out 2021, we're replaying our 10 best episodes of the year. At #5 we have 'NWSL Coach Fired Over Sexual Coercion Accusations.' The Athletic's Meg Linehan spent months investigating claims made against former North Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley and joined us to discuss what she found.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Best of 2021 - #6: The 101-Year-Old Who Made Judo An Olympic Sport

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 24, 2021 20:44

    To close out 2021, we're replaying our 10 best episodes of the year. At #6 we have 'The 101-Year-Old American Who Made Judo An Olympic Sport.' The Athletic's Daniel Brown joined us to discuss the incredible life of an American sports icon.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Best of 2021 - #7: A Sportswriter's Coming Out Story And Carl Nassib

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2021 14:32

    To close out 2021, we're replaying our 10 best episodes of the year. At #7 we have 'What A Sportswriter's Coming Out Story Tells Us About Carl Nassib.' The Athletic's Steve Buckley joined us to talk about his own coming out story, and how it might help us understand what lies ahead for Carl Nassib, who became the NFL's first openly gay active player earlier this year.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Best of 2021 - #8: How Italy Came Back From The Brink

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2021 24:56

    To close out 2021, we're replaying our 10 best episodes of the year. At #8 we have 'How Italy Came Back From The Brink.' The Athletic's James Horncastle joined us to explain how a charismatic coach helped guide the Italian Men's Soccer Team from an apocalyptic failure to the pinnacle of European success.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Best of 2021 - #9: The Brian Snitker Story Begins And Ends With Loyalty

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2021 18:09

    To close out 2021, we're replaying our 10 best episodes of the year. At #9 we have 'The Brian Snitker Story Begins And Ends With Loyalty.' The Athletic's David O'Brien joined us to discuss Braves manager Brian Snitker and how he guided Atlanta to an elusive World Series title.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Best of 2021 - #10: Why The NBA Hates, And Loves, The Ben Simmons Saga

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 20, 2021 21:27

    To close out 2021, we're replaying our 10 best episodes of the year. At #10 we have 'Why The NBA Hates, And Loves, The Ben Simmons Saga.' The Athletic's Sam Amick joined us back in October to discuss the drama around Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons, and why his situation is so fraught.Read Sam Amick's story on Ben Simmons here:https://theathletic.com/2854156/2021/09/28/ben-simmons-believes-playing-with-joel-embiid-has-run-its-course-and-sixers-media-day-messages-fall-flat-with-him/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    5 Sports Stories To Make You Feel Better About 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 21:14

    2021 is coming to a close and today, we share 5 sports stories that brought a little happiness to another difficult year. From an epic championship celebration in Milwaukee to the year's most delightful hockey announcer, these stories will hopefully bring a smile to you face as we head into 2022.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    The Life And Legacy Of Demaryius Thomas

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2021 20:00

    In Denver on Sunday, the Broncos lined up for their opening series with just 10 men on the field, a tribute to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who died last week at age 33. Today, we're joined by The Athletic's Lindsay Jones and Nick Kosmider to look at Thomas's improbable rise to the NFL, his Hall Of Fame-caliber career in Denver, and the personality that so many people won't forget. Follow Lindsay Jones's coverage of the NFL: https://theathletic.com/author/lindsay-jones/?source=theleadpodcast Follow Nick Kosmider's coverage of the Broncos: https://theathletic.com/author/nick-kosmider/?source=theleadpodcast See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    What's Holding Back Major League Soccer?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2021 24:03

    New York City FC won its first MLS Cup on Saturday, defeating the Portland Timbers inside a packed (and sopping wet) stadium in Portland. And while the game was quite a spectacle, with fans lining up for seats almost a WEEK in advance, the game itself was somewhat reflective of Major League Soccer -- lots of excitement, lots of fan support, but not the best on-field product. The Athletic's Sam Stejskal joins us today to talk about the game, NYCFC's recent transformation, and to explain why, after 26 season and a lot of financial investment, MLS is still not offering the best product and is till not able to compete with the best leagues in the world.More from Sam Stejskal:https://theathletic.com/author/sam-stejskal/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    How The Grizzlies Are Thriving Without Ja Morant

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2021 17:17

    When Ja Morant went down in late November with a scary looking knee injury, it seemed like the Grizzlies season could be headed into a tailspin. Then, in the absence of their star, Memphis transformed into one of the hottest teams in the NBA. Today The Athletic's Joe Vardon tells us how a combination of drinking water, hibernation, and a strong defensive road map have propelled the Grizz to the top of the Western Conference. Read Joe Vardon's Grizzlies story: https://theathletic.com/3008599/2021/12/10/a-hibernating-bear-drinking-water-and-corny-road-maps-how-the-grizzlies-are-thriving-without-ja-morant/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    The Rams Are All-In, But Do They Have The Cards?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 13, 2021 21:56

    Early on this season, the Los Angeles Rams looked like a juggernaut, with Matthew Stafford leading them to a 7-1 start, and gaining some momentum as a contender for MVP. Then, the Rams lost three in a row, suddenly raising a lot of questions about just how good this team is. Ahead of their Monday Night Football matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, we check in with The Athletic's Jourdan Rodrigue to look at how three high-profile additions for L.A. (Stafford, Von Miller, Odell Beckham Jr.) are working out, and whether this team has what it takes to become a Super Bowl contender. Follow Jourdan Rodrigue's coverage of the Rams: https://theathletic.com/author/jourdan-rodrigue/?source=theleadpodcastSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Purdue Basketball Is #1 — Are They For Real This Time?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2021 20:14

    Before their dramatic loss to Rutgers on Thursday night, the Purdue Boilermakers became the top team in men's college basketball for the first time in school history. Yet, after a stunning early exit last year from the tournament las year and losses like they suffered on Thursday night, questions remain over whether this team is really a legitimate National Championship contender. Today, The Athletic's Brian Hamilton tell us about the weekend he spent embedded with the team and why this Purdue squad could have what it takes to make a Final Four for the first time in more than forty years.Read Brian Hamilton's story about his weekend with Purdue: https://theathletic.com/2970015/2021/11/22/is-purdue-for-real-a-weekend-behind-the-scenes-with-one-of-college-basketballs-hungriest-teams/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Cincinnati's Gritty Climb From Rock Bottom To College Football History

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 9, 2021 23:54

    The Cincinnati Bearcats made football history this week by becoming the first non-Power Five team to make the College Football Playoff since its inception in 2014. But what makes their accomplishment even more remarkable is the fact that the program was in shambles just five years ago, and was basically irrelevant for much of its existence. Reporter Justin Williams, who covers Cincinnati for The Athletic, joins us today to explain how the program went from rock bottom to contending for a national championship in such a short period of time -- thanks in large part to one man and a healthy dose of Midwestern grit.Read Justin Williams' story about the rise of Cincinnati football:https://theathletic.com/2999716/2021/12/06/how-cincinnati-football-went-from-rock-bottom-to-the-college-football-playoff/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Throwing Rocks At Goliath: How The Washington Football Team Saved Its Season

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2021 17:30

    This past Sunday in Las Vegas, the Washington Football Team found itself in another closely-contested game, and found a way to beat the Raiders for their fourth straight win. Today, we're joined by The Athletic's Ben Standig to look at how this team has turned things around after a hopeless 2-6 start, the impact of quarterback Taylor Heinicke and head coach Ron Rivera, and what to expect in a big NFC East showdown against the Cowboys this weekend. Plus, the story behind the team's rock-throwing ritual in the locker room after wins. Read Ben Standig's story about the Washington Football Team's turnaround: https://theathletic.com/3000033/2021/12/05/washington-football-team-channels-just-win-baby-spirit-in-edging-raiders-and-four-game-win-streak/?source=theleadpodcast See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Unlimited Potential, A Foggy Brain: A Tale Of Two NHL Teammates

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2021 16:41

    Cale Makar and Bowen Byram have a lot in common. Both are young, extremely talented defensemen for the NHL's Colorado Avalanche, both are former #4 overall picks, and both hope to have long and successful hockey careers. But so far, the two have followed very different paths, with Makar ascending to superstardom and Byram struggling with the aftermath of multiple concussions. Today, Peter Baugh, who covers the Avalanche for The Athletic, joins us to discuss their parallel stories, just how much potential they have, and what stands between each of them and greatness.More from Peter Baugh:https://theathletic.com/2949474/2021/11/17/dizzy-foggy-and-feeling-like-i-was-a-corpse-inside-bowen-byrams-harrowing-first-year-with-the-avalanche/https://theathletic.com/2995332/2021/12/04/can-the-avalanches-cale-makar-become-the-first-defenseman-to-score-30-goals-since-2009-the-sky-is-the-limit/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    The Inside Story Of Brian Kelly's Stunning Exit From Notre Dame

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 16:42

    It's been a wild week for Notre Dame football: The winningest coach in program history abruptly left for another job, then the school named his successor just a few days later, and on Sunday the Irish narrowly missed out on a College Football Playoff berth. Today, The Athletic's Pete Sampson joins us to talk about Brian Kelly's fateful final 24 hours in South Bend, what his exit to LSU reveals about the state of college football, and what comes next for the team he left behind.Read Pete Sampson's story about Brian Kelly's final 24 hours with Notre Dame: https://theathletic.com/2990740/2021/12/01/inside-the-24-hours-that-rocked-notre-dame-football-and-where-the-irish-go-from-here-without-brian-kelly/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    ‘Unfinished Business': LaMarcus Aldridge's Journey Out of Retirement

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 15:14

    So far this season, Brooklyn Nets fans have gotten used to the sight of LaMarcus Aldridge knocking down mid-range jumpers, which he's done at a higher percentage than any other player in the NBA. However, it wasn't all that long ago that it appeared the big man's career was over after a scary April night brought on by a heart issue. Today, The Athletic's Alex Schiffer tells the story of Aldridge's journey into retirement and back, and why he ultimately decided he had more basketball left at age 36. https://theathletic.com/2982101/2021/11/29/he-looks-amazing-how-lamarcus-aldridge-went-from-retired-to-nets-x-factor/?source=theleadpodcast See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Why Manchester United Hired 'The Godfather Of German Coaching'

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2021 19:21

    Manchester United turned some heads last week when it announced that Ralf Rangnick, an influential German coach and sporting director, will serve as its interim manager until the end of the season. Today, The Athletic's Raphael Honigstein tells us about the man known as 'The Godfather of German coaching,' how he changed the definition of what a soccer coach could be in his native country, and why Manchester United believes he is the right man for the job. But will Rangnick's hands-on, high-pressure approach mesh with United's roster of international superstars, including 36-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo?More from Raphael Honigstein:https://theathletic.com/author/raphael-honigstein/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Davante Adams' Journey From East Palo Alto To NFL Superstardom

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2021 21:26

    For many people, the best wide receiver in the NFL is Green Bay Packers star Davante Adams. But the former Fresno State standout's rise to superstardom from the gritty streets of his hometown in East Palo Alto was anything but easy. Today, The Athletic's Matt Schneidman joins us to talk about the special relationship that helped Adams stay on the right path growing up and how he overcame a difficult start to his pro career to become one of the most unstoppable wideouts in football.Read Matt Schneidman's story about Davante Adams: https://theathletic.com/2966335/2021/11/23/davante-adams-journey-from-sleeping-on-couch-to-top-of-nfl-had-its-bumps/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    The Negotiator At The Heart of MLB's Labor Showdown

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 18:58

    The clock is ticking for Major League Baseball, with a potential lockout on the horizon this week, as the collective bargaining agreement is set to expire at 11:59pm ET on Wednesday. Today, we're joined by The Athletic's Evan Drellich to look at why the players and owners are once again at a bitter impasse, and the no-nonsense negotiator for the players, Bruce Meyer, who should have a major say in how things play out. Read Evan Drellich's full story about Bruce Meyer and the MLB negotiations: https://theathletic.com/2981810/2021/11/28/mlb-players-want-change-and-bruce-meyer-is-fighting-to-deliver-it-the-other-side-is-not-going-to-be-happy-with-me/?source=theleadpodcast See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    The Best Team In Hockey Might Be...The Florida Panthers?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 17:58

    For much of their existence, the Florida Panthers have been, frankly, one of the worst teams in the NHL. But over the last few years, the Panthers have become legitimate Stanley Cup contenders. The Athletic's Michael Russo covered the Panthers for more than a decade, and he joins us today to explain what's behind their record-setting start to the 2021-22 season and why, after legendary head coach Joel Quenneville was forced to resign earlier this year (in the wake of the Chicago Blackhawks sexual assault investigation), the Panthers have turned to a beloved assistant coach to lead them.More from Michael Russo:https://theathletic.com/author/michael-russo/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    When Football Was Played In An Internment Camp (Rebroadcast)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 14:12

    After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government did something that it later apologized for and called a grave error: it rounded up and forcibly relocated tens of thousands of Japanese Americans, moving them to internment camps where they lived in extremely harsh conditions for years. Inside one of those camps, near Topaz, Utah, a high school football team was formed and surprised many of the local teams it played against. The Athletic's Christopher Kamrani brings us the story of Topaz High, where a group of high school kids used America's most beloved sport to show that they, too, were Americans. (This episode originally aired on November 6, 2020.)See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    The Swimmer Who Overcame A Leg Amputation, And Then Another (Rebroadcast)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 25, 2021 18:49

    On this Thanksgiving holiday, we're replaying an episode that first aired this summer, just before the start of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. It's the inspiring story of 24 year-old American swimming phenom Morgan Stickney, who has faced a mind-boggling series of medical challenges during her career, but has somehow come out on the other side -- baffling doctors and inspiring many people along the way.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    The Biggest Early Storylines Of The Women's College Hoops Season

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 17:06

    We're just a few weeks into the women's college basketball season and there's already plenty to talk about. The top two teams in the country have already faced off, star players are taking their games to a new level, and rising contenders are already upsetting some of the traditional powers. Today, The Athletic's Chantel Jennings fills us in on some of the season's biggest and most intriguing storylines to date.Read all of Chantel Jennings' college basketball coverage: https://theathletic.com/author/chantel-jennings/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Is The Cam Newton-Panthers Reunion Built To Last?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 16:11

    Two Sundays ago, Cam Newton made his dramatic return for the Carolina Panthers, and helped lead them to a win over the Arizona Cardinals. Then, this past Sunday, in his much-anticipated first game back in Carolina, Newton and the Panthers came up short against the Washington Football Team. Today, we're joined by The Athletic's Joe Person to look at why the Panthers made the decision to bring him back now, and the impact that his larger-than-life personality could have on the rest of the team. Follow Joe Person's coverage of the Panthers: https://theathletic.com/author/joseph-person/?source=theleadpodcast See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Ohio State Quarterback C.J. Stroud Is Making His Heisman Case

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 16:54

    During a chaotic 2020 college football season, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud spent most of his time on the bench as an understudy to Justin Fields. Now the redshirt freshman has not only stepped into the starting position, but has guided the Buckeyes to one of their best offensive seasons in school history -- and made a strong case for himself as a Heisman Trophy candidate. In the wake of the Buckeyes' destruction of Michigan State on Saturday, The Athletic's Bill Landis joins us to discuss what exactly makes Stroud so special as a passer, the unique bond he has formed with his star wide receiver trio, and what stands between Ohio State and a 2021 national championship.More from Bill Landis:https://theathletic.com/author/bill-landis/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    The Brain Behind The Bruins: Johnny Juzang's Rise At UCLA

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 20:36

    Johnny Juzang exploded onto the college basketball scene during the 2021 NCAA Tournament after he led the eleventh seeded UCLA Bruins on a surprising run all the way to the Final Four. Now he's looking to get to the next level and take his team all the way to the championship. Today, The Athletic's Seth Davis, who recently spent time with Juzang and his family, tells us how the sharpshooting junior from Tarzana made his way back to Los Angeles after a short stint in Kentucky and how his childhood vision boards helped guide him toward college basketball stardom.Read Seth Davis' story about UCLA guard Johnny Juzang: https://theathletic.com/2915025/2021/10/28/hes-always-had-a-different-brain-inside-johnny-juzangs-vision-quest-for-ucla/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Jonathan Taylor Dreamed Of Outer Space, Now He's An NFL Star

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 18:14

    In just his second NFL season, Jonathan Taylor is already one of the NFL's best running backs. But before he turned his attention to the gridiron, the Colts star was far more fascinated with Outer Space than he was with scoring touchdowns. Today, The Athletic's Zak Keefer tells us how the NFL's leading rusher went from aspiring astronaut to one of the most unstoppable players in football.Read Zak Keefer's story about Jonathan Taylor: https://theathletic.com/2936512/2021/11/09/gaze-at-the-stars-reject-harvard-embrace-the-suck-colts-jonathan-taylor-is-blasting-off/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

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