16 Sports Podcasts That Are A Must-see
Sports talk keeps on going — turn on ESPN at any hour of the day, and you’ll certainly observe somebody shouting something about some huge play, or large debate inside the wide world of sports. If you bounce in the car and turn on the radio, odds are you’ll discover a game television show before an excess of time passes. However, in 2020, like never before, the games talk scene has extended past these two conventional media and into podcasting, a configuration that allows a lot more opportunity and an essentially more adaptable structure.
Here we’ve gathered 16 of the absolute best digital recordings existing, apart from everything else, concentrated on various aspects of the games you can’t get enough of. Regardless of whether it’s grasping stories, helpful guidance, or simply listening to fans discussing, each of these digital and sports podcasts has a particular goal and fills it honorably.
In the realm of news, The Daily (from The New York Times) has been a huge success, a webcast that comes out Monday through Friday morning and gets into detail about the greatest story of the day. It’s been such a triumph that ESPN dispatched its version focused on the sports world — and it’s likewise been a hit. Recently anchored by one of the organization’s best characters in — Mina Kimes (who continued to anchor daily even during the eventless parts of the COVID-19 pandemic), the show is currently hosted by another of ESPN’s greatest: previous “High Noon” anchor, and “ESPN: The Magazine” author — Pablo Torre. The switch between anchors has been smooth, and it helps that the ESPN Daily Podcast approaches the best men for the job when covering the sports world’s greatest stories.
A fresh print of the ESPN Daily, for instance, highlights Torre interviewing ESPN NFL writer Bill Barnwell, a gifted commentator, about early season developments. Another recent episode includes Desus and Mero discussing a period of watching sports from home and it’s quite entertaining. The mix of being both fun and instructive is what makes ESPN Daily the type of podcast that no true fan could miss! And the episodes are just 20 minutes long!
The Mina Kimes Show (Featuring Lenny)
While Mina Kimes is done anchoring for the ESPN Daily, she’s hosting her weekly podcast, “The Mina Kimes Show (featuring Lenny)”. Part of the explanation why Kimes was replaced as host for ESPN Daily is because of her job this season on the NFL show, “NFL Live”; she finds the opportunity on her podcast, which comes out once every week, to analyze the situation and dig a little deeper (with her pet, Lenny, as co-host).
Every show, Kimes comments on the football games from the past week, and the ones before that, alongside a different guest every week; for example, one week it’ll be ESPN expert and former player, Dominique Foxworth (who was recently the leader of the player’s union, giving him specific points of view on some behind-the-scenes matters), another week it may be NFL Insider — Field Yates, or even a national writer or analyst from another platform. Kimes’ excellent commentator skills are a perfect fit for her specific sense of humor. Particularly during the NFL season, “The Mina Kimes Show” is extraordinary compared to other podcasts and is a must for every sports fan.
Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc
Have you heard of “Serial”? Or perhaps “S-town”? Is it possible you’ve seen Netflix’s new documentary “Killer Inside”? Indeed, the Spotlight group from “The Boston Globe” (the real-life group that you saw uncover the abominations of the catholic church in academy award winner of Best Picture “Spotlight”) joined the podcast “Wondery” and together they created “Gladiator”, which represents all of those things.
The addictive criminal stories and narrating style of “Serial”, mix with the shocking story of a former NFL star ‒ Aaron Hernandez, who went from signing a 40-million dollar agreement to a convicted killer, to die by suicide, in just a couple of years. This story reveals everything, in such detail that you would have never imagined. Regardless of whether you thought you knew the entire story, you most likely don’t.
Sports? With Katie Nolan
“Sports?” is another podcast for one of ESPN’s naturally gifted and very capable characters. Delivering week after week with episodes that continue for several hours, the show centers around the latest sports updates of the week, yet joins it with discussions that aren’t only the usual analysis of the game you’ll hear the talking heads give on TV.
Nolan chats on the show with her producer, Ashley Braband, and the themes change generally all week every week. On one past show, a suggestion was made that cardboard cutouts of the characters from “The Devil Wears Prada” ought to be in the seats of empty stadiums as sports continue during the COVID-19 lockdown (a smart thought!). Responding to kind of social events in sports like Christian McCaffrey’s “GQ” photoshoot is what separates “Sports?” from other shows. However, take in mind that the comments and discussions of the games are extremely on point as well.
The Right Time with Bomani Jones
Another of ESPN’s finest (noticing a pattern here?), Bomani Jones has been considered an excellent addition to the podcasting world; while it sucked to lose “High Noon” (the show he co-anchored with Pablo Torre), Jones is his most unfiltered and true self on “The Right Time”. He dives deeply into so many subjects from sports and culture to music and social issues.
Besides, Jones is incredible to listen to, in light of the fact, that he fears no confrontation — this probably won’t have been on his podcast, however hearing him bring in to previous ESPN anchor Will Cain’s show in the result of the NASCAR Bubba Wallace noose story, was must-listen radio. Jones is perhaps one of the best in sports media, and anybody searching for a dispute is surely looing in the right place — and that is the reason he’s in such an incredible listen, regardless of the platform.
Fantasy Focus Football
For those of you who play Fantasy Football, ESPN’s “Fantasy Focus” is the best choice for such a show in the business. Broadcasting five days per week during top football season, this show includes a more even split than the hosts would even admit, between football and classic podcast nonsense. Let’s just say these folks like to have a good time.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the show has figured out how to keep fans informed 5 days per week more safely by moving into another studio where the people can either be 6 feet apart from each other or take part remotely (and you can still be up to date with the events by listening to Berry, Yates, and Bell on ESPN2 on gameday mornings).
The show has fans new and old, however, it doesn’t take long to get in on some inside jokes, and gain some perspective on who is your best bet at the Flex spot for Week 9. (A Fantasy Focus Baseball podcast, anchored by a couple of veteran ESPN commentators, is also on the air two times every week in the spring.)
Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson
This podcast is sensational. Picture whatever your favorite “discussion” podcast may be, such as, WTF With Marc Maron, or Fresh Air, or Armchair Expert, or The Joe Rogan Experience, etc. — and now picture that same podcast with lead anchor — Mike Tyson. It seems like it would be the perfect sitcom you’d binge-watch on Netflix, yet it’s truly happening in the form of “Hotboxin’” With Mike Tyson.
Mike Tyson hosts this digital broadcast where he has discussions that last pretty much an hour with probably the greatest names that come to mind from all fields of work, such as Eminem, Dennis Rodman, and even Evander Holyfield. Okay, you most definitely shouldn’t shape your philosophy around this (one of his guests was noted as anti-vaxxer Robert Kennedy Jr.), however, the fact that it’s Mike Tyson talking for 60 minutes with a special guest should make it worth checking it out even if it’s a particular guest, you’re a fan of.
The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Bill Simmons Podcast can differ in many ways, nevertheless, the show is always going to start and end with a couple of very well-known Pearl Jam riffs.
It could be a talk with top-tier athletes, such as Kevin Durant, or just as well be a discussion with sports-cherishing celebrities like Ethan Hawke or Matt Damon. Simmons will typically invite top-notch guests. The best shows are usually the ones when people drop everything else and simply talk sports, as you would do with your friend down at the bar. Simmons (who at some point wrote for “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”) frequently discusses sports and gambling with Kimmel’s cousin, Sal, a combo that is usually a mixture of funny and informativeness.
Above all, however, Simmons and his guests simply love sports, and you feel that in each episode. When certain subjects come up and need to be discussed, the podcast team always seems to have the right people who are cut out for the job!
He might be in his first full season since retiring from the New York Yankees, yet CC Sabathia has just become a veteran in a different area he is very talented in ‒ podcasting. This show from the 251-game champ and his co-host, ESPN and YES Network telecaster, Ryan Ruocco, started as a podcast from “The Players Tribune”, moved from that point to LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s “Uninterrupted” platform, and now airs on “The Ringer”/” Spotify”.
Sabathia and Ruocco have a very natural flow, and their discussions in every show feel like the kind that you could join in on immediately. Subjects range from social events and anecdotes to the happenings of the day in baseball, yet the most fascinating parts come when CC shares unfiltered emotions, points of view, and real stories from his own experience inside the Yankees and around the major league. Not so long ago, the 6’7” pitcher brought up the previously mentioned Houston Astros cheating scandal that shook Major League Baseball, and without hesitation: “Fuck that!” he stated, adding enlightenment on the situation from a player who lived something we’re all finding out about now.
30 for 30 Podcasts
Probably the coolest one on this list, 30 for 30 Podcasts (named after ESPN’s super successful sports documentaries) is essentially a sports version of NPR’s “This American Life”, with every episode telling a story in an audio-only form of documentary. The previous summer, the podcast featured “The Sterling Affairs”, which gave a new perspective on the scandal around Donald Sterling (previous proprietor of the Los Angeles Clippers), who was forced to sell the team after a recording that showed him making racist comments. For anybody intrigued by sports stories that are yet to become more clear but might have gone uncovered, this one is definitely for you.
Only a Game
This one is a no-brainer ‒ it’s NPR’s sports show. In case you’re into “Fresh Air”, or “Planet Money”, or “Morning Edition”, odds are you’ll like this one. It gets into separate story sections in every episode. About a year back, the show ran a very emotional section about previous NBA star and TNT “Inside the NBA” analyst ‒ Charles Barkley. In the end, ensure you turn away from where you are listening to ‒ somebody will, most likely, be cutting onions.
In case you’re an NBA fan simply searching for a daily recap of what went down in this insane league we all love, “No Dunks”, from The Athletic, may very well be your smartest choice. The hosts, Skeets, Tas, Trey, Leigh, and JD, talk about what is going on around the league, yet without feeling like you’re watching detailed reports from ESPN ‒ they feel more like buddies that you are having a couple of beers with.
The Fantasy Footballers
If ESPN just isn’t your cup of tea, you should give “The Fantasy Footballers” a chance. Anchored by Andy Holloway, Jason Moore, and Mike Wright, those three undoubtedly have been buddies for quite a while. They are very well informed and get their work done. If the show isn’t entertaining for you with their inconceivable sense of humor (normally addressed to certain players or trying to figure out why Russell Wilson is “RSHL WLSHN”, nonetheless, it’s funny), it’s compensating your time with truly useful guidance that you might find helpful in winning in Fantasy Football — and possibly making some cash.
Men in Blazers
In case you’re a soccer fan, especially an American soccer fan, this one is for you. Michael Davies and Roger Bennett discuss every weekend’s premier league games, and every four years comes a time to discuss the World Cup — not only do these folks know their shit, but they will also make you laugh your ass off while discussing it. They’ve been on ESPN previously, and now their show airs on NBC Sports Network, yet their digital broadcast is available at any point you may need it.
The JJ Redick Podcast
This is to cheer on all NBA players, who are still in the league and have their podcasts at the same time as Redick and Vince Carter do. Both of them air on “The Ringer” and McCollum also has his own.
Redick is a talent behind the mic; with the assistance of his co-anchor, Tommy Alter, he has guests on his show, such as his newbie team player, Zion Williamson, and also comedians like Hasan Minhaj.
Mike’s On With Francesa
Okay, so we had to mention The Sports Pope here. Since the time “Mike and The Mad Dog” aired in 1989, Francesa has been a constant in the sports talk world, even though his show was embedded distinctly in New York City. He’s got a 30 for 30!
Not only is the proud New Yorker a legend and the ruler of the hot take, but he is also currently a praised actor, as well.
He’s officially retired now. So this isn’t a recommendation as much as it is a suggestion to look into the classics. They’re out there.