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Author: ESPN, Pablo Torre

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Wake up to 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. The breaking news of SportsCenter. The deep dive storytelling of 30 for 30. Get the very best of ESPN. Daily.
244 Episodes
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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 Edmonton, to talk about the action on the ice and give us a glimpse at life inside the NHL bubble. Among her revelations: why fly fishing is a running joke amongst players, why avoiding eye contact is critical, and something called “the prison yard.” Plus, why Michael Jordan believes the timing is “perfect” for him to become a NASCAR owner.
The Miami Heat lead the Boston Celtics 2-1 in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals, thanks largely to a dominant postseason performance from Jimmy Butler. Through his ten seasons in the league, Butler’s ferocious competitiveness and polarizing personality have contributed to departures from his previous three teams. But now, in the Miami Heat, Butler seems to have found a home and team that is as passionate about the game as he is. With the Heat two wins away from a trip to the finals, and Butler as their unquestioned leader on the court, the 31-year old may finally rise to the next level of NBA stardom. Nick Friedell has covered Butler since he first came into the league, and takes us inside Butler’s psyche. Then, an ode to golfer Danny Lee’s 6-putt Saturday.
The NFL was hampered by injuries to stars around the league on Sunday. Among them? Saquon Barkley going down for the Giants, Carolina RB Christian McCaffrey, and many, many 49ers, including Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Bosa, and Raheem Mostert. Considering the impact of those injuries, many teams have now dropped to 0-2. Bill Barnwell discusses the severity of injuries around the league, and explains what’s at stake for football’s winless teams. Plus, a tribute to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: athletic inspiration.
The Denver Nuggets are the Cinderella story of this year’s NBA playoffs. After overcoming back-to-back 3-1 deficits in their series vs. the Jazz and the Clippers, and squashing any hopes for a potential “Battle of LA,” the Nuggets tip off tonight against LeBron James and the Lakers. Zach Lowe explores how Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets got here - and whether they have what it takes to get past the Lake Show. Then, how “Quarterback Whisperer” Bruce Arians is finding new ways to loudly motivate Tom Brady.
In September 1970 the USC Trojans, a racially integrated team, traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to take on the Crimson Tide, where only white players were allowed on the roster. And the game - a blowout by USC - put college football in the South on solid ground toward desegregation. Sam Borden spoke to several players who suited up that day for USC and Alabama, and shares their account of the legendary game with Pablo Torre. In this current moment of national dialogue on racial justice and police violence, and with college athletes speaking out more than ever before, these alums also consider how much progress has been made in the past 50 years, or not. Plus, how politics plays into the Big Ten college conference decision to hold a season, after all.
Joe West is the MLB’s longest tenured umpire, and certainly the most recognizable. Over the course of his 40-year-plus career, he’s been at the center of numerous controversies, and his confrontational style has made him a figure that both players and fans love to hate...even if they grudgingly respect him. Tim Kurkjian recently profiled West, who is on track to break the all-time record for games as an umpire early next year, and joins Pablo Torre to tell the story of one of baseball’s all time characters.
Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals tips off tonight between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. The Heat have been one of the biggest surprises in this year’s NBA playoffs, after first sweeping the Indiana Pacers, and then knocking off the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in the second round. Now, in taking on the Celtics, the Heat renew a bitter rivalry from earlier this decade, when the two teams faced off in three consecutive playoffs. Dan Le Batard joins Pablo Torre to explore the buildup behind this series, as well as how Miami is embracing this new underdog version of the Heat, a role they certainly never played when they were winning championships with LeBron and Dwyane Wade.
The NFL’s season kicked off to a thrilling start, as Tom Brady earned his first loss as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer to the New Orleans Saints. Meanwhile, Cam Newton rushed for two TDs in his debut as a New England Patriot. Around the league, 2018’s draft class had a chaotic day, with Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson squaring off while Josh Allen took on Sam Darnold...and Josh Allen. Bill Barnwell surveys the weekend’s football action, and examines where these quarterbacks stand following their week one performances.
In any normal year, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence would already have an enormous voice in college football. He is the most well-known player in the country, a Heisman Trophy favorite, and is widely expected to be the first overall player taken in the 2021 NFL Draft. But 2020 is no ordinary year, in college football or anywhere else: and Lawrence is increasingly speaking out on issues ranging from the global pandemic to racial injustice. It’s not a role Lawrence has asked for, but it found him, as fellow players, the media, even the President of the United States want to hear what Lawrence has to say. Hallie Grossman joins the show to explain just how Lawrence found himself in the middle of every issue in college football, and how he plans on using his massive platform.
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 in our country. And right now athletes are staking their claim on the anthem more than ever, to make history themselves. We take a deep dive into this present moment, and how it speaks to the past and future of the anthem’s role in sports. Our guests are Dr. Damion Thomas, sports curator of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Jon Batiste, musician and band leader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (who performed the national anthem for the NBA’s 2020 restart), plus Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce. As the NFL lines up to start its season, we also explore playing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in the pregame, and whether anthems should continue as part of sports.
QB Deshaun Watson takes the field for the Texans on Thursday night, armed with a fresh 4-year deal worth over $177 million, the second biggest in NFL history behind only the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes. Watson has found success at every level of his football career...from the public housing project in Georgia where he grew up, to Clemson where he won a national championship, and now in the NFL, where he’s made two straight Pro Bowl appearances. Through it all, Watson has remained quiet off the field, rarely speaking on anything outside of football. But following the killing of George Floyd, Watson has begun to use his voice. He marched in the streets of Houston with Floyd’s family, and helped lead a campaign to remove the name of a pro-slavery politician from a building at Clemson. Tim Keown interviewed Watson about his career and impact as a Black quarterback, and discusses his reporting with Pablo Torre.
NFL Week One Preview

NFL Week One Preview

2020-09-0826:20

The NFL season is already here (at last!) as the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs face the Deshaun Watson-led Houston Texans this Thursday. Week One’s full slate of games has something for every football fan: Tom Brady debuts with the Bucs, Joe Burrow takes the helm for the Bengals, and the Cowboys get the chance to live up to the hype surrounding their offense. Mina Kimes joins Pablo to preview this week’s football action.
Korean baseball energy is very much about the audience, performance and celebration. That includes big time bat flips. Mina Kimes traveled to Korea to get to the bottom of how a taboo in MLB became a signature of KBO play. In a re-spin of one of our favorite episodes, Pablo Torre asks Mina about her journey to Korea to investigate how bat flipping became part of their game, tied to the bigger history of the sport abroad.
The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby is Saturday, resuming after a four month delay due to the pandemic. While the event brings more attention and eyeballs to the sport of horse racing, the Derby also invokes a conversation surrounding the sport’s biggest crisis. The new ESPN podcast series "Bloodlines" looks into the deaths of horses at California’s Santa Anita racetrack, since a spike in fatalities began in 2019. Animal rights activists have been calling for reforms and even pushing for horse racing to be shut down altogether. The controversy has raised numerous questions about the complicated relationship between horses and the Bloodlines, and how the “sport of kings” found itself in jeopardy.
The Washington Football Team’s offseason has been anything but quiet. In July, the team changed its name after years of public protests. And in the past couple weeks, a series of exposés in the Washington Post have highlighted the team’s workplace culture, which a number of current and former female employees have alleged is rife with sexism and harassment. Jeremy Schaap interviewed four of these women this week, and brings us their stories of working for an organization that they say was openly hostile to the women employed there.
College football is off to a strange and uneven start. The SEC, ACC, and a few other conferences kicked off their season last weekend. Meanwhile the Big 10, which cancelled its season, seems to be muttering about regrets or even reconsidering, and the Pac-12 remains firmly out of the picture. Paul Finebaum explains the decisions and power struggles still at play even as college football kicks off, which stars are opting out to prepare for the NFL draft instead, and what it will take for the season to stay on course in coming weeks.
Lionel Messi is arguably the most famous athlete on the planet. The soccer superstar has claimed practically every individual and team accolade at the club level, and has rewritten the record books in his 17 years with FC Barcelona. But now, the man who many consider the greatest soccer player in history, says he wants to move on from the club he has played for his entire pro career. Messi's discontent for Barcelona has been brewing for months, but after a humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals, his frustrations seem to have finally come to a head. ESPN's Sam Borden explains the origin of Messi's breakup with Barcelona, and explores where the Argentine star might be headed next. Then, J.A. Adande shares his experience as a young reporter covering the late John Thompson, Georgetown basketball coaching legend.
NBA players wanted team owners to listen. That's what they told the GOAT. Following the Milwaukee Bucks' boycott over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, and the further postponement of more NBA playoff games last week, next steps were unclear. LeBron James, a go-to leader on activism, reportedly walked out of a players meeting. Then, a surprising ally reached out from the ownership side: Michael Jordan. With the playoffs now resumed, Jackie MacMullan breaks down why MJ was suited to work as a mediator, and how leadership and activism play into Jordan and James' legacies.
Over the summer, Georgia senator and Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler criticized the WNBA's support for Black Lives Matter via a letter sent to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. The letter prompted Dream players to wear shirts emblazoned with "Vote Warnock," Loeffler's political rival, and sparked a war of words between Loeffler and the players. As of now, Loeffler remains a co-owner of the Dream - and the players remain as politically engaged as ever. On the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech from which the Atlanta Dream take their name, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne takes us inside the battle between Loeffler and the Dream's players. Will Loeffler's stance ultimately be a gift or liability for her on election day? And what comes next when a team's own players are actively fighting to end their owner's political career?
On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks sent shockwaves around the world when they did not take the floor for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic as an act of protest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Shortly afterwards, the other two NBA playoff games slated for Wednesday were postponed - with each team's players refusing to play. From there, games across the WNBA, MLB, and MLS were postponed, as athletes everywhere expressed their solidarity. Later last night, NBA players met to discuss their next moves, and how to move forward together. Malika Andrews brings us the latest from the bubble on how things are playing out.
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Comments (20)

Michael Hedrick

Damn, I feel so bad for Enes. Sucks people from his own country cant even reply to a message because of being scared

Aug 22nd
Reply

Richard Ottley

great job Makur #blackexcellence I support you 💯

Jul 9th
Reply (1)

Eiji

Maya Moore is a legend on and off the court. 🔥🔥🔥 content as usual!!! 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾Stay Gold!!!

Jun 18th
Reply

Wahoo Wahoo

Well done, Doug Glanville. Thank you.

Jun 5th
Reply

Richard Ottley

love love love Dennis Rodman one of my favorite basketball players of all time

Apr 27th
Reply

Ben

great pod & research!

Apr 10th
Reply

Richard Ottley

awesome storyline 🤗🤗

Apr 9th
Reply

Mike Richter

Of course you made a story about dogs being killed into a story about racism good job!!

Feb 6th
Reply

Eiji

Mahomes like this. Mina, you’re amazing, a treasure. Stay gold. 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽

Jan 29th
Reply

j mo

mina kimes ur awesome keep doing qhat u do!

Nov 20th
Reply (1)

Richard Ottley

that's gonna be good game this Sunday Texans vs Ravens

Nov 15th
Reply

Richard Ottley

This is terrible.. NCAA should have already get these kids get paid right now.. NCAA is the most shady organized sports association in this country. These kids should go play overseas, because college sports is a waste of time.

Nov 12th
Reply (1)

Sean Garcia

Hi Mina, I love your daily podcast !! Keep up the great work. Sean in Tampa,Fl

Nov 8th
Reply

Paul Turner

Great work Mina and the producers! I hope you continue to change the status quo and get your own Football Show on ESPN! I could listen to your voice ALL Day...

Oct 28th
Reply

Richard Ottley

by far Kawi Leonard is in a better situation with the Clippers than with the Lakers.. if he was on the Lakers team with LB AD & PG I would have stop watching basketball games.. Kawi Leonard is the best thing for the league right now

Oct 24th
Reply

Richard Ottley

awesome episode I didn't know that Jerry Jones care so deeply about winning.. kinda feel sorry for this guy he needs to win another Super bowl title before he dies..

Oct 24th
Reply

Paul Turner

Sooo Dope Mina! Couldn't have thought of a better host to the show! Love it so far...

Oct 24th
Reply
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