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Sports Wars
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Sports Wars

Author: Wondery

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Sports rivalries can fuel fans and athletes to fight and argue for years. But what’s the real story behind these epic battles?

From Wondery, the company behind “Business Wars”, “Gladiator” and “The Lead” comes SPORTS WARS, a new series that offers an immersive look at some of the greatest athletic rivalries of all time: two superpower nations facing off in the Miracle on Ice. The battle for the starting quarterback gig in Green Bay between Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. And many more.

Host Dan Rubenstein (Sports Illustrated, SB Nation) will take you from the grudge matches to the pranks, from the tantrums to the triumphs: what really happened, who was right, who was wrong -- and you can decide whose side you’re on.

76 Episodes
Introducing Sports Wars

Introducing Sports Wars


Brett Favre vs. Aaron Rodgers. Michael Jordan vs. Isiah Thomas. And many more...Sports Wars premieres on April 17th. Subscribe now!
Kelvin Washington is an anchor for Spectrum News 1, in Southern California, and can be heard nationally on Fox Sports Radio, among other outlets. He and Dan discuss Kobe Bryant’s legacy and influence, in the wake of Kobe's tragic passing. They also dig into Kobe’s relationship with former teammate Shaquille O’Neal.
In the final season of Sports Wars, prepare to enter the Octagon with bitter rivals, Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, two of the fiercest UFC fighters out there. Both are notorious for their intense battles, infamous pre-fight feuds and a willingness to say or do anything to beat a hated rival. But, once they’re inside the octagon, only one can emerge victorious. Pick a side, the fight is here.This final season of Sports Wars: Conor vs. Khabib is a Wondery Plus exclusive. Start your free trial of Wondery Plus in the Wondery app to listen ad-free:
In Wondery’s newest series, Secret Sauce, hosts John Frye and Sam Donner explore the stories and successes behind some of the most inspiring businesses, creative innovators and intrepid entrepreneurs. First up, we’re diving into the company that revolutionized how we vacation, travel, and even how we trust other people...we’re talking about Airbnb. In 2008, Air Bed and Breakfast launched at SXSW with high hopes of becoming an alternative to overbooked hotels...but they ended up with just two people booking a stay...and one of them was a co-founder of the company. How did Airbnb persevere through adversity to become a company that would forever change the way we think about travel? What was their magic - their secret sauce - that made them such an unlikely success story? And what lessons can we learn from them? Listen at
It's 2005 and The Green Bay Packers are on the clock in this year's NFL Draft. The last thing most Packers fans think the team needs in the draft is a new quarterback. Their team already has Hall of Famer, Brett Favre, who is in the middle of his record-breaking Iron Man streak for consecutive games started. But when Aaron Rodgers slips in the draft, the new Packers GM makes a risky call, and sets up a bitter rivalry between two quarterbacks with very different styles.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
In 1991, the Atlanta Falcons tire of the antics of their rookie quarterback, Brett Favre. They decide to trade him to Green Bay where he soon takes over as the starting quarterback. He begins a streak of consecutive starts that will turn him into a legend. Along the way, he battles his competition, his coaches and his demons. As he is pursuing his first Super Bowl, a kid in California named Aaron Rodgers is watching at home and dreaming of an NFL football career that will one day collide with Favre's in Green Bay.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Brett Favre takes Titletown to the Super Bowl for the first time in 29 years. Aaron Rodgers tries to prove he's good enough to play college football and be chosen by his favorite team - the 49ers.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Aaron Rodgers starts his career as the backup QB in Green Bay as Brett Favre ponders retirement. When Favre leads the Packers to their best season in years, the legendary quarterback decides he may not be ready to turn the team over to Rodgers after all.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Brett Favre comes out of retirement again, but this time Green Bay is moving on to the Aaron Rodgers era. The Packers trade Favre to the Jets, turning their legendary QB into a new rival.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
As the new quarterback of the rival Minnesota Vikings, Brett Favre wants revenge against the Packers. He won’t retire until he gets his chance to beat Rodgers and Green Bay in 2009. Meanwhile, Rodgers tries to show the Packers he’s ready to be the new face of the franchise.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Jeff Pearlman-- the best selling author of Gunslinger: The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre-- joins Sports Wars to discuss the rivalry between Favre and Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. They began as competitors on the same team, but ended up battling for division titles and respect when Favre came out of retirement with the Vikings. As Rodgers heads toward the second half of his career, some think he’s become the new Favre in Green Bay.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
“Strokes of Genius” author Jon Wertheim discusses what makes tennis rivalries different than any other sport, why Federer v Nadal was so compelling, and other great match ups in tennis history.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
It’s 1985. Michael Jordan is a flashy Chicago Bulls rookie, and Isiah Thomas is an established star for the Detroit Pistons. When they’re thrust together at the NBA All-Star Game, it’s not exactly love at first sight. Jordan feels slighted by Isiah, and Isiah can’t stand Jordan’s swagger. A brutal rivalry starts in a weekend and lasts for over a decade.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
By 1987, Michael Jordan has established himself as the NBA’s most exciting player—not to mention the league’s top scorer. But it’s Isiah Thomas and the Detroit Pistons who dominate the Eastern Conference, and their tough play earns them a new nickname, the Bad Boys. When Jordan threatens the Pistons’ reign, Isiah and his teammates must find a way to stop Jordan in his tracks. Their plan? The “Jordan Rules.”Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Michael Jordan is unstoppable—except when it comes to Isiah Thomas and the Detroit Pistons. When the Bad Boys cruise to back-to-back championships in ’89 and ’90, Jordan’s frustration reaches an all-time high. He’s willing to take whatever help he can get, even if it comes from the weirdo who’s now coaching the Bulls, Phil Jackson.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
1991. At long last, Michael Jordan beats Isiah Thomas, ends the Bad Boys era, and ushers in a Bulls dynasty. Jordan has the edge over his longtime rival, but that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten the Freeze Out or the “Jordan Rules.” He’s still out for revenge. When he’s asked to join the Dream Team, Jordan sees the perfect opportunity.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
Veteran reporter Sam Smith followed the Chicago Bulls for their 1990–91 season and turned that experience into a bestselling book, “The Jordan Rules.” It’s a searing, unmatched portrait of Michael Jordan’s path to glory. On this episode of Sports Wars, Smith explains why the Jordan–Isiah feud is probably the most ferocious in history, and he sets the record straight on why Jordan left the NBA to play baseball (hint: it didn’t have anything to do with the mob).Support us by supporting our sponsors!
For three decades, David Aldridge has covered the NBA for outlets like The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Athletic. On this episode of Sports Wars, he digs into the league’s long history of mighty matchups and argues it’s often the rivalries that make basketball great.Support us by supporting our sponsors!
For the next six episodes, we're focusing on two of the greatest rivalries in college football: Georgia vs. Florida and Texas vs. Oklahoma. We begin with Georgia vs. Florida, a long-simmering, start-studded, completely unruly matchup. These schools have hated each other for a century. Here's why.To hear more episodes of Sports Wars: Georgia vs Florida, listen exclusively with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for this and more exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App. 
What makes the rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma so doggone contentious? Maybe it’s that these states hate each other so much they almost went to war over a bridge. Maybe it’s the underhanded stunts coaches like Mike Leach have pulled to win. Or maybe it’s just because with great proximity comes great hostility. Over the next three episodes, we’ll dig into this unparalleled grudge match.To hear more episodes of Sports Wars Texas vs Oklahoma, listen exclusively with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for this and more exclusives, binges, early access, and ad-free listening. Available in the Wondery App. 
Comments (46)

Stacey Paiva

how about Messi vs Ronaldo?

Aug 21st

Julie homewood

how about Martina vs Chris Evert or vs Steffi

Jul 9th

Tammy Varga

love Favre

Jun 26th

Julie homewood

ok I'm getting a bit bored with so many American stories, there are other sports played around the world.

Jun 5th

Pansit Wichayacoopt


May 17th

Siddharth Sharma

se we as ds

Apr 24th

Sean Edward Lathrop

I already knew a good portion of this information, but hearing it as a sports documentary and the Deion Sanders connection surprised me.

Mar 4th

Brandon G

Great job talking about one of the most exciting times in Baseball. Sad they had to use PEDs, but man it was fun watching the balls fly.

Feb 28th
Reply (1)

Howard Stein

was a fantastic series. really enjoyed it. thank you

Jan 31st

Jasmeet Jaggi

guys, cover some war stories in football e.g Liverpool vs Manchester United.

Jan 30th


RIP Kobe

Jan 27th

Sean Edward Lathrop

i haven't listened yet, but can't wait. Really curious if we get notes about Eli in this.

Jan 8th
Reply (1)

Murphy Bros

can you do more football series.

Dec 10th

Armando Chinchilla

and just like that Im done with the podcast... keep the good work best wishes to y'all

Dec 6th
Reply (6)

Vic Underwood

Farve was def a Great Qb and fan fav yet Rodgers is a Great Qb.

Dec 5th
Reply (2)

Julie homewood

how about Martina verse Chris Evert ?

Nov 21st


Love the podcast! Great storytelling. Here are some rivalries my husband and I hope are in the pipeline: Conners vs McEnroe - Montana vs Young - Sampras vs Agassi - Bird vs Magic to name a few!

Nov 9th
Reply (5)

Russell Hooper

It's disappointing that he didn't ask Piazza about the All Star Game when Piazza was catching for Clemens.

Nov 7th

Zach Hembree

Teddy Atlas is a long winded jackass. This is one of the worst interviews I've ever heard.

Oct 11th

John Farver

Favorite series yet!!!

Oct 9th
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