John Calipari's Deal Is Bad, Even For Players Whose Knees Survive It

Last week, I wrote about the ways that both pro- and anti-NCAA camps tend to miss the mark when talking about University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari. He deserves less criticism for breaking NCAA rules and more for profiting from them, because even his “Players First” arrangement forces players to take… » 3/31/15 10:57am Yesterday 10:57am

New Yorkers: If you dig smart people talking sports, you should check out Hang Up and Listen LIVE! on October 8th in Brooklyn. Your regular podcasters Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca will be there, along with special guest Roy Blount, Jr. You can find more information here. » 10/01/14 1:27pm 10/01/14 1:27pm

Map: The United States Of America, By Meat

This is fun. L.V. Anderson and Jess Fink of Slate started with a simple observation—Americans consume more meat per person than any other nation on earth (except Luxembourg, those gluttons), yet most of our official state foods are not meat—and have created a map that assigns a unique meat or meat-based dish to each… » 3/11/14 1:46pm 3/11/14 1:46pm

Get It Right, People: Bobby Knight Didn't Throw A Folding Chair

Despite being one of the most infamous coaching meltdowns in history and either the first or second thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Bobby Knight, there is one crucial aspect of The Incident With The Chair that is consistently misremembered: the type of chair he chucked across the floor. » 2/25/14 6:02pm 2/25/14 6:02pm

Why Do Coaches Always Beat Up On The Little Sisters Of The Poor?

The Little Sisters of the Poor are in the news again, but surprisingly not as a sports metaphor for a patsy opponent. But now's as good a time as any to wonder: Where did this ubiquitous metaphor come from? » 1/09/14 4:20pm 1/09/14 4:20pm

Auburn's Field Goal Return Was Even Rarer Than You Think

The insane ending to last week's Iron Bowl had sports fans wondering if any college football game had ever ended in such an improbable fashion. NCAA records show that even in the missed-field-goal-returned-for-touchdown department, Chris Davis's score was especially rare. » 12/03/13 6:20pm 12/03/13 6:20pm

How The NFL Used To Punish Teams For Crowd Noise

Last month, Kansas City Chiefs fans broke CenturyLink Field's record for world's loudest stadium. Not long ago, however, that kind of in-game crowd noise was explicitly forbidden in the NFL rule book. This isn't all that surprising, as the NFL has a habit of hating its fans. » 11/19/13 4:42pm 11/19/13 4:42pm

Children's Song Will Teach Young Knicks Fans How To Face Despair

The fight for the future fandom of New York's children has finally been memorialized in the instant classic, "Who Do You Like Better, The Knicks or the Nets?" As expected, the lyrics prepare today's youth for the existential agony that is being a Knicks fan, without addressing that other team at all. » 11/13/13 5:06pm 11/13/13 5:06pm

Lou Reed Loved Sports, Too

In the days since Lou Reed's death, you've undoubtedly come across numerous eulogies lauding the man and his varied interests. But one side of him you probably haven't heard much about is his sports fandom. This week on Slate's Hang up and Listen, Mike Pesca enlightens us on the topic of Reed's relationship to sports. » 10/30/13 4:10pm 10/30/13 4:10pm

Sunday Night Football Producer: No Need To "Glorify" Big Hits Anymore

The producer of the NFL's flagship broadcast, NBC's Sunday Night Football, said he's getting super-cautious about showing repeated replays of rough hits, especially those of the helmet-to-helmet variety. » 9/10/13 4:10pm 9/10/13 4:10pm

At Least One ESPN Program Bans The Use Of "Redskins"

Our friend Josh Levin over at Slate made a fascinating discovery today: Back in the mid-2000s, when ESPN broadcast the finals of the National Scrabble Championship, a total of 170 words were prohibited from being used during the game. One of them was nickname of Washington's NFL franchise, which Slate will no longer… » 8/13/13 4:23pm 8/13/13 4:23pm

Remembering Ashley Whippet, History's Best Frisbee-Catching Dog

The Ashley Whippet Invitational is the world's premier athletic competition for dogs that excel at catching frisbees, and it wouldn't exist if not for the contributions of its namesake. On this week's excerpt from Slate's Hang up and Listen, Josh Levin takes a look back at the career of the greatest frisbee-catching… » 7/26/13 4:46pm 7/26/13 4:46pm

Why Do We Say Three-Pointers Come From "Downtown?"

If you've ever watched a basketball game, you've heard a play-by-play announcer exclaim something along the lines of, "From way downtown!" after a made three-pointer. But when did this become the go-to turn of phrase for describing three-point shots? On this week's excerpt of Slate's Hang up and Listen podcast, Josh… » 6/25/13 5:14pm 6/25/13 5:14pm

Matt Bonner Talks About The Time His Team Doctor Was A Dentist

Team doctors are a vital part of any NBA team. They are counted on to manage sprains, guide players through rehab, and help cure any number of physical maladies that might befall members of the team. Matt Bonner discovered the value of his team doctor when he got his head split open by an errant elbow, but he also… » 6/18/13 1:47pm 6/18/13 1:47pm

Roy Hibbert Can Never Play For Team USA, And It's All Jamaica's Fault

The United States Olympic basketball team, finding itself short on centers, wanted to add Indiana Pacers big man Roy Hibbert to its roster before the 2012 summer games. There was just one problem: Hibbert belonged to the Jamaican national team. On this week's excerpt from Slate's Hang Up and Listen podcast, Josh Levin… » 6/14/13 6:06pm 6/14/13 6:06pm

Does A Baseball Player's Race Affect The Value Of His Card?

Is a baseball card worth more money if the player on it is white? Perhaps! On this week's excerpt from Slate's Hang up and Listen podcast, Mike Pesca runs through the many studies have been done on the subject of racial bias and baseball card values, many of which posit that racism has long driven down the value of… » 6/07/13 7:08pm 6/07/13 7:08pm

Will Anyone Ever Run A Marathon In Under Two Hours?

One of the last remaining grand achievements to be had in the world of competitive running is the sub-two-hour marathon. The current world record—held by Kenyan Patrick Makau—sits at two hours, three minutes, and thirty-eight seconds. But many wonder, is it possible to run a marathon in under two hours? » 5/17/13 5:35pm 5/17/13 5:35pm