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Hang Up and Listen


A weekly sports discussion from Slate. Hang Up and Listen features Slate sports editor Josh Levin, writer Stefan Fatsis (author of A Few Seconds of Panic), and a selection of interesting guests from around the sports world.

A weekly sports discussion from Slate. Hang Up and Listen features Slate sports editor Josh Levin, writer Stefan Fatsis (author of A Few Seconds of Panic), and a selection of interesting guests from around the sports world.
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A weekly sports discussion from Slate. Hang Up and Listen features Slate sports editor Josh Levin, writer Stefan Fatsis (author of A Few Seconds of Panic), and a selection of interesting guests from around the sports world.






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The Poorly Photoshopped Water Polo Action Shot Edition

Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Ben Mathis-Lilley talk about the field for this year’s NCAA tournament and Zion Williamson’s return to the court. They also discuss the college admissions scandal and the Giants’ move to trade Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns. March Madness (1:55): Did the selection committee get it right? Will Zion dominate the tournament? Should you root for LSU or Yale? College admissions scandal (22:00): The best tidbits from Operation Varsity Blues. Plus: Is the bribery...


The Sorting Out the Winners From the Losers Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin talk about the basketball recruiting scandal at LSU. The New York Times’ Joe Drape also joins to discuss the deaths of 21 horses at Santa Anita Park. Finally, the Ringer’s Bryan Curtis assesses the sportswriter Dan Jenkins, who died last week at age 90. LSU (1:48): Should webe outraged about what we heard basketball coach Will Wade say on an FBI wiretap? Is Wade a villain or a victim? Horse racing (21:53): Why have so many horses died at Santa Anita in such a...


The Rabbit Out of His Head Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin are joined by Jemele Hill of the Atlantic to discuss what’s gone wrong with LeBron James and the Lakers. They also talk about Bryce Harper’s $330 million deal with the Phillies and Jason Witten’s return to football after a year in the broadcast booth. LeBron (1:18): We knew the Lakers star would have a tough road in the Western Conference. We didn’t know it would be this tough. Bryce Harper (17:04): Was the Phillies’ record-setting outlay wise or foolish? Will...


The Breaks of the Game Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin are joined by Damon Young to discuss Zion Williamson and the NCAA. ESPN’s Scott Eden also joins to talk about disgraced NBA ref Tim Donaghy and Deadspin’s Dvora Meyers assesses whether breaking should be an Olympic sport. Zion Williamson (1:24): In the aftermath of his shoe explosion and knee injury, should the 18-year-old superstar leave college basketball for good? Tim Donaghy (19:46): ESPN investigated the referee for two years and found evidence that he fixed...


The Settling Our Grievances Edition

Josh Levin is joined by Robert Lipsyte to discuss the settlement between the NFL and ex-49ers Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid. Sean Forman also joins to explain how he built Sports Reference and Tom Junod talks about his article on his father and sports gambling. Colin Kaepernick (3:10): Robert Lipsyte opines on whether Kaepernick or the league emerged victorious and what the next step is for the quarterback. Sports Reference (25:57): Sean Forman’s network of sites gets more than 1 billion...


The Telling Not Showing Edition

Josh Levin, NPR’s Gene Demby, and the New Yorker’s Vinson Cunninham discuss the big moves and non-moves at the NBA trade deadline. They also talk about Steven Soderbergh’s new NBA lockout movie High Flying Bird and the nascent Alliance of American Football. NBA trades (1:25): Anthony Davis isn’t going to the Lakers (yet) and Markelle Fultz is leaving Philly. How does that shift the league’s balance of power on the court and between players and management? High Flying Bird (22:05): A rare...


The You’re We-ing This Edition

Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Slate’s Ben Mathis-Lilley discuss the Patriots’ putrid Super Bowl win over the Rams. The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis also joins to assess Tony Romo’s performance. Finally, they critique the Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis trade. Super Bowl (1:32): It was a bad game. Very bad. How did the defenses muck things up in such an offense-dominated season? Tony Romo (21:21): The CBS star didn’t have much great material to work with. Did he shine anyway? Porzingis (39:23): Ben...


The Most Alarming Feet I’ve Ever Seen Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin are joined by Courtney Nguyen to talk about Naomi Osaka’s Australian Open win. The Wall Street Journal’s Louise Radnofsky also joins to assess the U.S. figure skating championships, and the Washington Post’s Candace Buckner discusses NBA players’ feet. Naomi Osaka (6:22): The 21-year-old backed up her U.S. Open victory with a second grand slam title. Has Osaka matured in the last five months, and how should we reconcile her shyness and on-court...


The When You’re the Steak Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin are joined by The Gist’s Mike Pesca to discuss the NFL’s conference championship games. ESPN’s Steve Fainaru also joins to talk about the collapsing football insurance market, and Ben Lindbergh of the Ringer assesses baseball’s ice-cold free agent market. NFL playoffs (3:51): The Saints got robbed. Does that mean the NFL should institute instant replay for pass interference? Also: Is there anything new to say about the Patriots? Football and insurance (32:44):...


Remember When U.S. Women's Gymnastics Used to Be Joyful?

Josh Levin is here to introduce you to What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. UCLA’s Katelyn Ohashi wowed the internet this week with a viral video of her college gymnastics floor routine. As Ohashi’s star rises, the U.S. women’s gymnastics program is imploding. Fans of the sport wonder: What is the price of being world-class? Slate contributor Rebecca Schumann joins What Next host Mary Harris to investigate. Subscribe to What Next on Apple Podcasts or sending an email to...


The Rooting for the Mustache Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin are joined by The Football Girl’s Melissa Jacobs to discuss the NFL playoffs. They also talk about the state of black coaches in the NFL and Racquet’s Caitlin Thompson helps assess the career of the (possibly) retiring Andy Murray. NFL playoffs (1:16): What we saw in the divisional round—Pats! Chiefs! Rams! Saints!—and what to expect in the conference championship games. Black NFL coaches (23:18): There were recently 7 black head coaches in the NFL. Now there...


The Phenomenal Young Gentleman Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin are joined by Slate’s Nick Greene to discuss the NFL’s wild card weekend. Jonathan Tjarks of the Ringer also joins to talk about James Harden and Roger Bennett of Men in Blazers assesses Chelsea’s acquisition of Christian Pulisic. NFL playoffs (1:56): Lamar Jackson was bad, Cody Parkey doinked another field goal, and more happening from the opening weekend of the pro football postseason. James Harden (21:30): The Houston Rockets guard is shooting 3-pointers at...


The Yepremian Corollary Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin take listener questions in a special year-end call-in show. Topics include which sports movies are the most realistic, what sports story would make for a great season of Slow Burn, and what would happen if women’s sports were the only ones broadcast on television. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


The Round Mound of Rebound and the Cat Litter Scientist Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin are joined by Shirley Wang to talk about her dad’s friendship with Charles Barkley. Jane Leavy also joins to discuss her Babe Ruth biography The Big Fella, and ESPN’s Joel Anderson helps assess the Mike Tyson-Buster Douglas documentary 42 to 1. Lin Wang and Charles Barkley (1:50): Why Shirley Wang’s story about their unlikely friendship had such a profound effect on so many people. Babe Ruth (14:20): Jane Leavy explains how the Bambino changed sports and...


The Caught Between the Moon and Golden State Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin are joined by the New Yorker’s Vinson Cunningham. They discuss Raheem Sterling and racism in English soccer, the 25th anniversary of the FOX-NFL alliance (with the Ringer’s Bryan Curtis), and Stephen Curry’s comments about the moon landing being a hoax. Raheem Sterling (2:26): How an Instagram post started a much-needed conversation about race, society, and soccer. Fox and the NFL (21:57): Rupert Murdoch’s $1.6 billion deal changed the network and pro football...


The Edward R. Tebow Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin are joined by NPR’s Gene Demby to discuss Heisman winner Kyler Murray’s impending choice between pro baseball and pro football, the Philadelphia 76ers’ chemistry issues with Jimmy Butler in the mix, and the NFL’s request for new punting proposals. Kyler Murray (2:30): Can the Oklahoma star play both football and baseball at the professional level? Should he try? Sixers (22:27): Joel Embiid is the face of the franchise. Jimmy Butler is a hyper-competitive star....


The Deja Vu All Over Again Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin are joined by ThinkProgress’ Lindsay Gibbs to discuss the Kansas City Chiefs’ decision to cut Kareem Hunt. The New York Times’ Marc Tracy also joins to talk about Alabama’s comeback win in the SEC title game and Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl helps assess Gregg Berhalter, the new head coach of the U.S. men’s soccer team. Kareem Hunt (3:19): The NFL clearly screwed up its investigation into Hunt’s offseason incidents. But what’s a better way to investigate...


The Foot Locker Gift Card Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin are joined by SB Nation’s Spencer Hall to discuss Texas A&M’s seven-overtime win over LSU. Joshua Robinson of the Wall Street Journal also joins to talk about the chaos in Argentina surrounding a soccer match between Boca Juniors and River Plate. And Jim Newell assesses The Match between Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. College overtime (1:23): Football players are not built to run around for seven extra periods. Also, 146 points is a lot of points. Copa...


The NBA Players Aren’t Friends Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin are joined by the Athletic’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss to discuss Draymond Green’s beef with Kevin Durant. Oliver Roeder of FiveThirtyEight also joins to talk about the World Chess Championship and the Atlantic’s Derek Thompson talks about income inequality in youth sports. Draymond vs. KD (2:40): Will interpersonal strife tear the Golden State Warriors apart, or is this just a small bump on the road to another championship? Chess (22:46): Magnus Carlsen and...


The NBA Jam Is Real Life Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin are joined by the Wall Street Journal’s Ben Cohen to discuss Duke freshman Zion Williamson and the video game–like NBA and NFL. Baseball writer Rob Neyer also joins to discuss Bill James’ claim that baseball players are replaceable. Zion Williamson (4:09): After two games, the Duke star looks like the greatest athlete in the history of basketball. Where can he possibly go from here? Sports as video games (19:55): Record-setting offenses in the NBA and NFL owe a...