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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 Three-Body Problem Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin are joined by The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss to discuss the Warriors and Zion Williamson. NFL retiree and mathematician John Urschel also joins to talk about his book Mind and Matter. Finally, Louisa Thomas assesses tennis player Nick Kyrgios. NBA (4:21): Are the Warriors better without Kevin Durant? Should Zion Williamson spurn the Pelicans? John Urschel (29:14): Why he decided to leave pro football to focus on his math career. Nick Kyrgios (52:10): The tennis...


Introducing The Queen

Linda Taylor was a con artist, a kidnapper, maybe even a murderer. She was also America’s original “welfare queen,” the villain Ronald Reagan needed to create a vision of a country being taken advantage of by its poorest citizens. In this new mini-series, Josh Levin reveals the never-before-told story of a woman whose singular life was forgotten in the rush to create a vicious American stereotype. Subscribe to The Queen in Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Learn more about your ad...


The Bounce Bounce Bounce Bounce Win Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin discuss Kawhi Leonard’s Game 7 buzzer-beater with ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz. Slate’s Joel Anderson also talks about Warriors-Rockets and Blazers-Nuggets, and the New York Times’ Rory Smith analyzes the state of English soccer. Kawhi’s game-winner (1:51): What it was like in the arena when that shot bounced and bounced and bounced and bounced on the rim. Western Conference playoffs (19:10): Do the Rockets have a mental block against the Warriors? How annoying is...


The Kawhi Gets the Last Laugh Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin discuss the Kentucky Derby with Sports Illustrated’s Tim Layden; author David Epstein talks about the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s ruling on Caster Semenya; and Slate’s Nick Greene discusses Kawhi Leonard and Nikola Jokic. Kentucky Derby (2:46): Did officials at the Kentucky Derby make the right call in disqualifying Maximum Security and giving Country House the victory? Caster Semenya (19:14): Everything you need to know about the controversial ruling that...


Introducing Man Up

Josh Levin talks with Aymann Ismail, the host of Man Up, the new Slate podcast about masculinity in the modern world. The two discuss Ep. 1 of Man Up, which features Eric Kelly. Kelly was so successful at fighting off bullies as a kid in Brooklyn, that he grew up to become an Olympic level boxer, until a bar fight ended his career. Subscribe to Man Up in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, or search for Man Up from Slate in your favorite podcast app. Learn more about your ad...


The Mouth Full of Bread Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin discuss Warriors-Rockets and Kevin Durant with the Athletic’s Marcus Thompson; the NFL draft with ESPN’s Mina Kimes; and ESPN’s new 30 for 30 documentary The Dominican Dream with director Jonathan Hock. Warriors-Rockets (3:00): Houston is complaining about the referees. Kevin Durant is putting up huge numbers. What else can we expect in the Western Conference semis? NFL draft (17:39): Why did Mina start screaming when the Giants selected Duke quarterback Daniel...


The I’m Kevin Durant Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin discuss NBA playoff beefs with Slate’s Nick Greene. ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski joins to talk about the NHL playoffs. Finally, Sports Illustrated’s Jack Dickey assesses Jeopardy! genius James Holzhauer. NBA beefs (4:07): Durant vs. Beverley.Dudley vs. Simmons. Westbrook vs. Lillard. What’s the best NBA beef, and which postseason beef needs more seasoning? NHL playoffs (24:12): How did the Tampa Bay Lightning get bounced after putting together one of the best regular...


The Tiger! Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin discuss Tiger Woods’ Masters win with Slate’s Jim Newell. The New Yorker’s Vinson Cunningham joins to talk about Kyle Korver’s essay on white privilege. Finally, ESPN’s Jeff Passan explains the logic behind Ozzie Albies’ awful contract. Tiger Woods (1:55): His win at the Masters was an all-time great sports moment. Here’s how we’ll remember it. Kyle Korver (24:32): What he got right in his Players’ Tribune essay on race and the NBA and what he left out. Ozzie...


The Make America Cheat Again Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin discuss the women’s NCAA tournament with Lindsay Gibbs of ThinkProgress. Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard also joins to talk about Giannis Antetokounmpo. Finally, Slate’s Jim Newell assesses Donald Trump’s cheating on the golf course. NCAA tournament (2:01): How did Baylor beat defending champ Notre Dame? And what should we make of Baylor coach Kim Mulkey and Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw? Giannis (25:59): How coach Mike Budenholzer helped transform the...


The Farewell to Zion Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Mike Pesca break down the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four and are joined by Lindsay Gibbs of ThinkProgress to discuss the women’s tournament. Ben Lindbergh of the Ringer talks about the new Major League Baseball season. And author Wayne Coffey comes on to discuss his new book, They Said It Couldn’t Be Done, about the miracle New York Mets of 1969. Basketball (2:40): Despite one of the greatest collections of young talent ever, Duke didn’t make the Final Four. Despite a...


The March Equals Madness Edition

Stefan Fatsis and Josh Levin discuss Duke’s crazy NCAA Tournament win over UCF. They also talk about Michigan State coach Tom Izzo’s sideline behavior, and Ian Eagle joins the show to explain how play-by-play announcers call buzzer-beaters. Duke-UCF (1:14): How the Blue Devils pulled it out, and how Zion vs. Tacko lived up to its advance billing. Tom Izzo (14:20): Assessing the national conversation about Izzo’s anger issues and how coaches should treat players. Buzzer-beaters (34:48):...


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):...