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Unpacking the USFL with "Football For a Buck" author Jeff Pearlman

Think the new NFL rules are too stringent? So does host Melissa Jacobs who contemplates how to even tackle anymore. Melissa also shouts into the void: JOSH GORDON NEEDS HELP, NOT FOOTBALL. Then Jeff Pearlman joins to discuss his new book, Football For a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL on the ambitious league that lasted just three seasons (1983-1985), despite producing names like Herschel Walker, Jim Kelly and Steve Young. Pearlman discusses his love of the long defunct...


Football Date Night Week 2: Rollin' with Mahomes

Melissa and Dave find romance in another Football Date Night by going over their winners and losers on Sunday. Melissa reveals the common heritage that unites all seven 2-0 quarterbacks while Dave sees a silver lining for Cardinals and Bills fans. The couple finds agreement on the potential greatness of Patrick Mahomes, whether there is now a permanently “good” Blake Bortles, and the tragic saga of Browns kicker, Zane Gonzalez. But they sharply diverge on whether it should be Baker Mayfield...


A Legendary Conversation with ESPN's Suzy Kolber

Melissa opens the show with a quick review of the new MNF football squad, a defense of Jon Gruden taking the long view and has a message for those making a snap judgement about Beth Mowins. Then....Suzy Kolber loves football more than anyone and that passion and knowledge shine through in a special in-person conversation. Kolber, host of ESPN's Monday Night Countdown, takes a trip down memory lane sharing the story of the time she tried to play organized football as a young girl, plus how...


Football Date Night Week 1: The Chicago Bears Blues

On the inaugural Sunday Date Night subsidiary of the The Football Girl Podcast, Melissa welcomes her husband, Dave, to exercise his devastation over the Chicago Bears heartbreaking loss to the Green Bay Packers. Melissa torments Dave about Aaron Rodgers’ greatness, having just roared back from a 20-0 deficit and a seemingly devastating knee injury to win 24-23. Dave also explained what concerns him about Mitch Trubisky, providing the unique perspective of a beaten down fan who is just...


2018 NFL Season Preview: The Five Most Intriguing Teams

Hallelujah! Real live football that actually counts! In this super-sized episode, Melissa picks the five teams she believes are the most intriguing headed into the regular season, and dissects each one with a notable reporter from that team. Both fans in those markets and NFL fans at large should appreciate these scene-setting conversations. And now for the big reveal, Melissa's five most intriguing teams are.... RAMS 9:45: Lindsey Thiry of ESPN takes us to the land of stars and sky high...


The Inspiring Rise of NFL Reporter, Kimberley Martin

In this 28th episode, veteran NFL writer Kimberley A. Martin, and VERY soon to be Senior Reporter for Yahoo, takes listeners through her unique whirlwind journey covering the Jets, Bills, and Redskins in the past year for three different outlets. Martin dives deep into the art and joys of storytelling: "To me there is nothing better than to sit with somebody, have them open up and to then filter their whole journey in your own words, which are their words," she says Martin also thoughtfully...


Sweet, Sweet Fantasy Baby with Yahoo's Liz Loza

Fantasy draft season is in full swing and this week’s episode features one of the most elite fantasy expert minds out there, Yahoo’s Liz Loza. Liz tackles a number of hot button fantasy topics including how the Washington backfield will shake out (28:02), the most overrated and underrated QB (23:20), rookies to draft and avoid (30:45) and general draft strategy (18:35). She also sprinkles a good deal of Kenny Golladay love throughout the conversation. Liz also tells the INCREDIBLE story of...


The Ultimate 49ers Show with Joe Staley and Dante Pettis

49ers fans and cat lovers, you've come to the right podcast episode! This week Melissa was in Santa Clara to observe one of the most hyped teams in the NFL. Melissa chats with 49ers beat writer Jennifer Lee Chan of about expectations, breakout stars & why we're so obsessed with Jimmy G off the field. Then 49ers rookie WR Dante Pettis joins to talk about his love of cats, his blue hair and what's surprised him most in the early NFL tenure. Elder statesman LT Joe Staley also...


NFLN's Aditi Kinkhabwala on Hard Knocks, Le'Veon Bell & Joe Flacco's Face

This week we welcome Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network, the brilliant national reporter who specializes in the AFC North, to discuss the Hard Knocks premiere, including the deep philosophical differences between Browns head coach Hue Jackson, offensive coordinator Todd Haley and wideout Jarvis Landry. She also answers this week's burning question: Why didn't Jackson jump in the lake in February instead of June? Kinkhabwala also shares the latest on Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell and why...


Fantasy Football Previewpalooza with Pat Fitzmaurice

Training camp battles are in full bloom, which means fantasy football mania is not far behind. To ensure you, wonderful listener, have your most successful fantasy season yet, we welcome the smartest fantasy prognosticator in the land, Pat Fitzmaurice. Yes, Pat works for TFG and we are admittedly biased but he really is an elite ranker. We learn more about Pat’s backstory, his secret sauce for highlyaccurate ranking and get his thoughts on a number of hot button fantasy issues. Which players...


Jimmy G All Day, Jimmy G All Night (Guest: Jenny Vrentas, The MMQB)

Disclaimer: We have devoted a lot of time to analyzing Jimmy Garoppolo. We will continue to devote a lot of time to Jimmy Garoppolo. Duh. Jenny Vrentas, the brilliant senior writer for Sports Illustrated and The MMQB joins to discuss her deeply reported feature on the 49ers QB. Jenny breaks down Garoppolo’s background, including his idolization of Tom Brady and more recent trajectory to superstardom after just...


Dissecting the NFL's Hype Season w/Ross Tucker

Melissa is joined this week by Ross Tucker of The Ross Tucker Football Podcast, NBC and Sirius for a wide-ranging convo that will get any NFL fan hyped for the upcoming season. Ross shares his views on the 2018 ceilings for Jimmy Garoppolo (26:15), Patrick Mahomes(27:30) and the Cleveland Browns(28:40), plus why he doesn't think the Packers aren't Super Bowl contenders(29:05). He also reveals his top 3 storylines for the season (30:20). On a broader level, Ross explains why left tackle is...


Panthers Coaching Intern Jennifer King on Pounding into the NFL

The TFG Pod is back and we're weekly through the NFL season! In the week's episode, Melissa talks to Jennifer King, who will be a coaching intern for the Panthers during training camp after a successful rookie minicamp in the game role. King describes meeting Ron Rivera and how she got the opportunity. When King is not coaching in the NFL, she is the women's basketball coach for Johnson and Wales University and is a QB/WR on the New York Sharks. She details how all of her worlds have crossed...


Amy Palcic on Running the World of an NFL PR Department

A rare, wide-ranging conversation with Amy Palcic, the first woman to run an NFL PR department. Palcic takes the listener inside her job including that monumental night when J.J. Watt decided to start a small fundraiser for Hurricane Harvey. Palcic also offers great insight into the modern pr-media relationship and considers how men and women may cover the sport differently. Also in this episode, Melissa shares what is most exciting her about the upcoming NFL season (hint: think robust QB...


The Fascinating NFL Afterlife of D'Brickashaw Ferguson

When former Jets left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson retired two years ago at age 32 in the midst of a storied, injury-free career, the news was stunning for many. Was it because the Jets wanted him to take a pay cut? Or perhaps it was because Ferguson felt a ‘little betrayed’ after seeing the movie Concussion? Ferguson clears the air in this wide-ranging conversation. He also speaks honestly about the unique transition from professional athlete to regular human, and his process of...


Navigating the NFL's Shameful New Anthem Policy

On this special edition of the TFG Pod, Melissa shares her views on the deeply disturbing new anthem policy wrong, and the possible ramifications for the NFL. She also discusses a recent Player’s Coalition event in Oakland rooted in criminal justice reform and a particularly poignant statement from 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman. Then Howard Bryant, ESPN the Magazine senior writer and author of the prescient new book, The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America and the Politics of...


ESPN's Mina Kimes on the NFL Draft, Her Rise & How to Market to Female Fans

In this special-post draft edition of the TFG Pod, Melissa opens with three players to keep an eye on out of the NFL Draft (1:57) and thoughts on the monstrosity of the weekend. Then the multi-talented Mina Kimes from ESPN joins for a wide-ranging conversation (begins 11:15) that captures her thoughts from why the Baker Mayfield pick could change draft think to the NFL’s big parrot fail to normalizing women talking sports on TV to loving football despite its issues, and so much more. Melissa...


A Tale of Two NFL Draft Previews

Ex-scout, current Dallas Cowboys analyst & draft genius Bryan Broaddus brings a boatload of insight and astute QB dissection. In an earlier segment Melissa and her husband drink a bottle of wine and also talk draft with just a bit less analysis. If you like wine, weird QB analysis, Westworld-NFL Draft analogies (8:20), the dissection of Mitch Trubisky’s name (9:27) Melissa’s “drunken draft preview” with her Bears fan husband Dave has you covered. If you are a draft nerd, don’t have much...


Past, Present, and Future of the Activist Athlete

The Nation's Sports Editor Dave Zirin joins the TFG Pod to discuss the whirlwind process and shocking aftermath of co-writing, Things That Make White People Uncomfortable, with Eagles DE Michael Bennett. (11:50) Dave explains who exactly should read the book and why Michael is such a prescient voice for our times. (21:42) He also discusses his next book, Jim Brown: Last Man Standing, about perhaps the most complex mega athlete of the last century (24:21), and reveals the under-the-radar...


Ex-ESPNer Jane McManus on her new life in Europe

Highly respected journalist Jane McManus was one of the many stunning casualties during ESPN's massive layoffs in April 2017. Faced with a jolt, Jane turned the news into a life-altering adventure for her and her family. Her husband, a teacher, got a new job in Surrey, England and they found a new rental with the help of House Hunters International! In this wide-ranging conversation, Jane discusses the impetus for the move, takes us behind the scenes of her HHI episode, the emotions of being...