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the nail in the coffin | A Cleveland sports podcast

Sports & Recreation Podcasts

An award-winning Cleveland sports podcast covering the Cavaliers, Browns, Indians, Buckeyes, sports media and pop culture.


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An award-winning Cleveland sports podcast covering the Cavaliers, Browns, Indians, Buckeyes, sports media and pop culture.




Episode 206 – High ticket attractions: Cavs-Knicks and the must-see NBA playoffs

The Nail guys are back to talk about the Cavs-Knicks series, taking in the atmosphere at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for the NBA playoffs, and the state of sports on TV. The episode covers the Cavs' bounce-back win on Tuesday night to even the series, the emergence of Darius Garland and Caris LeVert after both had a rough Game 1, and expectations for the weekend as the series shifts to New York. Plus: The Cavs and Guardians are still on Bally Sports, but for how much longer? The landscape of sports on TV is changing quickly, both locally and at the national level. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 205 – Crash course: Catching up on golf’s new LIV Tour and the game’s local rec scene

Guy Cipriano, editor-in-chief of Golf Course Industry Magazine, joins The Nail to talk about the launch of the LIV Tour, a Saudi-backed golf league that is promising big bucks to steal some of the game’s big names (and ruffling the PGA Tour’s feathers in the process). The guys discuss the new league’s paradigm-shattering financial model, the backlash being faced by defecting PGA Tour stars like Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, and how the PGA Tour is responding to the most high-profile, direct threat a major U.S. sports league has faced in more than a generation. Plus, Cipriano dives into the recreational golf scene, including how the game is diversifying, what casual golfers are looking for from their local courses now, and where the industry is headed in the coming years. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 204 – Cavs’ season of progress and promise comes to premature end

Too many injuries—and in the end, too much Trae Young—ultimately proved to be the Cavs’ undoing, as their season ended on Friday night with a dispiriting loss to the Hawks. Friend of the Nail and Cavs superfan Mark Meszoros joins the show for a look back at a memorable year in which the Cavs fought through one setback after another—Injuries! COVID! More injuries!—to win 44 games and establish a dynamic nucleus led by Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. It’s a cathartic conversation that goes from lamenting what went wrong Friday against Atlanta to getting excited about the summer and beyond for a revitalized Cavaliers franchise. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 203 – Baker’s run as Browns QB is on the razor’s edge

A deal for Deshaun Watson appears to be dead, but the Browns still seem bound for a breakup with Baker Mayfield. The guys discuss Mayfield’s tenure and eventual unraveling in Cleveland, as well as the Browns’ remaining options at quarterback for 2022 and beyond. Plus: QBs aren’t the only big names on the move in the NFL. The No. 1 broadcasting teams for nearly all of the league’s TV partners are getting an overhaul as top play-by-play announcers and analysts are making big-money moves. … Finally, the guys pay tribute to wrestling legend Scott Hall, aka Razor Ramon, who died this week at the age of 63. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 202 – Back at it: Cavs, NBA All-Star, OBJ narratives and the Olympics

After a 5-month hiatus, the Nail guys are back with a lot to catch up on, from misguided narratives about OBJ’s exit from Cleveland hanging over Super Bowl Sunday to the arrival of a new era for the Cavaliers franchise starring Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. Plus: NBA All-Star Weekend is here, the Winter Olympics are on, and pro wrestling has had a drama-filled week behind the scenes with Cody Rhodes walking away from AEW to possibly set up a once-unthinkable return to WWE. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 201 – College football is changing (but not at the top of the polls), and the Bishop Sycamore fiasco

Bill Bender of the Sporting News is back on The Nail to talk about the new college football season, Texas and Oklahoma eying a jump to the SEC, and the implications of an alliance between the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC. Plus: Will anybody challenge Ohio State in the Big Ten? (Probably not.) Can anyone other than the perennial playoff programs finally break through and get a berth this year? (Also not likely!) Later, the guys discuss how the Bishop Sycamore story quickly went from an amusing tale of an unqualified prep team scheming its way into a game on ESPN to something much, much worse. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 200 – Jeopardy’s host search debacle, MLB’s Field of Dreams and wrestling’s big weekend

The long, highly publicized search for a new host of Jeopardy was over…and now it’s not. On Friday, news broke that Mike Richards, the show’s embattled executive producer who had taken the job as Alex Trebek’s successor, was backing away from the podium amid heavy backlash. Before Richards announced his resignation as host, the guys discussed the highly dubious process the resulted in him getting the spot and the issues that we now know ultimately led to his undoing. Plus: MLB’s Field of Dreams game was a home run for everyone involved, and with WWE’s SummerSlam on Saturday night in Las Vegas and AEW rumored to be debuting a certain famous Chicago-made star on Friday, it’s shaping up to be a huge weekend for wrestling. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 199 – Did the Indians get it right with ‘Guardians’?

The Cleveland Indians on Friday announced that they will take the field as the Guardians starting in 2022. Even if the name changing process formally began seven months ago, it was a decision years in the making. But did the Indians get it right with their new identity? The guys discuss the new moniker, as well as whether it was a good idea to create a new visual identity that, while no longer controversial, certainly looks similar to the old one in a lot of ways. Plus: The Browns have unveiled a 75th anniversary throwback uniform, and college football is being turned on its head this summer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 198 – WWE superstar Otis on SmackDown coming to Cleveland

Ahead of WWE SmackDown coming to Cleveland on Friday, superstar Otis joins The Nail to discuss the company’s return to live touring after spending the better part of 16 months performing in closed venues. The Alpha Academy’s “No. 1 Guy” talks about the challenges of wrestling in front of empty arenas and virtual fans, the difference getting back to having a live crowd in attendance has made, and what he and tag team partner Chad Gable will be up to this Friday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. *** Read more about WWE returning to the road and its stop in Cleveland for SmackDown on Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 197 – MLB's data-driven dilemma, NBA Play-In, Browns' big games, Crew rebrand U-turn

Strikeouts are at a record high, batting averages are at a record low, and MLB is at a crossroads as teams continue to swing for the fences even as the ball has been tweaked to cut down on home runs. Three teams—yes, including the Indians—have been no-hit twice this season, and it’s still only mid-May. The guys discuss how teams’ analytics-driven pursuit of success is at odds with putting on an entertaining product for fans, and how it’s not just a problem for baseball. Plus: The NBA’s play-in games are a literal overnight success, the NFL schedule makers believe in the Browns, and the Columbus Crew does a fast U-turn on an ill-fated rebrand. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 196 – NFL Draft arrives in CLE, disgruntled Kevin Love, and a sports betting bill for Ohio

Kevin Kleps of Crain’s Cleveland Business joins the Nail to give a preview of what fans can expect to see downtown this weekend as the NFL Draft takes center stage in the city. Also covered: An update on COVID-related attendance limits for Cleveland’s teams The odds of a policy requiring COVID-19 vaccination for entry into sports venues (similar to what was recently announced in Buffalo) being implemented by the Browns, Cavs and/or Indians Kevin Love is agitated again A look at the sports betting legislation that could be coming soon in Ohio Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 195 – OU announcers Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius on the Bobcats’ return to March Madness

The Ohio Bobcats are back in the NCAA tournament since the program made a Sweet 16 run in 2012. Long-time OU broadcasters Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will be at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana, on Saturday night to call the game vs. Virginia. They join The Nail to discuss the Bobcats’ blitz through last weekend’s MAC tournament in Cleveland, how the team came together through two COVID-related shutdowns, the matchup with the defending national champions, and the unique, near empty-arena atmosphere that awaits on Saturday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 194 – Ohio State and March Madness with Whitney Harding of NBC4 in Columbus

With the Ohio State Buckeyes set to open their NCAA tournament run against Oral Roberts on Friday afternoon, sports reporter/anchor Whitney Harding of NBC4 in Columbus joins The Nail to talk March Madness, how OSU has built its program and thrived this season without a surefire future NBA draft pick on its roster, and why some of college basketball’s bluebloods have struggled to adjust to the changing landscape of college basketball. Plus: The turning point that put Cleveland State on the path to its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2009, catching Cade Cunningham and Oklahoma State, and other teams to watch this weekend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 193 – A year later, the MAC is back in Cleveland

The Mid-American Conference men’s and women’s tournaments are back at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse this week, one year after COVID-19 brought the sports world to a halt. Ohio University beat writer Jason Arkley was in Cleveland to cover the tournaments for the Athens Messenger last year when the plug was pulled. This year, he's working independently—and from home—as the MAC is back, but full arenas and press rows are not just yet. Arkley joins The Nail to discuss the challenges universities have faced in trying to get through their sports seasons, a year of change in how college sports are covered, and the players and teams to watch this weekend in Cleveland. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 192 – Surviving the Cavs swoon, understanding NBA Top Shot

Waiting For Next Year’s Craig Lyndall joins the guys to talk about the Cavs digging out of a hole after a miserable February, setting fair expectations three years into a rebuild, Jarrett Allen being awesome since joining the team, and why NBA Top Shot has become a phenomenon in recent weeks (and whether it can last). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 191 – Cavs rising, EA's college football game returning, and memories of Les Levine

For the better part of a generation, the Cavs have existed in two states: With LeBron James, an NBA championship contender, or without LeBron, one of the worst teams in the league. Times are changing. The Cavs are fun and more than holding their own this year. The guys discuss the leap of Collin Sexton (and his pairing with Darius Garland), the heist that brought Jarrett Allen to town (and will eventually send Andre Drummond out), and the experience of having a team that's out of the cellar but not yet facing championship-or-bust expectations. Plus: EA Sports is bringing back its college football video game, Tampa is having the “best sports year that nobody can be present for” of all time, and a tribute to Cleveland sports media legend Les Levine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 190 – One that got away: A great Browns season comes to an end in K.C.

The most fun Browns season in decades is over after the team came up one score short of doing the unthinkable and knocking out the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs in Kansas City. The guys dig into the controversial no-call on the hit that caused Rashard Higgins to fumble away a potential score late in the second quarter, the Browns finding new life after being on the verge of getting KO’d early in the second half, Kevin Stefanski’s decision to punt the ball away late in the fourth, and how Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s aggressive playcalling (and … *sigh* … a 13-yard run by Chad Henne) ultimately sealed the Browns’ fate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 189 – Shock and awesome: Browns stun Steelers, get ready for K.C.

Before the Browns head off to Kansas City for a divisional round matchup with the Chiefs, the guys look back on an unforgettable night in Pittsburgh that started with an avalanche—four first-quarter touchdowns!—and ended with the Browns winning their first playoff game since 1994. With coach Kevin Stefanski, cornerback Denzel Ward and others returning from the COVID-19 list, can the Browns keep up the magic in K.C.? Even if they don’t set records again, another fast start will probably be needed. Plus: Nickelodeon’s slime-filled broadcast of Bears-Saints, a postmortem on Ohio State-Alabama and a lackluster college football season, and Ken Jennings’ start as “Jeopardy!” guest host (and the others scheduled to follow). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 188 – A COVID cloud is stealing the Browns’ and Buckeyes’ sunshine

The Browns are going to the playoffs! The Buckeyes are playing for a national championship! This is all supposed to be exciting…right? The guys discuss COVID-19 taking the air out of Northeast Ohio football fans’ balloon at the worst possible time, whether the Browns can overcome not having Kevin Stefanski and multiple starters, and the possibility that Monday’s national championship game between Ohio State and Alabama might not end up being on Monday after all. Plus: Justin Fields was incredible leading OSU over Clemson in one of the Buckeyes’ most satisfying wins in years, and the Indians’ trade of Francisco Lindor is the latest painful reminder that Major League Baseball is a broken institution. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Episode 187 – Inside the disputes keeping Cavs and Browns games off our TVs

As of Monday afternoon, subscribers of YouTube TV, Hulu and Sling in Northeast Ohio were blocked out from watching Cavs games on Fox Sports Ohio. Local DIRECTV and AT&T Uverse subscribers are keeping their fingers crossed that they don’t have to watch the Browns’ Sunday Night Football game on a Spanish network because they are currently blocked from receiving WKYC. With disputes between cable providers and network operators on the rise, Awful Announcing owner and editor Ben Koo joins the Nail to explain why losing access to big games is becoming a more frequent problem and how soon we can expect deals in these latest fights to be reached. Plus: Sinclair betting big on a reimagined regional sports network model, how much teams and leagues get involved in negotiations between cable companies and networks to ensure their games are available as widely as possible, and other sports broadcasting trends to watch in 2021. On Awful Announcing: Sports fans are hostages in carriage disputes and we often pay the ransom On WFNY: Waiting all day for Sunday night no more: Browns flexed to SNF Learn more about your ad choices. Visit