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the nail in the coffin | A Cleveland sports podcast

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Episode 147 – John Telich on a career covering Cleveland sports

Longtime Fox 8 sports director John Telich joins the show for a wide-ranging conversation that delves into why he recently decided to launch a podcast, how he has navigated an evolving media landscape and the ways in which ultra marathons have helped shape his perspective on covering Cleveland’s athletes. Plus: The career path that took Telich through South Dakota, Iowa and Buffalo before a move for another sportscaster familiar to Clevelanders opened the door for Telich to return home to...


Episode 146 – Celebrating the 30th anniversary of ‘Major League’

This weekend marks the 30th anniversary of ‘Major League’ hitting theaters. The guys look back at the Cleveland classic, from Bob Uecker’s legendary (and largely unscripted) performance in the booth as Harry Doyle to the athletic abilities (or, in one notable case, lack thereof) of the players. Does ‘Major League’ still hold up in 2019? How would it be remembered with its originally planned ending? And why wasn’t Willie Mays Hayes running on the brushback pitch to Jake Taylor? Also covered:...


Episode 145 – Talking about how we talk about the Tribe

On the eve of the Indians’ home opener, the mood is anything but festive in Tribetown. An ugly, abrupt postseason, followed by a winter of inaction and a series of interviews with ownership that focused more on lamenting finances than chasing pennants have left Indians fans on edge as they return to the gates of Progressive Field this week. But is the criticism fair? The guys explore the weird position Tribe fans find themselves in: fully expecting a fourth straight division title, but...


Episode 144 – Buffalo and everyone else: MAC men's tournament preview with Jason Arkley

The Mid-American Conference men’s basketball quarterfinals tip off on Thursday at The Q, and all signs point to top-seeded Buffalo having its fourth NCAA tournament appearance in five years locked up regardless of what happens in Cleveland. Still, seven other schools arrive looking to pull an upset and give the conference two bids in the NCAAs for the first time in 20 years. Jason Arkley, Ohio University beat writer for the Athens Messenger, is in town and back on The Nail to preview this...


Episode 143 – OBJ to CLE! NY Daily News Giants beat writer Pat Leonard on the Browns' new star

As you may have heard, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is headed to Cleveland. Pat Leonard, who covers the Giants for the New York Daily News, joins The Nail to discuss the Browns’ newest superstar, including the circumstances around his departure from New York, his fit within the Browns’ emerging offense, and how the Browns are now being viewed outside of Cleveland in light of their latest big acquisition. Read Pat’s story on the OBJ trade here: Inside the Giants, Browns trade that left...


Episode 142 – Michael Mulhall, VP of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission

Michael Mulhall, vice president of business development for the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, joins the show to go inside the process of bringing major sporting events to Cleveland. What are leagues looking for when selecting host cities for their championship and all-star events? How has Cleveland’s pitch changed in the past five to 10 years? What events are on the horizon for Northeast Ohio – and which aren’t? Mulhall tackles all of that and more. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts |...


Episode 141 – A constructive look at the rest of the Cavs season

The trade deadline has come and gone, the All-Star break is over, and the remainder of the NBA regular season begins Thursday night. What can the Cavs accomplish over their final 24 games? David Zavac of Fear The Sword is back on the show to answer that question, as well as whether the Cavs should prioritize their lottery odds or player development, how much we can take away from Collin Sexton’s rookie season given the circumstances, what we should expect from Kevin Love and Tristan...


Episode 140 – The Nailbag, Vol. 1: Lunch with a Brown, favorite sports movies, Indians offseason

This week, the guys are opening it up for questions from the audience. Some of the topics on listeners’ minds: What are your top five sports movies? If you could have lunch with a current and retired Brown, who would you choose? Who should the Cavs draft? What are the odds LeBron returns again? Plus: “Slobby’s World,” potential Kluber or Bauer trades, the best Nail guest of all time, and more. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on...


Episode 139 – Is Freddie ready? Browns promote Kitchens

News broke out of Berea on Wednesday that the rapid rise of running backs coach-turned-interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens had taken yet another step as he was named head coach of the Browns. Kitchens wowed the league with his playcalling and revitalization of the Browns’ offense in the second half of the season, but is he ready to run the team? The guys welcome back Craig Lyndall of WFNY to discuss the timing and process that led to the Kitchens hiring, and the excitement—and...


Episode 138 – CFP semifinals and Rose Bowl preview with Mark Podolski

For the fourth straight year, News-Herald sports editor Mark Podolski joins the show to talk bowl games. The slate is a little lackluster this year, so The Nail’s traditional New Year’s Six preview is getting trimmed down to only the games anyone actually cares about – the College Football Playoff semifinals (Clemson vs. Notre Dame and Alabama vs. Oklahoma) and Ohio State’s surprisingly rare Rose Bowl appearance. Is another Alabama-Clemson championship game inevitable? Does Washington stand...

Episode 137 – Browns happiness at the holidays

Just two weeks remain in the NFL season, and while the Browns probably aren’t making the playoffs this year, it’s mid-December and they are at least mathematically still alive. Hey, progress! The guys discuss the Browns’ exciting win in Denver on Saturday night and the organization’s remarkable turnaround over the past 12 months. Plus: The Browns’ head coaching position will be one of the most sought-after jobs in the league this upcoming offseason, but with an assist from offensive...


Episode 136 – Rerun: Buckeyes miss out on College Football Playoff again

For the second straight year, Ohio State won the Big Ten championship, but missed out on the College Football Playoff, which, also for the second straight year, will include Alabama, Clemson and Oklahoma. Being left out of the playoff field wasn’t a surprise, but also finishing behind two-loss Georgia this year? That’s a little more dubious. The guys discuss the selection committee’s wonky logic, the Big Ten’s struggle to get its champion into the playoff, and the value of a do-or-die...


Episode 135 – OSU-Michigan with Bill Bender, LeBron returns as Cavs in ruins

Ohio State and Michigan meet on Saturday with the Big Ten East Division title on the line. Bill Bender of The Sporting News will be in the press box at Ohio Stadium this weekend, but first, he’s back on The Nail to break down The Game, from the dynamic abilities of Buckeyes QB Dwayne Haskins to the disastrous big plays allowed that have plagued a depleted OSU defense. Does Jim Harbaugh have a team capable of giving Michigan its first win in the Horseshoe since 2000? … Plus: LeBron James is...


Episode 134 – Cavs fire Lue. Browns fire Hue. Now what to do?

On Sunday, the Cavs fired the only head coach in franchise history who guided the team to an NBA title. On Monday, the Browns fired a coach who was…just a bit less successful. Now, the two Cleveland sports team who are in season are without coaches, and each organization finds itself at a crossroads. The guys discuss what went wrong for Hue Jackson and Ty Lue, how attractive the Browns job is, what exactly the Cavs are trying to do this year, and what traits both teams should be prioritizing...


Episode 133 – Cavaliers season preview with Carter Rodriguez

Carter Rodriguez, co-host of The Chase Down podcast and a contributor for, joins the show to preview the Cavs season, which tips off on Wednesday night. The guys discuss recalibrating their expectations with title contention off the table for the foreseeable future, continuing to cover the team after the bandwagon clears out, the potential for Cavs Twitter's favorite son Cedi Osman and rookie point guard Collin Sexton, and the franchise's search for a feel-good identity in a...


Episode 132 – It was what it was: Getting the Indians postmortem out of the way

A few days removed from the Indians’ ALDS debacle, the guys air their remaining grievances about the Tribe’s all-too-short postseason run, and then discuss some of the fallout this week since the series ended and what, if anything, there will be to get excited about in the regular season next year. (It’s not an upbeat first 20 minutes, folks!) Plus: Bakermania and the cult of personality that is driving a real change in the Browns’ culture and finally making NFL Sundays exciting in...


Episode 131 – It’s time to get serious: Indians-Astros ALDS preview

Let’s be honest, the Indians knew they would be playing in the postseason when they took the field on Opening Day. After six long months, October has finally arrived and the defending World Series champion Astros await in the ALDS. Joel Hammond spent five years as the Indians' assistant director of communications, a tenure that included three postseason trips. He’s back on The Nail to share some perspectives on the mood inside the organization at this time of the year. The guys also dive...


Episode 130 – Baker, Browns and big-game uniforms

Ready or not (and judging by the chants at FirstEnergy Stadium on Thursday night, it seems most people in Cleveland fall into the category of “ready”), the Baker Mayfield show has arrived in Browns Town. The guys relive Mayfield’s electric debut, the circumstances that made it happen earlier than the Browns were steadfastly planning for, and where the rejuvenated franchise goes with its QB of the future apparently set to take the reins full-time. Plus, the Browns’ Color Rush jerseys join...


Episode 129 – Tom Withers of the AP on covering Cleveland's teams

From Twitter exchanges with LeBron James over potential Browns moves to covering games and chasing down stories for all three of Cleveland’s professional sports teams, there’s rarely a boring day on the job for Associated Press sportswriter Tom Withers. He joins The Nail to reflect on covering LeBron’s career (and, as of recently, James’ more vocal interest in the local football team), as well as where Week 1 ranks in the Pantheon of Weird Browns Games, the state of the Indians, and the next...


Episode 128 – Ben Axelrod on the Browns, Hard Knocks and Ohio State football

Even before the regular seasons for the Browns and Buckeyes kick off, it has been an interesting month for football fans in Northeast Ohio. Ben Axelrod of WKYC has had a front row seat for much of it, and he joins The Nail to discuss the storylines of “Hard Knocks” vs. reality at training camp in Berea, the Browns on the verge of becoming a relevant and interesting NFL franchise for the first time in years, the players making it happen like Myles Garrett—and those who apparently won’t....