Two Writers Slinging Yang

Two Writers Slinging Yang
Jeff Pearlman’s weekly in-depth, no-holds-barred conversation with a writer on writing. Available here and on iTunes
Will Leitch: Deadspin founder, New York Magazine contributing editor, MLB national correspondent
Apr 15 • 65 min
On talking golf with Eddie Van Halen; on why Deadspin exists alongside Slam Magazine and Bill Simmons in innovative sports lore; on TV fame transforming people into assholes; in staying busy as a modern scribe.
Daynabelle Anderson: Author of the self-published, “Letters to My Son: A Mother’s Journey Through Grief”
Apr 14 • 25 min
This is a special episode of Two Writers Slinging Yang, in honor of the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I roamed the event (held on the campus of USC), seeking out interesting people. I found Daynabelle Anderson, who lost her 19-year-old son…
Grace Raynor: Clemson beat writer, The Athletic
Apr 8 • 49 min
On covering the best college football team in America; on finding Trevor Lawrence’s best friend at a small-town Burger King; on what one learned from a summer in the New York Yankees’ clubhouse.
Jeff Legwold: ESPN senior football writer
Apr 2 • 55 min
On how a blue-collar kid with no journalistic aspirations became one of America’s great football writers; on covering athletes fairly, compassionately; on the death of a defensive back and the downfall of a daily newspaper.
Dan Wetzel: Yahoo Sports national columnist (live from the campus of Ohio University)
Mar 26 • 84 min
In the first-ever Two Writers Slinging Yang recorded before a live audience, we travel to Ohio University to discuss Tom Brady’s sadness after a Super Bowl setback; ways to write about 9.11 in the immediate aftermath; rules all young writers should…
Wayne Coffey: Legendary New York Daily News sports scribe and author of “They Said It Couldn’t Be Done: The ‘69 Mets, New York City and the Most Astounding Season in Baseball History”
Mar 18 • 35 min
On finding new material about a beloved championship team from 50 years ago; on ghost writing athlete autobiographies and bringing unique voices to Mariano Rivera, Carli Lloyd and R.A. Dickey; on discovering depth and meaning via a former baseball phenom…
Master Tesfatsion: Bleacher Report senior writer
Mar 12 • 53 min
On profiling Adrian Peterson and dealing with the detractors; on making a brief time with Antonio Brown count; on wearing jerseys in Instagram posts; on understanding the plight of the young African-American athlete.
R. Eric Thomas: Playwright, Elle Magazine senior staff writer, “Eric Reads the News” daily columnist.
Mar 5 • 40 min
On the absolute joy of a tiara atop the head of Cory Booker’s 99-year-old grandmother; on directing your words toward humor and glee during the Trump Presidency; on knowing when to walk away from a column idea; on the unspeakable joy of seeing your play…
Rob Williams: Comic Book writer of Judge Dredd, Suicide Squad, Amazing Spider-Man
Feb 26 • 41 min
On conveying much in a very small space; in bringing life to characters who existed only in your head; in watching “Justice League” with myriad cringes and being blown off by Reggie Bush.
Tommy Tomlinson: Pulitzer finalist sports writer and author of “The Elephant in the Room”
Feb 18 • 52 min
On staring into the mirror and describing exactly what one sees; on the painful beauty of a memoir about a lifetime of weight difficulties; on forming a kinship with a former Kentucky quarterback.
Susan Orlean: New York Times best-selling author of “The Library Book” and staff writer, The New Yorker
Feb 11 • 49 min
On writing a book (and having it sell) on a relatively obscure library fire; on choosing just the right words to describe a moment; on why she never uses a recorder and rarely turns to direct quotations.
Nora Princiotti: New England Patriots writer for the Boston Globe
Feb 4 • 45 min
On covering the (zzzzzz) sleep inducer that was Super Bowl LIII; On finding new turf with a team that’s been covered ad nauseam; on an angry James Harrison and a giddy Patrick Chung; on writing about three Super Bowls by age 24.
Zach Berman, Eagles beat writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News
Jan 28 • 46 min
On what it is to cover the Super Bowl; on the heaven/hell that is Media Day; on whether it’s possible to know Carson Wentz’s true feelings; on existing as a fly on the wall (in an NFL locker room) alongside 500 other flies.
Stanley Herz: Author of “Conquering the Corporate Career” and my greatest writing role model
Jan 21 • 27 min
On self-publishing a book, inventing a publicist and moving a book to the prime store real estate; on why Walter was actually Waldorf; on how writing can make a reputation.
Alex Kennedy: NBA writer for HoopsHype
Jan 15 • 41 min
On scoring his first NBA press credential at age 14; on the kindness of Steve Francis and the uniqueness of Kwame Brown; on whether to talk sexual assault with Kobe Bryant and how to conduct a righteous interview.
Doug Donovan: Baltimore Sun investigative reporter
Jan 7 • 45 min
On discovering the humanity behind America’s opioid epidemic; on interviewing subjects in awkward, uncomfortable situations; on the time he demoted and suspended me (Jeff Pearlman) from our college newspaper.
Jane Leavy: New York Times best-selling author of The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created
Dec 31, 2018 • 56 min
On delving deep into a subject who’s been dead for decades; on how one decides on the next book topic; on why one would be insane enough to become a biographer.
Kent Babb: Allen Iverson biographer and Washington Post scribe
Dec 24, 2018 • 46 min
On his efforts to understand and humanize the former 76ers superstar; on writing a book via an unorthodox approach; on chronicling the post-NFL struggles of longtime Chiefs halfback Larry Johnson
Halle Roberts: Editor in chief, Har-Ber (High School) Herald
Dec 18, 2018 • 33 min
On her newspaper’s battle with the Springdale (Ark.) School District over a pulled article; on fighting for freedom of the press; on what a 17-year-old aspiring journalist thinks of the media landscape.
Marshall Ramsey: Clarion-Ledger editorial cartoonist and two-time Pulitzer finalist
Dec 11, 2018 • 39 min
On a touching artistic farewell to George H. W. Bush; on how to speak via images; on having angry politicians come after you; on the impact of a cancer diagnosis on one’s work.
Steve Buckley: Writer for The Athletic and author of the greatest magazine piece of all time
Dec 4, 2018 • 49 min
On Stanley Teeven and writing about the legacy of a World War II victim he never knew; on whether an author should place himself in a narrative; on coming out of the closet via a Boston Herald column; on Robert Kraft’s kindness.
Les Carpenter: Washington Post Redskins beat writer
Nov 27, 2018 • 44 min
On being thrown onto an NFL beat without much notice; on watching Alex Smith’s leg being broken—then reacting as a writer; on whether players care whether a writer exists; on Major League Baseball presenting the Iran hostages with lifetime passes.
Kimberley A. Martin: Senior NFL writer for Yahoo Sports
Nov 20, 2018 • 45 min
On transitioning from one dream journalism job to another dream journalism job to another dream journalism job; on avoiding cliches when cliches attack; on life inside the locker room.
Melissa Schuman: Former Dream singer, MELISSA EXPLAINS IT ALL blogger, sexual assault survivor
Nov 13, 2018 • 53 min
On finding the courage and strength to come forward and blog about being raped; on the inevitable backlash of Internet trolls; on the liberation that comes with speaking out; on the nonsense world behind bubblegum pop.
Daniel Dale: Washington correspondent for the Toronto Star
Nov 4, 2018 • 37 min
On Tweeting about every … single … thing Donald Trump says; on why presidents can lie and get away with it; on covering former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, having him accuse you of being a stalking pedophile—then admitting it was all a lie and offering a…
Ian O’Connor: ESPN senior writer, New York Times best-selling author of “Belichick.”
Oct 29, 2018 • 62 min
On the highs and lows and glory and humiliation of promoting a book; on writing about a man (Bill Belichick) who tells his peers not to speak with you; on competing with the killing of Osama bin Laden for TV time.
Elaina Plott: Staff writer, The Atlantic
Oct 23, 2018 • 42 min
On her riveting, detailed profile of Heidi Cruz, wife of Texas Senator Ted Cruz; on covering politics without slant or bias; on visiting an island that rising seas will ultimately engulf—and learning to understand why its inhabitants have faith in Donald…
Grant Wahl: Sports Illustrated senior writer
Oct 16, 2018 • 80 min
On rising up from low-level fact checker to one of the world’s elite soccer scribes; on having a gun held to his head in an unfamiliar nation; on the move from college basketball to soccer; on living out his dream career.
Gary Myers: Former Dallas Morning News, New York Daily News NFL writer
Oct 9, 2018 • 58 min
On how to navigate the football locker room in an era of NFL media indifference; on the awfulness of Bill Belichick and the anger of Danny White and the heartbreak of Dennis Byrd; on finding the real Jerry Jones in a new book, “How ‘Bout Them Cowboys?”
Tyler R. Tynes: SB Nation staff writer
Oct 2, 2018 • 55 min
On the writing and thinking behind “There Is No Escape from Politics”—one of my favorite pieces of 2017; on wasting away behind the desk at a fading newspaper; on the value of a forward-thinking editor and the trials and preconceptions that still…
Stephanie Apstein: Sports Illustrated staff writer
Sep 25, 2018 • 40 min
On profiling Chris Davis, Baltimore’s first baseman, as he struggles through one of the worst seasons in Major League history; on worrying/not worrying whether a subject is happy with your work; on lessons learned from observing Tom Verducci.
Ellie Douglas: Horror writer
Sep 19, 2018 • 25 min
Straight outta Auckland, New Zealand, the author of “Hounded,” “Hounded 2,” “Toxic Desire” and “Dead Wake” explains why severed heads and slashed necks and flesh-eating zombies bring her pen to life.
Jeff Pearlman: Talking USFL and “Football for a Buck”
Sep 4, 2018 • 45 min
Catherine hosts the show as we talk about book writing; about the PR push and what it does to a writer; about Donald Trump and George Allen and bringing to life a long-ago league.
Mirin Fader: Bleacher Report writer-at-large
Aug 28, 2018 • 51 min
On traveling to Lithuania to track the Ball Family—minus their cooperation; on finding a voice; on watching hair being braided and seeing bliss; on a meteoric rise in a tough business.
Michael J. Lewis: Longtime newspaper scribe who left the biz
Aug 21, 2018 • 44 min
On why, after nearly two decades in newspaper and magazine, he left; on sharing a name with one of America’s most-famous scribes; on being locked in a minor league stadium and covering a young Ryan Lochte.
Lesley Visser: Pioneering NFL journalist
Aug 14, 2018 • 40 min
On becoming the first woman to ever cover an NFL team; on having athletes hit on her and present her with underwear; on Bert Jones and Chuck Fairbanks and Jim McMahon and the legend of the 1970s Boston Globe sports department.
Dana O’Neil: The Athletic senior college basketball writer
Aug 7, 2018 • 44 min
On the ways experience, savvy, empathy and patience merge to make great journalism; on John Thompson and Coach K and sitting in the bleachers alongside the men (even when people demand one move elsewhere); on whether a woman will ever coach a Division I…
Chris Nashawaty: EW film critic
Jul 31, 2018 • 50 min
On the genius of Caddyshack; on whether great movies and bad movies deserve equal consideration; on why crappy films make him angry.
Gary Smith: Legendary Sports Illustrated writer
Jul 24, 2018 • 59 min
On the art and craft of the lengthy feature; on why he doesn’t think of himself as a “sports journalist”; on Richie Parker and Radio and diving deep into a subject; on relying on a flip phone and going nowhere near Facebook and Twitter.
Richard Sandomir: New York Times obituary writer
Jul 17, 2018 • 45 min
On finding beauty and reason in writing about death; on bidding literary farewell to the daughter of a Nazi, a Yankees pitching coach and a woman who fought cancer courageously; on Stuart Scott’s final days and delving into the making of “The Pride of the…
Mike Vaccaro: New York Post sports columnist
Jul 10, 2018 • 51 min
On his farewell ode to Yogi Berra; on never succumbing to writer’s block on deadline; on his verbal smackdown of a former Mets GM; on his late father’s influence on a blissful career.
Emily Bloch: South Florida Sun-Sentinel community reporter
Jul 3, 2018 • 44 min
On tracking down an escapee monkey; on 15 minutes on the phone with Paul Reiser; on covering the Parkland shooting tragedy; on having a newspaper steal your words; on the value of Millennials and the power of large quantities of coffee.
Maurice Patton: Columbia (Tenn.) Daily Herald sports editor
Jun 26, 2018 • 48 min
On the life of a small-town newspaper sports editor; on the college basketball coach who brought a gun to practice; on the sad decline of The Tennessean and why media needs to keep focusing upon high school athletics.
Jonathan Martin: N.Y. Times national political correspondent
Jun 19, 2018 • 43 min
On #fakenews and “failing New York Times” in the era of Trump; on chronicling John McCain’s farewell; on the exciting slog of three presidential elections; on phone time with Joe Biden and why covering politics is like covering sports.
Mac Engel: Forth Worth Star-Telegram sports columnist
Jun 11, 2018 • 46 min
On whether sports columnists have a place in 2018; on squaring off against an agitated Juan Gonzalez; on liberal writing in a conservative part of America; on the saga of an amazing woman (raped at 12) and her Dallas Cowboy son.
Lane DeGregory: Tampa Bay Times Pulitzer Prize winner
Jun 5, 2018 • 41 min
On spending a night with Stormy Daniels at Thee Doll House in Tampa; on her remarkable piece about the trials, nightmares and slow growth of a feral child; on knocking on strange doors and sleeping side by side beneath a bridge with sex offenders.
Ken Rosenthal: Major League Baseball writer for The Athletic
May 29, 2018 • 44 min
On making every story count; on covering Cal Ripken, Jr. and writing beautifully on the night he broke Lou Gehrig’s Iron Man record; on staring down Bobby Bonilla and Scott Erickson when things turned heated in the Baltimore clubhouse; on passion and love…
Candace Buckner: Washington Post Wizards beat writer
May 22, 2018 • 44 min
On making a good story great; on life inside an NBA locker room; on Monta Ellis and Lance Stephenson and John Wall and rooting for African-American tennis stars (criticism be damned)
A.J. Cassavell: San Diego Padres beat writer for
May 15, 2018 • 49 min
On covering 130 games (of oft-bad baseball) per year and still finding things to write about; on the awkwardness of the Major League clubhouse; on Kevin Quackenbush’s beard and the Padres’ need to return to brown-and-yellow uniforms.
Tommy Shaw: Styx singer/guitarist
May 7, 2018 • 63 min
On writing the perfect song; on feeling the pain from long-ago lyrics; on singing a tune for the 200,000th time and still bringing forth emotion and joy.
Steve Rushin: Sports Illustrated writer, author
Apr 30, 2018 • 63 min
On having a Major League manager launch his pants your way; on making every word in an article count; on seven minutes with Dave Henderson and playing golf in Greenland.
Jose de Jesus Ortiz: St Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist
Apr 24, 2018 • 41 min
On the advantages of speaking Spanish in a Major League clubhouse; on showing your face after infuriating an athlete; on opining on a sport you know little about; on profiling the widow of Darryl Kile shortly after her husband’s death.
John Pavlovitz: Pastor and Popular Religion/Politics Blogger
Apr 17, 2018 • 42 min
On expressing oneself in the age of Trump; on holding evangelicals accountable for hypocrisy; on the power of social media and a Tweet from Katy Perry.
Dave Coverly: Creator of the single-panel comic, Speed Bump
Apr 10, 2018 • 52 min
On writing funny with limited words and a tiny amount of space; on telling an entire story in a single box; on the, um, humor of Mike Huckabee and knowing when a joke doesn’t work.
Jane McManus: Former ESPN football writer
Apr 3, 2018 • 44 min
On what it is to go through a public layoff as a journalist; on moving on from ESPN (and to a different country); on covering Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow and the New York Jets; on writing about the tragic death of Joe McKnight.
Elizabeth Weil: New York Times Magazine writer
Mar 27, 2018 • 43 min
On pitching (and then being assigned) the story of a 70-year-old Polish kayaker who has crossed the Atlantic three times; on capturing a subject without speaking his language; on the terror of awaiting that first call from your editor.
Nicole Auerbach: The Athletic senior writer
Mar 20, 2018 • 52 min
On the bliss of covering March Madness; on finding nuggets of information inside a crowded locker room; on the tragic story of a Colorado shooting victim and the joy of a Michigan State football player’s Craigslist-purchased cat.
Alan Sepinwall: Uproxx television reviewer/critic
Mar 13, 2018 • 41 min
On what makes great criticism v. meh criticism; on the beauty of Breaking Bad and the inconsistencies of Entourage; on why one man watches so much television—then writes about it with passion and grace.
David Maraniss: Biographer
Mar 6, 2018 • 43 min
On reporting and writing definitively on the lives of Vince Lombardi, Barack Obama, Roberto Clemente, Bill Clinton; on finding nuggets of information that make your head explode; on the difference between dealing with athletes and politicians; on the…
Joel Sherman: New York Post Major League Baseball columnist
Feb 27, 2018 • 53 min
On the tricks and keys to working a clubhouse like a veteran reporter; on the yin and yang of Albert Belle; on Spring Training highs and lows and lessons from the Mel Hall-and-Steve Sax Era Yankees
Keldy Ortiz: Crime reporter
Feb 20, 2018 • 36 min
On reporting on the deaths of four young women in a devastating car accident; on knocking on strange doors and interviewing hostile witnesses; on the grittiness of life at a New York City tabloid.
Danny Wallace: Author
Feb 13, 2018 • 47 min
On the rude hot dog waitress who inspired his new book, “F You Very Much”; on how an idea goes from brain to reality; on his work becoming a Jim Carrey movie.
Jenny Vrentas: SI, MMQB scribe
Feb 5, 2018 • 40 min
On covering a Super Bowl and surviving; on developing rapport with athletes; on her weeklong drive through football in America; on going from biochem to writing.
Chris Palmer: Vet NBA writer
Jan 29, 2018 • 40 min
On the magic and dread of Twitter; on covering the Ball family up close; on bias vs. fairness; on finding the mother of Chris (Birdman) Andersen and admiring her tattooed eyebrows.
Chris Ballard: SI hoops writer
Jan 22, 2018 • 40 min
On writing and reporting the tragic saga of Monty Williams; on serving as a narrator for Jamal Crawford’s joyful ride; on forming bonds with subjects and writing with precision and depth
Drew Snyder: Minister
Jan 15, 2018 • 38 min
On writing the perfect sermon; on researching spirituality before preaching spirituality; on the uplifting words of Footloose
Jon Wertheim: SI writer
Jan 8, 2018 • 37 min
On the reporting and digging behind the Jerry Richardson/Carolina Panthers bombshell; on the Portland Jail Breakers; on bonding with sources and having people open up.
Tyler Kepner: NY Times writer
Jan 2, 2018 • 54 min
On covering Griffey and ARod; on the introduction of Aaron Boone and the departure of Evan Longoria; on precise writing and never wasting words.
Joel Anderson: ESPN writer
Dec 27, 2017 • 47 min
On life at ESPN and BuzzFeed; On digging deep into the life of Earl Thomas when Earl Thomas is indifferent to the dig; on finding Michael Sam’s forgotten father; on knocking on strange doors and not knowing what awaits.
Chip Scoggins: Columnist
Dec 22, 2017 • 52 min
Minneapolis Star Tribune sports columnist on turning joy, anger, love, grief into a column; on writing about the bond between a girl with cancer and a crusty college coach; on Randy Moss moodiness and Larry Fitzgerald joy
Rick Reilly: Former SI writer
Dec 19, 2017 • 50 min
On golf with Donald Trump, social media wisdom from Mark Cuban, finding tragic beauty in the story of a racist Major League owner and truth to power in football hazing at The Citadel
Catherine Pearlman: “Ignore It!” author
Nov 16, 2017 • 25 min
Chantel Jennings: The Athletic college football writer
Nov 14, 2017 • 49 min
Chuck Creekmur: co-founder
Nov 8, 2017 • 55 min
J.A. Adande: Northwestern’s director of sports journalism
Nov 1, 2017 • 50 min
Jack McCallum: Legendary NBA writer
Oct 27, 2017 • 53 min
Dana Goldberg: Standup comedian
Oct 23, 2017 • 54 min
John Branch: Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times writer
Oct 16, 2017 • 51 min
Jonathan Eig: Muhammad Ali biographer
Oct 9, 2017 • 37 min
Tom Junod: ESPN senior writer
Oct 3, 2017 • 38 min
Chely Wright: County music star
Sep 25, 2017 • 49 min
Wright Thompson: ESPN senior writer
Sep 19, 2017 • 48 min
Rick Jervis: USA Today Texas-based reporter
Sep 11, 2017 • 44 min
Jemele Hill: ESPN SC6 host
Sep 7, 2017 • 55 min
Dylan Gwinn: Breitbart sports editor
Aug 29, 2017 • 61 min
Jessica Huseman: ProPublica national politics and civil rights reporter
Aug 24, 2017 • 51 min
Kevin Van Valkenburg: ESPN senior writer
Aug 17, 2017 • 51 min
Lee Jenkins: Sports Illustrated senior writer and my Sam Darnold profile rival
Aug 8, 2017 • 42 min
Mike Tollin: Award-winning producer, director, writer of every sports movie you’ve ever seen (Really
Aug 2, 2017 • 46 min
Marcus Thompson: The Athletic’s new Bay Area writer, Steph Curry biographer
Jul 27, 2017 • 50 min
Russ Bengtson: Former Slam Magazine editor
Jul 19, 2017 • 57 min
Paul Kane: Washington Post congressional correspondent
Jul 12, 2017 • 53 min
Susan Slusser: San Francisco Chronicle Oakland A’s beat writer
Jul 5, 2017 • 47 min
Howard Beck: Bleacher Report NBA writer
Jun 29, 2017 • 46 min
Howard Bryant: ESPN columnist, Hank Aaron biographer
Jun 23, 2017 • 64 min