Two Writers Slinging Yang

Two Writers Slinging Yang

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Jeff Pearlman’s weekly in-depth, no-holds-barred conversation with a writer on writing. Available here and on iTunes


Gabrielle Stone: Author, “Eat, Pray, #FML”
Aug 3 • 49 min
On having your heart broken and turning that hurt into a scathing, kick-ass memoir; on writing a first book and having it blow up; on the need to curse and the joy of self publishing.
Charles P. Pierce: Esquire Political Blogger
Jul 28 • 49 min
On how one maintains sanity while going 24/7 American politics; on the jerkiness of an in-his-prime Roger Clemens; on the life and death of The National
Joan Ryan: San Francisco Giants media consultant and author of “Intangibles: Unlocking the Science and Soul of Team Chemistry”
Jul 21 • 40 min
On whether team chemistry is a legitimate thing—or just a phantom idea; on how Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent co-existed and how Aubrey Huff is a thing; on helping the young ballplayer understand the media.
Sheena Quick: Former Black Sports Online writer, current Panthers beat writer, FOX Sports Radio 1340
Jul 13 • 36 min
On stepping up and speaking out when the head of Black Sports Online made unwanted sexual advances; one how women in media should respond in such moments; on the fear of placing a career on the line to do what’s right.
Tom Verducci: Sports Illustrated senior writer
Jul 6 • 51 min
On traveling 102 years back in time to construct a remarkable piece of sports journalism; on entering a clubhouse and seeking out the best sources; on covering Don Shula and the early-1980s Miami Dolphins; on sitting alongside a drunk Billy Martin and a…
Jeff Gluck: The Athletic NASCAR writer
Jun 30 • 40 min
On the nightmare of the noose/Bubba Wallace coverage; on nonstop Twitter hate; on how a kid who knew nothing about racing became a NASCAR authority; on bullying via Tony Stewart.
Alan Shipnuck: Golf Magazine senior writer and former Sports Illustrated senior writer
Jun 23 • 51 min
On becoming the youngest Sports Illustrated staff writer in magazine history; on negotiating for time with Ken Griffey, Jr.; on avoiding a fight with Phil Mickelson; on $400-per-night hotel rooms.
Chuck Klosterman: Author, sports and music journalist
Jun 17 • 47 min
On how aging impacts a writer; on his comprehensive chronicling of KISS; on why being the Ethicist wasn’t all he hoped; on sitting down for chats with Taylor Swift and Kobe Bryant.
Jay Mohr: Comedian/actor
Jun 9 • 56 min
On how one writes funny material; on staring down a half-empty room and having to perform; on the 100,649th person to scream, “Hey, Bob Sugar!”
Heather Cox Richardson: Writer and Boston College history professor
Jun 2 • 41 min
On whether the United States of America survives the Trump Nightmare; on why courage in politics is so hard to find; on hope when there’s little to hope for.
Zeke Warren-Weigmann: Winner, The Big Scribble
May 24 • 40 min
On winning the best mid-pandemic writing contest; on bad sushi in middle America; on tough times during an awful period in America
Peter Golenbock: Author of more than 60 books
May 19 • 46 min
On writing “The Bronx Zoo” with Sparky Lyle; on finding the voice of baseball players; on the hell of a Lenny Dykstra collaboration.
Brandy Ferner: Author, “Adult Conversation.”
May 12 • 35 min
On the highs and lows of that first book; on whether a novel based on the author’s life is actually fiction; on pandemic book PR and the signings that aren’t.
Brad Balukjian: Author, “The Wax Pack: On the Open Road in Search of Baseball’s Afterlife”
May 5 • 46 min
On the 800 layers of rejection that he fought through to land a book deal; on traveling America to track down a random fleet of faded Major Leaguers; on living the dream of collaborating with the Iron Sheik—and uncovering a nightmare.
Andrea Kremer: Emmy Award-winning sports journalist
Apr 28 • 50 min
On her early days as sports editor of the Main Line Chronicle; on what it takes to pull of a great interview; on whether she would still advise aspiring journalists to enter the field.
Bruce Arthur: Toronto Star sports columnist-turned-coronavirus columnist
Apr 21 • 44 min
On making the shift from covering sports to covering coronavirus; on the heaviness of his new beat; on how one mentally deals with chronicling nonstop heartache.
Tim Miller: Contributor, The Bulwark
Apr 14 • 49 min
On his scathing takedown of Clay Travis, professional buffoon; on the lessons of working on Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign; on why some so-called journalists go for clicks over quality.
Callie Caplan: Dallas Morning News sports writer
Apr 7 • 46 min
On myth vs. reality of Texas high school football; on how to tell the story of the Dallas Mavs without always talking about Luka Dončić; on whether a career in journalism matches one’s dreams.
Tim O’Brien: Author, “The Things They Carried” and “Dad’s Maybe Book”
Mar 31 • 48 min
On what it is to have written an enormously popular book; on wasting away trying to find the perfect word; on the Tim O’Brien imposter who walked the earth.
Christopher Klein: Author, “Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero.”
Mar 24 • 45 min
On writing one of the greatest boxing books of all time; on researching a man who died a century ago; on being unable to ask questions (because everyone is dead); on the search for family members.
Yaron Weitzman: Bleacher Report writer and author of “Tanking to the Top: The Philadelphia 76ers and the Most Audacious Process in the History of Professional Sports”
Mar 17 • 48 min
On having your book come out during a global pandemic; on an NBA franchise going out of its way not to help you; on the invaluable contributions of Jason Richardson’s agent.
The Special Bunkered At Home Episode: A Writing Q&A (with Catherine Pearlman)
Mar 14 • 44 min
All sorts of questions about writing, reporting, researching. I turn to social media and take everything you’ve got.
Tom Lappas: Editor, publisher and owner of the twice-monthly Henrico (Va.) Citizen
Mar 9 • 44 min
On creating and running a newspaper in 2020; on how print can survive when print is dying; on writing a gazillion stories per week while also making sure everything gets done.
Alec Lewis: Kansas City Royals beat writer, The Athletic
Mar 2 • 43 min
On the joys of a first Spring Training; on whether to dig into a player’s alleged PED usage; on the advantages of youth when covering a young team.
Joe Walsh: Former Republican Presidential candidate, author of “Fuck Silence: Calling Trump Out for the Cultish, Moronic, Authoritarian Con Man He Is”
Feb 24 • 72 min
On the uphill battle that was challenging Donald Trump for the GOP presidential nomination; on how he turned from praising the 45th president to loathing him; on putting that anger into words; on why Bernie Sanders can win.
Adrian Dater: Editor/writer, ColoradoHockeyNow.com
Feb 18 • 43 min
On his comeback from the depths of journalism hell; on the toxic mix of anxiety, depression, alcohol and social media; on still loving the NHL after decades of covering it.
Dave Kindred: Former Washington Post columnist, current mortonladypotters.com writer
Feb 10 • 49 min
On the joy of chronicling the journey of a high school girls basketball team; on watching Muhammad Ali’s sad fade; on confronting Bobby Knight and living for words.
Teresa M. Walker: Associated Press pro football writer
Feb 3 • 53 min
On covering Super Bowl LIV and talking about it from a bus at 2 am; on what one looks for alongside 6,000 other credentialed media at the big game; on memories of Steve McNair and Eddie George glory.
Tania Ganguli: Los Angeles Times Lakers beat writer
Jan 28 • 40 min
On learning of—then covering—the death of Kobe Bryant.
Langston Newsome: Sports Writer, Columbia (Missouri) Tribune and 2019 Mizzou journalism grad
Jan 20 • 34 min
On spending $60 on an Uber to cover a high school sporting event; on entering journalism as so many veterans are leaving; on a moment when race played no role in a buddy-buddy profile.
Melissa Ludtke: Groundbreaking former Sports Illustrated reporter
Jan 13 • 48 min
On her 1977 lawsuit that resulted in women reporters being allowed to enter Major League clubhouses; on why male media members were so reluctant to change; on an openminded Billy Martin and a resistant Bowie Kuhn.
Mark Galli: Former editor in chief, Christianity Today
Jan 6 • 43 min
On his editorial, “Trump Should Be Removed From Office,” that sparked both outrage and praise; on the aftermath of death threats; on why so many evangelicals are willing to overlook a sinful president; on being on the other end of a Trump Tweet.
Nick Bonyhady: Sydney Morning Herald staff writer
Jan 4 • 41 min
On covering the out-of-control Australian fires; on conducting the interview for this podcast while walking thru 122-degree heat; on whether his nation is properly confronting climate change.
David Climer: Former sports columnist, The (Nashville) Tennessean
Dec 30, 2019 • 52 min
On calling for Pat Summitt to step aside during her struggles with Alzheimer’s Disease; on covering the 1996 Olympic bombing from feet away; on his time as a young white kid in the South handed the Tennessee State football beat; on a newspaper’s decline.
Leigh Montville: Former Boston Globe columnist, Sports Illustrated senior writer
Dec 23, 2019 • 52 min
On the blood on John Mugabi’s shorts; on writing with a hangover; on what the great columnists look for and why interviewing is an art.
Brittany Ghiroli: Nationals beat writer, The Athletic
Dec 16, 2019 • 44 min
On having a player invite you to his hotel room to seduce you with candles and Drake songs; on the (non) excitement of baseball’s winter meetings; on missing the World Series to power lift.
Ryan DuVall: Restaurant critic, The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, IN.
Dec 9, 2019 • 37 min
On what has to happen at a restaurant to result in a scathing review; on the wild food scene in Fort Wayne; on being an anonymous critic in a world that wants to know.
Steve Politi: Star-Ledger sports columnist
Dec 2, 2019 • 46 min
On his riveting piece about a high school baseball coach sued by a player he told to slide; on tracking down the long-ago youth umpire he flipped off as a boy; on the not-so-riveting world of Eli Manning; on being confronted by an angry hockey player…
Amber Skye: Lesbian erotica writer and author of “Kitty Katz & Her Pink Cadillac”
Nov 26, 2019 • 25 min
On finding sexiness in random words; on whether an ugly word (like, c*nt) can be beautiful in the right context; on why writing about sex is healthy for the soul.
Jerry Brewer: Washington Post sports columnist
Nov 18, 2019 • 33 min
On finding bliss in covering two awful NFL teams squaring off; on what the greatest sports scribes have in common; on a story of a young girl’s life and death that changed his life.
Andrew Maraniss: Author, “Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Germany”
Nov 12, 2019 • 40 min
On writing a book when all of the characters are long dead; on growing up with a legendary journalist for a father; on wild nights and crazy days with Quinton McCracken, Bubba Trammell and the 1998 Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Two Writers Slinging Yang (Trailer)
Nov 9, 2019 • 0 min
Lindsay Jones: NFL writer, The Athletic
Nov 5, 2019 • 48 min
On whether readers care more about the games—or talking about the games; on a memorable eight-year experience covering a legendary Bronco; on young days watching Tim Tebow and why it’s OK to spend Sundays at home.
Peter King: NBC Sports football scribe and former Sports Illustrated senior writer.
Oct 28, 2019 • 48 min
On his closeness with Brett Favre and riding across America with John Madden; on no longer being treated quite as uniquely—but loving the need to dig and hustle; on why he saw SI’s struggles approaching and whether he’s mad at Jalen Ramsey.
Mark Kriegel: New York Times best-selling author, ESPN boxing guru, former New York Daily News columnist
Oct 21, 2019 • 58 min
On the blissfully gritty days of the Big Apple sports columnist; on highs and lows with Mike Lupica; on writing “Namath” sans Joe Namath and on insulting Billy Crystal and feeling guilty about it in hindsight.
Liz Astrof: Award-winning executive producer and one of the most successful sitcom writers in television.
Oct 15, 2019 • 52 min
On what it is to write episodes of shows like “2 Broke Girls” and “The King of Queens”; on the highs and lows of the writers’ room; on taking a break from TV to write her first book, “Don’t Wait Up: Confessions of a Stay At Work Mom”; on calling out…
Joan Niesen: Former Sports Illustrated staff writer
Oct 7, 2019 • 45 min
On the end of her time at the legendary magazine; on the future of SI and the future of magazines as a whole; on what one does after her dream job is taken away; on the decision to skip business writing for a career in sports chronicling.
Gregg Doyel: Indianapolis Star sports columnist
Sep 30, 2019 • 47 min
On looking at yourself in the mirror and realizing, “I don’t like the writer I’ve become.” On the nonsense of “hot takes.” On why readers ultimately prefer love and kindness to anger; on finding happiness in a mid-western city.
Garrett M. Graff: Author, “The Only Plane in the Sky”
Sep 24, 2019 • 42 min
On the anguish and difficulty of writing a comprehensive oral history on the 9.11 terrorist attacks; on getting people to open up about tragedy; on a long-ago life running Howard Dean’s website.
Mina Kimes: ESPN senior writer
Sep 16, 2019 • 46 min
On finding something interesting in limited time with Baker Mayfield; on morphing from writer to all-around media professional; on whether it’s OK to cheer for a sport; on perceptions of women in sports journalism; on the complexities of profiling Tyreek…
The Rookie: The story of my nightmarish first year as a reporter at The (Nashville) Tennessean
Sep 9, 2019 • 40 min
In 1994 and 1995, as a fresh-out-of-college journalist, I couldn’t get out of my own way. I was arrogant, dismissive, smug, juvenile, error-prone and painfully dumb. This is my story.
Pat Jordan: Longtime award-winning sports journalist and author of “A False Spring”
Sep 2, 2019 • 47 min
On how a soon-to-be 80-year-old scribe transitions from typewriter to computer; on seeing the real Roger Clemens; on having the subject of your profile call your wife to say you’re cheating on her; on a bond with Tom Seaver; on flip phone life.
Tom Passmore: The (Corning, N.Y.) Leader’s only sports writer
Aug 26, 2019 • 41 min
On covering high schools while simultaneously taking photographs while simultaneously keeping stats while simultaneously putting a section together; on existence at his 8,000-circulation daily newspaper; on how to treat young athletes.
Jesse Dougherty: Washington Nationals beat writer for the Washington Post
Aug 20, 2019 • 48 min
On jumping onto a huge beat at a huge newspaper at a young age; on the awkwardness of the clubhouse approach; on life without Bryce Harper and life with Juan Soto; on surviving an eternal season of Major League Baseball.
Clementine von Radics: Poet, author, six-time National Poetry Slam competitor
Aug 12, 2019 • 45 min
On whether family drama is fair game in poetry; on the incredible power of the word “meat”; on the chance meeting with a long-ago girlfriend on a Brooklyn street and a sprig of lavender.
Keri Blakinger: Houston Chronicle crime, death penalty reporter
Aug 5, 2019 • 41 min
On her past life as a heroine addict and dealer who spent two years in prison; on witnessing executions; on seeking to improve life for people behind bars—and having the empathy and experience to do so.
Tim Alberta: Politico Magazine chief political correspondent and author of “American Carnage”
Jul 29, 2019 • 44 min
On proposing, then writing a political book in a year of 800 other political books; on arranging an interview with the president of the United States, then sitting across from him for 40 minutes; on catching political figures off guard and having them…
Chad Finn: Boston Globe sports media columnist
Jul 22, 2019 • 49 min
On the details and complexities behind his marvelous Boston Globe Magazine profile of Red Sox broadcaster Dennis Eckersley; on trying to convince a subject to allow you to drive along for a ride; on his time as a 24-year-old editor.
MC White Owl: Rapper, DJ, hip-hop supernova
Jul 15, 2019 • 46 min
On how one turns his words into hip-hop; on mixing and matching sounds; on what it is to stroll a Kentucky stage naked while holding a stuffed penis; on whether it’s OK to rap about shooting the president; on finding meaning in music and the overrated…
Tim Layden: Sports Illustrated senior writer
Jul 8, 2019 • 62 min
On leaving the magazine after 25 years; on interviewing people as they face death; on the gun store hostilities of a late Yankee relief pitcher; on the legacy of SI and learning how to write while working for America’s best sports magazine.
Levi Weaver: Texas Rangers beat writer for The Athletic
Jul 2, 2019 • 54 min
On his past career as a singer/songwriter, and the parallels between two genres; on the Texas Rangers’ pitcher whose story needed to be told—via notebook paper; on looking for small, overlooked stories and making them great.
Chris Jones: Former Esquire writer, two-time National Magazine Award winner
Jun 24, 2019 • 71 min
On the aging scribe; on writing 22,000 words and having it cut down; on adjusting to a Netflix writers’ room and looking back at Roger Ebert and “The Things That Carried Him.”
Erik Sherman: New York Times best-selling author; collaborator on autobiographies with Mookie Wilson, Art Shamsky; Steve Blass, Davey Johnson and Glenn Burke
Jun 18, 2019 • 52 min
On approaching Glenn Burke as he was dying of AIDS and writing his autobiography; on a final interview with Bill Buckner and craziness with Len Dykstra.
Amy Chozick: New York Times writer at large, author of “Chasing Hillary”
Jun 10, 2019 • 41 min
On covering Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential run; on writing an amazing profile on the woman who (famously) chopped off her husband’s penis; on rising from the University of Texas to a fantastic career in journalism.
Lindsay Gibbs: Think Progress sports reporter and Washington Mystics writer for The Athletic
Jun 3, 2019 • 46 min
On what we can read into in The Athletic’s new dedication to WNBA coverage; on women’s college basketball programs hiring no male coaches; on starting a tennis blog and having that morph into a magical sports journalism career.
Seth Wickersham: ESPN The Magazine Senior Writer
May 28, 2019 • 45 min
On the process behind his classic 2014 profile of a dementia-afflicted Y.A. Tittle; on the torture and pain that comes with quality writing; on his Academy Award-worthy non-scenes with Kevin Costner in “Draft Day.”
Darren Sands: BuzzFeed News Political Writer
May 21, 2019 • 42 min
On covering the 2020 Democratic field; on driving through Manhattan with Mayor Pete; on whether a writer can cover politics without having an opinion on Donald Trump; on the transition from sports to news; on Joe Flacco trumping Wayne Chrebet.
Rebeccah Glaser: Editor in chief, The Panther—Chapman University’s student newspaper
May 13, 2019 • 43 min
On the highs and lows of college journalism; on whether to print or not to print; on what journalism programs need to be offering students in 2019.
Bill Pennington: New York Times sports writer and author of “Chumps to Champs: How Worst Teams in Yankees History Led to the ’90s Dynasty.”
May 6, 2019 • 39 min
On deep diving into the crappy, pre-glorious Yankee years of Brien Taylor and Mel Hall and Andy Hawkins; on when to knock on a subject’s door, and whether five phone calls are too many; on seeking out jacket blurbs and landing a literary deal on a…
The John Rocker Experience: The 100th Episode of Two Writers Slinging Yang travels 20 years back in time, when I was young and dumb and driving around Georgia with John Rocker.
Apr 29, 2019 • 46 min
The absolute craziest journalistic experience of my lifetime. On Dec. 27, 1999, Sports Illustrated published “At Full Blast,” my profile of then-Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker. His life changed. So did mine. For the 100th episode of Two Writers…
Georgi Boorman: Senior contributor, The Federalist
Apr 23, 2019 • 46 min
On the potential ugliness of social media interactions gone wrong; on writing about QAnon and the threats that followed; on political writing in the most heated of times.
Will Leitch: Deadspin founder, New York Magazine contributing editor, MLB national correspondent
Apr 15, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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 • 43 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 MLB.com
May 15, 2018 • 48 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 • 62 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 • 62 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 • 40 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 • 43 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 • 40 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 • 35 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 • 39 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 • 39 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 • 37 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 • 36 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 • 49 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: AllHipHop.com 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
Talking
Rick Jervis: USA Today Texas-based reporter
Sep 11, 2017 • 44 min
Talking
Jemele Hill: ESPN SC6 host
Sep 7, 2017 • 55 min
Talking
Dylan Gwinn: Breitbart sports editor
Aug 29, 2017 • 61 min
On all
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
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