Friday, March 27, 2020

Episode 173 – March memories: Tom Withers on being courtside for Duke-Kentucky ’92

With no March Madness this year, CBS is dusting off some classic NCAA tournament games to fill airtime. Last Saturday afternoon, that included a replay of the Duke vs. Kentucky regional final from 1992, considered by many the greatest game of all time. Tom Withers, now a sportswriter for the Associated Press in Cleveland, was courtside in the Spectrum to cover the game. He joins The Nail to share memories of a crazy Saturday night in Philadelphia, Christian Laettner somehow avoiding an ejection and then hitting the buzzer-beating game-winner, the mostly forgotten miraculous shot by Kentucky’s Sean Woods, and the challenge of trying to write about an all-time thriller on deadline.

Plus: Withers talks about his new second job—serving as an assistant coach for the Westlake High School varsity girls basketball team—and the impact his work as a sportswriter has had on his coaching, and vice versa.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo from Duke Athletics | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Episode 172 – Passing time with sports on pause

A week ago, Bill Bender of the Sporting News was covering college basketball and gearing up for a trip to Cleveland to cover the NCAA tournament. It goes without saying that a lot has changed in the days since. Bender drops by The Nail to talk about sports being put on pause, where things could be headed in the coming months, getting an occasional break from serious news headlines on Facebook thanks to NFL free agency, and the joys of playing classic sports video games with his kids.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo by Bill Bender via Twitter | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Episode 171 – 2020 MAC tournament: Filled with suspense in an empty arena

This year’s Mid-American Conference tournament will be a made-for-TV event, as concerns over the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) have led the league to restrict the list of attendees at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to family members of players, credentialed university and team personnel, and media. Jason Arkley, Ohio University beat writer for the Athens Messenger, joins the show to discuss the MAC’s decision and how other leagues are handling similarly tough calls.

On the court, this year’s MAC tourney appears to be wide open, especially with Buffalo, winner of four of the past five years, bowing out in the first round on Monday. Arkley details Ohio’s surge in the second half of the season under first-year coach Jeff Boals, how former OU coach John Groce has rebuilt Akron into becoming the top seed in this year’s bracket, and rest of the teams and players to watch (on TV from the comfort of your home).


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo by Seth Davis via Twitter | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Episode 170 – Romo’s millions, YouTube TV vs. Sinclair, and more sports media headlines

The YouTube TV vs. Sinclair battle that threatened to take Cavs and Indians games off TV in some Northeast Ohio houses has been resolved—for now. Was this fight a preview of what subscribers to other TV providers should expect soon? Tony Romo just got an ungodly sum of money to keep calling NFL games for CBS, sending ESPN back to the drawing board as it tries to reinvent Monday Night Football. Will the answer finally include Peyton Manning and a trade with NBC for legendary play-by-play man Al Michaels?

And finally, why have the NBA’s broadcast partners struggled to find their next generation of commentators? Frequent Nail guest Mark Meszoros is back on the show to discuss those sports media topics and more.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo from Associated Press | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Episode 169 – MLB, NFL and NBA reinventing the wheel, and wait, THIS is the XFL?

The major sports leagues in the U.S. are throwing out a lot of radical ideas to drive up interest these days. MLB is proposing a new postseason with seven teams per league and the top clubs choosing their first-round opponents. The NBA wants to let four teams fight it out for the final two playoff berths in each conference. Meanwhile, as the NFL keeps trying to figure out ways to make flex scheduling possible for Monday Night Football and also get a 17th game on the schedule, a new spring league with an old name has launched with some intriguing innovations that could someday show up on Sundays in the fall.

This week, the guys discuss the surprisingly entertaining debut for the reborn XFL and the aforementioned wild proposals trending in pro sports. Plus: Being out of the country during the Super Bowl, and how the legacy of David Stern has shaped the way national NBA media cover non-glamour market teams like the Cavs.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo from USA Today Sports | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Episode 168 – Christopher Daniels on AEW ‘Dynamite’ in Cleveland

All Elite Wrestling, the upstart company that launched last January, brings its weekly TNT show “Dynamite” to the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University on Wednesday night. Veteran wrestler Christopher Daniels, who doubles as the company’s head of talent relations, joins The Nail to talk about AEW’s first year in business, what (and who) sold him on joining the new promotion, and how AEW has carved out a niche with wrestling fans by building a diverse roster that features familiar faces like Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley and Cody Rhodes as well as rising stars like Darby Allin, MJF and Sammy Guevara.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo from All Elite Wrestling | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Episode 167 – A crash course on new Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski with The Athletic’s Arif Hasan

The Browns introduced Kevin Stefanski as their new head coach on Tuesday. To learn more about the Browns’ latest hire, the guys tracked down Arif Hasan, a writer for The Athletic in Minnesota who has covered the Vikings since 2011. Hasan discusses Stefanski’s rise through the Vikings organization and how he is viewed in Minnesota, how his personality, skillset and philosophies translate into a head coaching position, and how much he will be willing to adapt to the roster he will be taking over in Cleveland.


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Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek

Photo from USA Today Sports | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin