Friday, December 6, 2019

Episode 165 – ESPN vs. Fox Sports is college football’s hottest rivalry this year

College football’s biggest rivalry this season isn’t between any of the sport’s most familiar, storied programs. It’s ESPN, home of the College Football Playoff and proprietor of the long-running “GameDay” kickoff show, vs. Fox Sports, the irreverent upstart riding a wave of SEC fatigue and a suddenly hot pregame show of its own. Awful Announcing editor-in-chief Ben Koo, who recently wrote an in-depth analysis of the TV turf war, joins The Nail to discuss how Fox Sports has leveraged the perception of ESPN favoring the SEC, a strategy to put on its biggest games at noon, Ohio State’s dominant year, and a dash of Urban Meyer to make inroads against ESPN’s once-seemingly impenetrable stranglehold on college football coverage. ... Plus: The wacky late-night TV fun that is #Pac12AfterDark and the future of the College Football Playoff format.


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

Photo from Awful Announcing | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Episode 164 – Climbing the mountain: Ohio State looms over rival, Browns trying to overtake theirs

Is The Game still THE game? Heading into its tilt with Michigan, Ohio State has reclaimed the top spot in the College Football Playoff rankings and is steamrolling its way toward a playoff berth. The Wolverines and Coach Jim Harbaugh are still just trying to figure out how to break through for a win in this series. The guys discuss the stakes for the Buckeyes on Saturday (and whether a loss would even kill their playoff chances), the state of Michigan football under Harbaugh, and whether this year’s edition of The Game can be competitive.

Meanwhile, with the Browns and Steelers set to renew pleasantries just 10 days after all hell broke loose between the two teams in Cleveland, the guys cover Pittsburgh QB Mason Rudolph’s demotion (…as conveyed by Sugar Ray singer Mark McGrath!) and what the Browns need to do to finally win at Heinz Field for the first time in 16 years.


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

Photos by Associated Press and Cleveland Browns Twitter | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Episode 163 – On the dominant Buckeyes, ‘Maddening’ Browns, and surprisingly fun Cavs

It’s an old school edition of the Nail as the guys go around the horn on the Buckeyes, Browns and Cavs, no guests needed. First, with Ohio State rolling and star defensive lineman Chase Young set to return next week, Travis makes the case that this is the most complete Ohio State team in a generation. Plus: the biggest remaining threat on the Bucks’ schedule, way-too-early talk of an OSU-LSU national championship game, and why we’ve had so many big day games in college football this year.

Next: On the eve of a Thursday night showdown with the Steelers, are you believing in the Browns? The guys discuss Sunday’s ugly (but needed) win, the Freddie Kitchens experience, and the debut of Kareem Hunt.

Finally, this year’s Cavs are…fun? John Beilein and his staff appear to have their squad buying in. Collin Sexton is making strides. Darius Garland is showing glimpses of hope. And Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love are playing as well as they ever have in a Cavs uniform. Through 10 games, it has been a formula for entertaining hoops.


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

Photos from OhioStateBuckeyes.com, AP via USA Today and Forbes | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Friday, October 25, 2019

Episode 162 – New attractions and familiar faces: Cavs continue roster rebuild in remodeled home

It’s the start of year five for The Nail and the 50th season of Cavaliers basketball. The Cavs tipped off this week in Orlando, and their first game at the newly minted Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is set for Saturday night. The guys welcome back longtime friend of the show Mark Meszoros to shift into basketball mode, starting with first impressions of rookie guard Darius Garland and new head coach John Beilein.

Plus: Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman survived early stumbles and played better over the second half of last season. What can we realistically expect from that duo in a more stable situation this year? Will Tristan Thompson or Jordan Clarkson, both with expiring deals, still be here by the end of the season? And finally, the guys discuss the renovations to the former Quicken Loans Arena and the Cavs’ creative monthly ticket pass.


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

Photo from Getty Images | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Friday, October 18, 2019

Episode 161 – Boomshakalaka! Journalist Reyan Ali on his new book “NBA Jam” and retro gaming’s resurgence

You remember the dunks and the signature calls. Now learn how one of the most beloved arcade games of all time came together. Columbus-based journalist Reyan Ali joins The Nail to discuss his new book, appropriately titled “NBA Jam,” which chronicles the billion-dollar blockbuster basketball game and the happenings in the arcade industry that helped make it happen. Ali shares stories from his interviews with NBA Jam’s creators, its legendary announcer, and former NBA players Shaquille O’Neal and Glen Rice.

Plus, the guys get into the nostalgia fueling the big business of retro gaming, from “barcades” stocked with all the classics to Nintendo’s mini consoles and Arcade1Up’s home cabinets.

Preorder "NBA Jam" by Reyan Ali


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

Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Episode 160 – Jeff Boals on coming home to coach the Ohio men’s basketball team

A quarter-century after helping to lead the Ohio men’s basketball team to an NCAA tournament appearance and a Preseason NIT championship as a team captain, Jeff Boals is back in Athens to guide the program as its new head coach. Boals joins The Nail to talk about returning to Southeast Ohio to take his dream job, getting students and fans excited about Ohio basketball, and going through a change in athletic directors shortly after being hired.

Plus, Boals explains what he learned as an assistant under coach Thad Matta at Ohio State and what he thinks Cavs fans can expect from John Beilein after seeing the longtime Michigan coach from the opposing bench in Big Ten play.


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

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

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Episode 159 – Buckeyes, Browns and the biggest week for wrestling Ben Axelrod

Ohio State continued to fire on all cylinders on Saturday night at Nebraska, and the Browns followed suit in a victory Sunday in Baltimore. Ben Axelrod of WKYC is back on The Nail to dive into what has been a seamless transition for the Buckeyes from Urban Meyer leading the program to Ryan Day at the helm and Justin Fields carrying the torch as OSU’s next great QB. Then, the guys discuss the Browns’ dominating win, videos of Jim Donovan calling big plays becoming a social media sensation, and the Ravens’ curious decision on Tuesday to put out a press release on the incident between Marlon Humphrey and Odell Beckham Jr.

Finally, it’s the biggest week in wrestling since Vince McMahon bought WCW in 2001. The guys run down the—ahem—new world order of professional wrestling, with SmackDown (now on Fridays on Fox!) becoming WWE’s flagship show and a new rival promotion surfacing on TNT.


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

Photos from Getty Images, WWE and AEW | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin