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

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Episode 166 – Should old acquaintance be forgot: Browns close 2019 by cleaning house (again)

This Browns season was supposed to be different. It wasn’t, and the aftermath isn’t either: Jimmy Haslam is cleaning house and hitting the reset button once again. Head coach Freddie Kitchens was sent out the door on Sunday night, and GM John Dorsey followed on Tuesday afternoon. The guys look back on yet another year that went off the rails and take stock of the state of the franchise, from OBJ to Baker Mayfield to the Haslams, as another reboot begins.

Plus: An Ohio State-Clemson game that was every bit as good as expected, one inexplicable replay overturn, and one surprisingly conservative late-game decision by head coach Ryan Day, as well as the future of the Buckeyes and the legacies of the outgoing J.K. Dobbins and Chase Young.


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

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

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