Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Episode 199 – Did the Indians get it right with ‘Guardians’?

The Cleveland Indians on Friday announced that they will take the field as the Guardians starting in 2022. Even if the name changing process formally began seven months ago, it was a decision years in the making. But did the Indians get it right with their new identity? The guys discuss the new moniker, as well as whether it was a good idea to create a new visual identity that, while no longer controversial, certainly looks similar to the old one in a lot of ways.

Plus: The Browns have unveiled a 75th anniversary throwback uniform, and college football is being turned on its head this summer.


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

Photo from @Indians on Twitter | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Episode 198 – WWE superstar Otis on SmackDown in Cleveland

Ahead of WWE SmackDown coming to Cleveland on Friday, superstar Otis joins The Nail to discuss the company’s return to live touring after spending the better part of 16 months performing in closed venues. The Alpha Academy’s “No. 1 Guy” talks about the challenges of wrestling in front of empty arenas and virtual fans, the difference getting back to having a live crowd in attendance has made, and what he and tag team partner Chad Gable will be up to this Friday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

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Read more about WWE returning to the road and its stop in Cleveland for SmackDown on News-Herald.com.


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

Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Friday, May 21, 2021

Episode 197 – MLB's data-driven dilemma, NBA Play-In, Browns' big games, Crew rebrand U-turn

Strikeouts are at a record high, batting averages are at a record low, and MLB is at a crossroads as teams continue to swing for the fences even as the ball has been tweaked to cut down on home runs. Three teams—yes, including the Indians—have been no-hit twice this season, and it’s still only mid-May. The guys discuss how teams’ analytics-driven pursuit of success is at odds with putting on an entertaining product for fans, and how it’s not just a problem for baseball.

Plus: The NBA’s play-in games are a literal overnight success, the NFL schedule makers believe in the Browns, and the Columbus Crew does a fast U-turn on an ill-fated rebrand.


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

Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Episode 196 – NFL Draft arrives in CLE, disgruntled Kevin Love, and a sports betting bill for Ohio

Kevin Kleps of Crain’s Cleveland Business joins the Nail to give a preview of what fans can expect to see downtown this weekend as the NFL Draft takes center stage in the city. Also covered: 
  • An update on COVID-related attendance limits for Cleveland’s teams 
  • The odds of a policy requiring COVID-19 vaccination for entry into sports venues (similar to what was recently announced in Buffalo) being implemented by the Browns, Cavs and/or Indians 
  • Kevin Love is agitated again
  • A look at the sports betting legislation that could be coming soon in Ohio


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

Photo from @NFLprguy on Twitter | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Friday, March 19, 2021

Episode 195 – OU announcers Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius on the Bobcats’ return to March Madness

The Ohio Bobcats are back in the NCAA tournament since the program made a Sweet 16 run in 2012. Long-time OU broadcasters Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will be at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana, on Saturday night to call the game vs. Virginia. They join The Nail to discuss the Bobcats’ blitz through last weekend’s MAC tournament in Cleveland, how the team came together through two COVID-related shutdowns, the matchup with the defending national champions, and the unique, near empty-arena atmosphere that awaits on Saturday.

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

Photo by Ohio Athletics | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Episode 194 – Ohio State and March Madness with Whitney Harding of NBC4 in Columbus

With the Ohio State Buckeyes set to open their NCAA tournament run against Oral Roberts on Friday afternoon, sports reporter/anchor Whitney Harding of NBC4 in Columbus joins The Nail to talk March Madness, how OSU has built its program and thrived this season without a surefire future NBA draft pick on its roster, and why some of college basketball’s bluebloods have struggled to adjust to the changing landscape of college basketball.

Plus: The turning point that put Cleveland State on the path to its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2009, catching Cade Cunningham and Oklahoma State, and other teams to watch this weekend.

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

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

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Episode 193 – A year later, the MAC is back in Cleveland

The Mid-American Conference men’s and women’s tournaments are back at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse this week, one year after COVID-19 brought the sports world to a halt. Ohio University beat writer Jason Arkley was in Cleveland to cover the tournaments for the Athens Messenger last year when the plug was pulled. This year, he's working independently—and from home—as the MAC is back, but full arenas and press rows are not just yet.

Arkley joins The Nail to discuss the challenges universities have faced in trying to get through their sports seasons, a year of change in how college sports are covered, and the players and teams to watch this weekend in Cleveland.

Read Arkley's OU coverage: SUACBobcats.com


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

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

Friday, February 26, 2021

Episode 192 – Surviving the Cavs swoon, understanding NBA Top Shot

Waiting For Next Year’s Craig Lyndall joins the guys to talk about the Cavs digging out of a hole after a miserable February, setting fair expectations three years into a rebuild, Jarrett Allen being awesome since joining the team, and why NBA Top Shot has become a phenomenon in recent weeks (and whether it can last).


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

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

Friday, February 5, 2021

Episode 191 – Cavs rising, EA's college football game returning, and memories of Les Levine

For the better part of a generation, the Cavs have existed in two states: With LeBron James, an NBA championship contender, or without LeBron, one of the worst teams in the league. Times are changing. The Cavs are fun and more than holding their own this year. The guys discuss the leap of Collin Sexton (and his pairing with Darius Garland), the heist that brought Jarrett Allen to town (and will eventually send Andre Drummond out), and the experience of having a team that's out of the cellar but not yet facing championship-or-bust expectations.

Plus: EA Sports is bringing back its college football video game, Tampa is having the “best sports year that nobody can be present for” of all time, and a tribute to Cleveland sports media legend Les Levine.


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

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

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Episode 190 – One that got away: A great Browns season comes to an end in K.C.

The most fun Browns season in decades is over after the team came up one score short of doing the unthinkable and knocking out the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs in Kansas City. The guys dig into the controversial no-call on the hit that caused Rashard Higgins to fumble away a potential score late in the second quarter, the Browns finding new life after being on the verge of getting KO’d early in the second half, Kevin Stefanski’s decision to punt the ball away late in the fourth, and how Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s aggressive playcalling (and … *sigh* … a 13-yard run by Chad Henne) ultimately sealed the Browns’ fate.


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

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

Friday, January 15, 2021

Episode 189 – Shock and awesome: Browns stun Steelers, get ready for K.C.

Before the Browns head off to Kansas City for a divisional round matchup with the Chiefs, the guys look back on an unforgettable night in Pittsburgh that started with an avalanche—four first-quarter touchdowns!—and ended with the Browns winning their first playoff game since 1994. With coach Kevin Stefanski, cornerback Denzel Ward and others returning from the COVID-19 list, can the Browns keep up the magic in K.C.? Even if they don’t set records again, another fast start will probably be needed.

Plus: Nickelodeon’s slime-filled broadcast of Bears-Saints, a postmortem on Ohio State-Alabama and a lackluster college football season, and Ken Jennings’ start as “Jeopardy!” guest host (and the others scheduled to follow).


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

Photo from NFL.com | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin

Friday, January 8, 2021

Episode 188 – A COVID cloud is stealing the Browns’ and Buckeyes’ sunshine

The Browns are going to the playoffs! The Buckeyes are playing for a national championship! This is all supposed to be exciting…right? The guys discuss COVID-19 taking the air out of Northeast Ohio football fans’ balloon at the worst possible time, whether the Browns can overcome not having Kevin Stefanski and multiple starters, and the possibility that Monday’s national championship game between Ohio State and Alabama might not end up being on Monday after all.

Plus: Justin Fields was incredible leading OSU over Clemson in one of the Buckeyes’ most satisfying wins in years, and the Indians’ trade of Francisco Lindor is the latest painful reminder that Major League Baseball is a broken institution.


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

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