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The Lead

Wondery

The first daily sports news podcast reported from the hometown, not the sports desk. From The Athletic, home to the best storytelling in sports, and Wondery, the company behind "Sports Wars" and "Gladiator", co-hosts Kavitha Davidson and Anders Kelto will take you beyond the box score. With the help of The Athletic’s more than 400 sports writers and editors, we'll bring you the biggest and most fascinating stories of the day, every weekday morning. The Lead. Sports Up Close.

The first daily sports news podcast reported from the hometown, not the sports desk. From The Athletic, home to the best storytelling in sports, and Wondery, the company behind "Sports Wars" and "Gladiator", co-hosts Kavitha Davidson and Anders Kelto will take you beyond the box score. With the help of The Athletic’s more than 400 sports writers and editors, we'll bring you the biggest and most fascinating stories of the day, every weekday morning. The Lead. Sports Up Close.

Location:

United States

Networks:

Wondery

Description:

The first daily sports news podcast reported from the hometown, not the sports desk. From The Athletic, home to the best storytelling in sports, and Wondery, the company behind "Sports Wars" and "Gladiator", co-hosts Kavitha Davidson and Anders Kelto will take you beyond the box score. With the help of The Athletic’s more than 400 sports writers and editors, we'll bring you the biggest and most fascinating stories of the day, every weekday morning. The Lead. Sports Up Close.

Language:

English


Episodes

Everybody Hates Houston

2/19/2020
Things are bad for the Houston Astros. Players from around the league have been going on camera over the past few days to criticize Astros players and owner Jim Crane for not fully owning up to their role in the sign stealing controversy. Commissioner Rob Manfred has also come under fire for his botched handling of the case. The Athletic’s Marc Carig joins us from spring training in Arizona to talk about why player rage has reached a boiling point and what comes next for the troubled...

Duration:00:20:21

How Man City Became Banned City

2/18/2020
Manchester City has been banned from the Champion’s League, Europe’s most prestigious and lucrative club tournament, after an investigation found that the team lied on important financial documents. The future of one of the world's biggest and richest clubs is now very much in question. The Athletic’s Sam Lee joins us to break down the ban, what further fallout there could be, and what’s at stake for the team's highly controversial billionaire owner, Sheikh Mansour. Follow Sam Lee's ongoing...

Duration:00:18:56

How Philly Learned to Love Kobe

2/14/2020
The NBA All-Star Game is this weekend and there are expected to be many tributes to the late Kobe Byrant. Kobe is, of course, a king in Los Angeles, but his relationship with his hometown, Philadelphia, was complicated. The Athletic’s Michael Lee, who covers the NBA and lives in Philadelphia, joins us to talk about how the city made Kobe the competitor he was, but didn’t give him much love until the very end. Read Michael Lee's story about Kobe Bryant's complex relationship with...

Duration:00:26:29

Rose Lavelle's Insane Soccer Brain

2/13/2020
The U.S. Women’s National Team qualified for the Olympics this past weekend and leading the way, once again, was Rose Lavelle. The talented young midfielder also turned heads at the World Cup last year, capturing the Bronze Ball as the tournament’s third best player. The Athletic’s Megan Linehan joins us to talk about Lavelle’s rapid ascent to stardom, how she cracked a U.S. lineup that is heavily stocked with veterans, and just how bright her future could be. (And also, her unnatural love...

Duration:00:17:53

Mookie Betts and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Trade

2/12/2020
It's been a heck of a week for the Boston Red Sox. The team agreed to send their best player, Mookie Betts, to the Dodgers in a blockbuster trade, along with former Cy Young Award winner David Price in a three-team deal. But the trade almost fell apart in spectacular fashion. The Athletic's Jen McCaffrey joins us to talk about what went on behind the scenes, why the Red Sox made this move now and how Boston fans feel about losing a generational player.

Duration:00:21:06

The Rooney Rule Isn't Working

2/11/2020
The Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate when hiring a head coach or senior executive. But there are currently just three black head coaches in the league and the most recent round of hiring saw only one minority candidate get hired for five open positions. The Athletic's Mike Sando joins us to talk about the Rooney Rule’s effectiveness (or lack thereof) and the potential path forward. Read Mike Sando's story about the Rooney...

Duration:00:18:54

Should the Astros' World Series Title Be Rescinded?

2/10/2020
On Friday, there was yet another development in the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal. The Wall Street Journal reports that the team used a powerful algorithm called "Codebreaker" to figure out their opponent's signs. How much did the sign-stealing scheme help the Astros on the field? The Athletic's Jayson Stark and Eno Sarris recently ran the numbers to answer that question. Stark joins us to explain their findings, and to argue that despite their elaborate cheating scheme, the Astros...

Duration:00:26:10

After 100 Years, Duke Slater Finally Gets His Due

2/7/2020
If you go back to the very FIRST season of the NFL -- a hundred years ago -- there were just a handful of black players. And one of them was Duke Slater. Slater was the first black lineman to suit up for the NFL. He was known for being unstoppable. And now, he will finally be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As part of our Black History Month coverage at The Lead, we’re joined by The Athletic’s Scott Dochterman to talk about Duke Slater’s legacy, from his college football days in Iowa to...

Duration:00:24:16

Brandon Roy Is Alive and (Mostly) Well

2/6/2020
There was a time when Portland belonged to Brandon Roy. The former Trail Blazer's career was cut short by knee trouble and he has been more or less invisible ever since. But after years of trying, The Athletic’s Jason Quick finally tracked him down. Today, Quick joins us to talk about Brandon Roy’s short but remarkable career and how he has overcome an identity crisis, a divorce, and a drive-by shooting to find peace (or something close to it). Read Jason Quick's profile of Brandon...

Duration:00:28:34

Dusty Baker to The Rescue

2/5/2020
The Houston Astros hired Dusty Baker to take over in the dugout just weeks after firing manager AJ Hinch in the aftermath of the team's sign stealing scandal. At 70 years old, Baker is the oldest manager in baseball, but with that comes a wealth of experience and stability the Astros desperately need. Baker is known as a players' manager and has a stellar reputation in the league. So how will he do as he inherits a team mired in controversy but also built to win the World Series? The...

Duration:00:26:29

How Long Will Connor McDavid Stay in Edmonton?

2/4/2020
Connor McDavid has been shredding defenses since he entered the league five seasons ago. But there are signs that the NHL's most talented player has grown frustrated with his team’s lack of success. The Athletic's Jonathan Willis joins us to talk about McDavid's incredible skills, his secretive recovery from a devastating injury, and whether or not the clock is ticking on his Edmonton career. Follow Jonathan Willis's coverage of the Edmonton Oilers and the...

Duration:00:24:32

Hail to the Chiefs

2/3/2020
The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl champions. It was another impressive comeback for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, who trailed 20-10 in the fourth quarter before rattling off 21 unanswered points. Kavitha breaks down the game for us from Miami, discusses what it means for the legacies of Andy Reid, Kyle Shanahan, Jimmy Garoppolo and Patrick Mahomes, and talks about the reactions of Chiefs fans at the game.

Duration:00:23:51

BONUS: Inside the Super Bowl Circus

2/1/2020
Football stars, celebrities, and fans have descended upon Miami for the greatest side-show on Earth. Kavitha wades into the madness of Radio Row to speak with former Super Bowl winner turned spiritual guru Martellus Bennett, Giants running back Saquon Barkley, omnipresent fan "Marlins Man," former NBA journeyman Stephen Jackson, and a host of other characters. We also hear how people are betting on the color of the Gatorade bath that will rain down upon the winning coach and how Kobe...

Duration:00:09:58

Let's Talk About Tyreek Hill

1/31/2020
Tyreek Hill has a history of domestic violence charges that many people find disturbing. The wide receiver has been an integral part of the Chiefs' offense all season long and is expected to play a major role in the Super Bowl on Sunday, but some people have trouble rooting for the team when he's on the field. The Athletic's Lindsay Jones joins us to talk about Hill's past, how the Chiefs organization has dealt with his case, and the dilemma that reporters and fans face when trying to...

Duration:00:28:38

The Chiefs: A Love Story

1/30/2020
Superstar QB Patrick Mahomes and veteran head coach Andy Reid complete each other's sentences in team meetings. Chiefs fans are on their way to the Super Bowl after 50 years of suffering. And defensive tackle Mike Pennel broke down sobbing after Kansas City's victory over the Tennessee Titans, knowing he'd be playing for his hometown team in a Super Bowl. The Athletic's Nate Taylor joins us to talk through these (and other) Chiefs love stories. Follow Nate Taylor's coverage of the...

Duration:00:22:23

The 49ers: A Bunch of Journeymen

1/29/2020
One year ago, Raheem Mostert and the San Francisco 49ers were 4-12 and Kyle Shanahan was coaching at the Senior Bowl. Now, they're one win away from being crowned Super Bowl champions. The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami joins us to talk about how the 49ers have pulled off this remarkable turnaround, the players who have been key to their playoff run, and how, despite their success, they still see themselves as a bunch of journeymen. Follow Tim Kawakami's coverage of the...

Duration:00:21:50

A Look At Kobe’s Life and Career

1/28/2020
The tributes to Kobe Bryant and other victims of Sunday’s helicopter crash continue. A number of NBA players who were close to Kobe, including Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving, have missed games . NBA teams have continued to let the 24-second shot clock run out during games to honor the former #24. The Athletic’s Andy and Brian Kamenetzky join us to reflect on the remarkable life and career of Kobe Bryant, how he’ll be remembered and what he meant to the city of Los Angeles. You can read The...

Duration:00:29:24

Mourning Kobe Bryant

1/27/2020
After Kobe's tragic death from a helicopter crash on Sunday, we walk through the latest news on the accident and ongoing investigation. Plus, we look at how people across the country have expressed their love and support for the late superstar and his family. And we travel to Staples Center, where thousands of people gathered to share stories and mourn the loss of the basketball icon. Follow The Athletic's latest coverage of Kobe...

Duration:00:17:08

The Clippers Have Chemistry Issues

1/24/2020
New reporting from The Athletic has revealed problems inside the Clippers locker room. Kawhi Leonard has been red hot on the court, but his aloofness and unusual leadership style has created some friction within the team. The Athletic’s Jovan Buha joins us to talk about how the Clippers have been struggling to adapt to life with the reticent star, and what it could mean for the team's championship hopes. Read Jovan Buha and Sam Amick's story about the culture of the...

Duration:00:20:34

Ja Morant Has Something To Prove

1/23/2020
Zion Williamson made a splash in his debut last night. But his fellow rookie, Ja Morant, has been dominating defenses all season and creating an incredible highlight reel along the way. Today, The Athletic’s Omari Sankofa II joins us to talk about Ja’s impressive rookie year, why he has a chip on his shoulder, and whether or not he, and not Zion, should have been the number one pick in the draft. Follow Omari Sankofa II's coverage of the...

Duration:00:20:27