Once upon a time if you were a sports fanatic you had limited options when it came to your fandom. You could watch the game on TV or in person, you could you could listen to the radio for sports talk, play-by-plays and game recaps, or you could read the sports section of the daily newspaper. But today it’s a great time to be a sports fan, because there are so many more entertainment options than ever before that you could, in theory, consume sports media all day, every day. Talk about life goals. In addition to traditional forms of media, podcasts are taking over as a top destination for sports programming, and if you’ve never listened to a podcast it’s about time you hopped on board. According to Oxford Dictionary, a podcast is “a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.” The term refers to Portable On Demand (pod) broadcasts (cast), which is where the term podcast comes from. Ah, now it all makes sense.
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The podcast genre is a great way to supplement what you watch (i.e. sporting events) with what you read (i.e. the sports section) with more content about what you love. At their core podcasts are about spreading information and letting experts (or self-proclaimed pros) share what they think and what they know with listeners, who also happen to be extremely interested in that topic. So imagine if instead of watching lots of fluff on a sports TV talk show, you’re listening to nothing but the pros debating insights and strategies about the sports you love. Sounds enticing, no? Ok good, then you’re ready to tune in. Here are the 8 best sports podcasts you should be following right now.
1. Ring Rust Radio
If you are a big fan of wrestling, and we’re talking everything from WWE WrestleMania to TNA, then you should be tuning into this podcast. You’ll hear interviews from some of the biggest names in the wrestling industry as well as commentary (humorous commentary, we should add) from the guys behind The Bleacher Report.
2. Slate’s Hang Up and Listen
If you want a sports talk show where the hosts yell at each other and make stupid comments just to be entertaining, then this isn’t for you. If you want a podcast that is highly informative, intellectual and features some well-spoken sports reports who know what the heck they are talking about, then you should be tuning in to Hang Up and Listen, which is anchored by Slate’s sports editor Josh Levin, writer Stefan Fatsis and NPR’s Mike Pesca.
3. Baseball Tonight
If you like watching ESPN and you like baseball then this podcast, which is basically a downloadable audio version of the hit show on ESPN, is right up your alley. MLB Insider Buster Olney (he’s been around for a while, you probably already know who he is) is the host, but he’s not the only voice you’ll hear on this podcast, as he also brings in other experts to contribute to his discussions.
4. Ross Tucker Football Podcast
If you’re a true football fan, then there is nothing better than getting football insight from a former NFL player who knows it and has lived it. This podcast, created and hosted by Ross Tucker, a former NLF linebacker, is entertaining, funny, informative and insightful. In his podcast Tucker breaks down what is happening in the league and gives you his take on everything happening on and off the field.
5. The Rich Eisen Show
Eileen isn’t new on the sports media scene, he’s been a TV personality for a long time on Fox Sports Radio and the NFL Network, and now he’s expanding his reach to the podcast world with The Rich Eisen Podcast. Like the rest of his content, he offers everything from game insights, pop culture news, athlete interviews and more. And he’s so freaking likable you won’t be able to stop listening, which is exactly why he’s on top of the sports media world and shows no signs of slowing down.
6. The Best of Mike and Mike
Raise you hand if you listen to Mike and Mike every single morning while you’re getting dressed and commuting to work. Yeah, you and pretty much everyone else you know who gives a crap about sports. But in case you can’t tune in to this ESPN radio show (on radio or TV) then they have a podcast as well. And the good news is that instead of listening for the full four hours, all you need is one hour of time because they release key footage from their longer show so you get just the info you need about what is most timely and important in the sports world. Plus, they are hilarious to listen to.
7. The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz
Dan Le Batard says it like it is, and his partner in crime Stugotz adds a nice dose of entertainment to the show. Broadcast from South Beach, Miami, Le Batard is a perfect mix of entertainment with legit sports news, athlete interviews, timely information about the world of professional sports and hilarious conversation.
8. Football Weekly
FYI – this podcast isn’t actually about football at all, but about soccer (or what they call football overseas). It’s broadcast from across the pond, and is hosted by The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom, where soccer is a really big deal. And if you’re a huge soccer fan, it’s a big deal to you too, so you should be tuning into this podcast, which puts a lot of focus on The Premier League, but also offers insight and coverage on soccer news from around the world.