Podcast equivalent of "30 for 30"
August 20, 2014 7:04 AM   Subscribe

Looking for sports podcasts which are not sports news or discussion of sports news. More sports documentary, if you will.

I'd like to find a podcast which is about sports, but not sports news, or discussion of recent sports news. What I might call sports documentary, for lack of a better term. Something that looks at sports stories, not necessarily recent, more in depth, and goes beyond just "on-the-field" accomplishments, perhaps with more about the athletes involved, wider societal impact, etc.

This was inspired by a recent rebroadcast of an episode of the Freakonomics podcast, in which one segment talks about Bo Jackson's decision not to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he was drafted by them in 1986. I'm not much interested in day-to-day sports results, or the usual sports radio discussion of current events, but it occurred to me that that's the sort of sports story I'd like to hear more of.

Thinking about it a little more, I realized that what I'm looking for is more or less the podcast equivalent of ESPN's 30 for 30 series.

Either a US-centric podcast or one with a worldwide focus, or anything in between, would be of interest to me. Length is not a major consideration: an episode might be five minutes, or it might be an hour.

So, does something like this exist?
posted by DevilsAdvocate to Society & Culture (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Slate's Hang Up And Listen is the best podcast going. It's weekly, and they usually touch on the big sports stories of the week, but it's not game recaps or anything like that. And I would say at least half of each episode is either sports stories from the past, or sports policy issues, or interviews with an author of a book about sports and history or society, or etc. etc. Also, they cover a much wider range of sports than most venues do, including a fair amount of women's sports.
posted by escabeche at 7:12 AM on August 20, 2014 [3 favorites]

It's soccer-specific, but I've enjoyed the 30-minute interviews and documentaries on the BBC's World Football podcast. That link provided synopses of some recent episodes, so you can check that out to see if you're keen.
posted by monkeymonkey at 7:23 AM on August 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

This American Life episodes with the "Sports" tag. Also "Something for Nothing", which includes the segment on Hands on a Hardbody, and "Quiz Show", which is about competitions of a different kind.
posted by themanwho at 8:38 AM on August 20, 2014

Best answer: Ireland's Radio One has many interesting stories in the Sport category.

You might like The Sporting Life or ESPN Perspectives.
posted by bgrebs at 8:47 AM on August 20, 2014

Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but there have been some interesting 99 Percent Invisible eps about sports:

The Sound of Sports is actually a fascinating BBC radio documentary about sound recording in sports (as well as the "enhancements" they use).

Masters of the Uni-verse gives a lot more detail about baseball uniforms than I ever expected I would enjoy.
posted by radioamy at 9:48 AM on August 20, 2014

You might enjoy Stealing Home which is about baseball. Here's the description from the site:

"Current events, trends, history, and great stories surrounding America’s pastime are all discussed. Stealing Home digs deeper to find the beauty, sadness, idiosyncrasies and wonderment that surround the game we love. All fans are welcome."
posted by OrangeDisk at 11:33 AM on August 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

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