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AA Podcast #104 - Sarah Spain, ESPN
November 26, 2014 07:42 AM PST
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In today's episode we welcome ESPN's Sarah Spain. Sarah is a contributor to espnW, ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago, and appears on a number of television platforms. We talk about her increasing national exposure at ESPN, Chicago sports and a number of other topics including...

- Her start in the industry in Chicago.
- What has changed for her since becoming a national personality at ESPN.
- Increased platforms for women in sports media (and how ESPN has led the way) and where there are still areas for growth.
- The NFL seeing an increase in female fans this year.
- Our hopes of bringing Talk Soup to the sports world.
- Whether or not Jay Cutler is losing support in Chicago.
- The Derrick Rose panic-meter and how Jimmy Butler suddenly became an All-Star.
- Which team most defines the mood of the Chicago sports fan.

AA Podcast #103 - Dave Pasch
November 20, 2014 01:31 PM PST
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In this week's podcast we talk with one of the busiest announcers in sports - ESPN's Dave Pasch. We catch up with Dave in Houston in the middle of a four game stretch this week spanning the NBA, NFL, college football, and college basketball. We chat about the Arizona Cardinals being the best team in football and of course, his long, strange, trip with Bill Walton. Topics include...

-What it's like to work 6 games in 8 days and the differences in calling each sport.
-How he can loosen up and be a fan on radio broadcasts with the Arizona Cardinals.
-Seeing the Lakers in person and what their season might be like.
-Just how the Cardinals have got to 9-1 and the best team in the NFL.
-Can Drew Stanton become a Super Bowl winning quarterback?
-The prospects of Arizona hosting a home Super Bowl.
-Seeing the growth of J.T. Barrett at Ohio State firsthand.
-His partnership with Bill Walton and how he prepares for a telecast with the big redhead.
-The experience of being in Bill Walton's backyard teepee.

AA Podcast #102 - Allen Bestwick
November 08, 2014 08:08 AM PST
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With the NASCAR season nearing the checkered flag, we welcome ESPN's lead play-by-play voice for the sport, Allen Bestwick, to the podcast. With the new Chase format and the Texas pit road brawl, the sport is at a fever pitch at the moment. Allen joins us to chat about...

-His future at ESPN and moving on from NASCAR as the sport goes to Fox/NBC next year.
-Being able to call the Indy 500, Wimbledon and the British Open and what led to his decision to stay at ESPN versus staying with NASCAR.
-Whether or not NASCAR has finally found the right formula with their current Chase format being a true playoff.
-The Brad Keselowski-Jeff Gordon fight at Texas and how Keselowski is received by fans and the garage area.
-NASCAR's ratings and why finding an answer to growing the sport again is so complex.
-Why Kevin Harvick is the favorite in Phoenix this weekend.
-What to expect at Homestead for the first true championship race in NASCAR history.

AA Podcast #101 - Dustin Fox
October 30, 2014 10:32 AM PDT
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Cleveland is the epicenter of the sports world tonight. To talk about LeBron's return to the Cavs and the opening of the NBA season we're joined by Dustin Fox of 92.3 FM The Fan. As a national champion with the 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes, we also chat about this year's OSU team and the first year of the college football playoff. Topics include...

-How LeBron's SI letter was the defining factor in winning people in Cleveland back.
-The enthusiasm of the city when James announced his return and tonight for opening night.
-How the excitement and optimism in the city surpasses even LBJ's first tenure with the Cavs.
-How different of an environment it is in Cleveland sports talk radio than a year ago at this time.
-The Browns as a possible playoff contender.
-Why claims of ESPN's SEC bias are a cop-out and why Michigan is the key to the Big Ten's return to prominence.
-This year's Ohio State team being a playoff contender.
-Why Urban Meyer and LeBron James will both be defined by championships in Ohio.

AA Podcast #100 - Jim Nantz
October 14, 2014 12:44 PM PDT
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Hello, friends. For the centennial edition of the AA Podcast we welcome the one and only Jim Nantz of CBS Sports. As the longtime play by play man for the NFL on CBS, The Masters, and the Final Four, nobody in sports broadcasting has a better list of assignments. This year Nantz has added Thursday Night Football to his busy schedule to mark his 30th year at the network. In this wide-reaching podcast, Jim talks to AA about...

- The new Thursday Night Football schedule and how he copes with non-competitive games.
- The effort being put into the TNF franchise behind the scenes and the work he puts into calling 2 NFL games some weekends.
- The current state of golf and the passing of the torch from Tiger to Rory. Why a duel at next year's Masters might be a historic occasion for the sport.
- Tiger Woods and the '97 Masters as the transcendent athlete and event that he has covered in his 30 year career at CBS.
- The surprising reason why his call of Devin Hester's opening kickoff return for a Super Bowl is his favorite call of all-time.
- The influence of great broadcasters of yesteryear like Jack Whitaker, Chris Schenkel, and Pat Summerall on his broadcasting career and living up to their legacies.
- His broadcast style, the current state of broadcasting, and what resonates with fans. Does he ever get caught up in what's written about the industry and his place at CBS?
- His goal to work 50 years at CBS and why he'd choose The Masters as his favorite event.
- His trademark game-ending or tournament-ending calls and why we might be seeing less of them in the future.
- His work with Alzheimer's research and the Nantz National Alzheimer Center.

AA Podcast #99 - Jim Miller
October 09, 2014 10:26 AM PDT
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Our last episode in double figures welcomes one of our favorite and most frequent guests back to the show - New York Times #1 bestselling author James Andrew Miller. As the co-author of Those Guys Have All The Fun, Jim has remained an authority on all things inside and outside Bristol, Connecticut. With so much happening around ESPN in recent weeks, we talked with Jim about the following...

- The severity of the Bill Simmons suspension and the "civil war" within Bristol.
- Simmons' roller coaster year at ESPN and whether or not he will stay with Bristol when his contract is up next year.
- The comeback of Keith Olbermann and the big personalities that have returned in recent years... and why John Skipper's personality is instrumental in that.
- The rash of suspensions this year at ESPN.
- The new NBA TV deal and why it was "required" for ESPN to get it done.
- How ESPN is further separating itself from its competitors and why Fox Sports 1 overshot expectations.
- The big picture of John Skipper's tenure as ESPN president.
- Details on the re-release of "Live from New York" the oral history of Saturday Night Live.

AA Podcast #98 - John Smoltz, MLB Network/Fox Sports
September 30, 2014 08:10 AM PDT
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With the dawn of the 2014 MLB Postseason, we're joined by one of the best playoff pitchers of the last generation - John Smoltz. After an illustrious career with the Atlanta Braves, Smoltz moved to the broadcast booth and has been a consistent presence covering the sport. In today's podcast, we talk about John's TV career, his duel with Jack Morris, and which pitcher is most important this postseason. Topics include...

- Starting in television right away after his playing days and the differences in preparation between his analyst and pitching jobs.
- The differences in postseason pitching versus the regular season.
- The state of the game and pace of play issues.
- Why John is against the one game Wild Card round and why a Best of 3 series would be more fitting.
- Memories of his postseason duel with Jack Morris in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series and whether that is his defining playoff moment even in defeat.
- The pressure on Jon Lester against the Royals to justify Billy Beane's risky midseason trade.
- Why Washington is the favorite and best positioned team to win the World Series.
- Why Adam Wainwright is the most important pitcher this postseason.

John will be part of MLB Network’s Postseason coverage, which includes Game Two of the NLDS between the Nationals and Dodgers this Saturday at 930pm & Game Three of the NLDS between the Nationals and the winner of the Pirates/Giants game on Monday, October 6. He'll also appear throughout the postseason on Fox Sports.

AA Podcast #97 - Jay Williams & Seth Greenberg
September 29, 2014 08:51 PM PDT
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On a special edition of the AA Podcast we break the news of ESPN's newest additions to the basketball version of College GameDay - former Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg and former Duke star Jay Williams. The ACC pair will join Rece Davis and Jay Bilas on the 2014-15 version of ESPN's flagship college sports show. On the podcast, Seth and Jay take us through their ESPN careers and getting the call to join GameDay and the different paths they took. Also, there's plenty of lively banter between the two on topics ranging from their history with one another to the current state of college basketball and paying players. Other topics include...

-Their unique paths to ESPN and how the veteran and rookie roles might be reversed for the two from the normal player-coach dynamic.
-Taking GameDay on the road and performing in front of a live crowd.
-Seth and Jay's relationship and how it evolved after a rocky start after Williams criticized Va Tech on the air before Greenberg came to ESPN.
-Flex scheduling for GameDay and the importance of going to the best game every week.
-The criticism of Coach K's recruiting advantages with college basketball and the race to get ahead.
-Is Kevin Ollie one of the game's elite coaches?
-Parity and the importance of the regular season.
-The state of college basketball and where we're at in the discussion of paying players.
-Just how did Jay Williams get so many Twitter followers? Must be that Bieber kid.

All that and a lot more on a very fun, unique, AA Podcast.

AA Podcast #96 - NFL Roundtable
September 19, 2014 08:44 AM PDT
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For the second time, we've collected our editorial staff for a roundtable discussion on the eventful month that's been in the NFL. We're joined by Steve Lepore, Ken Fang, and Joe Lucia to wade through arguably the worst month of off-field news in NFL history, the league's response (or lack thereof), and how the media has covered it all. In addition, we tackle some other sports media topics of the day. Our conversation covers...

-Major takeaways from the NFL scandals.
-Where is Roger Goodell?
-How NFL insiders reported the story and the trust gap that may have developed.
-TMZ as the sports media person of the year? It doesn't sound too crazy.
-Mike Francesa's simulcast woes on FS1.
-Gus Johnson stepping down from Fox soccer and who should replace him.
-How will the MLB postseason do in the ratings without the Yanks and Sawx?

A lively discussion on a number of topics, hope you join us.

AA Podcast #95 - Josh Elliott
September 12, 2014 12:24 PM PDT
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Today's podcast features a lenghty, in-depth interview with Josh Elliott of NBC Sports. Elliott recently moved to the peacock after a succesful run at Good Morning America saw that show vault over Today to become the number one morning show in the land. Now Elliott serves as a features reporter across a variety of NBC sports and news platforms. We spent a lot of time talking about the Ray Rice story and the credibility crisis facing the NFL as well as his time in morning show television and his future at NBC. Topics include...

- Why this story (Ray Rice-NFL-domestic violence) has resonated with so many in becoming a mainstream sports and news story.
- Being in San Francisco for Sunday Night Football, what the reaction is to the ongoing Ray McDonald and Greg Hardy cases in relation to Ray Rice.
- The pressure mounting on Roger Goodell and whether or not he should lose his job.
- Whether or not this credibility crisis will affect the league's popularity in any way.
- The larger cultural issues in sports that need changed when it comes to equality.
- Josh's move from GMA to NBC and the defining factor that led him to a new opportunity.
- His desire to be a great teammate at NBC Sports and what may be in his future at the network. I tried really hard to get Josh to say whether he would rather have Bob Costas' primetime Olympic job or Matt Lauer's Today hosting gig, but he deftly handled my line of questioning.
- The ability to tell stories in sports and news and the crossover between working in both.
- The feature story he would most like to do (on Lionel Messi) and his proudest story to date (Steve Gleason).

All that and so much more on this edition of the AA Podcast.

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