Mark Leibovich, Chief National Correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, follows up his #1 bestseller THIS TOWN with a probing examination of pro-football at a moment of peak success and high anxiety BIG GAME: THE NFL IN DANGEROUS TIMES. This native Bostonian apologizes for those famously annoying Patriots fans, and discusses the Patriots superfan in the White House and Trump’s weird obsession with Tom Brady. He offers an unprecedented glimpse inside the one club that Donald Trump could never join…the exclusive group of 32 billionaire NFL owners known as “The Membership.” He reveals how Patriots owner Robert Kraft whines about not getting credit for the team’s success and some comments about Kraft’s love of New York that that have riled fans in Beantown. We talk about the rivalry between Kraft and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Mark recalls losing a drinking contest with Jones on the famously raucous Cowboys bus. He discusses fans hatred of Roger Goodell’s astronomical salary and why the “Membership” still protects the much maligned NFL Commissioner. He reveals just how worried owners were about the national anthem controversy and how it shined a light on the startling racial disparities in pro-football. Plus we talk about deflategate, Superbowl excess, concussions, and ask “has America has reached peak football?”
Order Mark Leibovich's book BIG GAME: THE NFL IN DANGEROUS TIMES on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Keep up with Mark at www.markleibovich.com or on twitter at @MarkLeibovich. Today's podcast is sponsored by Heineken, GooglePlay Audiobooks, The Dave Dameshek Football Program, and Espresso Monster.
Tennis player Maria Sharapova shares the remarkable story of how her father brought the six-year-old Maria from Russia to Florida with only $700 in his pocket and an unwavering faith in his daughter’s dream. She talks about the first time she watched the Williams sisters practice as a kid, and a locker room moment that has defined the rivalry between Serena Williams and her. She reveals what went through her mind when she learned that she had failed a drug test at the 2016 Australian Open, what she did during her subsequent 15 month suspension, and how the experience changed her mind about retiring from tennis. Plus Maria Sharapova talks about her dramatic comeback at last month’s US Open, the fuss over women tennis players who grunt, and why she wouldn’t even be playing tennis if it weren’t for the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
Order Maria Sharapova's book UNSTOPPABLE: MY LIFE SO FAR on Amazon or download the audiobook on Audible. Visit Maria Sharapova's website at www.mariasharapova.com and follow her on Twitter at @MariaSharapova.
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NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks about his 50 year friendship with the "Wizard of Westwood" UCLA Coach John Wooden. He says Coach Wooden was more concerned with his players’ grades than with winning basketball games, he shares some of the wisdom that Coach Wooden imparted, and talks about the time Coach helped Abdul-Jabbar forgive another one of his early mentors who used a racial slur. He talks about how he felt when the NCAA banned dunking and how Coach Wooden helped him overcome that setback by showing him how use his signature "skyhook" to maximum effect on the court. Plus Kareem shares some of Wooden’s favorite inspirational quotes, the Coach's essential advice on how to put on your shoes and socks, and Kareem explains how his two loves - basketball and jazz are really very similar.
Order Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's new book Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court on Amazon or download the audiobook for free with a special trial offer just for our listeners at www.audibletrial.com/kickassnews. You can learn more about what Kareem is up to these days at www.kareemabduljabbar.com and support his charity The Skyhook Foundation at www.skyhookfoundation.org. Follow Kareem on Twitter at @KAJ33.
Today's episode is sponsored by USMarkerboard.com. Find out why US Markerboard is the premium supplier of whiteboards and visual display products in North America. Go to www.USMarkerboard.com and use the promo code KICK for 10% off.
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