Episodes
Sports Illustration has been around as long as organized sports have. From Olympians on Grecian urns to our modern digital drawings, illustration expresses something no camera can capture: the entirety of sport in a single frame.
Published 12/27/18
Who is the greatest college football team of all time? They hail from Tennessee, but it’s not the Vols. Rather it's the 1899 Sewanee Tigers, who after beating 5 teams in 6 days by a collective score of 91-0 were known simply as the “Iron Men.” Here's their story.
Published 12/03/18
The Alliance of American Football is not the first to try and set up a second football league. In the past half century, the Alliance is the 5th challenger to the NFL’s throne. That means roughly every 10 years an upstart takes a shot at winning its piece of the football pie. This February 9th the AAF will add its name to the list of gridiron upstarts, learning from the mistakes of those that came before to try and do something so much harder than it sounds and give America what it wants....
Published 10/31/18
From 1914 through the nineteen fifties, a religious colony called the House of David took the baseball world by barnstorm, traveling the country, selling out stadiums, and beating everyone from local teams to World Series Champs. Barred from the major leagues on religious grounds, the “Jesus boys of baseball” worked from the outside the system, expanding America’s pastime and the country itself in new directions through inclusivity and innovation.
Published 08/02/18
Bare Knuckle boxing isn’t a street fight. It’s one of the oldest organized sports around. It’s strategic. It’s fast paced. It’s skillful. And it’s making a comeback. On June 2nd 2018 Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship will hold what they’re billing as the first legal, sanctioned and regulated fight since 1889. To once again reach the pinnacle of combat sports in America Bare Knuckle Boxing will have to overcome a stigma of brutality and years of being forced underground.
Published 05/28/18
Sports love their hometown heroes, but for every LeBron James there is an Anton Tinnerholm. Tinnerholm left his native Sweden in January to come and play soccer for NYCFC. Being a professional athlete is tough. Being a professional athlete in a foreign land is downright daunting.
Published 05/17/18
When the Karate Kid came out in 1984, Ralph Macchio as his on-screen counterpart Daniel LaRusso became an American martial arts icon and kicked off a karate craze that swept America. 34 Years later, he reprises his role as a good-hearted karate practitioner from New Jersey in the YouTube Red series Cobra Kai. Harry Swartout sits down with the Karate Kid himself to learn about the original film, new series and the Miyagi-like balance between the two.
Published 05/03/18
In 1998 MLB imagined baseball's future with their Turn Ahead the Clock promotion. It's not quite 2027 yet, but Major League Baseball whiffed on their predictions of wonky jerseys and the Mets relocating to Mercury. Instead baseball's future hinges on juiced balls, fantasy stats and the Latinx infusion.
Published 04/05/18
Color is iconic. From the first row, to the cheap seats, all the way through the television hundreds of miles away fans can find their players with ease and identify compatriots rooting just like them. Color can give a team the mental edge, sell jerseys and even change the outcome of the game.
Published 03/08/18
Our lives are busy and since the last Winter Olympics I’m sure you haven’t been closely following your favorite speed skaters or checking in on the luge circuit. That’s why this episode of the Narrative is dedicated to reminding you what the winter games has to offer and more importantly to give you an appreciation of the events. Learn the history and strategy of Nordic combined, figure skating, free skiing, curling and skeleton from the experts and watch the games like a seasoned veteran.
Published 02/06/18
In 1969, the Continental Football league welcomed the Golden Aztecs, or Aztecas Dorados into the league as the first professional American Football team in Mexico. The team only played 8 games and the Continental Football league folded at the end of the season, but in the wild west of professional football during the infancy of the Modern NFL, the Golden Aztecs stood as a shining example of what football could be at its best and at its worst.
Published 12/14/17
Who owns your favorite sports team? There are still the Jerry Joneses and MarK Cubans of the world that drive their team with cult of personality, but more and more family owned teams are being replaced by corporate ownership for financial stability. The owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils, and Crystal Palace of the English Premier League created a new organization called Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment (or HBSE)with the goal of acquiring and growing sports franchises...
Published 12/01/17
Sports generates and endless amount stories. Game recaps, profiles, investigations, features, economics, statistics, culture; there's countless angles to attack. But what really goes into the magazine in your mailbox or recap you read online?
Published 11/02/17
In the Golden Age of Baseball New York had three championship caliber teams. Then, suddenly, the city had only one. In 1957, the Giants joined the Dodgers in announcing a move to the West Coast, making MLB a truly national pastime. 60 years and 3,000 miles later the fans, the city, and baseball itself still feel the ripples from the Giants leaving New York.
Published 09/28/17
25 years ago, producer/director Mike Tollin filmed 5 high schoolers as they tried to repeat as California State Basketball Champions. He revisited their lives more than two decades after their senior campaign and found profoundly different men than he watched take the court in the 90s. In the meantime, Tollin has produced hit 30 for 30 documentaries and major motion pictures like Coach Carter, and something just keeps pulling him back to the stories of sports.
Published 08/17/17
Historically, sports have been a boys-only club. Even modern women sports superstars like Serena Williams and the USWNT continually have to battle for equal pay and respect. But women refuse to lose, even if a win gets them less than it should.
Published 07/20/17
Sports are weird. Athletics are a collection of idiosyncratic rules, customs, traditions, and superstitions. Here we delve into the backstories for four of the strangest things in sports: baseball stirrups, the forward pass, basketball shoes, and the hat-trick.
Published 06/22/17
Everyone knows the MLB war heroes, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Greenberg, but for every all-star that went abroad, scores of Minor Leaguers served on the front lines, as they deferred their fight to make the big leagues to fight for their country. This is the story of one of them, Harry Alvin Swartout, who went from High School to the minors to the Pacific in just a year, but kept baseball with him the whole way.
Published 05/24/17
Baseball cards are as American as well ... cigarettes and chewing gum. Cards have captured the imaginations of the young and the young at heart for over a century as a portal into memories of the game they love.
Published 05/11/17
In 1987, the Islanders and the Capitals battled for 4 overtimes in game 7 of the division semifinals to determine a winner. In suburban Massachusetts, a young boy watched the two hopeless teams fight to the end and learned a bit about life from a game of hockey.
Published 04/13/17
Superheroes may be the comic book industry's bread and butter, but the weeklies have had their fare share of flannel-clad heroes too. From horse racing comics at the turn of the century, to Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, comics have shown that sport can be stranger than fiction.
Published 03/23/17
In 1939, Northwestern University hosted the first NCAA Tournament. In the 77 years since NU has never made the tournament, but looks like it may be on the cusp of the big dance after borrowing a guaranteed 3-step slump stopper plan from their neighbors the Chicago Cubs.
Published 03/09/17
The Negro Leagues allowed black men play professional baseball in a segregated America. 80 years later the MLB is desperately trying to increase black involvement in their game. Baseball's biggest diamonds have not always been open to people of color, but when given the opportunity black baseball players shone.
Published 02/23/17
From a tiny league of 6 teams in the Northeast of North America to a global sport phenomenon, the NHL has grown a lot. From Denis Brodeur's groundbreaking photography to the '72 Summit Series to Peter Puck to Ice Hockey in the Himalayas the NHL has proved robust. All it need was time. A century to be precise.
Published 02/09/17
With two friends, a basement, and a love for street basketball, Seth Berger built AND1 athletic company to take on Nike. He now works for the 76ers Innovation Lab, but still is driven by a love for hoops.
Published 01/12/17