In this week’s episode of Slate’s sports podcast Hang Up and Listen, Joel Anderson, Stefan Fatsis, and Josh Levin talk about the debut weekend for the new XFL. They also discuss the Houston Rockets’ latest effort to revolutionize the NBA—a move to extreme small ball. Finally, they review the latest entry in ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, a two-part documentary on Michael Vick.
• The XFL debuted over the weekend to largely positive reviews about the quality of play and on-field innovations.
• Slate’s Nick Greene argues that the XFL thinks football is more interesting than it actually is.
• The XFL reboot is bankrolled by WWE founder Vince McMahon, who hopes the league can counter problems with his wrestling business.
• The league features some familiar coaches and players
• Stefan’s 2001 Wall Street Journal story on the death of the original XFL
• The Houston Rockets became the first team since the 1963 New York Knicks to play an entire NBA game without a player taller than 6-foot-6.
• Ben Golliver in the Washington Post on the Rockets’ small-ball experiment.
• The Washington Post’s Des Bieler and the Atlantic’s Sophie Gilbert review ESPN’s latest 30 for 30 documentary, Vick.
Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Chronic Y2K1:
Stefan’s Chronic Y2K1: On the occasion of Bobby Knight attending an Indiana basketball game for the first time in 20 years, a look at one of Knight’s most memorable meltdowns, at the Pan American Games in 1979.
On this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment, Joel, Stefan, and Josh continue their conversation about ESPN’s Michael Vick documentary.
Podcast production and edit by Melissa Kaplan.
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