the nail in the coffin | A Cleveland sports podcast

Evergreen Podcasts

An award-winning Cleveland sports podcast covering the Cavaliers, Browns, Indians, Buckeyes, sports media and pop culture.

All Episodes

Bill Bender of the Sporting News is back on The Nail to talk about the new college football season, Texas and Oklahoma eying a jump to the SEC, and the implications of an alliance between the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC. Plus: Will anybody challenge Ohio State in the Big Ten? (Probably not.) Can anyone other than the perennial playoff programs finally break through and get a berth this year? (Also not likely!) Later, the guys discuss how the Bishop Sycamore story quickly went from an amusing tale of an unqualified prep team scheming its way into a game on ESPN to something much, much worse. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sep 2

1 hr 7 min

The long, highly publicized search for a new host of Jeopardy was over…and now it’s not. On Friday, news broke that Mike Richards, the show’s embattled executive producer who had taken the job as Alex Trebek’s successor, was backing away from the podium amid heavy backlash. Before Richards announced his resignation as host, the guys discussed the highly dubious process the resulted in him getting the spot and the issues that we now know ultimately led to his undoing. Plus: MLB’s Field of Dreams game was a home run for everyone involved, and with WWE’s SummerSlam on Saturday night in Las Vegas and AEW rumored to be debuting a certain famous Chicago-made star on Friday, it’s shaping up to be a huge weekend for wrestling. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 20

1 hr 10 min

The Cleveland Indians on Friday announced that they will take the field as the Guardians starting in 2022. Even if the name changing process formally began seven months ago, it was a decision years in the making. But did the Indians get it right with their new identity? The guys discuss the new moniker, as well as whether it was a good idea to create a new visual identity that, while no longer controversial, certainly looks similar to the old one in a lot of ways. Plus: The Browns have unveiled a 75th anniversary throwback uniform, and college football is being turned on its head this summer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Jul 27

1 hr

Ahead of WWE SmackDown coming to Cleveland on Friday, superstar Otis joins The Nail to discuss the company’s return to live touring after spending the better part of 16 months performing in closed venues. The Alpha Academy’s “No. 1 Guy” talks about the challenges of wrestling in front of empty arenas and virtual fans, the difference getting back to having a live crowd in attendance has made, and what he and tag team partner Chad Gable will be up to this Friday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. *** Read more about WWE returning to the road and its stop in Cleveland for SmackDown on News-Herald.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Jul 22

10 min 18 sec

Strikeouts are at a record high, batting averages are at a record low, and MLB is at a crossroads as teams continue to swing for the fences even as the ball has been tweaked to cut down on home runs. Three teams—yes, including the Indians—have been no-hit twice this season, and it’s still only mid-May. The guys discuss how teams’ analytics-driven pursuit of success is at odds with putting on an entertaining product for fans, and how it’s not just a problem for baseball. Plus: The NBA’s play-in games are a literal overnight success, the NFL schedule makers believe in the Browns, and the Columbus Crew does a fast U-turn on an ill-fated rebrand. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 21

1 hr 10 min

Kevin Kleps of Crain’s Cleveland Business joins the Nail to give a preview of what fans can expect to see downtown this weekend as the NFL Draft takes center stage in the city. Also covered:  An update on COVID-related attendance limits for Cleveland’s teams  The odds of a policy requiring COVID-19 vaccination for entry into sports venues (similar to what was recently announced in Buffalo) being implemented by the Browns, Cavs and/or Indians  Kevin Love is agitated again A look at the sports betting legislation that could be coming soon in Ohio Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Apr 28

41 min 7 sec

The Ohio Bobcats are back in the NCAA tournament since the program made a Sweet 16 run in 2012. Long-time OU broadcasters Russ Eisenstein and Rob Cornelius will be at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana, on Saturday night to call the game vs. Virginia. They join The Nail to discuss the Bobcats’ blitz through last weekend’s MAC tournament in Cleveland, how the team came together through two COVID-related shutdowns, the matchup with the defending national champions, and the unique, near empty-arena atmosphere that awaits on Saturday. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Mar 19

22 min 21 sec

With the Ohio State Buckeyes set to open their NCAA tournament run against Oral Roberts on Friday afternoon, sports reporter/anchor Whitney Harding of NBC4 in Columbus joins The Nail to talk March Madness, how OSU has built its program and thrived this season without a surefire future NBA draft pick on its roster, and why some of college basketball’s bluebloods have struggled to adjust to the changing landscape of college basketball. Plus: The turning point that put Cleveland State on the path to its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2009, catching Cade Cunningham and Oklahoma State, and other teams to watch this weekend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Mar 19

43 min 43 sec

The Mid-American Conference men’s and women’s tournaments are back at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse this week, one year after COVID-19 brought the sports world to a halt. Ohio University beat writer Jason Arkley was in Cleveland to cover the tournaments for the Athens Messenger last year when the plug was pulled. This year, he's working independently—and from home—as the MAC is back, but full arenas and press rows are not just yet. Arkley joins The Nail to discuss the challenges universities have faced in trying to get through their sports seasons, a year of change in how college sports are covered, and the players and teams to watch this weekend in Cleveland. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Mar 10

33 min 2 sec

Waiting For Next Year’s Craig Lyndall joins the guys to talk about the Cavs digging out of a hole after a miserable February, setting fair expectations three years into a rebuild, Jarrett Allen being awesome since joining the team, and why NBA Top Shot has become a phenomenon in recent weeks (and whether it can last). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Feb 26

51 min 43 sec

For the better part of a generation, the Cavs have existed in two states: With LeBron James, an NBA championship contender, or without LeBron, one of the worst teams in the league. Times are changing. The Cavs are fun and more than holding their own this year. The guys discuss the leap of Collin Sexton (and his pairing with Darius Garland), the heist that brought Jarrett Allen to town (and will eventually send Andre Drummond out), and the experience of having a team that's out of the cellar but not yet facing championship-or-bust expectations. Plus: EA Sports is bringing back its college football video game, Tampa is having the “best sports year that nobody can be present for” of all time, and a tribute to Cleveland sports media legend Les Levine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Feb 5

59 min 41 sec

The most fun Browns season in decades is over after the team came up one score short of doing the unthinkable and knocking out the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs in Kansas City. The guys dig into the controversial no-call on the hit that caused Rashard Higgins to fumble away a potential score late in the second quarter, the Browns finding new life after being on the verge of getting KO’d early in the second half, Kevin Stefanski’s decision to punt the ball away late in the fourth, and how Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s aggressive playcalling (and … *sigh* … a 13-yard run by Chad Henne) ultimately sealed the Browns’ fate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Jan 18

33 min 9 sec

Before the Browns head off to Kansas City for a divisional round matchup with the Chiefs, the guys look back on an unforgettable night in Pittsburgh that started with an avalanche—four first-quarter touchdowns!—and ended with the Browns winning their first playoff game since 1994. With coach Kevin Stefanski, cornerback Denzel Ward and others returning from the COVID-19 list, can the Browns keep up the magic in K.C.? Even if they don’t set records again, another fast start will probably be needed. Plus: Nickelodeon’s slime-filled broadcast of Bears-Saints, a postmortem on Ohio State-Alabama and a lackluster college football season, and Ken Jennings’ start as “Jeopardy!” guest host (and the others scheduled to follow). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Jan 15

1 hr 4 min

The Browns are going to the playoffs! The Buckeyes are playing for a national championship! This is all supposed to be exciting…right? The guys discuss COVID-19 taking the air out of Northeast Ohio football fans’ balloon at the worst possible time, whether the Browns can overcome not having Kevin Stefanski and multiple starters, and the possibility that Monday’s national championship game between Ohio State and Alabama might not end up being on Monday after all. Plus: Justin Fields was incredible leading OSU over Clemson in one of the Buckeyes’ most satisfying wins in years, and the Indians’ trade of Francisco Lindor is the latest painful reminder that Major League Baseball is a broken institution.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Jan 8

1 hr 2 min

As of Monday afternoon, subscribers of YouTube TV, Hulu and Sling in Northeast Ohio were blocked out from watching Cavs games on Fox Sports Ohio. Local DIRECTV and AT&T Uverse subscribers are keeping their fingers crossed that they don’t have to watch the Browns’ Sunday Night Football game on a Spanish network because they are currently blocked from receiving WKYC. With disputes between cable providers and network operators on the rise, Awful Announcing owner and editor Ben Koo joins the Nail to explain why losing access to big games is becoming a more frequent problem and how soon we can expect deals in these latest fights to be reached. Plus: Sinclair betting big on a reimagined regional sports network model, how much teams and leagues get involved in negotiations between cable companies and networks to ensure their games are available as widely as possible, and other sports broadcasting trends to watch in 2021. On Awful Announcing: Sports fans are hostages in carriage disputes and we often pay the ransom On WFNY: Waiting all day for Sunday night no more: Browns flexed to SNF Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Dec 2020

34 min 54 sec

An NFL game between Baltimore and Pittsburgh that was supposed to be played on Thanksgiving night is now scheduled for a Wednesday afternoon in December so as not to conflict with the lighting of a Christmas tree in New York. The Ohio State Buckeyes have played four games and are currently in position to make the College Football Playoff, but are also on the verge of not qualifying for the Big Ten championship game. And yet it’s the NBA, which earned praise for the safety of its bubble over the summer, that is now getting ready for what might be the riskiest plan of all for its new season. Welcome to winter sports in the pandemic! The guys discuss the COVID chaos engulfing the NFL and college football, the Browns somehow being in position to finally make the playoffs, the Cavs’ iffy Rock Hall-inspired City edition uniforms, Cleveland’s regional sports networks still not being available on many Northeast Ohio TVs and more.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Dec 2020

1 hr 6 min

After 8 months, finally—FINALLY!—things are happening with the Cavs. The NBA’s trade moratorium is about to be lifted, the draft is on Wednesday night, and free agency isn’t far behind. Justin Rowan, co-host of the Cavs-centric podcast The Chase Down, drops in on The Nail to give us a refresher on the state of Wine & Gold basketball, from the likelihood of a trade involving Andre Drummond, Kevin Love or maybe even Larry Nance to how potential draft picks could fit into the Cavs’ lineup. Plus: Why is Dayton big man Obi Toppin being linked to the Cavs in so many stories? What would the selection of Onyeka Okongwu, Deni Avdija, Isaac Okoro or Devin Vassell mean for players currently on the Cavs’ roster? And with adjusted lottery odds making tanking a more tenuous strategy than ever, are J.B. Bickerstaff and his assistants the right coaching staff to develop players who aren’t taken at the top of the draft? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Nov 2020

39 min 37 sec

Coming off a much-needed bye, the Browns are back this weekend and they will look to returning running back Nick Chubb and guard Wyatt Teller to rejuvenate the running game that carried the team's offense through the early part of the season. With no moves made at last week's trade deadline, meanwhile, the Browns will look within to bolster a defense that has struggled to get off the field. The guys preview the second half of the year and size up the team’s playoff odds. Plus: Memories of Modell’s move in 1995, the state of the Buckeyes and the Big Ten through three weeks, and a salute to one of TV's most beloved figures, “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek. * * * Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photos from Getty Images | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Nov 2020

1 hr 8 min

WFNY co-founder and editor Andrew Schnitkey was at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday to watch the Browns move to 4-1, their best start since 1994. He joins The Nail to talk about his experience among the 12,000 fans at the game, the magic that Kevin Stefanski has worked to completely turn around the franchise, Myles Garrett’s dominating start to the season, the ups and downs of Baker Mayfield, and the big test that looms on Sunday at Pittsburgh. Plus: LeBron James clinched his fourth title on Sunday night, leading the Lakers back to the top of the mountain and ending an NBA bubble experience that was short on fans, but filled with memorable performances. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from Associated Press | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Oct 2020

56 min 8 sec

Fausto Carmona is long gone, but the midges are back. Sandy Alomar won’t be hitting a game-tying home run that sends Paul O’Neill into a tantrum on the warning track, but he will be managing the Tribe. It’s the Indians and the Yankees meeting in the first round of the MLB postseason again, and Waiting For Next Year’s Mitchell Krall joins The Nail to give us a crash course. Topics covered: Presumed Cy Young winner-to-be Shane Bieber and the Indians pitching staff, potential AL MVP Jose Ramirez and whether the Tribe can generate enough offense, what role having Alomar manage in place of Terry Francona will play, and what we need to know about the team from the Bronx and the new postseason format. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photos from Getty Images | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Sep 2020

26 min 50 sec

Two weeks into the NFL season, the Browns have bounced back from a rough (but, given the circumstances, maybe not too surprising) start in Baltimore. The Indians, meanwhile, are officially back in the postseason after a dramatic Jose Ramirez walk-off home run in extra innings against the White Sox on Tuesday night. Joe Gerberry, writer and editor for Waiting For Next Year, joins The Nail to discuss the state of Cleveland’s two active teams. The guys go through the early returns on the Kevin Stefanski regime, Baker Mayfield, an improved offensive line, and a work-in-progress defense. Plus: Shane Bieber and Ramirez putting together award-worthy seasons, and best/worst potential first-round postseason opponents for the Tribe. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photos from Getty Images | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Sep 2020

50 min 7 sec

High school football—one of Ohio’s great sports traditions—kicks off its 2020 season later this week, but for obvious reasons, this year will be far from normal. John Kampf, longtime prep sports writer for The News-Herald, joins the Nail to talk about how schools around the area are preparing amid the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in protocols being made by the OHSAA to limit risks where possible. … Plus: A coaching change in Mentor, Kirtland eying another state title, and the players to know this fall. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from The News-Herald | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Aug 2020

23 min 11 sec

Sports are back, and so is The Nail. The guys discuss the early ups and downs of the Indians, the Blue Jackets in the NHL playoffs, and adjusting to sports broadcasts with no fans but lots of ads. … Plus: With the Big Ten and Pac-12 opting out for the fall, what will become of the 2020 college football season? ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photos from Associated Press and NHL.com | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Aug 2020

57 min 11 sec

Author Alex Harnocz joins the show to discuss his new book, “Perfect Season Project: An Uncommon Arrangement of Cleveland Indians History,” in which he sifts through 120 years of Tribe baseball to find the most interesting and/or historic year for each game on the schedule, from 1 to 162. In his book, Harnocz chronicles the classics—Bob Feller’s opening day no-hitter in 1940, Len Barker’s perfecto (Game 24 in 1981), and the miraculous comeback vs. Seattle (Game 110 in 2001)—as well as some deep cuts that only the most diehard Indians fans will remember. Harnocz explains the inspiration for his project and how he put the Indians’ “perfect season” together. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Jul 2020

26 min 58 sec

Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com and the MLB Network joins the show to discuss the Indians potentially changing their name, how the 60-game schedule and new rules for 2020 affect the Tribe, and whether roster restrictions in place this year could decrease the odds of a midseason trade of Francisco Lindor. Read Castrovince’s column on a potential Indians name change: https://medium.com/@castrovince/the-cleveland-spiders-b2f4aa576eb3 Check out Castrovince’s new book: “A Fan’s Guide to Baseball Analytics” ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from Associated Press | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Jul 2020

35 min 53 sec

Northeast Ohio native Evan Bush, the veteran goalkeeper for the Montreal Impact, joins The Nail to discuss the upcoming return of MLS, the league’s World Cup-style tournament to restart the season, and being part of contentious CBA negotiations. Plus: Bush explains how he tried to stay sharp at home during the three-month layoff, and he shares his thoughts on the Crew being saved in Columbus. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from Canadian Press | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Jun 2020

35 min 42 sec

With sports still mostly on hold and not much fun happening in the world right now, the guys take a break from current events to reminisce about some lighter moments from years gone by, including Ohio State’s 2002 national championship, a pair of dramatic Indians wins, and some youth sports misadventures. Plus: A last word on ESPN’s “The Last Dance.” ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from AZCentral.com | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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May 2020

50 min 45 sec

On Sunday night, ESPN premiered its long-awaited documentary on Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls, “The Last Dance,” airing the first two episodes in the 10-part series. The guys rejoice at having new sports content to watch for the first time in forever and share memories of the ’90s Bulls, including being in the building for Jordan’s last game in Cleveland as a player for Chicago. (Watch Bulls at Cavs on April 9, 1998) Plus: The disaster potential for the virtual NFL Draft on Thursday night, and sports following the lead of WWE’s “Boneyard Match” at WrestleMania and having fun with how big events are pulled off in the shelter-in-place era. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from Chicago Tribune | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Apr 2020

43 min 22 sec

With no March Madness this year, CBS is dusting off some classic NCAA tournament games to fill airtime. Last Saturday afternoon, that included a replay of the Duke vs. Kentucky regional final from 1992, considered by many the greatest game of all time. Tom Withers, now a sportswriter for the Associated Press in Cleveland, was courtside in the Spectrum to cover the game. He joins The Nail to share memories of a crazy Saturday night in Philadelphia, Christian Laettner somehow avoiding an ejection and then hitting the buzzer-beating game-winner, the mostly forgotten miraculous shot by Kentucky’s Sean Woods, and the challenge of trying to write about an all-time thriller on deadline. Plus: Withers talks about his new second job—serving as an assistant coach for the Westlake High School varsity girls basketball team—and the impact his work as a sportswriter has had on his coaching, and vice versa. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from Duke Athletics | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Mar 2020

33 min 50 sec

A week ago, Bill Bender of the Sporting News was covering college basketball and gearing up for a trip to Cleveland to cover the NCAA tournament. It goes without saying that a lot has changed in the days since. Bender drops by The Nail to talk about sports being put on pause, where things could be headed in the coming months, getting an occasional break from serious news headlines on Facebook thanks to NFL free agency, and the joys of playing classic sports video games with his kids. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo by Bill Bender via Twitter | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Mar 2020

35 min 13 sec

This year’s Mid-American Conference tournament will be a made-for-TV event, as concerns over the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) have led the league to restrict the list of attendees at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to family members of players, credentialed university and team personnel, and media. Jason Arkley, Ohio University beat writer for the Athens Messenger, joins the show to discuss the MAC’s decision and how other leagues are handling similarly tough calls. On the court, this year’s MAC tourney appears to be wide open, especially with Buffalo, winner of four of the past five years, bowing out in the first round on Monday. Arkley details Ohio’s surge in the second half of the season under first-year coach Jeff Boals, how former OU coach John Groce has rebuilt Akron into becoming the top seed in this year’s bracket, and rest of the teams and players to watch (on TV from the comfort of your home). ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo by Seth Davis via Twitter | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Mar 2020

33 min 39 sec

The YouTube TV vs. Sinclair battle that threatened to take Cavs and Indians games off TV in some Northeast Ohio houses has been resolved—for now. Was this fight a preview of what subscribers to other TV providers should expect soon? Tony Romo just got an ungodly sum of money to keep calling NFL games for CBS, sending ESPN back to the drawing board as it tries to reinvent Monday Night Football. Will the answer finally include Peyton Manning and a trade with NBC for legendary play-by-play man Al Michaels? And finally, why have the NBA’s broadcast partners struggled to find their next generation of commentators? Frequent Nail guest Mark Meszoros is back on the show to discuss those sports media topics and more. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from Associated Press | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Mar 2020

39 min 15 sec

The major sports leagues in the U.S. are throwing out a lot of radical ideas to drive up interest these days. MLB is proposing a new postseason with seven teams per league and the top clubs choosing their first-round opponents. The NBA wants to let four teams fight it out for the final two playoff berths in each conference. Meanwhile, as the NFL keeps trying to figure out ways to make flex scheduling possible for Monday Night Football and also get a 17th game on the schedule, a new spring league with an old name has launched with some intriguing innovations that could someday show up on Sundays in the fall. This week, the guys discuss the surprisingly entertaining debut for the reborn XFL and the aforementioned wild proposals trending in pro sports. Plus: Being out of the country during the Super Bowl, and how the legacy of David Stern has shaped the way national NBA media cover non-glamour market teams like the Cavs. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from USA Today Sports | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Feb 2020

1 hr 6 min

All Elite Wrestling, the upstart company that launched last January, brings its weekly TNT show “Dynamite” to the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University on Wednesday night. Veteran wrestler Christopher Daniels, who doubles as the company’s head of talent relations, joins The Nail to talk about AEW’s first year in business, what (and who) sold him on joining the new promotion, and how AEW has carved out a niche with wrestling fans by building a diverse roster that features familiar faces like Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley and Cody Rhodes as well as rising stars like Darby Allin, MJF and Sammy Guevara. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from All Elite Wrestling | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Jan 2020

16 min 42 sec

The Browns introduced Kevin Stefanski as their new head coach on Tuesday. To learn more about the Browns’ latest hire, the guys tracked down Arif Hasan, a writer for The Athletic in Minnesota who has covered the Vikings since 2011. Hasan discusses Stefanski’s rise through the Vikings organization and how he is viewed in Minnesota, how his personality, skillset and philosophies translate into a head coaching position, and how much he will be willing to adapt to the roster he will be taking over in Cleveland. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from USA Today Sports | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Jan 2020

23 min 22 sec

This Browns season was supposed to be different. It wasn’t, and the aftermath isn’t either: Jimmy Haslam is cleaning house and hitting the reset button once again. Head coach Freddie Kitchens was sent out the door on Sunday night, and GM John Dorsey followed on Tuesday afternoon. The guys look back on yet another year that went off the rails and take stock of the state of the franchise, from OBJ to Baker Mayfield to the Haslams, as another reboot begins. Plus: An Ohio State-Clemson game that was every bit as good as expected, one inexplicable replay overturn, and one surprisingly conservative late-game decision by head coach Ryan Day, as well as the future of the Buckeyes and the legacies of the outgoing J.K. Dobbins and Chase Young. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photos from Getty Images | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Dec 2019

1 hr 10 min

College football’s biggest rivalry this season isn’t between any of the sport’s most familiar, storied programs. It’s ESPN, home of the College Football Playoff and proprietor of the long-running “GameDay” kickoff show, vs. Fox Sports, the irreverent upstart riding a wave of SEC fatigue and a suddenly hot pregame show of its own. Awful Announcing editor-in-chief Ben Koo, who recently wrote an in-depth analysis of the TV turf war, joins The Nail to discuss how Fox Sports has leveraged the perception of ESPN favoring the SEC, a strategy to put on its biggest games at noon, Ohio State’s dominant year, and a dash of Urban Meyer to make inroads against ESPN’s once-seemingly impenetrable stranglehold on college football coverage. ... Plus: The wacky late-night TV fun that is #Pac12AfterDark and the future of the College Football Playoff format. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from Awful Announcing | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Dec 2019

57 min 31 sec

Is The Game still THE game? Heading into its tilt with Michigan, Ohio State has reclaimed the top spot in the College Football Playoff rankings and is steamrolling its way toward a playoff berth. The Wolverines and Coach Jim Harbaugh are still just trying to figure out how to break through for a win in this series. The guys discuss the stakes for the Buckeyes on Saturday (and whether a loss would even kill their playoff chances), the state of Michigan football under Harbaugh, and whether this year’s edition of The Game can be competitive. Meanwhile, with the Browns and Steelers set to renew pleasantries just 10 days after all hell broke loose between the two teams in Cleveland, the guys cover Pittsburgh QB Mason Rudolph’s demotion (…as conveyed by Sugar Ray singer Mark McGrath!) and what the Browns need to do to finally win at Heinz Field for the first time in 16 years. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photos by Associated Press and Cleveland Browns Twitter | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Nov 2019

1 hr 1 min

It’s an old school edition of the Nail as the guys go around the horn on the Buckeyes, Browns and Cavs, no guests needed. First, with Ohio State rolling and star defensive lineman Chase Young set to return next week, Travis makes the case that this is the most complete Ohio State team in a generation. Plus: the biggest remaining threat on the Bucks’ schedule, way-too-early talk of an OSU-LSU national championship game, and why we’ve had so many big day games in college football this year. Next: On the eve of a Thursday night showdown with the Steelers, are you believing in the Browns? The guys discuss Sunday’s ugly (but needed) win, the Freddie Kitchens experience, and the debut of Kareem Hunt. Finally, this year’s Cavs are…fun? John Beilein and his staff appear to have their squad buying in. Collin Sexton is making strides. Darius Garland is showing glimpses of hope. And Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love are playing as well as they ever have in a Cavs uniform. Through 10 games, it has been a formula for entertaining hoops. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photos from OhioStateBuckeyes.com, AP via USA Today and Forbes | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Nov 2019

55 min 32 sec

It’s the start of year five for The Nail and the 50th season of Cavaliers basketball. The Cavs tipped off this week in Orlando, and their first game at the newly minted Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is set for Saturday night. The guys welcome back longtime friend of the show Mark Meszoros to shift into basketball mode, starting with first impressions of rookie guard Darius Garland and new head coach John Beilein. Plus: Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman survived early stumbles and played better over the second half of last season. What can we realistically expect from that duo in a more stable situation this year? Will Tristan Thompson or Jordan Clarkson, both with expiring deals, still be here by the end of the season? And finally, the guys discuss the renovations to the former Quicken Loans Arena and the Cavs’ creative monthly ticket pass. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from Getty Images | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Oct 2019

38 min 13 sec

You remember the dunks and the signature calls. Now learn how one of the most beloved arcade games of all time came together. Columbus-based journalist Reyan Ali joins The Nail to discuss his new book, appropriately titled “NBA Jam,” which chronicles the billion-dollar blockbuster basketball game and the happenings in the arcade industry that helped make it happen. Ali shares stories from his interviews with NBA Jam’s creators, its legendary announcer, and former NBA players Shaquille O’Neal and Glen Rice. Plus, the guys get into the nostalgia fueling the big business of retro gaming, from “barcades” stocked with all the classics to Nintendo’s mini consoles and Arcade1Up’s home cabinets. Preorder "NBA Jam" by Reyan Ali ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Oct 2019

48 min 57 sec

A quarter-century after helping to lead the Ohio men’s basketball team to an NCAA tournament appearance and a Preseason NIT championship as a team captain, Jeff Boals is back in Athens to guide the program as its new head coach. Boals joins The Nail to talk about returning to Southeast Ohio to take his dream job, getting students and fans excited about Ohio basketball, and going through a change in athletic directors shortly after being hired. Plus, Boals explains what he learned as an assistant under coach Thad Matta at Ohio State and what he thinks Cavs fans can expect from John Beilein after seeing the longtime Michigan coach from the opposing bench in Big Ten play. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from USA Today Sports | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Oct 2019

14 min 5 sec

Ohio State continued to fire on all cylinders on Saturday night at Nebraska, and the Browns followed suit in a victory Sunday in Baltimore. Ben Axelrod of WKYC is back on The Nail to dive into what has been a seamless transition for the Buckeyes from Urban Meyer leading the program to Ryan Day at the helm and Justin Fields carrying the torch as OSU’s next great QB. Then, the guys discuss the Browns’ dominating win, videos of Jim Donovan calling big plays becoming a social media sensation, and the Ravens’ curious decision on Tuesday to put out a press release on the incident between Marlon Humphrey and Odell Beckham Jr. Finally, it’s the biggest week in wrestling since Vince McMahon bought WCW in 2001. The guys run down the—ahem—new world order of professional wrestling, with SmackDown (now on Fridays on Fox!) becoming WWE’s flagship show and a new rival promotion surfacing on TNT. ... Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photos from Getty Images, WWE and AEW | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Oct 2019

1 hr 6 min

It was a tough day in Cleveland as news broke that Fred McLeod, the popular, long-time Cavs play-by-play announcer, died suddenly Monday night. Will Gibson, who wrote a wonderful tribute to McLeod for WFNY, joins the show to reflect on how he won over Cavs fans with hard work, authenticity and a welcoming demeanor, and, along with broadcast partner Austin Carr, made games more fun to watch—whether he was crying tears of joy when the Cavs won the 2016 NBA championship or keeping things light during down seasons. Plus, Will talks about staying engaged with Cleveland sports while living out of state (and, for a few years, on the other side of the globe), and the Browns’ dud of an opener. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from Cavs.com | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Sep 2019

40 min 55 sec

Call it a fool's errand or even a suicide mission, but with the Browns about to kick off their most highly anticipated season in years, the guys this week are going for the power of positivity and looking back on their favorite Browns moments from the past two decades. Sure, we've seen a lot—*a LOT*—of bad football since the franchise was relaunched in 1999. But along the way, we also got Phil Dawson bouncing a field goal off the stanchion in a victory at Baltimore, bear hugs with stadium ushers and high-fives with strangers in bars, a chaotic classic in the snow, memorable games with future wives and in-laws, and of course "Run, William, run!" So, before the 2019 campaign kicks off on Sunday, kick back and enjoy the good times from the past 20 years, even if they have been few and far between. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from Cleveland Browns YouTube channel | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Sep 2019

52 min 16 sec

Stipe Miocic has waited over a year since losing the UFC heavyweight title to Daniel Cormier for his rematch. On Saturday night in Anaheim at UFC 241, he finally gets the fight he—and the MMA world—have been waiting for. News-Herald sports editor Mark Podolski, who covered Miocic’s loss to Cormier last July and has been in contact with the former champion this week, joins the show to discuss whether Miocic made the right decision to wait out Cormier instead of accepting another opponent, the injury that has kept Cormier out of the octagon since November, and the stakes for Saturday’s championship bout. Podolski also goes into Miocic’s refusal to engage in the antics that have made other UFC stars more marketable, as well as the former champ’s feelings on Brock Lesnar. Plus: A quick primer on the upcoming high school football season, which will be the final campaign in the decorated career of longtime Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from Getty Images | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Aug 2019

33 min 16 sec

The Browns have launched into training camp. The Indians have launched themselves back squarely into contention in the AL Central days before the trade deadline. And on Sunday, an unhappy Trevor Bauer launched a ball over the center field wall. The guys discuss Bauer’s afternoon in Kansas City and the state of the Tribe heading into the deadline. Plus: Browns training camp talk, how we lose context in video highlights on Twitter, and the countdown to the release of this year’s Madden game. Support cancer research! Donate to Travis’ ride for Pelotonia today. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from USA Today Sports, Associated Press | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Jul 2019

40 min 46 sec

In less than three weeks, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton will welcome its Class of 2019 during its enshrinement weekend. Brock Richards, Pro Football Hall of Fame vice president of sales and marketing, joins the show to discuss the year-round work that goes into getting ready for the Hall’s big showcase, and he previews all of the events that will be happening around the main ceremonies. Plus: A look at the ongoing construction and development in and around the HOF, the creation of new exhibits to keep fans coming back, and how technology brought John Madden’s theory of the Hall of Fame busts talking to each other to life. For more information on the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony and tickets, visit: ProFootballHOF.com/tickets Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photo from Pro Football Hall of Fame | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Jul 2019

19 min 27 sec

After a successful week of hosting All-Star festivities, it’s back to business for the Indians, who open up the second half of the season with a big series against AL Central-leading Minnesota. Jim Ingraham, a long-time Tribe beat writer and current sports columnist for the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram and Medina Gazette, joins the show to recap the Indians’ weird first half, discuss the emergence of All-Star Game MVP Shane Bieber and rookie outfielder Oscar Mercado, as well as the surprising year for Roberto Perez. Ingraham also weighs the pros and cons of dealing Trevor Bauer or Brad Hand for an impact bat and explains why the elimination of the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline could make the end of July extra busy around MLB this year. Plus: Monday marks the 25th anniversary of Albert Belle's corked bat being confiscated, leading to pitcher Jason Grimsley crawling through the air ducts of Comiskey Park and breaking into the umpires’ locker room to retrieve the bat, securing a place in baseball lore. Ingraham, who was in the press box that night, shares his recollections from a wild scene in the Windy City. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photos from Getty Images and mlb.com | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Jul 2019

27 min 26 sec

Kevin Kleps of Crain’s Cleveland Business is back on the show to run through the sports biz items making news in Northeast Ohio. The guys discuss a pair of big events coming to town: the MLB All-Star Game (and all of its related activities) this weekend, followed by the NFL Draft in 2021 (actual stage location to be determined). Plus: The Browns scaling back their crowd sizes at training camp to create a better fan experience, the future of their local media deals, and the financial challenges along the Cavs’ long, slow road to rebuilding. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | TuneIn | Stitcher Catch us on WaitingForNextYear.com Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/TheNailPodcast Follow us on Twitter: @TheNailPodcast  Email us: thenailpodcast [at] gmail.com Intro/outro music: "The 3rd" by Anitek Photos from clevelandbrowns.com and mlb.com | Photo illustration by The Nail in the Coffin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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Jul 2019

43 min 26 sec