Curated by Eric Silver, co-host of HORSE
Eric Silver is a writer, audio producer, and teacher based in Brooklyn, NY. He’s is the co-host of HORSE, a basketball podcast about everything except for wins and losses, and a founding member of the independent audio collective Multitude Productions. He likes cardigans, chunky peanut butter, and being five minutes early.
Here, he presents a collection of podcasts that look at sports and, surprisingly, not about sports.
Sports – both as a player and as a fan – is intertwined with culture and social issues. Basketball, baseball, and football (both kinds) distill our love of competition, spectacle, and accomplishment into one ticketed event. It reveals our humanity, our value system, and it’s really, really fun.
However, like many activities with a rabid following, some fans administer gatekeeping on casual followers or people that don’t look like the “typical” sports fan. Not only that, the criticism of sports is usually reserved for massive networks, which tend to reinforce that gatekeeping. But sports are for everyone and, as a part of an inclusive independent audio collective, our podcast HORSE looks at basketball from every possible angle to understand how we can all love it.
These shows explore the stories of sports, either implicitly or explicitly. Whether you can name all the players on the Knicks or you don’t know your Madison Square Garden from your Boston Garden, there’s a show out there for you.
HORSE (Multitude Productions)
It’s our show! We’re everything you love about basketball without the wins and loses. I heard an interview with a former coach (Stan Van Gundy, if you were wondering) who was complaining that basketball fans are only in it for the drama. Uhhhh… the drama is the best part.
The Lowe Post (ESPN)
This is the be all and end all of the basketball podcasts. He interviews players, coaches, GMs, writers, fans – everyone who will talk to him about basketball. Zach Lowe, you’re welcome on HORSE anytime.
Pull Up with CJ McCollum (Cadence13)
There are two amazing things about CJ McCollum’s podcast. One: he’s a current NBA player making a regular show, which is a feat in itself. Two: he was involved in one of the biggest stories this off-season when, like all podcasters, he annoyed his friend too much while recording his podcast.
The Decision (Alex Kapelman)
This limited-run show is a distillation of what it’s like to be a fan. Host Alex Kapelman gives up his life-long allegiance to the New York Knicks and asks his friends to court him for their team. Every episode is a microcosm of what it’s like to love that team and the humanity of what it’s like to love sports.
Buckets with Amir Blumenfeld (HeadGum)
Every genre has a “comedians talking about ______” and now the NBA has one, too. Luckily, it’s from Amir of “Jake & Amir” so you know it’s going to be weird and hilarious.
Around The Rim (ESPN)
*takes a deep breath* HEY THE WNBA IS DOPE SUE BIRD RULES GET EDUCATED. *ahem* But seriously, Around the Rim is your way to understand the other American professional basketball league. LaChina Robinson is a smart and incisive interviewer and you’d be surprised at the candor from executives and players from around the league.
Edge of Sports (The Nation)
When you google “sports and social justice podcast,” this is the only show that comes up. Thank god, because Dave Zirin is smart, cutting, and extremely knowledgeable. Thankfully, this show touches it all from South American female soccer players, to Dr. Martin Luther King, to unions in minor league baseball.
Three Swings with Rhea Butcher (Forever Dog Podcast Network)
It’s a baseball podcast from comedian Rhea Butcher! What more do you need? Perfect for fans of queer comedians and baseball!
Tights and Fights (Maximum Fun)
I know wrestling isn’t real. But every sport deals with the same issues that professional wrestling does, and Tights and Fights is ready to tear into all the social issues that surround the entertainment giant. Also, Kevin Durant is a great heel.
Playing with Science (StarTalk)
At the risk of sounding like a high school teacher trying to relate to kids about Fortnite, SPORTS IS SCIENCE. Chuck Nice is the comedic balance to the heavy teaching of Neil DeGrasse Tyson on StarTalk and he deserves his own informative show. Hear his scientific investigations on gender in sports, climbing mountains, and the physical rigor of golf.
30 for 30 (ESPN)
ESPN strikes again with the quintessential stories-about-sports podcast. Season four is returning to the anthology-style format on October 16th, so this is the perfect time to catch up. Don’t miss A Queen Of Sorts, where Rose Eveleth (of Flash Forward fame) dive into the strange world of female poker heists, or Madden’s Game, about the origins of the Madden video game franchise.
Want to create your own collection of shows that dovetails with your area of interest? Add shows to your Smart Folder on RadioPublic, then inform the Podcast Librarian of your collection: firstname.lastname@example.org.