Interviews with athletes and scholars of sports about their new books.

Jaakko Stenros and Markus Montola, "The Rule Book: The Building Blocks of Games" (MIT Press, 2024)

May 4, 2024

The Rule Book

Jaakko Stenros and Markus Montola

How games are built on the foundations of rules, and how rules—of which there are only five kinds—really work. Board games to sports, digital games t…

Adam J. Criblez, "Kings of the Garden: The New York Knicks and Their City" (Three Hills, 2024)

April 26, 2024

Kings of the Garden

Adam J. Criblez
Hosted by Paul Knepper

In Kings of the Garden: The New York Knicks and Their City (Three Hills, 2024), Adam J. Criblez traces the fall and rise of the New York Knicks betwee…

Jerry Grillo, "Big Cat: The Life of Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Mize" (U Nebraska Press, 2024)

April 17, 2024

Big Cat

Jerry Grillo
Hosted by Paul Knepper

Johnny Mize was one of the greatest hitters in baseball’s golden age of great hitters. Born and raised in tiny Demorest, Georgia, in the northeast Geo…

Robert M. Jarvis, "Gambling Under the Swastika: Casinos, Horse Racing, Lotteries, and Other Forms of Betting in Nazi Germany" (Carolina Academic Press, 2019)

April 9, 2024

Gambling Under the Swastika

Robert M. Jarvis
Hosted by Ari Barbalat

Although much has been written about the Nazis, one aspect of their rule has been all but overlooked: gambling. While philosophically opposed to gambl…

Kieran File, "How Language Shapes Relationships in Professional Sports Teams: Power and Solidarity Dynamics in a New Zealand Rugby Team" (Bloomsbury, 2022)

April 5, 2024

How Language Shapes Relationships in Professional Sports Teams

Kieran File
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

While the topic of relationships in professional sports teams is gaining greater attention from researchers and practitioners, the role that coach and…

Adam Lazarus, "The Wingmen: The Unlikely, Unusual, Unbreakable Friendship Between John Glenn and Ted Williams" (Citadel Press, 2023)

March 27, 2024

The Wingmen

Adam Lazarus
Hosted by Paul Knepper

It was 1953, the Korean War in full throttle, when two men—already experts in their fields—crossed the fabled 38th Parallel into Communist airspace ab…

Rachel S. Gross, "Shopping All the Way to the Woods: How the Outdoor Industry Sold Nature to America" (Yale UP, 2024)

March 26, 2024

Shopping All the Way to the Woods

Rachel S. Gross
Hosted by Brian Hamilton

Rachel S. Gross's Shopping All the Ways to the Woods (Yale University Press, 2024) tells the fascinating history of the profitable paradox of the Amer…

David Ostrowsky, "Roberto Alomar: The Complicated Life and Legacy of a Baseball Hall of Famer" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2024)

March 22, 2024

Roberto Alomar

David Ostrowsky
Hosted by Paul Knepper

Roberto Alomar was not just a five-tool Hall of Famer; he was a magician on the diamond, a generational talent whose defensive wizardry left teammates…

Piotr Florczyk, "Swimming Pool" (Bloombury, 2024)

March 12, 2024

Swimming Pool

Piotr Florczyk
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

This instalment of the Object Lessons series focuses on the Swimming Pool (Bloomsbury, 2024). The book explores the pool as a place where humans seek…

Ben Rothenberg, "Naomi Osaka: Her Journey to Finding Her Power and Her Voice" (Dutton, 2024)

March 7, 2024

Naomi Osaka

Ben Rothenberg
Hosted by Nicholas Gordon

In July 2021, Naomi Osaka—world number 1 women’s tennis player—lit the Olympic Cauldron at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The half-Japanese, half-American, …

Alex Squadron, "Life in the G: Minor League Basketball and the Relentless Pursuit of the NBA" (U Nebraska Press, 2023)

February 5, 2024

Life in the G

Alex Squadron
Hosted by Caleb Zakarin

Welcome to the G League--the official minor league of the National Basketball Association. Life in the G: Minor League Basketball and the Relentless P…

Bill Meiners, "Sport Literate" and "Game: A Sport Literate Anthology" (2023)

January 23, 2024

Sport Literate and Game

William Meiners
Hosted by Dan Hill

William Meiners is a writer, editor, and teacher living in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. He created Sport Literate as a graduate student at Columbia Colle…

Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, "Fit Nation: The Gains and Pains of America's Exercise Obsession" (U Chicago Press, 2023)

January 20, 2024

Fit Nation

Natalia Mehlman Petrzela
Hosted by Keith Rathbone

Today we are joined by Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, Associate Professor of History at The New School, and author of Fit Nation: The Gains and Pains of Am…

Rich Cohen, "When the Game Was War: The NBA's Greatest Season" (Random House, 2023)

January 13, 2024

When the Game Was War

Rich Cohen
Hosted by Paul Knepper

Four historic teams. Four legendary players. One unforgettable season. The 1980s were a transformative decade for the NBA. Since its founding in 1946…

Michelle J. Manno, "Denied: Women, Sports, and the Contradictions of Identity" (NYU Press, 2023)

December 23, 2023


Michelle J. Manno
Hosted by Jane Scimeca

Women’s college basketball is big business—top teams bring in millions of dollars in revenue for their schools. Women’s NCAA games are broadcast regul…

Lindsay Sarah Krasnoff, "Basketball Empire: France and the Making of a Global NBA and WNBA" (Bloomsbury, 2023)

December 19, 2023

Basketball Empire

Lindsay Sarah Krasnoff
Hosted by Keith Rathbone

Today we are joined by Dr. Lindsay Krasnoff, who is an historian, specializing in global sport, communications and diplomacy. She is also the Director…

David Steele, "It Was Always a Choice: Picking Up the Baton of Athlete Activism" (Temple UP, 2022)

December 12, 2023

It Was Always a Choice

David Steele
Hosted by Keith Rathbone

Today we are joined by the sports journalist David Steele, who has written for the Sporting News, AOL, the Baltimore Sun and the San Francisco Chronic…

Jeffrey S. Gurock, "Marty Glickman: The Life of an American Jewish Sports Legend" (NYU Press, 2023)

December 9, 2023

Marty Glickman

Jeffrey S. Gurock
Hosted by Paul Knepper

For close to half a century after World War II, Marty Glickman was the voice of New York sports. His distinctive style of broadcasting, on television …

Climbing the Mountains of Modernity

December 5, 2023

Climbing the Mountains of Modernity

Hosted by Zachary Davis

We all know many stories about how modernity came about. But what does it mean to be “modern”? This episode comes at the question through the test cas…

Stephanie Convery, "After the Count: The Death of Davey Browne" (Penguin Australia, 2020)

November 27, 2023

After the Count

Stephanie Convery
Hosted by Keith Rathbone

Today we are joined by Stephanie Convery, inequality editor at Guardian Australia, and author of After the Count: The Death of Davey Browne (Penguin A…