Episode Seventy-Seven - Blue Moon Odom

Thanks for the Memories. Ichiro retires.

Thanks for the Memories. Ichiro retires.

To help us kick off the baseball season and the closing stages of the European futbol season, we’re happy to welcome back Awful Announcing Managing Editor Joe Lucia (@joe_TOC). We talk about the first week of the baseball season, the surprises both good and bad. What’s going right for Seattle, the Mets and Milwaukee and wrong for the Yankees, Boston, the Angels and Joe’s Braves. Just how early is too early to panic if you are one of the struggling teams? Who is the biggest heel in baseball? Is it Bryce Harper? Or someone else? And just how well will a heel Bryce fit it in Philadelphia?

We also talk about just what is going on in the Premier League and the Champions League, as their seasons wind down. Just how confident is Joe that his Manchester City can win the quadruple? Where are they most likely to slip up? If they don’t win the Champions League, who will? Messi? Ronaldo? Pogba?

There’s some fun random stuff thrown in, like doing a fantasy league for pro wrestling in the mid 1980s, price-for-rental videotapes and hand-typing in statistics from USA Today in the early years of rotisserie baseball.

As we teased last episode, we will be doing a convention soon. We will be appearing at TMPT 3 in Richmond, VA on May 18th. Scheduled to be at the show are Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express (including Dennis Condrey), The Rock and Rock Express, JJ Dillon and more folks. If you come to the show, please stop by and say hello. We hope to have a wrestling themed issue of the magazine debuting at the show. You can get your tickets here.

Episode Seventy-One - Rock Me Salieri

Pep and Jose, the prequel

Pep and Jose, the prequel

The podcast returns before the holiday season kicks in discussing the world of futbol and more with Ken Early (@kenearlys) from the Irish Times and the Second Captains podcast (@secondcaptains). 

We start with how Ireland is dealing with their elimination from the World Cup and what the future holds for coaches Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane. That segues into a discussion about why they and the Irish national team have such a poor relationship in recent years with Everton.

Then, it's onto a chat about the Champions League, which resumed with Match Day Five when this episode debuted. From there, we talk about two of Ken's favorite subjects: Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.  We examine the relationship between the two in Spain and now in the Premier League. To which historical rivals does Ken compare the two managers? And just how of The Special One's wrestling heel persona is a work?

Lastly, we talk about the Second Captains World Service podcast network, their move to becoming a paid subscription model earlier this year and the decision for Ken to a political podcast as one of their shows and the whole "stick to sports" opinion held by a segment of the sports fans around the world.

Note: The political chat starts around 34:30 and includes a number of current events.  If that's not your cup of tea, please feel free to give that section a pass. No offense taken.

You can join the Second Captains World Service at Patreon.  For US subscribers, it's (at current exchange rates) $5.35 a month for at least six podcasts a week. 

Episode Seventy - Here Come De Judge

Will the Cubs be able to defend their World Series crown? 

Will the Cubs be able to defend their World Series crown? 

Just in time for playoff baseball,, we welcome back to the podcast the Managing Editor of Awful Announcing Joe Lucia (@joe_TOC).  We start with the news of the day, the resignation of Atlanta GM John Coppolella and which managed might get the pink slip this offseason.  We then give our picks for the American and National League Cy Young and MVP awards.  Then, it's a series-by-by-series breakdown of each round of the playoffs, culminating with who we each think will win the World Series. 

After that, it's some quick Premier League chat. As a Manchester City supporter, Joe is flying high at the moment, with his team top of the table when the podcast was recorded. Conversely, my Everton is under-performing and plenty of folks calling for the manager's head. We also give our thoughts on who may or may not end up in the relegation dogfight. 

Episode Sixty-Seven - Campeones, Campeones

Hot balls. The UEFA Champions League draw happened this week in Monaco.

Hot balls. The UEFA Champions League draw happened this week in Monaco.

With all sorts of news going on in the futbol word, we welcome ESPNFC journalist Gabriele Marcotti (@marcotti) to the show. We start with an analysis of the draws for the Champions League and Europa League, held this week in Monaco.  Which groups look the toughest and what are the prospects for the Premier League teams.  Then, we discuss the flurry of transfer activity this summer, including news just today that Ousmane Dembele is headed to Barcelona and Kylian Mbappe could be on the verge of joining Neymar at Paris St-Germain. That leads to a talk about PSG and Financial Fair Play, something Gab has written about over the last couple weeks.  We end the futbol talk with a look at Week Three in the Premier League, including the match at Stanford Bridge between Chelsea and Everton.

The rest of the show, we talk about how Gab became an ECW hardcore regular in the mid to late 1990s while a student at Penn.  What was his first trip to ECW Arena like? What angles does he remember seeing at the shows? Does he still keep up with the business in 2017?

We really want to thank Gab for his time, as the pod was recorded after he flew back this afternoon to London from Monaco. You can read Gab's work at ESPNFC.com, The Times (of London) [paywall] and you can hear him as the host of The Game podcast every Monday during the futbol season, on Soundcloud, iTunes, or most listening platforms.