OwlTail

Cover image of Pod of Fame

Pod of Fame

The podcast where we break down the resumes of athletes to determine whether or not they should get a call to their sports Hall of Fame.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

Popular episodes

All episodes

Read more

The podcast where we break down the resumes of athletes to determine whether or not they should get a call to their sports Hall of Fame.

Episode 35: Tim Hardaway with Neil Paine

Podcast cover
Read more

Jim is joined by Neil Paine, senior writer for FiveThirtyEight, to breakdown the hall of fame candidacy of former NBA point guard Tim Hardaway. Jim and Neil first discuss just how devastating Hardaway's signature move, the killer crossover, was (3:52). Then, they cover Hardway's 1997 NBA season, his best playoff moments for the Warriors and Heat, Run TMC, NBA Live 1998, and Isiah Thomas (10:37). Finally, they take a deep dive into the best NBA point guards of the 1990s (46:07), before reaching a final verdict on whether or not Hardway belongs in the Basketball Hall of Fame (1:11:18).

Mar 08 2021

1hr 17mins

Play

Episode 34: Herschel Walker with Jeff Pearlman

Podcast cover
Read more

Jim is joined by 9-time New York Times bestselling author Jeff Pearlman to break down the Hall of Fame candidacy of former USFL and NFL running back Herschel Walker. First, Jeff and Jim cover how Herschel Walker was a football god while playing football at the University of Georgia (8:04). Then, they discuss his 1985 record-breaking USFL season, what the level of competition was like in the USFL, Eric Dickerson, and Walker's NFL legacy (12:07). Finally, they build a USFL Mount Rushmore (30:36), before making a final call on whether or not Walker will ever get into Canton (39:18).

Mar 01 2021

47mins

Play

Episode 33: Toni Kukoc with Sam Smith

Podcast cover
Read more

On today’s podcast, Jim is joined by Bulls.com writer, former Chicago Tribune sports reporter, and New York Times bestselling author of "The Jordan Rules", Sam Smith, to break down the Hall of Fame candidacy of former NBA forward and international star Toni Kukoc. First, Sam and Jim discuss how Toni Kukoc was Luka Doncic before Luka Doncic (9:59). Then, they cover Arvydas Sabonis, the 11 combined titles Kukoc won between his international/NBA careers, and the 1992 Summer Olympics (19:23). Finally, they discuss Kukoc's NBA career after the 1998 Championship (30:16), before making a final call on whether or not Kukoc will be voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this year (39:39). 

Feb 22 2021

44mins

Play

Episode 32: Fred Taylor with Sam Kouvaris

Podcast cover
Read more

On today’s podcast, Jim is joined by hall of fame voter and godfather of Jacksonville sports reporting, Sam Kourvaris, to breakdown the hall of fame candidacy of former NFL running back Fred Taylor. Jim and Sam first discuss the rare size and speed Taylor possessed and his 234-yard performance against the Steelers in 2000 (6:29). Next, they talk about Tony Boselli, Taylor's place on the career NFL rushing list, his ridiculously high yards per carry average, and Adrian Peterson (27:41). Finally, they discuss the abundance of AFC running back talent in the 2000s (44:57), before making a decision on whether or not Taylor deserves to be in Canton (53:01).

Feb 15 2021

1hr

Play

POF Special: 2021 Football & Baseball Hall of Fame Class Review

Podcast cover
Read more

On this week's special podcast, Jim breaks down the 2021 Football Hall of Fame Class, as well as the non-existent 2021 Baseball Hall of Fame Class. When it comes to Canton, Jim briefly discusses the career of all eight class members and then provides a brief preview of new players eligible for the 2022 class (3:56). Next, Jim covers the rarity of zero inductees for a Baseball HOF Class, reveals what his ballot would have looked like, and then gives the eight players who did not make it past the 5% threshold a proper sendoff, complete with fake HOF plaques for everyone from Aramis Ramirez to Nick Swisher (20:05).

Feb 08 2021

1hr 6mins

Play

Episode 30: Alan Faneca with Joe Starkey

Podcast cover
Read more

On today’s podcast, Jim is joined by Joe Starkey from 93.7 The Fan and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, to breakdown the hall of fame candidacy of former NFL guard Alan Faneca. Jim and Joe first discuss how much of a technician Faneca was on the field and how he was one of the few offensive linemen capable of consistently making highlight plays (6:32). Next, they compare Faneca and HOFer Steve Hutchinson, discuss the lack of respect guards receive from the HOF, and decide whether Faneca passes the "Orlando Pace" test (18:08). Finally, Joe and Jim make podcast history by building the first Mount Rushmore exclusively made up of NFL guards (27:17), before making a decision on whether or not Faneca will ever get into Canton (34:36).

Feb 01 2021

45mins

Play

Episode 29: Sam Mills with Darin Gantt

Podcast cover
Read more
On today’s podcast, Jim is joined by hall of fame voter and writer for Panthers.com Darin Gantt to breakdown the hall of fame candidacy of former linebacker Sam Mills.  Jim and Darin first discuss how Mills was a foundational piece of every defense he played for and why he means so much to the Panthers organization despite playing only three seasons there (11:39). Next, they talk Mike Singletary, Jim Mora quotes, how HOF voting for defensive players is a blend of art and science, and the dominant USFL career Mills had before reaching the NFL (20:50). Finally, they discuss the high bar the HOF has set for inside linebackers (33:22), before making a decision on whether or not Sam Mills deserves to be in Canton (37:06).

Jan 25 2021

46mins

Play

Special Tribute Podcast: RIP Hank Aaron

Podcast cover
Read more

On our special tribute podcast today, I discuss the career of Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, who passed away yesterday, January 22, 2021,  at the age of 86.

I cover his statistical highlights, 715th home run, and remarkable consistency as a top ballplayer, before going into Aaron's place in baseball history. 

Jan 23 2021

35mins

Play

Episode 28: Calvin Johnson with Dave Birkett

Podcast cover
Read more

On today’s podcast, Jim is joined by hall of fame voter and Lions beat writer for the Detroit Free Press Dave Birkett to breakdown the hall of fame candidacy of former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin "Megatron" Johnson.  Jim and Dave first discuss the combination of speed, size, and athleticism that made Johnson a nightmare for opposing defensive backs (3:12). Next, they cover his record-breaking 2012 NFL season, Randy Moss, Barry Sanders, what Dave uses as a measuring stick for HOF wideouts, and how Johnson compares to fellow HOF WR finalists Torry Holt and Reggie Wayne (6:22). Finally, they discuss their thoughts on Johnson getting into the HOF this year or ever for that matter (26:37), before ranking the top wide receivers of the 21st century (29:26).

Jan 18 2021

35mins

Play

Episode 27: Steve Tasker with Lyndsey D'Arcangelo

Podcast cover
Read more
On today’s podcast, Jim is joined by Lyndsey D'Arcangelo, writer for The Athletic, to breakdown the hall of fame candidacy of former Buffalo Bills special teamer Steve Tasker.  Jim and Lyndsey first discuss the current Bills season and whether Josh Allen can take them to the Super Bowl (7:19). Then, they discuss the 1993 pro bowl, special teamers in the hall of fame today, the problem with statistics for a player like Tasker, and the great Bills teams of the early 1990s (18:45). Finally, they discuss whether or not they believe Steve Tasker should be in the Hall of Fame and what his chances are of ever getting in (40:32). After the final verdict, Lyndsey provides some background on her upcoming new book "Hail Mary: The Rise and Fall of the National Women's Football League" (45:52).

Jan 11 2021

54mins

Play

Episode 26: Tim Hudson with Graham Womack

Podcast cover
Read more

On today’s podcast, Jim is joined by journalist Graham Womack to breakdown the hall of fame candidacy of former MLB pitcher Tim Hudson. Jim and Graham first discuss the book he is writing on the baseball hall of fame (4:31). Then, they rank the pitchers on this year's ballot, discuss what is the value of a "win" today, and talk about other great pitchers not in the hall of fame today (25:36). Finally, they make a final verdict on whether or not Hudson deserves to end up in Cooperstown (39:44).

Jan 04 2021

48mins

Play

Episode 25: Sam Cassell with Shane Swiderek

Podcast cover
Read more

On today’s podcast, Jim is joined by Shane Swiderek to breakdown the hall of fame candidacy of former NBA point guard Sam Cassell. Jim and Shane first discuss how Sam Cassell was one of the most underrated playoff performers in NBA history (8:24). Then, they breakdown Cassell's 2004 season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, discuss the origins of the "Sam Cassell dance", and talk similarities between Cassell and Steve Nash (11:59). Finally, they run through a list of the best point guards of the 1990s/2000s, including Steve Francis, Baron Davis, and Stephon Marbury (29:38), before making a final verdict on whether or not Cassell deserves a place in the basketball hall of fame (54:10).

Dec 28 2020

59mins

Play

Episode 24: Gary Sheffield with Neil Paine

Podcast cover
Read more

On today’s podcast, Jim is joined by Neil Paine, senior writer for FiveThirtyEight, to breakdown the hall of fame candidacy of former MLB slugger Gary Sheffield.  Jim and Neil first discuss Sheffield's famous batting stance and which MLB franchise they associate him with the most (4:10). Then, they cover the 1997 World Series, Chipper Jones, Mel Ott, the Polo Grounds, and just how dominant of an offensive player Sheffield was (16:33). Finally, both provide their stance on steroids and the hall of fame (52:43), before revealing whether or not they would vote Sheffield into Cooperstown (59:07). 

Dec 21 2020

1hr 9mins

Play

Episode 23: Curt Schilling with Steve Gardner

Podcast cover
Read more

On today's podcast, Jim is joined by USA TODAY Sports reporter and Baseball Hall of Fame voter Steve Gardner to breakdown down the resume of former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling.  First, Steve talks to us about how it felt to receive his first ballot in the mail this November and how his ballot is coming along (2:59). Next, Steve and Jim cover the infamous bloody sock game, the 2001 World Series, John Smoltz, Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina, and Schilling's incredible strikeout to walk ratio (12:03). They then rank Schilling among the best pitchers of his era and discuss how Schilling has sabotaged his own candidacy with his hateful behavior since retiring (28:29). Finally, Steve reveals if he is voting for Schilling this year and discusses whether or not he believes he will ever get into Cooperstown (43:03). 

Dec 14 2020

53mins

Play

Episode 22: Andruw Jones with Jon Tayler

Podcast cover
Read more
On today’s podcast, Jim is joined by Jon Tayler, editor and writer at FanGraphs, to breakdown the hall of fame candidacy of former MLB centerfielder Andruw Jones. Jim and Jon first discuss where Jones ranks among the best defensive centerfielders of all time and how hard it is to measure defense with advanced metrics (1:51). Then, they breakdown Jones’s 1996 World Series performance, the high HOF bar that has been set for centerfielders, and Ken Griffey Jr (11:32). Finally, they discuss Jones's peak and his membership in the 400 home run/10 gold glove club (47:58), before making a final verdict on whether or not Jones deserves a place in Cooperstown (55:37).

Dec 07 2020

1hr 10mins

Play

POF Special: My Love Letter to Kyle Schwarber

Podcast cover
Read more

Kyle Schwarber was released by the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. This is my love letter to him in podcast form. 

Dec 04 2020

41mins

Play

Episode 21: Mark Buehrle with Scott Merkin

Podcast cover
Read more
On today’s podcast, Jim is joined by Scott Merkin, Chicago White Sox beat writer for MLB.com, to breakdown the hall of fame candidacy of former MLB pitcher Mark Buehrle. Jim and Scott first discuss Buehrle's remarkable efficiency and some of his top performances, including his perfect game and performance in the 2005 World Series (3:49). Then, they talk Catfish Hunter, Bob Lemon, Jack Morris, and Buehrle's consistency (15:00). Finally, they run through a list of the best pitchers from the 2000s, before making a final verdict on whether or not Buehrle deserves a place in Cooperstown (32:03). Jim then debts his new segment "No New Friends" with two lifelong White Sox fans (45:49). They talk favorite Buehrle moments, debate who is a part of an all-time White Sox starting rotation, and do a snake draft to build their own White Sox Mount Rushmore.

Nov 30 2020

1hr 40mins

Play

NBA Draft Special: Part 2 + Klay Thompson/Robinson Cano HOF Update

Podcast cover
Read more

In Part 2 of our NBA Draft Special, Jim makes way too early predictions on what newly drafted players have the best chance of having a HOF career (9:56). Then, Jim provides an update on the HOF chances of two current athletes who have been in the news lately for completely unrelated reasons (44:21).

Nov 23 2020

1hr

Play

NBA Draft Special: Part 1

Podcast cover
Read more

In Part 1 of our NBA Draft Special, Jim provides his initial thoughts on the 2020 NBA Draft as it closes out in real-time. He breaks down Anthony Edwards, hands out several made-up awards, and shares his frustration about the Chicago Bulls pick of Patrick Williams. 

Nov 19 2020

28mins

Play

Episode 20: Steve "Mongo" McMichael with Rick Telander

Podcast cover
Read more

On today’s podcast, Jim is joined by Rick Telander, senior sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, to breakdown the hall of fame candidacy of former NFL defensive tackle Steve "Mongo" McMichael.  Jim and Rick first discuss McMichael's wild personality, how we might never see another player quite like him, and the differences between McMichael and his hall of fame teammate Dan Hampton (3:26). Then, they breakdown the defensive roster of the 1985 Bears and how they rank among the best defenses of all time, including the 1969 Kansas City Chiefs, 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers, and 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (26:40). Finally, they make a final verdict on whether or not McMichael deserves a place in Canton and what his chances are of eventually getting inducted by the Senior Committee (35:00).  

Nov 16 2020

48mins

Play