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The Narrative

Podcast by Sports Illustrated

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Miyagi Do: Ralph Macchio on 34 Years as the Karate Kid

When the Karate Kid came out in 1984, Ralph Macchio as his on-screen counterpart Daniel LaRusso became an American martial arts icon and kicked off a karate craze that swept America. 34 Years later, he reprises his role as a good-hearted karate practitioner from New Jersey in the YouTube Red series Cobra Kai. Harry Swartout sits down with the Karate Kid himself to learn about the original film, new series and the Miyagi-like balance between the two.

20mins

3 May 2018

Rank #1

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The Future of Baseball

In 1998 MLB imagined baseball's future with their Turn Ahead the Clock promotion. It's not quite 2027 yet, but Major League Baseball whiffed on their predictions of wonky jerseys and the Mets relocating to Mercury. Instead baseball's future hinges on juiced balls, fantasy stats and the Latinx infusion.

24mins

5 Apr 2018

Rank #2

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Color Theory

Color is iconic. From the first row, to the cheap seats, all the way through the television hundreds of miles away fans can find their players with ease and identify compatriots rooting just like them. Color can give a team the mental edge, sell jerseys and even change the outcome of the game.

18mins

8 Mar 2018

Rank #3

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Giant: The amazing life of Andre the Giant

Andre Rene Roussimoff was larger than life. His immense size earned him the stage name Andre the Giant as he helped take pro wrestling from community center gyms to Madison Square Garden, but balancing family, health, and a fledgling sport was too big a task even for a Giant.

20mins

17 Nov 2016

Rank #4

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The Name on the Front

They say the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back, but what happens when there's two names on the front? Soon the Philadelphia 76ers will be the first big 4 sports team with an advertisement on their jersey. Is this the first step to ads alongside your teams logo?

17mins

15 Dec 2016

Rank #5

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A Brief Guide to the Winter Olympics

Our lives are busy and since the last Winter Olympics I’m sure you haven’t been closely following your favorite speed skaters or checking in on the luge circuit. That’s why this episode of the Narrative is dedicated to reminding you what the winter games has to offer and more importantly to give you an appreciation of the events. Learn the history and strategy of Nordic combined, figure skating, free skiing, curling and skeleton from the experts and watch the games like a seasoned veteran.

25mins

6 Feb 2018

Rank #6

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A Golden Opportunity

In 1969, the Continental Football league welcomed the Golden Aztecs, or Aztecas Dorados into the league as the first professional American Football team in Mexico. The team only played 8 games and the Continental Football league folded at the end of the season, but in the wild west of professional football during the infancy of the Modern NFL, the Golden Aztecs stood as a shining example of what football could be at its best and at its worst.

23mins

14 Dec 2017

Rank #7

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Own the Game

Who owns your favorite sports team? There are still the Jerry Joneses and MarK Cubans of the world that drive their team with cult of personality, but more and more family owned teams are being replaced by corporate ownership for financial stability. The owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils, and Crystal Palace of the English Premier League created a new organization called Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment (or HBSE)with the goal of acquiring and growing sports franchises and venues. Owning one franchise is difficult but owning several across different sports and in different countries all over the world presents it own set of problems and opportunities. I sat down and spoke with Scott O'Neil and Hugh Weber of HBSE to find out what it's like combining sports and business.

20mins

1 Dec 2017

Rank #8

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Storytellers of Sport

Sports generates and endless amount stories. Game recaps, profiles, investigations, features, economics, statistics, culture; there's countless angles to attack. But what really goes into the magazine in your mailbox or recap you read online?

18mins

2 Nov 2017

Rank #9

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In the Shadow of Giants

In the Golden Age of Baseball New York had three championship caliber teams. Then, suddenly, the city had only one. In 1957, the Giants joined the Dodgers in announcing a move to the West Coast, making MLB a truly national pastime. 60 years and 3,000 miles later the fans, the city, and baseball itself still feel the ripples from the Giants leaving New York.

51mins

28 Sep 2017

Rank #10

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Morningside 5 By 25

25 years ago, producer/director Mike Tollin filmed 5 high schoolers as they tried to repeat as California State Basketball Champions. He revisited their lives more than two decades after their senior campaign and found profoundly different men than he watched take the court in the 90s. In the meantime, Tollin has produced hit 30 for 30 documentaries and major motion pictures like Coach Carter, and something just keeps pulling him back to the stories of sports.

31mins

17 Aug 2017

Rank #11

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Leagues Apart: Women in professional sports

Historically, sports have been a boys-only club. Even modern women sports superstars like Serena Williams and the USWNT continually have to battle for equal pay and respect. But women refuse to lose, even if a win gets them less than it should.

19mins

20 Jul 2017

Rank #12

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Sports "Just So" Stories

Sports are weird. Athletics are a collection of idiosyncratic rules, customs, traditions, and superstitions. Here we delve into the backstories for four of the strangest things in sports: baseball stirrups, the forward pass, basketball shoes, and the hat-trick.

24mins

22 Jun 2017

Rank #13

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Minor Players: How big league hopefuls carried baseball through World War II

Everyone knows the MLB war heroes, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Greenberg, but for every all-star that went abroad, scores of Minor Leaguers served on the front lines, as they deferred their fight to make the big leagues to fight for their country. This is the story of one of them, Harry Alvin Swartout, who went from High School to the minors to the Pacific in just a year, but kept baseball with him the whole way.

21mins

24 May 2017

Rank #14

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Memories in your Pocket: The History of Baseball Cards

Baseball cards are as American as well ... cigarettes and chewing gum. Cards have captured the imaginations of the young and the young at heart for over a century as a portal into memories of the game they love.

21mins

11 May 2017

Rank #15