“A podcast about the intersection of sports and politics. Each episode will feature rants from the hosts as well as a deeper dive into a main topic that examines how sports and politics are connected in our society”
Welcome back to the Bill Bradley Collective, where this week your hosts reflect on both a full year in the COVID-19 pandemic and the completion of our first year as a podcast. The conversation focuses on the effect COVID has had on how we consume, critique and appreciate sports, and how this unprecedented year has shaped our consideration of this country’s politics and government. One of the silver linings of 2020 and this first quarter of 2021 has been the ability to record this podcast safely distanced and largely outdoors. Commencing a project centered on sports and politics days before the plug was essentially pulled on sports for months may have been something of a fool’s errand, but we’re still here a year later because of anyone and everyone that’s given the Bill Bradley Collective a listen. We are truly humbled by your patronage. First the rants, where we learn about Zak’s experience living in the shadow of wife Laura’s prodigious fantasy sports acumen; Andrew questions the continued decision to use ill-prepared, incurious NBA pundits in NCAA tournament coverage, and finally Ed examines the media’s sorry fascination with an oft-disgraced hoops coach and his latest career turn.
Welcome back to the Bill Bradley Collective, where this week your hosts examine the complicated history of Boston sports and race. The focus centers on the Red Sox and Celtics franchises, but not before acknowledging one team’s ethos of “white slot receiver/failed white college quarterback” need not even apply. From Tom Yawkey’s steadfast refusal to employ top black ballplayers to an oft-described mercurial pitcher’s racially prescient comments decades later and the subsequent dealing of a black superstar in recent times the Sox racial history is surely an unbalanced one. Like their north-end based brethren, the Celtics history is convoluted; a franchise that embraced Bill Russell and an unprecedented black starting five also felt the need to surround a diverse core with a largely white, undeserving supporting cast in later similarly fruitful years to appease a white demographic. We close with a tribute to a just-passed boxing mega-star, aptly-Massachusetts based with a truly marvelous legacy left behind. But first we rant, as Zak leads off with a well-deserved evisceration of a once-upon-a-time Democratic effigy turned widely accused sex criminal,; Ed reconciles his hostility for a villainous GOP Senator in the wake of his pro-labor sentiment towards Alabama-based Amazon factory workers; finally Andrew recaps the Big East tournament and specifically the long and complicated week had by the conquering head coach.
Wellcome back to the Bill Bradley Collective, where this week your hosts put a proverbial bow on the 2020-21 college basketball regular season and preview the madness to come later this March. As it has everything in it’s wake, the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the season and the tournament itself is set to be presented entirely from the state of Indiana, with hopes that a confined geographic venue will diminish the potential for further virus-induced havoc. Pandemic notwithstanding, college basketball appears to be an institution in decline, and your hosts set out to diagnose what has brought about said decline from its more halcyon times. Coach misconduct, the advent of the one-and-done, and general overexposure are among the culprits examined. Fear not bettors, for your hosts conclude with their picks to cut down the nets in Indianapolis and a few sleepers to keep in mind as you fill out your bracket. But first we rant, where Andrew offers a mea culpa to Donyell but doubles down on his beef with the unrelated but still lesser Marshall; Zak critiques the farcical outrage over an apt Biden analogy of premature mask censure to something becoming of primeval man; finally Ed presents another installment of “old white men in sports that have zero accountability” in a pointed takedown of a certain “Mad Hatter” in the wake of a now public history of sexual misconduct.
This week on the Bill Bradley Collective, your hosts dive into the Games of the XI Olympiad, better known as the 1936 Summer Olympics. Contested in Nazi-controlled Berlin, Germany, these games also exist at the precise intersection of sports and politics. The conversation focuses on American participation and the resistance of old friend Avery Brundage to a boycott. Contrary to Brundage’s stance that the Olympics stay out of politics, Hitler in turn uses the games as little more than a promotional tool for his antisemitic and racial supremacist ideology. The event is not without certain highlights, most notably Jesse Owens’ sublime performance on the track en route to four gold medals, Betty Robinson’s virtual return from the dead to the medal podium, and an opening ceremony conclusion befitting such a regime, where thousands of pigeons defecated upon the procession. But first we rant, as Zak recaps some of the inanity emanating from an Orlando Hyatt Regency this weekend; Ed asks the question of “why do we care what this guy says” with regard to a certain middling coach turned pundit and his MVP takes; and Andrew details a 13 year old feud rekindled Saturday concerning the impropriety of jean-wearing.
This week the Bill Bradley Collective present another installment of our Dollop-style bonus episodes. Join us as Ed documents the rise and fall of late MLUA (Major League Umpires Association) executive director Richie Phillips. Phillips’ ascent in the world of sports labor begins with working on behalf of NBA officials, before taking the reins of the MLUA in 1978. Ed details the circumstances behind the successful umpires strike of 1979 and the and what Phillips was able to achieve for his union members. Phillips’ run comes to an abrupt end in 1999, after calling for his umpires to resign en masse in an attempt to press MLB for a new labor agreement. The strategy backfires when the league instead accepts a number of the resignations, hires new umpires and ultimately leads to the decertification of the MLUA. Phillips’ arc and career in baseball is a fascinating one, but Ed’s narrative also presents a timeline of sorts for umpires in the last half century, their position in the game, and some of the controversies that have enveloped baseball officiating across this chronology. Come for a thoughtful portrait of an influential labor leader and his membership, stay for the detailed recounting of Zak’s brief but volatile pitching career.
Welcome back to the Bill Bradley Collective, where this week the panel examines the NBA’s decision to go forth with their annual All-Star game March 7, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Your hosts return an unanimous verdict opposing the game being staged, but not before detailing the economic factors responsible for the inevitability of the league’s decision to proceed with the event. The game’s integrity and watchability are put under the microscope when considering a weekend tailored to the fan being held before so few and the vocal indifference of many of the weekend’s expected participants. If you can’t prevent it, why not preview it, so the Collective conclude with some takes on who to expect to see suiting up for the East and West sides. But first the rants, where Zak attempts to autopsy the substandard performance of Super Bowl LV’s referees and the broader issues afflicting officiating across sports; Ed frames Urban Meyer’s latest in a long line of indiscretions in the context of continued malfeasance in the NFL hiring process; finally Andrew describes the sordid actions behind the resignation of a Biden deputy press secretary less than a month into the administration’s term.
This week the Bill Bradley Collective present Trump 2: Impeachment Boogaloo, the most electrifying sequel since the famed 1984 companion to the motion picture classic, “Breakin’.” Donald Trump is the first president in history to be impeached twice, and his second trial is set to commence this week. Join us, as the boys dissect how insurrection brought us here; the “question” of impeaching a non-sitting president and the importance of holding Trump accountable; some key Senate members and what to expect from their votes; and finally a consideration of the related censuring of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and some of her pals on the congressional fringe. But first we rant, where Andrew takes on a prominent tour golfer for his financially convenient reversal on the ethics of the Saudi Kingdom; Ed decries a Utah charter school’s decision allowing racist parents to withdraw their children from Black History Month curriculum; and finally Zak details a former Jet’s first day on the job in Congress and his inability to outrun his former team’s legacy in avoiding getting smacked down by a member of the opposition.
This week on the Bill Bradley Collective, your hosts consider the life, career and legacy of recently passed baseball icon, Henry “Hank” Aaron. The subject of this season’s individual profile, Aaron’s twenty-three year career is among the most accomplished across any sport. The panel delves into his many accolades and achievements, as well as his standing among the game’s other titans, but not before examining his youth in Mobile, AL, his entry into the pros with the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro American League, and the circumstances that led him to the Braves instead of the Giants and a possible career partnership with fellow legend Willie Mays. The conditions of Aaron’s career and the conditions of this country over his lifetime lay at the center of conversation, as while he chased baseball’s most hallowed record, he experienced death threats, an voluminous amounts of hate mail and racist vitriol from all corners of the nation. Aaron’s professional merits are outshone only by his courage and resoluteness in overcoming the bigoted hostilities from so many of his fellow countrymen. Few athletes are almost too grand in stature and legacy to attempt to do justice with words in remembrance. Hank Aaron was one of them, and we’ll try our best to do just that, this week, on the Bill Bradley Collective.
This week on the Bill Bradley Collective, your hosts put the first four days of the Biden administration under the microscope and evaluate some of the early returns. The inauguration itself is given a quick review, before the boys get to examining some of Biden’s cabinet nominees and political appointees, including Marty Walsh, Janet Yellen and Merrick Garland, among others. In a week where the newly minted President signed 30 executive orders and actions, the panel weigh in on the repeal of Schedule F, as well as the immediate enactment of many COVID-19 and environmental policies. But first the rants, where Andrew considers where sports will fit in the on-going streaming wars following the shuttering of NBC Sports Network; Ed upbraids NFL owners as another hiring cycle appears set to close with virtually no progress achieved on diversity; finally Zak probes the troubling lionization and seeming absolution of George W. Bush in the wake of an inauguration chat with Rep. Jim Clyburn. The Bill Bradley Collective was honored this week to be joined by a man at the center of the week’s news and meme cycles, hero of the progressive movement, and the pride of Midwood, Brooklyn, the one and only Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sen. Sanders was kind enough to carve out a couple of minutes for us, so be sure to tune in for his takes on our new President, men’s winter hand fashions, and his hometown Nets and their new cadre of superstars.
As we eagerly count down the final days, hours and minutes of Donald Trump’s first and god-willing last term as President, in tribute, the Bill Bradley Collective presents their desired collection of the things in sports, politics and media, that have gone on far too long and should simply go the fuck away. In this first intra-season bonus episode, join your hosts as they each describe in detail why certain athletes, coaches, institutions, members of the media and a certain multi-billion dollar movie franchise would be best served to make both like a tree and the Trump administration (just a day from now), and kindly leave. You, our loyal listener, we ask that you do the exact opposite. Stay tuned for what’s to come in season FOUR of the Bill Bradley Collective, as we will soon be getting deep into topics ranging from the newly minted Biden administration, the Super Bowl, where the NBA stands going forth in the wake of the still ravaging COVID-19 pandemic and another installment of our seasonal individual profile
This week, the Bill Bradley Collective presents its 2020 NFL regular season in review. Join us as each of your hosts nominate a best and worst moment, as well as the moment that best encapsulated the year 2020. A star QB’s close brush with premature evacuation, the return to the field of another signal caller from a catastrophic leg injury, and the league’s continued race problem in hiring practices are among the high- and lowlights of a season that for better and (mostly) worse will not soon be forgotten. The conversation then turns to the post-season, where your anchors handicap what to expect over the next two weeks of play and whom will be left standing to compete for a trip to Tampa and the Lombardi Trophy. In lieu of our normally presented rants, The Collective allots that time to discuss the events of January 6, where an armed insurgency of Donald Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol in disgraced defiance of the result of the 2020 Presidential election. The emotions of watching this display as it unfolded; upon whom and where to lay the blame for this deeply disturbed and ruinous demonstration; how our politics has been and will be affected moving forward are just a few of the themes the panel considers following a tragic day in American history.
It’s Tuesday. You know what that means. That’s right, season four of the Bill Bradley Collective is off and running and how else to ring in the new year than with a conversation about our nation’s Supreme Court. On the heels of two historically unqualified appointments and an election fallout dominated by the question of whether or not the court would back efforts to challenge the veracity of the results, the focus on the Supreme Court’s composition, size and tenure has never been more in question. Join your hosts as they weigh in with their thoughts on that, just how influential the body is relative to other branches in government, and what to expect from the court going forward within the Biden administration, with special consideration given to the pending NCAA v. Alston case pertaining to the compensation of collegiate athletes. But first we set the table with the rants, where Zak attempts to make some sense of a sham penalty called in a sham playoff semifinal within a sham college football campaign; Ed throws cold water on the fetishizing of an increasingly immaterial box-score benchmark; finally Andrew examines the career and legacy of an ace southpaw following the recent release of a documentary on the pitcher’s life.
This week on the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts round out season three with the very first installment of “Rantapalooza.” Inspired in part by the eclectic annual concert festival bearing a similar name, Rantapalooza is the proper embodiment of the two words it combines. The rants: the backbone of this catalogue and the concentration of this episode. What of a-palooza? Well, it “emphasizes or exaggerates the element of a situation.” Because this week for your listening pleasure, Ed, Zak and Andrew rant not once, not twice nor thrice, but four individual times; covering our intertwined landscape of the athletic, political and whatever the fuck it is that chaps one’s ass over the course of a particular week. These dispatches are, quite literally, on the clock, as super-producer Brandon has the stop watch set for two minutes on each of the twelve Collective dissertations. A one-minute reply/endorsement/rebuttal is permitted for each host in response to two of their cohort’s diatribes. The COVID-19 pandemic has made much of 2020 a devastating burden on all of us. Producing this podcast in a safe, distanced and sometimes remote environment has been quite the opposite; a pleasure and something for the four of us to look forward to in this otherwise dystopian year, and it is because of you, the listener. Your hosts and producer thank you for sticking with us for these now three, (yeah, THREE) seasons. We look forward to kicking off season four and 2021 next week. Until then, cheers, and Happy New Year.
This week on the Bill Bradley Collective, your noble hosts are granted the opportunity to wield the kind of power normally reserved for officers of state: the power of the veto. Join your panel as they enter their respective chambers to argue the merits of six individual vetoes of legislation impacting the world of sports and in one case our very Constitution. The rules are simple. Each host presents two vetoes, and whether the veto goes forth rests in the hands of his two cohorts. Just as two-thirds votes in the House and Senate override presidential vetoes, the presenting host needs one of his cadre to accord. The rants get it all going, where Zak lays out the ghastly details of our latest legislative impasse while finding time to raise a toast to Stannard, Vermont’s favorite adopted son; Ed details the sordid effort to nominate another “son,” this one the failed progeny of the legal ace heading Donald Trump’s crack outfit, to the board of the Holocaust Memorial Museum; Andrew raises an issue with Tiger Woods’ decision to unveil his 11-year-old son’s golf game to a national television audience; finally super-producer and resident cornhusker Brandon cameos with some thoughts on the latest sports franchise to officially reconsider a controversial name and mascot.
This week on the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts outline how they expect the transition from a Trump presidency to a Biden White House to impact the sporting world. Among the major topics addressed include whether the new administration will seek to push for stricter and more centralized protocols for leagues with regard to COVID-19, the impact an ideological shift in our judicial system could have on athletes both pro and collegiate, and if to expect actual enthusiasm and participation in the once-esteemed White House tradition of annually hosting each championship team across sports. We start with the rants, as Ed probes the legitimacy of this college football season following the Big 10’s decision to kowtow to a league powerhouse, Zak recounts the latest calamity to befall his Jets fandom and the curiously enthusiastic reaction from many within the Gang Green faithful, and Andrew evaluates the trade landscape for an NBA superstar in search of a new home for his MVP-calibre brand of play that often doubles as hard on the eyes.
“Boys, the rules don’t make much sense. But I believe in the rules. Some of us broke them. I broke them. I can’t do this. I can’t win like this.” From Coach Pete Bell’s mouth to our ears, this week the Bill Bradley Collective return to the movies for a discussion of William Friedkin and Ron Shelton’s 1994 basketball drama, Blue Chips. Tepidly received by critics and audiences alike upon release, the Collective return a unanimous positive appraisal of the film’s artistic merits: the strong performances of Nick Nolte as the aforementioned Coach Bell, Alfre Woodard, J.T. Walsh, Mary McDonnell and the host of cameos from a who’s who of the early 1990’s hoops scene, the soundtrack, and the portrayal of on-court basketball sequences. Nuanced cinema critique quickly gives way to an examination of Blue Chips’ message, namely the question: what does this movie have to say about amateurism in college sports and the forces that continue to refuse collegiate athletes be given commensurate compensation within the very rules Pete Bell struggles to reckon with. Brought to you remotely thanks to the efforts of our esteemed producer in light of adverse weather and necessary COVID precaution, we are three fists in the face of sports and politics (and occasionally the movies), the Bill Bradley Collective.
This week on the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts preview the fast-approaching 2020-21 NBA season. Determined to plow ahead bubble-less amidst the still devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the league believes they have the protocols in place to complete a full campaign. Do they? The Collective examines that question among other league topics, as we consider the changes being implemented to both the regular and post-season structure with additional commentary on what to expect on the court following a brief but frenetic offseason full of player movement and coaching/front office overhaul. The rants set the table, where Andrew outlines his trepidation for the just-tipped college basketball season and the slim hope that it survives to March, they try to make him welcome Brian Kemp to the resistance but Ed says “no, no, no,” and finally Zak drops the hammer on the continued failure of the NFL’s COVID-19 guidelines, with a fortuitous spotlight on the now thrice-delayed Steelers/Ravens matchup.
In this intra-season bonus episode, we present the Bill Bradley Collective: At the Movies, as your hosts dive into the famed 1980 sports comedy, Caddyshack. A modest success upon release, subsequent re-appraisal has garnered Caddyshack a massive cult following and frequent citation as one of the great sports movies of all time. The Collective set out to assess this legacy, as we detail the cocaine-fueled production responsible for both the film’s gaping plot issues and most iconic comedic sequences, how some of these sequences and lines have aged with respect to racial and gender sensitivity and good-taste, and how exactly a screwball, gross-out comedy may or may not have something smart to say about class distinction. Coming to you from the burial cul-de-sac of Vidal, Deford and Kael, who needs incautious holiday gatherings over-run by outspoken uncles when you have three in your AirPods or car speakers every week, here, on the Bill Bradley Collective. Wishing all a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and if you would like for us to tackle a particular movie, whether sports or political in a future bonus episode; drop us a line on Facebook with your recommendation @BillBradleyCollective.
This week on the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts review all things NFL as the league’s season passes it’s mid-point. The on-field and off-field, the good (yes, there’s some) and the bad, join us as the panel weighs in on the superlative young crop of quarterbacks spread across the league, year one for both Brady and Belichick as each goes it without the other for the first time, the continued futility of North Jersey’s disgraced second tenant, and the myriad shortcomings in the NFL’s COVID protocols and the directions the season may take as a result. As always, the rants lead it off, as Zak targets Nancy Pelosi’s latest failing, following the 11th-hour cancellation of a Congressional soirée opposing every bit of responsible COVID messaging on gatherings, Ed reviews the latest episode of “Meet the McCloskeys,” where the proud faces of the 2020 GOP seek restitution from the very photog responsible for their long-expired 15 seconds, and Andrew celebrates a pair of sports pioneers while decrying the institutions that for far too long failed to acknowledge them. The home for personalized short-form rants and longer-form discussion on a curated subject; all located at the intersection of sports and politics; and now the host for not one, but two, of America’s hottest new game shows taking the podcasting world by storm. Where? Here, at the Bill. Bradley. Collective.
This week the Bill Bradley Collective comes to you in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 Presidential election being called for Joe Biden, completing a near five-day odyssey of sleep-deprivation, cable news consumption and alcohol intake the likes of which we recommend be left to us, your noble hosts. The fallout from this election is the focus, as the panel covers everything from the late-arriving call delivered in Biden’s favor, plus thoughts on all of the media coverage, another heavily flawed performance by those in the predictive model game, and where exactly, as we await the last-ditch bad-faith litigious efforts of the outgoing administration to contest ballots, we will stand come Inauguration Day 2021. But first come a set of somewhat diversionary sports-centric rants, where Zak rebukes Rob Manfred’s failure to levy any discipline on Justin Turner for his mask-less escapade following last week’s World Series clincher, Ed raises Zak’s bet on Manfred with a treatise on Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott and the already fast-dissolving football season of which he oversees, and Andrew considers the impact of boxing’s marquee box-office attraction going forward with neither a promoter or home network. All told, it was a good day.
Election Day 2020 is here, and as a final supplement to our election coverage, the Bill Bradley Collective consult their proverbial crystal balls and preview what the lay of both the political and sporting landscapes will look like in 2024. Who will represent each party’s ticket, how the hierarchy of professional sports will stand, and what exactly college sports will look like are the questions on the table as each of the hosts play prognosticator. The rants lead it off, where the junior panelists both take aim at the just-completed World Series as Zak lambastes both the actions of COVID-positive Justin Turner and the protocols that put him on the field still pending a test result and Andrew considers baseball’s strategic future following the premature knee-jerk removal of an ace starter in an elimination game. Finally, Ed details the White House proclamation of a National Day of Remembrance meant solely to advance the continued xenophobic rhetoric of what we hope is a soon departing Trump administration.
This week on the Bill Bradley Collective, the panel give their respective impressions on the second and final Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, before giving way to a broader discussion of how we all project November 3rd (and the probable weeks beyond) unfolding. Consider it a forecast, as the hosts each outline what they perceive to be best- and worst-case scenarios, with closing prognostications on the eventual outcomes of both the Presidential election and upon which side of the aisle the Senate majority lands. As always we lead with the rants, where Zak thoroughly censures the long-game of the establishment GOP operatives helming the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, Ed considers Antonio Brown’s imminent return to the NFL and the convenient epilogue a certain Foxborough-based franchise is peddling as reason for his leave of absence, and Andrew details the résumé of a certain failson cashing a White House paycheck who just coincidentally happens to share a last name with the head of Trump’s legal counsel.
This week, the Bill Bradley Collective presents “Snakes in the Senate,” a snake-draft style conversation about the forthcoming Senate races where red incumbents find their prospects for (re-)election in varying degrees of peril. The eligible contests are broken down into three categories, as round one examines those where the Democratic candidate appears likely to win, round two focuses on the “coin-flip” seats, and finally round three surveys blue challengers facing seemingly long-odds. What ensues is a thorough primer of what to watch for November 3rd as Democrats look to regain control of the Senate in this election year of immeasurable consequence. But first the rants, where Andrew considers the market context and value of running backs in today’s NFL following Le’Veon Bell’s departure from the Jets, Zak castigates Dianne Feinstein for her pitiful display during the week’s Barrett Supreme Court hearings, and Ed excoriates a Feinstein colleague for his latest bit of sanctimonious Trump critiques, despite his lengthy voting record in lock-step with 45’s objectives.
This week on the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts weigh in on the Vice Presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris. In assessing the performance of incumbent, candidate and moderator, the panel uses the 1965 NCAA Tournament consolation game and collegiate adieu of our very namesake as the guide for evaluation. While the debate mirrored Princeton’s 36-point evisceration of Wichita State to the respective advantage of Sen. Harris, how her showing stands up to that of Bill Bradley’s 58-point masterclass is just one example of what to expect from the conversation. But first the rants do cometh, where two-thirds of our body give HBO a bit of free pub, as Zak critiques the cultural efficacy of Aaron Sorkin’s narrative political prose leading into this week’s not-so-eagerly anticipated “The West Wing” reunion/reprisal special, Andrew examines the troublingly generous tenor of a new documentary centering the life and crimes of a a disgraced New York radio show host, and finally Ed presents the vile personal and political history of a Trump senior adviser who somehow remains a fixture on cable news/interview programming.
This week on the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts break down the first Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The virtually nonexistent good, largely bad and often ugly highlights of this spectacle are the focus of a conversation that attempts to gauge the respective performance of each candidate, as well as moderator Chris Wallace. Before we assess the debate, Zak outlines how to expect the Senate to proceed with regard to Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, in light of the White House COVID outbreak that enveloped not only Trump but a considerable swath of GOP leadership including three senators. But first come the rants, where Zak salutes Ed’s esteemed prior tenure as Subway franchise baker in the wake of a curious Irish court ruling, Ed condemns the toxic fallacy of the “warrior” mentality with a special nod to the straw man heading the New York Jets and Andrew considers the NFL’s head-scratching decisions following the league’s first collection of positive COVID tests.
This week on the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts examine Donald Trump’s efforts from high atop his Twitter pulpit to influence how our sporting landscape navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. A concentrated nod to Trump’s perceived-electorally expedient (and answered) call on the Big 10 to salvage their previously-aborted college football season sets the table for a discussion that attempts to hammer home how every amoral machination from 45’s mouth and cell-phone as it regards to sports comes solely in the interest of retaining his position post-November 3rd. First the rants, as Zak gives a precursor to the election-oriented content coming your way from the Collective with a preview of what to watch for this week as Trump and Joe Biden share the stage for the 1st of their three debates, Ed (and Zak with some real venom) blast away in the direction of failson Matt Lieberman, the latest in his lineage to disgrace the Democratic Party and the most likely recipient of a thank-you card from the desk of Kelly Loeffler five weeks from now, and Andrew gives an update on Colby Covington’s place in the worst-person-in-sports hierarchy following his latest audition for the position of America’s Next Top Sycophant.
On the first of our intra-season bonus episodes, the Bill Bradley Collective discuss the history and legacy of Tommie Smith and John Carlos and their black-glove fisted salute whilst on the medal podium during the 1968 Summer Olympics. Regarded as one of the most influential and overtly political declarations made in Olympic history, the gesture drew wrongful condemnation from many in the moment, but has become the impetus for the national anthem statements made in the name of social and racial justice in our contemporary sports landscape. The societal context of the salute, 1968 in the crucible of the Civll rights movement in America; and the Olympic Project for Human Rights that brought about the podium demonstration kickstart a conversation that examines the lives and legacies of Smith and Carlos, their detractors and supporters, and the integral role that their statement has long-played in forging a 2020 where by the day sports and politics grow increasingly intertwined.
This week on the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts examine the complicated nature of the “tell-all” book, from the three narrative perspectives of insider, embedded journalist, and outside reporter. These tell-all documents represent a significant, in-demand segment of the sport and political publishing arenas, most recently brought to public focus in the wake of books detailing the Trump presidency from John Bolton, Michael Cohen and veteran journalist Bob Woodward, of which the latter’s grim details regarding presidential (and perhaps journalistic) inaction sit at the forefront of our current news cycle. But first the rants, where Andrew applauds Len Elmore’s takedown of increased “shut up and dribble” bullshit following the NFL’s season opener, Zak goes in on GOP wonder-boy and doofus par excellence Ben Sasse after his inglorious turn on the WSJ editorial page, and Ed targets billionaire entrepreneur and right-wing donor/bootlicker emeritus Peter Thiel for his latest bit of dangerous grift with a nod to his already vastly sordid résumé.
On the season three premier of the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts examine protest in sports within the broader context of the national movement. As the NBA, followed by the NHL and select MLB teams, withheld their professional services following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, the panel discusses the actions of these athletes, how their response was covered by the sports and mainstream media, their role in the national protest movement for racial equality and social justice, and most importantly, what comes next. But first the rants, where Zak implores the “anonymous” sources leaking out the many Trump improprieties to own their truth and put name to tape, Ed challenges the professional and personal merits of latest Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and self-believed paragon of Catholic virtue Lou Holtz, and Andrew reflects on the legacy of the late Tom Seaver and how Mets ownership deserves neither legends of his stature nor the voices for social reform occupying their clubhouse today. Come for the conversation, enjoy the rants, but stick around as one host is officially set to pop his tattoo cherry, while the others engage in some truly horrific karaoke.
For the best of season two of the Bill Bradley Collective, we highlight a pair of profiles in ignominy, as Zak rakes departed Trump NSA John Bolton for his self-serving swing for the Times’ best-seller list and Ed debuts his vitriol for disreputable GA Senator and Atlanta Dream owner Kelly Loeffler that underscores much of this season. Lastly for rants, Andrew fires from his wheel-house with a portrait of the golfer as a young man, mercurial pro Haotong Li. No main subject perhaps better encompasses the essence of this podcast, so revisit our discussion on the “sportification” of news media; how respective coverage of sports and politics has come to mirror one another for better and for worse. Stay tuned for season three of the Bill Bradley Collective.
On our third and final post-season two bonus episode, the Bill Bradley Collective draft whom we consider to be the worst of the worst amongst elected officials in American politics. *Elected* members of both houses of Congress, state Governors and mayors of major U.S. cities are all on the board. In the interest of bipartisanship, both parties are up for rightful condemnation, as no less than two Democrats and Republicans each of the six respective choices are required. Coming to you from the cul-de-sac of legislative, state and municipal government, engage us on Facebook with any thoughts on our picks and your case for anyone we may have missed, and please stay tuned for season three of the Bill Bradley Collective.
For the second of our post-season two bonus episodes, the Bill Bradley Collective play Siskel & Ebert as we draft the best of the best from the sports movie canon. Six movies each, structured identical to last week’s draft of sport’s worst people, the panel revisit (and disparage) some classics, stump for some controversial and lesser known selections and consider just how much “sport” is required for qualification to this process. For the first time coming to you from the rotary of sports, politics and Hollywood, we invite you to join us on Facebook and give us your thoughts on the picks, any movies we may have missed, and which of our contrarian dismissals of an otherwise lauded film offended you most.
For our first post-season 2 bonus episode, the members of the Bill Bradley Collective draft teams comprised of whom we deem to be the worst people in sports. Join us as we outline detailed cases for why 18 certain individuals (athletes, owners and broadcasters, among them) all in their own way represent the worst of our society. Be sure to join us on Facebook and weigh in with your vote for which of our three drafted teams reflects the best of the downright worst in sports. The stakes are very high.
On the season 2 finale of the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts examine Donald Trump’s history of involvement in the sporting landscape. The starting point is his association with the USFL, where Trump was the majority owner of the New Jersey Generals franchise and due in large part to some of his signature rapacity and ineptitude was largely responsible for the league’s suspension after merely 3 seasons. Next, we size up Don’s sordid presence in the world of golf, where all of the man’s worst traits are reflected both in the manner of how he plays the game and the amoral exploitation of his golf properties for personal and political gain. The panel concludes with a consideration of Trump’s stance against anthem protests, and how his failure with the USFL and later rejected ownership bid for the Buffalo Bills underscore the profound insecurities in our wishful alpha-male of a president. First come the rants, where Ed reflects on an electricity-less week with some smoke for the privatization of public utilities, Zak applauds (yes, really) the NHL’s return to play and the success of their dual Canadian bubble, and Andrew assesses the quirks of a Chinese golf enigma, perhaps on the doorstep of a major championship victory.
.On this week’s episode of the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts tackle the Olympic Games. Originally scheduled for, in part, this current early August window, we are without the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In lieu of our medalist predictions for male tae-kwon-do, the panel assesses whether or not the games are really all that missed from the dual perspectives of the sports fan starved for world-class competition in the course of a usually largely vacant late summer sports calendar and the benevolent observer well-versed in the Games’ sordid history of corruption and economical foul-play. But first the rants, where Andrew details the fallout from Joe Kelly doing MLB’s dirty work with some erratic relief work against the convicted but unpenalized cheaters occupying the Astro lineup, Ed excoriates the folly of the Miami Marlins’ effort towards braving a season in which their own clubhouse is a COVID-19 hotspot, and Zak adjusts his dumbest elected member of Congress in Texas depth chart to highlight Rep. Louie Gohmert’s brand of mask trutherism.
On this week’s episode of the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts tackle the “sportification” of news media. We examine how debate culture, expanded use of quantitative research, and intensified tribalism within sports and politics have rendered coverage of each virtually indistinguishable from the other. Where sports are “the playground of life,” political outcomes affect the livelihoods of each and every one of us, and that’s where the conversation leads. Why does the nature of how the news media covers Congressional votes, high court decisions and federal elections so closely mirror the way in which sports media covers the likes of a championship series or free agency period? But first the rants, where Zak throws high and tight on Elon Musk’s stimulus package opposition, Ed rebukes the appalling culture inside the WFT organization and why the man at the helm comes out unscathed, and Andrew reflects on the memory and legacy of a late UConn basketball standout.
On this week’s episode of the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts discuss the state of professional sports in Saudi Arabia. We start by describing the financial incentives that resulted in the UFC and European Tour expanding their products to the Middle East to begin with, namely to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Saudi Arabia is the focus, as we examine the entry of the WWE, prominent global golf professionals and a massive heavyweight prizefight into a country with manifest failings across a number of human rights considerations, all in the name of Western profit. We conclude by addressing the question of why it is we hold athletes to a higher standard than the government that exploits the same country for oil and aids their militaristic presence. But first the rants, where Andrew reckons the pros and cons of MLB entering the Nashville market, Ed weighs in on the broader picture fallout from the two-word “Woj-bomb” dropped upon Sen. Josh Hawley last week, and Zak puts NBA ignoramus Dwight Howard on blast after being exposed for not wearing a mask in the league’s COVID-19 bubble.
On this week’s episode of the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts analyze the few pros and many cons in how each major North American sports league plans to return to action by month’s end and later this fall. Topics of player health, competitive integrity, scheduling ambition and geographical relocation are the backdrop to a conversation that considers the relative feasibility of each league’s plan and whether any of these re-openings are ultimately worth the potentially serious personal cost involved. But first the rants, where Zak profiles Keisha Bottoms’ efforts to combat the surge in Atlanta COVID-19 cases against opposition from disgraced Trump-ally Gov. Brian Kemp, Andrew describes the sole beneficiary and real victims of food service in the NBA bubble, and Ed reflects upon July 10th, 2020, perhaps the worst in a long few months of dark days in America, with a special nod to the alleged “Most Magical Place on Earth.”
On this week’s episode of the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts examine the cultural evolution of NASCAR. Their 20th century footprint as a deeply Southern, union-suppressing institution is first summarized, giving way to a conversation about more recent attempts to expand the product to a broader audience. The backlash from the Southern base towards improvements to driver safety and race culture, and the geographic diversification of the schedule and circuit roster lead us into the much more progressive NASCAR of 2020, where the flag of the confederacy is now persona non grata and the sport as a whole finds itself unabashedly circling the wagons for it’s lone black driver, Bubba Wallace, in the wake of a suspected hate crime. But first the rants, where Ed casts aspersions on the NFL in it’s latest insincere endeavor at promoting racial equity, Andrew considers the potential lack of competitive integrity in the NBA’s Orlando reset, and Zak details why Washington’s football club is now closer than ever towards finally moving away from their deeply offensive name and logo.
On this week’s episode, the panel dives into the recent surge in activism on the part of collegiate athletes. The conversation leads with a hat-tip to a pair of basketball legends and their public stance against the Vietnam War. Fast forward to 2013 for an examination of the attempted unionization of Northwestern football, spearheaded by QB Kain Colter. From there, the recent work of college athletes across the country, in fighting for protections in returning to football amidst the continued COVID-19 pandemic and calling for solidarity and support from coaches in their fight for racial equality highlight the discussion. But first come the rants, where Ed posits Senator Kelly Loeffler atop the trash heap of American politicians, Andrew describes the continued failure at COVID-containment by the PGA Tour, and Zak addresses Bubba Wallace’s busy week at the center of NASCAR’s latest racial controversy.
On the season 2 premiere of the Bill Bradley Collective, the hosts discuss modern basketball great Maya Moore and her dedicated work towards criminal justice reform. Moore’s extensive basketball legacy and local collegiate ties to the panel are the backdrop to a conversation focused around her work specific to the case of wrongfully imprisoned Jonathan Irons, deep-rooted systemic problems within our justice system, and the present and future of athletes as activists. But first, the rants, as Zak takes former White House NSA John Bolton to task for his self-expedient memoirs of a flunky, Andrew examines how the PGA Tour’s COVID-bubble burst inside of two weeks, and Ed lays out the unconscionable details of Ohio State football’s “Buckeye Pledge.”
For the best of season 1 of the Bill Bradley Collective, we feature Zak’s conflicted takeaways from the NFL Draft, Ed’s dive into Trump press secretaries and how each mirrors a different member of the Cleveland Browns quarterbacking fraternity, and Andrew’s thoughts on a controversial heavyweight champion that never was. Our chosen main topic, a conversation about the NCAA and most notably the need to properly compensate collegiate athletes, is one we find particularly relevant at this time, in light of current news surrounding the transfer portal and eligibility issues, and the question of how institutions plan to manage their fall seasons and beyond in the continued wake of COVID-19. Be sure to join us next week as season 2 premieres with an on- and off-the-court profile and discussion of Maya Moore.
For the third and final of our post-season 1 bonus episodes, Andrew submits the 1993 heavyweight title rematch between Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield for discussion, a fight best remembered as the night the world was introduced to parachutist James Miller, aka the “Fan Man.” Miller’s mid-fight descent into Caesar’s Palace steals the night and the laughs, but the conversation extends to cover the fight itself, the careers and complicated legacies of all those involved and how the pre-eminent heavyweights of today hypothetically stack up to their pugilistic predecessors.
For the BBCollective’s second post-season bonus episode, Zak presents the story of Michael Edwards, AKA “Eddie the Eagle,” the English Olympic ski-jumper par not quite excellence who most famously captured the world’s attention with his “performance” in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Zak charts Edwards’ rise from humble every-man craftsman to international Olympic celebrity/influencer, and his ultimate transition to British cultural sensation in deep factual and humorous detail.
In our first post-season 1 bonus episode, the Collective experiments with a Dollop-inspired main topic, as Ed discusses the formation, brief existence and enduring legacy of the Players’ League. The league’s founder, John Montgomery Ward, it’s place in the baseball landscape of the 19th century, and the possibility of whether a fully labor-operated league could exist in today’s sporting world provide the focus of Ed’s chronicle.
For our season finale, the BBCollective tackles “The Last Dance,” the acclaimed 10-part ESPN documentary of the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls dynasty of the 1990’s. While Jordan rules as the fulcrum of the conversation, the complicated legacies of Jerry Krause, Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson, among others are also all examined in depth. But first, Andrew addresses the NFL’s latest sorry attempt at enhancing the Rooney Rule, Ed amplifies the otherwise under-reported travails of New Orleans sanitation workers in the wake of COVID, and Zak takes Brian Kemp to task for his latest bit of gross incompetence.
On this week’s episode, the Collective discuss the myth of amateurism and the NCAA, with a deep-dive on an exploitative culture where coaches, administrators and sneaker executives reap seemingly endless dollars in salary at the expense of the uninsured, uncompensated “student athletes” that generate the revenue. But first, Ed leads off with an assessment of the inglorious post-career exploits of Curt Schilling, Zak sets the tone for the main topic with a critical look at the immorality of the McDonald’s All-American Game, and Andrew goes all-in at the thought of a resurgent UConn men’s basketball program.
On this week’s episode, the Collective tackles the cultural legacy and social context of the Kentucky Derby, originally slated for this past weekend in it’s traditional first Saturday of May slot but postponed to the fall in the wake of COVID-19. In lieu of picks for the race, we instead pick some very serious nits with regard to the event’s deeply troubled history with issues of race and class, and the immorality in both the gambling culture that envelops the race, and in the abject objectification of the contest’s participants. We open with Ed’s assessment of the career and legacy of Don Mattingly, Zak’s thoughts on the continued rejection of equal pay for women by the USSF and complicity of the federal court system in doing so, and Andrew’s view of the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons teams and their foothold in basketball’s modern history.
On this week’s episode, the panel examines the effectivity, or lack there of, of the NFL’s Rooney Rule in insuring minority candidates a fair shake in the league’s coaching hire process. The policy’s history, shortcomings and potential improvements are all highlighted. But first, Zak describes the conflicting emotions surrounding the optics of last week’s NFL Draft, Ed considers the NBA’s broader responsibility in their plan for a return in the wake of COVID-19, and Andrew attempts to reconcile how an exhibition golf match may qualify as essential business.
This week, the Bill Bradley Collective discuss the highly troubled discriminatory history of the Augusta National Golf Club and Masters Tournament. Both the club’s racial and gender issues are examined, with a focus examining the club’s inception, the esteemed first African American competitor, the sexist mores that still permeate and finally whether there is any hope for a progressive transition in Augusta National’s values and attitudes. In this week’s rants, Zak considers our sporting world devoid of fans in the wake of COVID-19, Ed calls out the political expediency of Trump encouraging protests against shelter-in-place orders, and Andrew summarizes the aided self-destruction of a once-promising heavyweight contender.
This week, the Collective presents a “resurrection”-themed discussion in observation of Easter Sunday. In a wide-ranging conversation, the hosts first reflect on the Boston Red Sox, in pre- and post-2004 context. Golf’s two foremost legends and their respective last(?) Masters triumphs are next examined, followed by an evaluation of the talented neophytes occupying NBA backcourts, who we’d rather be watching than projecting in our hopefully soon-resurrected sports world. In addition, Zak buries the the right wing’s efforts to tie COVID-19 to various inane conspiracy theories, Andrew says a eulogy for the XFL (again), and Ed draws comps between two collections of sad sacks from the political and sporting worlds that we are not about to just give away in this summary. Brought to you from the great outdoors, finally together in person and most assuredly in observance of social distancing measures, join us for a fun, eclectic episode.
For this week’s episode, the hosts dive into the athletic and political lives of their very namesake, Bill Bradley. We discuss the superlative collegiate career at Princeton and ten-year NBA run that follows. His second act as U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential nominee is also examined. Also this week, Zak rebukes the myth of cancel culture vis-a-vis John Rocker, Ed considers the charitable efforts of old friend Robert Kraft in the wake of our global pandemic, and Andrew highlights three of the newest inductees to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Come for our rants and the Bill Bradley profile, stay for 1965 NBA Draft minutiae!
On this week’s episode Andrew talks about his COVID-19 movie choices (including our first guest as Zak’s wife Laura talks about The Cutting Edge), Ed talks about Bill Simmons and Simmons’ claims about cancel culture, and Zak talks about the NBA holding a tournament championship. The main topic discusses the new collective bargaining agreement in the NFL and its impact on players and the season
We couldn't wait till our debut episode!!!! The hosts examine the costs COVID-19 has levied upon the sporting world. From the NCAA Tournament to the NBA season, from combat sports to professional golf, The Collective breaks down the good, bad and ugly of how the power brokers of sport have managed this fast-evolving global crisis.
Andrew, Ed, and Zak introduce themselves and discuss what to expect from the BBCollective
Here are some highlights from our practice season. Where we discuss the loss of a sports icon, Zak discusses the NFL franchise tag, Andrew reminisces on a classic boxing match, and Ed gives his take on Robert Craft's "Tug-Gate". Then a deeper discussion on the impact of franchises on cities. Be sure to stay tuned to the end to hear some extra predictions!!!