Before the Whistle – one of the best local sports folks has an insightful podcast.
Maddy Hudak – Before the Whistle
Maddy Hudak is a sports journalist based in New Orleans. An alum of Tulane University, Maddy is a Sideline Reporter for Tulane Football, as well as a very busy freelancer. She’s appeared on television, radio, and podcasts since before she popped up on my personal radar, and now it’s great to see Maddy doing her own pod.
Here’s her description of the pod, from her episode website:
Maddy Hudak is one of the rising stars in sports journalism. She provides her insights each week as a sideline reporter for Tulane University football, as a contributor to The Saints Wire for USA Today and ESPN 104.5, as well as many other television and radio programs. A lifelong student of the game, Maddy is also a graduate of The Scouting Academy. Before the Whistle isn’t about hot takes. The ”why” and the ”how” are just as important as the ”who” and the ”what.” If it impacts winning and losing, Maddy will be talking about it on Before the Whistle. New episodes each Tuesday and Friday.
I listened to her ep of 5-May-2023, Rethinking Sports Through The AIQ w/ Mike Clark, Ph.D. Very informative! I learned much about heard of the concept of “Athletic IQ.’ So much of football talk focuses on the games and not what happens behind the scenes. Maddy drills deep into that content. It’s not the kind of thing you hear from your average sports reporter.
With the exception of Association Football, I avoid sports podcasts. I’m a soccer kind of person. Other than soccer-specific pods, the only omnibus sports pod in my playlist is Hang Up and Listen, from Slate. While I don’t see increasing my diet of football coverage, I think Maddy’s pod will be fun. Check her out!
FiveThirtyEight.com and Sports – a great combination
I don’t write about sports a lot here, unless there’s an alternate angle. Here’s the angle for today: FiveThirtyEight.com. The NFL doesn’t hold my interest all that much. Basketball? Pelicans! #TakeFlight! However, I can’t keep up with my sons on the NBA. Baseball? I’m a Giants fan, and I support the New Orleans Zephyrs, but I don’t wear support for either on my sleeve. I keep my passion for La Joga Bonita, specifically for the US Men’s National Team and the USWNT, the New Orleans Jesters, and Arsenal Football Club on the Book of Zucker and YatSoccer. So, no angle, talk to me about football on YatSoccer.
The “Hot Takedown” podcast fascinates me. A lot of the data-driven work that Silver and his elves do had its origins with sport. That’s reflected by the fact that they dumped the New York Times and are now affiliated with ESPN. Go to the ep titled, “What Pat Summitt Did For The Game Of Basketball“. Go in to about 31 minutes. When they start talking about Durant, the numbers hit me. Here’s Durant, done with his contract with OKC, looking to go to a winner.
The NBA, Kevin Durant, and Championships
Kevin Durant (courtesy Keith Allison)
There’s a lot of psychology involved in such a decision by a professional athlete. What I loved here was the discussion here about whether this type of personal decision actually works. What percentage of players who leave their current team for a “championship-level” team actually get there? There’s a distinction here between the player getting paid a bunch of money to build a championship team and the player looking to join a team to get a ring. Durant isn’t a Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James, whose expectations are to be the focal point of a winner. Well, maybe Durant is ‘Melo, actually, given that Anthony hasn’t been able to make the magic happen in New York. In addition, there’s factors like a player’s age and physical condition.
Then there was the discussion about why aren’t players like Durant looking to go to the NBA East if they want to be a champion, but that’s a different discussion. Suffice to say, “Hot Takedown” is a good listen.
Coach Andy Bourgeois helps fit a Cor Jesu player with a helmet, preparing for the 1969 football season.
Good article previewing Brother Martin High School’s upcoming football season. There was one line, though, that was a bit cringe-worthy, when Trahan offered some background on the Crusader football program:
Brother Martin won the 1971 state championship in a 23-0 whitewash of Catholic League rival St. Augustine for the 4A title.
OK, so, just to make sure I wasn’t being overly sensitive, so I put it to my 21yo (who is BMHS ’12):
ME: Sports metaphor time. You hear “Team A whitewashed Team B, 23-0.” Does this hit you positively, negatively, or are you neutral?
KIDDO: <shrugs shoulders> neutral
ME: you hear, “Brother Martin won the 1971 state championship in a 23-0 whitewash of Catholic League rival St. Augustine for the 4A title.” Does this hit you Does this hit you positively, negatively, or are you neutral?
KIDDO: yeah, negatively. That made me cringe.
Anyway, the article is a good assessment of the coming season.
If America cracks FIFA, it will be their greatest gift to the world since the Marshall Plan
Roger Bennett, of the Men In Blazers podcast, speaking on the PBS NewsHour