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Before the Whistle Podcast by @MaddyHudak_94

Before the Whistle – one of the best local sports folks has an insightful podcast.

maddy hudak

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.

Sports podcasts

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!

New Orleans Saints – LSU Purple-and-Gold? That’s an abomination.

New Orleans Saints – LSU Purple-and-Gold? That’s an abomination.

New Orleans Saints – LSU? Nope, nope, nope.

This is an abomination.

New Orleans Saints – LSU

That’s just an abomination. An abomination before King Cake Baby Jeebus. 247 Sports did a what-if article on NFL team colors. What if the pro team used the “local” school’s colors? The article paints the Saints helmet in LSU colors. It’s a failure on multiple levels.

These teams aren’t local

UT at Austin for Dallas? SMU is IN Dallas. Texas A&M for Houston? What about, you know, the University of Houston? How about Rice? They get Florida totally wrong. Tampa – Florida makes more sense. Jacksonville should pick up the school in the panhandle, Florida State.

Georgia Tech matches better with Atlanta than the hours-away University of Georgia. GaTech is ACC, not SEC, sure, but they’re in Midtown Atlanta.

Some teams make sense

Los Angeles Chargers matching up with UCLA, Los Angeles Rams pairing up with USC, those make sense. Indiana with the Colts keeps Notre Dame out of the article. I’m good with that.

LSU and Georgia are just wrong

New Orleans Saints - LSU

Double fail. Wrong school, and the Falcons are always a fail.

LSU and the Saints, simply wrong. It’s lazy. While LSU is closer to New Orleans than Georgia is to Atlanta, still, no. Yes, the two schools chosen are bigger football schools. They’re not the right matches, though. Tulane and Georgia Tech both were originally in the SEC. While Tulane’s program dropped significantly, they’re still New Orleans. They played in Tulane Stadium, then the Superdome, now in their new stadium. Georgia Tech plays at Bobby Dodd Field, on their campus. The writer looked for the big names, not the geographic fits. I concede that my University of New Orleans Privateers don’t have NCAA football, but Tulane does.

Phoning it in

The writer totally phoned this in. The tells are the Florida teams. The others indicate the writer either didn’t know or didn’t care about teams situated in the NFL cities. Fail. And an abomination!

Sports by the numbers – FiveThirtyEight

Sports by the numbers – FiveThirtyEight

fivethirtyeight hot takedown 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: 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 2014

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.

SportsNOLA article on @BMHSCrusaders by @KenTrahan

Coach Andy Bourgeois helps fit a Cor Jesu player with a helmet, preparing for the 1969 football season.

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.