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In this week’s episode of Slate’s sports podcast Hang Up and Listen, Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca are joined by Kevin Kelley of Arkansas’ Pulaski Academy, better known as the high school football coach whose team never punts. Siddhartha Vaidyanathan of ESPN Cricinfo also comes on the show to talk about the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, one of the greatest cricketers ever and India’s most beloved sportsman. Finally, they discuss Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, the Spike Lee-directed one-man show that just premiered on HBO.
Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:
- Grantland’s video short on Kevin Kelley, “The Coach Who Never Punts.”
- Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim explains Kelley’s rationale for going for it on fourth down and for onside kicking.
- The New Yorker’s Reeves Wiedeman gives “The Case Against Punting.”
- Some coaches ignore the statistics and keep on punting to maintain their jobs.
- Gregg Easterbrook praises Kelley for being an innovator.
- Kelley’s team has punted six times in six years. So not never, but hardly ever.
- Siddhartha Vaidyanathan on Tendulkar’s remarkable career, and India’s enormous sense of loss upon his retirement.
- Follow Vaidyanathan on Twitter.
- ESPN Cricinfo details the last day of Tendulkar’s final match.
- In a New York Times op-ed, Tunku Varadarajan notes that Tendulkar was better when he was younger, then got worse when he was older.
- Pradeep Magazine of the Hindustan Times expresses India’s gratitude and sadness at Tendulkar’s departure.
- The Guardian provides a summary of noteworthy matches and records broken during Tendulkar’s 24-year career.
- Time’s 2012 profile calls Tendulkar "the world's best athlete" and compares him to Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, and God.
- Vaidyanathan says Tendulkar’s greatest performance came when leading India to victory over Australia’s vaunted 1998 team.
- Spike Lee’s documentary Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth just premiered on HBO.
- Excerpts from Tyson’s book Undisputed Truth can be found in Deadspin, Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, and on Today.com.
Hang Up and Listen’s weekly corridors of uncertainty:
Mike’s corridor of uncertainty: The BCS’ “average” computer ranking is not the average of the BCS’s computer rankings.
Stefan’s corridor of uncertainty: On Matt Chaney, who has taken it upon himself to record every death of an American football player.
Josh’s corridor of uncertainty: Two NFL franchises are in a battle to have the loudest crowd ever, and some opposing fans aren’t happy. The NFL used to have a rule limiting crowd noise, but no longer.
Podcast production and edit by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Casey Butterly.
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