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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 discuss the St. Louis Rams’ selection of Michael Sam in the NFL draft, the reasons Sam was picked so late, and ESPN’s coverage of the historic moment. They also talk about the NBA playoffs, including the Clippers’ and Pacers’ remarkable comebacks, Scott Brooks’ supposedly awful coaching, and Kevin Durant’s endearing MVP speech. Finally, they are joined by Slate editorial director John Swansburg to assess minimalist running and the $3.75 million settlement Vibram is paying out for claims it made about its FiveFingers running shoes.
Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:
- On Saturday, the St. Louis Rams selected Michael Sam with the 249th pick in the NFL draft.
- Josh wrote in Slate about ESPN’s decision to show footage of Sam kissing his same-sex partner.
- William Rhoden argued in the New York Times that Sam may have dropped in the draft because of his sexual orientation.
- Richard Deitsch wrote in Sports Illustrated that “ESPN’s coverage of Michael Sam’s selection was the network at its best,” and explained how a thunderstorm in Connecticut nearly caused ESPN to miss the moment of Sam being drafted.
- A number of well-regarded players went undrafted, including Jackson Jeffcoat and Brandon Coleman.
- Prior to the draft, Will Leitch wrote a piece for Sports on Earth on groupthink and Sam’s draft stock.
- Last week, Nate Silver wrote that there was a 50-50 chance Sam would be drafted based on players with comparable predraft ratings
- The Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga wrote a profile of Ian and Chelsey Desmond, and how a married couple adjusts its family life around baseball.
- On Sunday, the Clippers overcame a large fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Thunder and even their series 2-2.
- After the Clippers-Thunder game, Marc Cuban tweeted that he “hate[s] how tv commentators will never say anything about coaching mistakes.”
- The Pacers subsequently defeated the Wizards after being down by 19 points.
- After winning the MVP last week, Kevin Durant gave an emotional speech in which he thanked his mother and teammates.
- The NBA turned part of Durant’s speech into a Mother’s Day ad.
- Slate’s Ben Mathis-Lilley gave the details of the $3.75 million settlement of the class action lawsuit against Vibram.
- Vox’s Sarah Kliff looked at the (very few) studies of barefoot running and injuries.
- Christopher McDougall’s book, Born to Run, helped launch interest in barefoot running. An excerpt appeared on NPR’s website.
- In a recent interview with Deadspin, McDougall indicated he was not trying to encourage barefoot running in his book but merely criticizing shoe companies.
- McDougall appeared on Hang Up and Listen in 2011.
- Swansburg previously endorsed Vibram FiveFingers on the Slate Culture Gabfest in 2012.
Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Bill Bowermans:
Mike’s Bowerman: NBA players, please don’t bring your children to press conferences.
Josh’s Bowerman: Why don’t we care about the record for running the longest distance in a set amount of time?
Podcast production and edit by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Casey Butterly.
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