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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 Germany’s World Cup win and whether the U.S. can follow the same model, the unfair expectations placed on Lionel Messi, FIFA’s poor response to head injuries, and what the heck happened to Brazil. They also talk about LeBron James’ decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the media’s reaction to the way the announcement was made and his subsequent decision to sign with Cleveland for only two years, and how the best-laid plans of the Houston Rockets didn’t pan out.
Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:
- In the World Cup final, Germany beat Argentina on a beautiful goal by Mario Götze, giving the world a just outcome.
- The Guardian took a look at Germany’s revamped 1 billion euro soccer system that gave the team such depth.
- In the New York Times, George Vecsey told U.S. fans to take heart in Germany’s win after a long development process.
- On Slate, Josh showed us that Lionel Messi was understandably sad after Argentina lost, but Jeremy Stahl reminded us that Messi deserved his Golden Ball.
- On Slate, Josh questioned FIFA’s interest in addressing concussions after Germany’s Christoph Kramer suffered a clear head injury in the final.
- Earlier in the tournament, Owen Gibson wrote in the Guardian that Álvaro Pereira’s head injury should force FIFA to act.
- On Zonal Marking, Michael Cox broke down Brazil’s embarrassing 7–1 loss to Germany.
- In the New Republic, Franklin Foer discussed how several factors—including rampant corruption—led to Brazil’s downfall.
- In Sports Illustrated, Grant Wahl looked past the stadiums to the socio-economic situation in Brazil, and Lourdes Garcia-Navarro did the same for NPR.
- On Slate, Josh and Rachael Larimore praised the way LeBron James handled the announcement that he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
- Even Scott Raab was happy to forgive and forget.
- In the New York Times, Richard Sandomir questioned Sports Illustrated’s decision to publish James’ statement.
- Deadspin looked at how Lee Jenkins and Sports Illustrated got the LeBron James story.
- ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst recapped the lead-up to James’ decision.
- Mid-Level Exceptional explained why James decided to sign a two-year contract.
- After James left, Chris Bosh returned to the Miami Heat instead of signing with the Houston Rockets as many expected he would.
- On CBSSports.com, Matt Moore notes that the well-run Rockets lost out, while Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert’s “petulance” and poor planning were rewarded.
Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Louis Podolskis:
On this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment, Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca talk about the first half of the baseball season, including the preponderance of pitching and the upside-down AL East. Slate Plus members get an ad-free version of this podcast with bonus segments. Visit slate.com/hangupplus and try it free for two weeks.
Podcast production and edit by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Chris Laskowski.
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