The partnership Religion of Sports announced with public media organization PRX back in October promised a further expansion into podcasting (waters they’d already explored a bit), and some of those efforts are starting to come to light now. In March, they announced “Crushed,” a podcast hosted by former Sports Illustrated writer Joan Niesen and looking back at MLB steroid history. Now, they’ve announced another new podcast, “Lost in Sports.” This one, hosted by Ben Baskin (also a former Sports Illustrated writer), aims to dive into all sorts of unusual sports history, from the Cleveland Browns’ 1986 “Masters of the Gridiron” film to the famed AND1 Mixtapes to NCAA Football ’14 and more. Here’s a trailer, posted by Religion of Sports’ Tim Rohan:
The next podcast coming from @religionofsport and @prx is LOST IN SPORTS, in which @Ben_Baskin plays amateur detective and investigates sports stories, artifacts, and people lost to time. It's going to be one big romp, just like the trailer here: pic.twitter.com/4ssaiOGv4A
— Tim Rohan (@TimRohan) May 13, 2021
Lost in Sports is set to premiere on May 27, with further episodes coming out every other Thursday through August 5. It will be available for free across Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Stitcher and other podcasting platforms. And in addition to the previously mentioned topics, they also already have episodes in the works on the enduring popularity of the Hartford Whalers, and on the infamous Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield ear-biting incident in 1997. Here are the episode descriptions so far, from a release:
The first episode of “Lost in Sports” will revisit “Masters of the Gridiron,” a strange short film infused with time travel and sorcery that was released by Cleveland Browns football players in 1986, prophesizing they might become champions. The episode will also include guest appearances by the creators of the film, Lolis Garcia-Baab and former Browns’ player Mike Baab, as well as by Joe and Anthony Russo, directors of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Future episodes of the podcast will explore the following, among additional topics to be announced:
The And1 Mixtapes––With the goal of dethroning Nike, apparel company And1 had the radical idea to create a VHS tape of street basketball players set to a hip-hop soundtrack, and to give it away for free. The And1 Mixtape was instantly successful, leading to an international tour and a popular ESPN show. Featuring NBA MVP Stephen Curry and multiple streetball players including Grayson “The Professor” Boucher, Waliyy “Main Event” Dixon, and Philip “Hot Sauce” Champion, this episode will ask how And1 elevated streetball to a multi-million dollar phenomenon, and then why it all disappeared;
The Hartford Whalers––Why are the Hartford Whalers, a National Hockey League Team that has not existed since 1997, more popular now more than ever? Baskin returns to his home state of Connecticut––a state without a major professional sports team in any of the so-called Big Four leagues––to find out. Guests on this episode include the former Whalers team owners as well as several former NHL players;
Evander Holyfield’s ear––In 1997, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield squared off in a rematch to their first fight. The result was arguably the most infamous moment in boxing history, forever known as the Bite Fight. What many don’t know is that the piece of Holyfield’s ear was found, but then vanished. Why did Tyson bite off a piece of Holyfield’s ear, and how did it go missing? And, how did the two boxers end up in the ring in the first place? This episode will feature Boxing Hall of Fame CEO Steve Lott, Hall of Fame boxing announcer Jim Gray and historian Steve Farhood, and Tom Patti, a longtime friend and former manager to Tyson;
“NCAA Football 14”––Eight years ago, EA Sports released “NCAA Football 14,” the latest edition of the college football video game series with a rabid following. But, it remains the last version of the game ever made, as a highly publicized lawsuit against EA Sports and the NCAA forced the game’s cancellation, ruling the game used the likenesses of athletes without compensation. Featuring Sam Keller, the lead plaintiff in this lawsuit, WNBA star Arike Ogunbowale, and iconic sports marketing executive Sonny Vaccaro, this episode will delve into why the “NCAA Football” series was so beloved and what about the game changed college sports.
There are some good potential topics in there, and it sounds like Lost in Sports has managed to land some prominent voices to speak to them. And the idea of a deeper dive into some of these more unusual sports moments has some appeal. We’ll see how this turns out.