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It's been a while... I may have enjoyed myself a little too much at Glastonbury, but now that the post-festival blues have subsided and Griff gave me a tonking on Madden the other night normal service is resumed. To make up for my prolonged absence, here are three top-notch podcasts for you to sink your teeth into (or listen to, as is the more common option). 1. Across the Pond - A Premier League Podcast Aston Villa's playoff victory back in May restored the Birmingham-based club to their rightful place in the English Premier Division. Whilst they were away, I became a little bit obsessed with the NotTheTop20 podcast, and the superb work George and Ali do in covering the 72 teams of the Football League. The step-up in division means that coverage becomes a lot more team specific. There are multiple podcasts to cover your EPL team of choice and some great content can be found within. However, I was interested in a podcast which took a birds-eye view of the whole league. Across the Pond is definitely the best I have found to fit this criteria. AtP post weekly episodes discussing upcoming fixtures, tactics, the table and controversy. The podcast also features guest appearances by journalists from BBC, The Guardian, ESPN and USA Today. Find them at www.acrossthepond.co or your favourite podcast streaming service. 2. Reasons to be Cheerful As podcasts go, this selection is more like shopping for CDs in a HMV megastore rather than hunting for rare vinyls in an independent arcade stand. Nevertheless, this series by Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd about ideas deserves the praise, and has preserved my sanity on many long journeys for work. Thanks to a considered and relaxed style, the big topics discussed in this weekly podcast never feel too weighty, and, by rights they should. In recent episodes, Ed and Geoff (along with expert guests) have discussed LGBT inclusive education, the fate of diesel and petrol powered vehicles and the case for social ownership of the UK water system. Most weeks are Brexit-free zones, and there's even a Book Club. What more could you want? Check them out on Twitter @CheerfulPodcast. 3. Unspooled Have you ever read a list of the '100 Greatest Films of All Time' in a magazine or website article, only to realise how many you haven't seen? Now is a good time to do something about it. Unspooled is a podcast dedicated to working through the AFI 2007 List for the Top 100 American movies, and working out if all really deserve their place. Hosted by actor/director Paul Scheer and film critic Amy Nicholson, Unspooled is a shared weekly experience of the wonders and weirdness of cinema history. Each week, Paul and Amy review a new movie from the AFI Top 100 in random order, assisted by a special guest connected with the film. Everything from cultural impact to technological breakthroughs is covered. The podcast also has active Facebook and Twitter communities, so you can carry on the conversation after the podcast is over. Find your excuse to sit on your sofa watching some of the best movies ever made with Unspooled at www.unspooledpodcast.com
Football is a team game, but there's a reason why Quarterbacks are always 'the face' of a franchise. Idolisation and scrutiny are at their most extreme for passers in the NFL, and since all of us football fans will spend so much time talking about them, it helps to have a good reference point for studying those under center (or in shotgun 62% of the time as a league average in 2018). Strong Opinion Sports is a podcast by Zac Shomler. Zac is a college football player who covers a range of NFL and college football topics with an analytical eye, but delivers his insights in a way which is easy to digest. His reviews of quarterback tape are a particular highlight. All of the Top QBs in the most recent NFL Draft were studied extensively, so if your a fan of Broncos, Cardinals, Giants or Redskins, I highly recommend you start there. Strong Opinion Sports podcasts usually vary between 1hr to 2hrs in length, and are available weekly (usually). Zac also posts shortened clips to YouTube, which are a useful companion piece allowing the audience to see the tape which is being discussed for certain topics. The podcasts are available on Apple, Soundcloud, Spotify and a number of other podcast platforms. As always, please let me know what you think of this recommendation. I hope you enjoy. Rhys https://open.spotify.com/show/6P9sn1XNNX79Jrb9n2iDag
If you're like me, then being an NFL fan isn't just 3+ hours on a Sunday (or whatever times Cleveland will be playing now that they are potentially decent). Especially when I first started getting into the NFL, I found that podcasts were a massive help in understanding the language around the sport, as well as its history and the issues of the day. Now I find them to be a big part of the international fan experience. The first thing to say is that there is some excellent content out there. Around the NFL, The Dave Dameshek Football Program and Move the Sticks are all good starting points for a league wide view. Coupled with my favourite Browns podcast (Surviving the Season), then adjusting for work, sleep, meals, interacting with my other half and playing Madden there's still a few hours a week left to fill with more NFL and football news, comment and humour. On May 30th a new UK based NFL pod was piloted. The Franchise Tag is hosted by Freddie Hall and is targeted towards the international NFL fan. Weekly episodes are planned from end of July 2019 onwards, but the first episode is available now where Gerald McCoy's release, Odell Beckham Jr and the expectations for Kansas City are all discussed. The podcast can be found on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.