The Lead



The award-winning sports show from Wondery, known for delivering the best storytelling in sports. Every Wednesday and Friday, co-hosts Tiffany Oshinsky and Anders Kelto dive into the biggest and most fascinating sports stories of the day, as told by the reporters who cover them up close. The Lead cuts through the chatter and brings you in-depth reporting and emotional stories, to help make sense of the complicated sports landscape. New episodes every Wednesday and Friday.

All episodes are available ad-free on Wondery+ or on Amazon Music with a Prime membership or Amazon Music Unlimited subscription.

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921 episodes

The Lead Says Farewell

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Jan 03
2023: The Year Of Women's Sports

A lot of sports stories caught our attention in 2023. But when we stepped back and looked at the year as a whole, there was one storyline that rose above them all -- the incredible growth of women’s sports. Today, we’re looking back at the moments that made 2023 such a historic year, and looking forward to what the future might bring. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Dec 22, 2023
Cocaine, Disco, And A Football Revolution

When we think about innovative teams that have shaped the way offense is played in the NFL today, one of the first that comes to mind is the Bill Walsh-era San Francisco 49ers. However, there’s another trailblazing team from the same era that has arguably had just as big an impact on the sport. Today, we tell the story of the high-flying, but somewhat forgotten San Diego Chargers of the late 1970s and 80s, led by a brash quarterback (Dan Fouts) and visionary coach (Don Coryell). Plus, the stories of drug-fueled performances — and a mysterious gunshot wound — that still follow the team today.  Guest: Zak Keefer, The Athletic Read the full story here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Dec 20, 2023
Armando Bacot's Last Dance

Over the last four years, Armando Bacot has been a double-double machine for one of college basketball’s most storied programs. But the reminders of what Bacot hasn’t accomplished at UNC continue to hang over him. Today, we dive into why Bacot decided to come back for one last high-stakes season at Chapel Hill. Plus, how his fame off the court as one of the faces of NIL could influence a potential championship run. Guest: Brendan Marks, The Athletic Read the full story here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Dec 15, 2023
‘It’s Just Magical’: The Surprising Power Of Baseball Memories

Baseball has always had a special place in the hearts and minds of fans -- of all ages. But what if the power of baseball memories could help aging baseball fans heal and live healthier lives? Today we explore a little known practice known as 'Baseball Reminiscence Therapy.' Reporter: Tiffany Oshinsky Learn more about Baseball Reminiscence Therapy See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Dec 13, 2023
Fatherhood Changed Mike McDaniel. Will The NFL Follow His Lead?

He’s the coach who makes slightly offbeat comments during press conferences, orchestrates the NFL’s most dynamic and explosive offense, and sometimes — decides to leave his high-pressure job out of the blue to see his family. Bottom line: Mike McDaniel does things differently. Today, we look at how the Dolphins head coach became someone who was willing to challenge the conventional wisdom of the NFL. And, whether his approach will backfire — or, potentially change the league. Guest: Kent Babb, The Washington Post Read the full story here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Dec 08, 2023
'I Lost My Soul': The Tragic Death Of An Israeli Soccer Star

Lior Asulin was a star player on a soccer team that was once a powerful symbol of peace and unity in Israel -- a team where Jews and Arabs played side by side. Nearly twenty years later, in a terrible irony, he was brutally murdered by Hamas in the October 7th attacks. This is the tragic story of his life and death. Interviewees: Adi Rubinstein, Eyal Lahman, Gabriel Lima Watch a documentary about the aftermath of Bnei Sakhnin's championship season, of the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival. Special thanks for this episode: Chris Browne, Daigo Oliva, Itai Anghel, Rund Abdelfatah, Greg Lalas, Geoff Walker See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Dec 06, 2023
Rocket Science: Josh Dobbs Blasts Off, Returns To Earth

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs was the author of one of the most dramatic wins of the NFL season, leading his team to a victory over the Falcons — and learning plays on the fly — just five days after coming over from the Cardinals in a trade. Today, we look at why Dobbs — an actual rocket scientist — was in the rare position to rise to that occasion. And, after a disastrous performance against the Bears on Monday night, where does Dobbs’s story go from here? Guest: Alec Lewis, The Athletic Read the full story here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Dec 01, 2023
How Marvin Gaye Changed The NBA (Rebroadcast)

In 1983, musical legend Marvin Gaye stepped to the microphone at The Forum in Los Angeles, to sing the national anthem before the NBA All-Star Game. What happened next set in motion a cultural transformation within the NBA that still reverberates today. (This episode first aired on March 1, 2023) Guests: David Aldridge and Marcus Thompson II, The Athletic Read David and Marcus's story about Marvin Gaye at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Nov 29, 2023
Listen Now: 'Tis The Grinch Holiday Talk Show

Cuddly as a cactus and charming as an eel, he’s your new favorite snarky talk show host. Join The Grinch (and his faithful dog Max) each week as he rants against Christmas cheer and roasts celebrity guests like chestnuts on an open fire. Starring Saturday Night Live’s James Austin Johnson as the notorious curmudgeon and broadcasting straight from Who-Ville, will The Grinch send these famous folks back down Mt. Crumpit, or will they soften his stance against Christmas and grow his heart three sizes? Grab your hot cocoa and cozy slippers and listen along to find out! Follow 'Tis The Grinch Holiday Talk Show on the Wondery App or wherever you get your podcasts. You can listen to episodes of 'Tis The Grinch Holiday Talk Show early and ad-free right now by joining Wondery Plus. Listen now: See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Nov 27, 2023
Travis Kelce Was An A-Lister, Even Before T Swift (Rebroadcast)

Travis Kelce might be the most talked-about man in all of American pop culture right now. But his rise from football star to A-List celebrity actually began months before he began courting Taylor Swift with a friendship bracelet. Tom Kludt spent time with Kelce earlier this year and wrote an in-depth profile of him for Vanity Fair, and Tom joined us to discuss Kelce's remarkable ascent, the origins of his off-field ambitions, and just how bright his star could become. (This episode originally aired in July.) Guest: Tom Kludt, Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair Read Tom's profile of Travis Kelce here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Nov 24, 2023
The Tragic Demise Of A Basketball Phenom

At age 14, Mikey Williams was considered by some to be the best basketball player his age in the country. He had millions of followers on Instagram and celebrities like Drake asked for his jersey and invited him backstage at their concerts. He even had LeBron James serving as a mentor and many people assumed Williams would eventually become an NBA star. But questions about his basketball abilities began to pile up. And then, earlier this year, his life took a very dark turn. Today, the tragic story of Mikey Williams -- a cautionary tale about pressure, expectations, and basketball in the age of social media. Guest: Jeff Eisenberg, Yahoo! Sports Read Jeff's full story about Mikey Williams here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Nov 22, 2023
C.J. Stroud Never Had A Doubt

You might not guess it from watching him play football, but for much of his life, the odds have not been in C.J. Stroud’s favor. He saw his father go to prison at age 13, and reportedly did so poorly on the S2 cognition test that many people expected him to fail in the NFL. Today, we look at how Stroud’s self-belief helped propel him past the obstacles in the path, and redefine what’s possible for a rookie quarterback as he powers a Houston Texans renaissance. Guest: Zak Keefer, The Athletic Read the full story here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Nov 17, 2023
Push Comes To Shove: The NFL's Tush Push Dilemma

If you’ve watched a Philadelphia Eagles game recently, chances are you’ve gotten a close look at arguably the NFL’s most controversial play. The Tush Push (or Brotherly Shove, or Two-Cheek Sneak, if you prefer) has become the Eagles not-so-secret weapon, a play that’s been both criticized — and imitated — across the NFL. Today, we look at why the play has become so polarizing in such a short amount of time, how Jalen Hurts and the Eagles do it better than anyone else, and what the future holds for this particular kind of shove.  Guest: Kalyn Kahler, The Athletic Read the full story here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Nov 15, 2023
The Kidnapping Of Soccer Star Luis Diaz's Father

A living nightmare for Liverpool's Luis Diaz finally came to an end on Thursday when his father was released by kidnappers in Colombia. Luis Manuel Diaz had been held captive for nearly two weeks, despite a massive push by the Colombian government to have him set free. Today, we look at how the kidnapping took place, the group behind it, and how Diaz’s teammates -- and the soccer community -- ultimately rallied around the man they call 'Lucho.' Guest: James Pearce, The Athletic Find more of James's coverage here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Nov 10, 2023
The Two Cities Counting On Anthony Edwards

At age 22, in his fourth year in the league, Anthony Edwards is on the verge of making the leap to NBA superstardom — a journey that can be traced back to the gritty neighborhood in southwest Atlanta that made him who he is. Today, we look at Edwards’s unlikely rise, and full circle return to his hometown, and the loving family that propelled him forward in the aftermath of tragedy. Plus, the hope that Edwards is bringing to long-disappointed Timberwolves fans in his new home city of Minneapolis. Guest: Jon Krawczynski, The Athletic Read the full story here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Nov 08, 2023
Listen Now: Over The Top with Beadle and Rosenberg

Get ready for a quick hitting, last topic standing battle of badass sports and pop culture takes. Sports heavyweights Michelle Beadle and Peter Rosenberg pit the biggest, wildest, and most hyped sports and pop culture stories against each other in a topical “Royal Rumble” that will determine who or what is the biggest story on Planet Earth this week. Each round, two newsworthy stories are thrown into the ring and Beadle and Rosenberg will debate which one should stay and which should be thrown over the top rope. They’ll spend the next 90 seconds sounding off on the remaining story, but hang on...when the buzzer sounds, a new story enters the ring and they’ll do the whole thing all over again! One story stays and one is eliminated. The battle continues until one final story is left standing. Wondery’s new show is a fast-paced and gutsy blitz through the week where no topic is off limits, but only one doesn’t get thrown OVER THE TOP!  Enjoy Over the Top with Beadle and Rosenberg wherever you get your podcasts: See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Nov 06, 2023
Joe Burrow Goes Alien Mode 👽

In Week 8, Joe Burrow boarded the Bengals' team plane in an alien mask — then went into alien mode in a dominant performance against one of the NFL's best teams. That was a welcome sight for the Bengals, eight weeks into a season where the franchise QB has mostly looked like anything but himself. Today, we revisit the team's tumultuous start, and the injury that threatened to derail Cincy’s Super Bowl hopes before the season got underway. Guest: Paul Dehner Jr., The Athletic Listen to Hear That Podcast Growlin’ See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Nov 03, 2023
Butter Sculptures and Bobbleheads: Caitlin Clark Mania Grips Iowa

Iowa's Caitlin Clark rewrote almost every individual record in women's college basketball last season, and led the Hawkeyes to within a game of a national championship. What followed can only be described as "Caitlin Clark Mania" -- a series of honors that included everything from bobblehead dolls to a butter sculpture. lToday, we break down Clark's evolution as a player and her contributions to the rich legacy of women's basketball in Iowa. Plus, can she take her team to the promised land in what might be her final college season? Guest: Emma Baccellieri, Sports Illustrated Read Emma's full story about Caitlin Clark here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Nov 01, 2023
The Best World Series No One Asked For

It is the World Series showdown that basically no one saw coming: Bruce Bochy’s Wild Card Texas Rangers, against a team that finished 16 games back in their own division — Torey Lovullo and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Today, we break down the low points that both of these teams had to navigate just to get here. Plus, the story of the journeyman outfielder (Adolis Garcia) who knocked out the reigning champs, and the rookie outfielder (Corbin Carroll) whose power/speed combo helped lead Arizona to their first World Series trip in more than two decades. Guest: Stephen Nesbitt, The Athletic See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Oct 27, 2023
Poppin' Bottles: The Aces Are Champions Again

Last week, the Las Vegas Aces became the first back-to-back WNBA champions in more than two decades. And, as we have come to expect with the Aces, they let everyone know just how much fun they would be having at the championship parade. But along with all the winning and the highly visible fun, the Aces have also been quietly transforming the WNBA. Today, we explain how the Aces have gone from an idea to a budding dynasty that is now pushing women's basketball forward. Guest: Tashan Reed, The Athletic Read Tashan's full story about the Aces here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Oct 25, 2023
A Bold New Beginning For The Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks became the favorites to win the NBA title the moment they swung the blockbuster trade for Damian Lillard. But along with all the excitement from that trade, Milwaukee is also facing some big questions. How will this team respond to the loss of one of its most popular players, Jrue Holiday? Can they break the trend set by some recent super teams, with a first-year head coach in Adrian Griffin? And, after an unsettling summer, will Lillard's arrival calm concerns in Milwaukee that Giannis Antetokounmpo has one foot out the door? Guest: Eric Nehm, The Athletic See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Oct 20, 2023
Can The World's Fastest Man Save His Sport?

U.S.A. Track and Field star Noah Lyles caused quite a stir back in August when he called out NBA players for referring to themselves as “World Champions" after winning their league title. Several NBA All-Stars -- and even Drake -- took issue with his words, and did some verbal sparring online. But Lyles's comments were part of a wider campaign to elevate himself and his sport to new heights. Today, we take a closer look at one of track and field's brightest stars, why he attracts so much attention, and how he hopes to both resurrect and transcend his sport. Guest: Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times Read Andrew's Full Story Here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Oct 18, 2023
Listen Now: Six Trophies with Shea Serrano and Jason Concepcion

Shea Serrano and Jason Concepcion are back! And this time they’re combing through all the NBA news from the past week and handing out six pop culture-themed trophies to six basketball-related activities. Every week, superlatives will reign down on basketball culture like Steph Curry threes when Jason and Shea dish out hoops honors like they’re Stockton to Malone running a pick & roll. Was that too many analogies for one sentence? Hell yes, but get used to it! On this new NBA pop culture show from Wondery, the guys will honor the most magical and messy moments from the NBA and beyond by handing out hardware like  “The Step Brothers Catalina Wine Mixer” Trophy for the matchup they’re most excited about. Or “The Liam Neeson ‘I Have a Very Particular Set of Skills’ Trophy given to an aging player who proves they still got it. And on and on. Till the break of dawn. Enjoy Six Trophies with Shea Serrano and Jason Concepcion wherever you get your podcasts:  See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Oct 17, 2023
Greatest Show On Surf: The Dolphins' 'Revolutionary' Offense

Mike McDaniel, Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins have unleashed an offense that has taken the NFL by storm, with some of the fastest players in the league (including Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Raheem Mostert) powering them to point totals we haven’t seen since the 1960s. Today, we look at three key factors fueling the Miami offense, and whether the comparisons to the St. Louis Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” are valid. Guest: Mike Sando, The Athletic Read the full story here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Oct 13, 2023
'Just Play, Man': The NBA's Crackdown On Rest Days

The NBA has been wrestling with a thorny issue for several years now – star players sitting out regular season games, even when they’re healthy. Fans are mad about it. TV broadcasters are mad about it. And now, the NBA has put new rules in place to try and prevent it from happening. Will the rules work? Could they potentially backfire? And what's at stake for the league? Guest: Jon Krawczynski, The Athletic Read Jon's full story here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Oct 11, 2023
Listen Now to We Playin’ Spades

Influential rapper Waka Flocka and rising comedian Desi Banks are pulling up to the table every week with some of the biggest names in entertainment for no holds barred competition and convos where anything is up for debate!  We’re playing real spades just like at the family cookout. So no talking across the table and if you renege - Waka and Desi are gonna call you out! Celebrity guests better be tough or they will get run off the table. Join us every week on Wondery’s latest show for mad jokes, conversation and games as we dig into some of your favorite folks’ lives, get their insight on the world, and most importantly find out if they can handle themselves when it comes to playing spades. You can listen to We Playin’ Spades ad-free on Wondery Plus. Or watch all episodes on YouTube. Join Wondery Plus in the Wondery App or on Apple Podcasts.  See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Oct 06, 2023
Inside Ronald Acuña Jr.’s Season For The Ages

Ronald Acuña Jr. has had a season unlike any other in Major League Baseball history, becoming the first player with 40+ home runs and 70+ stolen bases in the same year. But leading up to this dream season, the Atlanta Braves outfielder endured a stretch of his career that was anything but a fairy tale. Today, we look at how Acuña went from his lowest point as a player, to heights that no one has ever reached. And, after a disappointing early exit last season, what can Acuña and the Braves do differently to bring another World Series back to Atlanta? Guest: David O'Brien, The Athletic Listen to the 755 Is Real podcast See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Oct 06, 2023
The Terrifying Moments After Bronny James' Collapse

What exactly happened when Bronny James collapsed on a USC basketball court in late July? How were his teammates impacted? Ryan Kartje of the LA Times brings us some new details, and discusses what all of this mean for Bronny's -- and LeBron's -- future. Guest: Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times Read Ryan's full story here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Oct 04, 2023
Cowboys + Navy SEALs = Super Bowl?

For months now, a single date has been etched into the minds of Dallas Cowboys players – February 11th, 2024 – the date of Super Bowl 58. And this year, the team looked for inspiration from a rather unlikely source: ex-Navy SEALs. Today, we look at why quarterback Dak Prescott organized this mental mission for his team. And, after a shocking loss to the Cardinals in Week 3 — and the loss of a star player – can their training give them the mental edge they need to still be playing in February? Guest: Jori Epstein, Yahoo! Sports Read the full story here See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Sep 29, 2023