Good Sport

Good Sport

There's no better way to understand our world than through sports. Epic wins. Heartbreaking losses. The feeling you get when you look a teammate in the eye. Sports reveal the strange and fascinating psychology that competition brings out in all of us. Good Sport dives into worlds like F1 racing, table tennis, NBA shooting, and beyond. Asking questions like: Is "the zone" a real place? What are talent hotbeds, and how do we create them? And… is it still baseball if you're wearing a giant banana suit? From host Jody Avirgan (30 for 30, FiveThirtyEight, Radiotopia) and the TED Audio Collective, Good Sport is your guide through an array of stadiums, pitches, pools and slopes that shed a light on the ups and downs of being human. A quick favor: We're doing a listener survey, and we'd love to know what you think of the show. Please take a few minutes and fill it out at Thanks!


March 29, 2023 36 mins

Competitive sports give athletes structure, community and purpose. And an outlet for their passion. So what happens when, because of injury or age, they can’t play anymore? Does the competitive drive find a new home? Or get slowly extinguished? Jody talks to aging expert Tracey Gendron, Olympian, turned chef, Dawn Burrell, and soccer legend Carli Lloyd about finding grace and direction when closing a chapter. Transcripts f...

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We often take gender for granted as a “natural” division in sports and life. But did you know the first decisions to divide sports into “male” and “female” categories were in many ways the result of women beating men in mixed gender competitions? In this episode, Jody chats with Veronica Ivy, a trans world cycling champion, about the pitfalls of dividing sports by gender. Then he hears from Laura Pappano, a journalist and ...

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March 15, 2023 28 mins

No one loves to lose. But even if you are a GOAT on a great AND lucky team (and sure, we can debate about who the GOAT is – drop us a line at, no one wins every time. So how do people who face loss after loss keep fighting to win? Jody speaks with Nikky McCray, a retired WNBA player who played on three All-Star teams and now coaches at Rutgers, about the secrets to perseverance. Then he chats with psycho...

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If a sport isn't thinking about how to entertain its fans, it usually doesn't last long. And with so much competing for our attention, what makes someone follow a specific team, or show up to a game? In this episode we look to two exploding fanbases: Formula One Racing and … Banana Ball? Jody speaks with Jessica Smetana and Spencer Hall, the co-hosts of the Formula One podcast “DNF”, about what Netflix has to do with F1’s ...

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March 1, 2023 29 mins

Stadiums are not just a place for sports fans to cheer on the home team – they’re also concert venues, convention centers and even serve as makeshift shelters in emergencies. Stadiums are important. So why does it seem that instead of enjoying them, cities end up dealing with the mess (and the bill) that dealmakers leave behind? In this episode, Jody talks to David Samson, the former president of the Miami Marlins, who was...

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February 22, 2023 33 mins

When it comes to sports, is there anything more evocative –and elusive– than “the zone”? That mythical place an athlete goes to where focus is laser-sharp, nothing can go wrong, and time just vanishes. In this episode, Jody talks to NBA All-Star great Steph Curry about what “the zone” means for him – and whether or not it even exists. Then Jody works on his mental game with sports psychologist Dr. Nicole Detling, and follo...

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What does it take to be a sports hot-take artist? And, could Jody do it? Sports debate shows aren’t always about facts – they’re about getting people to watch by any means necessary. And these shows pretty much wrote the playbook on how we debate across the media. In this episode, Jody gets coached on how to argue like a sportscaster from sports television host and friend Katie Nolan, and dives into the history of “televis...

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“Muck City”, Florida. Kinston, North Carolina. The courts of New York City in the 80s and 90s. These places share one unique trait: they found a way to produce a particular kind of great athlete, over and over. Is there something in the water – or is it something else? In our first episode, Jody talks to sports journalist Bomani Jones and Olympic table tennis coach Rajul Sheth about talent “hotbeds”, the role opportunity a...

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January 10, 2023 3 mins

What can sports teach us about life – and each other? Hosted by veteran sports producer Jody Avirgan, Good Sport brings you invigorating stories from on and off the field to argue that sports are as powerful and compelling a lens as any to understand the world – from what happens when you age out of a sport, to how we do or don't nurture talent, to analyzing how sports arguments have become the mode for all arguments. Good...

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