Sports Wars

Sports Wars

Sports rivalries can fuel fans and athletes to fight and argue for years. But what’s the real story behind these epic battles? From Wondery, the company behind “Business Wars”, “Gladiator” and “The Lead” comes SPORTS WARS, a new series that offers an immersive look at some of the greatest athletic rivalries of all time: two superpower nations facing off in the Miracle on Ice. The battle for the starting quarterback gig in Green Bay between Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. And many more. Host Dan Rubenstein (Sports Illustrated, SB Nation) will take you from the grudge matches to the pranks, from the tantrums to the triumphs: what really happened, who was right, who was wrong -- and you can decide whose side you’re on.... Show More

Episodes

Tiger Woods has hit rock bottom. His affairs are a public sensation, and his injuries have left him immobile. Now, as he faces an indefinite break from golf, he has to search his soul. And he has to make a decision. Where does he go from here?

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April 7, 2020 7 min

The coronavirus outbreak and the global response to it is unprecedented. How did we get here? What comes next?

Author Steven Johnson is an authority on the epidemics of the past, and how lessons that humanity learned decades ago might help us fight a pandemic in our present. Every week on Fighting Coronavirus, Steven will talk to experts in health and technology about ways innovations and interventions can help bring the current cri...

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Debilitating knee pain. A potentially devastating scandal. The loss of his father. For Tiger Woods, the struggles are adding up. And now, he’ll have to compete with the greatest opponent of his life: himself.

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Tiger Woods continues to soar. As for his dad, Earl? Not so much. Earl's life keeps spiraling downward, and yet, something hidden in his past will soon unite father and son.

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March 20, 2020 35 min

The numbers are staggering: 82 official PGA Tour event wins. Fifteen majors. Opponent after opponent, course after course—all vanquished. In many ways, Tiger Woods doesn't have a typical rival. But he does face enormous obstacles, from his difficult father, Earl, to his own outsized ambitions. Both will propel and haunt him throughout his career. But first, he'll need to learn to swing a club.

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Sam Roberts is the host of the Notsam Wrestling Podcast. He’s also a WWE panelist, and co-hosts Jim Norton & Sam Roberts, on SiriusXM. He and Dan dive into the wide-reaching impact of Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock.

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Stone Cold Steve Austin has had enough. He’s tired of Vince McMahon. Tired of the WWE. But he can’t walk away yet. Not if The Rock has anything to say about it. Because even though they’re heading in different directions, they’ve got a battle ahead of them—a fight for the ages, in WrestleMania 19.


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The Rock has launched from WWF star to household name. But life isn’t so hot for Stone Cold Steve Austin. He’s bruised and beaten down. He feels exhausted. And then it gets worse. An old star decides to make a comeback, and that threatens to steal away the spotlight from Steve Austin.

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Stone Cold Steve Austin finally has the title belt. And with it, he ushers in a new era for the WWF. But there’s a catch. To stay at the top, he’ll need to join forces with his biggest competition: The Rock.

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Dwayne Johnson is about to make a big change. Because right now, his character Rocky Maivia has some serious problems. Just ask the fans. As for Steve Austin? He's facing one of the most consequential injuries of his life.

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Leg drops. Piledrivers. Battles with metal folding chairs. It’s the wild, over-the-top world of professional wrestling, where anything goes. And beginning in the 1990s, wrestling saw one of its great rivalries, as two stars competed for the top spot. One was a grizzled veteran on his last legs. The other: a bright-eyed rookie looking to redeem himself. It was Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock, and the two would go on to change w...

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*In light of Kobe Bryant's tragic passing, we're re-airing our series on the rivalry between Kobe and Shaquille O'Neal.* It’s all over. Or is it? Kobe and Shaq no longer play for the same team, and their relationship seems like it’s slowly evolving from rivalry to brotherhood. But everything changes when, years after they retire, tragedy strikes.

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*In light of Kobe Bryant's tragic passing, we're re-airing our series on the rivalry between Kobe and Shaquille O'Neal.* As the Lakers head into the 2003–2004 season, the team's two stars face their most significant challenges yet. On the court, Shaq’s dominance has started to fade. And off the court, serious allegations have marred Kobe’s once squeaky-clean image. With their personal and professional futures in lim...

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*In light of Kobe Bryant's tragic passing, we're re-airing our series on the rivalry between Kobe and Shaquille O'Neal.* They may be reigning champs, but things aren’t looking great for the Lakers as the 2000–2001 season gets underway. After a dispiriting loss, Kobe acknowledges he’s a ball hog. Shaq can’t make a free throw to save his life. And their ongoing feud spills into the press. So much for burying the hatchet.

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*In light of Kobe Bryant's tragic passing, we're re-airing our series on the rivalry between Kobe and Shaquille O'Neal.* 

It’s 1999 and Phil Jackson—the tai chi–practicing, sage-burning zen master—is now the Lakers’ head coach. He’s got his eye on a championship, but he knows the only way to get there is to teach Shaq some discipline and snap Kobe’s selfish streak. Easier said than done.

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*In light of Kobe Bryant's tragic passing, we're re-airing our series on the rivalry between Kobe and Shaquille O'Neal.* Kobe and Shaq are young, famous, handsomely paid, and diametrically opposed. Shaq, with his lifelong craving for adoration, tries to win over his teammates and position himself as the Lakers' top dog. As for Kobe, he couldn’t care less about camaraderie.

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*In light of Kobe Bryant's tragic passing, we're re-airing our series on the rivalry between Kobe and Shaquille O'Neal.* 


It’s 1996, and the Los Angeles Lakers are priming for greatness. First they sign the gargantuan, indomitable Shaquille O’Neal. Then they bring on a 17-year-old with epic potential: Kobe Bryant. What a coup, right? There’s only one problem. Shaq and Kobe can’t stand each other. (This is the first episo...


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January 31, 2020 33 min

Kelvin Washington is an anchor for Spectrum News 1, in Southern California, and can be heard nationally on Fox Sports Radio, among other outlets. He and Dan discuss Kobe Bryant’s legacy and influence, in the wake of Kobe's tragic passing. They also dig into Kobe’s relationship with former teammate Shaquille O’Neal.

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Chris Berman is a legendary sports broadcaster. He's hosted SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, and NFL Primetime. He joins Dan to chat about two historic football rivals: Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

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Father Time knocks on the door for Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. But the two legendary QBs refuse to answer. Manning, now 39 years old, fights tooth and nail, as he competes for another Super Bowl ring. But he’s got a big obstacle in his way. It’s a driven quarterback named Tom Brady.

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