Good Seats Still Available

Good Seats Still Available

“Good Seats Still Available” is a curious little podcast devoted to the exploration of what used-to-be in professional sports. Each week, host Tim Hanlon interviews former players, owners, broadcasters, beat reporters, and surprisingly famous "super fans" of teams and leagues that have come and gone - in an attempt to unearth some of the most wild and woolly moments in (often forgotten) sports history.... Show More

Episodes

This week, we offer a refresher course in the history of forgotten pro sports leagues with veteran newspaper editor, current long-form author and fellow defunct sports enthusiast Stephen Provost – whose recent book A Whole Different League is an essential primer for anyone seeking an entrée into the genre. Provost serves up a smorgasbord of highlights gleaned from his personal memories of and research into the various nooks and cra... Read more

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After more than 40 years of covering the “beautiful game,” Newsday sportswriter and FrontRowSoccer.com editor Michael Lewis (Soccer for Dummies) knows more than a thing or two about the evolution of soccer in this country.  A self-professed “Zelig of soccer,” the NYC-based Lewis has covered some of the sport’s most important events, including eight World Cups, seven Olympic tournaments, and all 23 MLS Cups (and counting) – not to m... Read more

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We cap off the long Memorial Day holiday weekend with a look back at one of the New York metropolitan area’s most memorable sports stadiums of yore – the Polo Grounds – with author and Minnesota Twins official scorer Stew Thornley (The Polo Grounds: Essays and Memories of New York City's Historic Ballpark, 1880-1963). The “Polo Grounds” was actually the name of multiple structures across upper Manhattan during its history.  As its ... Read more

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Just weeks after its sudden collapse, we take our first look at the brief life of the Alliance of American Football with Sports Illustrated football writer and MMQB NFL podcast host Conor Orr (The Curious Rise and Spectacular Crash of the Alliance of American Football; More Strange Tales from the Collapse of the AAF). Inspired by his work producing the 2017 documentary This Was the XFL for ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series, director Cha... Read more

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Long-time South Florida Sun-Sentinel soccer columnist Jeff Rusnak joins to discuss the rich past, transitional present and promising future of one of American pro soccer’s most venerable, yet historically underrated venues – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida’s Lockhart Stadium. Originally built in 1959 as an American football and track venue for four high schools in the region and named after a former city commissioner, the modest bleacher-c... Read more

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WKKY-FM radio personality and sports author Gary Webster (The League That Didn’t Exist) helps us return to the curious story of the All-America Football Conference – the well-funded upstart that competed directly with the NFL in the late 1940s for supremacy of the still-fledgling sport of US pro football. After being rebuffed by the NFL to expand, influential Chicago Tribune sports editor (and baseball and college football All-Star... Read more

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Author Ken Krsolovic (League Park: Historic Home of Cleveland Baseball, 1891-1946) joins the podcast to go deep into the history and legacy of Cleveland’s first major league sports stadium. Originally built for the National League’s Cleveland Spiders, team owner Frank Robison strategically built the wood-constructed League Park at the corner of Lexington Avenue and Dunham (now East 66th) Street in the city’s Hough neighborhood, whe... Read more

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Professional union labor lawyer and Society for American Soccer History sports historian Steve Holroyd returns to the podcast to go deep into one of the more curious rabbit holes in North American Soccer League history. In early 1977, Ed Garvey, a labor lawyer and head of the newly-formed National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), recruited Washington Diplomats midfielder John Kerr to help gauge interest among his teamma... Read more

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We’re stuck in the minors again this week – this time with Microsoft News senior managing editor and former newspaper sportswriter David Herman (Almost Yankees: The Summer of ’81 and the Greatest Baseball Team You’ve Never Heard Of) – as we discuss the memorable story and unique circumstances of the 1981 championship season of the International League’s Columbus Clippers, the then-flagship farm club of the New York Yankees. Longtim... Read more

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Longtime USA Today sports writer/producer César Brioso (Last Seasons in Havana: The Castro Revolution and the End of Professional Baseball in Cuba) joins the show to explore the rich parallel histories of America’s and Cuba’s shared national pastime – and the colorful period of the late 1950s/early 1960s when it appeared baseball in the island nation was mainstreaming its way into eventual US major league status. During much of the... Read more

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Documentary filmmakers Jason Reid and Adam Brown (Sonicsgate: Requiem for a Team) join host Tim Hanlon to discuss the long, tortuous and acrimoniously messy departure of the NBA’s iconic Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City in the summer of 2008 – a story newly relevant as the “Emerald City” prepares to welcome a new NHL expansion franchise, and as former owner (and Starbucks CEO Emeritus) Howard Schultz publicly explores a run for... Read more

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In a league uniquely rich in comic misadventures and financial disasters, perhaps no one franchise from the World Football League’s inaugural 1974 season stood out more for its own brand of woeful ineptitude than the Detroit Wheels. Saddled from inception by an unwieldy ownership group of 33 different founding investors – including Motown Records superstar Marvin Gaye and Little Caesar’s Pizza founder (and budding Detroit pro sport... Read more

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On a cold and ominous Sunday, December 7, 1941, Major League Baseball’s owners were gathered in Chicago for their annual winter meetings, just two months after one of the sport’s greatest seasons. For the owners, the dramatic news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor earlier that morning was not only an assault on the United States, but also a direct threat to the future of the national pastime itself. League owners were immediat... Read more

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We celebrate our second anniversary with the intriguing background story of the original Major Indoor Soccer League, with the man who started it all – Ed Tepper.  A commercial real estate developer by trade, Tepper actually got his start in pro sports ownership as the owner of the original National Lacrosse League’s Philadelphia Wings – only to switch allegiances to an inchoate indoor offshoot of the world’s most popular sport afte... Read more

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World Football League researcher extraordinaire Mark Speck (And a Dollar Short: The Empty Promises, Broken Dreams, and Somewhat-Less-Than-Comic Misadventures of the 1974 Florida Blazers) returns to the podcast to discuss the incredible story of Orlando’s first professional sports franchise – and the crazy challenger football league that hastened both its creation and demise. The Florida Blazers actually originated in late 1973 as t... Read more

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Legendary New York Yankees baseball play-by-play man John Sterling joins host Tim Hanlon for a cavalcade of career memories from his 50+ year journey in sports broadcasting – including a treasure trove of stops along the way with previously incarnated or otherwise defunct teams (and leagues). Now celebrating his 30th consecutive season with the Bronx Bombers, Sterling’s unique vocal stylings have become synonymous with some of the ... Read more

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We celebrate our 100th(!) episode with one of the founding owners of the pioneering World Hockey Association – and the man ultimately responsible for the absorption of four its teams into the NHL in the “don’t-call-it-a-merger” of 1979.  Hollywood film producer and original New England Whalers founder/owner Howard Baldwin (Slim and None: My Wild Ride from the WHA to the NHL and All the Way to Hollywood) joins host Tim Hanlon for a ... Read more

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February 11, 2019 86 min

You know him today as the long-time television play-by-play voice of Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals.  But before becoming one of the baseball’s most admired and durable broadcasters, Bob Carpenter cut his professional teeth in the burgeoning (but ultimately fleeting) American pro soccer scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s as the lead “man-behind-the-mic” for such iconic teams as the NASL's Tulsa Roughnecks and the... Read more

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As another NFL season closes, we shift gears toward the forthcoming Alliance of American Football – the first of two new leagues attempting to again extend the pro game into viable Spring season play – where the USFL, World League of American Football and NFL Europe have famously tried before.  The other – both in 2001 and in a reincarnated form coming next year – was and is the XFL, which we finally sink our teeth into for the fir... Read more

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Win or lose in next week’s Super Bowl LIII, the five-time NFL champion New England Patriots are already guaranteed a spot in the annals of pro football history as one of the sport’s most dominant teams – especially when viewed through the truncated lens of the last two decades. That said, a legion of successful clubs over the league’s prior eight decades – such as the Green Bay Packers of 1929-44 (and much of the 1960s); the 1981-9... Read more

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