O.J.'s new Twitter account, the Raptor's surprise championship and the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach

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With Josh Smith on vacation this week, city editor Allen Etzler and sports writer Joe Ferraro pick up the slack on this week's episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

Allen and Joe join host Greg Swatek to discuss O.J. Simpson's emergence on Twitter. What does it say about our society and culture that a disgraced public figure like O.J. can attract a large following on a social media platform like Twitter? And how must the Brown and Goldman families feel about this?

The guys also discuss the end of the NBA Finals and the Toronto Raptors' surprise championship, the Anthony Davis trade to the Lakers and how the upcoming free-agent period might shake out.

Plus, since Josh isn't around, the guys get a chance to talk about golf and Gary Woodland's inspiring triumph in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

And who is banished to The Boat to Nowhere this week?

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Durant's injury, shifting NBA Landscape

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The NBA landscape is shifting dramatically with Kevin Durant’s serious injury, the possible trade of Anthony Davis and the conclusion of the NBA Finals.

That dominates the discussion on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, as sports editor Josh Smith and host Greg Swatek are joined by the FNP’s resident IT and craft-beer guru Chris Sands, the host of The Uncapped Podcast.

The guys also talk also touch on the Women’s World Cup, the French Open final, the difficulties that college athletes face, and the ways that Twitter annoys them, especially its tendency to make things way more than they actually are.

Chris also shares his insights on the craft-beer scene and bringing a drink to market with his face on the label.

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Chewing the fat about a huge boxing upset

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Quickly dismissed for his appearance, Andy Ruiz Jr. stunned the boxing world Saturday by upsetting unbeaten British heavyweight Anthony Joshua, whose chiseled physique stood in sharp contract to his own.

On this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, sports editor Josh Smith, city editor Allen Etzler and host Greg Swatek discuss the ramifications of Ruiz’s victory and whether boxing could enjoy a bit of resurgence in this country with a group of talented and outspoken heavyweights leading the charge.

They also discuss how rich they would have to be to feel good about dropping six figures on NBA Finals tickets, as some people in Oakland are doing, and whether the Warriors are more vulnerable now with key injuries piling up?

Plus, who is banished to the Boat to Nowhere, and does the Dice Man (Andrew Dice Clay) still have it?

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A sports/life hypothetical

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Here's the scenario: You have the opportunity to take 10 3-pointers from behind the NBA line. If you make one, you are awarded $1 billion. If you don't make one, you are sentenced to a year in maximum-security prison. Would you accept this challenge and the risks associated with it?

That's a hypothetical question that sports editor Josh Smith, FNP managing editor Chris Kinsler and host Greg Swatek tackle on this week's episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

The guys also touch on the NBA Finals matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors and the life and career of Bill Buckner, a solid major league player who is wrongfully blamed for costing the Boston Red Sox the 1986 World Series against the Mets.

Plus, they throw more people on the Boat to Nowhere, discuss why the College World Series is an underrated event on the sports calendar and mention the worst first pitch anyone has ever seen.

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Contemplating the Great Dubs, awful O's and Nat's

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Are the Golden State Warriors one of the most underappreicated teams in sports? Are the struggling Orioles even worse than people thought? And are the Nationals already out of contention in late May?

These are among the questions sports editor Josh Smith, sports writer Joe Ferraro and host Greg Swatek tackle on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

Even without arguably the league’s best player in Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors still seem to be the best team in the NBA by a considerable margin. As they play in the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive season and go after their fourth championship in that span, do Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson get enough credit for rising above any obstacle that is thrown before them? Will it even matter if Durant decides to leave in free agency?

The Orioles, meanwhile, are giving up home runs at a record pace, having already surrendered more than 100 this season. Even with minimal expectations this season, their level of play has been alarmingly bad. Will the rebuilding of the franchise be a longer and more challenging process than even people within the organization thought? And who should the Orioles be targeting in the upcoming draft?

The Nationals, on the other hand, have one of the worst bullpens in baseball and a manager on the hot seat. Are their issues too significant and too numerous to overcome or do they still have time to save their season?

Plus, how entertaining was the riderless horse in the Preakness? And why wasn’t Maximum Security running in the race? And who is being thrown on the Boat to Nowhere this week?

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NBA draft lottery/a game 7 buzzer-beater

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With Kawhi Leonard’s Game 7 buzzer-beater and the draft lottery, there are no shortage of NBA topics to discuss on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

Sports editor Josh Smith and host Greg Swatek are joined by FNP sports writer Joe Ferraro. They talk about the New Orleans Pelicans winning the NBA lottery and how good of a pro that the presumed No. 1 pick, Duke’s Zion Williamson, figures to be. They also talk about the absurd improbability of Kawhi Leonard’s game-winning shot dropping in to lift the Toronto Raptors over the Philadelphia 76ers in a second-round playoff series and, of course, who will make the NBA finals.

In addition, how much trouble are the slow-starting Washington Nationals in? Why is Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers so good despite not looking a day over 16 years old? And who is being thrown onto the Boat to Nowhere?

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Security Breach: Was the correct decision made at the Kentucky Derby?

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On the heels of a stunning Kentucky Derby, horse racing takes a rare turn in the spotlight on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

Sports editor Josh Smith and host Greg Swatek discuss Maximum Security being taken down as the 145th Derby champion after impeding the path of other horses during the race.

Was the correct decision made? Is all of this extra attention helping or hurting horse racing? And how close was the sport to ending as we know it?

The guys also return to a familiar theme: Who will be playing in the NBA Finals? The question is a little more relevant now that the The Finals are a lot closer and the Golden State Warriors dynasty is showing some subtle signs of waning. How much of a threat are Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, quietly the best team in the league all season, to their throne?

Plus, Branden Kline’s recent outing with the Orioles are discussed, including the first major-league victory for the Thomas Johnson High graduate. And are Josh and Greg simply too reasonable? Are they missing out on fame and fortune by not shouting at each other more with inane and irrational sports opinions?

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Ron Snyder, author of "A Season to Forget: The Story of the 1988 Baltimore Orioles"

With the Baltimore Orioles fully ensconced in a rebuild after a historically awful season, this week's episode focuses on an equally horrific Birds campaign from an earlier era. Sports reporter Greg Swatek and sports editor Josh Smith are joined by author Ron Snyder, whose book "A Season to Forget: The Story of the 1988 Baltimore Orioles" was released last week.

Snyder, who has been a journalist in Maryland for the past 20 years and graduated from Towson University with Josh, discusses what prompted him to revisit in detail a year in which the Orioles — once a model franchise in MLB — went 0-21 to start the season.

How did the team, which still had a core of players from the 1983 world championship roster, get so bad? What was it like for the players, who were part of a squad that became a national punchline and drew hordes of media to cover their train wreck of a start? In working on the book, what was it like for Snyder to reach out to former players about such a negative experience?

Snyder also touches on the moves Baltimore made that led to a surprising 1989 season — in which the upstart Orioles suddenly had baseball fans statewide asking "Why Not?" — and touches on the organization's current state.

Later, Greg and Josh provide tickets to some more worthy passengers for The Boat to Nowhere, including an entire NBA team and a certain rapper who can entertain the vessel's crowd.

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O's Call Up a Local, NFL Draft and NBA Playoffs

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In a momentous week for our hometown sports scene, sports editor Josh Smith, sports writer Joe Ferraro and host Greg Swatek react to the major-league call-up for TJ High School graduate Branden Kline.

Needing some insurance arms for Saturday’s doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins, the Orioles called up Kline, a 27-year-old right-handed pitcher, from Triple-A Norfolk, making him the 14th player born in Frederick County to reach the major leagues.

The guys react to Kline’s debut, which featured a 1-2-3 first inning of work and a bumpier second inning that saw him surrender a pair of home runs. They talk about why Kline’s physical and mental makeup make him ideally suited to be a major-league pitcher and what it might take to earn a more permanent spot on the Orioles’ roster.

They also talk about the NFL draft and the NBA playoffs, which offer some really appealing second-round match-ups. Plus, more people are banished to the Boat to Nowhere and maybe even a black hole.

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Tiger's comeback, Russell Wilson's contract and the Golden State v. Clippers series

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Tiger Woods authors a comeback for the ages at the Masters. Russell Wilson signs a record contract to remain the Seahawks’ quarterback. And the Golden State Warriors fall victim to a record comeback in the NBA playoffs.

Those are the big stories sports editor Josh Smith, city editor Allen Etzler and host Greg Swatek tackle this week on Just Another Sports Podcast.

First, Greg and Allen share what resonates the most to them about the Tiger comeback story. Then, Josh joins the discussion to talk about Russell Wilson’s contract extension and whether the Seahawks’ were wise to offer their quarterback $140 million dollars, including $65 million guaranteed, over 50 years under the auspices of an artificial deadline imposed by Wilson and his agent. They also discuss how vulnerable the Golden State Warriors may or may not be following their 31-point meltdown against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of their playoff series and the serious injury to starting center DeMarcus Cousins.

Plus, the guys banish more people, including a certain Commander-In-Chief, to the Boat to Nowhere and Allen offers some good insights on his lengthy profile of local MMA fighters that appeared in the FNP sports section last Sunday.

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Going behind the scenes at the Final Four with a Swatek (no, not that Swatek)

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This week on Just Another Sports Podcast, sports editor Josh Smith and host Greg Swatek are joined by Greg’s younger brother, Brian, who experienced Final Four weekend in Minneapolis as a sports marketing representative for Under Armour. 

Brian talks in depth about the perks of his job and some of the cool places he gets to go and some of the cool people he gets to meet. He shares a story about a random interaction he had with Tom Brady at a company Preakness party.

But, as Under Armour’s basketball representative for both Auburn and Texas Tech, he mostly talks about his experience at the Final Four, some of the cool things and the interesting people he got to meet in Minneapolis, and the highs and lows he experienced with both of his teams.

The guys also touch on Masters weekend, the total dysfunction with the Lakers and the latest tirades from Antonio Brown. Plus, a new twist is introduced for the ever-crowded Boat to Nowhere.

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O's surprisingly good start, Harper's return to D.C. and Zion's exit from the NCAA Tournament

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The Orioles are off to a surprisingly good start. Bryce Harper returned to D.C. as a Phillie. And Zion Williamson and top-seeded Duke are out of the NCAA tournament.

Those are among the topics sports editor Josh Smith, city editor Allen Etzler and host Greg Swatek tackle on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

How much stock, if any, can be placed in the Orioles’ hot start? Bryce Harper gets booed out of Nationals Park in his first game against his former team. This surprises Greg, who was among those in attendance. And Duke becomes the latest high-profile casualty in the one-and-done era. How many players can you name in this year’s Final Four? And how much appeal does the tournament lose now that Zion is out of the mix?

Plus, Josh, Allen and Greg reflect on the amazing Virginia-Purdue tournament game last week and toss more people on the Boat to Nowhere, including a forever-slumping Oriole and a perfectly polite and well-meaning NFL quarterback.

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Adam Kilgore, national sports reporter for The Washington Post

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In this special episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, host Greg Swatek and sports editor Josh Smith talk with guest Adam Kilgore about his job as a national sports reporter for The Washington Post.

The Pulitzer Prize-winner discusses the impact of star tight end Rob Gronkowski's retirement from the Patriots, a team Kilgore covered closely during their recent run to the Super Bowl championship. He gives his take on how long New England's NFL dominance can last and discusses the morning-after web story he wrote that analyzed, with incredible depth, just how the Pats shut down the Los Angeles Rams' high-powered offense to win their sixth title.

Previously the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer, Kilgore talks about the paper's coverage of Bryce Harper's free agency and tells the guys what he thinks is the coolest part of being a sportswriter.

Also, Greg and Josh give an NFL quarterback his ticket to the Boat to Nowhere and recap some of their favorite moments from the first week of the NCAA tournament.

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Mike Trout's new deal, questions about LeBron's future and Robert Kraft's legal trouble

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Is Mike Trout’s new $430 million actually a bargain? Has LeBron James’ time as a dominant player come to an end? Is Robert Kraft making sound legal decisions?

Those are prime topics batted around this week on Just Another Sports Podcast. For the second consecutive week, FNP managing editor Chris Kinsler joins sports editor Josh Smith and host Greg Swatek to share his insights.

What does Trout’s new deal with the Angels say about Bryce Harper and the record deal he recently signed with the Phillies? Can the mismanagement of the Lakers be turned around with LeBron on the roster? And how confident should Kraft be that he can successfully fend off prostitution charges?

Plus, there is some bracket talk and more people are being thrown onto the Boat to Nowhere.

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NFL turned upside down with Odell Beckham Jr. headed to the Browns

After the Cleveland Browns turned the NFL upside down with the trade for Odell Beckham Jr., longtime fans of the team, Chris Kinsler and Greg Swatek, react on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

Chris, the FNP’s managing editor, and Greg, the podcast host, contemplate a world with sports editor Josh Smith where the normally sad-sack Browns are expected to compete for championships. They talk about how unimaginable this would have all been less than a year ago and how the team will manage its newfound status as league media darlings.

Plus, will the Raiders be a factor with Antonio Brown on their roster? Are the Warriors vulnerable to the Houston Rockets? Should the Lakers trade LeBron James? And who is being thrown onto the Boat to Nowhere?

Harper's move to the Phillies, LeBron and the Lakers fall apart, plus Kyler Murray's prospects

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Bryce Harper signed a record contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, the season has completely fallen apart for LeBron James and the Lakers, and Kyler Murray darted up draft boards at the NFL combine despite interview sessions that were reportedly less than stellar.

Those are the chief topics sports editor Josh Smith, city editor Allen Etzler and host Greg Swatek discuss on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

Were the Phillies smart to lock in for 13 years and $330 million with Harper? Does his signing the richest contract in baseball history significantly alter the balance of the National League East or change the fortunes for the Washington Nationals that much? What will happen with the Lakers now that it seems likely they will miss the playoffs? And is taking Murray with the No. 1 overall pick the no-brainer selection of the upcoming NFL draft?

Plus, Greg shares his experience behind the scenes at ESPN’s popular program, Pardon The Interruption.

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Should baseball change, will local pitcher Kline make the O's roster, and how will Kraft be disciplined?

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On this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, sports editor Josh Smith, city editor Allen Etzler and host Greg Swatek take on Robert Kraft’s stupidity for getting caught up in a prostitution sting, Bryce Harper’s never-ending free agency and how much or how little baseball should really change.

The guys express their utter lack of surprise that the longtime owner of the New England Patriots and one of the leader’s of the NFL’s good-ole boys network was charged late last week with soliciting a prostitute. The question now is what the NFL will do to discipline Kraft?

Why is Bryce Harper still a free agent and what is stopping him from signing a lucrative contract with spring training well under way? And how much can baseball really afford to change to appeal to new fans without losing it’s identity.

Plus, are LeBron and the Lakers going to miss the playoffs? And will Thomas Johnson High School graduate Branden Kline start the baseball season on the Orioles’ roster?

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Machado to the Padres, Kaepernick's settlement and should Zion shut it down?

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In a week full of sports news, FNP city editor Allen Etzler joins sports editor Josh Smith and host Greg Swatek on this episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

The guys react to Manny Machado signing with the San Diego Padres, Colin Kaepernick’s settlement with the NFL and Jim Boeheim’s car accident that resulted in a fatality.

They also ask whether Bryce Harper is simply asking for too much money over too long a period of time and whether Zion Williamson should ever play another basketball game for Duke.

Plus, who is being thrown onto The Boat to Nowhere? And how did Josh feel about his trip to the Happiest Place on Earth?

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Kareem Hunt back on a roster, but Bryce Harper and Manny Machado still unsigned

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Kareem Hunt is back on an NFL roster. Spring training is underway, but Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are still unsigned. And who is most deserving of the NBA's MVP award?

Those are the primary topics sports editor Josh Smith and host Greg Swatek dive into on this week's episode of Just Another Sports podcast.

How does Greg feel about his Cleveland Browns signing Kareem Hunt while under league investigation for assaulting a woman? And how does Hunt's case differ from Colin Kaepernick's and Ray Rice's?

Plus, will Bryce Harper and Manny Machado know where they will be playing by opening day? Will the Orioles be the worst team in baseball this season? And who is being thrown on the Boat to Nowhere that Colin McGuire is now captaining?

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Super Bowl postmortem, MLB rule changes and Colin says goodbye :-(

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On this week's episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, host Greg Swatek, sports editor Josh Smith and staff columnist Colin McGuire discuss whether the Super Bowl was as much of a bust as Maroon 5's halftime show.

They also open Medusa's Box for the debate about whether Patriots receiver Julian Edelman could be a Hall of Famer.

They try to determine if the radical rules changes proposed for Major League Baseball could actually make the game more popular and go over some of the biggest deals of the NBA trade deadline.

Finally, and (mostly) sadly, Greg and Josh send off Colin — who is stepping away from the podcast — by making him the skipper of the Boat To Nowhere, where he'll first toss a few occupants into the shark-infested waters before sailing into his new job at the News-Post.

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