Is Manny Machado a dirty player? Could LeBron be a player-coach? These, plus more topics

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How dirty a player is Manny Machado? Could LeBron work as a player-coach in the NBA? And what sort of repercussions might the bad officiating in the NFL have beyond the game?

Those are among the topics sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek discuss on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

Greg recaps his ultimate football weekend in South Bend and Cleveland with Notre Dame and the Browns. Colin explains why he was fighting with a 6-year-old girl at the WWE’s Smackdown1000 event in Washington D.C., and Josh shares why he is being forced to watch his beloved Minnesota Vikings in real time again.

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Can a melee be a good thing? UFC 229 antics, MLB playoffs and NFL week 4

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After a post-fight melee in the main event at UFC 229, mixed martial arts comes into focus on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

Did the sport really suffer at all from the antics of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor before, during or after their fight? Or was it all just part of the spectacle that helps drive big business for the UFC? Sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek weigh in on this.

Plus, the guys reflect on the NFL weekend that was, chat about the baseball playoffs and preview the upcoming NBA season. Greg also grills Josh about his first weekend in a long time without live Minnesota Vikings football.

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Thanks to rules, the NFL is changing before our eyes

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The face of the NFL is changing dramatically due to the way it’s being officiated. Not only are the rules making it impossible to play defense, creating ridiculously high-scoring games and allowing average quarterbacks to set passing records with regularity, the way they are being interpreted is also having a direct impact on the outcome of games.

On this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek dive heavily into this topic and their overall dissatisfaction with the way the game is being officiated. What can be done about it? Will anything be done about it?

Bad and aggravating football has eaten into the quality of Josh’s life to the point that he has vowed to stop watching his beloved Minnesota Vikings or check his phone for updates in real time. Hear about his new approach on this episode.

Also, the Orioles have parted ways with manager Buck Showalter. What type of person should they be seeking to lead the team? And just how close did Colin come to winning big at the sports book?

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Jeff Pearlman, best-selling author of “Football For a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL”

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Jeff Pearlman, best-selling author formerly of Sports Illustrated, is the guest on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast to discuss his new book on the United States Football League, titled “Football For a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL.”

Pearlman tells sports editor Josh Smith and host Greg Swatek about his passion for the league and how a 40-page essay he wrote about it in high school provided the internal jump-start necessary for him to ultimately land the book. He shares stories about some of league’s quirks and how prominent local sports figures like Frederick’s Chuck Foreman and former Redskins coach George Allen played into its history. Plus, he recounts how Donald Trump served as the catalyst for the league’s demise after a three-year run.

The author also talks about why he guaranteed his mother he would one day work for Sports Illustrated, the memorable profile he wrote for SI about former Atlanta Braves reliever John Rocker, the future of the NFL and other upstart football leagues and what it takes to be an extremely successful journalist.

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NFL rules changes and how they're influencing the outcome of games

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NFL rule changes are now influencing the outcomes of games, and that’s what sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek dive into on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

In both of the ties during the first two weeks of the NFL season, the outcome has been directly affected by the new interpretation of the roughing-the-passer penalty. First, the league admitted that Browns pass rusher Myles Garrett was erroneously flagged for sacking Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during a 21-21 tie in Week 1. Instead of settling for a field-goal try, the penalty gave the Steelers’ drive new life, and they scored a touchdown on the next play.

Then, last Sunday, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews was flagged for taking down Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins on what appeared to be a textbook sack, negating what would have been a game-ending interception and Green Bay win. The teams played on to a 29-29 tie. 

The guys discuss whether this is the new normal in the NFL and whether players, coaches and fans should condition themselves to these types of calls being made.

Plus, the guys weigh in the poor attendance at Redskins games, Greg and Colin make a bet ahead of the Browns-Jets game and the Orioles hit a historic low.

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Was Serena Right? The guys debate. Also, Colin loses a bet based on Greg's football picks

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Serena Williams’ loss to Naomi Osaka in the U.S. Open final, more specifically the manner in which she lost, certainly drew a strong reaction across the sports world, and that topic dominates the discussion this week on Just Another Sports Podcast.

Sports editor Josh Smith and features editor Colin McGuire sharply disagree with host Greg Swatek about the way the event unfolded and how it should be perceived. Josh and Colin argue that chair umpire Carlos Ramos overstepped his bounds in citing Serena for infractions that aren’t commonly called, and that, as one of the finest champions in all of sports on one of the grandest stages in tennis, Serena should have been afforded more leeway in terms of blowing off some steam. Greg, on the other hand, counters that the umpire was simply doing his job, although by the strictest letter of the law, and that Serena’s reaction was unnecessary and over the top. 

Tune in to hear how the debate plays out. They all agree it was a sad moment that tarnished what should have been a career-defining and life-changing moment for Osaka.

The guys also discuss in detail the opening week of the NFL season, and Colin laments some poor betting advice that Greg allegedly gave him.

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Maryland's upset over Texas, Saban's outburst and Nike makes Kaepernick the face of their ad campaign

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Maryland upset Texas for the second consecutive year. Nick Saban is snapping at reporters for asking legitimate questions. The NFL season is about to start, and Nike just made Colin Kaepernick the face of a major ad campaign.

Sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek dive into all of that and more on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

Does Maryland’s big win over Texas say more about the Terrapins and the Longhorns? And has any college football program underachieved more than Texas in recent seasons?

Why are college football coaches like Jim Harbaugh and Nick Saban made by adoring fan bases to be more than what they are, which are mistake-prone individuals who don’t win every big game?

As the NFL season starts, what teams are likely to surprise and what teams are likely to disappoint? And Colin explains why he feels Nike’s ad campaign with Colin Kaepernick was so powerful and important.

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Should the NFL keep or eliminate preseason games to extend the regular season?

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Is the NFL preseason fixable? That’s a subject sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek tackle on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

While nobody likes the preseason, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious solution to fix it. The owners are open to converting two of the preseason games into regular seasons games that count, thus creating an 18-game schedule, but the players cite safety concerns. The players and fans would like some of the preseason games to just be eliminated, but the owners cite a loss of revenue.

Does it even matter in the grand scheme of things that the preseason is so flawed? Or will it just always be something that everyone has to live with in its current format?

Plus, the guys touch on Tom Brady’s refusal to talk about his trainer in radio interviews, the start of the college football season and some of their favorite sports movies. Colin is also very excited about the opening of a sports book at the casino and race track in Charles Town, West Virginia.

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How many at Maryland need to go? Urban Meyer's suspension and the Nats seem to throw in the towel

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On this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek wonder why the University of Maryland has not yet fired football coach DJ Durkin. And should the removal of leadership in College Park stop with Durkin?

The corrosive culture of college football is once again under the microscope. Why were fans camped out on lawn chairs at Ohio State while coach Urban Meyer met with university officials about his future? Was Meyer’s three-game suspension adequate punishment or did he deserve to be fired to after tolerating an alleged domestic violence episode involving one of his assistants? Will anything ever change about the way big-time college football programs operate?

Plus, the Nationals essentially throw in the towel on their season. The Redskins signed Adrian Peterson. And the guys find another way to do a Tiger Woods segment.

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Reactions to the death of a UMD football player and culture that led to it

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On this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, the culture of football comes into focus.

As controversial training methods with the University of Maryland football program that contributed to the death of a player came to light, sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek discuss the public’s and media’s reaction to the story and how the university should handle its ongoing fallout.

While Terrapins coach DJ Durkin is likely to lose his job, should Ohio State Urbana Meyer keep his after he reportedly knew that one of his assistants physically abused his wife and kept him on the staff? Does Meyer’s success as a coach insulate him more than it should? Is anything likely to change about how big-time college treat their players or prepare them for games?

The guys also discuss Tiger Woods’ second-place finish at the PGA Championship, the Nationals’ fizzling playoff hopes and the impressive play of some NFL rookie quarterbacks in training camp and the preseason. 

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Redecorating the baseball Hall

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On the heels of Hall of Fame weekend for pro football, this episode of Just Another Sports Podcast takes a hard look at the Baseball Hall of Fame and who should be in and, more specifically, who shouldn't?

FNP managing editor Chris Kinsler joins sports editor Josh Smith and host Greg Swatek for this special episode. Kinsler is embarking on an ambitious product of chopping the Baseball Hall of Fame down to the 100 most deserving players, according to him.

Kinsler feels the Hall of Fame is somewhat watered down by many players who were very good players, but don't quite fit the stature of being worthy of the Hall.

The guys discuss some of the most prominent guys who should not be in, as well as some of the most egregious snubs. Kinsler also shows off his encyclopedic baseball knowledge by discussing in detail some of the more obscure players who have been enshrined.

What inspired this project? And how does he retain all of this information? Kinsler tells us on this week's episode.

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Orioles #EmptyTheNest, Nationals' decision not to trade Harper, and other goings on in the NFL & NBA

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In this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, hosts Colin McGuire, Josh Smith and fill-in Allen Etzler talk the Nationals holding onto Bryce Harper, the Orioles cleaning house and the battle for supremacy in the AL East between the Red Sox and Yankees in an MLB post-trade deadline special. The trio also look ahead to Lamar Jackson’s debut in the NFL Hall of Fame Game and the reported fight between the NBA’s Draymond Green and Tristan Thompson.

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Special guest- Washington Post columnist Barry Svrluga

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In the midst of an eventful summer on the D.C. sports landscape, Washington Post columnist Barry Svrluga joins sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

Svrluga, who built his reputation on covering a wide sports very well, shares his insights and perspective on the Capitals’ Stanley Cup run, the struggling Nationals, the chances that Bryce Harper stays in Washington and the recent resurgence of Tiger Woods.

After two solid months of regularly covering the Capitals run to the Cup, did the thrill of the story outweigh the grind and all of the late nights while on the chase? And, following years of failure, why were the Capitals finally able to break through this season?

How concerned should the Nationals be with a below .500 record in the final week of July? How much money will Bryce Harper command on the open market? How close is Tiger Woods to actually winning? And just how is he able to stay on top of so many sports and cover them all so well?

Svrluga also talks about the road that led him to becoming a sports columnist at the Post. After graduating from Duke University, he covered sports in the small town of Portland, Maine as well as Raleigh, North Carolina. He also shares his thoughts on the Post has become an industry leader in terms of putting female sports writers on prominent beats. 

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MLB All-Star Game, Machado's Trade to the Dodgers and the Spurs' Kawhi Leonard to Toronto

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On this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast, host Greg Swatek and features editor Colin McGuire welcome News-Post managing editor Chris Kinsler, who is filling in for a vacationing Josh Smith.

Chris, a former sports writer and very knowledgeable sports fan, shares his experience of attending Monday’s Major League Baseball Home Run Derby at Nationals Park with his family. The guys also discuss whether the MLB All-Star Game has lost any of it’s luster. Where does it rank compared to all-star games in other sports?

Plus, there are a pair of major trades that are pending. The Orioles are on the verge of sending Manny Machado to the L.A. Dodgers for a handful of prospects, and, in the NBA, the Spurs are about to trade disgruntled Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors. The guys react to these moves and share their thoughts on the latest NBA news in general.

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The World Cup final is set, Colin offers his takes on recent NBA news, plus the lack of buzz surounding the MLB All-Star Game

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Features editor Colin McGuire returns this week only to find that sports editor Josh Smith is off tending to family obligations. Nonetheless, Colin and host Greg Swatek have a myriad of topics to discuss.

A surprising World Cup final is set between France and Croatia. What has this tournament told us about its future? Who will the stars be four years from now? Is expanding the tournament a good idea?

After missing last week, Colin offers his takes on all of the big NBA news, including LeBron to the Lakers and DeMarcus Cousins to the Warriors. Is Golden State as unstoppable as everyone thinks it is?

Plus, with the Major League Baseball All-Star Game set to take place in Washington in less than a week, why hasn’t there been more buzz about the game in this area? What are some reasonable steps that can be taken to improve baseball? How much of the game is fixable?

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NBA super-teams, looming decisions for the O's and Nats, local Ninja Warrior Jessie Graff

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With features editor Colin McGuire wandering around and hopefully not lost in the woods this week, sports editor Josh Smith holds down the fort with host Greg Swatek on this episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

All of the big NBA news over the past week is discussed in detail. Is the future of the NBA as we know it in peril since All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins signed with the Warriors? What sort of impact will LeBron James have with the Lakers? Will Dwight Howard help the Wizards become more of a contender?

In baseball, major decisions have to be made about the Orioles' future by the end of the month. What should they do? Will the people making the major decisions be around much longer? Plus, why are the Nationals struggling so badly? And why doesn’t there seem to more of a buzz around the All-Star Game being in Washington in two weeks?

Josh and Greg name the best athletes they have watched in person in every major sport. They also share their thoughts on the World Cup and Tiger Woods as the pied piper of golf.

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The Struggling O's, Josh's faith in the Nats as a championship contender, World Cup and Phil Mickelson

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Back and refreshed after a week off, sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek make the most out of a dead period on the sports calendar on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

The guys touch on the struggles of the local professional baseball teams. With nothing left to play for this season, what sort of moves should the Orioles be making as the trade deadline approaches? Is it even worth considering the idea they would leave Baltimore if the dispute over the MASN TV money doesn’t go their way?

Josh reaffirms his faith in the Nationals as championship contenders even though they haven’t been playing that well lately. Bryce Harper is not exactly lighting it up in a contract year. So, how much would he really be worth on the free-agent market?

Plus, the World Cup, Phil Mickelson’s controversy at the U.S. Open, potential landing spots for LeBron James in free agency and old-time professional wrestlers, including Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) who will be appearing at a Frederick Keys game this week, are discussed.

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Caps' Cup win and subsiquent extended celebration, heartbreak for LeBron, Justify, Nadal and more

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Entering what would normally be considered a dead period on the sports calendar, there is no shortage of topics for sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek to dive into on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast.

The Capitals won the Stanley Cup and celebrated (and celebrated!) for days. The NBA Finals ended with another championship for the Golden State Warriors and more drama from LeBron. Justify became the 13th horse to take the sport's Triple Crown, and Rafael Nadal won his record 11th championship at the French Open.

All of these topics are addressed in detail, in addition to very early thoughts on the World Cup and the U.S. Open. Plus, do other horses really react to Justify in a different way? This episode is as pleasing to listen to as the voice of late wrestling manager Paul Bearer or a Nadal grunt. Tune in to find out.

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Stanley Cup fever, NBA finals, and thoughts on Justify's chances of winning the Triple Crown

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With Stanley Cup fever raging around the Washington Capitals, sports editor Josh Smith, features editor Colin McGuire and host Greg Swatek offer their thoughts on the series on this week’s episode of Just Another Sports Podcast. Colin share his experience of being outside the arena for last Saturday’s Game 3 with a sea of red-wearing and surprisingly sober (alcohol could not be legally consumed outside of the bars) hockey fans.

Then, the guys offer their take on the NBA Finals and the steady march to another seemingly inevitable championship for the Golden State Warriors. Will the Golden State dynasty chase LeBron James out of Cleveland again? Where is the most logical spot for him to land if he does leave?

Plus, how foolish was now-departed 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo to use burner Twitter accounts to respond to critics? Will Justify capture the Triple Crown, and what sort of impact would that have on interest in horse racing? 

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NBA finals game 1, then, did the Caps' win over Vegas in game 2 break their playoffs jinx?

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Later in the week than usual, host Greg Swatek, features editor Colin McGuire and sports editor Joshua R. Smith — not J.R. Smith — discuss the mind-bending NBA Finals Game 1 win by the Golden State Warriors, who survived to win in overtime partially thanks to a mental blunder by the Cavaliers' most mistake-prone player.

How badly did J.R. Smith — not Joshua R. Smith — hamper Cleveland's chances at winning the series when he failed to go up for a shot after rebounding a missed free throw by teammate George Hill with the game tied and less than 5 seconds left Thursday night?

The guys ponder just what's with these star-studded Warriors, who seem content to coast except for a few big surges in each game. They also consider what LeBron James will have to do to further lead his team in this series, after dropping a 51-point gem in defeat.

How about the Washington Capitals? Did their Game 2 win over Vegas in the Stanley Cup final — which is tied 1-1 — finally break their playoff jinx?

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