Smell the Foam Finger

Learn about the history, culture, and reality of American sports.

  • 48: Halls of fame

    We discuss the halls of fame for the professional sports baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. There are committees. So many committees.

  • 47: Will there be a Super Bowl in 2021? And we watch the classic Hoosiers

    The Foam Finger ponders if there will be a Super Bowl in 2021, then pops some popcorn and watches the classic 1986 basketball-and-yokels movie Hoosiers.

  • 46: Bubbles and bars: Pandemic update

    The ongoing pandemic state of sports in America, where there are bubbles and no bubbles and international complications and some athletes don’t stay out of bars.

  • 45: Bread and Circuses

    The sports of classical Rome, including the entertainments at the arena and chariot racing.

  • 44: Televised sports

    Tom has a lot of experience in televised sports, so we discuss national, regional, and in-stadium sportscasts. And then it turns out Nic has some thoughts about sports broadcasting, too, but they are not very practical. Also, Vegas, baby!

  • 43: Recent events

    Things are tense at Foam Finger Industries. We talk about the schemes being cooked up so American sports can start up again, NASCAR, and a little bit about, ahem, that team from Washington.

  • 42: Fight again: Boxing

    The “sweet science” of boxing, how prevalent boxing is in movies, Sweden’s beloved heavyweight champion Ingemar “Ingo” Johansson and what happened at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm.

  • 41: Fight fight fight: UFC and MMA

    The Foam Finger enters the Octagon (trademark) as we discuss MMA and the UFC. Remember, no fishhooks!

  • 40: Holding our breath

    The pandemic still has sports in America in the deep freeze. We discuss what NASCAR, the NBA, and MLB are doing to bring sports back and how labor relations in baseball are hitting a new level of frostiness.

  • 39: The desert of the real

    There are still no sports so the lads discuss how fans are coping and the more or less wide-eyed schemes that are being concocted to get athletes back on their fields.

  • 38: No sports. Zero sports

    There are no sports in the depth of the pandemic. We discuss how sports fans are coping and the more or less fanciful plans that are being made to reopen sports.

  • 37: The Coronavirus effect on the NFL, the NHL and other sports

    The novel Coronavirus has forced global sports to a halt. We discuss the specifics of how it’s affected the National Football League, the National Hockey League and other American sports.

  • 36: Coronavirus and the NBA, NCAA and MLB

    The novel coronavirus is wreaking havoc across the globe. We discuss the ways its affecting basketball, college sports and baseball in America.

  • 35: New sports in the 2020 Summer Olympics

    We discuss the new sports coming in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, marvel that there can in fact be a sport Tom has never heard of, and drink beer that’s too strong.

  • 34: Athletic shoes

    After an update on rule changes for the upcoming baseball season, we delve into athletic shoes.

  • 33: After the playing career

    What happens to professional athletes after their careers are over?

  • 32: Cheaters gonna cheat

    Or, Bang that trash can. Famous incidents of cheating in American sports.

  • 31: Artificial turf

    Artificial turf solved the problem of keeping grass alive and fresh by replacing it with carpet. How did that go and how is it related to athletic injuries?

  • 30: Race divide in American sports

    We talk about the history of race relations in American sports and sample a traditional Swedish holiday drink.

  • 29: Sports injuries

    A common baseball injury is a UCL tear, while ACL tears are common in American football and basketball. We discuss causes and treatments, including the famous Tommy John surgery.

  • 28: Concussions

    We open season two with a discussion on CTE and how the NFL is attempting to lessen its impact.

  • 27: Season finale

    In this season finale we revisit our favorite topics so far and find out what, if anything, Nic has learned.

  • 26: Spring training LIVE!

    The lads make a roadtrip to take in the March 13, 2019 Dodgers-Reds spring training game at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, AZ.

  • 25: Giddyup for the rodeo!

    Arguably the most American of American sports with a history that intersects with the nation’s most cherished myths about itself, about freedom on the open range and self-reliance, rodeo is still very much an active sport.

  • 24: Dodgeball and other playground games

    We discuss the 2004 sports comedy Dodgeball, then segue into games we played at recess. Listen as old men try to recall their childhoods.

  • 23: Super Bowl wrap-up, Field of Dreams and MLB rule changes

    Super Bowl Bowl 53 is now in the past; we discuss the reaction and audience numbers. Nic shares his feelings about the baseball movie Field of Dreams and we wrap up with proposed changes to the MLB.

  • 22: Super Bowl Bowl!

    Our Super Bowl Bowl extravaganza digs deep into the history of the event and its importance to American culture.

  • 21: College bowl games and taste testing of popcorn snacks

    After a discussion of college football bowl games, Nic tries popcorn-based baseball park snacks for the first time.

  • 20: Cornhole and hacky sack

    The boys take a suggestion from a listener and discuss the casual games cornhole and hacky sack.

  • 19: History of cheerleading

    How cheerleading got its start in American football and spread to basketball.

  • 18: History of mascots

    Tom and Nic talk about the history of mascots and their role as in-game entertainment.

  • 17: We watch football!

    The boys watch the Nov. 17, 2018 Syracuse versus Notre Dame college football game at Yankee Stadium in New York City and talk about it as well as the history of television presentation of football.

  • 16: Offensive team names

    Turns out there are some teams in America who did not get the memo about cultural sensitivity, especially regarding the plight of Native Americans.

  • 15: Fandom and its diet

    “It’s just a heart attack.”

  • 14: Skateboarding

    Tom and Nic talk about the origins of skating and the excellent documentary Dogtown and Z Boys. It gets pretty radical, man.

  • 13: Big wave surfing

    In this tubular episode the boys catch some gnarly waves and talk about the lunacy that is big wave surfing.

  • 12: Professional wrestling

    After a short discussion of the new Nike ad campaign we boo and cheer and hit each other with chairs about professional wrestling.

  • 11: Beach volleyball

    After a brief discussion of complete hardcase Lawson Craddock, we discuss the origins and current status of beach volleyball.

  • 10: NASCAR

    The boys discuss the history and current status of that most American sport, NASCAR.

  • 9: Women’s National Basketball Association

    After a follow-up about salary caps in the NHL, we discuss the history and now of the WNBA.

  • 8: The history of hockey and the NHL

    The lads discuss the NHL, the history of hockey, and express their admiration for professional athletes.

  • 7: Bull Durham and baseball free agency

    Nic has thoughts about Bull Durham and Tom explains how free agency works in baseball.

  • 6: Minor league baseball

    The minor leagues develop talent for major league teams and have a certain charm.

  • 5: Fandom and merchandising

    How fandom works in American sports and the money involved in merchandising.

  • 4: Baseball versus softball

    Explores the differences between baseball and softball.

  • 3: March Madness

    Tom explains March Madness and Nic talks about how sports are integrated with Swedish universities and high schools.

  • 2: Drafts

    An unravelling of the drafts in American football, basketball, and baseball.

  • 1: Spring training

    Tom and Nic kick off the podcast with a discussion of baseball spring training.

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