Smell the Foam Finger

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

  • 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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