Two Writers Slinging Yang

Alan Sepinwall: Uproxx television reviewer/critic

An episode of Two Writers Slinging Yang

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By Jeff Pearlman
Jeff Pearlman's weekly in-depth, no-holds-barred conversation with a writer on writing. Available here and on iTunes
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Wayne Coffey: Legendary New York Daily News sports scribe and author of "They Said It Couldn't Be Done: The '69 Mets, New York City and the Most Astounding Season in Baseball History"
On finding new material about a beloved championship team from 50 years ago; on ghost writing athlete autobiographies and bringing unique voices to Mariano Rivera, Carli Lloyd and R.A. Dickey; on discovering depth and meaning via a former baseball phenom whose life was forever changed by 9.11.
35:06
March 19, 2019
Master Tesfatsion: Bleacher Report senior writer
On profiling Adrian Peterson and dealing with the detractors; on making a brief time with Antonio Brown count; on wearing jerseys in Instagram posts; on understanding the plight of the young African-American athlete.
53:26
March 12, 2019
R. Eric Thomas: Playwright, Elle Magazine senior staff writer, “Eric Reads the News" daily columnist.
On the absolute joy of a tiara atop the head of Cory Booker's 99-year-old grandmother; on directing your words toward humor and glee during the Trump Presidency; on knowing when to walk away from a column idea; on the unspeakable joy of seeing your play performed live.
40:27
March 5, 2019
Rob Williams: Comic Book writer of Judge Dredd, Suicide Squad, Amazing Spider-Man
On conveying much in a very small space; in bringing life to characters who existed only in your head; in watching "Justice League" with myriad cringes and being blown off by Reggie Bush.
41:06
February 26, 2019
Tommy Tomlinson: Pulitzer finalist sports writer and author of "The Elephant in the Room"
On staring into the mirror and describing exactly what one sees; on the painful beauty of a memoir about a lifetime of weight difficulties; on forming a kinship with a former Kentucky quarterback.
52:00
February 19, 2019
Susan Orlean: New York Times best-selling author of "The Library Book" and staff writer, The New Yorker
On writing a book (and having it sell) on a relatively obscure library fire; on choosing just the right words to describe a moment; on why she never uses a recorder and rarely turns to direct quotations.
49:30
February 12, 2019
Nora Princiotti: New England Patriots writer for the Boston Globe
On covering the (zzzzzz) sleep inducer that was Super Bowl LIII; On finding new turf with a team that's been covered ad nauseam; on an angry James Harrison and a giddy Patrick Chung; on writing about three Super Bowls by age 24.
45:26
February 5, 2019
Zach Berman, Eagles beat writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News
On what it is to cover the Super Bowl; on the heaven/hell that is Media Day; on whether it's possible to know Carson Wentz's true feelings; on existing as a fly on the wall (in an NFL locker room) alongside 500 other flies.
46:27
January 29, 2019
Stanley Herz: Author of "Conquering the Corporate Career" and my greatest writing role model
On self-publishing a book, inventing a publicist and moving a book to the prime store real estate; on why Walter was actually Waldorf; on how writing can make a reputation.
27:23
January 22, 2019
Alex Kennedy: NBA writer for HoopsHype
On scoring his first NBA press credential at age 14; on the kindness of Steve Francis and the uniqueness of Kwame Brown; on whether to talk sexual assault with Kobe Bryant and how to conduct a righteous interview.
41:02
January 15, 2019
Doug Donovan: Baltimore Sun investigative reporter
On discovering the humanity behind America's opioid epidemic; on interviewing subjects in awkward, uncomfortable situations; on the time he demoted and suspended me (Jeff Pearlman) from our college newspaper.
45:30
January 8, 2019
Jane Leavy: New York Times best-selling author of The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created
On delving deep into a subject who's been dead for decades; on how one decides on the next book topic; on why one would be insane enough to become a biographer.
56:38
January 1, 2019
Kent Babb: Allen Iverson biographer and Washington Post scribe
On his efforts to understand and humanize the former 76ers superstar; on writing a book via an unorthodox approach; on chronicling the post-NFL struggles of longtime Chiefs halfback Larry Johnson
46:32
December 24, 2018
Halle Roberts: Editor in chief, Har-Ber (High School) Herald
On her newspaper's battle with the Springdale (Ark.) School District over a pulled article; on fighting for freedom of the press; on what a 17-year-old aspiring journalist thinks of the media landscape.
33:51
December 18, 2018
Marshall Ramsey: Clarion-Ledger editorial cartoonist and two-time Pulitzer finalist
On a touching artistic farewell to George H. W. Bush; on how to speak via images; on having angry politicians come after you; on the impact of a cancer diagnosis on one's work.
39:45
December 11, 2018
Steve Buckley: Writer for The Athletic and author of the greatest magazine piece of all time
On Stanley Teeven and writing about the legacy of a World War II victim he never knew; on whether an author should place himself in a narrative; on coming out of the closet via a Boston Herald column; on Robert Kraft's kindness.
49:18
December 4, 2018
Les Carpenter: Washington Post Redskins beat writer
On being thrown onto an NFL beat without much notice; on watching Alex Smith's leg being broken—then reacting as a writer; on whether players care whether a writer exists; on Major League Baseball presenting the Iran hostages with lifetime passes.
44:52
November 27, 2018
Kimberley A. Martin: Senior NFL writer for Yahoo Sports
On transitioning from one dream journalism job to another dream journalism job to another dream journalism job; on avoiding cliches when cliches attack; on life inside the locker room.
45:23
November 20, 2018
Melissa Schuman: Former Dream singer, MELISSA EXPLAINS IT ALL blogger, sexual assault survivor
On finding the courage and strength to come forward and blog about being raped; on the inevitable backlash of Internet trolls; on the liberation that comes with speaking out; on the nonsense world behind bubblegum pop.
53:09
November 13, 2018
Daniel Dale: Washington correspondent for the Toronto Star
On Tweeting about every ... single ... thing Donald Trump says; on why presidents can lie and get away with it; on covering former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, having him accuse you of being a stalking pedophile—then admitting it was all a lie and offering a bobble head doll as a peace offering.
37:59
November 5, 2018
Ian O'Connor: ESPN senior writer, New York Times best-selling author of "Belichick."
On the highs and lows and glory and humiliation of promoting a book; on writing about a man (Bill Belichick) who tells his peers not to speak with you; on competing with the killing of Osama bin Laden for TV time.
1:02:18
October 30, 2018
Elaina Plott: Staff writer, The Atlantic
On her riveting, detailed profile of Heidi Cruz, wife of Texas Senator Ted Cruz; on covering politics without slant or bias; on visiting an island that rising seas will ultimately engulf—and learning to understand why its inhabitants have faith in Donald Trump
42:48
October 23, 2018
Grant Wahl: Sports Illustrated senior writer
On rising up from low-level fact checker to one of the world's elite soccer scribes; on having a gun held to his head in an unfamiliar nation; on the move from college basketball to soccer; on living out his dream career.
1:20:25
October 16, 2018
Gary Myers: Former Dallas Morning News, New York Daily News NFL writer
On how to navigate the football locker room in an era of NFL media indifference; on the awfulness of Bill Belichick and the anger of Danny White and the heartbreak of Dennis Byrd; on finding the real Jerry Jones in a new book, "How 'Bout Them Cowboys?"
58:00
October 9, 2018
Tyler R. Tynes: SB Nation staff writer
On the writing and thinking behind "There Is No Escape from Politics"—one of my favorite pieces of 2017; on wasting away behind the desk at a fading newspaper; on the value of a forward-thinking editor and the trials and preconceptions that still (regrettably) come with being a young African-American scribe.
55:32
October 2, 2018
Stephanie Apstein: Sports Illustrated staff writer
On profiling Chris Davis, Baltimore's first baseman, as he struggles through one of the worst seasons in Major League history; on worrying/not worrying whether a subject is happy with your work; on lessons learned from observing Tom Verducci.
40:33
September 25, 2018
Ellie Douglas: Horror writer
Straight outta Auckland, New Zealand, the author of "Hounded," "Hounded 2," "Toxic Desire" and "Dead Wake" explains why severed heads and slashed necks and flesh-eating zombies bring her pen to life.
25:56
September 19, 2018
Jeff Pearlman: Talking USFL and "Football for a Buck"
Catherine hosts the show as we talk about book writing; about the PR push and what it does to a writer; about Donald Trump and George Allen and bringing to life a long-ago league.
45:06
September 4, 2018
Mirin Fader: Bleacher Report writer-at-large
On traveling to Lithuania to track the Ball Family—minus their cooperation; on finding a voice; on watching hair being braided and seeing bliss; on a meteoric rise in a tough business.
51:11
August 28, 2018
Michael J. Lewis: Longtime newspaper scribe who left the biz
On why, after nearly two decades in newspaper and magazine, he left; on sharing a name with one of America's most-famous scribes; on being locked in a minor league stadium and covering a young Ryan Lochte.
44:52
August 21, 2018
Lesley Visser: Pioneering NFL journalist
On becoming the first woman to ever cover an NFL team; on having athletes hit on her and present her with underwear; on Bert Jones and Chuck Fairbanks and Jim McMahon and the legend of the 1970s Boston Globe sports department.
40:04
August 14, 2018
Dana O'Neil: The Athletic senior college basketball writer
On the ways experience, savvy, empathy and patience merge to make great journalism; on John Thompson and Coach K and sitting in the bleachers alongside the men (even when people demand one move elsewhere); on whether a woman will ever coach a Division I men's team and why a departure from ESPN was an unexpected blessing.
44:55
August 7, 2018
Chris Nashawaty: EW film critic
On the genius of Caddyshack; on whether great movies and bad movies deserve equal consideration; on why crappy films make him angry.
50:13
July 31, 2018
Gary Smith: Legendary Sports Illustrated writer
On the art and craft of the lengthy feature; on why he doesn't think of himself as a "sports journalist"; on Richie Parker and Radio and diving deep into a subject; on relying on a flip phone and going nowhere near Facebook and Twitter.
59:02
July 24, 2018
Richard Sandomir: New York Times obituary writer
On finding beauty and reason in writing about death; on bidding literary farewell to the daughter of a Nazi, a Yankees pitching coach and a woman who fought cancer courageously; on Stuart Scott's final days and delving into the making of "The Pride of the Yankees.
45:46
July 17, 2018
Mike Vaccaro: New York Post sports columnist
On his farewell ode to Yogi Berra; on never succumbing to writer's block on deadline; on his verbal smackdown of a former Mets GM; on his late father's influence on a blissful career.
51:51
July 10, 2018
Emily Bloch: South Florida Sun-Sentinel community reporter
On tracking down an escapee monkey; on 15 minutes on the phone with Paul Reiser; on covering the Parkland shooting tragedy; on having a newspaper steal your words; on the value of Millennials and the power of large quantities of coffee.
44:41
July 3, 2018
Maurice Patton: Columbia (Tenn.) Daily Herald sports editor
On the life of a small-town newspaper sports editor; on the college basketball coach who brought a gun to practice; on the sad decline of The Tennessean and why media needs to keep focusing upon high school athletics.
48:41
June 26, 2018
Jonathan Martin: N.Y. Times national political correspondent
On #fakenews and "failing New York Times" in the era of Trump; on chronicling John McCain's farewell; on the exciting slog of three presidential elections; on phone time with Joe Biden and why covering politics is like covering sports.
43:52
June 19, 2018
Mac Engel: Forth Worth Star-Telegram sports columnist
On whether sports columnists have a place in 2018; on squaring off against an agitated Juan Gonzalez; on liberal writing in a conservative part of America; on the saga of an amazing woman (raped at 12) and her Dallas Cowboy son.
46:34
June 12, 2018
Lane DeGregory: Tampa Bay Times Pulitzer Prize winner
On spending a night with Stormy Daniels at Thee Doll House in Tampa; on her remarkable piece about the trials, nightmares and slow growth of a feral child; on knocking on strange doors and sleeping side by side beneath a bridge with sex offenders.
41:35
June 5, 2018
Ken Rosenthal: Major League Baseball writer for The Athletic
On making every story count; on covering Cal Ripken, Jr. and writing beautifully on the night he broke Lou Gehrig's Iron Man record; on staring down Bobby Bonilla and Scott Erickson when things turned heated in the Baltimore clubhouse; on passion and love for a profession.
43:54
May 29, 2018
Candace Buckner: Washington Post Wizards beat writer
On making a good story great; on life inside an NBA locker room; on Monta Ellis and Lance Stephenson and John Wall and rooting for African-American tennis stars (criticism be damned)
44:08
May 22, 2018
A.J. Cassavell: San Diego Padres beat writer for MLB.com
On covering 130 games (of oft-bad baseball) per year and still finding things to write about; on the awkwardness of the Major League clubhouse; on Kevin Quackenbush's beard and the Padres' need to return to brown-and-yellow uniforms.
48:53
May 15, 2018
Tommy Shaw: Styx singer/guitarist
On writing the perfect song; on feeling the pain from long-ago lyrics; on singing a tune for the 200,000th time and still bringing forth emotion and joy.
1:02:44
May 7, 2018
Steve Rushin: Sports Illustrated writer, author
On having a Major League manager launch his pants your way; on making every word in an article count; on seven minutes with Dave Henderson and playing golf in Greenland.
1:02:44
May 1, 2018
Jose de Jesus Ortiz: St Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist
On the advantages of speaking Spanish in a Major League clubhouse; on showing your face after infuriating an athlete; on opining on a sport you know little about; on profiling the widow of Darryl Kile shortly after her husband's death.
40:44
April 24, 2018
John Pavlovitz: Pastor and Popular Religion/Politics Blogger
On expressing oneself in the age of Trump; on holding evangelicals accountable for hypocrisy; on the power of social media and a Tweet from Katy Perry.
42:26
April 17, 2018
Dave Coverly: Creator of the single-panel comic, Speed Bump
On writing funny with limited words and a tiny amount of space; on telling an entire story in a single box; on the, um, humor of Mike Huckabee and knowing when a joke doesn't work.
52:37
April 10, 2018
Jane McManus: Former ESPN football writer
On what it is to go through a public layoff as a journalist; on moving on from ESPN (and to a different country); on covering Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow and the New York Jets; on writing about the tragic death of Joe McKnight.
43:52
April 3, 2018
Elizabeth Weil: New York Times Magazine writer
On pitching (and then being assigned) the story of a 70-year-old Polish kayaker who has crossed the Atlantic three times; on capturing a subject without speaking his language; on the terror of awaiting that first call from your editor.
43:23
March 27, 2018
Nicole Auerbach: The Athletic senior writer
On the bliss of covering March Madness; on finding nuggets of information inside a crowded locker room; on the tragic story of a Colorado shooting victim and the joy of a Michigan State football player's Craigslist-purchased cat.
52:21
March 20, 2018
Alan Sepinwall: Uproxx television reviewer/critic
On what makes great criticism v. meh criticism; on the beauty of Breaking Bad and the inconsistencies of Entourage; on why one man watches so much television—then writes about it with passion and grace.
40:57
March 13, 2018
David Maraniss: Biographer
On reporting and writing definitively on the lives of Vince Lombardi, Barack Obama, Roberto Clemente, Bill Clinton; on finding nuggets of information that make your head explode; on the difference between dealing with athletes and politicians; on the Donald Trump biography he will never, ever write.
43:08
March 6, 2018
Joel Sherman: New York Post Major League Baseball columnist
On the tricks and keys to working a clubhouse like a veteran reporter; on the yin and yang of Albert Belle; on Spring Training highs and lows and lessons from the Mel Hall-and-Steve Sax Era Yankees
53:35
February 27, 2018
Keldy Ortiz: Crime reporter
On reporting on the deaths of four young women in a devastating car accident; on knocking on strange doors and interviewing hostile witnesses; on the grittiness of life at a New York City tabloid.
35:50
February 20, 2018
Danny Wallace: Author
On the rude hot dog waitress who inspired his new book, “F You Very Much”; on how an idea goes from brain to reality; on his work becoming a Jim Carrey movie.
47:08
February 13, 2018
Jenny Vrentas: SI, MMQB scribe
On covering a Super Bowl and surviving; on developing rapport with athletes; on her weeklong drive through football in America; on going from biochem to writing.
39:58
February 5, 2018
Chris Palmer: Vet NBA writer
On the magic and dread of Twitter; on covering the Ball family up close; on bias vs. fairness; on finding the mother of Chris (Birdman) Andersen and admiring her tattooed eyebrows.
39:57
January 29, 2018
Chris Ballard: SI hoops writer
On writing and reporting the tragic saga of Monty Williams; on serving as a narrator for Jamal Crawford’s joyful ride; on forming bonds with subjects and writing with precision and depth
40:00
January 22, 2018
Drew Snyder: Minister
On writing the perfect sermon; on researching spirituality before preaching spirituality; on the uplifting words of Footloose
37:46
January 15, 2018
Jon Wertheim: SI writer
On the reporting and digging behind the Jerry Richardson/Carolina Panthers bombshell; on the Portland Jail Breakers; on bonding with sources and having people open up.
36:48
January 8, 2018
Tyler Kepner: NY Times writer
On covering Griffey and ARod; on the introduction of Aaron Boone and the departure of Evan Longoria; on precise writing and never wasting words.
54:29
January 3, 2018
Joel Anderson: ESPN writer
On life at ESPN and BuzzFeed; On digging deep into the life of Earl Thomas when Earl Thomas is indifferent to the dig; on finding Michael Sam’s forgotten father; on knocking on strange doors and not knowing what awaits.
47:25
December 27, 2017
Chip Scoggins: Columnist
Minneapolis Star Tribune sports columnist on turning joy, anger, love, grief into a column; on writing about the bond between a girl with cancer and a crusty college coach; on Randy Moss moodiness and Larry Fitzgerald joy
52:01
December 22, 2017
Rick Reilly: Former SI writer
On golf with Donald Trump, social media wisdom from Mark Cuban, finding tragic beauty in the story of a racist Major League owner and truth to power in football hazing at The Citadel
49:45
December 19, 2017
Dana Goldberg: Standup comedian
54:59
October 23, 2017
Tom Junod: ESPN senior writer
38:50
October 3, 2017
Chely Wright: County music star
49:09
September 25, 2017
Jemele Hill: ESPN SC6 host
55:51
September 7, 2017
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