EXCLUSIVE: Religion of Sports, the venture founded by Gotham Chopra, Michael Strahan, and Tom Brady, is investigating sports biggest mysteries in a new podcast series.
The company has teamed up with public media organization PRX to launch Lost in Sports, which will tell the stories behind And1 Mixtapes, Evander Holyfield’s ear, the NCAA Football video game franchise among other stories.
It comes after the two companies launched Crushed, exploring the story of Major League Baseball’s steroid era in a narrative podcast series.
Lost in Sports is hosted by former Sports Illustrated writer Ben Baskin and will launch on May 27.
The first episode of Masters of the Gridiron, a strange short film infused with time travel and sorcery that was released by Cleveland Browns football players in 1986, prophesizing they might become champions. The episode will include guest appearances by the creators of the film, Lolis Garcia-Baab and former Browns’ player Mike Baab, as well as by Joe and Anthony Russo, directors of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Other episodes will touch on And1, which had the radical idea to create a VHS tape of street basketball players set to a hip-hop soundtrack, and to give it away for free. This episode will feature Stephen Curry as well as streetball players including Grayson “The Professor” Boucher, Waliyy “Main Event” Dixon, and Philip “Hot Sauce” Champion.
The Hartford Whalers will touch on why the NHL team is more popular than ever even though it has not existed since 1997, Evander Holyfield’s Ear, which will explore how a piece of Holyfield’s ear was found after it was bitten off by Mike Tyson, but then vanished, and NCAA Football 14, which was the last version of the game ever made.
The production team includes senior producer Kate McAuliffe, production assistants Iggy Monda and Meghan Coyle, co-executive producer Adam Schlossman, and editorial support from Michael Garofalo.
“I’ve always gravitated towards the stories in sports that haven’t been told, the ones without an easy answer,” said Baskin. “So, I created this podcast with a tremendous team at Religion of Sports in the hope that people will enjoy hearing those stories as much as I enjoy telling them. We’ll explore the tales of the lost and the forgotten, the untold mysteries of sports history. And we’ll go on a quest to answer them… which sometimes will get a little weird.”
“At Religion of Sports, we aim to connect directly with what fuels audiences’ passion for sports through great storytelling and curiosity,” added Adam Schlossman. “Deep thanks to Ben, the production team, and to our podcast partners at PRX –– we believe ‘Lost in Sports’ will provide entertaining, essential listening for sports fans and wider audiences alike.”
“We’re delighted to continue to bring new podcasts to audiences along with Religion of Sports, to advance the possibilities of sports storytelling in audio,” said Jason Saldanha, Chief of Business Development and Content at PRX. “We can’t wait for listeners to tune in.”
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