Ahh, nothing is more relaxing than aural pleasure, no? Now that I have relocated to a major metropolitan area, each morning and evening I look forward to gridlock, accidents, folks changing lanes without turning on their signals, overturned cars, ambulances, fire trucks, and folks turning on signals and not changing lanes. What could be more blissful?
Luckily, my iPhone is regularly loaded with some lovely podcasts.Here they are:
Best Soccer Show
The Best Soccer Show is basically what would have happened if Notorious BIG and Tupac had become friends, not enemies. Jared brings West Coast sensibilities to Jason’s East Coast neurosis as they discuss a lot of MLS and USMNT, and a bit of Europe. Check out the pod’s page here. Subscribe via iTunes here. One of the best parts of this show is frequent caller Vince from Toronto, an adopted American Canadian. I also love it when Jason clearly wants to end a section, but JRo is on a rant and refuses to be hushed. They sometimes talk about TV shows I don’t watch, but both have encyclopedic knowledge of under-appreciated 80′s films featuring Joey Lawrence (among others).
Jason Davis has a great gift for practical analysis, attention to detail, and phrasing questions. And you can now enjoy his raspy, somewhat nasally voice each and every weekday morning. His daily AM show is also a carousel of quality guests who talk about far-ranging topics beyond the US soccer bubble. However, as a dude who clearly plans things well in advance, Jason gets thrown-off when guests call-in late. He’ll sometimes flaunder and just keep asking question after question after question. It’s a slight annoyance, but, hey, nobody is perfect. Note: Jimmy Conrad is always fifteen minutes late. Check out the pod page here. Subscribe via iTunes here.
Total Soccer Show
Daryl, formerly of TheOffside, runs the best radio soccer show in Richmond, Virginia, nay, perhaps the entire state of Virginia! The pod covers a bit of MLS, lots of US soccer, and a decent amount of European soccer. I wasn’t super keen on the Bachelorette stuff, but the Wikipedia game is and always will be amazing. Check out the pod page here. Subscribe via iTunes here.
Our friends from the bustling metropolis of Toronto gather twice a week to talk about the Premiership, European soccer, the World Cup, and very occasionally MLS and the US soccer team. Even though Richard Whittall is my arch nemesis, I highly recommend this pod. Check out the pod page here. Subscribe via iTunes here.
Hosted by James Richardson, known in some corners as “Jimbo” (read: Sid Lowe), this Guardian podcast focuses heavily on the Premier League but features correspondents from all over the globe. I must confess, sometimes the audio quality is a bit low when folks call in from France or Spain, but the quality of the commentary is super high. My personal favorite part is Jimbo’s ability to verbally communicate disgust, impatience, assurance, and incredulity without words. His gasps and “mmmm’s” make the pod go round. Check out the pod page here. Subscribe via iTunes here.
Men in Blazers
I was pretty cynical about MIB at first. First off, they were associated with Grantland. In my own selfish way, Grantland means Brian Phillips no longer writes about soccer thrice a week, which is a blow I’m still slowly accepting. Secondly, another anglo talks about the EPL, original! However, when listening to the MIB a few times, two things stand out. 1) The interplay between the guests is fantastic. You really get the sense of two smart friends having a conversation and joking with one another. 2) The hosts really, truly, deeply love soccer. In between bits of humor, their throats open and you can feel the sincerity. Check out their website here. Subscribe via iTunes here.
Hang Up and Listen
So, Slate’s sports podcast doesn’t exclusively talk about soccer. Still, Josh Levin and company do occasionally wax about soccer, especially now that a World Cup fast approaches. They also do a good job of making non-soccer sports remotely interesting. Check out the pod page here. It’s Slate, so the politics are decidedly to the left (unlike you, you assault rifle-carrying maniac). Subscribe via iTunes here.
Editor’s note: I have an old iPhone and have to listen to these fine pods on my daily commute via MP3. Thus, I haven’t been able to check out Howler Radio, but have heard great things. Decide for yourself here.