Top of the class: Podcast and video debuts

Students recently produced their first podcasts and video reaction posts on their blog topics. Both of these mediums are challenging and rewarding, and the only way to improve is to keep practicing, or “get reps,” as they like to say at ESPN.

Here are some of the top podcasts and videos from the class.


  • Hoops Talk podcast: Jim Alexander and Ameya Banks on the Clippers, Cavaliers and NBA
  • Young Guns podcast: Melanie Schumilas on the latest news with the ATP’s rising stars
  • Full Court Press podcast: Ben Rains and Mariah Woelfel on the state of Chicago pro basketball
  • Crosstown Podcast: Nicole Hack and Juan Pimiento on Manchester United, the Chicago Fire and the state of soccer in the U.S. and abroad


  • Ameya Banks on the Cavs’ Game 3 win over the Pistons
  • Ben Rains on how Tom Thibodeau’s hiring in Minnesota could impact Fred Hoiberg and the Bulls
  • Juan Pimiento breaking down Manchester United’s win over Everton

First takes: News reactions roundup

The students produced their first blog news reactions, weighing in on items in their coverage area. The objective was to have a strong viewpoint on what the news means going forward.

Check them out …

  • Melanie Schumilas on Tomas Berdych being wronged: “Berdych was noticeably fast to act on this disruptive news and diffuse the situation before it gained any traction. This was the right move on Berdych’s behalf, considering being implicated in the Panama Papers has led to Iceland’s Prime Minister resigning and other powerful politicians scrambling.”
  • Ameya Banks on the Cavs crushing Atlanta: “Last year’s playoff sweep and the three losses this season has to be wearing on the Hawks. If these two teams meet in the postseason the Hawks cannot rely on anything to give them confidence that they could beat the Cavs four times.”
  • Nicole Hack on Miami FC’s poor portrayal of  female fans: “Using women as a marketing tool, makes female fans have to work harder to prove their worth as a fan. This is frustrating, as we shouldn’t have to prove our dedication of sport to others.”
  • Mariah Woelfel on Elena Delle Donne and lowering the rim: “Lowered rims aren’t a step backwards, but a move towards increased game attendance, popularity and, more importantly, further embracing the natural, physical attributes of female athletes.”
  • Jim Alexander on Blake Griffin’s playoff impact: “You’re getting one of the top 10 players in the NBA back into your lineup. The best player on your team. If that’s a detriment then go watch the Clippers of 1998. It’s lunacy to think that Griffin can hurt this team in any way. Assuming he isn’t swinging his closed fist at someone.”
  • Ben Rains on how the Bulls shouldn’t blow up the team: “Chemistry issues and offensive stagnation were both apparent this season, with much of the blame put on Rose and Butler, and rightfully so. However, chemistry is not achieved by wishing it into existence. The backcourt tandem needs to play together and learn each others’ games, and they have had limited opportunities to do so over the past few seasons.”
  • Juan Pimiento on Wayne Rooney’s status for West Ham: “After playing 61 minutes today, it’s evident that, even coming in an playing 20 minutes off the bench, Rooney is in well enough shape to contribute to a United team that needs his help more than at any other point this season.”

Introducing 2016 Spring Quarter Sports Blogs

The big reveal is here. Students have selected their topics and created blogs with accompanying Twitter feeds. These will be the platforms for most of the coursework the rest of the quarter. Our topics range from the NBA to the MLS, so a nice mix of work will be featured. Bookmark all of these pages and be sure to interact with all the bloggers on their sites as well as on social media.

Without further ado …

Jim Alexander: Clipper Beat. Twitter: @ClipperBeat

Ameya Banks: Cavs News 216. Twitter: @Cavs216_Mania

Nicole Hack: CF 97 Sirens. Twitter: @nikhak

Juan Sebastian Pimiento: The ManUverse. Twitter: @ManUverseBlog

Ben Rains: Let’s Be Reason-A-Bull. Twitter: @reasonabullblog

Melanie Schumilas: ATP Young Guns. Twitter: @atpyoungguns

Mariah Woelfel: Chicago Sky Unlimited. Twitter: @chiskyunlimited