Thursday’s Podcast: The Return of Sports (?)

On the 2019-20 season finale of The 252, Chris Moore and I reflected on what we learned from our first time teaching History and Politics of Sports at Bethel. Then Sam Mulberry joined us to talk about how different professional and college sports are planning to resume play — or already have done so.

We talked about everything from NBA playoffs to labor tensions in baseball to the future of the NCAA. But we spent our biggest chunk of time on a league we rarely discuss: the Bundesliga. Germany’s top-tier football competition has been playing “ghost games” without fans for several weeks now. We considered how essential fans were (or weren’t) to sports and whether this season presents an opportunity for non-American leagues to pick up fans over here.

Then Chris and Sam helped me pick a Bundesliga club for my 10-year old son to support. Thanks to Twitter followers and Facebook friends for narrowing our choices down to five finalists that (a) weren’t Bayern Munich and (b) were “Minnesota Twins-like” in one or two ways: Borussia Mönchengladbach, FC Köln, FC Schalke 04, SC Freiburg, and SV Werder Bremen. (A couple also benefitted from having cool uniforms and/or promising young American stars.)

Borussia’s home stadium in Mönchengladbach – Creative Commons (mr.schnabel)

You can download and stream this episode at Podbean and Apple Podcasts. Thanks for listening this season! We may do one or two special summer episodes before returning to a more regular schedule in the fall.