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Introducing Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s First Podcast

I’m thrilled to introduce FiveThirtyEight’s first podcast, our weekly sports show Hot Takedown. A brief preview is available on iTunes now (listen below), and our first full episode will drop Tuesday evening and every Tuesday thereafter.


Hot takes are the predominant currency of sports talk these days. Sometimes they are grounded in fact; often they are based on almost willfully unsubstantiated opinion. Hot Takedown will try to measure the emerging narratives of the week (e.g., Pete Carroll made the worst call in football history at this year’s Super Bowl) against richer data (e.g., maybe Pete Carroll knew exactly what he was doing.)

But this isn’t a show just for haters. There will be moments when the data reveals that the hot takes were right all along. The goal is to search for something more solid to lean on. We will also have lots of fun.

Your Hot Takedown regulars are:

  • Chadwick Matlin, a FiveThirtyEight features editor;
  • Kate Fagan, a columnist for ESPNW who played college basketball at Colorado;
  • Neil Paine, one of FiveThirtyEight’s sportswriters;
  • and FiveThirtyEight visual journalist Allison McCann, who each week will present a “significant digit” (except this week; she’s traveling).

I will not be on the show. I’m producing it — so if you hear an editing mistake, that’s on me.

Our first episode will publish Tuesday evening, but you can find the feed on all sorts of podcast clients starting now. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a show.

And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss, and tell us why we’re wrong.

Jody Avirgan hosts and produces podcasts for FiveThirtyEight.