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The Wales vs. Portugal Match Is More Than Just Bale vs. Ronaldo

Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (July 5, 2016), we break down the numbers behind Kevin Durant’s move to the Golden State Warriors and ask if this means they have a real chance of going 82-0. Then, we talk to Michael Caley of the “The Double Pivot” podcast about Wales’s run to the semifinals of the UEFA European soccer tournament and whether Gareth Bale will get the better of Cristiano Ronaldo when Wales and Portugal play each other on Wednesday. Finally, FiveThirtyEight’s Carl Bialik comes on to chat about just how momentous Novak Djokovic’s loss to Sam Querrey at Wimbledon really was. Plus, a significant digit on the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, which took place July 4.

Links to what we discuss are here:

  • Kyle Wagner and Nate Silver say that even with Durant, the Warriors are unlikely to repeat their record-breaking 73-9 season.
  • Neil Paine says that historically, superteams underperform.
  • Zach Lowe writes that with Durant, the Warriors have a good chance of becoming the greatest team of all time.
  • Neil Greenberg in The Washington Post breaks down how much better the Warriors will be with Durant.
  • Also in The Post, Michael Caley explains why you can’t let Gareth Bale of Wales have space to play on the soccer pitch.
  • The Guardian’s Barney Ronay says the Welsh and the Portuguese reached the semifinal through a collective effort.
  • Carl Bialik writes that Djokovic’s defeat to Querrey was an upset out of another era.
  • Significant Digit: 215 percent. That’s how much the record for hot dog consumption in the Nathan’s contest has increased since 1996. That year, Ed Krachie wolfed down 22.25 dogs; this year, Joey Chestnut consumed 70. Here’s a video of Chestnut’s feat. And here’s Walt Hickey’s article from last week on competitive hot dog eating.

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Chadwick Matlin was a deputy managing editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Neil Paine was the acting sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Carl Bialik was FiveThirtyEight’s lead writer for news.

Joe Sykes produces our weekly sports podcast Hot Takedown.