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Third String

86 EpisodesProduced by VernacularWebsite

Zac and Pete break down the baseball and football stories you need to hear every week. Download an episode and join the debate!

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E87 Delayed Super Bowl Reax, Mookie goes to LA, and the XFL Debuts

February 10th, 2020

Delayed Super Bowl Reax, Mookie goes to LA, and the XFL Debuts

We talk about Mookie going to the LA Dodgers (and leaving a black eye on the Red Sox front office), whether or not Pat Mahomes deserved the Super Bowl MVP, …

E86 The Disastros and the Great Baseball Scandal of 2020

January 17th, 2020

The Disastros and the Great Baseball Scandal of 2020

Zac and Pete talk about the growing MLB scandal, including whether or not MLB should vacate the …

E85 Mr. Rivera Goes to Washington, New Overtime Rules, and Jerry Jones is Weird

January 7th, 2020

Mr. Rivera Goes to Washington, New Overtime Rules, and Jerry Jones is Weird

Zac and Pete talk about the NFL coaching carousel, Jadeveon Clowney's …

E84 The Return: Aaron Rodgers is Average, the BCS was better, and Fantasy Football is the worst

December 30th, 2019

The Return: Aaron Rodgers is Average, the BCS was better, and Fantasy Football is the worst

Zac and Pete are back with a new episode of 3rd String and a commitment to bring you the best baseball and football content

E83 The Nationals Are World Series Champs and You Just Love to See It

October 31st, 2019


In this episode, Peter and guest host Josh (co-host of Vernacular's "The Popped Cast") jump on the horn just an hour removed from celebrating the …

E82 Pete Visits Colorado, Designing the New XFL, the Washington Nats, and the Ewing Theory

October 18th, 2019

Pete Visits Colorado, Designing the New XFL, the Washington Nats, and the Ewing Theory

In this episode, we return to The Lineup for an in-person pod …

E81 Dog Days of Summer, New York teams, and Deadline Moves

July 31st, 2019

The Return

In a comeback that rivals Michael Jordan's September 2001 exit from retirement to play for the Washington Wizards, Zac and Pete are back at it to talk about the dog days of summer, the extreme futility of …

E80 Ranking the Best Baseball Movies (Popped Cast Crossover)

April 11th, 2019


In this episode, we join forces with The Popped Cast's Josh Goldman for a special crossover episode in which we break down the best baseball movies …

E79 The Great American League Preview

March 27th, 2019


Zac, Pete, and guest co-host Josh Goldman break down the American League for the 2019 season.

Among the topics: Are the Red Sox favorites to …

E78 Ichiro's farewell tour, the savvy Padres, and ranking the National League

March 21st, 2019


Zac and Pete resume the MLB preview episodes by finishing up rankings in each of the National League divisions.

E77 Josh Goldman visits Austin, Bryce Harper's megadeal, and NL East power rankings

March 16th, 2019


In this episode, Josh Goldman joins us from our sister podcast The Popped Cast to meet Zac for the first time (no, seriously) and to banter about …

E76 Super Bowl Preview: The Other Donald, Romostradamus, and Coaching Duels

February 3rd, 2019


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) preview some key things to watch in tomorrow's Super Bowl matchup, including:

- Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh …

E75 Worst to First: Ranking the NFL Playoff Field

January 1st, 2019


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) review the 12 playoff teams in the NFL playoff field and review, from "worst to first," what their Super …

E74 Drafting the Best Sports Moments of 2018

December 28th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) conduct a draft of the best sports moments of 2018 and then briefly discuss some sports things they hated in the past year. 

Mentioned in this episode: 

- Washington Capitals' …

E73 The Definitive Bowl Game Watchability Rankings

December 20th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) debut The Lineup with a definitive watchability rankins of all the 2018 NCAA bowl games. Sound off on what …

E71 NFL Week 10 "Dime a Dozen"

November 10th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) run through a "Dime a Dozen" segment and give you their picks for a high payoff 12-game parlay of NFL weekend action.

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E70 Surprises of the NFL Season (and October baseball)

October 22nd, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) discuss the glories of October baseball and talk about the Red Sox/Dodgers matchup, dissect the Saquon Barkley draft decision in retrospect, argue about whether or not the NFC …

E69 NBA Season Preview-Palooza

October 12th, 2018


Welcome to the Takes of The Game NBA Season Preview for the 2018-19 season. Taylor and Ishan open with a discussion on Jimmy Butler's practice tirade in Minnesota yesterday before wondering if player empowerment has …

E68 October Baseball and Game 163s

October 5th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) discuss the opening salvo of the MLB playoffs, including the Cubs' impressive collapse, the clash of the …

E67 Butler's Demands and NBA Islands

October 5th, 2018


Ishan takes us down memory lane and tells us where his affection for Jimmy Butler began. That leads the guys on a deep dive into Butler's trade demands. They debate who's to blame for the bad blood betwen Butler and The …

E66 NFL Week 3 "Dime a Dozen"

September 22nd, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) run through a "Dime a Dozen" segment and give you their picks for a high payoff 12-game parlay of NFL weekend action. 

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E65 The September Countdown to October

September 19th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen), Pete (@Pete_Laclede), and Ishan (@jimmyluandtaj) discuss the NL playoff race, Ohtani the two-way phenom who continues to bat despite a torn UCL, the Athletics' impressive ability to keep finding an …

E64 The League Pass Watchability Index

September 18th, 2018


Taylor and Ishan, in great moods after their football teams swept the weekend, dive into ranking the top five league pass teams based on watchability. They argue intensely about the Atlanta Hawks, give some love to the …

E63 NCAA Football and NFL Week 2

September 15th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) break down storylines so far from weeks one and two of college football season, including Willie Taggart's …

E62 The WNBA and the future of basketball

September 13th, 2018


On this weeks TOTG, Ishan recaps the WNBA Finals and explains how the WNBA will continue to market themselves, then Taylor and Ishan deep dive on strategy shifts over the last 20 years in the NBA and guess what the next …

E61 NFC/AFC East Preview

September 6th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede), true NFC East homers, break down why the Cowboys and Giants are in horrendous trouble: Did you know that 11% of the Giants' roster was added after the end of the preseason? …

E60 The Benchwarmers' Live Draft Chat

September 5th, 2018


In this episode, 3rd String Benchwarmers Zac (@ZacCrippen), Ishan (@shouldakeptJB), and Taylor (@TheTYoung) host a live discussion about all things …

E59 NFC/AFC West Preview

September 4th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) preview the NFC/AFC West, breaking down storylines for each team and talking about the "X-Factor." Will the Rams reign supreme? Are the Seahawks in true rebuild? Is Denver …

E58 Manu Retires, Fantasy Hoops, and the WNBA

September 3rd, 2018


Taylor Young (@TheTYoung) and Ishan Nath (@shouldakeptJB) discuss Manu Ginobili's retirement from the San Antonio Spurs, his legacy in the NBA, and …

E57 Advanced Basketball Stats for Dummies

September 3rd, 2018


Taylor Young (@TheTYoung) and Ishan Nath (@shouldakeptJB) return to the microphones this week for a primer on advanced stats for the uninitiated. …

E56 The College Football Preview

August 29th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) preview the college football season in advance of kickoff weekend, exploring storylines, teams, and …

E55 Urban Meyer's Suspension

August 23rd, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) react to the news of Urban Meyer's three game suspension and discuss whether or not this meets the requirements of justice (hint: it doesn't). 

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E54 AFC/NFC South Preview

August 22nd, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) discuss preview the NFC/AFC South this year, talking about each team's storyline and X-factor. Will Sacksonville maintain its elite pass rush? Will Kamara continue his torrid …

E53 Is baseball too white?

August 12th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Ishan (@shouldakeptJB) discuss what the Josh Hader ordeal tells us about baseball (read: is baseball too white?), examine …

E52 AFC/NFC North Preview

August 11th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) provide a preview of the AFC and NFC North, predicting division winners and identifying each team's "X-factors" and storylines to watch. Hear Zac's hot take on the dark horse …

E51 Urban Meyer's #MeToo moment and TO's HOF party

August 5th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) discuss the Urban Meyer allegations and the future of the NCAA, Jalen Hurts' dissatisfaction at Alabama, Terrell Owens' Hall of Fame celebration, Ray Lewis' and Cristiano …

E50 The MLB Trade Deadline Show and NFL chatter

August 1st, 2018


And we're back! After taking their own All-Star break, Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) return to the show to break down all of the MLB trade deadline action. What team emerged as the winner? Who is the …

E49 The Home Run Derby National Ice Cream Day Draft

July 16th, 2018


In this special National Ice Cream Day/Home Run Derby edition episode, Zac and Pete draft their Home Run Derby teams and discuss their favorite ice cream flavors after Pete ate his own weight in ice cream at a Vegas ice …

E48 MLB All-Star snubs and World Cup flops

July 10th, 2018


In this episode, Zac and Pete banter about World Cup Soccer, Kirk Cousins, and D.C. sports, and debate the snubs of the All-Star Game. You can find …

E47 Dexter, Willians, and MLB Progress Checks

July 7th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen), Pete (@Pete_Laclede), and Ishan (@shouldakeptJB) answer a listener question about unwritten rules in baseball, banter about Dexter …

E46 Designated hitters and pace of play changes

June 28th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) talk about the best baseball movies of all time, summer in Vegas and Austin, the designated hitter coming to the NL, Zac's terrible DH idea, pace of play changes, and round two …

E45 MLB storylines, moving pains, and Kawhi Leonard

June 20th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) talk about the MLB season so far, including the resurgent Astros, the slumping Bryce Harper, and Clayton Kershaw's attempt to return from a back injury. Then Zac brings Taylor (

E44 Golfing in the Dark (Part 2)

June 15th, 2018


In part two of this special Father's Day episode, Zac (@ZacCrippen), Pete Laclede (@Pete_Laclede), and Josh Goldman (@GoldmanStandard) talk about the …

E43 Golfing in the Dark: Tiger Woods and Fatherhood

June 15th, 2018


In part one of this special Father's Day episode, Zac (@ZacCrippen), Pete Laclede (@Pete_Laclede), and Josh Goldman (@GoldmanStandard) talk about the …

E42 The NBA Season Retrospective

June 13th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen), Ishan (@shouldakeptJB), and Taylor (@theTYoung) discuss J.R. Smith's Finals-defining gaffe, LeBron's hand injury and his 2018 …

E41 Roadtrip Diaries Micropod #4

June 8th, 2018


It's the final installment of the Roadtrip Diaries! As Pete's roadtrip winds down and he descends into the Nevada desert, Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) discuss the Washington Capitals' historic win over the …

E40 Roadtrip Diaries Micropod #3

June 7th, 2018


It's the Roadtrip Diaries Micropod Part 3! As Pete's roadtrip continues, this time from an undisclosed location in Yellowstone National Park en route to Salt Lake City, Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) talk …

E39 Roadtrip Diaries Micropod #2

June 6th, 2018


It's the Roadtrip Diaries Micropod Part 2! As Pete's roadtrip continues, this time from Billings, MT to an undisclosed location in Yellowstone National Park, Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) talk about …

E38 Roadtrip Diaries Micropod #1

June 6th, 2018


It's the Roadtrip Diaries Micropod Part 1! In the middle of Pete's roadtrip from North Dakota to Las Vegas, Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) talk about Phil Jackson's boyhood hometown in North Dakota, the …

E37 What Happens in Vegas Goes to the Stanley Cup

May 25th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede)break down the Supreme Court’s sports gambling decision just before Pete moves to the gambling capital of the world, preview the unlikeliest Stanley Cup in history, and talk …

E36 Previewing the NBA Conference Finals

May 12th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen), Ishan (@shouldakeptJB) and Taylor (@TheTYoung) discuss the Celtics-Cavs and Rockets-Warriors matchups, talking about key players, …

E35 The amazing Caps, the disappointing Sixers

May 8th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) take fifteen minutes to break down the latest NHL action (Pete's beloved Caps are going to their first conference finals in twenty years) and talk about the Sixers' future and …

E34 Draft Reax, MLB Surprises, and Pete on a Tractor

May 4th, 2018


Zac and Pete highlight some key takeaways from the NFL draft last weekend (Josh Allen is Christian Hackenberg, the Giants are dumb, the Saints must have accidentally traded away next year's first rounder), answer a …

E33 The Mock Draft

April 26th, 2018


Zac (@ZacCrippen) and Pete (@Pete_Laclede) run a mock draft, posing as the GMs of the Browns, Giants, Jets, Broncos, Colts, Bucs, Niners, and …

E32 NBA Playoffs Update

April 23rd, 2018


Zac, Pete, and Ishan sit down and talk about some of the surprising and totally expected events of the NBA playoffs so far. Is LeBron in danger of …

E31 NBA Playoff Preview

April 14th, 2018


Get Ready for the NBA playoffs with 3rd String! In this episode Zac and Pete talk with Taylor Young, a long time Pounding the Rock contributor and …

E30 Appendices are for Losers

April 14th, 2018


Zac and Pete are back, one emergency surgery and one trip to Sin City down, to talk about the week in sports. The guys debate Dez Bryant landing spots, the Ohtani hype train (spoiler, one host yells “whoot whoot”), and …

E29 Philthy Bunts and Old Cubs

April 6th, 2018


Zac and Pete briefly give a nod to Philadelphia's latest championship team, the Villanova Wildcats (0:37) before talking about Chance Sisco's bunt against the Twins' shift in the 9th inning (5:02). Zac also comes out as …

E28 Guessing the (Free Throw) Line

March 31st, 2018


On this bonus pod, Zac and Pete welcome “Uncle Saw” back to the show, fresh off his trip to the Mecca of college hoops betting: Mandalay Bay in Las …

E27 The Best in the West

March 30th, 2018


In the final episode of our MLB preview trilogy, Zac, Pete, and Ishan discuss over/under predictions for each team in the American League and National League West. Will Shohei Ohtani overcome his spring blues? Will Wade …

E26 The Breadbasket of Baseball (AL/NL Central)

March 24th, 2018


In this episode of 3rd String we break down some of the biggest things you need to know about the American League and National League central divisions. What is Byron Buxton's ceiling? Are the Indians a lock over the …

E25 Marching Through the Madness

March 21st, 2018


It's been a crazy NCAA so far. We have First Four teams taking out Final Four favorites, #1 seeds falling to schools whose websites can't handle the …

E24 Early NFL Free Agency

March 18th, 2018


In the midst of Madness and travel, Zac and Pete are back with an emergency pod to talk about the crazy week in sports. From the disappointment of the PAC-12 to the Yankees, to the biggest NFL Free Agent moves, it’s an …

E23 the madness of march

March 13th, 2018


In this episode, Zac, Pete, and Ishan break down the results of Selection Sunday and provide initial thoughts on the field of 68 teams that made it …

E22 Beasts of the East (an MLB preview)

March 7th, 2018


In part one of our MLB preview trilogy, we break down the American League and National League East, looking at offseason acquisitions, storylines that will determine the direction of the 2018 season, and over/unders for …

E21 Emergency Pod: More details emerge from the FBI's NCAA hoops investigation

February 24th, 2018


Zac and Pete provide instant reax to the new details emerging from Yahoo Sports with respect to the NCAA basketball corruption scandal. Become a supporter of this podcast:

E20 Grab Bag: Basketball Updates and Olympic Reflections

February 23rd, 2018


We're Back! After taking 2 weeks off, Zac was finally able to stop celebrating long enough to sit down with Pete and Ishan to discuss all things basketball. This week, the guys talk about some of the surprises in the …

E19 Emergency Pod--Philadelphia Wins the Super Bowl!

February 5th, 2018


It was the Empire vs. the Rebels. Darth Vader vs. Obi-Wan. Good vs. Evil. And the good guys won, 41-33. In this brief emergency pod, Zac and Pete provide rapid reactions to the the Eagles' riveting victory over the …

E18 Final Super Bowl calls, NBA drama, and Steph Curry 2.0

February 1st, 2018


In this episode, Zac, Pete, and Ishan break down some key matchups in Super Bowl LII, make their score predictions, and then pivot to the basketball world where Trae Young is getting a lot of draft buzz, the Cavs are …

E17 Emergency Pod--Mr. (Alex) Smith Goes to Washington

February 1st, 2018


Zac and Pete take ten minutes to quickly break down the Alex Smith trade, which is particularly devastating for Pete. Become a supporter of this …

E16 Beating the Spread with Uncle Saw

January 28th, 2018


Zac and Pete are at it again! After their bad NFL Wild Card and Divisional picks, the guys bring in an expert this episode, “Saw” LaMonaca, to give his own Super Bowl prediction, as well as break down the gambling scene …

E15 pigskin postseasons

January 15th, 2018


In this episode of 3rd String, Zac and Pete talk about Alabama’s 451st consecutive championship title, Wild Card Weekend surprises, the crazy Divisional games this past weekend, and the upcoming AFC and NFC …

E14 Bison Bonanza, Bowl Breakdown, and Wildcard Weekend

January 4th, 2018


Zac and Pete ring in 2018 by going all in on football. The guys start off with bowl game reactions by talking about surprises and disappointments, …

E13 Joy to the Sports World!

December 26th, 2017


‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the land, not a sports fan was unhappy, except for the 385,000 people in Cleveland. Zac and Pete talk about assembling children’s Christmas presents, the sorry state of NFL …

E12 We're going bowling!

December 19th, 2017


We have Salad Bowls, Hype Train Bowls, Bad Boy Mower Bowls, and everything in between! In this week’s bonus show, Zac and Pete sit down with former Ball State defensive tackle and 2-time bowl game alum Joel Cox to talk …

E11 The Sports Awaken

December 18th, 2017


It has been one week since the Empire (who some might know as the Yankees) signed Giancarlo to a huge deal, sending shockwaves through baseball. Not to be outdone, the rebels from a moon base in Anaheim signed Ohtani …

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