NOVEMBER 22, 2020
Boyhood idol Jim Hart drops in to the last school fiesta of the year to talk about #17, his acting chops, practicing on Thanksgiving and fun with Dick Butkus. The number 17 is loaded across the board with great talent from Havilcek to Kurri and oddballs like Dock Ellis and Turk Edwards who ended his career by getting injured on a coin toss. Season 1 ends with a bang with Screen Stars, a ridiculous and sublime Derrick Rose Award and a complete change in format for the Heat Check. Get some for the last time in 2020.
Jim Hart was undrafted out of Southern Illinois “The Harvard of the Midwest” but went on to play 19 years at QB in St. Louis and Washington. Leading the “Cardiac Cards” of the 70s, he was a 4X Pro Bowler, NFC Offensive Player of the Year in 1974 and NFL Man of the Year in 1975. When he retired, only Johnny Unitas and Fran Tarkenton had thrown for more yards and he was 10th all-time in touchdown passes. His 23 career game winning drives is on par with Hall of Famers YA Tittle, Ken Stabler, Dan Fouts and Terry Bradshaw. After his playing days he was a successful restaurateur, broadcaster and was Athletic Director at his alma mater, SIU. He was enshrined in the Cardinals Ring of Honor in 2017.
NOVEMBER 8, 2020
Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, architect of the greatest end zone celebrations in NFL history drops by to talk about #84, his nickname, his career, his run for state senator in Georgia, the Hall of Fame and much, much more. This pod is loaded with receivers, tight ends and the fattest vegetarian in history.
Billy “White Shoes” Johnson played 14 NFL seasons with Houston, Atlanta and Washington and 1 year in Canada. A wide receiver and return specialist, his famous “funky chicken” end zone dance made him an all-time favorite. He was also a 3X All-Pro and made the Pro Bowl 3X including winning the MVP of the game in 1975. He’s also a member of the College Football HOF and the NFL’s All-Decade teams of the 70s & 80s. He’s also on the NFL’s 75th & 100th Anniversary All-Time teams and is the only member of the 75th Anniversary team not (yet) in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
NOVEMBER 1, 2020
Sports memorabilia guru and all-around good dude Tracy Hackler of Panini America joins the fun to talk about the explosion in popularity of sports trading cards and memorabilia, the effect of uniform numbers on card value, cutting up a perfectly good rare Babe Ruth jersey and watching Ryan Leaf's NFL career implode before it began.
Tracy Hackler has spent the majority of his career talking about sports trading cards. You know those 2 ½ x 3 ½ pieces of cardboard gold that many of us collected as kids. So yes, he’s got a better job than you do. For more than a decade now Tracy has been running point on all communications and marketing for Panini America, the collectibles giant based in Dallas-Fort Worth. Panini produces official trading cards for the NFL, NBA, college football and NASCAR as well as baseball and World Cup soccer cards. Over the past couple of years – and especially the past few months – Panini and the entire sports collectibles category has enjoyed a revival of sorts. Sports cards are super cool again and innovators like Tracy continue to push the envelope to make guys like us want to dig into our savings accounts to buy the next ultra-limited edition titanium-infused autograph jersey card of Zion Williamson.
OCTOBER 25, 2020
Jake "The Snake" Plummer drops in to talk about #16, comparisons to Joe Montana, a near-miss National Championship, his friendship with Pat Tillman and life after football for a 45-year old retiree. Plus, strong contenders in all sports, a Hall of Shame you can probably see coming down Main St. and a loaded Hall of Fame class.
Jake Plummer came within 100 seconds of winning a National Championship at Arizona State in 1996. That year he was named All-American, Pac-10 Offensive Player of the year and finished 3rd in Heisman Trophy voting. He played 10 seasons in the NFL with Arizona and Denver. In 1998 he led the Cardinals to an upset win over the Cowboys to notch the team’s first playoff win in 51 years. And with Denver he broke John Elway’s franchise records and led the Broncos to the 2005 AFC Championship game. His 499 yard performance against Atlanta in 2004 is still a team record and is the 25th best single-game passing performance in NFL history. Since he retired in 2006 he’s been active in a variety of causes including Alzheimer’s and CBD research and he’s the Co-Founder of ReadyList Sports, an interactive playbook learning and testing technology that increases engagement, comprehension and safety.
He’s a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and can beat you at any game you can come up with . . .
OCTOBER 18, 2020
Mark Hilinski discusses the life & legacy of his son Tyler, a former Washington St. QB who died by suicide in 2018 and the work of the Hilinski's Hope Foundation. Plus, Screen Stars and Heat Check are jam-packed and the Hall of Fame is not to be missed.
Mark and Kym Hilinski have three sons, their middle-child’s name was Tyler. He wore #3 as a starter at Washington State where he engineered one of the greatest comebacks in the history in program history against Boise State in 2017. Just 4 months after that memorable win, Tyler took his own life - though he never showed signs of depression or struggle. That same year Mark & Kym founded The Hilinski’s Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization formed to promote mental health awareness and education for student-athletes. Last week, was Hilinski’s Hope’s inaugural College Football Mental Health Week, which culminated in the first 3DAY, where players raised three fingers in the third quarter in tribute to Tyler and to bring awareness to The Foundation’s mission to educate, advocate, and eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness.
OCTOBER 11, 2020
Denver Broncos legend Karl Mecklenburg joins the pod to talk about #77, his 6 Keys to Success and being on the doorstep of the Hall of Fame. We've also got a heated Derrick Rose Award field and an impressive Heat Check list that could be Hall of Fame contenders soon.
Karl Mecklenburg went from being a college walk-on and 12th round pick to a spectacular NFL career highlighted by 3 Super Bowl appearances. He played 12 seasons for the Denver Broncos and was a 3X All-Pro and 6X Pro Bowler. He also sometimes played all 7 positions on the defensive front in the same game. Since retiring in 1994, he’s become a popular public speaker and is the only former NFL player to earn the designation of Certified Speaking Professional. He’s a member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, The Broncos Ring of Honor and is an 10-time semifinalist for the Hall of Fame.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2020
Boyhood hero Steve Garvey joins the podcast to talk about #6, his time as a Dodgers batboy, his guest shot on Fantasy Island and more. We've also got our fathers' favorite players, plus Screen Stars, the Hall of Shame, the Heat Check and more. It's the joy of six!
Steve Garvey played 19-years in the big leagues for the Dodgers and Padres in the 70s & 80s. He’s a 10X All-Star, 4X Gold Glove winner, was National League MVP in 1974 and won a World Series in 1981.
His number 6 is retired in San Diego where his dramatic home run in the 1984 NLCS propelled the Padres to their first World Series appearance (take that, Cubbies!) Since he retired in 1987 he’s become a highly sought-after speaker and marketing executive as well as serving on the board of the Baseball Assistance Team, a non-profit that helps former players through medical and financial hardships.
SEPTEMBER 20, 2020
Jim "The Rookie" Morris joins the show to talk about #63, what it's like to have Dennis Quaid play you in the story of your life and details on his new book Dream Makers. Plus, we've got a carload of NFL linemen and nearly forgotten baseball players to discuss and a mighty unusual Hall of Shame and Derrick Rose Award you won't want to miss.
Our guest has lived his very own Disney movie. Jim Morris was a high school baseball coach and science teacher who incredibly made the major leagues in 1999 at the ripe old age of 35. The story of his life and his rise to the majors became the blockbuster movie The Rookie, starring Dennis Quaid – A film that won the ESPY for Best Sports Movie in 2002. Since his playing days he’s become a highly sought-after motivational speaker and in 2015 he launched the Jim “The Rookie” Morris Foundation which assists underprivileged children in and around San Antonio, Texas. His new book Dream Makers picks up where The Rookie left off – telling the story of his contentious relationship with his father, his struggles with pain and addiction and the transformative power of surrounding yourself with the best people possible.
SEPTEMBER 13, 2020
NFL great Steve Smith Sr. joins the show to talk about how he turned a negative into a positive with the number 89. He also shares how he was able to add “Sr.” to his jersey (it’s more complicated than you think), what’s he’s had to learn as an NFL analyst, how he’s helping his community in Charlotte and, like the rest of us, he wonders what’s going on in Jacksonville. All that and late-breaking number news, Screen Stars, the Hall of Shame, the Hall of Fame and more.
Steve Smith Sr. is one of the most prolific NFL receivers of the past 20 years. He played 16 seasons for the Panthers & Ravens and was a 5X Pro Bowl selection and 3X All-Pro. He practically owns the Panthers’ record books as their all-time leader in TDs, receptions and receiving yards and is a member of the team’s Hall of Honor. He’s also in the NFL’s Top 10 for career All-Purpose Yards and Receiving Yards. Since he retired after the 2016 season he’s moved to the NFL Network where you can see him on Thursday Night Football coverage as well as NFL Total Access. Steve remains active in his community as well through the Steve Smith Family Foundation.
SEPTEMBER 6, 2020
Get ready for the 2020 NFL season with our NFL SPECIAL! We've got number news on every team including top rookies and new faces in new places. Get ready for the season with Puttin' Up Numbers.
AUGUST 30, 2020
Legendary #10 Nancy Lieberman stops in to critique our Hall of Fame list. We also talk about her friendships with Ali, Kobe, LeBron and Clyde, when a woman will finally become an NBA head coach, her thoughts on Zion's future and we cast an all-female version of Space Jam with Nancy leading the charge.
It’s hard to understate the impact Nancy Lieberman has had on the game of basketball. A true pioneer as a player, coach and broadcaster, she’s a 2X National Champion in college, an Olympic medalist and WNBA veteran as both a player and a coach. She was the first female in history to be a head coach in a men’s professional league, she’s also been an assistant with the Sacramento Kings and won a championship as a head coach in the Big 3. She’s now a broadcaster with the New Orleans Pelicans. And if there’s a Hall of Fame, she’s in it. That includes the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame among many others.She earned the nickname “Lady Magic” by honing her game at New York’s legendary Rucker Park and wore #10 in honor of Knicks legend Walt Frazier.
AUGUST 23, 2020
Bailey, Barnes, Barry, Bonds, Bryant, Chelios, Gordon, Griffey, Henderson, Malone, Mays . . . the competition for the greatest #24 of all-time is absolutely STACKED. Bill Cartwright, the catalyst of the great Bulls teams of the early 90s joins us to talk about the Bulls, The Last Dance, his love of the Say Hey Kid and more! It's an action-packed show featuring a brand-new segment from Mr. Rudy Klancnik himself.
Bill Cartwright was a key part of the one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history. He played 16 seasons for the Knicks, Bulls and Sonics and was co-captain of the Bulls teams that won three-straight NBA titles in the early 90s. After his playing days he became a successful assistant coach with the Bulls, Nets and Suns and a part of 3 more championship teams. He was a two-time All-American at University of San Francisco and is still the Dons all-time leading scorer. His #24 is retired at USF alongside legends like Bill Russell and KC Jones where he is now Director of University Initiatives.
AUGUST 16, 2020
The genius behind America's greatest Twitter feed Super 70s Sports joins a Very Special Episode of Puttin' Up Numbers to talk (what else?) all things 70s. Ricky Cobb might not be a household name like Joe Namath, Howard Cosell or Evel Knievel but if your birthday falls anywhere from around 1960 to the mid-1970s, Ricky has established himself as a legend. Thanks to his super popular and super funny Twitter account, the Super 70s Sports is a must follow for anyone who appreciates great humor, Oscar Gamble’s Afro and cigarette ads that appear to spotlight serial killers. Oh, and if you’re easily offended by some off-color language, follow someone else. Ricky talks as if you’re sitting with him at a bar and you’re already a couple of pitchers in.
Ricky Cobb is a college professor by day and a Tweeting machine by night (and mornings, afternoons or basically whenever he can). When you’re the father of five daughters plus two stepdaughters it’s important to find some quiet time for yourself. Ricky has turned that quiet time into a fledgling media empire that now has him positioned to do everything from stand-up comedy to big-time production deals. With more than 375,000 followers and counting, Super ‘70s Sports captures an era of sports – and plenty of other stuff – that guys like us just can’t get enough of.
AUGUST 9, 2020
It's a YUGE show! ESPN Analyst Jay Bilas joins us to talk about legendary #21's, his appearance on The White Shadow, Young Jeezy, the state of college sports in a COVID-19 world, taking Barney the Dinosaur to court and more! It's an absolutely jam-packed show!
Paraphrasing Pete Gillen, our guest today “is on TV more than Leave It To Beaver.” Jay Bilas is one of the foremost analysts in college basketball today.He was a 4-year starter at Duke where he played on the first of Mike Krzyzewski’s 12 Final Four teams. He also won back-to-back National Championships as an Assistant Coach with Duke where he also picked up a law degree. He also serves on the boards of Coaches vs. Cancer and the Duke Brain Tumor Center. And since he joined ESPN in 1985, he’s a 5X Emmy nominee. If all of that wasn’t enough, he’s an accomplished actor, author and has a first-rate Twitter account.
JULY 26, 2020
Future Hall of Famer Nick Mangold stops by to talk about #74, BBQ, his work with the Answer the Call Foundation and how he’s dealing with 4 kids under 9-years of age. We talk about the bumper crop of #74’s in the Hall of Fame, Rudy’s favorite Fast and Furious movie and our distaste for The Blind Side and Rudy. Plus, a Hall of Shame that puts all other Hall of Shamer’s to shame and, of course, our #74 Hall of Fame.
Nick Mangold played 11 years at center for the New York Jets. He was the 29th pick overall in the 2006 NFL Draft and went on to become a 7-time Pro Bowl selection and 3-time All-Pro. He was a three-year starter and All-American at Ohio State and won a National Championship with the Buckeyes in 2002. Since retiring in 2018, he’s started a line of craft-style BBQ sauces under the Mangold’s 74 BBQ label. A portion of the proceeds benefit the families of New York’s fallen first responders.
JULY 19, 2020
Talented actor and college football legend Ed Marinaro joins the proceedings to talk about #49 (and #44 at Cornell), plus playing basketball with Jim Brown at the Playboy Mansion, screen testing for the Six Million Dollar Man, Hill Street Blues, playing for Lou Holtz, the famous Hail Mary game in 1975, living with Joe Namath and his role in the forthcoming Soprano’s prequel, The Many Saints of Newark. Also catch the Hall of Shame, Hall of Fame and a discussion of the three worst days in Tom Niedenfuer’s life.
Ed Marinaro is a talented actor and one of the greatest players in college football history. As a running back at Cornell, he set 16 NCAA records on his way to becoming a three-time All-American and the first player in history to rush for more than 4,000 yards. In 1971 he won the Maxwell Award and the AP and UPI Player of the Year Awards and finished 2nd to Pat Sullivan in the race for the Heisman Trophy. In a 6-year pro career with the Vikings, Jets and Seahawks, he played in 2 Super Bowls before turning his attention to acting – where he appeared on hit shows like Laverne & Shirley, Sisters and Hill Street Blues. And next year you can see him in The Soprano’s prequel, The Many Saints of Newark. He’s our first guest with an Ivy League education and our first College Football Hall of Famer.
JULY 12, 2020
Jim Abbott joins the podcast to talk about the #25 and his connection to Angels great Don Baylor. We break down the Contenders with a discussion of polarizing #25s, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Fred Biletnikoff and are still amazed that Jim Thome hit 612 HRs. Talk about Richard Sherman and Ben Simmons in Heat Check. Award the inaugural Derrick Rose Award to none other than Derrick Rose, plus the Hall of Shame and the Hall of Fame. If you’re looking for a lively discussion of players and teams we hate, this is the episode for you!
Jim Abbott is one of the most inspirational players in sports history. Born without a right hand he went on to have his #31 retired at the University of Michigan where he also won the Sullivan Award in as the nation’s best amateur athlete. In 1988 he won the gold medal game in the Olympics and was a 1st round selection of the California Angels. Abbott played 10 years in the big leagues including a no-hitter in 1993, which is detailed in his excellent autobiography, Imperfect.
JULY 5, 2020
The podcast about uniform numbers continues a streak of huge guests when Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon stops in to talk about his famous number 1. Warren talks about the significance of the number to him and his teammates, those who came before him and the resurgence of #1 with the current crop of young signal callers including the recently signed Cam Newton. We also break down Contenders, do our Heat Check, have a three-way tie in Screen Stars, plus the Hall of Shame and the Hall of Fame. If you like discussions about Garo Yepremian, this is an episode you won’t want to miss!
After starring at the University of Washington and winning a Rose Bowl in 1978, Warren Moon was undrafted by the NFL and took his talents to Canada. After winning 5 Grey Cups in 6 years, he signed with Houston in the NFL and managed to rack up nearly 50,000 yards passing in a 17-year career. Moon was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, becoming the first African American quarterback and the first undrafted quarterback to receive the honor.
JUNE 28, 2020
The podcast about uniform numbers breaks down the greatest athletes ever to wear uniform number 10. Baseball great Ron Cey joins Tom and Rudy to talk about how he got #10 with the Dodgers, what it was like to wear #11 in stops in Chicago and Oakland, the nickname, “The Penguin” and how it feels to have another Dodger third baseman wearing the number he made famous. We also have our Contenders, Heat Check, Screen Stars, the Hall of Shame, a non-soccer Hall of Fame and more!
Ron Cey played third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1971 to 1987. He was a key member of the powerhouse Dodger teams of the 1970s that won four National League pennants and won the 1981 World Series in which Cey was named MVP. He was a six-time All-Star and is still the highest-rated Dodger infielder of all-time by WAR. He finished his career playing for the Chicago Cubs and Oakland A’s while wearing #11
Puttin' Up Numbers is the podcast about uniform numbers. In each episode we talk about who wore it best (and worst) and chat with the athletes who made the number iconic.
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