TTG EXTRA – On hockey, hurling and “Puck of the Irish”

Truly The GOATs episode 12 was devoted to the Irish sport of hurling and its interconnectedness with Ireland, but how can one summarize 3,000 years of myth & history in any decent amount of time?

In this extra edition of Truly The GOATs, we talk origins, specifically those of Canada’s national pastime: Did the Irish actually invent hockey’s evolutionary predecessor? And what does it mean if they did?

Aron Harris of the Sports History Network’s Football Odyssey podcast joins Os Davis to review the 2017 documentary Poc Na nGael (“Puck of the Irish”), a movie that explores the deep connections between hurling and hockey as well as the Irish influence on Canada’s national sport.

Truly The GOATs: The newest fan of hurling…

To stream Poc Na nGael (Puck of the Irish) online, visit the TG4 official website at or click here.

Poc na nGael opening teaser from Éamonn Ó Cualáin on Vimeo.

Music used in this episode includes “Went to Fight and a Hockey Game Broke Out” by Jared C. Balogh. Used with Attribution Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License via

Hurling: Myth and/or history of Europe’s ancient sport

What started as a “simple” look by an unsuspecting American at the GOAT two- (or more) sport stars of Ireland – particularly those of hurling and Gaellic football ­­– instead ballooned into researching over 3,000 years of Irish myth and history on the game of hurling alone.

Back when folks in Mesoamerica were just getting interesting ideas about putting rubber balls into vertical hoops, the Celts were already playing an intricate sport involving equipment and agreed-upon rules (albeit incredible variable rules).

Truly The GOATs’ conclusion: To recount the history of hurling is to tell the history of Ireland – and really, the  most important chapters in European sports history as well. Ready for a long, strange trip in sports history? Guest sportswriter/journalist Emmet Ryan joins Truly The GOATs’ quest to find a GOAT amid three millennia plus of hurling in Ireland.

And here’s a non-spoiling spoiler: Irish sportswriting of the 18th century is awesome.

Truly The GOATs: The newest fan of hurling…

Music used in this episode includes “Funeral Battle” and “I’ve Not Fear” by Damiano Baldoni; “Beyond the Warriors” by Guifrog; “Guardians”, “Streets of Sant’ivo”, and “Land of a Folk Divided” by Mid-Air Machine; and Orbiting the Hurley, a DJ Dream Joker remix of “Orbiting the Earth” by Ultracat. Used with Attribution Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License via

Extra — Full interview with Denis Crawford, author of “the Life and Teams of Johnny F. Bassett”

Episode 11 of the Truly The GOATs podcast included excerpts from an interview with author Denis Crawford. Denis has to date written three books based in part at least on professional football in Tampa, Florida. His third and most recently released is the autobiographical work The Life and Teams of Johnny F. Bassett, the subject of which was also the focus of TTG #11.

In this extra edition of Truly The GOATs, a mostly unexpurgated version of the TTG interview with Denis in which he discusses in-depth Johnny Bassett’s “successful failures,” his rogue leagues, his tug-of-war with one Donald J. Trump over the ultimate fate of the Untied States Football League and the legacy of a rogue franchise all-timer…

Episode 11. The GOAT Sports Showman of the 20th Century

With the evolution of sports, sports broadcasting and the ever-crazier sums of money associated with sports in the 20th century, entertainment became synonymous with the games themselves. And few entrepreneurial sorts were more imaginative in delivering entertaining sports product that Johnny F. Bassett.

On this episode of Truly The GOATs, we discuss the P.T. Barnum of 20th-century sports with Denis Crawford, author of the biography The Life and Teams of Johnny F. Bassett. Can someone who never played a single minute of professional sports be considered one of the most influential forces in recent sports history? Denis makes the case for a maverick who took on Canadian politicians, America’s biggest leagues and, inevitably, Donald J. Trump…

Truly The GOATs: We love a good rogue sports league…

Excerpts from The Life and Teams of Johnny F. Bassett were used by permission of McFarland Publishing

Music used in this episode includes “Rare Bird” by Tab and Anitek; “Acquisition” and “Outlandish” by Anitek; and “Spy” by Eddy. Used with Attribution Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License via

Episode 10. The Greatest and the Super Fight

“I am the greatest!” Only one athlete would have been brazen – and justified – enough to proclaim himself as such. That was of course Muhammad Ali.

But while those of a certain age can’t help but agree with Ali, boxing fans still disagree constantly as to who is the Greatest Heavyweight Fighter of All-Time. The passing of time has reduced the legend of Ali as fighter but has aggrandized his sociopolitical stands to mythic proportions – and the story of his time-bending, dream-fulfilling fight against Rocky Marciano to literally determine the GOAT boxing champion is slowly dissipating in the collective consciousness.

On this episode of Truly The GOATs, we’re talking Muhammad Ali’s career, legacy, the Super Fight and the arguments of heavyweight GOAT-dom that may never be settled with Simon Walters of the You Don’t Play Boxing podcast and Dan Neumann of Sports History Network’s own Hello Old Sports podcast. And naturally we’ve got a sound bite or three from the man himself.

Truly The GOATs: We talk the greatest!

Episode 9. The Greatest Baseball Song of All-Time

What’s the greatest baseball song of all-time?

The answer is obvious, yet has somehow eluded mention on nearly every “Top Baseball-themed Songs” list ever composed. As far as Truly The GOATs is concerned, the answer is an objective truth – and you may just agree.

Joining us for this episode of Truly The GOATs is George Boziwick, retired chief music director for The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. As a composer, music expert, researcher and baseball fan, George is imminently qualified to settle the dispute – and he’s got the surprising history behind one of America’s most beloved songs of any type.

Truly The GOATs: The sports history podcast with a bit of a thing for Katie Casey

Extra – The new TTG theme: Fun on Street (Greatest Remixxx of All-Time)

Recently, the sad realization that Truly The GOATs would have to change our theme song set in.

(Okay, so we didn’t *have to* strictly speaking, but there was this thing with C.C. Sabathia and Bill Simmons’s Ringer Network; it’s explained in the episode.)

Luckily a talented old friend came to the rescue and so we present the new Truly The GOATs theme song: Fun on Street (Greatest Remixxx of All-Time) by David Liso of Dynamo Stairs – groovy!

Episode 8. Buck Bokai, baseball’s last GOAT

What do Canadian football, Star Trek, George R.R. “Game of Thrones” Martin and Theodore Roosevelt have in common?

They’re all involved in Truly The GOATs episode 8, Buck Bokai: Baseball’s Last GOAT, a look at the future of international sports after a 150-year golden age of humanity’s ball games. Are fans of certain high-level sports league watching the last generation of GOATs…?

Episode 7 bonus — “One Diamond at a Time” by Peter Gorton

Episode 7 of Truly the GOATs guested Peter Gorton, founder/director of the John Donaldson Network.

As probably the world’s leading authority on this all-time great of American baseball as well as a historian of baseball in the Midwest, Peter has also written a number of articles on Donaldson and baseball.

Included in the episode devoted to the story of John Donaldson were excerpts from one such essay written by Peter . And so Truly the GOATs is proud to present here the audio version of “One Diamond at a Time,” as read by Danny Solis. Enjoy!

Episode 7. John Wesley Donaldson: American baseball’s (almost) forgotten GOAT

John Donaldson played professional baseball for 33 years, racking up 413 wins as a pitcher – more (verifiable) wins than anyone in American professional baseball history except Cy Young and Walter Johnson. His 5,000-plus career strikeouts are topped only by Nolan Ryan, and Donaldson’s career highlights also include some 14 no-hitters and *two* perfect games.

So how come you’ve never heard of him…?

On this episode of Truly The GOATs, John Donaldson Network founder Peter Gorton tells host Os Davis of the incredible exploits of an African-American left-handed power pitcher who was a good century ahead of his time. And if you think you know baseball history, get ready to enter an entirely different universe of barnstorming teams, local rivalries and year ’round schedules that was the average American’s experience of the national pastime before World War II – and Jackie Robinson’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers…

Truly the GOATs: Reassessing sports history in the 21st century.

Additional music for this episode includes a sample of an arrangement of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” by Booby Howe. The song “Once Upon a Time” by Audiobinger is via