14 episodes

Many of us experience sports much like religion: they give us a shared identity, a sense of community, and a common purpose. So what wisdom can we draw from the sports world to help us navigate the chaos and confusion -- and also the awakening and transformation -- happening today? Join host Varun Soni, Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life at the University of Southern California, in this limited-run series from Religion of Sports.

More Than A Game (Formerly Why Sports Matter‪)‬ Religion of Sports

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 180 Ratings

Many of us experience sports much like religion: they give us a shared identity, a sense of community, and a common purpose. So what wisdom can we draw from the sports world to help us navigate the chaos and confusion -- and also the awakening and transformation -- happening today? Join host Varun Soni, Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life at the University of Southern California, in this limited-run series from Religion of Sports.

    Introducing: Crushed

    Introducing: Crushed

    The newest Religion of Sports show, Crushed, revisits the steroid era to untangle its truth from the many myths, examine the legacy of baseball’s farthest-reaching scandal, and explore what it tells us about sports culture in America. In 1998, fans across the country fell in love with the home run race as Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chased baseball immortality. Sportswriter Joan Niesen recounts her memories of that summer, examines the history and mythology of the home run and asks why people across the country wanted to believe they were watching heroes. 
    You can find out more information about Crushed here. 

    • 37 min
    Play, with Salman Ahmad

    Play, with Salman Ahmad

    In difficult times, setting aside time to play feels almost frivolous. But is actually even more vital because it provides us with balance, joy and connection with one another. Host Varun Soni talks with Salman Ahmad, cricket player and one of the most famous and beloved musicians in Pakistan, about the value of play during challenging times, his recent battle with COVID, and the role sports can play in easing tensions and building bridges.

    • 15 min
    Resilience, with Victoria Garrick

    Resilience, with Victoria Garrick

    Volleyball player and mental health advocate Victoria Garrick is a mentor to many student athletes and others who have been inspired by her public journey of vulnerability and strength. During this time of global pandemic and civil unrest, host Varun Soni asks Garrick how she has managed to deal positively with adversity without shying away from it, and what she learned about this subject from one of her great supporters and sources of inspiration, the late Kobe Bryant.

    • 21 min
    Hope, with Reza Aslan

    Hope, with Reza Aslan

    Host Varun Soni and his guest, author and TV host Reza Aslan, are both die-hard, long suffering, eternally optimistic fans of two of the worst franchises in American sports: the Clippers and the Raiders. Together, they discuss how they find hope -- in their beloved teams and in the future, during what feels like a cursed time.

    • 21 min
    Justice, with Jody Armour

    Justice, with Jody Armour

    The most recognizable symbol of solidarity with today's movement against racism and police brutality has been to take a knee, an act of protest popularized by Colin Kaepernick. He's the latest in a long line of athlete-activists whose outspoken defiance have helped push forward social and political change in America. What can we learn from these individuals and the movements they are a part of? And what can we learn from the sports world about inclusion, teamwork, and working together to reach shared goals? Our host Varun Soni explores these questions and more in conversation with Jody Armour, professor of law and author of the upcoming book, "N*gga Theory: Race, Language, Unequal Justice and the Law."

    • 18 min
    Trailer: More Than A Game

    Trailer: More Than A Game

    Many of us experience sports much like religion: they give us a shared identity, a sense of community, and a common purpose. So what wisdom can we draw from the sports world to help us navigate the chaos and confusion -- and also the awakening and transformation -- happening today? Join host Varun Soni, Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life at the University of Southern California, in this limited-run series from Religion of Sports, launching July 30.

    • 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
180 Ratings

180 Ratings

mvijayan ,

The Art of Dialog

The host brings together a commanding ability to intellectualize substantive issues that are relevant today, while being very accessible - without compromising the caliber of the debate.

Billies852 ,

Love

I don't follow sports but I couldn't stop listening to this. The stories are extraordinary and you leave each episode thinking a little differently. It sticks with you. Highly recommend

ravenss09 ,

You Need to Hear Why Sport Matters

This podcast exemplifies the positive opportunities that sport can bring to the world. The interviews examine the complexities that sport is dealing with in society and how sport is truly making a difference. If you love inspiring and meaningful stories that are around sports you need to listen to this podcast. Well done to the WSM team.

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