Canadian sports fans have always been more connected to their European counterparts than their neighbors south of the border, with a shared love of winter sports and soccer creating a common bond. However, sometimes its difficult to get a feel for exactly what’s going on across the Atlantic, on sports fields, training grounds and ice rinks in Europe. That’s where podcasts come in handy, and luckily for you we’ve compiled a list of some of the most interesting and informative audio shows around, covering everything from the beautiful game to rugby.
If Canada’s national sport is hockey, then soccer is undoubtedly Europe’s and so it’s no surprise that there are a whole host of English language soccer podcasts all vying for your attention. For footballing laughs by the bucketload Atletico Mince is a good place to start, with comedians Bob Mortimer & Andy Dawson whose distinctly British sense of humor will have you rolling on the terraces if you can make head or tail of what they’re banging on about. Seriously, though, it is very funny, but does require an in-depth knowledge of the game in order to be fully appreciated.
For those more serious about their sport who perhaps enjoy a flutter or indulge in fantasy leagues, there’s always the more corporately minded, suited and booted, Gary Neville podcast. While the former Man Utd and England legend mainly sticks to issues relating to the Premier League, The Totally Football League Show focuses on the lower echelons of English football, debating who’ll be relegated to non-league obscurity or defy the Championship odds to win promotion to the promised land, that is the Premier League.
Whether it was Jean Pascal taking a beating against Carl Froch, Lucian Bute taking an even worse beating against Carl Froch or Lennox Lewis losing his passport, Canada has always come off second best to the UK when it comes to pugilism. That said, there are boxing podcasts popping up all over the place at the moment, with everyone from Z-list celebrities to former fighters all deeming themselves “students of the game”. One diamond among the rough is Boxing Life Stories hosted by sports journalist Tris Dixon, who has a skill for finding the most compelling rags-to-riches tales that boxing has to offer. For people wanting more of a fan’s eye view of the sport, check out the Boxing Asylum's NutHouse Podcast, which covers the week’s fights from Europe and further afield. Do be warned, though, that explicit language is commonplace on this pod.
For those tennis lovers among you comes the aptly named The Tennis Podcast, which being based in the UK, keeps you up to date on all things grass court related as well as staying abreast of developments across Europe. When will the next French Open take place? Odds are that this podcast will have the answer. In fairness, the US and Canada tend to dominate podcasts for this sport, but at least you have one European example to get your teeth into.
If the idea of hunkering down in a cozy British pub in order to talk rugby with your mates sounds like a dream afternoon pursuit, then the simply named The Rugby Pod is a good place to start as Andy Goode and Jim Hamilton give their expert opinion, that only wavers once the pints take hold. For a more straight-laced approach there’s Will Greenwood's Rugby Podcast, which has the production value you would expect from a podcast backed by a major television network. If neither of those are doing it for you then there’s always The Ruck Rugby Podcast, featuring legends of the game like Lawrence Dallaglio and Stephen Jones.