We asked our betting experts who are their favorite sports journalists and which sports shows and podcasts they liked the most in 2021. We compiled a long list and gave that to our in-house panel of experts and they picked the very best sports journalism and journalists of 2021 from that list.
Journalists are the backbone of any news production. Their genius, insight, and hard work leave their fingerprint all over. When we evaluate the best sports journalists of 2021, we are looking for depth of coverage, breadth of expertise, entertainment value, and creativity in exploration. These professionals are on the front line of bringing you the best information, biographies, and analyses on your favorite sports.
After following sports news all year, and thence completing a retrospective of various journalists’ years, we are very happy to present our list of the top sports journalists of 2021.
Adam Schefter has been an NFL Insider since 2009 and has grown to be quite central to the ESPN newsroom. He not only dominates ESPN, but he is seemingly everywhere. He has a radio career. His Twitter has 8.8 million followers who receive his daily news-breaking reporting. He also hosts the Adam Schefter Podcast where he interviews big names in sports. From controversies around vaccine mandates to covering the inside track of big trades, Schefter has been one of the first to cover a number of stories in 2021
Adrian Wojnarowski has a long and varied career covering mainly the National Basketball Association. This storied professional was voted. the National Sports Media Association’s National Sportswriter of the Year for three years in a row from 2017-2019. In addition to his regular pieces featured on ESPN, you can also enjoy his excellent podcast and YouTube show The Woj Pod and The Woj Report, respectively. As if this was not enough, this ground-breaking basketball reporter also published a New York Times Bestseller called The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball’s Most Improbable Dynasty.
Elliotte Friedman is probably North America’s leading hockey journalist. An insider for The NHL Network and a regular guest on CBS Sports Hockey Night in Canada, Friedman has come to be nearly synonymous with excellent hockey journalism. His podcast 32 Questions is a must-hear for fans of the NHL. They cover both junior and professional leagues. Whether comments on past or upcoming games or big story news items, this podcast is always fresh on the beat.
When it comes to Ultimate Fighting and Mixed Martial Arts sports journalism, Ariel Halwani is in a league of his own. Born in Montreal, he then studied at the School of Communication at Syracuse. This multilingual journalist speaks English, French, and Hebrew fluently, with high-level Spanish and Arabic language skills as well. With so much to offer, it is no surprise Halwani has been named World MMA Journalist of the Year five times in a row, including the current year. In addition to appearing regularly on ESPN and other top networks, you can also enjoy his boundary-pushing news show Ariel & The Bad Guy.
David Carr takes an interesting approach to horse racing journalism. Not only does he stay on top of the beat as horse races appear on the calendar, but he also provides historical analyses and fascinating insights. His classic piece published in The Racing Post, which explored how a small, unnamed race grew to become a classic, earned him the title Racing Writer of the Year as awarded by Horserace Writers’ and Photographers’ Association.
Sports Podcasts have really taken off in popularity in recent years. With the growth of Spotify and flexible working environments, more and more sports fans are tuning in to get the latest news and analysis from top journalists and commentators.
The NFL Show from The Ringer is great partially because, apart from high quality and entertaining football coverage, you really never know what you are going to get. With rotating hosts Kevin Clark, Warren Sharp, Joe House, Nora Princiotti, Ryan Shazier, and Cole Wright each bringing their own flavor to the show, each interview and roundup feels like catching up with an old friend. They talk Super Bowl, COVID, and who outperformed expectations in last Monday’s game.
The Lowe Podcast hosted by beloved ESPN personality Zach Lowe covers all things Basketball. He has done league roundups with Kevin Arnovitz. He has interviewed Joakim Noah on the ups and downs of his career. Lowe is an expert in getting his professional guests to reveal interesting tidbits. If you tune in and keep your ears open, you can read between the lines and be among the first to know of upcoming trades. You can tell he is a professional while also making his listeners feel comfortable.
Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman host 32 Thoughts, the leading hockey podcast for 2021. Friedman is an excellent journalist, and is able to carry these skills to his podcast to make an entertaining and revealing show on a regular basis. Marek has been a skilled television personality for many years now, so this is a must for NHL fans. This podcast frequently sets the social networks on fire with things their guests reveal, or theories they propose about the upcoming season.
The Dog or Pass Podcast is hosted by Paul Shaughnessy and Cody Saftic. Both have their own successful sports journalism careers at the Pat Mayo Experience and the Fight Network, respectively. On the show, they conduct roundups of previous matches, provide the smartest UFC bets for upcoming bouts, and dish out oddball theories. These guys are funny. You can enjoy the show on Spotify, Apple Podcast, YouTube, or the Mayo Media Network.
Jared Welch and Aaron Halterman form the duo known as the Racing Dudes. Together, they host 2021´s best horse racing podcast. They have been deep in horse racing for more than a decade. Blinkers OFF provide weekly selections and pick the best horse racing bets big and small. They also provide deeper strategic analysis on handicapping, for example, and have frequent interviews with big names in horse racing. As they say, this just became your favorite podcast.
Television shows have long been the backbone of sports journalism. These shows have been keeping us up to date on the latest happenings in their respective sports with style throughout 2021.
Monday Night Football offers an opportunity for American football fans to catch up on the entire weeks’ action, notably what’s unfolded during the weekends’ action. The show has various guests that come on depending on the teams involved in the Monday game. Over the years, ESPN has become the name for football, with ex-star Peyton Manning, as well as hosts Eli Manning, Louis Riddick, Brian Griese, and Steve Levy. The Manning brothers bounce well off of one another and are a big part of the reason the show’s ratings have climbed to the top over the years.
As the postgame show on all NBA TNT broadcasts, Inside the NBA has been a faithful companion to some of the biggest basketball games of 2021. With names like Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O´Neal, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley, what could possibly go wrong? The show has even recently been inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. Its run time is up to an hour and has been on the air since 1989. Quite the history!
Much like other major league sports in the States, there are a whole host of shows available to sports enthusiasts. In terms of NHL, The Point has offered an analytics-driven hockey show that has become the go-to show for ice-hockey fans. While the focus is on the sport and analysing performance game-by-game, there is also a look at the sport at large. The Point fans will keep up to speed with the ins and outs of the league’s teams and players, but also what goes on beyond the ice.
Once an outsider to the organization, Ariel Helwani has made his way to the top by persistence and proving his love of the sport to names like Dana White. In terms of quality content regarding the UFC, MMA Hour is unmatched. Exploring the MMA business in depth and offering well-informed opinions is the essential of the show, as well as breakdowns of fights. Helwani and guests’ opinions hold credence in the industry and are often referenced by other shows as the benchmark for UFC expertise.
For all lovers of the King of Sports, there is only one place to go for your horse racing updates. For as long as we can remember, the American Day at the Races show has been the voice of the industry, offering unique insights and going behind the scenes to get to the bottom of the story. With hosts Greg Wolf and Laffit Pincay at the helm of the show, they have become the voices of horse racing, not only covering races on U.S. soil, but the world over.
A spell-binding yet dark walk down memory lane for Charles Conwell, going into detail about the death of his ex-foe Patrick Day. Conwell was one of an unfortunate group of boxers who have taken the life of an opponent using his fists. As safety standards and regulations improve, the danger of fighting inside the ring remains. The fact the fight took place in 2019, makes this a sobering read—especially for fight fans that believe these kinds of tragedies were saved for the fight game of the past. There are some fighters that move on and simply accept the death of an opponent as part of the sport. But for Conwell, the fallout of that fateful day was different.
Long-form sports documentaries take deep and hard looks at sports topics. they can sometimes be uncomfortable, while others are inspirational. Either way, this year, Netflix has dominated our list of 2021 Best Sports Documentaries.
Made by acclaimed sports documentary directors Chapman Way and Maclain Way, Untold: Crime & Penalties explores the life of James Galante. This film is the fifth in a film series. This one focuses on how Galante bought the Danbury Thrashers and eventually gifted the team to his 18-year-old son. It is an intriguing crime story featuring Genovese mafia families, dirty money, and lots of hockey.
Continuing in the Untold series, this film is the final one of the five-part series. It focuses on Mardy Fish, a professional tennis star who rose to prominence in the early 2000s. He was very successful, reaching number one in the American ATP rankings. This film focuses on his mental health struggles, shedding light on his life both on and off the court as he lived with severe anxiety. The film stars Mardy Fish as himself.
Formula 1 fans got a treat with this Netflix-produced biopic. German racer Michael Schuhmacher is the feature of this September 2021 release. The film uses family interviews to render an homage to this star who entered F1 racing thirty years earlier. This seven-time F1 champion found his way into our hearts throughout his career but especially after his skiing accident left him severely disabled. This biopic contains important revelations around his historic accident.