There and gone without a trace. “Lost In Sports” is looking at the sports history, from brands to movies to video games to literally entire teams, that has mysteriously gone missing. And not just missing from the spotlight, literally wiped from history and people’s memories. Host Ben Baskin is hunting down the lost, forgotten, and disappeared, asking questions that we may never find answers to.
Recommended to us by Tyler Measom and Liz Iacuzzi of “Was I In A Cult?” on this week’s episode of Podsauce, “Lost In Sports” is more than meets the eye. It’s nostalgia, mystery, intrigue, and a whole lot of quite legitimately lost sports lore.
This is not just Baskin’s attempt to find answers to his childhood questions (although that’s definitely a large portion of it), but a look at the menacing internal politics of the sports world. In the end, the major leagues revolve around money, whatever revenue they can rake in. And when they can’t rake in enough, they disappear.
Like the film New Jersey Turnpikes, an ABA mockumentary starring Orlando Jones, Kelsey Grammer, and even Jason Segel, with cameos from Jim Brown, Roy Jones Jr., and Julius Erving. It was filmed in its entirety and then locked away forever, left to rot in the vaults of Universal Studios. There are rumors about why it was never released, but still no one knows why it was left to die. The actors even said it was fun to film! But still, most of them have never seen it. There’s a whole lot of speculation, Hollywood ecosystems, and background noise that seem to have prevented this movie from ever gracing our screens.
Or, a topic near and dear to our hearts and Baskin’s, the “mysterious” disappearance of the beloved Hartford Whalers, Connecticut’s only professional sports team (well, since the mid-20th century). From 1974 to 1997, the Whalers blessed the small state capital before they were uprooted to North Carolina and rebranded as the Hurricanes. The owner claimed that there wasn’t enough support from the fans, not enough attendance at games, and it was too close to Boston and New York City, but anyone in Connecticut would tell you otherwise. In fact, the deep blue and sea green logo can be seen worn by superstars like Snoop Dogg and Adam Sandler. Their abrupt departure left Hartford a bleeding heart shrouded in mystery. Why does owner Peter Karmanos keep deflecting? When will the Whalers return home?
Mysteries like the whereabouts of Holyfield’s ear after Mike Tyson bit it off and EA Sports abruptly discontinued NCAA football video games are being dusted off and reexamined by PRX’s “Lost In Sports.” The questions you’ve wondered about for decades and questions you didn’t even think to ask are all on the table.