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THE BEST OF PODCASTS

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Sports has always been fertile ground for deep dives, but in 2018, such storytelling found a new medium. Three of the year's best podcasts focused on athletes (and, being podcasts, also on crime). GLADIATOR, from the same Boston Globe group—the Spotlight team—that investigated the Catholic Church, uses the fall of Aaron Hernandez to look at issues of brain trauma and sexuality in football. In CARRUTH, the Charlotte Observer re-examines the story of former NFL player Rae Carruth, who was released from prison in October, 19 years after putting out a hit on his girlfriend and their unborn son. And SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's FALL OF A TITAN drew upon a diverse array of characters to offer a fresh look at the 2009 murder of Titans quarterback Steve McNair.