Well, it’s crunch time now: we’re into the final lap of the election and things are going to be intense for the next 8 weeks or so. But first, some personal business: one of our intrepid cast is sending his youngest child off to college. Is his purpose in life now over? We discuss. Then Mr. Flight 93 himself, Michael Anton joins to discuss his new book, The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return and to warn everyone that if Joe Biden wins, the country will turn into California (but without the weather, the beaches, and the surfing). For those of us who live in the Golden State, it’s a weird way to sell a book (it’s not that bad here), but hey, Michael’s gotta eat too. Then, something of a departure for America’s Most Beloved Podcast® — a sports segment! And if we’re going to do a sports segment, then we’re going to get one of the best in the business to help us. That would be the great Sally Jenkins — columnist for The Washington Post. We talk about college football, political activism in sports, and what’s it’s like to enter the family business when your dad was one of the all time legends. Finally, Nancy Pelosi gets a blowout and it blows up. Perfect.

Music from this week’s show: I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair by Ella Fitzgerald

Here at the beginning of the year – with the college football championship and the NFL playoffs gearing up – Jay does a sportscast. He does it with three of his favorite gurus and people: Sally Jenkins, of the Washington Post; David French, of The Dispatch; and Vivek Dave, “the corporate high-flyer from Chicago,” as Jay calls him. They impart great wisdom with much warmth: on college and pro football, yes, but also on basketball (college and pro), figure skating, the factor of China, and more. These gurus are really wonderful company.

“Q&A” is a sportscast this time – but it begins with “Game of Thrones,” a topic on America’s mind. Jay’s regular gurus, David French and Vivek Dave, are joined by Sally Jenkins, the renowned columnist for the Washington Post. They talk about the Kentucky Derby – a travesty? NCAA basketball (also a travesty, as well as a joy?). Tiger Woods at the White House. Other athletes at the White House, and NOT at the White House. Baseball and fandom. The NFL draft. And the NBA playoffs, LeBronless as they are. At the end, Jay asks his guests a bonus question: Name a favorite player of yours who is not a star. David, Vivek, and Jay are delighted to have this ringer, this guest star, Sally J.

Sally Jenkins is a sports columnist for the Washington Post, and one of the outstanding sportswriters in the entire country. Her father, Dan Jenkins, passed away earlier this month. She wrote a column about him, here. Jay says that it is one of the best columns he has ever read, on any subject. Dan Jenkins worked for Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest, and other publications, and wrote a string of best-selling novels, including “Semi-Tough,” “Life Its Ownself,” and “Baja Oklahoma.” Jay is among the legions of Dan Jenkins nuts. He and Sally talk about her dad. And then about sports at large: college basketball, pro basketball, Colin Kaepernick, MLB, soccer, and more. You know what’s a great sport? Figure skating. Dan Jenkins thought so, Sally Jenkins thinks so – and Jay thinks so. If you don’t know Sally Jenkins, you will very much enjoy getting to know her, in this ’cast. Her dad used to ask, “Who can explain the athletic heart?” Both of these Jenkinses are pretty good at it.