Today’s debate is a slam dunk and a home run, rolled into one. It’s basketball vs. baseball! Hoopster and master producer Marc Sanchez mounts a full court press on major league podcast host Merk Nguyen… but which sport will win? B-ball or that old ball game?
Vote below for the team YOU think won.
[MUSIC PLAYING] NARRATOR: Hi, friends. Just popping in to say that this is our last episode of season 4. Thank you so much for your support, from listening to sending us pictures, videos, and debate ideas.
We'll be back with new episodes of Smash Boom Best this summer. We're already brainstorming new debates, and we cannot wait to share them with you.
In the meantime, there's new episodes of Brains on, Moment of Um. And later this spring, Forever Ago is coming back. And there's also another live interactive Smash Boom Best debate at the end of February for people who donate to the show.
Thanks again for being here for us Smash Boom besties. On to the show.
From the brains behind Brains On, it's Smash Boom Best.
The show for people with big opinions.
MOLLY BLOOM: Hi, I'm Molly Bloom, and this is Smash Boom Best, the show where we take two things, smash them together, and ask you to decide which one is best.
Today's debate is going to be a ball. It's basketball versus baseball. Which game will win, baseball with a homer or B ball with a slam dunk? There's no telling.
Thankfully, we've got Wesley from Boulder, Colorado here to help us decide. Hi, Wesley.
WESLEY: Hi, Molly.
MOLLY BLOOM: So Wesley, you are quite the athlete, you swim, and you've already been to the Junior Olympics with your water polo team.
But I also heard that back in fifth grade, you won your middle school's kids-versus-parents dodgeball tournament. Can you tell us more about that?
WESLEY: That was awesome. That was a high point of my elementary career. And in this situation, it came down to one versus one.
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, wow.
WESLEY: The mom and I each got one ball. I dropped mine and caught hers, which--
MOLLY BLOOM: Whoa.
WESLEY: --which was amazing. I think I could have gone pro after that moment.
MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS] So Wesley, what comes to mind when I say basketball?
WESLEY: Huge people, taller than 6-feet tall, even some taller than 7-feet tall, running up and down the court, slamming a basketball into a net, and shooting from 35 feet out as the buzzer expires to win games.
MOLLY BLOOM: I love it. And what about baseball, what comes to mind when you think about baseball?
WESLEY: For baseball, what I think about is just-- I mean, walk off, home runs, and just hitting the ball 400 yards over the wall of the stadium to win the game, and just your teammates mobbing the field, diving catches, just everything you can think of in baseball.
MOLLY BLOOM: So you like your sports to have some drama, I can tell. Well, you are the perfect judge for today's debate. It's going to be a tough one. Let's get it started.
Here to defend basketball, it's Brains On co-creator and master producer, Marc Sanchez. Hi, Marc.
MARC SANCHEZ : Pow, pow, pow, pow, pow! Hey, Molly, hey, Wesley. Big Golden State Warrior welcome.
MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS] So Marc, in a single sentence, why is basketball the Smash Boom Best?
MARC SANCHEZ: I mean, Wesley kind of said it all. But basketball brings the heat. It brings the thunder. And those, yes, those are both two basketball teams. And legitimately, literally, it has so much more energy than baseball. It's a no brainer.
MOLLY BLOOM: And here to represent baseball, it's host of the podcast Ooh, You're in Trouble and voice actress in the making, Merk Nguyen. Hi, Merk.
MERK NGUYEN: Merk Nguyen is up on deck. Oh, hey, everybody. What's up?
MOLLY BLOOM: Merk, in one sentence, why is baseball the coolest?
MERK NGUYEN: You know, it's America's favorite and current pastime and literally cool because it's outside.
MOLLY BLOOM: Hmm. Excellent. Let's review our rounds of debate.
Round 1 is the Declaration of Greatness. Our debaters will have a chance to present fact-filled arguments in favor of their side, along with a 30-second rebuttal of their opponent's statements.
Then we've got the Micro Round, where each team will respond to a creative assignment they received in advance.
Round 3 is the Sneak Attack, where we'll surprise debaters with a challenge they need to respond to on the spot.
And to wrap it all up, we've got the Final Six, where each team will have just six words to drive home the awesomeness of their side.
Our judge, Wesley, will award two points in the first round, one for his favorite rebuttal and one for the Declaration he likes best. Then he'll award one point in each round after that, but he'll keep his decision secret until the end of the debate.
Listeners, we want you to judge too. Mark down your points as you listen. And at the end of the show, head to our website smashboom.org and vote for whichever team you think won.
OK. Everybody, are you ready?
WESLEY: I'm ready.
MARC SANCHEZ: Ready to slam dunk it home.
MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS]
MERK NGUYEN: Oh, yeah, going to have a ball of a time.
MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHING] Then it's time for the--
NARRATOR: Declaration of Greatness.
Our debaters will present the most fascinating facts and awesome arguments in favor of their side. We flipped a coin, and Marc, you're up first. Tell us why basketball is the ba-ba-ba-best.
MARC SANCHEZ: Look at that guy go! He zips up the court, floats through the air, does a half twisting. Slam dunk!
Ooh! We're going to overtime! I think I'm freaking out.
TAMMY: Come on, Zags. Let's go!
MARC SANCHEZ: OK. I am definitely freaking out. I'm no basketball super fan like my cousin Tammy here.
MARC SANCHEZ: But, man, basketball is a blast!
TAMMY: Basketball is my jam! Woo!
MARC SANCHEZ: [CHUCKLES] Yeah, you go, Tammy. I got to take a breather.
Hoo! Basketball is action packed. With five players on each team, the goal is to get the ball into the opponent's basket. Not an easy feat when the basket is 10 feet above the ground. And you can't carry the ball. And that would be too easy, right?
You have to dribble and pass your way up and down the court. So why is basketball so much faster paced than baseball? Well, for starters, basketball courts are much smaller than baseball fields. So the action is condensed. Things heat up fast.
It's also easier to score points, 3 pointer long shots, 1 point free throws. Who's in the lead can change in an instant. Go Zags! And finally, basketball games are relatively short. Games usually last around 2 to 2 and 1/2 hours, and that's even counting overtime.
As of 2021, the average Major League Baseball game was over three hours long. What a snooze fest.
And don't get me started on extra innings. Some baseball games end up going into the wee hours of the morning. Some even get suspended because everybody there is too tired to care.
Tammy, why do you think basketball is cooler than baseball?
TAMMY: Because it's more popular, duh.
MARC SANCHEZ: And there you have it. Basketball is way more popular than baseball. As of 2021, roughly 2.4 billion people follow basketball while only about 500 million people track baseball. The people have spoken.
Part of what makes basketball so popular is how accessible it is. All you need is a ball, a hoop or two, and a little bit of space. That's actually how it started 130 years ago at the International YMCA training school in Springfield, Massachusetts.
A storm was raging and James Naismith, a phys-ed teacher needed to come up with a game that his students could play together indoors without much equipment. So he approached the school janitor for help.
JAMES NAISMITH: Say, Jerry, do you have any boxes?
JANITOR: No, but I've got peach baskets.
JAMES NAISMITH: Hmm. I think I can make this work.
MARC SANCHEZ: Naismith nailed the baskets on either side of the gym balcony. Through one of his students a soccer ball and told folks to start shooting hoops, the game was an instant hit. And it's been making huge gains in popularity and attention ever since.
OK, final point, basketball players have power and influence on and beyond the court.
They're not just athletes. They're social media influencers, fashion icons, movie stars, philanthropists, and social justice warriors. Players have starred in movies like He Got Game, Like Mike, and Space Jam.
They've created fashion lines like Russell Westbrook's Honor the Gift. And Michael Jordan's Air Jordan shoes are coveted and wildly popular to this day. LeBron James also founded the I Promise School in Akron to help disadvantaged kids.
And we should never forget the contributions of Maya Moore. She used her WNBA superstar status to help free an innocent man from prison. So why are we drawn to basketball players? Maybe it's because without hats and helmets, we can actually see their faces, or maybe it's how graceful they are on the court.
I mean, you don't even have to be a fan to appreciate the gravity-defying beauty of people flying through the air to make a shot that seems utterly impossible.
TAMMY: Marc! Marc! Watch! The Zags, they've got the ball.
MARC SANCHEZ: Jalen just got the ball, sailed past the defender, and then slammed it through the hoop in mid air!
TAMMY: Whoa! Alley-oop, baby! Game over! Basketball is the best!
[CHEERING, MUSIC PLAYING]
MOLLY BLOOM: A very dramatic declaration of greatness for basketball. Wesley, what stood out to you about Marc's argument?
WESLEY: I think that Marc made really good points when he talked about how long it takes. I've personally gone to both basketball and baseball games. And basketball is much shorter than baseball.
I also liked how he did, definitely, talked about the history of the sport. I've heard about James Naismith before, but I didn't know that much about it. The janitor, big man in creating the sport.
MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Well--
MARC SANCHEZ: Shout out to janitors.
MOLLY BLOOM: Shout out to janitors everywhere. Merk, it's time for your rebuttal. You've got 30 seconds to strike Marc's declaration out. And your time starts now.
MERK NGUYEN: You're killing me, Smalls, OK. Have you seen Space Jam 2? Yikes, big disaster. We got The Sandlot. We got a league of their own in baseball movies.
Also, you said basketball is all about popularity contests. Baseball is so much more than that. It's slow for a reason. It's so worth it. You've got influence like Jackie Robinson, who's literally breaking racial barriers.
Fashion. Yes, basketball has fashion. But we got baseball caps. You don't even need to have a baseball thing on a baseball cap to make it a baseball cap. And it's hot and sweaty in the court, eww. You can bundle up or get some sun on the baseball field. So yeah, swing and a miss. Yeah, sorry, Marc.
MOLLY BLOOM: And time.
MARC SANCHEZ: Merk, I think you need to inject some of that fast-talking energy into a baseball game because--
MERK NGUYEN: Hey--
MARC SANCHEZ: --that would like keep me awake.
MERK NGUYEN: Have you seen how fast people throw baseballs? That's where it goes, my friend.
MARC SANCHEZ: [SIGHS] Almost like a slam dunk.
MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS]
MERK NGUYEN: Oh, swing and a miss, I think.
MOLLY BLOOM: Well, Merk, it is your turn to step up to the plate. Steal our hearts with your declaration for baseball.
MERK NGUYEN: Let's time travel to one of my favorite memories. Hold on tight.
OK, we're in Seattle at the Major League Baseball Stadium. I'm eight years old, sitting in the nosebleeds with my older siblings and parents. And-- [SNIFFS] oh, my gosh, can you smell that?
No, not that. The fresh cut grass below us. And look at the bright white lines of chalk on the baseball diamond. And-- [INHALES DEEPLY] mm, my mom just bought us some garlic fries.
Oh, oh, oh! I love this part, the seventh inning stretch. Look how the whole stadium is singing together.
[MUSIC PLAYING, CHANTING]
This is just some action in the stands. There's so much going on below too. Oh, nice pitch.
DAVE NIEHAUS: Get off the rye bread and the mustard this time, grandma! It is a grand salami!
MERK NGUYEN: That's the voice of Seattle's own Dave Niehaus. Announcers like him can make you feel like you're actually at the game even when you can't be there in person. That's the thing about baseball.
From the family friendly setting to the action on the field, there are so many ways to enjoy the sport, which makes sense because kids, basically, invented it. And all the best stuff comes from the minds of kids.
Most historians agree, the sport evolved from a kid's game in England called rounders. Modern day baseball works like this. When your team is at bat, you're trying to hit the ball, run the bases, and score points.
ANNOUNCER: He's rounding third base and heading home. Look at him go!
MERK NGUYEN: When your team is on the field, you're trying to catch balls and throw them back to the bases to get the other team out.
ANNOUNCER: He throws the ball the first. Tags the runner. And he's out!
MERK NGUYEN: Once the team gets three outs in a row, it's time to switch roles.
Sure, you might think baseball is slower than basketball, but there's so much going on. People are trying to steal bases, pitchers are using trick throws, batters are swinging big. In fact, if you think baseball is slow, it's time I take you to school.
[SCHOOL BELL RINGS]
TEACHER: OK, listen up, children. Can anyone tell me why baseballs fly so far?
STUDENTS: Me! Pick me. Pick me!
EDGAR: I know.
MERK NGUYEN: Yes, Edgar.
EDGAR: Because they're made up of bouncy stuff like cork, yarn, and rubber?
TEACHER: Exactly. Those spongy layers allow the ball to spring back even when they get hit. In fact, the furthest ball's ever been hit is 565 feet. That's about the same distance as six basketball courts combined.
TEACHER: Now, what's the average speed of a professional pitcher? Randy.
RANDY: Um, 92 miles an hour?
TEACHER: Gold star, Randy! That's faster than the speed limit on most major highways.
Not only is baseball a blast, it has a proud history of breaking down American racial barriers.
MERK NGUYEN: Before the 1940s, African-Americans weren't allowed to play in the major leagues, much less any other pro sports. But that all changed in 1947 when Jackie Robinson joined Major League Baseball becoming the first Black American to do so.
At the end of his first season, he was named rookie of the year. And he went on to have a stunning career that's honored in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He was an American symbol of integration.
And his strength in the face of adversity was an inspiration to millions, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who famously said, Jackie Robinson made my success possible. Without him, I would never have been able to do what I did.
Because of his bravery, baseball and all other pro-sport teams today have diverse and phenomenally talented teams. And thank goodness for that because baseball is really important to a lot of people. Just ask my big sister Christie.
CHRISTIE: It's not just a sport to me, it's much, much more than that. It's beyond that.
MERK NGUYEN: For Christie, baseball is also community, friends, and a sort of therapy.
CHRISTIE: It has a very special place in my heart because it's a place I retreat to when I'm happy, when I'm sad. It's peace of mind. It's a serenity. So it's a lot of things. It's not just a sport to me. I take it very personally.
MERK NGUYEN: I feel the same. Baseball isn't just America's pastime. For me, it's also part of what it means to be an American.
My parents are immigrants from Vietnam who just wanted a better life for their kids. They came to America to do just that, and their journey wasn't easy. But every single Mariners game we go to and basket of garlic fries we share is a reminder that we are all living our own American dream.
So that, my friend, is the power of baseball and why it's the Smash Boom Best.
MOLLY BLOOM: A heartfelt argument for baseball there. Wesley, what's stood out to you about Merk's Declaration of Greatness?
WESLEY: I loved when she talked about Jackie Robinson. I think he's awesome and what he did, not just for baseball, but I mean, like Merk said, for the US is amazing. I also really liked what she talked about the seventh inning stretch.
I mean, I've gone to baseball games. And the seventh inning stretch and the setting in a baseball game, eating a hot dog or a burger, and just watching the game with your friends is awesome.
MOLLY BLOOM: You know, I have been to that stadium, Merk. And it does smell like garlic, and it's so wonderful. It's a lovely--
MERK NGUYEN: Yes.
MOLLY BLOOM: --lovely place to spend some time. All right, Marc, it's time for your rebuttal. You've got 30 seconds on the clock. Rebound like a pro and go.
MARC SANCHEZ: All right. First off, announcers? Basketball has baseball beat hands down. Chick Hearn, Marv Albert, Dick Vitale. Go back to the dugout, baseball.
Let's go back to the seventh inning stretch thing too. What other sport has to have a built-in time of the game where they make people-- they force people to get up because they're falling asleep just so that they can wake up again.
I mean, it's a great song to sing and everything but come on. And you want to go get an education, how about basketball? It's built in to the DNA. Physics. Physics! You're talking arc, we're talking trajectory.
MOLLY BLOOM: And--
MARC SANCHEZ: It's all there.
MOLLY BLOOM: --time.
MERK NGUYEN: What? There's physics in baseball too. Did you not hear that argument clearly? Someone wasn't paying attention to the lesson.
MARC SANCHEZ: No.
MERK NGUYEN: Tsk, tsk, Marc.
MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS] Oh, man, this is a tough decision you have to make, Wesley. But it's time to award your first two points. Use whatever criteria makes sense to you. Was one team funnier? Did the other score with more showstopping facts?
Award both points and mark them down but don't tell us who's getting them. Have you made your decisions?
WESLEY: Yes, I have.
MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Merk and Marc, how are you feeling about this fast-paced face off?
MERK NGUYEN: Whew!
MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS]
MARC SANCHEZ: It's like a fast break, if you ask me.
And you know, I just--
MERK NGUYEN: Oh, my gosh.
MARC SANCHEZ: --had this-- have you all ever thought that water polo is kind of like the basketball of the pool? I mean, I'm just-- it just occurred to me.
MERK NGUYEN: What?
WESLEY: I have actually thought about that many times.
MARC SANCHEZ: I know.
WESLEY: You are right in that aspect.
MARC SANCHEZ: I mean, I'm just saying.
MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS] All right. Well, it's time for a quick break. Shoot some hoops, play a quick game of catch.
WESLEY: And we'll be right back with more Smash Boom Best.
NARRATOR: You're watching State of Debate, home to rage in rhetoric and all inspiring argumentation.
TODD DOUGLAS: What's up, debate dogs? Todd Douglas here with State of Debate's rhetoric royalty, Taylor Lincoln. Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof!
TAYLOR LINCOLN: That's right. And we call it a stinker of a logical fallacy today, which is a debate mistake that makes arguments simply pawful, pun intended.
TODD DOUGLAS: It was an ad hominem fallacy. That's when you attack your opponent personally instead of sticking to your debate topic.
TAYLOR LINCOLN: Just listen to what happened when Jera ran into Mace in the school's music room.
MACE: Jera, I'm sorry, but the bass is way more rock and roll than your flute.
JERA: Excuse me? The flute can be rock and roll too. The Rolling Stones featured it. Lizzo plays the flute. Plus it's not about the instrument, it's how you play it.
MACE: Yeah, well-- well, your hair is boring. How could you rock out with hair like that? Look at me, this purple and green ombre screams cool. Your hair is just brown.
JERA: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hair? Mace has gone totally off topic. Hair has nothing to do with your ability to rock out.
TODD DOUGLAS: Uh, yeah. I think the years Jera has spent practicing scales and listening to Jethro Tull are about to shred Mace's argument to pieces.
TAYLOR LINCOLN: All right. We got to get out of here and bang our debate heads to these sweet jams.
TODD DOUGLAS: Taylor, you know who always has the best seats in the house?
BOTH: State of Debate.
NARRATOR: Smash Boom Best.
MOLLY BLOOM: You are listening to Smash Boom Best. I'm your host, Molly Bloom.
WESLEY: And I'm your judge, Wesley.
MOLLY BLOOM: One of my favorite things about this show is all the amazing debate ideas we get from listeners like you. Check out this awesome debate suggestion from Adeeb from Seattle, Washington.
ADEEB: Hi, my name is Adeeb Thomas. I'm nine years old. And my debate idea was octopi versus tardigrade.
MOLLY BLOOM: We'll check back with Adeeb at the end of this episode to see which side he thinks should win.
WESLEY: And now, it's back to our debate of the day, basketball versus baseball.
MOLLY BLOOM: That's right. And it's time for round two, the--
Our micro round is pandemonium. For this challenge, Marc and Merk are going zinger to zinger in a marvelous pun show. They've whipped up three pithy puns to make us giggle.
Marc and Merk, give us your puniest stuff. We're going to go back and forth, taking turns sharing our puns. So Merk, you're first. Throw us a curveball.
MERK NGUYEN: OK. Picture this. Baseball lovers have an umpire to strike back on all your counterarguments, Marc.
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, very good. Marc, your turn. Wow us with a three pointer.
MARC SANCHEZ: Do you all know what RuPaul's favorite move on the court is?
MERK NGUYEN: [GASPS]
MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS]
MERK NGUYEN: Oh, my gosh--
MARC SANCHEZ: That's right, it's a glam dunk!
MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS]
MERK NGUYEN: Oh, yeah! Oh, dang, that was a good one.
MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Merk, let's hear yours--
--for the stands.
MERK NGUYEN: Oh, shoot, I think you're dribbling with spit from how much of a grand salami my baseball arguments were, ow, ow!
MARC SANCHEZ: [LAUGHS] I do love a good cured meat.
MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Marc, let's hear your swish.
MARC SANCHEZ: You know, on my way here, I passed a really long line at the pharmacy. People getting vaccinated, which is great. And it turns out Steph Curry from The Golden State Warriors was there. And he was the nurse, and he was doing jump shots.
MERK NGUYEN: Oh.
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh.
MARC SANCHEZ: Took a while but it got there
MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, you're saying baseball is too long. [LAUGHS] Yeah, what?
MARC SANCHEZ: We're not debating the merits of my debate style.
MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Merk, time for your grand slam.
MERK NGUYEN: All right I must "ad-mitt," you have a point guard on some of your arguments, Marc. But you struck out because baseball is where it's bet.
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh. [LAUGHS] Marc, last one. Beat the clock.
MARC SANCHEZ: OK. The last baseball game I went to, Major League Baseball is trying to come out with a new snack for the ballpark. And they gave everybody a bundt cake--
--with the ticket. And I got my hands on one. I have to say, it was pretty foul.
MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHS]
MERK NGUYEN: Oh. Well, hey, at least they were trying to feed you. Baseball is trying to solve world hunger. Look at that.
MARC SANCHEZ: Give it away then.
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, man, pun-believable.
Wesley, are you a fan of puns?
WESLEY: I think I am.
MARC SANCHEZ: Good answer.
MOLLY BLOOM: Wesley, it's time to award the point, but don't tell us who's getting it. Again, the criteria is up to you, whose puns were cleverer, whose were longer, who made you laugh, the criteria is up to you. Have you awarded your point?
WESLEY: I have.
MOLLY BLOOM: Awesome. Then it's time for our third round, the Super Stealthy
NARRATOR: A-ha. Hoo-ha! Sneak attack.
MOLLY BLOOM: Your sneak attack today is, twinkle twinkle, I'm a star. Marc and Merk, for this challenge, we want you to write a song about your side to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." And then you're going to sing it for us. Sound good?
MARC SANCHEZ: Can we also use "Baba Black Sheep?"
MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, "Baba Black Sheep," also the tune of "ABCs." It's a very popular one. And now, we're going to make it even more ubiquitous. We'll give you a few minutes to write. While you work, we'll listen to some marvelous hold music.
[SINGING] Pass fast, it's basketball. Alley-oop, they're so tall. Jump shoots, a game for all. Take me out to the old ball game. Swing big, he's got aim. A home run for the Hall of Fame.
MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Marc, you're up. Make our hearts bounce for basketball.
MARC SANCHEZ: OK, here we go. (SINGING) NBA stars, yes indeed. Men and women both succeed. LeBron, Steph, and Sue Bird, Magic Katie, and Larry Bird.
Dribble up and down the court, slam the ball down for this sport.
MOLLY BLOOM: Nicely done.
MERK NGUYEN: Nice, nice.
MOLLY BLOOM: Kudos for rhyming "bird" with "bird." Well done.
MARC SANCHEZ: Right.
MOLLY BLOOM: All right, Merk, (SINGING) take us out to the ball game.
MERK NGUYEN: Well, you know what, I'm glad you started out that way because-- (SINGING) take me out to the ballgame. Shout out Jackie's Hall of Fame. Thanks to ballparks we have good food. Racial integration, friends, and family good mood. Baseball is America's gem. I tell you it's everyone's American "drem--"
MARC SANCHEZ: Wow, taking poetic liberties.
MOLLY BLOOM: Love it. Love it. Oh, man, these are excellent songs. I'm going to be singing them both all day.
But, Wesley, it's time for you to award a point for this round. Which song made your heart sing? Give that team a point but don't tell us who it's going to. Have you made your decision?
WESLEY: Yes, I have.
MOLLY BLOOM: OK, great. Then it's time for our very last around.
NARRATOR: The Final Six.
MOLLY BLOOM: Merk, you're up. It's the bottom of the ninth, you've got just six words left to bring us home.
MERK NGUYEN: [BREATHING FAST] Ooh. Ooh. OK. Family and friends, everyone's American "drem."
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, very nice. Marc, your turn. Just a few seconds left on the clock. Give us your best shot.
MARC SANCHEZ: Aerial ballet, all fans for wins.
MOLLY BLOOM: I was very-- I'm shocked. I like it very much, like an aerial ballet.
MARC SANCHEZ: Merk was taking poetic license with the song, so I could take some poetic license with the Final Six.
MOLLY BLOOM: Definitely.
MARC SANCHEZ: Make sense.
MOLLY BLOOM: Like an aerial ballet, a twisted and turned. OK, Wesley, it's time to award your final point. Whoever had your favorite Final Six gets it. Have you made your decision?
WESLEY: Yes, I have.
MOLLY BLOOM: Whew, today's game is coming to an end. Baseball hits some sweet line drives, and basketball made some killer trick shots. But which sport will triumph? It's up to Wesley to decide. Are you ready to announce a winner?
MOLLY BLOOM: Drum roll, please. The winner is--
MERK NGUYEN: Oh, yeah!
MARC SANCHEZ: Oh!
MERK NGUYEN: Grand salami, we are going to town!
WESLEY: It was super close. But you can't tie in either of those sports. So I had to award a winner.
MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHING] Exactly, no ties. No ties on baseball, basketball or Smash Boom Best.
Wesley, can you walk us through your decision making process?
WESLEY: I think it was really close, but baseball jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. And that really got-- that really won it over for me with the movies and the rebuttal and the family friendly atmosphere and Jackie Robinson. That's why I'm picking baseball as the winner.
MARC SANCHEZ: Yeah, Merk, I loved that your Declaration of Greatness, you talked about these really personal memories. And I have almost the same-- I have my own personal memories of baseball and going to games with my parents. And so that was a really nice moment to make me not want to debate that anymore.
MERK NGUYEN: Yeah, no. You did a really awesome job. And I wasn't really interested in basketball before this. But now I'm like, OK, maybe I should watch a game.
MOLLY BLOOM: That's it for today's sporty SmackDown. Wesley crowned baseball the Smash Boom Best. But what about you?
MARC SANCHEZ: Head to smashboom.org and vote to tell us who you think should win.
MOLLY BLOOM: Smash Boom Best is brought to you by Brains On and APM Studios.
MARC SANCHEZ: It's produced by Rosie DuPont, Ruby Guthrie, Sanden Totten, and Molly Bloom. We had engineering help from Taylor Marvin. And we had production help from Tricia Bobeda, Dan Letu, Menaka Wilhelm, and me.
MOLLY BLOOM: Our executive producer is Beth Perlman. And APM Studios executives in charge are Lilly Kim, Alex Shaffer, and Joanne Griffith. Rosie DuPont is the voice of our hold music. And our announcer is Marley Feuerwerker-Otto.
We want to give a special thanks to Austin Cross, Taylor Coffman, Koko and George Wasco.
Merk, is there anyone you want to thank today?
MERK NGUYEN: Oh, yes. I would like to thank Jackie Robinson, shout out, first and foremost. Alyssa, Carlos, Samuel, Cody, and two of baseball's biggest fans of all time, Jessica and my big sister Christie.
MOLLY BLOOM: Wonderful. How about you, Marc, any special shout outs?
MARC SANCHEZ: Yeah, I'll shout out my friend Jonah, who's a huge Lakers fan. And speaking of Lakers, Wilt Chamberlain, who I once met, Ozzie Smith, who I totally idolized as a baseball player, and the late great Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.
MOLLY BLOOM: Very nice. Wesley, do you want to give any special thanks today?
WESLEY: Yes. I would love to give it to both my parents. My mom pug get mad at me for this but especially my dad, because he's-- we've gotten to so many baseball games and basketball games together. And also, I'd like to thank Stephen Curry and Javier Báez because those are my two favorite sports players in their respective sports.
MOLLY BLOOM: Yes. We can't give baseball without giving some love to basketball. All right, before we go, let's hear who Adeeb think should win his octopi versus tardigrades debate.
ADEEB: I think octopi could win because they can just fit into more spaces and have more brain space than tardigrades.
MOLLY BLOOM: Very good point. Do you have an idea for a knock-down, drag-out debate? Head to smashboom.org and tell us about it. This is the last debate of the season. But we'll be back with new debate battles soon.
- Home run.
- Time to bounce.
(SINGING) Ooh, put them through the test. Ooh, you're the Smash Boom Best. Ooh, and the rest. It's the Smash Boom Best. It's the Smash Boom Best.
MERK NGUYEN: (SINGING) Marc, Merk, Merk, Merk, Marc, Merk, Merk, Merk, Marc, Merk, Merk, Merk. Ma-ma-ma-Marc Marc. Merk!
MOLLY BLOOM: [LAUGHING]
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