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It had the makings of a storybook ending.

Tiger Woods, who's in the midst of the worst stretch of golf in his legendary career, was on the verge of quieting all the critics who said he was finished. All he had to do was something he hasn't done in two years — win a golf tournament.

A victory at Wyndham Championship Sunday would not just have given him 80 career victories, two behind the career record set by the great Sam Snead; it would also have propelled Woods into the playoffs. A solo second-place finish would have left him with a slim chance.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And it's now time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A scandal rocked the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Ore., this week when a team from Snohomish, Wash., allegedly threw a game to prevent an Iowa team from advancing to the semifinals.

The Central Iowa All-Stars won their most recent game against Canada 7-0 and finished pool play with a 3-1 record. To advance to the semifinals, however, they needed the Snohomish team, US West, to win or score at least three runs against a team that Central Iowa had already defeated.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In a unanimous decision, the National Labor Relations Board has rejected Northwestern University football players' petition to form a union by declining to assert jurisdiction in the case.

The decision effectively overturns a 2014 ruling by an NLRB regional director that found the athletes meet the broad definitions of employees under federal law and thereby could form what would have been the nation's first student-athlete union.

In the first two episodes of The Giant Foam Finger — a new, sports-themed offshoot of Pop Culture Happy Hour — NPR Code Switch blogger Gene Demby and I have discussed one play in a decade-old NFL game, and we've tackled the phenomenon of fan hatred.

Jason Day earned his first major title at the PGA Championship today, beating out Jordan Spieth by three shots — and becoming the first player to ever finish at 20 under par in a major.

At Whistling Straits on Sunday, Day finished at 268. At 20 under, that score edges out the previous major record of 19 under par, set by Tiger Woods at St. Andrews in 2000.

Earlier in the major season, Day had twice risen to the head of the pack, The Associated Press reports; He briefly tied for the lead at both the U.S. Open (where he was battling vertigo) and the British Open.

Copyright law is complicated to begin with.

But many American companies have run into extra trouble trying to do business in China, where trademark laws are completely different than they are here in the United States.

Take a chain of shoe and athletic wear stores in China, where things might look a little familiar. Looming above the columns of shoes and rows of clothes is the store's logo: a silhouette of a basketball player, midair, his outstretched arm holding a basketball.

Blue Jays Make The Most Of Trade Deadline

Aug 16, 2015
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Amateur slow-pitch softball would seem to be a low-stakes game. A bunch of friends join a league, take some swings, run the bases and retire to the dugout for postgame beers. At best, there might be a plastic trophy for the winners.

But there's a dark and dangerous side to this pleasant pastime: hot bats.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

When playing tennis, the ball — and smack talk — must stay within the lines.

Today, men's tennis governing body, the ATP, fined 20-year-old Australian professional tennis player Nick Kyrgios $10,000 for making an insulting on-court remark to his opponent, French Open Champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland. Kyrgios was hit with the maximum allowed fine for a verbal offense, but the ATP says is has not ruled out further punishment.

The biggest news to come out of Wednesday's high-profile federal court hearing on the "deflategate" saga had nothing to do with the NFL or Tom Brady's pending four-game suspension.

Veteran courtroom sketch artist Jane Rosenberg is grabbing most of the attention for her depiction of the New England Patriots quarterback. And of course the interwebs responded in kind, unleashing countless memes of the now-infamous sketch.

Outside the Manhattan courtroom on Wednesday, Rosenberg defended her work.

The clubs, balls, vast verdant courses, garish outfits: Golf in America has arguably become rather ho-hum and predictable as the 2015 PGA Championship tournament tees off this week at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wis.

MLB Home Teams Make History By Going 15-0

Aug 12, 2015
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Finally this hour, a little bit of baseball history.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: McFarland deals down the line.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Fair ball.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Oh, it's fair ball.

It's hard to imagine a world in which the U.S. federal government would involve itself in settling disputes over the dates of professional sports games.

Across the pond, though, it's a different story.

Wednesday, for the second time in two months, the Spanish government has intervened in a scheduling disagreement between the country's professional soccer league, La Liga, and its national soccer federation, RFEF.

Updated at 2:46 p.m. ET

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the NFL appeared in a Manhattan court today to update a federal judge on whether both sides are any closer to resolving a dispute over the quarterback's pending four-game "deflategate" suspension.

The public portion of the hearing lasted approximately 80 minutes before U.S. Judge Richard Berman met separately with Brady and league officials in private.

In an odd way, the longer and more tangled that what has been called "deflategate" goes on, the more it becomes about the commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell, than it does about Tom Brady, whom Goodell suspended for four games — deeming him guilty of having some part in deflating footballs in a playoff.

It's been less than a year since a domestic violence scandal erupted in the National Football League. The infamous Ray Rice video from last September and the league's mishandling of the case plunged the NFL into an unprecedented crisis.

It also spurred the league into action after years of doing little or nothing about the problem of domestic violence. The problem continues, and so do the efforts to fight it.

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith will miss a lot of playing time after being "sucker-punched" by a teammate Tuesday. The fracas left him with two fractures in his jaw.

IK Enemkpali, a reserve linebacker who threw the punch, was promptly released by the team. Head coach Todd Bowles told reporters the altercation "had nothing to do with football."

In track and field, new anti-doping tests of old samples — taken from athletes at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships — have brought a flurry of suspensions. The sport's world governing body says it's punishing 28 athletes over the findings. It did not release any of their names or nationalities.

The International Association of Athletics Federations is calling the suspensions its "latest success," but the organization also says "a large majority" of the 28 athletes have already retired and that others have already faced sanctions.

Years ago, when Dorothy Okatch was getting her start as a basketball referee in the Namibian Basketball Federation, a towering player took issue with a foul she called against him.

The player strode up to Okatch, brought his face inches away from hers and yelled about the call. She briefly considered backing away or shouting back. But then Okatch, who stands 5 feet, 6 inches, called a technical foul, the penalty for unsportsmanlike behavior.

It was a memorable call for both Okatch and the player, whom she still referees regularly.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Football fans - and even those who don't watch any football - hear this.

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JOHN FACENDA: Professional football in America is a special game - a unique game played nowhere else on earth.

Nick Symmonds, an American middistance runner, won't be competing in the world championships in Beijing this month.

Symmonds, who is a U.S. National champion and has competed in the Olympic Games, failed to sign a terms and conditions agreement with USA Track & Field that is necessary to be part of the team. He has a personal sponsorship deal with Brooks Running, while the American world championships team is sponsored by Nike.

He was one of racing's fastest drivers, the first in NASCAR to take a car to 200 mph on a closed course. When his career in racing ended, he became a commentator. Now, a month after lung cancer forced him to finally retire, Buddy Baker has died at age 74.

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