Sports

Sweetness And Light
4:36 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Sports Reporting: The Way It Was ... And Is

Back in the day, people used to ask Frank Deford who he thought was the greatest boxer. Nowadays, nobody even asks about boxing.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 10:08 am

When I was a young, cocksure lad in this business, one thing I hated was for anyone in the Old Guard to preface an observation about sports by saying, "It used to be ... "

Invariably, the point was that it used to be better.

I promised myself that I'd never become a "used-to-be" guy. But for the benefit of today's young, cocksure lads in the business, here I go:

It used to be that people always asked me if athletes weren't making too much money. Nobody ever asks me that anymore. The only money issue I hear now is, "Why aren't college athletes paid?"

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Sports
4:50 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

A Knuckleball No More: World Cup Soccer Ball Gets A Redesign

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 6:38 pm

John Eric Goff, the chair of the physics department at Lynchburg College, explains the science of the 2014 World Cup soccer ball. The Adidas Brazuca is expected to perform better than the version used in South Africa in 2010.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Sports
12:15 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Before And After Photos: 8 Runners In The Boston Marathon

Matthew Conlon before and after running the Boston Marathon on Monday. Conlon is one of the eight runners who chronicled their journey to the marathon for NPR.
Courtesy of Matthew Conlon

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 1:49 pm

For 10 weeks we followed these eight runners as they trained for the 118th Boston Marathon. On the day of the race we asked each of them to send us a picture of themselves before they hit the course and after they finished. Capturing the ups and downs of the day, this is what it looks like to stare 26.2 miles in the face.

News
4:16 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

A Year From Tragedy, Boston Marathon Laurels Go To American

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 7:26 pm

The Boston Marathon is back, over one year since bombs rocked its finish line. NPR's Jeff Brady discusses the race, its heightened security and Meb Keflezighi, the first American to win it since 1983.

Sports
4:16 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

By Waiting Just A Second Too Long, Gomez Steps On An Unwritten Rule

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 7:26 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Baseball has lots of written rules, but it also has its share of unwritten rules of etiquette. For example, don't steal a base late in the game if your team is up by a bunch of runs. If the opposing pitcher is throwing a no-hitter, you don't try to break it up by bunting.

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The Salt
12:41 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Hunger Games: College Athletes Make Play For Collective Bargaining

Shabazz Napier of the Connecticut Huskies speaks to the media in the locker room after defeating Kentucky in the NCAA men's championship on April 7.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 7:36 pm

When University of Connecticut star basketball player Shabazz Napier told reporters right after winning the NCAA Division I men's basketball national championship he sometimes went to bed hungry, you could almost hear the collective gasp from mothers around the country.

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

America's Meb Keflezighi Wins An Emotional Boston Marathon

American Meb Keflezighi crosses the finish line in first place to win the 2014 B.A.A. Boston Marathon on Monday. He became the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since 1983.
Jared Wickerham Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 6:09 pm

In the men's field of the 118th Boston Marathon, American Meb Keflezighi ended a 31-year drought for U.S. runners, after holding off Wilson Chebet of Kenya in a race that came down to the final mile.

According to race officials, Keflezighi, 38, ran a 4:56 split at mile 23, when he built a 20-second lead. That lead dwindled as the runners neared the finish line, but Keflezighi held off all challengers to win the race with an unofficial finishing time of 2:08:37.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Mon April 21, 2014

As It Happened: American Wins 118th Running Of The Boston Marathon

Boylston Street's 26-mile marker will be a welcome sight to the thousands of runners who are in today's Boston Marathon. Today marks the 118th running of the race.
Jared Wickerham Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 7:11 pm

There is no doubt the bombings of last year cast a long shadow on the 118th running of the Boston Marathon.

It was an inevitable backdrop: The signs on the buildings that line the course near the finish are usually covered in witty, encouraging posters. This year, they encouraged a greater kind of perseverance.

"Boston Strong," they exhorted.

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News
6:56 am
Mon April 21, 2014

The Boston Marathon Through The Eyes Of Two Men Who Love It

Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray (right) greets runners during the Boston Athletic Association 10K race in Boston last year.
Aram Boghosian Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 6:32 pm

Dave McGillivray likely knows the Boston Marathon better than anyone else.

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Mon April 21, 2014

It's Time To Run Again In Boston: Here's The Schedule

Runners, their friends and family members posed Sunday for photos at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, which is being run on Monday.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 12:15 pm

We don't need to go on at length about why today's running of the Boston Marathon is important.

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NPR Story
5:03 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter Dies At 76

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 7:53 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hurricane Carter has died. He was 76 years old, a former boxer, a figure of controversy and, for some, a cause. Rubin Carter was his given name. He fought his first professional boxing match the day after he was released from prison in 1961. Later and more famously, he was in trouble with the law again, including on the night in 1966, when a triple murder was committed in Patterson, New Jersey.

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Sports
8:07 am
Sun April 20, 2014

How NBA Players Get Rest In An 82-Game Season

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 11:53 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Sports
8:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Top Teams Sitting Out Of NBA Playoffs

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 11:40 am

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

And it's time for sports. Today, the NBA playoffs begin, and several teams that normally steal the spotlight are nowhere in sight. Meanwhile, some old guys from San Antonio are again looking like contenders. We're joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. He's at the studios of New England Public Radio. Good morning.

HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Wade. How are you?

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Sports
8:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

NCAA Beats 'Strategic Retreat' On Food Rules For Student Athletes

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 11:40 am

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Wade Goodwyn. This week, the NCAA voted to allow colleges to provide their student athletes with as much food as they like. It may sound like a bizarre move, but what the NCAA allows athletes to eat on the college's dime is subject to its own set of rules. And they can sometimes border on the absurd. The move by the NCAA comes at a time when the organization is facing a bit of second-guessing about the way it's gone about its traditional role of policing college athletics.

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Sports
4:44 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Welcome, Spring — And More Importantly, Playoff Hockey

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

After the marathon, Boston sports fans will still have playoff hockey. If you pay attention to the National Hockey League, then you probably heard or maybe even said that there's nothing like the playoffs. And judging from the start of this year's playoffs, it's not an exaggeration. Here to talk more about it is sportswriter Stefan Fatsis. And, Stefan, the NHL playoffs began on Wednesday, but just how exciting have these first games been?

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Code Switch
10:30 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Baseball's Demographic Shifts Bring Cultural Complexities

LA Magazine and ESPN." href="/post/baseballs-demographic-shifts-bring-cultural-complexities" class="noexit lightbox">
Cuban player Yasiel Puig has often been criticized for lacking discipline and for his "energetic" approach to the game. His fascinating journey to the U.S. was recently chronicled by LA Magazine and ESPN.
Scott Cunningham Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 1:32 pm

This week, baseball fans celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, 67 years after Robinson became the first black player to participate in a Major League Baseball game. Coincidentally (or not), the racial, ethnic and cultural dynamics of the sport today are the topics of much discussion in this week's news.

Decline In Percentage Of Black Players

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Sports
5:14 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Brazil Has A Lot Riding On Its World Cup Team's Outcome

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 7:41 am

Brazil is the spiritual home of soccer and a world powerhouse in the sport. It's woven into the Brazilian psyche. Wins and losses have had repercussions in other realms — including politics.

Sports
4:08 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Gymnast Racks Up Tens On The Floor — And Thousands On YouTube

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 6:48 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

When gymnast Lloimincia Hall takes to the mat for Louisiana State University, the audience knows they're in for a show.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Wed April 9, 2014

UConn Women Win, Making School Center Of College Hoops World

They're No. 1: Breanna Stewart of the Connecticut Huskies reacts after a score during Tuesday night's game against Notre Dame. Her team won its ninth national championship.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 9:58 am

By routing Notre Dame 79-58 Tuesday night in Nashville, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team won its ninth NCAA championship — which means that coach Geno Auriemma is no longer tied with legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt for the most titles among women's coaches.

But that's not the only milestone that highlights UConn's place in the upper echelon of college basketball programs. Check this out:

Before Tuesday, only one school had won both the men's and women's Division I basketball titles in the same year.

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NPR Story
4:55 am
Wed April 9, 2014

UConn Crushes Notre Dame In NCAA Women's Championship

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 8:02 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Ah, all the signs that baseball season is here . For me it means being tired, watching a game obsessively on my iPhone in bed instead of sleeping. Baseball fans, you know what I'm talking about here. But as the Major League Baseball season begins, it is bittersweet for some.

Commentator Frank Deford is thinking about endings because it is the beginning of the end for two baseball giants.

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Sweetness And Light
3:35 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Time To Root, Root, Root For Final Innings

Elsa/Getty Images and Mike Groll/AP

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 8:02 am

Sometimes the most disparate of people end up as pairs. As baseball begins, here's your 2014 All-Star Odd Couple: Bud Selig and Derek Jeter. But different as these personalities are, different as their positions, they've survived for so long together, and now both have announced that this season is their swan song.

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Sports
4:01 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

History And Hatred In A Battle Of Basketball Unbeatens

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:24 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Two undefeated teams go head-to-head tonight in the women's NCAA championship game. The University of Connecticut has 39 wins, no losses. Notre Dame is 37 and 0. It's the first time two unbeaten college basketball teams will meet in the title game, men's or women's. And it promises to be an epic matchup between old rivals - with a hefty dose of smack talk leading up to it.

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News
4:01 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Pistorius Trial Adjourns Early For Day Amid Runner's Sobs

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 10:14 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In South Africa today, the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius was adjourned early for the day after the Paralympic athlete broke down weeping on the witness stand. It was his second day of testimony and the first time he had publically recounted details of the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He claims he thought she was an intruder.

Led by his lawyer, Pistorius described the moment he realized he had shot Steenkamp and found her body behind the door of his toilet cubicle.

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Sports
4:01 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Worst Nightmare Comes True For One Of America's Best Brackets

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:24 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Last night, the UConn Huskies won the NCAA's men's championship over Kentucky. But for one Connecticut fan and resident, the victory is bittersweet. Before the start of the tournament, Corey Johnson, like many others, filled out a bracket. And he did his online hoping to win some money in the Yahoo! Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge. Those with the top 20 brackets would win $100,000 each.

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Code Switch
2:45 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Coming Out In Basketball: How Brittney Griner Found 'A Place Of Peace'

Brittney Griner puts up a shot against Japan during a 2013 preseason WNBA game in Phoenix.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:24 am

Brittney Griner is 23 years old, 6 feet 8 inches tall and one of the best female basketball players in the world. She was the WNBA top draft pick last year, and in college she set records for the most blocked shots in a season and the most career blocks in history — for male and female players. She's so good that the owner of a men's team — the Dallas Mavericks — has said he'd recruit her.

Now, Griner is also an author. She's co-written a new memoir, In My Skin, in which she describes being bullied and taunted as a kid for her height and athleticism.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

NCAA Women's Final Matches Two Undefeated Teams

UConn and Notre Dame will bring perfect records into tonight's NCAA women's final in Nashville.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 5:47 pm

You know a game is special when it makes the record books before it's played. That's the case for the NCAA women's title game, which will feature two teams with perfect records for the first time in history Tuesday night.

The AP says that's a record for any NCAA tournament title game, played by men or women. The NCAA says this year will also mark the second time the women's champions from all three divisions have gone undefeated.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Oscar Pistorius Sobs On Witness Stand At His Murder Trial

Aimee Pistorius (second from right) cries as she hears her brother Oscar speak Tuesday during his murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa, about the night he killed Reeva Steenkamp.
Kim Ludbrook EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 3:32 pm

Oscar Pistorius sobbed and wailed from the witness stand in his murder trial in South Africa as he recalled what he maintains was the accidental fatal shooting of his girlfriend.

Pistorius, a double-amputee Olympic runner, was describing the moment he said he realized that he shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, through a bathroom door and not an intruder.

"That's the moment when everything changed," he told the court in Pretoria. "The first thing that ran through my mind was that I needed to arm myself and protect Reeva and I."

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Code Switch
11:02 am
Tue April 8, 2014

How Stereotypes Explain Everything And Nothing At All

The City College of New York basketball team in 1932.
New York Daily News Archive New York Daily News via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:10 pm

A few days ago, I wrote a post in which I was mulling just why so few Asian-Americans played Division I basketball in the 2012-2013 season. The numbers were striking. Of the 5,380 men's players in the top tier of college basketball, only 15 were Asian-American. Asian-American ballers weren't just underrepresented. They were practically invisible.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Tue April 8, 2014

With NCAA Title, UConn Answers Questions About Kentucky, And Itself

Ryan Boatright of the Connecticut Huskies holds up the NCAA championship trophy after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 at AT&T Stadium on Monday, as his teammate Shabazz Napier is interviewed after the game.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 11:08 am

The Connecticut Huskies are the new NCAA champions, after beating a talented but young Kentucky Wildcats team in the men's final played in Arlington, Texas. UConn notched its fourth — and most unlikely — national title by outplaying a feisty Kentucky squad; the Huskies never trailed in Monday night's game.

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NPR Story
5:00 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Napier's 22 Points Helps UConn Beat Kentucky In Men's Final

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 8:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This year's NCAA men's basketball tournament was billed as wide open. Anyone could win - and a seventh seed did. Makes you wonder what those seeds actually mean. The University of Connecticut was banned from the tournament last year. In a dramatic turnaround, the Yukon Huskies are this year's champs after beating Kentucky last night. Here's NPR's Tom Goldman.

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