Sports http://wnpr.org en Golf May Be Too Polite A Sport For Presidential Politics http://wnpr.org/post/golf-may-be-too-polite-sport-presidential-politics There's been much criticism of the president lately, even within his own party, that he's too detached and withdrawn, not combative enough anymore. This can be explained completely with a sports analogy: We elected a basketball president, but then we ended up with a golf president.<p>Golf is an internal game. Nobody is playing against you. Nobody is guarding you. Basketball, on the other hand — basketball is in your face, one-on-one, combative to its core. Obama actually had a court built in the White House. Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:25:00 +0000 Frank Deford 27589 at http://wnpr.org Golf May Be Too Polite A Sport For Presidential Politics An Attempt To Explain The Magic Of The Ballpark http://wnpr.org/post/attempt-explain-magic-ballpark No doubt some of the autograph seekers leaning across the fence straining for the baseball players' attention were in it for the money.<p>I suppose a baseball signed by the right person is worth something. Others were collectors working to complete their sets.<p>But most of us clumped up along the side of the dugout were fans — and our motives were of an entirely different nature.<p>Well, to be accurate, I wasn't begging for autographs. My kids were. Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:18:53 +0000 Alva Noë 27381 at http://wnpr.org An Attempt To Explain The Magic Of The Ballpark Deford: Frankly, Hot Dogs Best Served At The Ballpark http://wnpr.org/post/deford-frankly-hot-dogs-best-served-ballpark Let's boldly confront the greatest mystery in all of sport: Why do hot dogs always taste better at the ballpark?<p>Baseball food has, of course, taken on a much greater variety since 1908, when "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" only celebrated peanuts and crackerjack. But it is another enduring mystery of sport why fans eat during a baseball game, while the preferred mode of cuisine for football is before the game, out in the parking lot — tailgating.<p>But then, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised at this inexplicable circumstance. Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:01:40 +0000 Frank Deford 27253 at http://wnpr.org Deford: Frankly, Hot Dogs Best Served At The Ballpark Why Are NFL Joint Training Camps On The Rise? http://wnpr.org/post/why-are-nfl-joint-training-camps-rise The beginning of the NFL season is only three weeks away. To prepare for Week 1, nearly half the league&#8217;s franchises are participating in joint practices with other teams, with varying degrees of success. ESPN&#8217;s senior NFL writer and commentator John Clayton joined Bill Littlefield to explain why joint practices are more popular than ever.<p><strong>BL: Joint practices are not new, but they do seem to have become more popular. Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:42:21 +0000 editor 27133 at http://wnpr.org Why Are NFL Joint Training Camps On The Rise? Why Olympic Skiers And Snowboarders Are Training In The Ocean http://wnpr.org/post/why-olympic-skiers-and-snowboarders-are-training-ocean A group of Olympian skiers and snowboarders have been spending time in Hawaii, and they&#8217;re not on vacation. Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:42:14 +0000 editor 27132 at http://wnpr.org Why Olympic Skiers And Snowboarders Are Training In The Ocean LA Clippers Sold To Former Microsoft CEO Ballmer http://wnpr.org/post/la-clippers-sold-former-microsoft-ceo-ballmer Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. Tue, 12 Aug 2014 18:21:00 +0000 Dana Farrington 26840 at http://wnpr.org LA Clippers Sold To Former Microsoft CEO Ballmer NCAA Votes To Give New Autonomy To Big Conferences http://wnpr.org/post/ncaa-votes-give-new-autonomy-big-conferences Elite college sports conferences can set their own rules about sharing profits with student-athletes and other matters, <a href="http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/media-center/news/board-adopts-new-division-i-structure#highlights">under a new policy</a> adopted by the NCAA's Division I Board of Directors on Thursday.<p>The new rules would allow the most powerful athletic conferences to offer enhanced benefits to student-athletes, a move that would likely include boosting scholarships to match students' actual costs of living and improving health care benefits — a particular area of concern w Thu, 07 Aug 2014 18:48:00 +0000 Bill Chappell 26597 at http://wnpr.org NCAA Votes To Give New Autonomy To Big Conferences Skateboarding On The Reservation http://wnpr.org/post/skateboarding-reservation <em>Ocean surfers on waves off Malibu and Waikiki show off by “Hanging Ten.” But on Indian reservations in the American Southwest, skateboarders do their best just to hang on. And it isn’t easy. Ken Shulman spent time with two Apache skateboard teams in Arizona and came back with this report.</em><p><strong>‘Everybody Wants One’ </strong><p>Outside an art opening at an upscale gallery in downtown Phoenix, young men from the San Carlos Apache Reservation did &#8220;ollies&#8221; and &#8220;kickflips&#8221; on the walkway. Mon, 04 Aug 2014 17:32:09 +0000 Ken Shulman 26407 at http://wnpr.org Skateboarding On The Reservation National Basketball Player's Association Elects New Leader http://wnpr.org/post/national-basketball-players-association-elects-new-leader On Monday, the National Basketball Player&#8217;s Association made history by naming a woman, Michele Roberts, as their new executive director. This appointment is intriguing some for other reasons as well.<p>For that story Bill Littlefield turned to <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/staff/2529/sam-amick/" target="_blank">Sam Amick</a> of USA Today.<p><strong>BL: Eighteen months ago, former union head Billy Hunter was unceremoniously fired. Sat, 02 Aug 2014 17:32:25 +0000 editor 26408 at http://wnpr.org National Basketball Player's Association Elects New Leader Lester, Lackey Gone As Sox Deal Big At Deadline http://wnpr.org/post/lester-lackey-gone-sox-deal-big-deadline “I think we&#8217;re in better position than we were a week ago.”<p>Thus spake Boston Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington on Thursday evening.<p>For the record, the Red Sox were in last place in the AL East a week ago, and they were in last place on Thursday. By &#8220;better position,&#8221; Cherington meant the team had improved itself by trading away four of the starting pitchers who&#8217;d helped Boston become World Series champions last fall. Fri, 01 Aug 2014 22:32:37 +0000 Bill Littlefield 26409 at http://wnpr.org Lester, Lackey Gone As Sox Deal Big At Deadline Judge Rules Against Sterling, Allows LA Clippers Sale To Proceed http://wnpr.org/post/judge-rules-against-sterling-allows-la-clippers-sale-proceed A probate judge has ruled that Donald Sterling cannot block the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.<p>Shelly Sterling, his estranged wife, had <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/05/30/317328419/shelly-sterling-l-a-clippers-will-be-sold-to-steve-ballmer-for-2-billion" target="_blank">arranged</a> in May to sell the NBA franchise to former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer for a record $2 billion.<p>Donald Sterling sued to block the deal. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 23:11:00 +0000 editor 26047 at http://wnpr.org Judge Rules Against Sterling, Allows LA Clippers Sale To Proceed Has Derek Jeter's Celebration Turned Into Deification? http://wnpr.org/post/has-derek-jeters-celebration-turned-deification When an athlete announces his retirement before actually retiring, it signals the start of a farewell tour. <a href="http://onlyagame.wbur.org/tag/new-york-yankees">New York Yankees</a> shortstop Derek Jeter is in the midst of his right now. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:35:27 +0000 editor 25625 at http://wnpr.org Has Derek Jeter's Celebration Turned Into Deification? UConn's Athletic Director Sees Need for Student-Athlete Stipends http://wnpr.org/post/uconns-athletic-director-sees-need-student-athlete-stipends <p>UConn's athletic director said he opposes the idea of unions for college athletes, but sees the need to provide students on athletic scholarships with additional money.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 20:09:42 +0000 Associated Press 25411 at http://wnpr.org UConn's Athletic Director Sees Need for Student-Athlete Stipends Another Former Champion Abandons Tour De France After Crash http://wnpr.org/post/contador-abandons-tour-de-france-after-mountain-crash These are not good days to be a former Tour de France champion on the roads of France. Spain's Alberto Contador left the race after suffering a heavy crash in a wet and foggy portion of Monday's mountain stage, five days after defending champion Chris Froome <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/07/09/330106196/defending-tour-de-france-champ-froome-quits-race">abandoned the race</a>.<p>Contador's crash was apparently caused when he hit something in the road; it was so violent that it tore his shoe apart. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:56:00 +0000 Bill Chappell 25255 at http://wnpr.org Another Former Champion Abandons Tour De France After Crash Germany Wins World Cup Over Argentina With Late-Game Goal http://wnpr.org/post/germany-wins-world-cup-over-argentina-late-game-goal In a tense match that saw a lot of action but no score for more than 90 minutes of play, Germany was finally victorious over Argentina to take home the 2014 World Cup title on Sunday with a 1-0 win.<p>In a game that at times seemed more like a rugby match or WWE bout — with head injuries, flying knees and even an eye rake — both teams displayed hardy defenses and a hungry offense.<p>Two early opportunities from Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain failed to put them on scoreboard. One sailed wide, but the other found the back of the net only for Higuain to be called offsides. Sun, 13 Jul 2014 18:43:00 +0000 Steve Mullis 25217 at http://wnpr.org Germany Wins World Cup Over Argentina With Late-Game Goal LeBron James Will Return To The Cleveland Cavaliers http://wnpr.org/post/lebron-james-will-return-cleveland-cavaliers The Miami experiment is over: LeBron James will play for the Cleveland Cavaliers next season. The NBA star opted out of his contract with the Heat after spending four seasons in Miami, where he won two championships.<p>James, 29, played for Cleveland for seven seasons before leaving the town, and his home state of Ohio, for Miami. Speculation about his next move heated up after James and the Heat were trounced in the NBA Finals by the San Antonio Spurs.<p><strong>Update at 12:45 p.m. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:33:00 +0000 Bill Chappell 25133 at http://wnpr.org LeBron James Will Return To The Cleveland Cavaliers Liverpool Unloads 'The Biter,' Sending Suarez To Barca For $128 Million http://wnpr.org/post/liverpool-unloads-biter-sending-suarez-barca-128-million Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan striker who became headline news in the U.S. after <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/06/24/325226445/living-up-to-his-past-suarez-apparently-bites-italian-opponent">biting an Italian player</a> during the World Cup, is moving to a new club. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 14:45:00 +0000 Bill Chappell 25124 at http://wnpr.org Liverpool Unloads 'The Biter,' Sending Suarez To Barca For $128 Million Argentina Ditches Dutch On The Way To World Cup Final http://wnpr.org/post/argentina-ditch-dutch-way-world-cup-final <em><strong>Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET</strong></em><p>Argentina defeated the Netherlands 4-2 in penalty kicks to reach the final of the World Cup, where they will play Germany on Sunday.<p>The two teams were tied 0-0 at the end of extra time.<p>Goalkeeper Sergio Romero saved penalties by Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder. Maxi Rodriguez put away the winning kick.<p>The last time a World Cup semifinal was decided by penalty kicks was 1998 when Netherlands played Brazil. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 21:06:00 +0000 editor 25020 at http://wnpr.org Argentina Ditches Dutch On The Way To World Cup Final Flop Life: What If We All Acted Like We Were In The World Cup? http://wnpr.org/post/flop-life-what-if-we-all-acted-we-were-world-cup <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvsuYssoTw0</p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 17:44:00 +0000 Bill Chappell 24995 at http://wnpr.org Flop Life: What If We All Acted Like We Were In The World Cup? Brazil Reels From Thrashing That Bounced It From World Cup http://wnpr.org/post/brazil-reels-thrashing-bounced-it-world-cup "The worst game I saw in my life" is how one Brazilian fan describes it. Another says it's simply a tragedy. Some angry fans burned Brazil's flag in the street.<p>To say Brazil's <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/07/08/329898310/not-a-misprint-germany-leads-brazil-5-0-at-halftime">7-1 loss to Germany</a> stunned the host country would risk giving the impression that its fans aren't feeling intense pain after this loss. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:19:00 +0000 Bill Chappell 24979 at http://wnpr.org Brazil Reels From Thrashing That Bounced It From World Cup Defending Tour De France Champ Froome Quits Race http://wnpr.org/post/defending-tour-de-france-champ-froome-quits-race Chris Froome, who raced to the top of the podium in Paris last July, is out of this year's Tour de France after falling in treacherous conditions on today's stage of the bicycle race.<p>Today's stage had been predicted to be harrowing, owing to the course's inclusion of cobblestones. But Froome went down twice before the race even reached that point, leaving his riding kit torn on both thighs and one shoulder, where a bloody wound could be seen.<p>It was the second bad day for Froome, who also fell Tuesday. That crash left him with an injured wrist. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:14:00 +0000 Bill Chappell 24981 at http://wnpr.org Defending Tour De France Champ Froome Quits Race World Cup Fever Grips Brazilians Living in Danbury http://wnpr.org/post/world-cup-fever-grips-brazilians-living-danbury <p>On Tuesday, Brazil faces Germany in a World Cup semifinal match. For thousands of Brazilians living in Danbury, the game is a chance to gather, eat barbeque, and cheer on their native team.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 16:30:47 +0000 Ray Hardman 24915 at http://wnpr.org World Cup Fever Grips Brazilians Living in Danbury The One American On The Field At Today's World Cup Semifinal http://wnpr.org/post/one-american-field-todays-world-cup-semifinal The United States will have a presence at today's semifinal World Cup match between Brazil and Germany. It won't be the U.S. National Team on the field, but American referee Mark Geiger. FIFA selected Geiger to be on the officiating crew of the high-stakes match. It's the first time a U.S. referee has been used this late in a World Cup.<p>Earlier, Geiger made history when he officiated the knockout game between France and Nigeria on June 30. Before that, American referees had never been used beyond group play of the World Cup. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:58:00 +0000 Russell Lewis 24901 at http://wnpr.org The One American On The Field At Today's World Cup Semifinal UConn's Shabazz Napier Joins the Miami Heat http://wnpr.org/post/uconns-shabazz-napier-joins-miami-heat <p>The Miami Heat hope that UConn's King can keep The King in South Beach. Shabazz Napier was drafted in the first round of the NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets, who subsequently traded him to Miami.</p><p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 13:01:01 +0000 Tucker Ives 24388 at http://wnpr.org UConn's Shabazz Napier Joins the Miami Heat Latinos Pledge Allegiance To More Than One Soccer Team http://wnpr.org/post/latinos-pledge-allegiance-more-one-soccer-team I would never have imagined that my immigrant mom, a Spanish teacher, a proud <em>mexicana,</em> would be cheering for Team USA in the World Cup. A few days ago I overheard her talking to my <em>tía</em> on the phone. She told her sister, "Isn't it great that the American team is playing so well? Now we have two teams to root for!"<p>Until then, I didn't realize cheering for two teams was an option. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 16:16:10 +0000 editor 24329 at http://wnpr.org Latinos Pledge Allegiance To More Than One Soccer Team Deford: NCAA Says Amateurism Is Alive And Well, But The Jig Is Up http://wnpr.org/post/deford-ncaa-says-amateurism-alive-and-well-jig Amateurism is dead, revealed so in the trial against the NCAA now in progress in Oakland, Calif., U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken presiding. Wed, 25 Jun 2014 12:21:00 +0000 Frank Deford 24226 at http://wnpr.org Deford: NCAA Says Amateurism Is Alive And Well, But The Jig Is Up Practicing Tai Chi at WNPR http://wnpr.org/post/practicing-tai-chi-wnpr <p>You'd think Tai Chi would be a required part of any public radio employee's day, but only on Tuesday did it happen.</p><p>Colin McEnroe was hosting a show about sports that are on the rise, like pickleball, roller derby, and even&nbsp;World Extreme Pencil Fighting. When it came time for Tai Chi, he thought it would be cool if we could find a guest who could show us the ropes live.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 20:59:19 +0000 Chion Wolf 24209 at http://wnpr.org Practicing Tai Chi at WNPR World Cup Ratings Spike: How Popular Is Soccer In The U.S.? http://wnpr.org/post/world-cup-ratings-spike-how-popular-soccer-us Sunday's thrilling and frustrating World Cup match between the U.S. and Portugal drew an average of 24.7 million viewers, according to the Nielsen ratings company, a result that puts the game above the recent NBA finals.<p>The game's total U.S. Tue, 24 Jun 2014 16:11:00 +0000 Bill Chappell 24179 at http://wnpr.org World Cup Ratings Spike: How Popular Is Soccer In The U.S.? LeBron James Will Reportedly Become Free Agent, Ending Miami Contract http://wnpr.org/post/lebron-james-will-reportedly-become-free-agent-ending-miami-contract NBA star LeBron James is shaking things up at the Miami Heat, reportedly opting to end his contract early to become a free agent. Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:30:00 +0000 Bill Chappell 24175 at http://wnpr.org LeBron James Will Reportedly Become Free Agent, Ending Miami Contract Pickleball, Tai Chi, and World Extreme Pencil Fighting? Exploring Sports on the Rise http://wnpr.org/post/pickleball-tai-chi-and-world-extreme-pencil-fighting-exploring-sports-rise <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in America</span>, and for one good reason: that 77-million-person wave of boomers headed into their 60s and beyond. Pickleball is what you play when your knees and shoulders start saying "no" to tennis. We talk about the game and its sudden surge. Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:00:22 +0000 Chion Wolf, Betsy Kaplan & Colin McEnroe 24171 at http://wnpr.org Pickleball, Tai Chi, and World Extreme Pencil Fighting? Exploring Sports on the Rise