athletes

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Matt Iannazzo was a baseball star at Norwalk High School, pitching them to an FCIAC title in 2007. At the University of Pittsburgh, he was an All-Conference pitcher. Out of college, Iannazzo signed with the Chicago Cubs and played two seasons near the bottom of their organization. Now he pitches for the Bridgeport Bluefish in the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

CaseyPenk / Wikimedia Commons

Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" came to its hasty conclusion last night, still more than two months before the election. Gawker will shut down next week. And as of next Tuesday, NPR's website will no longer have comments sections.

Brian Williams, on the other hand, is getting a new show on MSNBC. And Jonah Lehrer's got a new book out.

U.S. Army / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut's own Donn Cabral ran in the Olympic 3,000 meter steeplechase final Wednesday morning. Cabral finished in ninth place -- but his U.S. teammate Evan Jager finished with a silver medal. 

The steeplechase is one of the most grueling and chaotic Olympic track and field events: seven-and-a-half laps around the track at top speed, where runners must negotiate 28 barriers and seven water jumps.

Americans Simone Biles and Aly Raisman became the first U.S. gymnasts to win gold and silver in the women's floor exercise Tuesday, beating out six other elite gymnasts to put an exclamation mark on a stellar Summer Olympics in Rio.

Great Britain's Amy Tinkler, 16, won bronze.

"I'm a little bit relieved because it's been a long journey," Biles said after winning the final women's event in Rio.

She's enjoyed all of her time in Rio, Biles said, but she also admitted to being a little worn out.

Netflix

Start with four parts "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial." That's your base. Then you'll need two parts "The Goonies," two parts "Poltergeist," and two parts "Alien." Mix in one part each of "It," "Stand by Me," "Firestarter," "Explorers," "Carrie," and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Add a Winona Ryder-shaped dollop of "Beetlejuice," and top off with a dash of the covers of classic '70s and '80s horror novels.

That's the recipe for the newish Netflix series "Stranger Things."

Simone Biles led the way for a talented American women's gymnastics squad that delivered on massive expectations Tuesday, winning gold in the team competition of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. It was the team's second consecutive Olympic gold, setting a new standard in gymnastics.

This win was never in doubt: The 8-point gap between the U.S. and second-place Russia was the largest since 1960, when the Soviet Union defeated Czechoslovakia by 8.997 points in Rome.

Even if fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad doesn't medal at the Rio Olympics, she is set to make the history books.

Once she hits the fencing strip for her first bout in the women's individual sabre competition on Aug. 8, she will become the first U.S. Olympic athlete to compete while wearing a hijab.

David Merrett / Creative Commons

Connecticut native Devin McEwan will follow in his father’s footsteps when he competes in this year's Olympic Games in Rio. His father, Jamie McEwan, was a two-time Olympian who competed as an American slalom canoeist in 1972 and 1992.

Frank Cordeira / Flickr

From Brazil's political unrest to its water pollution to the viral pandemic plaguing its streets, this year's Olympics in Rio De Janeiro are off to a rough start -- and they haven't even begun yet!

Betty Wants In / flickr creative commons

Since its discovery in 1900, adrenaline and pop-culture have gone hand-in-hand. From extreme sports, to the latest energy drinks, to pulse pounding Hollywood blockbusters, the rush of this hormone is portrayed in countless ways.

But these portrayals seldom tell the whole story. So what exactly is adrenaline, and why does our society seem so keen on celebrating it?

Carlos Duplessis / flickr creative commons

New York magazine's Will Leitch has called ESPN's new documentary "O.J.: Made in America" a masterpiece, and he thinks it'll be "the only thing this country's going to be talking about" as it airs next week. The Nose has already seen it, and it's all we're going to be talking about this week.

Ines Hegedus-Garcia / Creative Commons

The city of Hartford and Trinity College have resolved a legal dispute over whether the school should be allowed to use artificial turf for new athletic fields. The move avoids a fight between a new administration and one of the city's biggest stakeholders.

Mike Mozart / flickr creative commons

Chicago White Sox first baseman Adam LaRoche abruptly retired from baseball last week with a year and $13 million left on his contract because the team's front office told him he had to stop bringing his 14-year-old son Drake into the clubhouse so much. Then the actual team rallied behind both LaRoches. But it turns out it all happened 'cause Adam's teammates complained about Drake. But so anyway: Aren't people who bring their kids to work with them just the worst?

Connecticut Sun

The American Athletic Conference women’s basketball tournament tips off this week. It brings together a college program and a professional franchise that have revolutionized the sport: the UConn women’s basketball team and the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun.

Betty Wants In / Creative Commons

Since its discovery in 1900, adrenaline and pop-culture have gone hand-in-hand. From extreme sports, to the latest energy drinks, to pulse pounding Hollywood blockbusters, the rush of this hormone is portrayed in countless ways.

But these portrayals seldom tell the whole story. So what exactly is adrenaline, and why does our society seem so keen on celebrating it?

The White House / flickr

While basketball didn’t take up residence in the White House in January 2009, the game nonetheless played an outsized role in forming the man who did, according to Sports Illustrated’s Alexander Wolff, author of The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama.

On the eve of the New York Yankees American League wild-card game against the Houston Astros, pitcher CC Sabathia issued a written statement that he was checking himself into alcohol rehab.

The Yankees released the statement. Here's part of it:

"Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease.

Vermont’s Long Trail traverses the Green Mountains, which stretch a full 273 miles along spine of the state, including peaks over 4,000 feet.

It can take even the fittest hiker several weeks to complete, but ultra runner Nikki Kimball holds the women’s record of running the trail in just 5 days, 7 hours and 42 minutes. 

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

You notice Pat Mackenzie on the field at Dodd Stadium in Norwich — not in the bottom of the first, as the Connecticut Tigers’ lead-off hitter. And maybe not in the top of the first, as their second baseman.

Before the game even starts, during the national anthem, his shaved-bald, hatless head catches your eye. Or maybe his mustache-free goatee does. But you do notice Pat Mackenzie, as the players line up and face the flag.

uconnhuskies.com

University of Connecticut officials said a school investigation has confirmed a hazing incident last year in its women's ice hockey program.

The university issued a statement Thursday after WFSB-TV reported this week that a former player has filed a lawsuit in Rockville Superior Court alleging she was pressured to drink and wear sexually inappropriate clothing during what upperclassmen called "Rookie Night" last fall.

Creative Commons

ESPN said commentator Curt Schilling won't appear on the air for the next month in the wake of his anti-Muslim tweet.

ESPN said Thursday that Schilling won't be on telecasts for the rest of the regular season or the American League wild-card game on October 6.

Jonathan McNicol/WNPR News

Petra Kvitová won the Connecticut Open singles tennis championship for the second straight year, besting Lucie Šafářová today in three sets at the Connecticut Tennis Center.

Jonathan McNicol/WNPR News

Catcher David Marchetti hit two home runs including a storybook game winner in extra innings to lead Cranston, Rhode Island, to a 3–2 win over Waterford, Connecticut, in Bristol. Rhode Island’s victory propels them to the New England Regional semi-final game and ends Connecticut’s run toward the Little League World Series.

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."

Ed Schipul/flickr creative commons

Athletes have always used their elevated platform to advance products and ideas. After a game winning play, it's almost expected to hear the star thank either God, the Lord, and/or Jesus. But you won't hear that from Houston Texan running back Arian Foster. He just came out as an atheist playing football for a NFL team in the bible belt. How will that play out?

Updated at 1:49 p.m. ET

Bruce Jenner, the former Olympic gold-medal-winning decathlete who revealed recently that "for all intents and purposes" he is a woman, is now Caitlyn Jenner.

The revelation was made in Vanity Fair, which tweeted an image of Jenner on the cover of its July issue.

Scott Caricato / Rookie Pix

The City of Hartford is considering the creation of two new positions to boost participation in citywide youth sports programs.

Updated at 8:30 a.m. ET on Jan. 23.

Two former World Wrestling Entertainment fighters are suing the company, alleging that it ignored signs of brain damage and injuries.

The lawsuit, dated Jan. 16, was filed by Vito "Big Vito" LoGrasso and Evan Singleton, who wrestled under the name "Adam Mercer."

The suit alleges that LoGrasso has sustained serious neurological damage as a result of wrestling. He says he has headaches, memory loss, depression and hearing impairment. Singleton also says he has tremors, convulsions and migraines.

The Dallas Mavericks are thinking “win now.” The Boston Celtics are thinking “eh, win later.” And with those things in mind, the teams completed a five-player deal on Thursday that sent point guard and four-time NBA all-star Rajon Rondo to the Mavericks.

Only A Game’s Doug Tribou spoke with Bill Littlefield about the deal.

The University of New Hampshire Wildcats are heading into a do-or-die quarterfinal football game this week against the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.

And whether they win or not, there's one thing you can say about the Wildcats: They are likely the only football team in America trying to reduce concussions by practicing without helmets.

Football has a concussion problem, from the National Football League down to Pee-Wee teams. And there are lots of efforts out there to fix it.

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