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From the first Olympic games in 776 B.C. to the 2018 World Cup currently underway, referees have always played an integral part in competitive athletics. But as technology advances and the means to make more accurate on-field calls improves, these men and women find themselves under increasing pressure to keep up.

Chion Wolf / CT Public Radio

Ocean's 8 is about as 2010s a movie as there's ever been. It's a reboot sequel of a series that started with a remake. The fun part, though, is that this movie (unlike the four that precede it) stars eight women. And the even funner part is that it's the number one movie in the country. Our all-star, all-lady (plus Colin) Nose has thoughts.

David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

It's a warm, Saturday afternoon on the water in Fishers Island Sound. There are three of us in the 20-foot long sailboat. At the helm is Kiera Dawding. She's almost 17, and she's from Westerly, Rhode Island, which we can see from the water. From our position, we can actually see three states, including New York, points out Kali Cika, Kiera's sailing instructor.

popo.uw23 / flickr creative commons

Mike Pesca is one of our very favorite guests -- on any number of topics. And he's got a new book out: Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Every year at this time, we invite an improv comic and an ex-politician-turned-political-pundit on to break down the NCAA tournament brackets and battle for sports analyst supremacy. Logically.

Alfred A. Knopf, Publisher

The Times of London has said that Martin Amis "is as talented a journalist as he is a novelist." His latest collection of essays and reportage covers 1994 through 2017, Travolta through Trump.

Amis joins us for the hour.

Editor's Note: This story contains graphic language.

Ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar was handed his third sentence on Monday, this time of 40 to 125 years in prison after pleading guilty to molesting young gymnasts at an elite Michigan training facility.

Dozens of people gave victim statements last week in the Eaton County, Mich., courtroom. There, Randy Margraves, the father of two of them, charged at Nassar saying he wanted a minute alone with the "demon." Sheriff's deputies tackled him before he reached the former doctor.

NEON Rated

I, Tonya is a big, brash, brightly-colored, quirky comedy that happens to be telling a story that's ultimately kind of super sad. It's that mixture of tones -- a cinematic style seemingly at odds with the film's content -- and its Oscar-nominated performances by Margot Robbie and Allison Janney that have earned the movie a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Nose picks it apart.

Lisa McHale

This hour: the National Football League.

Just hearing those words once beckoned vivid mental images -- scenes of athletes entertaining millions with their heroic throws and jaw-clenching tackles.

In recent years, however, the NFL's image has darkened -- clouded by concerns surrounding athlete behavior and a brain disease known as CTE. 

Sandro Halank / Creative Commons

Two Connecticut lugers will race down the ice for Team USA this February. They qualified earlier this month for the 23rd Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Lisa McHale

This hour: the National Football League.

Just hearing those words once beckoned vivid mental images -- scenes of athletes entertaining millions with their heroic throws and jaw-clenching tackles.

In recent years, however, the NFL's image has darkened -- clouded by concerns surrounding athlete behavior and a brain disease known as CTE. 

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Netflix announced this week that it has suspended production on the sixth and final season of its award-winning drama series "House of Cards." Its lead actor, Kevin Spacey, apologized for an act of sexual misconduct with a 14 year old while simultaneously coming out as gay, and things have only gotten more complicated since.

And then, a University of Hartford freshman, Chennel "Jazzy" Rowe, has allegedly suffered some truly nightmarish -- and racist -- bullying, harassment, and, I guess, vandalism at the hands of her roommate, Brianna Brochu. Brochu has bragged on Instagram about putting moldy clam dip in Rowe's lotion, rubbing used tampons on Rowe's backpack, and putting Rowe's toothbrush places "where the sun doesn't shine," among other things.

Netflix

Netflix's new 10-episode series "Mindhunter" tells the story of the beginnings of criminal psychology and criminal profiling at the FBI. As such, at its heart, it's really just a police procedural. But, with David Fincher as one of its producers, the show rises above a well-worn genre with its look and feel reminiscent of movies like Se7en and Zodiac.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

The American League Division Series start today. This afternoon, the lowly Boston Red Sox play in Houston, and then tonight, the 27-time world champion New York Yankees play in Cleveland.

Tomorrow, we get fully four postseason baseball games, with both National League series starting.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Note: This episode contains strong language.

There are 203 ballparks currently being used by affiliated, professional baseball teams in the United States: 30 in the Major Leagues, 23 spring training facilities used by the big league clubs and their Rookie League affiliates, and 150 Minor League stadiums spread over six levels of baseball.

The last three of those 203 parks opened this season: The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, the new spring training facility for the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals; SunTrust Park in Atlanta, where the Braves play.

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