sports

Deflate-Gate
4:09 pm
Sat January 24, 2015

Patriots' Coach: Team 'Followed Rules' On Inflation Of Footballs

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks during an NFL football news conference at Gillette Stadium, on Saturday in Foxborough, Mass. Belichick defended the team against allegations they had cheated by using underinflated footballs in a championship game.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 5:24 pm

New England Patriots' Head Coach Bill Belichick defended his team and quarterback Tom Brady against accusations of cheating amid the so-called "Deflategate" controversy that erupted last weekend when underinflated footballs were used in

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Sports
9:46 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Fat Bikes: The Winter Sport Of The Future?

With tires twice the width of the standard mountain bike, fat bikes are made for snow. Some ski facilities are trying to cash in on the bikes, which are becoming a popular alternative to cross-country skiing. (Citizen 4474/Flickr via Compfight cc)

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 8:14 am

On a snowy December afternoon, I dropped by the Onion River Sports shop in Montpelier, the capital of Vermont. Kip Roberts, who  manages the store, said that two years ago, fat bikes went from an oddity to a hot item.

“It exploded, and we couldn’t get our hands on them quick enough,” Roberts said. “And that growth happened all across the country. Almost everyone that’s a major bicycle company has a fat bike now. And some of them have multiple models.”

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Injury
9:24 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Former WWE Fighters Suing Over Alleged Brain Damage

WWE fighter Bray Wyatt, "The Eater Of Worlds," jumps on fighter "Dean Ambrose."
Courtesy of WWE

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 7:12 pm

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.

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Super Bowl
1:40 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Broadcaster Al Michaels Gets Ready To Provide 'Lyrics' For The Super Bowl

Al Michaels will announce the Super Bowl game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots on Feb. 1.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 3:28 pm

When the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots meet in the 2015 Super Bowl on Feb. 1, the broadcast booth will be anchored by a man who has done the play-by-play for eight previous Super Bowls. Al Michaels, the announcer for NBC's Sunday Night Football, knows how to put emotion into his broadcasts.

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Deflate-Gate
10:30 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick Denies Knowledge Of Deflated Footballs

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, seen here on Jan. 18, says he "had no knowledge" about the controversy over deflated footballs "until Monday morning."
Elise Amendola AP

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick says he had "no knowledge" about the controversy surrounding his team and deflated footballs.

"In my entire coaching career, I have never talked to any player or staff member about football air pressure," he said in an opening statement at a news conference today.

Belichick added that he had "no knowledge of this situation until Monday morning."

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Sweetness and Light
9:27 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Frank Deford To The NBA: Who's On Worst?

The Atlanta Hawks' Mike Scott scores over the Detroit Pistons' Greg Monroe in a game Monday. The Hawks are currently leading the NBA's Eastern Conference.
Dave Tulis AP

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:58 am

Even with free agency, our professional leagues show a reliable sort of sameness from year to year. Oh sure, each season there are a few teams that surprise, but mostly, changes in the standings are evolutionary. That said, I don't believe I've ever seen a league that looks so cockeyed as the NBA is this year.

First of all, it's just plain weird to see the two historically glamorous franchises, the Celtics and Lakers, both down near the bottom of the standings, while up top are teams that previously were nondescript also-rans.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:08 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

The Scramble: Word of the Year, Football, and "The Nightly Show" Premieres

Dave Worley Creative Commons

The Oxford Dictionary word of the year for 2014 is vape. I can get behind that. It's a word that describes something a lot of people are doing and it really did come of age in the last 12 months. The American Dialect Society, not so much. Their controversial word of the year is #blacklivesmatter, which is not a word or even close to being one word.

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Deflated...after a win?
11:38 am
Mon January 19, 2015

NFL Investigates Reports Of Deflated Balls After Patriots Rout Colts

Questions over out-of-regulation footballs have come up after the New England Patriots won the AFC Championship Game Sunday. Running back LeGarrette Blount ran for 148 yards and three touchdowns in the Patriots' 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Elsa Getty Images

Did the New England Patriots tamper with the footballs used in the AFC Championship Game? The NFL is asking that question, after the host Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7, in rainy conditions Sunday.

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Football
10:14 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

New England Beats Indianapolis 45-7 In AFC Championship

Duron Harmon and Darrelle Revis of the New England Patriots celebrate Revis' interception in the third quarter of the 2015 AFC Championship Game. The Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts and will be playing in the Super Bowl Feb. 1.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 10:25 pm

As a cold rain poured down, the New England Patriots crushed the Super Bowl dreams of the Indianapolis Colts with a 45-7 victory.

The Patriots established their lead early, scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter. The Colts scored one touchdown in the second quarter, but after a Patriots field goal, New England still entered halftime 10 points in the lead.

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Football
2:25 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Seattle Super Bowl Bound After NFC Title Win Over Green Bay

Luke Willson (#82) of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after scoring on a two-point conversion during the fourth quarter of the 2015 NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Seattle won 28-22.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 12:12 am

Updated at 6:33p.m. ET:

The Seattle Seahawks have defeated the Green Bay Packers to win the NFC title and earn their ticket to Super Bowl XLIX.

Seattle won 28-22 in a game that saw the Packers pull out to a commanding early lead — going into the half 16-0. Seattle gained traction, however, scoring touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters to close the gap.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:21 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

The Nose is Still Waiting for its Oscar Nomination

Credit Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr Creative Commons

Academy Awards are not intrinsically important; therefore, Academy Award nominations are not intrinsically important, but these things are great moments for starting conversations and taking stock. They work pretty well as mass cultural Rorschach blots, and as is the case with many things, the ways in which they make us unhappy are probably the greatest source of interest.  

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Bid for Olympics
10:20 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Bravo, Boston! Let The Olympic Games Pursuit Begin

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 8:36 am

The U.S. Olympic Committee has selected Boston as its official bid city for the 2024 Olympics. Good for Boston, I say, and the rest of New England.

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Football
10:04 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Patriots Advance To AFC Title Game After Wild Win Over Ravens

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 8:25 am

A simple summary of the mood swings for Patriots fans on Saturday would be high–low–high–low–high.

It wasn’t easy, but the New England Patriots earned a spot in the AFC Championship Game with a wild 35-31 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

This was the fourth playoff meeting between the Patriots and Ravens at Gillette Stadium since January 2010. In the parking lot before the game, Patriots fan and South Boston resident Stefan Laurides said the fact that Baltimore won two of the first three didn’t make him nervous.

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Basketball
10:03 am
Mon January 12, 2015

As Knicks Struggle, New York Times Assigns Reporter To 'Better Basketball'

The New York Knicks are so bad that New York Times reporter x is taking his coverage elsewhere. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Originally published on Sat January 10, 2015 7:59 am

It was a small item on page B9 of the New York edition of the New York Times: “Wanted: Better Basketball for a Weary Reporter.”

Scott Cacciola is the weary reporter. His beat is the New York Knicks, a team that, at the time of the sports department editors’ plea, had posted a dismal 5-32 record.

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Football
7:49 am
Sat January 10, 2015

As Dallas Comes To Town, Green Bay Remembers Historic 'Ice Bowl'

Boyd Dowler of the Green Bay Packers grabs a Bart Starr touchdown pass in the NFL championship game on Dec. 31, 1967. The "Ice Bowl," played in frigid temperatures, was won by the Packers 21-17.
AP

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 2:09 pm

This weekend's NFL playoffs include a faceoff between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. That game is being billed as the second "Ice Bowl."

These teams have played each other often since that cold game on Dec. 31, 1967, but this is the first time since then they'll meet for a playoff at Lambeau Field.

The temperature that day was minus 15. But while it will be cold in Green Bay this Sunday, it won't be that cold.

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Olympics
4:50 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Boston 2024? City Is Chosen To Bid For Summer Olympics

The U.S. Olympic Committee has chosen Boston to bid on hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics. Committee Chairman Larry Probst is seen speaking last February.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 6:55 pm

Boston won a tight contest to become the next American city to bid for hosting an Olympics, beating out Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., for the right to vie for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"This selection is in recognition of our city's talent, diversity and global leadership," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said. "Our goal is to host Olympic and Paralympic Games that are innovative, walkable and hospitable to all. Boston hopes to welcome the world's greatest athletes to one of the world's great cities."

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Cutting the Cord
2:10 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

ESPN Ventures Onto the Web

ESPN on the web: the cord-cutter's dream?
ESPN

It’s news that might be keeping some cable executives up at night: for the first time, viewers will be able to stream ESPN over the web. 

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Colin McEnroe Show
9:53 am
Wed January 7, 2015

I'm So Tired -- At Least, That's What My Head Is Telling Me

Shankara Newton has been teaching yoga for over 28 years. He’s also is in private practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist

In 1954, Roger Bannister did the previously unthinkable. He ran a mile in under four minutes. Six weeks later, his chief rival John Landy, did the same thing, and bettered Bannister's performance.

Thirteen months later, three other runners broke four minutes. Bear in mind that this had been considered impossible for as long as there had been time-keeping at track meets.

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Soccer
10:38 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Jordanian Prince To Challenge 4-Term FIFA Chief For Presidency

FIFA Vice President Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein says he will challenge incumbent Sepp Blatter for the presidency of soccer's governing body.
Lai Seng Sin AP

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 10:42 am

FIFA Vice President Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein will challenge incumbent Sepp Blatter for the presidency of soccer's governing body.

"I am seeking the presidency of FIFA because I believe it is time to shift the focus away from administrative controversy and back to sport," he said in a statement on the website of the Jordan Football Association, of which he is president.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

The Scramble: NYPD vs. deBlasio and Remembering Icons and Institutions

What's next in the relationship between the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio?
Mark Wyman Creative Commons

The year is off to a tumultuous and sad start. Some New York Police Department officers continued their protest of Mayor Bill de Blasio at a funeral for a fallen colleague and reducing arrests for minor offenses. The protest is entering what Matt Taibbi described as "surreal territory." We also remember the iconic ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott, who died Sunday. Finally, we discuss the news out of New Haven that The Anchor served its last drink this weekend.

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Brain Injuries
9:07 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Military Rehab Program Welcomes NFL Retirees

“Guys getting out of the military and guys leaving football face the same question: What do we do now?” says Devin Hutchings,, director of After the Impact. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 7:32 am

Since 1993, the Eisenhower Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., has been working to rehabilitate veterans of the military who’ve suffered traumatic brain injuries in combat. Recently, the center’s program called After the Impact has also begun serving football players experiencing impairment as a result of concussions or sub-concussive hits.

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Sweetness and Light
3:24 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Deford: It's Hard To Write A Christmas Story About Sport

A sculpture at Britannia stadium in the English city of Stoke-on-Trent commemorates the Christmas Truce, a legendary soccer game played between German and British troops in December 1914.
Rui Vieira AP

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 8:02 am

Several years ago, I wrote a sports Christmas story. It was about a greedy basketball superstar who, imbued with Yuletide cheer, helps save his small-market franchise.

A big-time producer wanted to make a TV movie out of it. So off I went to Hollywood to turn my story into a script and thereby, in keeping with the Christmas spirit, make a killing.

Let me tell you: It's hard to write a Christmas story about sport.

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Soccer
7:49 am
Mon December 22, 2014

U.S. Women's Soccer Team Finishes Second In Brazilian Tournament

United States' Abby Wambach fights for the ball with Brazil's Bruna Benites during a final match of the International Women's Football Tournament in Brasilia, Brazil, Sunday. The game ended in a draw, giving Brazil the tournament victory.
Eraldo Peres AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 7:57 am

The U.S. Women's National Soccer team finished its 2014 season with a second-place finish Sunday in the rainy final of the International Tournament of Brasilia. Brazil and the U.S. played to a 0-0 draw.

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Basketball
7:47 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Eyeing Title, Dallas Mavericks Add Rajon Rondo

(Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) After spending his whole career with the Celtics, Rajon Rondo will join a talented Mavs team that won the title in 2011. (Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 7:47 am

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.

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Olympics
2:30 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

3 Arguments For And Against Boston’s Olympic Bid

A woman walks in front of a board showing Olympics rings at the 127th International Olympic Committee session in Monaco, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. (AP)

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 2:31 pm

Tuesday in San Francisco, a group of Boston civic leaders, including Mayor Marty Walsh, will go before the U.S. Olympic Committee in a bid to bring the Olympic Games to Boston in 2024.

There are other cities looking to win the committee’s backing, including San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.

This is just the start of a long process. Once the U.S. committee picks a city next month, the competition moves to the International Olympic Committee, which will announce the host for the 2024 games two years from now.

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Olympics
8:14 am
Tue December 16, 2014

U.S. Olympic Committee To Hear Boston 2024 Bid

After Tuesday's meeting, Boston could be one step closer to landing the Olympics. (Charlie Riedel/AP)

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 8:53 am

Picture the Olympic flame at night, reflecting off Boston Harbor. Picture rowers slicing up the Charles River, the sun warming the russet roofs of Harvard behind them.

That imagery may be part of the presentation Tuesday, as representatives from Boston try to persuade the United States Olympic Committee, or USOC, to choose Boston over three other U.S. cities for consideration for the 2024 Summer Games.

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Sports
7:34 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

7 Chaotic Hours Behind The Scenes At NFL RedZone

Inside the control room, dozens of monitors allow the production team to keep an eye on the live games and the available replays and graphics.
Becky Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:17 pm

Today, like every Sunday in the fall, millions of Americans are tuning in to watch some of the country's most popular sport: football.

And for several million of them, your regular ol' football game isn't fast-paced enough: They're tuning in to NFL RedZone.

NFL RedZone is the frenetic channel run by the NFL Network that, for seven hours straight, switches between football games in an endeavor to show every single score of as many as 12 simultaneous games.

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Concussions
5:01 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Football Players Drill Without Helmets To Curb Concussions

Making and taking a hit chest to chest, instead of skull to skull, is easier to remember if you're not wearing a helmet, say University of New Hampshire Wildcat football players.
Jack Rodolico New Hampshire Public Radio

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:49 pm

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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Sweetness and Light
10:05 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Deford: What's Wrong With Pro Athletes Taking A Stand?

Members of the St. Louis Rams raise their arms to protest the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Mo., before a game last month. The players faced a backlash from St. Louis police and have been asked to apologize.
L.G. Patterson AP

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:23 am

A common complaint I've long heard was that current athletes were selfish and not politically involved like their passionate forebears –– players like Jim Brown, Billie Jean King, Bill Russell and Arthur Ashe.

My response was, "Well, how many of the modern athletes' peers are especially engaged in social controversy?" It wasn't fair to compare the sensibility of the athletes of, say, 1995 or 2005 to those of 1965; the apt comparison is with other members of their own cohort.

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Basketball
1:10 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

It Wasn't Pretty, But 76ers Manage To Win Their First Game Of The Season

Philadelphia 76ers forward JaKarr Sampson congratulates guard K.J. McDaniels during the fourth quarter of Wednesday's NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Hannah Foslien AP

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 2:58 pm

And on the 18th try, the Philadelphia 76ers finally snapped their losing streak, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 85-77 on Wednesday.

Yes, they managed to right the ship to avoid tying the record for worst start to an NBA season and, yes, a win is a win.

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