Flickr Creative Commons, janie.hernandez55

At the heart of a new Frontline documentary is a simple question - does playing football expose you to life-threatening brain damage?

It's a question putting America's most popular sport on notice - raising concerns for moms, players' wives, and all of us who love football. Today we talk with Jim Gilmore, producer for Frontline's new documentary "A League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis."

Earlier this week, former World Time Trial Champion Emma Pooley (who won a silver medal in 2008) explained why the women's Tour de France failed on the BBC Radio 4 show, Woman's Hour.

"There used to be the 'Tour de France Feminin' in the 1980s that was two weeks long, with proper mountain stages, but it eventually fizzled out because of a lack of sponsorship," said Ms. Pooley.

Flickr Creative Commons, zoonabar

rich701 on Flickr Creative Commons

How insane does the world of sports uniforms get?

Baseball All-Star Game Special: Abby and Costello

Jul 3, 2013
CPBN Media Lab

Just in time for Major League Baseball's All-Star Game festivities, the CPBN Media Lab Radio Theatre proudly presents Erin "Abby" Connolly and Tyler "Costello" Salomon in this homage to the great Abbott & Costelllo and their classic Who's on First?

Follow along below with this transcript courtesy of the

Jeffrey Beall

In the modern NFL era, a position called tight end has risen to a new degree of importance. Tight ends are hybrid offensive players. The best ones are big, powerful, fearless and fleet of foot. They're able to a block huge a linebacker on a running play and, one play later, run a sharp, quick pass route.  Aaron Hernandez was one of the best.

In Connecticut, hunting on Sundays is prohibited. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, a law now being considered may change that. State law pretty much forbids Sunday hunting. In fact, just possessing a hunting implement in the open on a Sunday is evidence that you've broken the law.

"It's an old blue law, it's been in effect I don't know how long, forever and ever, I guess." That's Robert Crook, the executive director of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen.

Chion Wolf

Once upon a time in a second term, a president used his power to go after journalists in Hartford. I could be talking about President Obama's justice department seizing AP phone records, including some from AP's Hartford office. But I could also be talking Thomas Jefferson in 1806.

ArtsieAspie (Flickr Creative Commons)

Britain's Prince Harry capped his week-long trip to the U.S. by winning a charity polo match at a star-studded event in Connecticut.

The prince's team won 4-3 after he scored a game-tying goal Wednesday afternoon at the Greenwich Polo Club.  Polo is a sport long associated with the British upper crust, but there are polo clubs playing matches right here in Connecticut.  Joining us by phone is  Andrew Flint, he's a veterinarian, and is a member of the Giant Valley Polo Club in Hamden.

It may be time to say goodbye to the Whale...again. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, Hartford's minor league hockey team could soon have a new name. The team used to be known as the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Then, in 2010, it was renamed the Hartford Whale -- a throwback to the city's onetime NHL Whalers. "It was sort of about embracing the Whaler past." That's Paul Doyle, a reporter with the Hartford Courant. He says Howard Baldwin, who operated the franchise, did his best to bring the Whalers back from the dead. They left the state in 1997.

Flickr Creative Commons, Murray State

Don't get me wrong. I like watching college sports, but I wonder what it is we're watching. 

Tonight the Frozen Four gets underway in Pittsburgh. The Frozen Four is the college hockey equivalent of the Final Four. This year, two of the teams in the men's Frozen Four are from Connecticut: Yale University, whose last appearance in the Frozen Four goes all the way back to 1952, and the number one ranked team going into the Frozen Four, Quinnipiac University.

Aaron danielg (Wikimedia Commons)

It one of the greatest moments in Olympics history, maybe in all of sports -- the 1980 Miracle on Ice. 

March Madness 2013

Mar 21, 2013
Netback Productions, Flickr Creative Commons

Every year, I say March Madness cannot get any more elaborate, and every year, I am wrong. This year, for example, the sports site Deadspin provides a meta-bracket, which allows you to click on games and see the outcome predicted by Nate Silver, Barack Obama, and five actual basketball experts - And yes, I listed Nate Silver first intentionally.

Simononly on Flickr Creative Commons

They called Alexandr Karelin The Experiment, a reference to his supposedly unprecedented training methods, which the Russian wrestler himself claimed were so grueling and relentless that nobody else could imagine them: "I train every day of my life as they have never trained a day in theirs."

In international Graeco Roman wrestling competition, Karelin went 13 years without a loss and, this is more astonishing, six years without giving up a point.

USA Hockey

HOST: Bravado and broken bones are commonplace in sled hockey. That's a version of ice hockey played primarily by the disabled. And the competition can be fierce. Patrick Skahill of member station WNPR reports from Newington, Connecticut, where amateur teams are hitting the ice hard for fun.

Chion Wolf

My first request is that you not bail on this show because of its sports theme.

I know some people just think that sports has nothing to offer them, and they turn their backs on a lot that's good. I've lost count of the people who didn't watch Friday Night Lights, one of the best five TV shows of the last ten years, because, they said, it's about football.  What could possibly be of interest in a show about football? And today's show will be about more than sports. It will about writing. And fairness. And Monopoly.

Sign of the Times

Feb 2, 2013
Paul Pfeffer

News Flash!

Athletes use substances to heal quicker, play longer and perform better.

Okay, not much of a news flash. Remember the outrage of state sponsored "soldiers" playing in the Olympics as "amateurs." Our outrage, at its most basic level, was that those athletes had a competitive advantage over others, principally ours. 

Flickr Creative Commons, Anderson Mancini

I have come to believe that of all things bright and beautiful on God's green earth, there aren't very many that can't be ground up and mixed with something else and used as either an aphrodisiac or a performance enhancing sports supplement. Or both.

From intestinal whale secretions to blister beetles to monkey glands to rhino horns, everything seems to have a use.

Flickr Creative Commons, Jayel Aheram

A long time ago in a football stadium far away, the sardonic pro football lineman Alex Karras complained about soccer-style kickers from foreign lands, notably Garo Yepremian, his teammate on the Detroit Lions.

Karras said he disliked football games in which big beefy guys slugged it out in the mud for a few hours only to have a tiny man run onto the field and shout "I keek a touchdown," knocking the ball though the uprights to tip the outcome of the game.

Chion Wolf

The tragedy in Newton has consumed our lives for the last several days. We’ll continue to have that conversation - as Connecticut attempts to heal. But today, we welcome in two guests to talk about something that many people in our state turn to as a relief - a respite - and a place to gather: Sports.

The University of Connecticut has been built into a top academic and research institution - but nobody will deny that its national prominence is fueled in large part by its successful sports programs.

Relax sports broadcasters, robots aren't coming for your job. At least not yet.

"The human aspect is important," said Greg Lee, a recent Ph.D. graduate in computer science from the University of Alberta. Dr. Lee recounted how, while watching baseball on TV, he stumbled upon Vin Scully, the Hall of Fame sportscaster now in his 59th season as the voice of the L.A. Dodgers.

Native American Mascot Controversy

Jun 21, 2012
Keith Allison (Flickr Creative Commons)

We’ve got the Washington Redskins, Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Hall High Warriors. So what’s in a name?

Hall High School in West Hartford has decided to change their logo, which previously depicted a profile view of a Native American. They will still be known as the “Warriors,” but without the Native American connection.

Lenny Baker / Creative Commons

Three stars in their fields sit down for interesting conversation—interior designer Bunny Williams, sports essayist Frank Deford, and flutist Ransom Wilson.

Chion Wolf

There’s no sports market in the United States quite like Connecticut.

Yesterday two Big East schools, Pittsburgh and Syracuse were accepted into rival league the Atlantic Coast Conference. This has schools scrambling to determine the future of their sports programs, including UConn, which according to some sources is already in discussions with the ACC. Joining us to talk about this shake up is Hartford Courant sports writer Dom Amore.

Photo by Avinash Kunnath (Flickr)

We talk with Hartford Courant columnist Jeff Jacobs about the “resignation” of UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway. He is leaving the post he's had since 2003. Although the athletics program has enjoyed success, Hathaway was criticized for low attendance and fundraising.

The move may indicate new President Susan Herbst's commitment to revamping the school's athletic program. Jacobs praised Herbst's handling of the situation:

Baseball Legends

Jul 19, 2011
Courtesy of Boston Public Library

Today,  a baseball celebration - about heroes and the places where they play.  We’ll talk with the author of a new oral history of Fenway Park; with the organizers of a Hartford Little League trying to stay afloat; and hear a classic public radio documentary about the real homerun champion.

What UConn Huskies and Crows Have in Common

Mar 14, 2011
photo by

A Yale University ecologist has turned to college basketball to explain patterns of biodiversity. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen takes us down the court.

Ecologist Robert Warren is a post-doc at Yale’s environmental school. He says in any natural system you’ll find “a remarkably consistent” pattern:

"No matter what system you're in... jungle, woodland, you get a few very common species and lots of uncommon. And this is really intriguing for ecologists because there are very few patterns that we see repeatedly that are kind of universal.”

Long Distance

Feb 24, 2011
creative commons, jonwick04

A new edition of a classic McKibben book about what it takes to be a world-class athlete and where the true meaning of endurance can be found.

At 37, the celebrated writer and environmentalist Bill McKibben took a break from the life of the mind to put himself to the ultimate test: devoting a year to train as a competitive cross-country skier. Consulting with personal trainers, coaches, and doctors at the US Olympic Center, he followed the rigorous training regimen of a world-class athlete.