sports

College Athletes
4:09 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

UConn's Athletic Director Sees Need for Student-Athlete Stipends

Warde Manuel in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

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. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:11 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Eating 69 Hot Dogs in Ten Minutes is a Piece of Cake

Joey Chestnut holds the current world record for hotdog eating at Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Championships. He ate 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
Credit Michael / Flickr Creative Commons

Competitive eating has grown far beyond the popular event at local fairs where winners won blue ribbons for eating the most pies.

Today, it's a global sport with its own league, dedicated fans, and professional competitors who train to eat more food than seems humanly possible. Major League Eating, the sports governing body, is largely responsible for the change. Public relations executives Richard and George Shea professionalized the sport, attracting larger crowds every year for more than a decade. This July 4,  Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Championships, the Olympics of competitive eating, drew 40,000 fans to the Coney Island contest.

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Tour de France
11:56 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Another Former Champion Abandons Tour De France After Crash

Spain's Alberto Contador abandons the Tour de France after crashing during the 10th stage Monday.
Christophe Ena AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 8:49 am

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 abandoned the race.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:30 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Death, Sex, and Money with Anna Sale

Anna Sale is the host and managing editor of the podcast, "Death, Sex and Money."
Chion Wolf WNPR

I'm excited about today's Scramble. WNYC podcaster Anna Sale, host of Death, Sex & Money, is our superguest, which means she gets to pick three topics for her conversation with me.

Her choices are LeBron James and the notion of going home, a new Jenny Lewis song about a ticking biological clock, and the long agonizing death of the husband of NPR broadcaster, Diane Rehm. At least on paper, that's a perfect combination for the Scramble.

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Germany Wins World Cup Over Argentina With Late-Game Goal

Germany's players celebrate after winning 1-0 on extra time at the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Sunday.
Hassan Ammar AP

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 9:09 pm

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.

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.

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Minor League Baseball
4:24 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Hartford Pulls Out of $60 Million Bond Plan For New Stadium

Segarra now wants a new stadium without a tax burden on Hartford property owners.
Credit City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has withdrawn a resolution that would have bonded up to $60 million for a new minor league baseball stadium in Hartford.

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From Birdcalls to Beantown
1:50 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

This Week on WNPR: Five Things Not to Miss

Hummingbird? Or Dinosaur?
The British Library Creative Commons

There's lots of news to digest this week, from birdcalls to Beantown. Below are a few things you shouldn't miss.

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NBA
12:33 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

LeBron James Will Return To The Cleveland Cavaliers

A Cleveland Cavaliers fan holds up a LeBron James poster at a New York Yankees game Thursday. One day later, the fan's wish was granted: James will return to the Cavs for this year's new season.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 1:20 pm

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.

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.

Update at 12:45 p.m. ET: 'I'm Coming Home'

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Is Boston Fit to Carry the Olympic Torch?

2012 London Olympics.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Creative Commons

We’ve spent a lot of time considering whether it’s a good idea to build a new minor league ballpark in Hartford to lure a team up the road from New Britain.  

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World Cup
5:06 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Argentina Ditches Dutch On The Way To World Cup Final

Players go for the ball during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Wednesday.
Fabrizio Bensch AP

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 2:46 pm

Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

Argentina defeated the Netherlands 4-2 in penalty kicks to reach the final of the World Cup, where they will play Germany on Sunday.

The two teams were tied 0-0 at the end of extra time.

Goalkeeper Sergio Romero saved penalties by Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder. Maxi Rodriguez put away the winning kick.

The last time a World Cup semifinal was decided by penalty kicks was 1998 when Netherlands played Brazil. Brazil won that encounter.

The Associated Press reports:

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Everyday Football Fouls
1:44 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Flop Life: What If We All Acted Like We Were In The World Cup?

In a new video, people casually bump into one another in cafes and groceries, sparking histrionics like those seen in the World Cup.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 8:13 am

The flailing about, the protests, the sheer agony — what if everyone behaved like international soccer stars who can evidently be slammed to the ground by a fingertip?

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World Cup
10:19 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Brazil Reels From Thrashing That Bounced It From World Cup

A fan screams as she watches Brazil lose to Germany, in a live telecast Tuesday in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The host nation is reeling from its loss in the World Cup semifinal.
Bruno Magalhaes AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 12:45 pm

"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.

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Tour de France
10:14 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Defending Tour De France Champ Froome Quits Race

Britain's Chris Froome gestures to a teammate (right) after getting up from his third crash in two days. Froome, who hurt his wrist in Tuesday's fall, has abandoned the race that he won in 2013.
Laurent Cipriani AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 2:32 pm

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.

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.

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World Cup
12:30 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

World Cup Fever Grips Brazilians Living in Danbury

A view of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Jorge in Brazil Creative Commons

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. 

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World Cup
7:58 am
Tue July 8, 2014

The One American On The Field At Today's World Cup Semifinal

Referee Mark Geiger will be the U.S. presence at the World Cup semifinal on Tuesday.
Clive Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:35 am

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.

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The Colin McCenroe Show
11:27 am
Mon July 7, 2014

It's Not Easy to Find a Good Comedy at the Movies These Days

Credit Bernt Rostad / Creative Commons

I'm pretty sure that in the summer of 1992, somebody tried to tell me about Monty Python's Flying Circus. I didn't get it, and there weren't that many chances to  break in as a Python fan. Their actual television show didn't begin airing on public TV in America until October of 1974. Then, in the space of about two years, they changed the face of American comedy. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue July 1, 2014

With Proposed Hartford Stadium Come Questions, Concerns, and Criticism

David Panagore.
Chion Wolf WNPR

When officials from the City of Hartford announced it would build a Minor League Baseball stadium, many people were caught by surprise, including Hartford residents.

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NBA Draft
9:01 am
Fri June 27, 2014

UConn's Shabazz Napier Joins the Miami Heat

Former UConn star Shabazz Napier will start his professional career with the Miami Heat.
Peter Morenus UConn Today

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.

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Code Switch
12:16 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Latinos Pledge Allegiance To More Than One Soccer Team

Team USA goalie Tim Howard reacts as Portugal scores its second goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup match.
Warren Little Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 7:18 am

I would never have imagined that my immigrant mom, a Spanish teacher, a proud mexicana, would be cheering for Team USA in the World Cup. A few days ago I overheard her talking to my tía 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!"

Until then, I didn't realize cheering for two teams was an option. As a Latina living in the U.S., deciding whom to root for was like answering the question "where are you really from?"

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Should Minor League Rock Cats Relocate to Hartford?

Pedro Segarra.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The lure of professional sports teams has often been irresistible to municipal leaders. It’s very easy to imagine a stadium filled with happy fans, spending money and spreading civic pride.

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Sweetness and Light
8:21 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Deford: NCAA Says Amateurism Is Alive And Well, But The Jig Is Up

Wisconsin's Traevon Jackson at practice for the 2014 NCAA men's college basketball tournament. Commentator Frank Deford says that, despite NCAA claims to the contrary, most college players are not typical students — "their job is to play a sport."
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 12:48 pm

Amateurism is dead, revealed so in the trial against the NCAA now in progress in Oakland, Calif., U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken presiding. Before her skeptical eyes, amateurism has been laid out naked on a courtroom slab for a jury of all fans to see that it has no beating heart.

Amateurism, Judge Wilken has been told in the case, commonly known as the O'Bannon trial, nobly protects college athletes from being exploited by evil outsiders — so the NCAA knighthood was created in order that colleges could tie up athletes all by themselves.

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QUIET DOWN, Monkey Mind!
4:59 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Practicing Tai Chi at WNPR

The Tai chi master Yang Chengfu demonstrating the Single whip.
Credit Jdcollins13 / Wikimedia

You'd think Tai Chi would be a required part of any public radio employee's day, but only on Tuesday did it happen.

Colin McEnroe was hosting a show about sports that are on the rise, like pickleball, roller derby, and even 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. 

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Rise of Soccer
12:11 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

World Cup Ratings Spike: How Popular Is Soccer In The U.S.?

Fans gather in Chicago's Grant Park to watch the U.S. play Portugal Sunday — a game that set a new ratings record for soccer on ESPN.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 1:42 pm

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.

The game's total U.S. viewership of 24.7 million includes ratings from both ESPN (18.2 million viewers) and the Spanish-language Univision (6.5 million); it doesn't include the 1.37 million people ESPN says streamed the game online.

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Basketball
10:30 am
Tue June 24, 2014

LeBron James Will Reportedly Become Free Agent, Ending Miami Contract

Miami Heat superstar LeBron James, seen here at a news conference last week, will reportedly file papers to become a free agent, opting to end his contract with Miami.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 11:34 am

NBA star LeBron James is shaking things up at the Miami Heat, reportedly opting to end his contract early to become a free agent. The move comes one week after James and the Heat were trounced by the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals.

"LeBron James' agent Rich Paul has told Heat LeBron will exercise early termination option," ESPN's Chris Broussard tweeted today.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:00 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Pickleball, Tai Chi, and World Extreme Pencil Fighting? Exploring Sports on the Rise

World Extreme Pencil Fighting in Seattle, WA.
Sol Neelman - www.SolNeelman.com

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in America, 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.

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World Cup
5:45 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Doing The Math: How The U.S. Can Advance In The World Cup

U.S. forward Clint Dempsey (8) celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during a match against Portugal at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus on Sunday.
Francisco Leong AFP/Getty Images

The "Group of Death" is living up to its name.

Going into the third and final match of group stage, all four teams — the U.S., Germany, Ghana and Portugal — still have a mathematical chance of moving on to the round of 16.

Of course, the U.S. had a prime chance at sealing the deal last night against Portugal. But, as we told you, a last-gasp goal by Portugal scuttled those plans.

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Soccer
2:59 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Win, Lose or Draw, U.S. Can Still Advance In World Cup

U.S. forward Clint Dempsey scores during a Group G football match between USA and Portugal at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 22, 2014. (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images)

There were 30 seconds left to play and the United States team was beating Portugal 2 to 1. The majority pro-American crowd of more than 40,000 at last night’s World Cup game in Brazil were ready to party, but it wasn’t to be.

Portugal scored with less than half a minute to go, and now the U.S. looks ahead to Thursday evening’s game against Germany to determine its World Cup future.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:26 am
Mon June 23, 2014

The Scramble Is Proud of June Thomas

Credit Kevin Wong / Flickr Creative Commons

On Monday, we do The Scramble. And on the Scramble, we always start with a SuperGuest, which means that in defiance of public radio logic, we pick the person first and then figure out what the topics will be. 

This week we started with June Thomas, one of my favorite Slate.com writers and talkers, and someone I assumed would want to riff at least a little bit about pop culture. Instead, her top two choices are Gay Pride month and dentistry.

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World Cup
1:53 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

In A Stunning Finish, Portugal Ties U.S.

Clint Dempsey of the United States is challenged by Portugal's Bruno Alves (left) and Ricardo Costa during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group G match Sunday in Brazil.
Warren Little Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 8:03 am

It was heartbreaking. It was stunning. It was the reason they call Group G the "Group of Death."

With 30 seconds left and despite astronomical odds, the United States men's national soccer team was about to qualify for the second round of the World Cup.

But just like that, Portugal's superstar Cristiano Ronaldo crossed to Silvestre Varela, who headed it into the net, tying it, 2-2, marking the final play of the game.

This means everyone in the group of death has a mathematical chance at advancing.

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Soccer Science
3:38 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Scientists Keep A Careful Eye On The World Cup Ball

A close up of the Brazuca ball in NASA's Ames Fluid Mechanics Laboratory. Smoke highlighted by lasers visualizes air flow around the ball.
NASA's Ames Research Center

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:45 am

While many millions are enjoying the drama of the World Cup, a handful of scientists are keeping their eyes very closely on the ball.

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