BMX rider Dave Mirra, who for years dominated his sport even as he helped others embrace it, has died at age 41. Police in Greenville, N.C., say they found Mirra "sitting in a truck with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound."

Police found Mirra in a parked vehicle shortly after he had visited friends in Greenville, where he had lived for years as an active member of the community. Mirra is survived by his wife and two daughters.

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.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

University of Connecticut Athletic Director Warde Manuel is leaving Connecticut to take over the University of Michigan's athletic program.

Amherst College trustees have voted to stop using Lord Jeff as the school's unofficial mascot because of its negative historical connotations. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Bankruptcy proceedings for the failed television venture called the Back9Network are continuing, and a federal judge said Monday that she would approve a plan to let the Hartford-based company borrow more money. 

It was a tale of two defenses — and two very divergent outcomes — in the NFL's conference championship games Sunday.

In the NFC, the Carolina Panthers stormed their way to a commanding victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Earlier in the day, in the AFC, the Denver Broncos narrowly survived a late-game push from the New England Patriots to emerge with a win.

The victories mean conference titles for the Panthers and the Broncos — and, more importantly, a trip to the Super Bowl for both teams.

Wikimedia Commons

How disgraceful was last weekend's Cincinnati Bengals/Pittsburgh Steelers game? Well, Boomer Esiason, a former Bengals quarterback, used that word - disgraceful - to describe his old team and its fans. Rush Limbaugh, not a noted opponent of violence, used the word "disgrace" twice to describe the flagrant thuggery on the field.

It's unusual to hear a current NFL player criticize the league, let alone talk frankly about its handling of concussions or its response to domestic violence scandals.

But a new book does just that. It's called NFL Confidential, a memoir of the 2014 football season written by a player who goes only by Johnny Anonymous.

The player spoke with All Things Considered host Audie Cornish this week, after NPR confirmed his identity before the interview.

He says he loves playing the game but thinks the NFL is manipulative and exploitative.

There will be two new members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. and catcher Mike Piazza are being awarded the sport's highest individual honor.

"Junior," who hit 630 home runs, had one of the game's sweetest hitting strokes, and his energy and enthusiasm for the game earned him the nickname "the Kid." He is the son of slugger Ken Griffey Sr.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The state-funded, off-the-air Back9Network has filed for bankruptcy, with the hope of emerging with an existing group of shareholders who will restructure the company. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The off-the-air Back9Network allegedly didn't pay rent for things like video equipment and a robotic camera, according to a new lawsuit filed in state court. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

There were a few years when the greens of Hartford’s Goodwin Park Golf Course were a dull shade of brown. The grass had faded, trees and weeds were overgrown, and several years of mismanagement and a poor economy left the course in such bad condition that it almost had to be closed.

But Beaky Gilbert and his golfing partners didn’t stop playing there, and their dedication might have paid off.

Back9Network flickr.com/back9network / Creative Commons

The federal Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know more about the relationship between Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud and the off-the-air, state-funded golf channel called the Back9Network. 

Sage Ross / flickr creative commons

In what will not be the final game played on a natural grass surface at Yale Bowl, Harvard beat Yale 38 to 19, clinching a share of the Ivy League football title on Saturday in West Haven.

France and England played their friendly match at London's Wembley Stadium as scheduled Tuesday night, with England winning 2-0, but other soccer matches in Europe were canceled over security concerns.

NPR's Newscast reported that in Hanover, Germany, officials citing "concrete information" about a possible terrorist plot canceled the game between Germany and the Netherlands hours before it was supposed to begin and evacuated anyone already in the stadium.

Scott Smith is on a mission. His goal? To get every Sports Illustrated magazine autographed by whoever’s featured on the cover.

“Everyone in the hobby has always called me the SI King,” the collector said in an interview. “Including the extras that I have in my collection, I have about 19,000 autographed Sports Illustrateds right now, back to ’54.”

Minutes after hitting one of the biggest field goals of his career, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski stood at his postgame press conference and revealed his secret to staying calm under pressure.

Well, part of his secret:

“I sing a song in my head,” he said.

“What song?” reporters asked.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Back9Network has been on life support since February, having burned through the millions of dollars it raised from the state and private investors. Now another group of people is being squeezed by Back9’s demise: unpaid contractors who built the network’s downtown Hartford studio. 

Today Deadspin published 47 graphic photos of a woman's bruised body.

The body belongs to Nicole Holder, the site says. The man who allegedly left the bruises? Dallas Cowboys star pass rusher Greg Hardy.

The Volvo Ocean race is coming back to Newport in 2018. The international sailing event drew more than 100,000 people to the city by the sea this summer.

According to state officials, the final tally was nearly 130,000 spectators, who came for the races at Fort Adams State Park.

Newport was the only North American stop on the grueling international sailing race, which spans some 40-thousand nautical miles and takes nine months to complete.

Beating the Mets 5-3, the Kansas City Royals came from behind in the eighth inning, placing themselves one win closer to a World Series title. A Royals rally and a fatal error by second baseman Daniel Murphy leaves Kansas City one game away from their first championship title in 30 years.

Known for its talented writers and in-depth reporting, ESPN's sports and culture website, Grantland, was suddenly shut down early Friday afternoon.

The sports media giant released a statement, saying Grantland was suspended, "effective immediately." The statement reads, in part:

"After careful consideration, we have decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise.

CPTV Sports

The Hartford Yard Goats unveiled the team's mascots on Friday, bright green and blue furry goats called Chompers and Chew Chew. 


Final score in favor of the Kansas City Royals, who beat the New York Mets.


Number of innings, tied for the longest World Series game ever. One of two other games that went that long was won by Babe Ruth — then a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox — in 1916, ESPN Stats reported.


Alma Dzib-Goodin / Flickr

Tonight the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets face off in game one of the 2015 World Series. A lot has changed in the 29 years since either of these clubs won the Series: a tenfold increase in the average player's salary, the commercialization of fantasy baseball, and four new expansion teams. And 'America's pastime,' has become increasingly multi-cultural with players coming from around the world.