Sports

As you know if you are interacting with American commerce or popular entertainment at the moment, the Super Bowl is this weekend. Stephen Thompson, as he has explained for NPR in the past, has an annual Super Bowl party and chicken-eating contest called Chicken Bowl. This year will be Chicken Bowl XX — that is, Chicken Bowl 20, for those of you who are not Romans.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

A hole-in-one is a cause for celebration, even (especially?) when a robot does it.

LDRIC, a cleverly named golf robot, aced the par-3 16th hole at Arizona's TPC Scottsdale course earlier this week on just its fifth try.

Which beer goes with guacamole? And which brew adds a nice clean, crisp finish to spicy wings?

Those are burning questions for anyone who wants to take his snack game to the next level this Super Bowl weekend. And two craft beer experts who wrote the book on pairing have the answers.

When the Carolina Panthers play the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50, Panthers coach Ron Rivera will become the second Latino head coach in Super Bowl history. And he's one reason why many in Charlotte's Latino community have become so enthusiastic about American football.

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.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Sunday's Super Bowl 50 — Carolina Panthers versus the Denver Broncos — could mark the end of an era.

Peyton Manning's last game.

The veteran Broncos quarterback turns 40 next month. After a season plagued by injury and poor play, many suggested it was time to retire. Manning fueled speculation about his future after Denver won the AFC Championship game and microphones heard him tell New England head coach Bill Belichick, "This may be my last rodeo."

I'm from a football family. The guys all play, including my dad, my brother, my uncle and me. I was even named after a former 49ers player, Garrison Hearst.

My parents were at every game I played. From the field, if I looked toward sidelines, they'd be there, either cheering or taking pictures. My mom took lots of videos on her iPhone from the bleachers at one of my games.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

It's halftime and the Warriors are leading the Nighthawks by a touchdown in the championship football game. Inside the locker room, wide receiver Chris Gardner from Minnesota urges everyone to stay cool.

"Do not sink to their level," Gardner says of the Warriors' crosstown rival. "They are losing. They are angry."

"They've got more injured players," says Owen Yan, the Warriors' 6-foot-3 defensive end. "They are more nervous than we are. Don't let them provoke you."

Morris Robinson has the kind of bass voice that reverberates so strongly, you feel it in your concert seat. Listening to it, you assume he's been singing all of his life. And he has — but not opera.

I firmly believe that football games are best when both the quarterbacks are stars, which is what we've definitely got Sunday.

Yeah, yeah, I know: Defense wins games and a football takes funny bounces, and, as every bad analyst regularly declares, man, those turnovers can kill you, but football absolutely needs quarterbacks. Otherwise, the sport only has all those faceless battalions of fungible gladiators.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

At the Australian Open on Saturday, in her first Grand Slam final, Angelique Kerber pulled off a stunning win over Serena Williams. On Sunday, Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray to win his sixth Australian Open, and the 11th Grand Slam title of his career.

Kerber's win in the women's tournament was a huge upset, as Howard Bryant told NPR's Scott Simon on Saturday. Williams, the world's top-ranked female tennis player, looked like she was headed for victory:

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Time now for sports.

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Can drone racing be the next NASCAR? That's what Nick Horbaczewski is banking on. He is the CEO of the Drone Racing League, and he has lined up millions in venture capital to bring his vision to reality.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Bravo. Time for sports.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The National Football League released a new injury report Friday that said the number of concussions diagnosed in 2015 had increased by 32 percent from the previous year.

The NFL said 271 concussions were diagnosed in 2015, up from 206 in 2014. The league reported 229 concussions in 2013; it said there were 261 in 2012.

The spread of the Zika virus is raising concerns about the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which are only 189 days away.

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports that the International Olympic Committee is sending an advisory about the mosquito-borne virus to competitors. Here's more from Lourdes:

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

For more than 50 years, Barney Hall was the man who helped fans enjoy stock car racing – and make sense of the chaos that can break out when cars hurtle around a track. An integral part of the Daytona 500 and other iconic races, Hall died Tuesday from complications following a medical procedure.

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