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Sports

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And it's time for sports.

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Athlete Activism, After Charlottesville

Aug 18, 2017

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Many famous athletes have condemned the white supremacist march in Charlottesville. Some, like LeBron James, speak out often on race and social justice issues. But Marcus Thompson, a sportswriter for The Athletic, says there have been new voices speaking up this week.

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The Rugby World Cup is underway in Ireland, where teams of women from 12 countries, including the United States, are rucking and scrumming in pursuit of the world title.

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In the 1980s, quarterback Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers was known as the premier passer in the game. But you wouldn't even know his name if there hadn't been someone on the other end to catch his passes. Most often, that was wide receiver Jerry Rice, and today we've invited the Football Hall of Famer to play a game called "Take a seat, Joe Montana! It's time for Hannah Montana." Three questions for Jerry Rice about that other great Montana — Hannah.

Click the audio link above to see how he does.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And it's time for sports.

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Modern technology has advanced the game of baseball in many ways. Teams use computer models to help strategize, data analytics to find the best players, and even tablets in the dugouts to instantly review plays. But the game itself can move at a leisurely pace — and some traditions may never change at all.

Bryce Harper is getting his wish.

At least for one weekend this month.

In March 2016, Harper, the Washington Nationals' superstar outfielder, said in an ESPN interview that baseball is "tired."

"It's a tired sport, because you can't express yourself," the then-23-year-old said.

In the wake of a series of sexual assault allegations, college athletes, coaches and athletics administrators at NCAA member schools must now complete annual sexual violence prevention education.

Less than a month away from the start of the regular season, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains a player without a team.

Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before games last season. He said he was protesting treatment of people in black communities during a time of great tension sparked by police shootings of African-Americans.

Cat Becomes Cardinals' Good Luck Charm

Aug 10, 2017

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Good morning. I'm David Greene. Last night, announcers for the Kansas City Royals seemed to be making fun of a kitten who wandered onto the outfield.

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UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #1: Are all these fans cheering for me?

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When President Trump hit the links at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in February, it seemed like just another round for the golfer-in-chief. But it wound up quite the international news story — thanks in part to a scoop by a little-known blog.

Is The NFL Colluding Against Kaepernick?

Aug 8, 2017

With guest host John Donvan.

NFL pre-season is halfway over and Colin Kaepernick still hasn’t been signed to a team.

Baltimore and Miami both passed on the quarterback, who gained attention outside of sports circles when he declined to stand in protest during the pre-game national anthem.

Few things are more delightful than a dog running on the beach. Except, maybe, a dog surfing on a beach.

Dozens of dogs — and more than 1,000 people — showed up to the second annual World Dog Surfing Championships on Saturday in Pacifica, Calif.

Dog surfing is relatively new — the first competition was in San Diego 12 years ago.

And while the event may seem silly, competitive dog surfing is growing quickly, with contests in Hawaii, Florida, Texas and as far away as Australia.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

If he had to choose two teams to play in the World Series based only on their home stadiums, Rafi Kohan would like to see the Boston Red Sox versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Red Sox's Fenway Park "really is a magical place and they've done a tremendous job with their renovations" he says, and the Pirates' PNC Park is "just a beautiful little park."

Steven Bartman was in a baseline seat at Wrigley Field in the eighth inning of the sixth game of the 2003 National League Championship when fame fell on him.

The Chicago Cubs were just five outs from the World Series and Luis Castillo of the Florida Marlins chipped a short fly ball down the left field line. Moises Alou, the Cubs left fielder, leaped and reached into the seats. But Steve Bartman and half a dozen other fans stretched for the ball, too. Everyone missed, but the ball smacked off of Steven Bartman's outstretched hand. No out.

Saturday in London, Jamaican Usain Bolt will run a final 100 meters at track and field's World Championships at approximately 4:45 p.m. ET. A week later, after a relay finale, he says he'll retire. Bolt will leave with an eye-popping highlight reel that includes eight Olympic gold medals over the past three summer games.

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And, David, the president's going on vacation today. It is August after all. But he - before he took off, he got one more campaign-style rally in - right? - this time in West Virginia.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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And now a story of Steve Bartman's redemption. It sounds like this is all.

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UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #1: Here's the 0-1. This is going to be a tough play. Bryant, the Cubs win the World Series.

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Ara Parseghian, a Hall of Fame coach who guided not one but three major college football programs to national prominence, died in the early hours of Wednesday at age 94. The president of the University of Notre Dame, where Parseghian steered the team from losing records to a pair of national championships, announced his death in an extensive tribute online.

Polo Meets Rodeo In South Dakota

Aug 2, 2017

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This story starts with the fact of the day. The official sport of South Dakota is rodeo.

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I love rodeo.

INSKEEP: You love watching rodeo? Or you actually want to, you know...

Madison Holleran ran track at the University of Pennsylvania. She was popular and beautiful — and raised in a big, supportive family in a New Jersey suburb. "By all accounts, Madison in high school was this young, happy, vibrant, wildly successful human being, who was destined — according to everyone around her — to do amazing things with her life," says sportswriter Kate Fagan.

Famous basketball players usually charge more when their names appear on them. But what happened when an NBA All-Star tried to use his name to charge much, much less? Stephon Marbury recalls the the great "Starbury" sneaker experiment.

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The International Olympic Committee made an unusual deal by announcing two cities, Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028, as hosts for the Summer Olympics. LA will try to do something extraordinary: host the games without going into crushing debt.

David Wallechinsky, president of the International Society of Olympic Historians, talks with NPR's Ari Shapiro, about whether LA can pull it off.

The women used to be so nervous about playing wheelchair basketball in public that they had opaque screens erected to conceal the court.

Now their faces are being splashed across media outlets in Afghanistan.

On Sunday, Afghanistan's national women's wheelchair basketball team won its first championship at the 4th annual Bali Cup International Tournament in Indonesia. It played against women's teams from India, Indonesia and Thailand, beating Thailand 65-25 in the final match.

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