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Sports

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Eric Westervelt. Time now for Sports.

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The Ohio State Buckeyes and Oregon Ducks will meet on Jan. 12 in college football's first national championship game based on a playoff system.

The headline in The Columbus Dispatch read: Get ready for Bucks vs. Ducks.

With help from Cardale Jones and Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State rallied from a 21-6 deficit to beat the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Thursday night, 42-35.

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Even if you're a fairly enthusiastic sports fan — someone who can identify sportscasters Jim Nantz or Joe Buck by tenor and intonation alone — you may very well have never heard the name Doc Emrick.

Mike "Doc" Emrick is the world's premier announcer for what is America's fourth team sport: ice hockey. For those who know hockey, or those aficionados who listen to a few minutes of an NHL game just to hear Emrick talk about blue lines or poke checking, he is absolutely revered.

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On January 1, a new state law goes into effect in California. It will limit the amount of contact in high school and middle school football practices. The state is hoping to protect young brains from football injuries. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

Warriors, Trail Blazers, Spurs Dominate NBA

Dec 28, 2014

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Bigfoot 4X4 is a legend in the monster truck world, but another truck is challenging its claim as first car crusher. The bragging rights are big deal in what has become a multibillion-dollar industry.

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ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

Time now for sports.

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Several years ago, I wrote a sports Christmas story. It was about a greedy basketball superstar who, imbued with Yuletide cheer, helps save his small-market franchise.

A big-time producer wanted to make a TV movie out of it. So off I went to Hollywood to turn my story into a script and thereby, in keeping with the Christmas spirit, make a killing.

Let me tell you: It's hard to write a Christmas story about sport.

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Let's talk monster trucks.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Sunday, Sunday, Sunday.

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The U.S. Women's National Soccer team finished its 2014 season with a second-place finish Sunday in the rainy final of the International Tournament of Brasilia. Brazil and the U.S. played to a 0-0 draw.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

How every week I look forward to saying, time for BJ Leiderman's Sports theme.

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Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was sentenced to 18 months' supervised probation today after pleading guilty to drunken driving.

He was arrested in September after leaving a casino in downtown Baltimore. Police documents show that he swerved over a yellow line while going 84 in 45-mph zone. Police say Phelps failed field sobriety tests and registered a 0.14 on a blood-alcohol test. In Maryland, the legal limit is 0.08.

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Soccer's governing body is meeting Thursday in Morocco, a day after the American lawyer, who spent two years investigating allegations of corruption in the bidding process for the World Cup, quit in protest at how FIFA handled his report.

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Sports Illustrated named its sportsman of the year the other day, Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants, which reminded me once again that you only hear the word "sportsman" anymore about the time when Sports Illustrated names its Sportsman of the Year. The term seems so archaic that it would be as if Time magazine annually chose a Gentleman of the Year.

FIFA, soccer's governing body, said an appeal by an American lawyer who spent two years investigating allegations of corruption in the bidding process for the World Cup is inadmissible.

Today, like every Sunday in the fall, millions of Americans are tuning in to watch some of the country's most popular sport: football.

And for several million of them, your regular ol' football game isn't fast-paced enough: They're tuning in to NFL RedZone.

NFL RedZone is the frenetic channel run by the NFL Network that, for seven hours straight, switches between football games in an endeavor to show every single score of as many as 12 simultaneous games.

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University of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is the winner of this year's Heisman Trophy by a landslide. It's the first win for the Ducks.

The Associated Press reports:

"A pinpoint passer with wide-receiver speed, Mariota came into his junior the season as the favorite to win the Heisman and delivered a performance that turned the presentation ceremony into a foregone conclusion.

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