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Sports

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And now it's time for sports.

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Spain will play Portugal; France will play Peru; Brazil will play Switzerland. Those are among the results of the draw for the World Cup field, held Friday by soccer's governing body, FIFA. The 2018 World Cup will begin with host Russia playing Saudi Arabia in Moscow on June 14.

The 32-team draw commonly produces a "group of death" — where there are more highly ranked teams than chances to advance to the next stage after group play. But the draw for the 2018 tournament has no obviously imposing group.

Iranian wrestler Ali Reza Karimi had his eye on the prize at the U-23 World Championship in Poland: He was heading to certain victory against his Russian opponent.

All was good until his coach shouted from the sidelines "Ali Reza, lose."

The NHL And CTE

Nov 29, 2017

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Several years ago, Charles Tator was in Vancouver for an NHL hockey game. He had a personal connection to one of the players. It was his friend Paul Montador's son, Steve, and Steve even scored a goal.

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For University of Alabama fans, rock bottom came at about 6:30 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. The top-ranked Crimson Tide football team had just lost to despised rival Auburn in a nationally televised upset.

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Saturday Sports: The Future Of The NFL

Nov 25, 2017

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And now it's time for sports.

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Avery Krut refereed children's soccer games in Beverly Hills for 15 years. And he says it's become intolerable - not the children, their parents. He wrote them a letter. That's become a national story. He agreed to read us a bit of it.

"Do Indians celebrate Thanksgiving?"

I am asked this question at least once every fall. Which, by the way, is too many times.

The answer is that my family (though I can't speak for the other 5 million Indigenous people in America) doesn't. Not the "brave-pilgrims-and-friendly-savages" version of the holiday, anyway. Twenty or 30 of us might gather under the same roof to share a meal. We'll thank the creator for our blessings.

But that could be true of any Thursday night in a Wampanoag house.

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A former U.S. Olympic gymnastics team doctor pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse in Michigan state court today. Larry Nassar admitted he assaulted young girls under the guise of medical treatment.

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Dr. Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State University sports doctor and USA Gymnastics team doctor accused of molesting or assaulting more than 100 girls and women, has pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and faces decades in prison.

This state criminal case involved seven of his accusers. There are other criminal charges pending, and many more girls and women have sued Nassar in civil cases.

Evaluating The NBA's 'One-And-Done' Rule

Nov 22, 2017

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Here's a throwback for NBA fans.

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DAVID STERN: The Charlotte Hornets select Kobe Bryant from Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania.

Emirates Team New Zealand, which took home the America's Cup after swiping it from Larry Ellison's Oracle Team USA in a duel of foiling catamarans off Bermuda this summer, has reinvented the boat that will next compete for the trophy.

As an icon, the Georgia Dome stood commandingly on the Atlanta skyline. Host to the 1996 Summer Olympics, two Super Bowls and countless Atlanta Falcons home games, the imposing stadium was a fixture for roughly 2 1/2 decades, since its completion in 1992 at a cost of $214 million.

Now, it's little more than a massive heap of concrete, steel and fiberglass.

Jana Novotná, the Czech tennis star who took home 17 Grand Slam championship trophies across the span of her career, died Sunday at the age of 49. The Women's Tennis Association announced the news "with deep sadness" on Monday, saying Novotná died surrounded by family in the Czech Republic after waging "a long battle with cancer."

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How do you dance when you can't feel your legs?

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UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) Everybody dance now.

Saturday Sports: Boston Celtics

Nov 18, 2017

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And now it's time for sports.

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Ferdie Pacheco, the ringside physician to Muhammad Ali and TV commentator known in the boxing world as the "fight doctor," died Thursday, his daughter announced on Facebook. He was 89.

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Golf has played an outsize role in the relationship between the U.S. and Japan lately, as diplomacy between President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe often includes playing 18 holes together. But in Japan, where you can find half of all the golf courses in Asia, the industry is flagging.

America still has the largest golf industry in the world, by a long shot. But in Japan's economic heyday in the 1980s, it built up thousands of courses and the game became baked into its business culture.

The World Anti-Doping Agency says that Russia's official sports drug-testing lab, which was suspended in 2015 following evidence of state-sponsored doping, remains "non-compliant."

Three UCLA freshmen have been suspended indefinitely from the basketball team, one day after returning home from China, where they were detained and accused of shoplifting, announced head coach Steve Alford at a news conference at the university on Wednesday.

How To Stop Hazing

Nov 15, 2017

Once again, Greek life at American colleges is under scrutiny – this time after the death of a 20-year-old fraternity pledge at Florida State University. FSU has suspended Greek activities.

In Pennsylvania, Penn State students are being charged in the death of a pledge.

Pete Van Vleet of Ashland, Va., is a Houston Astros fan – and was well before the team's World Series win this year. They were his team back when they were bad.

As part of Morning Edition's exploration of how fandoms help shape identity, Van Vleet explains how his love for the Astros has been a big part of him since childhood. Even today, if he needs a mood boost, he listens to game highlights from his youth.

He has won the Scrabble national championship in the United Kingdom. Self-described as "the world's only scrabble consultant," he has penned or co-written a number of books on the game, including several authoritative reference works. And despite decades of high-level play, he showed few signs of slowing — maintaining a No.

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