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Sports

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The late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro loved baseball. And you may have heard that he was such a good player that years before the Cuban revolution, he tried out for the New York Yankees in Havana.

Or not. This myth has persisted for years, and though it might be fun to contemplate the historical consequences of this "What if?" scenario, Adrian Burgos Jr., University of Illinois history professor and author of Playing America's Game: Baseball, Latinos and the Color Line, says it simply didn't happen.

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A plane carrying a Brazilian professional soccer team crashed in the mountains near Medellín, Colombia, late Monday, killing 71 people.

Five people survived the crash of the charter plane, according to authorities. Officials initially reported that the plane was carrying 81 people and that, variously, 75 or 76 of them had died.

"The British Aerospace 146 aircraft was carrying Brazil's Chapecoense soccer team to a tournament in Medellín, Colombia's second-largest city," John Otis reports for NPR from the Colombian capital, Bogotá.

The Latest In Sports: Cuban Edition

Nov 26, 2016

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And now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Imagine a wave so big it darkens the horizon as it rolls in.

Just south of San Francisco, this surf spot is called Mavericks.

Sarah Gerhardt is the first women to surf this famously dangerous big-wave spot. She did that in 1999 when she was 24. Now, at 42, she's one of six women comprising the first women's heat in a surfing contest there.

The women will compete for $30,000 in the Titans of Mavericks, surfing waves that swell well beyond 30 feet.

Bruce Arena is getting his old job back.

Arena is the winningest coach in the history of the United States Men's national team and is the only person to lead the U.S. team at two FIFA World Cups.

The announcement of Arena's return to the team comes a day after U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati parted ways with former U.S. Men's coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

The University of Notre Dame must vacate two seasons' worth of football victories because of academic misconduct by a student athletic trainer, the NCAA announced Tuesday.

The affected seasons are 2012-13 and 2013-14. The university has also been slapped with a $5,000 fine, a year of probation and public censure. The former student trainer must cut ties with Notre Dame's academic program for two years, and if she's hired in an athletic role at an NCAA member school during that time, she must appear before an NCAA panel.

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Updated at 12:31 a.m. ET Tuesday:

The Oakland Raiders scored two touchdown in the fourth quarter to beat the Houston Texans, 27-20, at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City on Monday night.

Both teams grappled with a major challenge: playing at an elevation 2,000 feet higher than the players have ever confronted.

Voters in seven more states said "yes" to marijuana this month. Pot now is legal for recreational or medicinal use in more than half the country.

It's still against federal law and classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning U.S. officials consider marijuana to have a high risk of abuse or harm, and no accepted medical use in treatment. Also, it's still banned in professional sports.

Cross-Country Runner Hit By Deer Mid-Race

Nov 20, 2016

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And time for sports.

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FanDuel and DraftKings announced Friday that they have agreed to merge, ending months of speculation over the fates of the two largest players in the daily fantasy sports industry.

After powering the Chicago Cubs to their historic victory in the 2016 World Series, second-year third baseman Kris Bryant claimed one of Major League Baseball's most coveted individual awards on Thursday. He was named the National League's Most Valuable Player.

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When the Cubs won the World Series on Nov. 2 — remember that? — the person who told the world it had happened was sportscaster Joe Buck. He has been broadcasting the NFL on Fox since 1993 and Major League Baseball since 1995. He has now written a memoir about his life in broadcasting, called Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, and the Things I'm Not Allowed to Say on TV.

We thought everyone could use a little distraction this week, so we've invited Buck to play a game called "It's all just kittens and rainbows!"

2016: An Election Year That Pervaded Sports

Nov 12, 2016

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In this political year, many athletes used their celebrity to make statements about our country. We're joined now by our friend, NPR's Tom Goldman. Tom, thanks for being with us.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: My pleasure, Scott.

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Since 1996, sportscaster Joe Buck has been announcing Super Bowls, golf tournaments, bass fishing, motorcycle jumps and, of course, baseball. In fact, he did the play-by-play for seventh game of the World Series this year between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs — a game that drew the largest audience in a generation.

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Thousands of soccer fans chant and beat drums in the stands. An announcer narrates, on live radio, the start of the match.

Players from Gaza's top soccer league sprint and dive for the ball. Going for a header, two players collide — and one lands on the leg of the other.

What happens next has never happened in Gaza before: A woman in a pink Muslim headscarf dashes out from the sidelines. She's there to treat the player whose leg was injured.

Mary Keitany of Kenya won her third consecutive New York City Marathon on Sunday, finishing in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 26 seconds, and leaving her closest competitors in the dust.

Keitany pulled away from the elite women's pack less than halfway into the race and ran most of the race alone, her No. 1 spot uncontested over more than a dozen miles.

I know baseball is not real life.

While Chicago's streets teemed with loud whoops and waving banners as the Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years, 18 more people were killed over two days on the south and west sides of the city. The number of homicides in Chicago has surged past 600 this year. 2016 could be the city's deadliest year in nearly 20, and the people in those afflicted neighborhoods, usually a long way from Wrigley Field, will remember this year more for their losses than any World Series victory.

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I've held myself back as long as I possibly can. It's time for sports.

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In Egypt, Saturday nights are for staying in — the workweek starts on Sunday. But for the members of CaiRollers, Egypt's first all-female roller derby team, it's for skating.

The team's 20 members meet for three hours every week, at the Cairo International Stadium's outdoor handball courts, to practice. It's an aggressive game, requiring full body contact like hip and shoulder checks. But that's why players like Lina El-Gohary, 27, love it.

"It makes you believe that you're still able to learn at any age. It empowers you," she says.

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