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This Week In Sports

Jan 23, 2016

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin in for my friend Scott Simon, who is home sick today. And I'm pretty sure really sad he does not get to say the following - time now for sports.

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Bill Johnson, the skier who was the first American to win Olympic gold in a downhill event, has died, the U.S. ski team says. He was 55.

"His passing closed the final chapter in a tumultuous lifetime that saw him rise to the highest level in his sport," the team said in a statement.

Johnson died in an assisted living facility in Oregon, after several years of deteriorating health following a stroke.

More than 16 years after Roger Federer played in his first Grand Slam event, he's won his 300th match, becoming the first man to reach that mark. He now trails only Martina Navratilova, who won 306 matches at the highest level of tennis. Federer, 34, is currently ranked No. 3 in the world.

The Buffalo Bills announced Wednesday that Kathryn Smith has been hired as the organization's quality control-special teams coach, making her the first woman to hold a full-time coaching position in the NFL.

Featuring teams in Boston, Buffalo, Connecticut and New York City, the National Women's Hockey League has become home to some of the best players in the world. Meghan Duggan, for example, who was the U.S. Olympic Team captain in the gold-medal game in 2014 in Sochi, plays for the Buffalo Beauts.

It was that hockey final that inspired the league's commissioner and founder, Dani Rylan, to start it. The pro league launched in October. Its first all-star game is scheduled Jan. 24.

A few months ago, Code Switch lead blogger Gene Demby turned to Twitter in an attempt to crowd-source a solution to a problem he'd been having. Gene had begun watching Premier League soccer but couldn't settle on a rooting interest, so he asked the league's fans to convince him to root for one team or another.

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This Week In Sports

Jan 9, 2016

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And now it's time for sports.

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SIMON: The NFL playoffs kick off - get it? - with the wildcard round this afternoon. The Kansas City Chiefs play the Texans in Houston. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us.

Tom, thanks for being with us.

Mike Foley

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer met with the media this week to reflect on the 2015 season and the departure of so many players for the NFL. 

Daniel Herlensky / Crew SC Communications

The Columbus Crew SC this week agreed to a contract extension with the team’s head coach. 

There will be two new members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. and catcher Mike Piazza are being awarded the sport's highest individual honor.

"Junior," who hit 630 home runs, had one of the game's sweetest hitting strokes, and his energy and enthusiasm for the game earned him the nickname "the Kid." He is the son of slugger Ken Griffey Sr.

ESPN's The Undefeated Goes Online At Last

Jan 3, 2016

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Time now for sports.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

No better way to begin a new year than to say - time for sports.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Sports 2015: A Year In Review

Dec 26, 2015

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

OK, it's time for sports.

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WERTHEIMER: 2015 is on its way out, but not before NPR's Tom Goldman joins us to talk about sports highlights from the past year. Hey, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hey, happy day after Christmas.

What Were 2015's Biggest Sports Stories?

Dec 19, 2015

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And now it's time for sports.

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Mike Foley

The Memorial Tournament and Columbus-based Nationwide have announced that the company will sponsor the annual golf event in Dublin for another six years. 

I love corny sports terminology. My favorite newspaper word is "tilt," meaning game. Have you ever, even once in your life, heard anybody speak the word "tilt" when they mean game? No, you haven't.

The best term in broadcast is "shaken up." The quarterback could have his throwing arm ripped from his body, and the announcer would say he is "shaken up." Have you ever, even once in your life, heard anybody use the expression "shaken up," when they mean hurt real bad? No, you haven't.

Click the audio to find out Frank Deford's favorite sports word.

Serena Williams, one of the greatest athletes in the world, had one of the greatest years in sports. For this, Sports Illustrated named her the 2015 Sportsperson of the Year. The article highlighted some of her achievements:

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Daily fantasy sports have been getting a ton of publicity. It started with nonstop TV ads from companies that allow you to play fantasy sports for money.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

There are new safety rules this week targeting concussions in youth soccer. As part of a lawsuit settlement, the United States Soccer Federation has announced new restrictions on striking the ball with the head.

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