Sports

The Torch
12:32 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

London Olympics: Watching The Opening Ceremony, And This Weekend's Events

The Olympic torch is delivered by row boat to the royal barge, Gloriana, on the River Thames, near Tower Bridge in London ahead of the opening ceremony on Friday.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 1:46 pm

The London 2012 Summer Games are set to begin in earnest, with today's opening ceremony kicking off a weekend of gold-medal competitions. But if you're in America and you hope to watch the Opening Ceremony live, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed: NBC is tape-delaying its broadcast until Friday night.

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Asia
12:27 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Pay, Not Play, Fuels British Invasion Of Chinese Soccer

Federico Macheda of Manchester United (center) challenges players from Shanghai Shenhua during a friendly match between the two teams in Shanghai, China, on Wednesday.
Hong Wu Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 1:20 pm

On a gray, polluted Beijing morning, parents peer through a fence anxiously at their little darlings' wobbly dribbling skills on the soccer pitch, as they try to score goals against former Manchester City goalkeeper Alex Williams.

Across town, Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta poses gamely with another group of Chinese kids.

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The Torch
11:11 am
Fri July 27, 2012

'It's What We Have': Spain's Athletes Sigh, And Put On Olympic Uniforms

Taking One For The Team: Field hockey player Alex Fabregas modeled Spain's Olympic outfit in this photo he posted on Twitter. Athletes have been publicly stoic about the colorful clothing, which was provided for free.
Alex Fabregas/Twitter

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 1:56 pm

Spanish Olympians are learning a painful lesson as they suit up for Friday's opening ceremony in London: You get what you pay for.

With Spain on the brink of bankruptcy, its Olympic committee decided to save money this year. It got its Olympic uniforms for free, from the Russian designer Bosco, which also provided kits for the Russian and Ukrainian teams.

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The Torch
9:25 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Let's Catch Up: Lighting The Olympic Cauldron, And Angry Fans

This sculpture of a skeletal gymnast stands in London's Olympic Village, where athletes are preparing for today's Opening Ceremony. If you think it's weird, you're not alone.
Alexander Hassenstein AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 1:57 pm

Good morning. Today's lone public Olympic event is the Opening Ceremony, which begins at 4 p.m. EDT. NBC will not air the broadcast until the evening, however, at 7:30 p.m. in all time zones. We'll have a post later about that issue, and how you can watch. For now, here's a rundown of news items:

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The Torch
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

'Tremendous Honor': Dancing For The World At Olympics Opener

Sasha Feachem (right) will be performing in an urban street dance during the London Olympics' opening ceremony Friday.
Tom Goldman NPR

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:44 am

The London Summer Olympics officially begin today with the opening ceremony. Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire has put together the latest Olympic kickoff spectacle. As NPR's Philip Reeves reported yesterday, a preview video has been released.

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The Torch
1:29 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Video Clip Of London 2012 Opening Ceremonies Is Released

A scene from the London 2012 Opening Ceremony is seen in this screenshot, taken from a clip released Thursday.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 3:13 pm

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Simon Says
2:59 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Blind Sportscaster Bob Greenberg Remembered

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 12:38 pm

Bob Greenberg died this week at the age of 67. He was a sportscaster who happened to be blind. When I've told people he's one of the most extraordinary people I've ever worked with, there's usually polite incomprehension: A blind sportscaster?

Bob worked for WBEZ in Chicago, and he could be cranky, blustery and loud. But it was a marvel to watch him work.

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Sports
3:26 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Bucking Bulls Draw Crowds, And Dollars

Bulls are judged with a "dummy" weight for four seconds to see how hard they will jump and twist to buck a rider. Bulls that do well can sell for up to $50,000.
Laura Ziegler KCUR

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 5:04 pm

The bucking bull has long been the embodiment of the American rodeo, and it takes just four seconds for a strong young bull to reap its owner as much as $50,000 in prize money.

Four seconds is how long each 1- or 2-year-old bull will wear a weight strapped to its back as the massive animal is judged on how high it kicks and how much it twists.

In the past 10 years, bucking bulls have become a major industry. The price of the best bloodlines can soar to $250,000, and competitions take place everywhere from Madison Square Garden to Wyoming.

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Norman Sas, The Genius Behind Electric Football, Dies

Setting up the players. Where would they go after the switch is thrown?
Beth A. Keiser AP

Some of us are old enough to remember when electric football first became one of the coolest toys.

Versions had been around since just after World War II. But when the NFL attached its name to the vibrating game in 1967, it quickly became one of those must-haves for many young boys.

Not that most of us could really get the plastic players to do what we wanted.

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The Two-Way
2:40 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Saudi Arabia Will Send Two Women To The Olympics

In this May photo, members of a Saudi female soccer team listen to their captain, Rawh Abdullah, before their training session at a secret location in Riyadh. The decision to send female athletes to the Olympics will definitely have consequences at home.
Hassan Ammar AP

Under international pressure, Saudi Arabia has decided to send two women to the Olympics in London.

That means that for the first time ever, the Olympic games will include women from every competing country. NPR's Howard Berkes filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Saudi Arabia now joins Qatar and Brunei as the last countries to enter women into Olympic competition. Seven athletes once banned because of their gender will compete in judo, track, swimming, table tennis and shooting events when the London Olympics begin later this month.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Was There A Coverup? Report On Penn State Scandal May Tell Us

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky being led away from court after his conviction last month.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 4:36 pm

In a scathing report that takes to task former head football coach Joe Paterno and other top Penn State officials, an independent report from investigators led by former FBI director Louis Freeh says there was a "total disregard for the safety and welfare" of Jerry Sandusky's child victims "by the most senior leaders" at the school.

That is "our most saddening and sobering finding," Freeh concludes about his investigation into the scandal that rocked the school last year.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
3:45 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Former Yankees Pitcher Jim Bouton Plays Not My Job

Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Sun April 15, 2012 3:27 pm

Jim Bouton is a former All-Star pitcher for the New York Yankees. His classic baseball memoir Ball Four, which was first published in 1970, is just out as an e-book.

Bouton famously wrote about shenanigans in baseball, which have arguably gotten worse since then. But compared to other sports around the world, baseball players are hardly immoral at all. We're going to ask him three questions about people who really know how to cheat.

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NPR Story
3:44 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Soccer Fans Scrap Sports Commentary For Organ Music

Stephen von Bothmer, one of Germany's leading silent film composers, accompanied the June 22nd football match between Germany and Greece on the organ at Emmanus Church in Kreuzberg.
FILMZ

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 3:12 pm

Berlin's streets came to a halt as Berliners squeezed themselves into neighborhood bars to watch the European Soccer Championship.

But at Lausitzerplatz in Kreuzberg, Emmanus Church was the main attraction as visitors and international guests filled the pews to watch the June 22nd match between Germany and Greece on a big screen TV. The game was accompanied by organ music by Stephan von Bothmer.

Von Bothmer is Germany's leading silent film composer. He is known for his sold out silent film performances at iconic venues like the Berliner Dom and Babylon Theater.

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Holy Cow! Family Finds Baseball Card Collection That May Fetch $3 Million

Two of the most valuable cards in the collection: Ty Cobb (left) and Honus "Hans" Wagner.
Heritage Auctions

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 5:33 pm

"My grandfather stuck it in the attic a hundred years ago and here it is now, a blessing to his grandchildren."

A blessing for sure.

As the Toledo Blade reports, when Karl Kissner and his cousins were clearing out his grandfather's home in Defiance, Ohio, on Feb. 29 they came across a box of very rare and very valuable baseball cards.

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Sweetness And Light
10:03 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Going To The Game: The Price Is Wrong?

Andy Murray returns a shot during the men's final match at Wimbledon. A pair of tickets for the match went for £32,000 (about $50,000).
Paul Gilham Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 4:45 am

Sports is more ubiquitous than ever on television. And sports is almost the only thing that's left, live, on TV. NBC Universal is even going to let Americans see the Olympics live this year.

Nevertheless, despite TV's charm, last week as Andy Murray, Great Britain's homeboy, drew closer to making the Wimbledon final, the word was that tickets for actual Centre Court seats would be scalped for up to £32,000 a pair. If you're not hanging around the currency exchange market, that comes to something like $50,000. For two tickets. To a game.

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Sports
4:11 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Pitcher R.A. Dickey's Tale Is As Wild As A Knuckleball

New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey delivers his signature pitch, with its unusual grip, against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 6. He's the only knuckleballer in the major leagues, and the pitch has earned him a 12-1 record so far this season.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 11:32 pm

R.A. Dickey's career as a major league pitcher has been as unpredictable as his signature pitch, the knuckleball.

And on Tuesday night, the New York Mets' 37-year-old phenomenon will hit a new pinnacle: the pitching mound at baseball's All-Star Game.

He won't be starting for the National League — manager Tony La Russa chose Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants for that honor. But the manager says says Dickey will pitch.

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