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Tight-Lipped Marshawn Lynch Opens His Heart To Oakland

Jan 30, 2015
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is headed to the Super Bowl. And as we've heard on this program, he's even meeting the media, which he hates to do.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Hall of Fame football coach Bill Parcells won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants, coached three other teams, and mentored young coaches who would go on to success, including Bill Belichick, who's taking the New England Patriots into the Super Bowl this Sunday. Parcells spoke with NPR's David Greene about his recent book, Parcells: A Football Life, and discussed the attention paid to player behavior off the field this NFL season.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Something special is happening in Atlanta basketball. The Hawks are having a phenomenal season. This comes after years of lackluster local support and a preseason PR nightmare. Michell Eloy of member station WABE explains.

The newest inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be picked on Saturday. This happens as the Hall itself is planning a radical change over the next four years — transforming from a museum into a complex of hotels, conference centers and corporate training facilities — what backers envision as the Disney of Pro Football.

But, perhaps the most unusual part of that project is an assisted living center for aging Hall of Fame football players.

Whatever the question, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has the answer. At a (mandatory) media appearance for the upcoming Super Bowl, Lynch stuck to one response Tuesday: "I'm just here so I won't get fined." After he said it nearly 30 times, he added one word: "Time."

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Former All-Star point guard Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers, the story goes, hated luggage so much he used to buy new outfits every time his team went on a road trip. Needless to say, he's had some financial troubles.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

"The line between cheating and gamesmanship is constantly blurred," observes The New York Times in a recent story. The Times, and just about everyone else, is talking about the perhaps-tampering-with-gameballs allegations levied against the New England Patriots — specifically coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.

Both Belichick and Brady have denied any wrongdoing.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's listen to a man who always conserved hope - Ernie Banks died last week at 83. He was a great player on a losing baseball team, the Chicago Cubs.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

As the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots prepare to face off at the Super Bowl on Sunday, a scandal about under-inflated footballs is still dominating headlines.

While that subject has been a trending topic on Twitter, it is just the latest in a series of controversies this season. So many recent stories about the nation's most popular sport have focused on domestic abuse and sexual assault allegations, as well as the dangerous effects of concussions and other long-term health consequences for players.

Putting #Deflategate To The Test

Jan 25, 2015
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ARUN RATH, HOST:

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick held a surprise press conference yesterday, not to talk about next week's Super Bowl, but about, well, you know, deflated footballs.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

Super Bowl Talk (Other Than Ball Deflation)

Jan 25, 2015
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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

Two fighters who used to perform for World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE, are suing the company, alleging that it ignored signs of brain damage. NPR's Jasmine Garsd has more.

New England Patriots' Head Coach Bill Belichick defended his team and quarterback Tom Brady against accusations of cheating amid the so-called "Deflategate" controversy that erupted last weekend when underinflated footballs were used in

Every Saturday just before our show begins I get on the public address system here to announce to our crew, "It's a beautiful day for a radio show. Let's do two today!"

It's an admiring imitation of Ernie Banks, the Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame baseball player who died last night at the age of 83. Ernie used to say, especially in the long years of hot summers — including this last one, when the Cubs were stuck in last place — "It's a beautiful day for a ballgame. Let's play two today!"

Baseball's Chicago Cubs report that Hall of Fame shortstop Ernie Banks has died. "Mr. Cub," who began his career in the Negro leagues, was the first black player for the team — eighth in the majors overall — and played in 14 All-Star games in his 19 seasons, all with the Cubs.

In an update to a story that's become a central topic of the lead-up to the Super Bowl, the NFL says it has found evidence of footballs being underinflated at last Sunday's AFC Championship Game, hosted by the New England Patriots. The Patriots won, 45-7.

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