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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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Even with free agency, our professional leagues show a reliable sort of sameness from year to year. Oh sure, each season there are a few teams that surprise, but mostly, changes in the standings are evolutionary. That said, I don't believe I've ever seen a league that looks so cockeyed as the NBA is this year.

First of all, it's just plain weird to see the two historically glamorous franchises, the Celtics and Lakers, both down near the bottom of the standings, while up top are teams that previously were nondescript also-rans.

Decades before the DVR and years before the first Super Bowl, a young television director decided to try something that would either amaze or confuse TV watchers: the instant replay.

With that, Tony Verna revolutionized the way we watch televised sports. He died Sunday at 81.

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If you have watched any football on television recently then you have watched a lot of instant replay.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Oh, poor Boston. Where is Paul Revere when we need him to alert the citizenry? The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is coming! The International Olympic Committee is coming!

Boston, lock up your municipal bonds and pension funds.

Testifying about a request for a protective order against him, race car driver Kurt Busch told a Dover, Del., court this week that his former girlfriend is an assassin. Patricia Driscoll, who dated Busch for four years, requested the order last November, shortly after their relationship ended.

Driscoll has also filed a criminal complaint against Busch, alleging that he grabbed her and slammed her head into the wall of his motor coach at Dover International Speedway last fall. Busch denies those claims, which the authorities have been considering separately.

The longtime host of ESPN's SportsCenter, Stuart Scott, died today at age 49 after a prolonged battle with cancer, according to the cable network.

Scott was famous for his enthusiasm and a bevy of catchphrases he mined in his commentary, including "Boo-Yah!" and "As cool as the other side of the pillow."

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Ohio State Beats Alabama, Will Play Oregon For Championship

Jan 2, 2015

The Ohio State Buckeyes and Oregon Ducks will meet on Jan. 12 in college football's first national championship game based on a playoff system.

The headline in The Columbus Dispatch read: Get ready for Bucks vs. Ducks.

With help from Cardale Jones and Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State rallied from a 21-6 deficit to beat the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Thursday night, 42-35.

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Even if you're a fairly enthusiastic sports fan — someone who can identify sportscasters Jim Nantz or Joe Buck by tenor and intonation alone — you may very well have never heard the name Doc Emrick.

Mike "Doc" Emrick is the world's premier announcer for what is America's fourth team sport: ice hockey. For those who know hockey, or those aficionados who listen to a few minutes of an NHL game just to hear Emrick talk about blue lines or poke checking, he is absolutely revered.

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