sports

Ed Lucas

Dec 18, 2013

    For the last several weeks, we have had a terrific team of interns helping with the task of putting this and other WAMC programs on the air. Throughout the semester, you have heard from our other interns - Patrick Garrett and Josh Natoli. This morning you will hear from Blaise Bryant.

Blaise is a senior at the College of St. Rose in Albany and is a Communications major. He is also blind. With a lifelong interest in sports and sports broadcasting, Blaise speaks this morning with one of his heroes, Ed Lucas.

For nearly 55 years, journalist Ed Lucas has proven there are no true handicaps in life. Despite his dreams of making baseball's big leagues, Lucas lost his sight at the age of 12 after being hit in the face with a line-drive. While unable to play the game, he has been a presence in the New York sports scene for more than half a century as a reporter covering the Yankees and Mets.

Keith Strudler: FSU

Nov 27, 2013

Last weekend, the mighty Florida Gators football team lost, at home, to Georgia Southern. This is notable for several reasons. First, and foremost, Georgia Southern plays in the lower tier FCS Division I subdivision, not the FBS top category like the Gators. This is the first time since the creation of these divisions that Florida has lost to an FCS, or I-AA squad. It also sealed Florida’s first losing record since 1979 and the first season since 1990 without a bowl game. It could inevitably cost Florida coach Will Muschamp his job, and it’s led to considerable unrest amongst the legions of Florida fans, including the big donors that help fund the program.

  After winning the N.C.A.A. title and being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this year, Louisville coach Rick Pitino is having a good year. One of the winningest college basketball coaches ever, Pitino has appeared in the Final Four seven times and has won two N.C.A.A. national titles.

As he enters his 40th season of coaching, he has authored a new book, The One Day Contract.

We don’t often think of professional athletes getting better with age but Jamie Moyer was a better pitcher in his 40s than he was in his 20s. Moyer became the oldest pitcher to win a Major League Baseball Game in April 2012.

Moyer pitched for eight teams, but his best years were with the Seattle Mariners, where he became and All-Star, and with the Philadelphia Phillies where he was a starter in a World Series run.

He chronicles his journey in the book, Just Tell Me I Can’t: How Jamie Moyer Defied The Radar Gun And Defeated Time. The book is co-written by Larry Platt.

    In The King of Sports: Football's Impact on America, Gregg Easterbrook, author of the wildly popular ESPN.com column Tuesday Morning Quarterback takes on football's place in American society.

In the book, he tells the full story of how football became so deeply ingrained in American culture. Both good and bad, he examines its impact on American society at all levels of the game.

    Perhaps the best undefeated team in the history of college football the dramatic true story of the 1988 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and their incredible unbeaten season is told in Jerry Barca’s new book, Unbeatable: Notre Dame's 1988 Championship and the Last Great College Football Season.

Keith Strudler: Johnny Football And The NCAA

Aug 7, 2013

One of the first things I learned in a classroom management course was when a kid blatantly breaks the rules, never ask him or her why they did it. You’re not going to like the answer, and the reality is, most kids don’t know why threw a watermelon out a school window. At that age, impulse far overwhelms reasoned action. So as an educator, forget why, and simply deal with the punishment.

    Never played in a fantasy league and wanted to find out what they are all about, but were afraid to ask? Ever wanted to start one, but not sure how? Have line-up questions or want to explore the best trade possibilities?

Matthew Berry is an ESPN fantasy sports analyst and ESPN.com columnist. He will be at Merritt Bookstore in Millbrook, NY on Wednesday, July 24th at 7:00 PM.

His new book is Fantasy Life: The Hilarious Obsessive, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who's Lived It.

The main difference between yesterday and today for Aaron Hernandez is that yesterday he spent the night in his own house in Attleboro, Mass, not far from the stadium where he plays tight end for the New England Patriots. And today, he’s in the custody of the Massachusetts State Police, who arrested him in his home this morning in relation to the murder of Oden Lloyd, a 27 year-old semi-professional football player and acquaintance of Hernandez. So quite a difference a day makes.

Keith Strudler: Lebron Vs. History

Jun 13, 2013

In the period of the next several days, the history of basketball may or may not be rewritten. At stake is far more than the next NBA Title, which will go to either the San Antonio Spurs or the Miami Heat. The Spurs hold a 2-1 game lead in the best of seven series and could potentially defeat the favored Heat team before ever having to return to Miami for Games 6 and 7. Or, Miami could rebound and overwhelm the Spurs with superior talent and up-tempo play, taking their second consecutive title and laying the groundwork as the league’s most current dynasty. With that comes the historical directive of one superstar LeBron James, the most dominant player in the league.

    22-year-old Kevin Pearce had just come off of the most successful competitive season of his snowboarding career, challenging the dominance of his friend and rival, snowboarding legend Shaun White. Kevin’s professional ascent came at a time when snowboarding tricks were becoming more and more breathtaking – but also more dangerous.

On December 31, 2009, while riding the slopes of Park City, Utah in final training for the 2010 Winter Olympics, Kevin missed his landing and took a hard fall.

He was airlifted to the hospital, where doctors scrambled to save his life as his family flew from their home in Vermont to be at his side. When Kevin finally woke up from his coma - that was only the beginning of a long road to recovering from his Traumatic Brain Injury. From language to vision, motor skills to memory, Kevin had to come to terms with his new impairments.

This is the story told in The Crash Reel - a film by two-time Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Lucy Walker. The Crash Reel is screening at The Berkshire International Film Festival on Friday at 6:30pm at The Triplex in Great Barrington, MA.

Simply one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Earl Monroe rose from the rough streets of South Philadelphia to the Hall of Fame in nearby Springfield.

Minor Leagues Have Captivated Fans For Decades

May 2, 2013

Minor league sports focus on developing talent for the big leagues.  Yet they’ve been a staple of American culture for more than a century.  Reporter Pat O’Rourke explains what attracts fans to the minors.

4/30/13 - Panel

Apr 30, 2013

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, and Ray Graf and Mike Spain, Associate Editor of The Times Union. Joe Donahue moderates.

Today's topics include:

  • Dredging
  • NBA player, Jason Collins announcing that he is gay
  • Sexual harassment in jails

    We are very happy to continue our new regular feature on The Roundtable, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we spotlight Vermont and specifically, the evolution of sports writing.

NHL Lockout Helped Regional AHL teams

Apr 24, 2013

Earlier this season, the National Hockey League suffered its third work stoppage in 20 years due to a labor dispute between the owners and the NHL Players Union. Many contend that the lockout damaged the game.  But as Patrick O’Rourke reports, the American Hockey League was happy to see the major players skating in the minor leagues.

    MASS MoCA’s Winter/Spring 2013 documentary film series, Compete!, celebrates films about winning, losing, and how you play the game.

This Thursday’s film, The Human Tower, explores the history and culture of one of the world’s most spectacularly unusual team endeavors - the building of multi-story human towers. The filmmakers follow teams from India, Chile, and Spain  - connected by the common themes of passion and teamwork that transcend race, age, and national borders.

  The Human Tower is co-directed by Ram Devineni and Cano Rojas. Rojas will be at MASS MoCA this Thursday for a Q&A following the screening of the film in their Club B-10 at 7:30.

Knee Injuries A Sports Wild Card

Apr 24, 2013
wikipedia commons

When one of the NFL’s best fell to the turf almost 15 months ago at FedEx Field in Washington, D.C. fans and NFL analysts around the country feared the worst. Some said that Adrian Peterson’s career might never be the same.

Elvert Barnes/Flcikr

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Officials at several Connecticut sporting events are taking another look at security measures in response to the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

The state's largest event is the Travelers Championship PGA golf tournament in Cromwell, which draws more than 200,000 fans a year. Tournament Director Nathan Grube says safety is a top priority every year, but he expects to hold more discussions about security because of the Boston blasts. This year's tournament is set for June 20 to 23.

Saying goodbye to a longtime love: sports

Apr 17, 2013

With another school year about to end, many collegiate athletes are saying goodbye to their lifelong hobbies.

No more early morning workouts. No more long bus rides after a game. No more team bonding. No more curfews. No more sports.

This is the situation many athletes are facing after playing sports in high school and college. When it’s over they experience their first real offseason.

I am the father of two boys, aged 3 and 5, whom I’m actually quite fond of. That’s despite their, shall we say, unpredictable behavior, which can range from angelic to beyond maddening, and I’m being generous. Like one time when they older decided to cover the younger in shampoo, despite not being in the shower. And when these things happen, you try not to lose your cool, which is like trying not to break 55 on a highway in the desert. Sometimes you even say a few words you might regret, like words you can’t say on public radio but your kids manage to repeat in public at remarkably inopportune moments.

    The documentary film, Buzkashi! is a story of three fascinating characters who are at the top of their sport of Buzkashi in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic nestled in the Pamir mountains. Donning their protective equipment – including tank helmets from previous wars – they steer their horses to join the hundreds of others playing on the plateaus of this mountainous country.

The rivalries, alliances politics and intrigues surrounding the sport put ancient values of honor and integrity head-to-head with ego-driven hunger for power and wealth.

The film is screening at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA tomorrow night at 7:30 as part of their Winter/Spring 2013 documentary film series, Compete!, the series celebrates films about winning, losing, and how you play the game.

Buzkashi! is written and directed by Najeeb Mirza. You may watch the trailer, here.

Major League Baseball kicked off the 2013 season this week with near perfect pitching, big hits, and big wins.

The LA Dodger’s Clayton Kershaw pitched a complete shut out in his first outing of the season, not to mention his walk off home run to win the game. The powerhouse New York Yankees, depicted on the cover of the New Yorker as geriatric patients, lost to the rival Boston Red Sox. But, the New York Mets won their opening salvo with a commanding 11 to 2 runs scored over the San Diego Padres.

  The NCAA Tournament has captured the nation’s attention in recent days.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Rich Clark, Associate Professor of Political Science and director of the Castleton Polling Institute, tells WAMC’s David Guistina that sports and politics sometimes intersect.

WNEU

National Girls and Women in Sport Day began in 1987 to honor the life of Olympic Volleyball Player Flo Hyman, who dedicated her life to sexual equality in sports.  Twenty-six years later, the day is celebrated in all 50 states, promoting and honoring female participation in athletics.  Reporter Pat O’Rourke has more.

    After the fall of Lehman Brothers, Joe Peta needed a new employer. He found a new job in New York City but lost that, too, when an ambulance mowed him down as he crossed the street on foot.

In search of a way to cheer himself up while he recuperated in a wheelchair, Peta started watching baseball again, as he had growing up. That's when inspiration hit: Why not apply his outstanding risk-analysis skills to improve on sabermetrics, the method made famous by Moneyball--and beat the only market in town, the Vegas betting line? Why not treat MLB like the S&P 500?

In his book, Trading Bases: A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball (Not Necessarily in That Order), Peta shows how to subtract luck from a team's statistics to best predict how it will perform in the next game and over the whole season. His baseball "hedge fund" returned an astounding 41 percent in 2011-- with daily volatility similar to funds he used to trade for.

It’s been the best of times, and the worst of times for the University of Miami athletics. On the one hand, the Hurricanes have the number two men’s basketball team in the country, which is quite something for a school that usually sees basketball as simply a bridge between bowl season and spring football.

Flickr / David Shankbone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Danica Patrick has won the Daytona 500 pole, becoming the first woman to secure the top spot for any Sprint Cup race. 

It was the biggest achievement of her four-year NASCAR career.

Patrick went out eighth in the qualifying session Sunday and covered the 2½-mile superspeedway in 45.817 seconds, averaging 196.434 mph.

Keith Strudler: Sports and homosexuality

Feb 13, 2013
Wikimedia Commons / Howcheng

Last week a sports writer visited campus to talk with students. Before the big presentation, a student asked him what he thought about Orlando Cruz, a professional boxer who recently announced he is gay, the first and only professional boxer to do so. And the writer simply said this issue is going to be the Jackie Robinson of this generation. The handful of 20 year olds sitting around the table got what he meant, maybe even more than 70 year olds that lived through baseball’s integration.

Keith Strudler : President Obama and Football

Jan 30, 2013
U.S. Department of Defense / Glenn Fawcett

The President of the United States has some tough questions to answer.  And how he answers might determine what he can do over the next four years, whether he’s effective or lame-duck, an elitist or a man of the people.

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