sports

Yankee Stadium
Ian Pickus, WAMC

After a cast of Yankee greats and Hall of Famers had taken their seats, after none other than Michael Jordan electrified the Yankee Stadium crowd, after the raucous cheers finally died down, a visibly touched Derek Jeter gave a brief speech. A line in the valedictory said everything.

  John Feinstein has been praised as “the best writer of sports books in America today” (The Boston Globe). The Walk On is the first installment in his Triple Threat series is his most thrilling and suspenseful novel yet. He joins us to talk about the series and about current events in the world of sports.

 

   In Against Football, Steve Almond details why, after forty years as a fan, he can no longer watch the game he still loves.

Major League Baseball is the toughest level of the sport, with the world’s best players and highest quality of play. But contrary to what modern fans used to on-demand scores and video might think, it wasn’t always this way.

    The fights resonate still: The Fight of the Century, Down Goes Frazier!, The Rumble in the Jungle, The Thrilla in Manila. And the fighters, too, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and George foreman - three complicated and competitive men who happened to be vying for sport's biggest prize when boxing was still a national reassurance and its champion a cultural resource. They fought five times for that title, from 1971 to 1975, ranging across the globe, and their struggles, triumphs, and defeats echo through the years as well.

In Bouts of Mania: Ali, Frazier, and Foreman - and an America on the Ropes, longtime Sports Illustrated writer Richard Hoffer evokes all the hopes and hoopla, the hype and hysteria of boxing's last and best "golden age."

Even as LeBron James make a run at his supremacy, the “greatest ever” conversation in basketball starts and ends with Michael Jordan. As Roland Lazenby makes clear in his new biography of the six-time NBA champ, Jordan has long been driven by an unrivaled competitive nature that has often damaged his personal relationships.

June 14 marks the 20th anniversary of one the most memorable nights in New York hockey history, when the New York Rangers broke a 54-year curse and beat Vancouver for the Stanley Cup.

  In The Magnificent Masters, Gil Capps, a twenty-two-year veteran of the golf industry with NBC Sports and Golf Channel, recaptures hole-by-hole the thrilling drama of this singular event during golf’s golden era, from the media-crazed build-up and intertwined careers of the three combatants to the tournament's final dramatic putts that would change the game of golf forever.

As we near another season, the sport’s all-time hits leader remains banned from baseball and its Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. It’s a stark problem in America’s pastime: some of its greatest players, including its home run champion Barry Bonds and other bashers from the steroid era, have an uneasy relationship with the sport and a worse one with fans, media and the record book.

    

  The Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s personified the flamboyance and excess of the decade over which they reigned. Beginning with the arrival of Earvin “Magic” Johnson as the number-one overall pick of the 1979 draft, the Lakers played basketball with gusto and pizzazz, unleashing their famed “Showtime” run-and-gun style on a league unprepared for their speed and ferocity—and became the most captivating show in sports and, arguably, in all-around American entertainment.

Bestselling sportswriter Jeff Pearlman draws from almost three hundred interviews to take the first full measure of the Lakers’ epic Showtime era in Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, And The Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty Of The 1980s.

    

  Ed Breslin fulfills every college basketball fan’s fantasy of being an NCAA Division I coach in his new book: The Divine Nature of Basketball: My Season Inside the Ivy League. The book describes a season spent as a virtual coach in the Ivy League, shadowing head coach of Yale men’s basketball James Jones.

It’s sports journalism in the tradition of George Plimpton. But above all, it’s a celebration of basketball, of participation in life, of gifted mentors and coaches, and of the proper approach to collegiate athletics.

    One Sunday afternoon in August 1965, on a day when baseball’s most storied rivals, the Giants and Dodgers, vied for the pennant, the national pastime reflected the tensions in society and nearly sullied two men forever.

Juan Marichal, a Dominican anxious about his family’s safety during the civil war back home, and John Roseboro, a black man living in South Central L.A. shaken by the Watts riots a week earlier, attacked one another in a moment immortalized by an iconic photo: Marichal’s bat poised to strike Roseboro’s head.

ToonariPost – A News Mash Up/Flickr

The Yankees will need a new captain: shortstop Derek Jeter, who played in the minor leagues in Albany, has announced the upcoming season will be his last. He turns 40 this season. The 13-time All-Star has won five World Series with the Bronx Bombers.

CBS

When you start talking about the greatest coaches in basketball history, the conversation starts and ends with one name: John Wooden, who led UCLA to 10 NCAA championships in 12 years, had a lifetime winning percentage of .804, and is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield as both a coach and player.

    Leigh Steinberg is renowned as one of the greatest sports agents in history, representing such All-Pro clients as Troy Aikman, Bruce Smith, and Ben Roethlisberger. Over one particular seven-year stretch, Steinberg represented the top NFL Draft pick an unheard of six times.

In The Agent: My 40-Year Career Making Deals And Changing The Game real-life "Jerry Maguire," superagent Leigh Steinberg shares his personal stories on the rise, fall, and redemption of his game-changing career in the high-stakes world of professional sports.

David Moxley

When the Super Bowl is played at MetLife Stadium —  the home of the New York Giants and Jets that opened in 2010 — for the first time Sunday, there will be an upstate New York presence on the field. But it’s not in the form of a quarterback, coach or referee.

Sean Philpott: Keep Your Head In The Game

Jan 30, 2014

My hometown 49ers will not be playing in this Sunday's Big Game. Despite my disappointment, I nevertheless will be joining millions of my fellow Americans in the hallowed tradition of watching the Super Bowl. I will put my feet up on the coffee table, drink a beer or two, and cheer on the Denver Broncos as they face off against the Seattle Seahawks. I will also cringe every time the quarterback is sacked or a wide receiver is brutally tackled, imagining the lasting damage caused to both body and mind.

The Big Game is this weekend, and in just a few weeks, the big games will kick off across the world. So there’s no shortage of exciting sports news, and definitely no shortage of controversy surrounding it. We’re talking sports today with our WAMC sports commentator Keith Strudler and producer Jessica Bloustein Marshall, who is also a competitive figure skater.  

  Millerton resident Peter Richmond is a renowned sportswriter whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Rolling Stone among others. His journalism has been included in a dozen different anthologies, including Best American Sportswriting of the Twentieth Century.

His previous books include The Glory Game with co-author Frank Gifford, and Badasses. In his new biography is Phil Jackson: The Lord of the Rings, Richmond gives an account of the life of the legendary coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls.

Richmond will be speaking Saturday at Oblong Books at 6PM in Millerton.

    The BCS National Championship Game is being played tonight at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, CA.

Steve Eubanks joins us to talk about his new book: All American: Two Young Men, the 2001 Army-Navy Game and The War They Fought in Iraq.

U.S. Department of Defense / Glenn Fawcett

The New Year—in addition to a monster snow storm—is bringing with it some exciting sports news. Notably, the BCS championship between Auburn and Florida State kicking off Monday night, and the rapid approach of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. We’re talking sports today with our WAMC Sports Commentator Keith Strudler.  

    Bronx Bombers is a new play from the team behind Broadway's Lombardi that follows beloved icon Yogi Berra and his wife Carmen through a century of the team's trials and triumphs, bringing generations of Yankee greats together on one stage.

The show - written and directed by Eric Simonson - begins previews at Circle In The Square Theatre in New York City next week with Peter Scolari in the role of Yogi Berra and his real-life wife, Tracy Shayne, as Yogi’s wife, Carmen, with other accomplished actors portraying Reggie Jackson, Lou Gehrig, Derek Jeter, and other iconic Pinstripers.

Bronx Bombers is an original project conceived and commissioned by Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo. Together they bring new, original plays to the stage combining the drama of sports and entertainment through Kirmser Ponturo Group. Lombardi and Magic/Bird were the first two productions in the series - Bronx Bombers is the third.

Morning Sports Update

Dec 25, 2013
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More postseason honors for Jameis Winston. Florida State's freshman quarterback has been named The Associated Press national player of the year, in a runaway vote. He already won the Heisman Trophy.

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.

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