Streams

 

Sports

All Things Considered

Tragedy, Thy Name Is A Busted Bracket

Friday, March 21, 2014

Each year, countless brackets are upended by upsets in the men's NCAA basketball tournament. We hear laments from those whose brackets were busted within hours of the first full day of play.

Comment

All Things Considered

The Zen Master Takes New York City

Friday, March 21, 2014

The New York Knicks were once a marquee NBA franchise; now, they're a dysfunctional mess. How do you save the Knicks? Bring in Phil Jackson, of course. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis discusses the hire.

Comment

Down Goes Duke In Biggest Upset So Far

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Blue Devils lost to Mercer University. Harvard, North Dakota State and Dayton are other underdogs who have pulled off surprises. Who's going to be upset next as basketball's March Madness sets in?

Comment

Can Phil Jackson Turn NY Knicks Into Winners?

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Barbershop guys weigh in on their billion dollar bracket picks, Phil Jackson's return to the New York Knicks, and whether singer M.I.A. should pay a hefty NFL fine.

Comment

Morning Edition

A Day Of Upsets In College Basketball

Friday, March 21, 2014

Thursday was a day of buzzer-beating shots and nail-biting overtime wins. Much of it happened at the NCAA tournament site in Spokane, Wash.

Comment

All Things Considered

Watch To Watch For As March Madness Begins

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Most of the men's NCAA basketball tournament gets under way Thursday. Who are the top seeds, and who might be this year's Cinderella story?

Comment

WNYC News

Tiny Manhattan College Takes on Louisville Powerhouse in NCAA

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The next round of the men's NCAA basketball tournament began Thursday.

In a classic David vs. Goliath matchup, one of the games pits tiny Manhattan College against powerhouse Louisville. It's Manhattan's first trip to the dance in a decade, while Louisville knows the scene well — it's the reigning college ...

Comment

Reds Pitcher Expected To Recover After Line Drive To Face

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Aroldis Chapman suffered fractures above his eye and nose, but only a mild concussion and no brain injury. The All-Star will have a plate inserted into his head and should return this season.

Comment

The Brian Lehrer Show

A Modest Madness Proposal: Walk Off the Court

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Slate's Josh Levin has an idea: at the moment of tip-off for the first game in this year's March Madness, the players should walk off the court in protest over the NCAA's refusal to compensate players while making huge amounts of money from TV and merchandising deals. We discuss his proposal, and whether you'll be watching the games through a corporate lens.

Comments [12]

PRI's The World

Snowshoeing and snow snaking are favorites at the Arctic Winter Games

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Name the US city that's hosting more than 2,000 athletes for the 2014 Arctic Winter Games.

The athletes make up nine teams from the circumpolar North: Alaska, Alberta, Greenland, Northwest Territories, Nunavik, Nunuvut, Sapmi, Yamal, and Yukon.

They're competing in 20 different sports from alpine skiing to wrestling. Sounds like the Olympics? Close but not quite.

Athletes are mostly a bit younger and they compete in sports like snowshoeing, the head pull, and the snow snake. 

The Arctic Winter Games happen every four years, like the Olympics. In 2010, they were held in Grand Prairie, Canada, and in 2016, they'll be in Greenland.

But can you name the city where the Arctic Winter Games are being held right now?

While you puzzle on it, you can listen to this year's Arctic Winter Games theme song: "Light the Torch" performed by 6th graders at Denali Elementary School. 

It goes like this:

Yo! Where were you when the Arctic Winter Games came onto the scene, the best of the best from all around north, in the golden heart city, gonna light the torch, let the ball bounce, let the people jump, gonna welcome all the athletes with a northern fist pump, the city on the river, that's where it's going down, the Arctic Winter Games are coming, light the torch, lay it on your front porch, light the torch.

Now the answer you've been waiting for.

The Arctic Winter Games are underway in Fairbanks, Alaska. Listener Tori Tragis sent us this quiz after attending the snow snake competition.

Snow snake is a little bit like the javelin toss, but athletes slide sticks down a snow track to see how far they can go. The team with the longest distances win.

Snow snake was played by indigenous people in parts of what is now the US and Canada. It's not traditional here in Alaska, but that's part of what the Arctic Winter Games is all about — learning from each other, as well as competing against each other.

Thanks to listener Tori Tragis in Fairbanks, Alaska where "the snow snakes keep sliding down the track and everyone gets cheered on no matter where they're from," for Thursday's Geo Quiz.

 And congrats to our Geo Quiz text gamers who came up with Fairbanks, Alaska. Kelly in Duluth, Minnesota, Robyn in Chugiak, Alaska and Sam in Bentleyville, Pennsylvania. Play along with us.. Just text "GEOQUIZ" one word to 69866.

 

 

Comment

PRI's The World

It's no March Madness, but former American basketball players are making it big — in Libya

Thursday, March 20, 2014

When DeAndre Rice signed up with one of Tripoli's basketball clubs last fall, Al Ittihad, his Libyan teammates had good reasons to be thrilled: With him on the team, their chances of winning the country's basketball championship increased enormously. And they finally had an American to talk rap music with.

But Rice’s new friends also offered some warning — and it wasn’t about Libya’s shaky security situation.

“As soon as I got here, my teammates were like, 'there’s nothing to do here man, no nightlife. Why did you come here?'” Rice remembered, with a laugh.

It didn’t take him long to see that for himself. On days off, Rice and his Libyan teammates alternate between playing video games and going out for coffee, pretty much all there is to do in the Libyan capital.

“It’s okay though,” said Rice, from the terrace of a café in Tripoli’s old town. “I’m not over here to go out, even though it would be enjoyable to do sometimes. I’m here to play basketball, so it’s fine with me.”

Playing basketball, and making pretty good money, between $5,000 and $8,000 a month. Rice won’t say exactly how much he’s getting paid.

The Libyans on the team earn two to three times less and he doesn’t want to stir up jealousy.

But he said the paycheck is worth the sacrifice of not being home.

“I had an offer this year to play in the [NBA] Development league again, but I didn’t want to take a pay cut to go play over there,” Rice said. “I’m not willing to sacrifice my money at this point. I like what I make. Plus, we live for free and we eat for free so all my money is always wired back home.”

The 28-year-old provides for his two daughters back in Houston. They're 6 and 7 and he hasn’t seen them since September, except on a computer screen.

“I talk to them on Skype almost every day. That doesn’t replace picking them up, but I’m used to it now. I always go away for six, eight months at a time,” he said.

Rice has been playing overseas since 2007 when he left the US, believe it or not, for Syria.

“I went to college at Florida Atlantic for two years and after that I played in development league in the NBA and after that just wanted to make more money and to get out and see the world. My agent said he had something in Syria for me so I just jumped on it and went. I always have an open mind to go places. You have to experience everything for yourself.” 

Rice played in Aleppo for a season, then Tunisia, Ukraine, back to Tunisia, and finally to Libya.

Rice was the only foreigner on the team until Shane Burrell signed up late January.

Ittihad, Shane Burrel and DeAndre Rice’s basketball club practicing in Tripoli, Libya.
Credit: Marine Olivesi
Ittihad, Shane Burrel and DeAndre Rice’s basketball club practicing in Tripoli, Libya.
For Burrell, a Jamaican-American who is from LA, the adjustment wasn’t as easy. Burrell played overseas before too, in China, Holland, and Mozambique. But this is his first time in an Arab country, and not a very stable one.

“My fourth or fifth day here, I heard these crazy gunshots and I got really scared. I called my agent and said, 'I got to get me out of here!' Then I went to Rice and he said, 'yeah, it’s normal man, just try to go to sleep,'” he recalled.

Burrell arrived in Tripoli just two days after being offered the job, so there was little time for research before he made the move. He said he knew about the revolution and about former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi from his time in Mozambique, but he didn’t expect Libya to be so much like the Wild West.

“I have teammates that carry guns to practice. I see police but I don’t see them working. I see them drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. I never see them pull anybody over. They don’t have any laws so it’s like a free world ... I tell my friends you could do whatever you want here and get away with it,” he said.

And Burrell soon realized that in Libya, things can get rough on the court too.

“Libya basketball is different from any place I’ve ever been in my life," he said. "I call it jail basketball: rough, fouling at all time, hitting you in your face ... That’s what they do here. And the referee is just like: ‘Okay, it’s rough, it’s basketball. It should be like this.’ No, it should not be like this!”

It’s hard to imagine Burrell being pushed around. He’s 6-foot-8, 250 pounds, covered with tattoos from shoulders to wrists. And on the court, it’s not just his body that stands out.

Burrell shouts, jumps and pumps up his teammates. It's a real show, American-style. 

“My game is kind of emotional,” Burrell said after a recent game. “I think that we come here and we put some fire under their butts and tell them we gotta win these games and I think they buy into it. Some of them, they buy into it.”

The public does too. At least the 70 or so people scattered in the stands did — almost a crowd by Libyan basketball standards.

The game was supposed to be an easy win for Ittihad, Burrell and Rice’s club, which now ranks first in Libya’s western conference. Instead, they were pushed into overtime.

The club’s new Serbian coach was furious and scolded the players during a break.

“Everybody with the ball wants to penetrate. That's impossible!" he screamed. "Rice, I want you to get the ball every time.”

Burrell says that kind of play doesn’t sit too well with some Libyans, who now have to make room for not just one but two Americans.

But it was worth it in the end.

Rice hit five three-pointers, three in overtime, and scored 47 points total.

After the final whistle, the club’s manager whispered, “now you get it — why everybody wants Americans on their team.”

Comment

Ethics, Morality And A Ticking Clock For How To Report On The R**skins

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

An investigation into how NPR should refer to the Washington team concludes that it is time to pull back on using the team's name. Does anyone believe it won't be toast anyway?

Comment

All Things Considered

Far From Home, South Sudanese Basketballer Finds Footing On Court

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In three years, Mooseheart High School's basketball team went from also-ran to champion. One of the reasons? Mangisto Deng, a 6-foot-7-inch player from South Sudan. He tells of his journey and team.

Comment

All Things Considered

In ACA March Madness, Obama's Bracket Is Just A Role Player

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In an annual ritual, President Obama filled out his NCAA tournament bracket. Beyond his picks, though, he's got an ulterior motive — convincing young people to enroll in health care exchanges.

Comment

Obama Picks Michigan State To Win Men's Basketball Title

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Tom Izzo is a great tournament coach," the nation's "first basketball fan" tells ESPN. It's the sixth time the president has shared his picks. So far, he's been right once.

Comment

Morning Edition

Racetrack Soundtrack Goes From A Roar To A Purr

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

This year's Formula One cars are hybrids, so their engines are much quieter. One official with Australia's Grand Prix says the engines are "like harpsichords in a chamber orchestra."

Comment

Morning Edition

Major League Baseball Seeks To Score International Fans

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The LA Dodgers play the Arizona Diamondbacks this weekend in Australia. Major League Baseball hopes to broaden the sport's international appeal.

Comment

Morning Edition

There's A Reason They Call It Madness

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

As March Madness gets underway, commentator Frank Deford wonders if Americans just have too many teams to root for.

Comment

Morning Edition

For Pro Sports, Public Relations Going High-Tech, Real Time

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The NFL, NASCAR and others have built social media command centers to engage directly with fans during live events.

Comment

The Leonard Lopate Show

Word Maven Patricia T. O’Conner on Sportscaster Language

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Baseball season is about to begin, so our word maven, Patricia T. O’Conner, is here to talk about sportscaster language. She’ll also answer questions about language and grammar. An updated and expanded third edition of O’Conner’s book, Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English, is available in paperback, as is  Origins of the Specious, written with Stewart Kellerman.

If you have a question about language and grammar, leave a comment or call us at 212-433-9692!

Comments [29]