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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Is There A Method To Your March Madness?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It's time for basketball fans to fill in their brackets and predict which team will win every game in the NCAA tournament. What's the best way? Research? Flip a coin? Find a mascot you like?

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Screening Room: Our Favorite Coaches in Movies & TV

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Our Family Meeting about coaching made us reflect on coaches in all areas of life. Here are a few of our favorite coaching moments from film and television.

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Morning Edition

South Africans Engrossed By Pistorius Trial

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Host Renee Montagne talks to Erin Conway-Smith, southern Africa editor for GlobalPost, about the murder trial of Olympic hero Oscar Pistorius.

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PRI's The World

Why Formula 1 has a sound problem

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fans of Formula 1 car racing are upset over a new move to go green.

This season, all F1 cars are required to have new 1.6-litre V6 turbo engines that use hybrid technology. They replace V8s used last year.

The V6 turbo engines cut down on pollution. But they also trim the noise.

Not cool. Fans love the noise.

And after the first race of the Formula 1 season last Sunday in Melbourne, Australia, they're complaining that the new cars are too quiet.

Australian Grand Prix Chief Executive Andrew Westacott, told the BBC that the quieter engines lack raw emotion when hurtling down the track.

"That's an integral part of the chemistry of this sport that's been built up over the decades and it was sadly lacking in Melbourne despite the great racing that we did have," he said.

Bruce Jones is a freelance journalist based in England who covers Formula 1. He agrees the move to hybrid engines messes with a quintessential part of the fan experience. To hear him talk, the sound is the one thing that really attracts people to the racetrack.

"It goes straight through your sternum," he adds. "It's incredibly powerful."

The sound hooks you. And it certainly hooked Jones. He says it's a big reason that he spent the better part of his life covering motorsports. But the cars in Melbourne were quiet, and the sounds were unappealing.

"It was a flatulent sound," he says.

Sound isn't the only thing that upset race fans. Fuel is another issue.

This year Formula 1 also has new regulations concerning how fast fuel runs into the engines, and how much fuel each car can carry. Sensors monitor the fuel rate and if a driver exceeds the limit, goodbye podium.

That's exactly what happened to Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo who took second place and was later disqualified. He's appealing that ruling with race officials.

But all the talk about sound and fuel is forgetting something important. Jones says it misses what Formula 1 is trying to do with the greener V6 engines.

The race organizers are trying to make the technology far more applicable to the automotive industry. The technology used in racing will one day most likely be used in our own cars in the future.

"It's a step that had to be taken," he says.

To fix the sound, it appears that teams will re-engineer the sound. And it might be do to the online complaints by race fans. 

Some took the sounds and made videos, like the one below, comparing the two sounds of the cars. Give it a listen. There really is a difference.

But Formula 1 has constantly changed. It's all about technology. New technology, and different cars, new cars and faster cars. It's about different engines. Change is a common thing.

And Jones says that every time Formula 1 has changed people focus on it for a bit and then move on. Prior to the race, people complained about the look of the cars. Many felt the front of the car, the nose, looked ugly.

Those complaints were drowned out by the noise, or lack of noise.

But Jones thinks that as long as the drivers put on a show, the organizers can sort the troubles. Formula 1's chief executive, Bernie Ecclestone, has vowed to fix the sound.

And Jones thinks that if the right engine-roar returns, all will be forgiven. 

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Meet Coach Randolph

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Meet Natalie Randolph, a teacher at Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C., and one of the first women to coach a high school football team. She discusses her experience, and how she sees parallels between teaching and coaching.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

What Makes a Good Coach?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We spend two hours talking about coaching, from sports to professional life, parents and coaches, and how coaches can influence our bodies and minds. First, a call-in for you to talk about your best and worst coaches and what they taught you. Plus Stefan Fatsis, panelist on Slate's Hang Up and Listen, sports correspondent for All Things Considered, and author of Word Freak and A Few Seconds of Panic, takes your calls and discusses what makes for a good coach, from the pro level down to youth soccer.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Phil Jackson and the Inner Game of Sports

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why some of the most successful coaches - incoming Knicks president Phil Jackson, for one - emphasize the mental and spiritual as much as the X's and O's. 

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All Things Considered

At The Cubs' Arizona Retreat, A Fond Reminder Of Wrigley

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Cubs have a new home in spring training that evokes their stadium back in Chicago. Fans and former players love Cubs Park in Mesa, Ariz. — their own "mini-Wrigley."

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Florida Is No. 1 Seed For NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Florida's 26-game winning streak vaulted it to the top as the No. 1 seed in the South and the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Men's basketball tournament.

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All Things Considered

Predicting Top Seeds For March Madness 2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the year for NCAA college basketball fans. NPR's Arun Rath talks with A Martinez of member station KPCC about March Madness.

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Why You Won't Win Warren Buffett's Billion-Dollar Bracket

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The billionaire investor has teamed up to offer a $1 billion prize to anyone who picks the winner of all 63 games of the NCAA basketball tournament. Chances are he won't have to pay out.

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U.S. Beats Russia To Win Sled Hockey Gold At Sochi Paralympics

Saturday, March 15, 2014

In the sport many call "murder ball on ice," the U.S. team becomes the first to repeat at consecutive Paralympics. The game was broadcast live on NBC.

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Before The NBA Was Integrated, We Had The Black Fives

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Black Fives were African-American basketball teams that played in America before the NBA was integrated in 1950. Their lost history is making a comeback.

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An Ex-Dolphin Gets A New Home: The Week In Sports

Saturday, March 15, 2014

March Madness kicks off. Jonathan Martin finds a new home in the San Francisco 49ers. Kobe Bryant is out for the season and maybe his career. NPR's Jacki Lyden speaks with ESPN's Howard Bryant.

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All Things Considered

This Is Trust: Paralympian Skier Guided By Husband At 70 MPH

Friday, March 14, 2014

Melissa Block talks to U.S. Paralympian Danelle Umstead, a visually impaired skier, and her guide and husband, Rob.

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