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The Score

Twenty-four hours a day in every city in America, you can hear shock jock radio types screaming their outrage at the latest sports scandal, and the din has become loud and steady. Diana Nyad, on the other hand, is thirsting for the poetry, the sociology,

Copyright: KCRW 2017

Cam Newton, Ego Aside

Thu, 03 Mar 2011 18:44:00 -0800

This year's NFL Draft holds the promise of teams licking their chops at mining a wealth of quarterback prospects. No matter how deep that list runs, one 6'6", 250-pound monster-armed talent stands head and shoulders above the rest. Auburn's quarterback Cam Newton was this year's stand-out college player. There was no debate. Scouts, coaches, pro players current and past resoundingly weighed in with kudos on the order of not having seen a monumental talent like Newton in quite some time...

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Ladies Day

Thu, 24 Feb 2011 18:44:00 -0800

Let's call this Ladies Day here on The Score. First, in Iowa, where wrestling is to the state as football is to Texas, a high school girl last week became the first in the 86-year history of the State tournament to win a match. The downside to Cassy Herkelman's victory is that it came on a default by a boy, the fifth-ranked wrestler in the state in the 112-pound division. Joel Northrop, home-schooled, his father a minister, cited the tenets of his faith, not believing boys should engage girls in the violent manner necessary in this sport, as the reason for his defaulting the match. His father, the pastor, had this comment: "We believe in the elevation and respect of women."

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Shrovetide Football

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 18:44:00 -0800

With the end of the NFL season comes a collective American depression. Millions of us are football junkies and the withdrawal, post Super Bowl, can be cruel.

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Aguilera’s Anthem Flub

Thu, 10 Feb 2011 18:44:00 -0800

Christina Aguilera’s flubbing of the National Anthem has drawn equal billing to any football news, post Super Bowl. OK, “the twilight’s last ‘reaming’” was perhaps egregious botching, compared to other Anthem gaffes, such as Robert Goulet, before a Muhammed Ali-Sonny Liston fight, singing “by the dawn’s early night”.

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Women Love Football

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 18:44:00 -0800

To paraphrase a feminist concept of male resistance to the growing power of women in our society, it has been said "the stronger women get, the more men love football." This to be interpreted that men love football, revere football, because it's seemingly the last all-male frontier...

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Ted Williams: Homeless to Famous

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 18:44:00 -0800

This is the quintessential story that proves the enormous muscle of today's Social Media. O.K. Maybe Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg being named Time Magazine's Person of the Year, for influencing the lives of more than half a billion people, is the ultimate Social Media accolade. But the story of Ted Williams proves the proverbial Everyman's talents can be found by the wide-sweeping magic of the Internet.

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Bud Greenspan: Artist of Sports

Thu, 30 Dec 2010 18:44:00 -0800

Bud Greenspan, the award-winning Olympic filmmaker, died on Christmas Day. The eulogies and obituaries have poured forth. High praise for his many, beautiful works of art. Bud…I affectionately called him by his birth name, Jonah…was my long-time, dear friend. And he was far and away THE number one mentor in my career. Who among us doesn't swoon under the spell of the classic Greenspan minimalist wording, the cinematography that conjured up oil paintings?

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Hashim Khan Streak

Thu, 23 Dec 2010 18:44:00 -0800

The women's basketball team at the University of Connecticut now holds the longest streak of consecutive games won in the history of the sport. On Tuesday, the Huskies took their record to 89, passing the long-standing, historic record of 88 straight by revered Coach John Wooden's UCLA men's squad of the early 1970's. Many have argued this week that you simply can't compare this UConn streak to the Wooden glory days, in that the men's games were more competitive, their opponents deeper.... But one athlete doesn't often appear on our list of phenomenal streaks. So we pay homage to him today...

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Philly Fans Rudest

Thu, 16 Dec 2010 18:44:00 -0800

Pitcher Cliff Lee created headlines this week with his surprise choice of the Philadelphia Phillies as home for ostensibly the rest of his already stellar career. None other than the Yankees, used to getting pretty much every star they pursue with their open check-book policy, failed to woo Lee to the Bronx. And Lee chose Philly over his current Texas Rangers, also offering a multi-year, sweet deal. Much has been written about Lee’s unusual decision to leave the Yankees fatter contract, but those stratospheric numbers are hard for us regular folk to compute, similar to hearing how many trillions of light years a certain star is from Earth....

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Monday Nights

Thu, 09 Dec 2010 18:44:00 -0800

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and Monday Night Football personality Don Meredith passed away this week. In remembering the likeable Dandy Don, his Texas twang, his snakeskin cowboy boots and his irreverence in literally drinking and smoking pot live in the broadcast booth, the tribute tracks back to the man who put Don on the air...

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Transgender Territory

Thu, 02 Dec 2010 18:44:00 -0800

As of this week, women's professional golf has changed its rule of gender qualification. One no longer needs to be born female to play LPGA tournament golf. The issue has been forced within the LPGA because of a lawsuit filed by a transgender woman, Lana Lawless, claiming the organization's previous exclusionary stance violated common civil rights...

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Pacquiao Power

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 18:44:00 -0800

I admit I'm not the boxing fan I used to be. Maybe you can relate. There was a time when I wouldn't miss a big fight. That was back in the day of Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, early Mike Tyson. One development that drove me away, for sure, was the proliferation of all these various organizations that give legitimate recognition to championship titles...

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Vick a Wonder

Thu, 11 Nov 2010 18:44:00 -0800

It was a mere three years ago that I promised myself I would never again be a Michael Vick fan, should he return to football after his prison sentence in Leavenworth. It was the reprehensible nature of his particular crime, killing innocent dogs with his bare hands. But I turned my back on the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback more due to his seeming lack of remorse, than the crimes themselves...

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Cuba Heartache

Thu, 04 Nov 2010 18:44:00 -0700

Hello, everybody. It's been a while. While I was down in Key West over the summer and into the fall, pursuing my lifelong Extreme Dream of swimming from Cuba to Florida, my buddies here at KCRW not only graciously gave me some time off from my weekly Score duties, but I'm sure you noticed that they reported my progress and the weekly drama of the endeavor with great enthusiasm...

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Diana Nyad's Dream: A Dream Postponed

Thu, 21 Oct 2010 18:44:00 -0700

Diana Nyad joins Matt Holzman back in the KCRW studios for a look at her big dream and her hopes for the future...

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Diana Nyad's Dream, Part 12

Thu, 14 Oct 2010 18:44:00 -0700

Will Paula keep Diana from her dream?

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Diana Nyad's Dream, Part 11

Thu, 07 Oct 2010 18:44:00 -0700


Will uncooperative temperatures throw cold water on Diana's dream?

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Diana Nyad's Dream, Part 10

Thu, 30 Sep 2010 18:44:00 -0700

After a year of preparation and arrangements, is the dream fading? With the weather and temperature uncooperative, is today the calm before the storm?

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Diana Nyad's Dream, Part 10

Fri, 28 Mar 2014 18:29:46 -0700

Despite the frustrating forecast and declining daylight, Diana remains a Believer that she'll soon make her Dream Swim a reality...

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Diana Nyad's Dream, Part 9

Thu, 09 Sep 2010 18:44:00 -0700

Diana learns patience as she waits out the weather and Cuban bureaucracy in West Palm Beach, Florida.

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Diana Nyad's Dream, Part 8

Thu, 02 Sep 2010 18:44:00 -0700

Weather and bureaucracy continue to frustrate Diana, who has celebrated her 61st birthday with her crew. Must an alternate plan – a swim of an equal distance – replace her dream of swimming from Havana to Key West?

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Diana Nyad's Dream, Part 7

Thu, 26 Aug 2010 18:44:00 -0700

In Key West, Diana and 37 experts from around the world await word from Cuba.

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Diana Nyad's Dream, Part 6

Thu, 19 Aug 2010 18:44:00 -0700

Will a little slip of paper capsize Diana dream of swimming from Cuba to Florida?

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Diana Nyad's Dream, Part 4

Thu, 05 Aug 2010 18:44:00 -0700

Diana discusses conditioning, visas and home-remedies for encounters with marine life.

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Diana Nyad's Dream, Part 3

Thu, 29 Jul 2010 18:44:00 -0700

Matt offers an update on Diana Nyad, who continues preparations for her Florida-Cuba swim. Despite a personal tragedy, she is buoyed by successes, both political and practical.

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Diana Nyad's Dream, Part 2

Thu, 22 Jul 2010 18:44:00 -0700

A fit, tanned Dian Nyad discusses last week's 24-hour test swim, the challenge of securing permits, licenses and much needed funds. She also sings the praises of the many fans who've supported her, both emotionally and financially...

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Diana Nyad's Dream, Part 1

Thu, 15 Jul 2010 18:44:00 -0700

While Diana Nyad is deeply involved in preparations for her current expedition, in lieu of her regular commentary she will doing weekly Q&A updates with our own Matt Holzman. Today, she talks about the lessons learned from her 24 hour test swim...

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24 Tough Hours

Thu, 08 Jul 2010 18:44:00 -0700

Think of me this Saturday morning, in the early dawn hours, if you will. I'll be somewhere out in the ocean, about 45 miles south of Key West, beginning a 24-hour continual swim through the Gulf Stream, back toward the Florida coast. This is a full dress rehearsal for the Cuba-to-Florida swim I'll be attempting later in the summer...

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Soccer's Visceral Growth

Thu, 01 Jul 2010 18:44:00 -0700

First, there are the facts. The first three games the U.S. team played in South Africa drew television ratings at an average of a huge 66% higher than during the last World Cup, four years ago. The U.S. win over Algeria, which was significant in that it threw the Americans out of the first round where they often wallow and fade, pulled in 6.1 millions viewers. That's more than a respectable number. It's impressive, especially when you consider the game started at ten in the morning and viewers watching at their offices, on their computers, and in sports bars aren't counted...

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Wimbledon History

Thu, 24 Jun 2010 18:44:00 -0700

Let's start with a few tennis notes. Word out from Martina Navratilova this week that she has come through the radiation treatments for her breast cancer just fine and considers this simply another chapter in her life of adventure. Well, that's a whopping understatement. I was emailing back and forth with Martina all through her radiation sessions in Paris. What she doesn't mention to the press is just how she went through the final, more painful stages of the treatments. First, she would ride her bicycle to the clinic. Come on, find me another individual who rides their bicycle to cancer radiation…

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Vuvuzelas Rule

Thu, 17 Jun 2010 18:44:00 -0700

A week into the World Cup and you would think the unusual number of low-scoring games would be the bad rap so far. After all, at least for American sports fans, 90 minutes of running back and forth ending in a 0-0 tie, is precisely what has relegated soccer to the fringes of the mainstream and it's the event magnitude of the World Cup each four years that gives hope that the sport will at last draw that mainstream in....

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Soccer Mania

Thu, 10 Jun 2010 18:44:00 -0700

In the 1980's I had the great fortune to work on a documentary in the interior rain forests of Borneo. We were to live for six weeks among the tribes of the Dayak Indians, formerly the famous and fierce headhunters of Borneo. At the time we arrived these were considered one of the last truly remote people on Earth. Except for one Englishman who had broken his leg hiking in the jungle, this particular tribe had never seen anybody but themselves...

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Women Go Backwards

Thu, 03 Jun 2010 18:44:00 -0700

It's perplexing. Last weekend Danica Patrick finishes a highly respectable sixth place in the not-so-long-ago All-Boys Indianapolis 500. Serena Williams as of just a couple of days ago is reported in the headlines of the world's sports pages as the Only American left in the French Open….not the only American woman, but the Only American, intimating that her stature allows her to represent all American tennis players, above Andy Roddick and the other ranked male players who were eliminated before her. Sixteen-year-old Australian Jessica Watson draws fascination from people of many nations as she singlehandedly circumnavigates the globe in her sailboat...

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Super Bowl 2014

Thu, 27 May 2010 18:44:00 -0700

The announcement of future Super Bowl locales is usually pretty ho-hum. Miami again. New Orleans again. Maybe San Diego. Maybe Pasadena. But when the new Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, won the bid for Super Bowl 2014 this week, bloggers feverishly took to their keyboards...

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Tour de California

Thu, 20 May 2010 18:44:00 -0700

It’s a big week for cycling in America. The most popular cycling race in U.S. history is mid-way, the Tour of California. The event has in only five years grown so much in stature that its organizers have this year made the brazen move of scheduling the eight-day race at the same time as the famous Giro d’Italia. Along with the Tour de France mid-summer, the Giro in the spring and the Vuelta a Espana in the fall are the top trio of the world’s elite races. To move the young Tour of California from its former February spot on the race calendar and pit it against the Giro, and successfully attract not only Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and the top American riders but several top foreigners, such as English sprinter Mark Cavendish as well, is a sign that the American race has quickly earned a valid place on the world stage of the sport.

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Halls of Fame

Thu, 13 May 2010 18:44:00 -0700

One of the greatest players in football history, Lawrence Taylor, has been accused of raping a 16-year-old girl. L.T. has a well-known history of drug problems but his troubles never included rape. Should he be convicted, there are those calling for his removal from the Professional Football of Fame. I imagine those outraged people must be the same faction who have previously called for O.J. Simpson’s removal from that same Hall of Fame. It makes you wonder: When you saunter past the photos and memorabilia and bronze busts in Canton, Ohio, or the shrines to the baseball greats in Cooperstown, or any of the exhibits at any of the athletic Halls of Fame, you bear witness to the on-field superior records of these accomplished athletes, yet you are also led to believe that these individuals are beyond super athletes. Somehow you glean that they are exemplary human beings, by virtue of their honored stature as Hall of Famers.

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Do We Hate Hockey?

Thu, 06 May 2010 16:44:00 -0700

Two mirror clichés, bandied about for so long now that we say them in automatic drone tones that really don’t have any truth behind them any more. The two clichés? Americans hate hockey. And….Americans hate soccer.

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Thoroughbreds, a Breed for Speed

Thu, 29 Apr 2010 16:44:00 -0700

The Kentucky Derby, set to run this Saturday, as is the custom every first Saturday in May, is the oldest continuous sporting event in our country. Since the first settlers stepped onto the Bluegrass fields of Kentucky, horse racing…and horse breeding…have been the heart and soul of the region. If you have a chance to visit the bucolic rolling hills and majestic fenced horse farms that stretch for many miles toward every compass point from Lexington, you’ll quickly discover the central conversation, Derby time or otherwise, is bloodlines. More than the furlong track times, what’s crucial is which stallions are bred to which mares...

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Ochoa Retires Too Young

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 16:44:00 -0700

Players, their families and fans will be tuned in to the first round of the NFL draft tonight. Might be near to impossible for some of you to imagine how watching people sit in rooms, waiting for their names to be announced….or not…can make for good television, yet 39 million viewers tuned in last year. And, going prime time for the first time tonight, the audience will likely be even bigger this year...

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Swim Coaches Caught

Thu, 15 Apr 2010 16:44:00 -0700

ABC News has reported the sex crimes scandal of 36 USA Swimming coaches abusing their athletes over the last decade…and compares the crimes to those of the Catholic Church in that USA Swimming allegedly covered for the perpetrators and allowed them to keep coaching. I also am a victim of sexual abuse by my swim coach...

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Americans Abroad Bond over Sporting Events

Thu, 08 Apr 2010 16:44:00 -0700

It happens that Americans working or studying abroad for an extended period of time sometimes turn to a major sporting event back home for a rekindling of the familiar. As much as one may appreciate a foreign culture, immersion in a strange land inevitably brings with it longing for a few of the comforting sights, smells, sounds from back home...

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Ambidextrous Athletes

Thu, 01 Apr 2010 16:44:00 -0700

In the fifth inning on Tuesday, Pitcher CC Sabathia came out of one of the Yankees' last spring training games. Sabathia took a seat in the Yankee dugout and then witnessed something he had never seen before. Making his first appearance for the Yankees, a young Pat Venditte took the mound with a six-fingered glove, a slot at each side for each thumb. He threw four warm-up pitches with his right arm, then switched the glove to his right hand and threw four more warm-up pitches with his left arm. Venditte worked the next few batters, throwing to right-handed batters with his right and switching to his left arm for left-handed batters...

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NFL Now Perfect

Thu, 25 Mar 2010 16:44:00 -0700

I'm an NFL junkie. Along with millions of others. From late Labor Day to the first week of February, I am hooked into the weekly dramas. There's no long prelude period, as in Major League Baseball where you could pretty much tune in come late July, early August and be right on track to the World Series. The first NFL kick-off ignites do-or-die significance across the league. And each subsequent week looms larger and larger in each team's march toward the biggest, baddest event in all of sports, the SuperBowl...

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Tiger Meows Back

Thu, 18 Mar 2010 16:44:00 -0700

After five months of seclusion, Tiger's comeback at the famous Master's in three weeks is predicted to draw as many viewers as President Obama's inauguration. Augusta, Georgia, come April 7, won't merely be the site of one of golf's four Major events. Rabid curiosity is going to draw the public at large to watch the protagonist of America's biggest story in huge numbers. The Master's two broadcasters, ESPN the first two days, Thursday and Friday, and CBS the weekend, assuming Tiger makes the cut and plays the weekend, are licking their chops at the certainty of ratings hitting historic highs. But I'm sure there's a quandary there as well....

Media Files:

Huskies Need Rivals

Thu, 11 Mar 2010 16:44:00 -0800

They're touted as a dynasty. One of the greatest teams of any sport, any era. That's women's basketball out of the University of Connecticut, currently on a tear of 72 consecutive unbeaten games. The Lady Huskies won their 16th Big East title last week, whooping West Virginia in a lop-sided score of 60-32. Also last week, #8 in the country Notre Dame went down to UConn by an embarrassing 25. On Sunday the Huskies crushed Syracuse 77-41. The best anybody's done against UConn this season has been the supposedly supreme squad out of Stanford, but the Cardinal's best only brought them to within 12 points of the dominant Huskies...

Media Files:

Soul of Sports

Thu, 04 Mar 2010 16:44:00 -0800

When we talk sports, it's assumed we're talking the crème de la crème, such as the Olympians in Vancouver. There are maybe a dozen figure skaters of each gender, maybe a dozen who can perform those outrageously difficult jumps and spins and execute them artfully. And so it goes with all the sports we watch and cover on a daily basis...

Media Files:

Figure Skating Cheated

Thu, 25 Feb 2010 16:44:00 -0800

I don't get it. Speed skaters, as is true with Olympic swimming and Track & Field, compete for medals at a wide range of distances, from the 500-meter sprint all the way up to the 10,000-meter endurance grind. Perhaps to the lay observer, it looks like they're doing the exact same thing at all these distances....

Media Files:

Vonn Too Special an Athlete for This SI Cover

Thu, 11 Feb 2010 16:44:00 -0800

The skating and skiing of the Vancouver Winter Olympics begin this weekend. The two marquee names among the U.S. athletes in Canada are snowboarder Shaun “the flying tomato” White and downhill/slalom champion Lindsey Vonn. This is Vonn’s third Olympics but this time she’s at the top of her game and the pressure is great for her to achieve her potential of medals in all five of her events. Unfortunately, she sustained a deep shin bone contusion during a training run last week and is not 100% sure she’ll be able to go full throttle, especially in the slalom events where sharp curves around the markers require the boot to press heavily on the shin area....

Media Files:

Tebow: Wrong Place, Wrong Time

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 16:44:00 -0800

Tim Tebow, University of Florida Heisman-winning quarterback, known as much if not more for his strong Christian faith as his world-class athletic status, will appear in a Superbowl ad that is stirring fervent debate. During her pregnancy with son Tim, in 1987, Pam Tebow was advised by doctors to consider aborting because of complications. She continued to full term and her fifth child, Tim, came into this world as a result of her decision...

Media Files:

Favre, the Man

Thu, 21 Jan 2010 16:44:00 -0800

This weekend, the drama of the last four NFL teams standing unfolds. By Sunday night, February 7's Superbowl will be set and there is no shortage of fans' hopeful predictions....

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Thu, 14 Jan 2010 16:44:00 -0800

So now Mark McGwire has confessed. On one hand, his opening up seemed inevitable, hardly shocking news. We already knew he had used androstenedione, a steroid precursor with a molecular structure nearly identical to testosterone. We had already observed his bulky, typically steroidal physique. We had clearly read his body language when pleading the 5th Amendment during the 2005 Congressional Hearings. We the public had already felt duped by being swept up in McGwire's then-thrilling home run derby of 1998. And baseball insiders had already expressed their judgment in turning McGwire away from the Hall of Fame each year he has been eligible...

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Namath and Lammons, 45 Years Later

Thu, 07 Jan 2010 16:44:00 -0800

During tonight's National Championship college football game, Alabama versus Texas, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, you will notice as the cameras pan the sidelines two key players from these very same opponents way back 45 years ago. One is more famous, more recognizable, than the other. That's Joe Namath. He quarterbacked the Crimson Tide of Alabama that night in the Orange Bowl, nearly half a century ago. Going up against him was a tight end and linebacker for the University of Texas, Pete Lammons. Tonight Lammons will prowl behind the Longhorns bench while Namath will stick close to the boys of his alma mater, Bama...

Media Files:

Athlete of the Decade

Thu, 17 Dec 2009 16:44:00 -0800

It's that time of year when we kick around the biggest sports accomplishments of the year. And given that we're closing out 2009, this year the discussion broadens out to the top athlete of the decade. To my mind, there have been four athletes this first decade of the 21st century to have achieved such superlative careers that we could rightly describe each as one of those truly rare specimens who come along only once in a lifetime...

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Tiger Woes Grow

Thu, 10 Dec 2009 16:44:00 -0800

Truth be told, I didn't want to talk about Tiger today. As usual, there is a meaty array of sports subjects that would make fine fodder for commentary this week. But how can I just skip over the Tale of the Tiger and pretend the story doesn't continue to draw me in, draw you in? Dozens of texts to his various mistresses have now surfaced. The evidence is indisputable...

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Tiger Blues

Thu, 03 Dec 2009 16:44:00 -0800

The shock waves emanating from this week's Tiger Woods fiasco are loud indeed...and growing. Tiger tried to retreat to silence so that only theoretical conjectures have swirled since he crashed his car last week, evidently after some sort of marital dispute with his wife. But when Tiger was backed into a fox hole yesterday, by the release of a voicemail message from a third woman he has been connected to sexually, he may not have issued a detailed confession to extramarital affairs, but on his website he issued a statement saying he regrets his “transgressions” with all his heart...

Media Files:

Pacquaio Gold

Thu, 19 Nov 2009 16:44:00 -0800

Boxing used to be a passion of mine. But it's been twenty years since I was constantly immersed in the fight game, since the glory days of Hagler, Hearns, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard. I've missed traveling or tuning in to the big bouts that drew worldwide interest beyond boxing purists. And I'm not the only one. And now I'm not the only one to be drawn back to the ring and the draw is a terribly exciting, magnetic, highly skilled Filipino named Manny Pacquiao...

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Agassi Confesses

Thu, 12 Nov 2009 16:44:00 -0800

Andre Agassi's autobiography came out early this week and the chapter that has drawn the most attention is his admission to using crystal meth through much of 1997, during a down-time in his career… and lying about it to tour officials. I've read the book, titled Open, and, for me, the crystal meth confession was the least revelatory of all the Agassi life stories...

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Rivera a Wonder

Thu, 05 Nov 2009 16:44:00 -0800

As of last night, on a clear, chilly fall night in the Bronx, the Yankees became World Series champs for the 27th time in their storied history. How grand it was to see Mr. November, Derek Jeter, win his fifth ring. To stop worrying about Alex Rodriguez as he smashed his past of fading post-season. To admire the entirely likeable Andy Pettitte who commands the mound like a dependable, quiet giant. Matsui, Posada, Texeira, Damon. They're bursting with talent, brimming with heart, driven with focus. They're a heck of a team and it was a heck of a Series...

Media Files:

New York City Marathon for the Masses

Thu, 29 Oct 2009 16:44:00 -0700

New Yorkers are abuzz with their Yankees back in the thick of the World Series here at the end of October. The annual first of November New York City Marathon is also running its 40th edition on Sunday and New York is as crazy for the event as it was in its early frenzy days of the 1970's. For the second year, more than 100,000 applied and 40,000 will step up to the starting line at the Verazzano Narrows Bridge...

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Baseball Replay

Thu, 22 Oct 2009 16:44:00 -0700

I'm joining the chorus that has long been begging for instant replay in baseball. There are examples of blown calls at crucial moments that made the difference in a team's winning or losing. For me, it was Tuesday night's Yankees/Angels American League Championship Series game that pushed me over the edge...a game that nobody could claim should have gone the other way...

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Billie Jean's Night

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 16:44:00 -0700

There are dozens upon dozens of black-tie fundraiser dinners throughout each year, usually backing worthwhile causes while offering special guests and entertainment. Tuesday night was the annual night for Billie Jean King's Women's Sports Foundation and it has been reported consistently throughout the 30 years of this dinner that it is the lively night that stands out among all the others. Veteran newswoman Cokie Roberts began her remarks on Tuesday by recounting just how many dreadfully dreary political evenings she had suffered through in that very Waldorf Astoria Ballroom...

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Ironman Memory

Thu, 08 Oct 2009 16:44:00 -0700

The sports world is awash with rich storylines this week. The baseball playoff season has kicked off with the Minnesota Twins willing their way out of their Metrodome and into Yankee Stadium with the nail-biting drama of perhaps the greatest regular season-ending game in baseball history...

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Football a Danger Work Zone

Thu, 01 Oct 2009 16:44:00 -0700

Mothers across America are either mandating or pleading that their sons don't play football, and if you read the weekly gridiron injury reports, moms' fears are well-founded. The NFL season is a mere three weeks old, yet the list of players already lost for the whole year is long...

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Cowboys Stadium a Wonder

Thu, 24 Sep 2009 16:44:00 -0700

Architects, journalists, and fans have toured various sports stadia to compare and comment on their myriad cozy charms and spectacular vistas. One of my favorites is Camden Yards, technically called Oriole Park, home of the Baltimore Orioles. Fairly new, finished in 1992, its intimacy, nestled within its urban surroundings, its eye-pleasing asymmetrical field pay homage to the magnificent urban ballparks built in the early 1900's...

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Serena, Classless

Thu, 17 Sep 2009 16:44:00 -0700

Serena Williams' outburst of angry obscenities has been cause for comment and debate all week, but I feel one major point has been missing from the discussion...

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Jeter, Center of New York

Thu, 10 Sep 2009 16:44:00 -0700

The U.S. Open Tennis Championships are nearing the end of their two-week run in New York at the moment and, off-hand, I can’t think of another sporting event whereby the gravitas of the event is so huge in so many measurable ways and yet the television audience is so minimal. Thanks to the 17-year-old Cinderella story out of Marietta, Georgia, the irrepressible fighter Melanie Oudin, the ratings this year have actually been elevated over recent, post-Andre Agassi years...

Media Files:

Home Run Stats

Thu, 03 Sep 2009 16:44:00 -0700

Any sport played outdoors presents variables. Snow on a football field, strong wind on a golf course, late afternoon shadows creeping across a tennis court.  Weather and varying conditions are usually equal for two opponents on any given day, but there are athletes whose entire careers can fall under the influence of home field conditions. You'll hear football players make the point that they played, for instance, their entire careers in Green Bay, or Buffalo, and thus their rushing average wouldn't be fair to compare to the stats of players who had long careers in warm-weather locations...

Media Files:

Semenya, Girl or Boy?

Thu, 27 Aug 2009 16:44:00 -0700

Usain Bolt may be the most electric athlete on the planet today. His two new world records at the just-finished World Track Championships in Berlin blow the mind. The 100 meters in 9.58 seconds, the 200 meters in 19.19 seconds….even his closest rivals admit they struggle to fathom the talent of this 6’5” Jamaican who makes sprinting like the wind look like a jog in the breeze...

Media Files:

Bronson Arroyo

Thu, 20 Aug 2009 16:44:00 -0700

It's been a huge week for sports news. It started of course with Michael Vick joining the Philadelphia Eagles. Vick's lead-off interview on 60 Minutes Sunday night brought the news-magazine 12 million viewers, a rating 34% above its summer average. Not even healthcare reform has created a louder buzz than convicted dog fight criminal Vick back on the football field. And the debate has legs...

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Suit Madness

Thu, 06 Aug 2009 16:44:00 -0700

One of Olympic swimming's all-time greats Janet Evans states that her beloved sport is in grave danger of becoming a mockery. Long-time U.S. head swim coach Mark Schubert fears the gravitas of the sport has been threatened to the point of losing its status as the cornerstone of the Olympic Games. Michael Phelps' coach cries out that the history of their sport has been tossed out like rotten garbage...

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Lance More Likeable

Thu, 30 Jul 2009 16:44:00 -0700

I watched Lance win those historic seven Tours de France, 1998 to 2005, and each time, with the rest of the world, I shook my head that this almost miracle cancer survivor could dominate this, the most grueling of endurance events. Each time I found this Lance Armstrong awe-inspiring, especially in his rabbit-quick, relentless cadence up the steep climbs that are unfathomable to even the accomplished weekend cyclist. And each time, with I suspect the rest of the world, I found this guy cold, arrogant, and highly unlikeable in his superiority...

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Tech Catch-22

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 16:44:00 -0700

Technology is changing our world in exponential ways and that certainly includes the world of sports. In some instances, I'm honestly not sure where I stand on the wizardrous advances. It's not like we can revert back to wooden tennis racquets when Teflon and boron are the materials du jour. As they say, you can't put the genie back in the bottle...

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LPGA in Crisis

Thu, 16 Jul 2009 16:44:00 -0700

For women, golf was the fist successful professional sport in this country. Just on the heels of World War II, former track Olympian Babe Didrickson Zaharias, Patty Berg, and Louise Suggs may have had to organize their tournaments themselves, but they became household names and set the stage for the first accepted sport where women could make a living playing their passion...

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T.O. Payback

Thu, 09 Jul 2009 16:44:00 -0700

Let's start with Lance Armstrong. The cycling giant is two tenths of a second off the lead in the Tour de France. And his strong suit, climbing, starts in the Pyrenees tomorrow. Back in February, when I said here on The Score that, whether you cringe at the Armstrong colossal ego or not, you have to admit he's earned every accolade heaped upon him as a cyclist. Yet I received a number of emails from listeners, lambasting Lance as a doping cheater and further lambasting me for giving him positive ink...

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Men's Tennis Heaven

Thu, 25 Jun 2009 16:44:00 -0700

If you're a tennis fan, then you're in virtual heaven. Especially on the men's side, there has never been an era replete with such rich talent and compelling personalities as we are witness to now. You can go back to the mastery of Bill Tilden, the complete player that was Rod Laver, the magnetic rivalry of McEnroe/Borg, the dominant Pete Sampras, the charismatic Andre Agassi. Yet never before have all the elements of the highest end of the sport come together as they do today...

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Track and Field Blues

Thu, 18 Jun 2009 16:44:00 -0700

The U.S. Track and Field Championships will be run next week in Eugene, Oregon, and for those of us track fans it seems so very long ago that the sport basked in its golden era. That’s because it was so very long ago. Way back in the late 50’s and early 60’s, more than 60,000 fans would crowd into American stadiums for the duel meets against the Soviet Union. There was no thrill in sport greater than witnessing Wilma Rudolph turn on the burners in a blaze down the straightaway. And we could say that one of the most exciting athletes of our day is Jamaica’s sprinter  Usain Bolt...

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NBA Youth

Thu, 11 Jun 2009 16:44:00 -0700

If any year was proof positive that high school players heading straight to the NBA was a good idea, it was this one. LeBron James was the League's MVP. Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard are the superstars of the two teams in the finals. And it was only a year ago that Kevin Garnett, 2004's MVP, led his Celtics to the Championship..

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French Open '09

Thu, 04 Jun 2009 16:44:00 -0700

I'm just back from Paris and several days of dramatic tennis at the French Open. If you've never been, I can tell you that's it's quite a different experience from the other Grand Slams. The stadiums are much smaller which makes for an intimate feel, compared to the vastness of Arthur Ashe Stadium at the U.S. Open and Rod Laver Arena at the Australian Open. And compared to Wimbledon, where the fans are respectful to the point of reverent, the French are downright raucous, I'd go so far as to say irreverent, during the matches at Roland Garros, especially if one of their own is playing. It's a rich time for French tennis...

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Michael Vick and Michael Phelps

Thu, 28 May 2009 16:44:00 -0700

It’s been a week now since former football superstar Michael Vick walked out of a federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, escorted by agents who ensconced him for the last two months of his 23-month sentence in his home back East. During these two months, Vick will 24-7 wear a tracking device and be allowed to leave the house for only work, medical appointments, and check-ins with his prison officers. The former multi-millionaire is now flat broke and working a 9-to-5 construction job for $10 an hour. The reality of Vick's involvement in a cruel dog-fighting ring has slapped the once franchise quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons hard indeed..

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Dancing Stars Legit

Thu, 21 May 2009 16:44:00 -0700

Shawn Johnson was a star of the Beijing Olympics last August. As of Tuesday night, with her upset win on Dancing with the Stars, Johnson's a much bigger star. It's a hard-hitting sign of our times that the trophy of a reality television show, a mirrored disco ball, carries more weight than an Olympic gold medal but even the hype and summer dominance of the Olympics can't compete with the sustained huge audiences that tune in by the many millions every week for almost three months to Dancing with the Stars...

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Jockey Jumps Ship

Thu, 14 May 2009 16:44:00 -0700

The second leg of thoroughbred racing's fabled Triple Crown goes off at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore this Saturday and the Preakness is buzzing with jockey drama this week. The stirring 50-to-1 odds winner of the Kentucky Derby the first weekend of May, Mine That Bird, was deftly commandeered by jockey Calvin Borel. It sometimes happens, when a crowd of horses comes shoulder to shoulder to the wire and one shows the heart to find that fifth gear and nose out the rest, that we give all the credit to the horse. And make no mistake, the little gelding Mine That Bird is a special race horse. But reviewing the Derby from start to finish convinces you that Borel and his colt were equally talented that day...

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NBA Long Season

Thu, 07 May 2009 16:44:00 -0700

It used to be that basketball was the indoor winter sport. Baseball was the summer game. And football was the game of crisp autumn weekends. Now, baseball extends into snow days of October, football stretches almost to Valentines Day, and basketball finishes up post-Memorial Day. Money is the obvious drive behind these long, overlapping seasons...

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Derby Down

Thu, 30 Apr 2009 16:44:00 -0700

The Kentucky Derby runs this Saturday and it's no surprise that the economy foreshadows a toned-down day in blue-grass country. The Derby weekend traditionally pulls in some $120 million in revenue for the Louisville area but the highest predictions for this year's event are to perhaps hit $100 million...

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Masters Snafu

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 16:44:00 -0700

The fabled Masters teed off at Augusta today and the story lines run deep this year. Naturally, Tiger's comeback from his extensive reconstructive knee surgery is the leader-board focus, but it's an exciting year for the Masters in other regards. Australia's Greg Norman, he of three heartbreak runner-up losses in Augusta, will be back on the azalea-lined fairways that have haunted him since he first played there some 30 years ago...

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Baseball for Boys

Thu, 02 Apr 2009 16:44:00 -0700

Opening day for Major League Baseball is upon us. It's also the 70th anniversary of Little League. And once again this spring I wonder why women and girls are not diving for smooth-gloved catches across the outfields of America. It's not like football, originally a male-only sport, where women have always been outsiders. Women have a long history of running the bases. So where are they now?...

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Iditarod Cruelty

Thu, 26 Mar 2009 16:44:00 -0700

This year's Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska is over now and a record six dogs died this time out. Three dogs are lost to hypothermia or heart failure or what they dubiously call unknown causes on the Iditarod trail most years but this year it was six. Six innocent animals who want to please their masters so desperately that they will literally run to death for them...

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Beijing Swimmers Broke

Thu, 19 Mar 2009 16:44:00 -0700

The Michael Phelps story drew record numbers of viewers worldwide to the Beijing Games last August.  For the first time in many an Olympiad, there was a larger-than-life name, face, and body to follow. By the time the swimmers first stepped onto the deck of the Water Cube, the swimming venue that housed all the pool races over the first half of the Games, we the fans were well immersed in the Phelps mystique...

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Vick, T.O. and Roger

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 16:44:00 -0700

Let's start with Michael Vick. Vick is coming to the end of his prison term at Leavenworth. He may leave his Kansas cell and be granted strict house arrest for his last two months of confinement. He may wind up in an NFL uniform again. But his heinously cruel crimes against innocent animals have cost him dearly---not only two years of his young athlete's life, but also the lion's share of the multiple millions he made with the Atlanta Falcons...

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World Baseball Classic

Thu, 05 Mar 2009 16:44:00 -0800

The first World Baseball Classic, three years ago, was a big hit. Even though the U.S. didn't win the tournament, fans filled the stands and the television ratings were robust. So here we are again. The second installment of the international classic started today in Japan, but the buzz isn't so peppy this time around. A largely negative vibe has enshrouded the Classic, with criticism that it's really nothing more significant than spring training exhibition and, as a matter of fact, gets in the way of spring training..

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Lance Earned Comeback

Thu, 26 Feb 2009 16:44:00 -0800

My first reaction to Lance Armstrong announcing his comeback several months ago was a big negative. After his seven historic Tour de France victories, I wasn’t the only one who firmly believed he could continue to treat the Alps like little bumps in the road, if he continued at that time, and win ten straight. Make it an even dozen, which would have made him older than he is today. But to take three years off, despite training for marathon runs, seemed along time away from the elite level of his sport. Well, now that he’s ridden an Australian event and last week’s Tour of California, I’ve changed my tune...

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A-Rod Overdrive

Thu, 19 Feb 2009 16:44:00 -0800

The range of opinions following the Alex Rodriguez press conference in Florida yesterday runs the gamut. Some call him A-Fraud. They don’t believe a word he says. How could he have felt so much pressure in Texas that he was compelled to turn to injections of some supposedly unknown substance, obtained by a cousin over the counter in the Dominican Republic, and then evidently never felt much pressure at all when he came to the New York Yankees so he evidently didn’t need his cousin’s booster drugs any longer?...

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On Punishing Baseball Drug Use Before '04

Thu, 12 Feb 2009 16:44:00 -0800

Baseball’s Commissioner Bud Selig, in the face of Yankee Alex Rodriguez now admitting to using performance enhancing drugs over a two-year period, says he will consider suspending A-Rod. Selig also states that he will ponder taking away Barry Bonds’ all-time home run record and reinstating that revered top dog position to Hank Aaron, should Bonds be found guilty of using performance drugs in his early March trial...

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Becks Too Famous

Thu, 29 Jan 2009 16:44:00 -0800

It was only two years ago that European soccer super star David Beckham arrived here in Los Angeles on an apparent magic carpet. The fanfare, Becks and his glam wife Posh Spice splashy poolside in their new multi-millionaire L.A. digs, couldn't have been more Hollywood. Becks in his sexy underwear commercials. Becks in the fashion mags. Becks courtside at the Lakers. Those of us removed from the world soccer scene couldn't fathom the reach of this guy's fame across the pond. One London art museum featured a video of Becks taking a nap. It's true. Fans would stand and reverently watch the chap's chest gently rise and fall as he slept soundly in a hotel room before a match...

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Down Under Too Early

Thu, 22 Jan 2009 16:44:00 -0800

Another major sports title will be played along with the Super Bowl on Feb 1 and that’s the final of tennis’s first Grand Slam of the year, The Australian Open. But the Super Bowl comes at the denouement of a long, grueling grind while The Aussie Open is one of the very first tournaments of the tennis season. And that makes no sense...

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End Zone Class

Thu, 15 Jan 2009 16:44:00 -0800

There’s one particular NFL elite whom we’ll probably see a lot of this week-end. That’s Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. We tend to see a lot of Fitzgerald because he tends to wind up in the end zone quite a bit. And he’s memorable when he does wind up in the end zone, not just because he...

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NFL Parity Works

Thu, 08 Jan 2009 16:44:00 -0800

The heart of the NFL playoffs kicks off this weekend. Four great games, eight talented and tough teams, terrific story lines running throughout. Now this is the way a sports league should be run. The New York Times has called the NFL "socialized football," referring to the system of orchestrating a weak team's season to do well by making their schedule as soft as possible, while stretching a tough team through a rigorous line-up of opponents. "Socialized" in this case is a synonym for "parity..."

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