Sports

Most Memorial Day events pay tribute to all those who have died in military service to the nation, but there are some events that honor individuals.

One such event takes place each year in Manchester in honor of Army Staff Sergeant Kyle Warren, a medic who was killed in Afghanistan's Helmand Province in 2010.

The "Red Raider" logo is staying put at a New Hampshire high school for now.

The student council at Belmont High School held a community forum last month taking comment on whether they should change or retire the black and red graphic of a Native American.

On Tuesday, the Shaker Regional School Board voted down the council's request to change the logo, but encouraged a public vote on the matter at next year's District Meeting.

The idea of changing the name came up after a discussion in a social studies class.

Austin Cowan NHPR

We live in an age where Donald Sterlings and Lance Armstrongs often cloud the benefits of sports in the public eye. Alleged abuser and former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice gets ample coverage, while the dedicated, supportive coach usually goes unnoticed.

Professor Bop via flickr Creative Commons

That's right. I'm asking the age old question: candlepin or ten-pin? Outside of New England, this may not be a hot topic. It may not be a topic at all, as the popularity and instance of candlepin is concentrated almost solely in northern New England. To be completely honest, I didn't even know candlepin was a thing until I moved here almost seventeen years ago. (Military brat - hi!). As with sprinkles vs. jimmies, hair elastic vs. ponytail, and roundabout vs.

The University of New Hampshire is bringing sports and studying closer together with a new Student-Athlete Center for Excellence.  Paid for entirely with private donations, the $1.9 million center opening next fall will be housed at the university's field house and will include a large, comfortable study space staffed by advisers and tutors and smaller rooms where teams and small groups can work together.  Heather Barber, the university's faculty representative to the NCAA, says it will be a huge improvement over the current situation.

Belmont Students Aim To Change 'Red Raider' Mascot

Apr 17, 2014

Three Belmont High School students are taking on an issue few adults would tackle these days.

Student Council members Andre Bragg, Taylor Becker and Ashley Fenimore led a forum Wednesday night where they asked the community to consider whether the school’s mascot – “Red Raider” – was offensive to Native Americans.

The issue came up recently in a Social Studies class and the Council thought the question was significant enough to begin a public dialog.

wallyg / Flickr Creative Commons

One year after the tragedy at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, we remember the many stories of heartbreak and of courage that abound at the time and have transpired since.

Courtesy Iona College

It’s like Mickey Mantle’s grandson announcing he’ll be hitting home runs for the Dartmouth College baseball team. Or Julia Ruth Stevens, the daughter of New York Yankee icon Babe Ruth, agreeing to pay for a new baseball park in Derry.

Courtesy Arizona Athletics

UPDATE: The Arizona Wildcats defeated San Diego State Thursday night, 70-64, and advanced to the Elite Eight. Tarczewski scored 7 points. He also had two blocks, one rebound and one assist.

George Oates, Nathan Fixler & Chris Griffith via Flickr Creative Commons

Today on Word of Mouth, we delve into the consequences of solitary confinement. Then a trip to the Internet reveals that cyberspace is chock full of fakes and fails; Photoshopped images can quickly become viral and shared as authentic. But history is full of giant hoaxes, too, as we learn from Nate Dimeo of the Memory Palace Podcast.  Then we hear about The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure,  which isn’t one of those Darwin Awards-style coffee table books. It’s a real government document that catalogs bribery, graft, and other infractions in the Department of Defense. Finally, NHPR's Sean Hurley visited the Jackson biathlon range - the only dedicated course in New Hampshire - to find out more about this unusual sport.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Johnny9s via flickr Creative Commons

While Russia celebrated its history and artistry at the spectacular opening to the Sochi games, protestors of Putin’s anti-gay propaganda laws were being carted off to jail. Today on Word of Mouth, a writer travels to Russia to learn about life for gay people trapped in the iron closet. 

Also today, India’s luge champ, Mexico’s royal mariachi ski racer and a few other unlikely heroes to watch for at Sochi. Plus, the book awards chosen by critics who read everything. Listen to the full show here, and scroll down for links and more.

Courtesy Pam Brooks Crowley

While looking for a photo to illustrate a Word of Mouth story on the history of skiing in N.H., I happened upon this gem on Flickr. The photo is of photographer Pam Brooks Crowley's father and his cross country teammates taken in Lisbon, New Hampshire in 1936. 

Amanda Loder / NHPR

This past weekend Concord played host to the first major pond hockey tournament of the season.  The 1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship is in its fourth year.  But it's said that the nation's first "organized" pond hockey game was played at St. Paul's School in Concord--back in 1883.  NHPR's Amanda Loder stopped by the event at White Park, and sends us this audio postcard.   

Pond Hockey Players
Amanda Loder / NHPR

Play continues today at the 1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship  in Concord. Teams will play in the semi-finals and finals at White Park this morning from 8:00 until noon.

Johnhenryf via Flickr Creative Commons

In the words of author Stephen Amidon, “no other figure is the focus of so much passion, controversy, expectation, and disappointment…” regardless of whether it is football or soccer, figure-skating or hockey, watching the world’s top athletes borders on hypnotic… and sometimes stands as proof of our ability to exceed physical human limitations and become something like the gods. That’s the name of long-time sports-lover and novelist Stephen Amidon’s new cultural history of the athlete, detailing sport from the first Olympic Games, to the rise of Lebron James.

Courtesy The University Of New Hampshire

The former coach of the University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team says he should be reinstated.

The university fired Brian McCloskey late last year following an incident of what officials called “inappropriate physical contact” with a player on the bench.

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Despite lockouts, replacement referees, and a lawsuit to settle brain trauma-related lawsuits, America's passion for football remains in play. We continues our series Rethink 2014 with America's beloved pastime, football. We begin at the college level, where many professional football careers begin. Critics charge that  that the danger and violence inherent to the game have no place in academic institutions. NPR's program Intelligence Squared U.S.

Tony Verna

Watching football this weekend? Well, If you happen to step out of the living room to grab some guacamole and miss a pivotal play, don’t worry – you can bet  the network will play it again (and again) in instant replay.  But it wasn’t always so…  This is the story of how a young and rash CBS producer named Tony Verna invented instant replay in 1963 against tough odds, and revolutionized how we watch sports forever.  It’s told by freelance writer Anna Clark, who wrote about Tony Verna for pacific standard.

www.nickfairall.com

Andover native Nick Fairall will take part in the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

Fairall secured a spot on the U.S. ski jumping team with his win at the Olympic Trials in Park City, Utah this past weekend.

Fairall, 24, has been skiing since he was six years old, cutting his teeth at the Andover Outing Club.

He says while competing in his first Olympics will be thrilling, he won’t be satisfied until he has the ultimate prize.

“Well, obviously, like everyone’s goal, is Olympic gold.”

via dallasnews.com

As part of its “30 for 30” series, ESPN recently released a short documentary detailing the escapades of perhaps the most prolific sports prankster of all-time, Barry Bremen. Between 1979 and 1986, Bremen was responsible for over twenty hoaxes in professional sports. In the documentary, Bremen along with a few former Kansas City Kings, remember the warm-up layup line at the NBA all-star game.

In recognition of Barry’s impressive history of ‘impostering,’ Bryan Curtis, staff writer for Grantland, compiled a list of memorable practical jokes played in the world of sports.

©Jonas Bendiksen/National Geographic

As the first snows fall, weekend warriors from all over New England will pack up the car, strap the skis to the roof and hit the slopes for a fairly expensive getaway. But in some places, skiing is a strategy for staying alive. Mark Jenkins, a contributing writer for National Geographic traveled to the northern most fringe of western China where skiing was invented many millennia ago. He spoke with the people who carry on the earliest skiing traditions, using the same resources and methods as their ancestors.

Vicky H via Flickr Creative Commons

Go to Great Britain, turn on the TV, flip the channels around, and soon enough you’ll come across something like this...

"What a heartbreaker."

"There's your answer, Wade"

Phil Taylor, Against the darts"

Screaming fans were nowhere to be found at the 27th Annual Seacoast Open.  But talk to throwers like Jeff Smith, who drove six hours from New Brunswick, Canada, to attend, and it seems like there’s  no place they’d rather be.

"Every time I come down here, it's basically a reunion with 500 of my closest friends, so it's been great."

DanMcLean / Flickr Creative Commons

School decisions banning dodge ball and tag have re-ignited a broader debate on whether we are over-protecting kids. We discuss the need for letting go and letting children grow.  But others say the world has changed, and parental involvement is needed today.

GUESTS:

Photo courtesy Christopher Lamb

The 2014 winter Olympics begin on February seventh in Sochi, Russia. Until this week, talk about the games focused on worries that there might not be enough snow, and international criticism and threats to boycott the games because of Russia’s law banning what it called “homosexual propaganda.” On Monday, President Vladimir Putin reversed course and said that everyone will be welcome to Sochi. As to the snow, there are no certain answers.

Keith Allison via Flickr Creative Commons

Last night, those Red Sox beards came through once again, with the Sox taking a 3-2 lead over St. Louis in the World Series. There’s no telling what role the beards that first showed up during spring training have played in getting the hirsute Sox to the World Series, but Fenway park isn’t the only place where people turn to superstition to swing the odds in their favor. And as it turns out, superstition might play a role in success.

Photo by: KarinaEmm

Mike Napoli’s three-run double in the first inning of last night’s World Series opener put the Red Sox on the path for an 8 to 1 drubbing of the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park.  The cardinals committed three costly errors and lost star right fielder  Carlos Beltran who injured himself running into Fenway’s unusually low right field wall -- while making a spectacular catch, that robbed David Ortiz of a grand slam.  That is just one of the quirks of Fenway, the old-school ball park that throbbed with sox fans last night. It’s one of few remaining fields in the nation that isn’t named for a bank, or a drink. Fenway has a personality--and a history--today’s sox fans sit in the same spot where even more raucous fans sat in in 1912, when Fenway Park opened its doors.

Glenn Stout tells the story of the idiosyncratic park’s construction, christening and enduring charm in the book “Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ball Park, A Championship Season, and Fenway’s Remarkable First Year”.  We spoke to him last year when the book came out...and pulled it from the archives today…a great day to celebrate Fenway Park .

One of the largest rowing events in the world --The Head of the Charles Regatta – takes place in Boston this weekend. Public high schoolers from Concord and Bedford will be among the rowers.

Forty-eight years ago writer George Plimpton infiltrated pro-football when he joined the Detroit Lions as a backup quarterback. Plimpton chronicled the experience in his 1965 book Paper Lion. Writer Stefan Fatsis followed in Plimpton’s cleated footsteps when he wrangled his way into the Denver Bronco’s training camp as place kicker in 2008. I spoke with Stefan in 2010 about his short but entertaining tenure in the NFL and his book about the experience called A Few Seconds of Panic.

Stefan Fatsis is a sports writer, a frequent contributor on NPR’s all things considered and a panelist on Slate’s sports podcast, “Hang Up and Listen.”

Joe Shlabotnik via flickr Creative Commons

The Red Sox squeaked by the Tigers last night in Detroit, putting them one game closer to the World Series.  Although Boston and Detroit are two of the oldest franchises in Major League Baseball, this is the first time they’ve faced each other in the playoffs.  That could be due to the post season absence of one team Sox fans – and apparently the rest of the country -- love to hate… the New York Yankees. …this is only the second season in 19 years that the Bronx Bombers failed to make the playoffs. What are baseball fans today without their favorite targets of scorn? Brian Costa can help. He’s national baseball writer for the Wall Street Journal and creator of the “Major League Baseball Hate-Ability Index” – a tool for identifying which team to root against during this year’s baseball playoffs and  the World Series

tadophoto via Flickr Creative Commons

Banish the bridge game, and shove off the shuffleboard… competitive table tennis for seniors is the subject of the new film “Ping Pong”, which airs tonight on PBS’s POV series.

The film shows the arch rivalries and individual motivations of the traditional sports drama, ramped up by the presence of cancer, dementia, and the physical deterioration at the end of life. The film’s producer is Anson Hartford, and he joins us to talk about it.

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