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From the first Olympic games in 776 B.C. to the 2018 World Cup currently underway, referees have always played an integral part in competitive sports. But as technology advances and the means to make more accurate on-field calls improves, these men and women find themselves under increasing pressure to keep up.

popo.uw23 / flickr creative commons

Mike Pesca is one of our very favorite guests -- on any number of topics. And he's got a new book out: Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History.

Connecticut Public

Jim Bransfield, a public address announcer for many years at area high school games, was known as the voice of Middletown.

The Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl just four days ago, and there was plenty of celebrating on Sunday night. But Thursday morning brought the main event: The Eagles Parade.

Erik Drost / Creative Commons

There have been some really great Super Bowl ads over the last 35 years. They changed the way we spoke and the way ads were created and consumed.

Lisa McHale

This hour: the National Football League.

Just hearing those words once beckoned vivid mental images -- scenes of athletes entertaining millions with their heroic throws and jaw-clenching tackles.

In recent years, however, the NFL's image has darkened -- clouded by concerns surrounding athlete behavior and a brain disease known as CTE. 

Dave Newman / Creative Commons

President Trump is changing the office of the presidency.

He spent his first year in office defying political conventions and norms followed by the forty-four presidents before him. Some would say that he is squandering the moral integrity of the presidency. Will these changes outlast his tenure? How durable is the office of the presidency?

Lisa McHale

This hour: the National Football League.

Just hearing those words once beckoned vivid mental images -- scenes of athletes entertaining millions with their heroic throws and jaw-clenching tackles.

In recent years, however, the NFL's image has darkened -- clouded by concerns surrounding athlete behavior and a brain disease known as CTE. 

Courtesy Nicholas Bolt, Norwich Free Academy

Pumpkin pie, roast turkey, cranberry sauce, and football -- Thanksgiving Day’s four basic elements. While pro football dominates the airwaves, it’s the hometown high school games that genuinely capture the spirit of the day.

The Boston researcher who examined the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez says it showed the most damage her team had seen in an athlete so young.

Hernandez, whose on-field performance for the New England Patriots earned him a $40 million contract in 2012, hanged himself in a prison cell earlier this year while serving a life sentence for murder. He was 27 years old.

Football Legend Y.A. Tittle Dies At 90

Oct 10, 2017

Yelberton Abraham Tittle, better known as Y.A. Tittle, has died at age 90. He passed away Sunday night at Stanford Hospital near his home in Atherton, Calif.

Tittle was a great quarterback for Louisiana State University and went on to play 17 seasons of pro football. His greatest success was in New York when he led the Giants to three division titles in four years. In 1954, he became the first pro football player to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Tittle never won a championship, but as The Associated Press reports:

Two weeks ago he locked arms and knelt with his players before the national anthem, then stood with them as it played. Now, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says players who "disrespect the flag," won't take the field.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

A Killingly High School football player returned to the field last week, one year after cancer took away what was supposed to be his senior season.

Editor's note: This story contains language that some might find offensive.

Seattle Seahawks star defensive end Michael Bennett says he is considering filing a civil rights lawsuit against Las Vegas police after a harrowing encounter last month.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

A study published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association found chronic traumatic encephalopathy in 48 of 53 -- 91 percent -- of the donated brains of deceased college football players.

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