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If there's one thing we know about the public radio audience, it's that you love... sports. You crave sports coverage. You live for sportstalk radio. And so this hour, we talk sports... on the radio. And there's plenty to talk about:

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

The University of Connecticut is paying a premium to leave the American Athletic Conference after the upcoming NCAA season is complete.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Television

High School sports teams in Killingly will no longer be known as the “Redmen.”

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It's not a stretch to say the best part of Sunday's Super Bowl LIII was SpongeBob's short, but sweet, appearance during the halftime show. Should it be a surprise that the game was boring, the halftime show was bland, and the ads were forgettable? The long shadow of Colin Kaepernick cast a cloud over this game and the NFL has yet to deal with the fallout.

In a testament to the enduring power of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots emerged victorious in Super Bowl LIII for the team's sixth championship victory since 2002.

The Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in a slow-moving game with the lowest total score in Super Bowl history. That means the oldest quarterback-coach duo in Super Bowl history has defeated the youngest duo, Jared Goff and Sean McVay.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The long list of luminaries who have played the Super Bowl Halftime Show includes Michael Jackson, Prince, Beyoncé, Madonna, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Who, U2, Tom Petty, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Bruce Springsteen... and as of Sunday: Maroon 5.

Whatever artist finally agreed to perform, it was going to be seen as controversial. Maroon 5 is defending their decision, even in the face of petitions asking them to drop out.

And: Alfonso Cuarón's Roma is nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including plenty of big ones -- Best Picture, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay. Its 10 nominations tie it with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for the most ever by a foreign-language film. And this hour Roma becomes the 12th Oscar-nominated movie The Nose has covered.

Excitement over the Super Bowl continues to mount here in New England, as the Patriots are set to battle the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night.

While playing in the Super Bowl is nothing new for the Pats, the ability for fans to place a legal wager on the game here in the region is new.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that a federal ban on sports betting was unconstitutional.

And in New England — so far — sports betting is legal at a pair of casinos in Rhode Island: Twin River, in Lincoln; and Tiverton, just over the Massachusetts state line from Fall River.

Master Steve Rapport / Creative Commons

There's a healthy debate going on about whether to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

The Atlantic's Yoni Appelbaum and others say now is the time to begin the process. History tells us that the process of impeachment, not the outcome, is a vital protection against the dangers of a president who has not kept his promise to preserve and defend our Constitution. Others say Trump will need to be beaten at the polls in the absence of Mueller-stamped evidence.  

Super Bowl tickets are super expensive, as always, but the average resale price is about $1,000 less than at this time last year.

And the price of admission to the big game has been dropping steadily since Sunday, when the Patriots won the AFC Championship. Again.

Netflix

On Monday, Imagine Dragons played the Halftime Show at the College Football National Championship Game. The reviews were... not great. In fact, the performance has raised the question: Is Imagine Dragons the worst band ever?

And: Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure-style, science fiction, psychological thriller film. It's streaming on Netflix, on some devices, as a standalone movie in the Black Mirror television series. The Nose has seen... a number of different versions of it.

Zoo Fanatic / Creative Commons

It's been easy to overlook Trump Administration environmental policies that are contributing to the destruction of wildlife and habitats.

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.

Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

The University of Connecticut has announced that a football player suffered a stroke on October 10.

Linebacker Eli Thomas, a junior, was scheduled to lift weights on that Wednesday, but had to be immediately transported to a hospital after he had the stroke.

Updated at 8:50 p.m. ET

Paul Allen, who co-founded tech giant Microsoft with Bill Gates, died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Seattle on Monday. He was 65 years old.

Allen's death was announced in a statement released by his investment firm, Vulcan.

Afagen / Google Images

Nike is catching a lot of press for selecting former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of a new "Just Do It" ad campaign. 

Colin Kaepernick's allegation that the NFL colluded to deny him a contract as punishment for his lead role in player protests will get a formal hearing after an arbitrator denied the league's request for a summary judgment.

Kaepernick's lawyer, Mark Geragos, tweeted out a photo of the letter received from arbitrator Stephen Burbank on Thursday. ESPN reports that the league declined to comment.

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During halftime of tonight's football game between the University of Connecticut and the University of Central Florida, UConn’s marching band will pay special tribute to a student killed in the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Alex Schachter, 14, had plans to apply to UConn and play trombone in the marching band.

The start of school and college -- along with the start of athletic training schedules -- have coincided with yet another heat wave in Connecticut. That’s led to warnings from experts on heatstroke. 

nplove / Flickr

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.

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