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WNPR News sports coverage brings you a mix of local and statewide news from our reporters as well as national and global news from around the world from NPR.

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At the heart of a new Frontline documentary is a simple question - does playing football expose you to life-threatening brain damage?

It's a question putting America's most popular sport on notice - raising concerns for moms, players' wives, and all of us who love football. Today we talk with Jim Gilmore, producer for Frontline's new documentary "A League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis."

When the Pittsburgh Steelers won four Super Bowls in the 1970s, you could argue that no one played a bigger role than Mike Webster. Webster was the Steelers' center, snapping the ball to the quarterback, then waging war in the trenches, slamming his body and helmet into defensive players to halt their rush.

He was a local hero, which is why the city was stunned when his life fell apart. He lost all his money, and his marriage, and ended up spending nights in the bus terminal in Pittsburgh. Webster died of a heart attack, and on Sept. 28, 2002, came the autopsy.

Why not let one of Connecticut's best-selling authors tell it in her own words?:

Chion Wolf / WNPR

David Wolman visited a Scottish castle designed for left-handed sword fights, and a Paris museum to inspect 19th century brains. He observed chimps with a primatologist who may help unravel the mysteries of handedness. He met with a left-handed satanist, an amputee whose left hand was reattached to his right arm. He's part of a left-handed episode of The Colin McEnroe Show

University of Connecticut

Paul Pasqualoni was fired earlier today as the University of Connecticut's head football coach. Offensive coordinator T.J. Weist will serve as the interim head coach for the rest of the season.

In may ways, the writing was on the wall for Pasqualoni. After two lackluster seasons, the Huskies are off to an 0-4 start, including a loss to division 1-AA Towson.

After a dramatic finish to the regular season that included a no-hitter on the final day and a tie that will force a special elimination game Monday night, Major League Baseball is set to start its playoffs.

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We first got interested in the people inside sports team mascots back in 2010 but that was before we knew about Kelly Frank

Kelly Frank has done time inside several major league mascot costumes and she's a very funny human being with a lot of stories to tell about the abuse heaped on mascots-- as you're about to discover. 

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You could argue that two trends are in a state of modern collision. Women are hitting puberty earlier than they used to, and their breasts are arriving in larger sizes.  There's a complex matrix of factors making this happen.

Average bra size in the fifties was a B. A British bra manufacturer now makes an L cup. Meanwhile, we're watching an explosion in women's sports driven here in the U.S. at least partly by Title IX.

Why are these two things on a collision course?

Assuming that the above does not refer to a dermatological problem, I'm guessing it might instead be one of the typical calls or emails I get every Friday from somebody who heard about something vaguely interesting on the Nose but didn't write it down. It's usually one of the endorsements. 

This the internet sensation endorsed by Theresa (who also endorsed apple fritters).

The Worldwide Leader in Cable

Aug 26, 2013
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Concussions in football may be the biggest threat to America’s biggest game. For 15 months, ESPN teamed up with PBS’ Frontline for a film called “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis.”

About a month and a half before the film premieres, ESPN has announced they are pulling out of the project.

Harriet Jones

Athletes and concussion. There's barely a hotter topic in all levels of sports right now as more coaches and players start to recognize the long-term debilitating effects of repeated head trauma.

Harriet Jones

It's a common story for a personal passion to lead to a business opportunity. For one Connecticut entrepreneur it was the convergence of two passions -- baseball and art -- that launched her on the road to success. 

 

 

"Well, I grew up listening to the Red Sox on the radio, and on the only station that we had on our TV, you know, back in the Seventies. And my dad was a baseball coach and an umpire, so we just grew up with the Red Sox as sort of part of the family."

(We most recently updated this post at 6:48 p.m. ET.)

New York Yankees' slugger Alex Rodriguez, one of baseball's brightest stars and its highest-paid player, will be suspended through the 2014 regular season because he violated parts of baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the league said today.

A-Rod Wants To Play, Yankees Refuse

Jul 26, 2013

Alex Rodriguez, still recovering from an injury, issued a statement early yesterday asking to be activated for Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, but the Yankees declined.

When asked by WFAN radio if he still trust the Yankees, A-Rod said, “You know, I’d rather not get into that.”

NPR’s Mike Pesca joins us to explain what’s going on off the baseball diamond.

Earlier this week, former World Time Trial Champion Emma Pooley (who won a silver medal in 2008) explained why the women's Tour de France failed on the BBC Radio 4 show, Woman's Hour.

"There used to be the 'Tour de France Feminin' in the 1980s that was two weeks long, with proper mountain stages, but it eventually fizzled out because of a lack of sponsorship," said Ms. Pooley.

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zoonabar / Flickr Creative Commons

Here are some ways to think about the Tour de France. 

When I'm out on my road bike and I head down a very steep hill, it starts to feel pretty damn scary if my speed creeps up over 30 miles an hour. That means I'm zooming down a steep grade and the bike feels right on the verge of being out of control.

Tour de France riders go much faster than that on a flat terrain, generating their own power. Speeds of 35 miles per hour are common. Bursts of 40 are not uncommon. Going downhill, they're up over 50 miles per hour. I get anxious just typing that.

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The Wave. Water waves. Not lazy surf lapping at your toes along the beach. Colossal, ship-swallowing rogue waves; scientists scrambling to understand the phenomenon; and extreme surfers seeking the ultimate challenge. Susan Casey’s account follows the exploits of boarders conquering suicidally large, 70- and 80-foot waves and the physicists trying to grapple with the destructive powers of 1,740-foot waves off the coast of Alaska and tsunamis in the Pacific. Casey is our guest.

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How insane does the world of sports uniforms get?

rich701 on Flickr Creative Commons

How insane does the world of sports uniforms get?

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