Sportswriter Frank Deford talks with Sugar Ray Leonard in 1981. "I was so lucky," Deford says. "The chance that you got in those days to get close to athletes is so much more than the writers get today."
NPR listeners normally hear from sports commentator Frank Deford for three minutes at a time Wednesday mornings, as he opines on the latest follies of the sporting world. But Deford fans have been getting to hear the veteran sportswriter at greater length lately. He's on a book tour for his new memoir, Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter. When Deford stopped in Washington, D.C., NPR's Steve Inskeep had the chance to interview him in front of a lively crowd.
In Greece, economic and political turmoil have left Greeks feeling divided and deflated. The talk in Athens today was all about new elections and an uncertain future, but it was a different scene in the southern town of Olympia. That's where, earlier today, the Olympic flame was lit for the London games and, as Joanna Kakissis reports, people were able to forget, for just a moment, their many troubles.
A Russian anti-terrorism agency says that its secret service agents have thwarted a planned attack on Sochi, the city slated to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Russia's FSB security service says it found 10 caches of weapons that it believes were meant to be used during either preparations for the Olympics or in an attack during the Games themselves.
From Moscosw, Jessica Golloher filed this report for NPR's Newscast:
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Suspended former New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove says he's disappointed his sworn statement regarding the NFL's bounty investigation was leaked. Hargrove's sworn declaration explains how ex-Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and current assistant head coach Joe Vitt told him to deny the existence of a bounty program in New Orleans.
On June 11, 2011, Matt Rutherford set sail from Annapolis, Md., on an epic voyage. He traveled down the Chesapeake Bay, up the East Coast, then through the Northwest Passage, down the Pacific, around Cape Horn, back up the coast of South America, and all the way back home.
In 10 months, he sailed over 27,000 miles in a 27-foot sailboat — named the St. Brendan after the 6th-century explorer — and became the first person to complete a solo, nonstop circumnavigation of the Americas.
In the history of Major League Baseball, only 15 players have hit four homeruns in a single game. Well, last night, Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton became Number 16. He hit four balls out of the park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Orioles' fans weren't happy. Hamilton's Rangers were trouncing their team. Still, they gave Hamilton a standing ovation as he took his place in center field in the eighth inning. As Hamilton put it, that let's you know they are true baseball fans.
Attorney William T. Gibbs (left), and Tregg Duerson, son of former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson, announce the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL on Feb. 23 in Chicago. The lawsuit accuses the NFL of negligently causing the brain damage that led Duerson to take his own life at 50, by not warning him of the negative effects of concussions.
Even as the great, sad Junior Seau killed himself, more and more other old football players are joining in class action to sue the National Football League. They're claiming, generally, that while the NFL understood — for years — how vulnerable its players were to head injuries, the league did not sufficiently warn players about the danger of concussions.
Nor did the teams first do no harm — instead, allowing players to go back into games when they should have been kept out of the action.
Sports talk is loaded with hyperbole. This is not hyperbole: Yesterday was the biggest day in the history of the Phoenix Coyotes. The often abysmal NHL team defeated the Nashville Predators last night and advanced to the conference finals for the first time ever. And three years after the team's last owner declared bankruptcy, the league announced that it likely has found a new owner, one that will keep the team in the area.