WBEZ | Sports http://www.wbez.org/news/sports Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago's Highest-Paid Athletes http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-14/chicagos-highest-paid-athletes-114485 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Chi Athletes-Flickr-Keith Allison.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Derrick Rose, Patrick Kane, Matt Forte and Chris Sale. What do each of your favorite professional athletes have in common? They&rsquo;re all included in Crain Chicago Business&rsquo; inaugural list of the 25 highest-paid athletes in Chicago.</p><p>Crain&rsquo;s Danny Ecker joins us to tell who else made the list and why. He&rsquo;ll also delve into the pay disparity between male and female sports stars.</p></p> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 15:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-14/chicagos-highest-paid-athletes-114485 High School Football Deaths Raise Concerns http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-11-18/high-school-football-deaths-raise-concerns-113840 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/2980838968_89e33e2a33_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_96375"><img alt="The Shoreham Wading River High School football team takes the field in Wading River, N.Y., on October 11, against Wyandanch in their first game since their teammate Tom Cutinella died on the field the week before. (Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2015/11/1118_high-school-football-624x352.jpg" style="height: 350px; width: 620px;" title="The Shoreham Wading River High School football team takes the field in Wading River, N.Y., on October 11, against Wyandanch in their first game since their teammate Tom Cutinella died on the field the week before. (Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images)" /><p>At least 11 high school football players have died this year, either from head or neck injuries or heat-related illnesses. The most recent was a 17-year-old football player in Silver Springs, Kansas, who collapsed on the field after scoring an extra point and could not be revived.</p></div><p>Those&nbsp;<a href="http://nccsir.unc.edu/reports/" target="_blank">numbers</a>&nbsp;are raising concerns and have caught the attention of three members of Congress who want the federal government to study the problem. Three Representatives &ndash; Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Ralph Abraham (R-La.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) &ndash; introduced the High School Football Safety Study Act, which would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the causes of football-related deaths and create recommendations on how to keep them from happening.</p><p><a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/11/18/high-school-football-deaths" target="_blank"><em>Here &amp; Now&#39;s </em></a>sports analyst,&nbsp;Mike Pesca, speaks with host Jeremy Hobson about these deaths and what it means for the future of high school&nbsp;football.</p></p> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 14:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-11-18/high-school-football-deaths-raise-concerns-113840 Illinois fires athletic director after athlete allegations http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-fires-athletic-director-after-athlete-allegations-113708 <p><p>CHAMPAIGN, Ill. &mdash; The University of Illinois fired athletic director Mike Thomas on Monday, saying he had done nothing wrong but a change was needed after football and women&#39;s basketball players alleged they had been mistreated by their coaches.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_150744968689.jpg" style="height: 452px; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;" title="Illinois Fighting Illini athletic director Mike Thomas during an NCAA college football game against Youngstown State, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Bradley Leeb)" />Thomas, who will be paid $2.5 million to buy out the remainder of his contract, said he believes he acted appropriately but accepts the decision.</p><p>&quot;I believe it is a good time to turn the page and put the focus of this organization back on the success and welfare of our student-athletes,&quot; Thomas said in a prepared statement.</p><p>Thomas is the latest high-profile leader to be swept aside in the turmoil at the university&#39;s flagship campus this year, following the resignation of one of his top backers, chancellor Phyllis Wise, and the August firing of football coach Tim Beckman.</p><p>The school also released final reports on independent investigations into the players&#39; allegations. The football report found that Beckman pressured players to play hurt and interfered in medical decisions, echoing details that were disclosed when he was fired, but the women&#39;s basketball investigation found no evidence of racially motivated player mistreatment as alleged by seven former players.</p><p>Interim chancellor Barbara Wilson praised Thomas for leading the athletic department through a difficult six months, but said the university&#39;s sports programs needed a fresh start. She declined to offer details on exactly why she decided to fire Thomas.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s time to put the distractions of the past months behind us,&quot; Wilson said at a news conference at Memorial Stadium. &quot;This has not been an easy decision, but I believe it&#39;s the one that will allow us to concentrate on the future.&quot;</p><p>The move leaves hiring decisions still to be made on a head football coach, where Bill Cubit is serving on an interim basis, athletic director and their boss, the chancellor.</p><p>Senior associate athletic director Paul Kowalczyk will take over for Thomas as interim athletic director. He said he planned to quickly meet with coaches on campus and with major donors and business partners to try to assure them that the sports programs and projects such as the renovation of the State Farm Center basketball arena are on track.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;m going to take the helm at this point and try to calm the waters,&quot; said Kowalczyk, who added that Thomas offered to help him get up to speed. &quot;I feel for the guy.&quot;</p><p>Allegations of mistreatment by former football player Simon Cvijanovic surfaced in May, and the report found that Beckman &quot;employed tactics that violated standards related to sports medicine protocols and scholarships.&quot;</p><p>For the women&#39;s basketball program, the report said claims that against coach Matt Bollant and an assistant created a racially abusive environment were unfounded. The assistant, Mike Divilbiss, quit months ago, and the players have sued the school, Bollant and Thomas. A former women&#39;s soccer player also sued the school, claiming she was improperly cleared to play after a concussion.</p><p>Amid all of that, Wise resigned in August, just before the university revealed she used a private email account to avoid scrutiny of her discussions of university business.</p><p>Thomas came to Illinois from Cincinnati in 2011, replacing longtime athletic director Ron Guenther. He received a contract extension and a raise a year and a half ago, and university trustees praised him for the $60 million generated when the university sold the naming rights to the Assembly Hall arena to State Farm help pay for its $165 million renovation.</p><p>Thomas also moved to shore up the&nbsp;Illini&#39;s&nbsp;high-profile struggling teams, firing football coach Ron Zook, men&#39;s basketball coach Bruce Weber and women&#39;s basketball coach Jolette Law. Fans, however, were lukewarm about his hiring of Beckman, men&#39;s basketball coach John Groce and Bollant.</p></p> Mon, 09 Nov 2015 13:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-fires-athletic-director-after-athlete-allegations-113708 Adidas offers to help U.S. high schools phase out Native Ameican mascots http://www.wbez.org/news/adidas-offers-help-us-high-schools-phase-out-native-ameican-mascots-113666 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Adidas has pledged to help high school teams that want to change their mascots from Native American imagery..jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res454915402" previewtitle="Adidas has pledged to help high school teams that want to change their mascots from Native American imagery. President Obama praised the effort, while the Washington football team shot back, calling the company's move hypocritical."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Adidas has pledged to help high school teams that want to change their mascots from Native American imagery. President Obama praised the effort, while the Washington football team shot back, calling the company's move hypocritical." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/05/ap_08050806897-58e0ccfdb2992737eb8273f8791cef9a4ab7cc29-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Adidas has pledged to help high school teams that want to change their mascots from Native American imagery. President Obama praised the effort, while the Washington football team shot back, calling the company's move hypocritical. (Christof Stache/AP)" /></div><div><div><p>Sportswear giant Adidas announced Thursday that it would offer free design resources and financial assistance to any high schools that want to change their logo or mascot from Native American imagery or symbolism.</p></div></div></div><p>The company announced the initiative ahead of the Tribal Nations Conference at the White House, which Adidas executives attended.</p><p>&quot;Sports have the power to change lives,&quot; Adidas executive board member Eric Liedtke<a href="http://news.adidas.com/US/Latest-News/adidas-Announces-Support-For-Mascot-Name-Changes-Ahead-Of-White-House-Tribal-Nations-Conference/s/7197ec89-d0fe-4557-b737-cd27dc76aba1">said in a statement</a>. &quot;Sports give young people limitless potential. Young athletes have hope, they have desire and they have a will to win. Importantly, sports must be inclusive. Today we are harnessing the influence of sports in our culture to lead change for our communities.&quot;</p><p>Approximately 2,000 high schools in the U.S. use names that &quot;cause concern for many tribal communities,&quot; according to the company&#39;s statement.</p><p>At the Tribal Nations Conference, Obama praised the effort by Adidas, and added that &quot;a certain sports team in Washington might want to do that as well.&quot;</p><p>Even before Obama&#39;s remarks, the Washington football team had responded in an emailed statement that read:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;The hypocrisy of changing names at the high school level of play and continuing to profit off of professional like-named teams is absurd. Adidas make hundreds of millions of dollars selling uniforms to teams like the Chicago Blackhawks and the Golden State Warriors, while profiting off sales of fan apparel for the Cleveland Indians, Florida State Seminoles, Atlanta Braves and many other like-named teams. It seems safe to say that Adidas&#39; next targets will be the biggest sports teams in the country, which won&#39;t be very popular with their shareholders, team fans, or partner schools and organizations.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>The team&#39;s owner, Dan Snyder, has vowed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/10/07/230221006/an-uphill-battle-to-push-an-nfl-team-to-change-its-name">never to change the team&#39;s name</a>.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/11/05/454902114/adidas-offers-to-help-u-s-high-schools-phase-out-native-american-mascots" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 05 Nov 2015 09:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/adidas-offers-help-us-high-schools-phase-out-native-ameican-mascots-113666 International Olympic Committee to allow refugees to compete http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-29/international-olympic-committee-allow-refugees-compete-113555 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/guar maker.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_95183"><img alt="A stateless athlete Guor Marial, from South Sudan, poses at a press conference at the London Olympics media center during the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 10, 2012 in London. Marathon runner Marial, who was displaced by the war in Sudan, competes in London 2012 Olympic Games as an independent Olympics athlete. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2015/10/1029_guar-maker-624x407.jpg" style="height: 404px; width: 620px;" title="A stateless athlete Guor Maker, from South Sudan, poses at a press conference at the London Olympics media center during the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 10, 2012 in London. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)" /><p>This week the International Olympic Committee said that athletes who have fled their home countries will be allowed to qualify to compete in the Olympics &ndash; under the Olympic flag.</p></div><p>The IOC has not had a policy to allow refugees to compete in the past, but there have been some exceptions. One was track and field athlete&nbsp;<a href="http://www.unhcr.org/pages/52f38d056.html" target="_blank">Guor Maker</a>&nbsp;of South Sudan in 2012. He fled the Sudanese civil war when he was young and came to the U.S. In 2012, Maker ran the marathon in the London Olympics under the Olympic flag, as an independent athlete.</p><p><em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</em> Robin Young speaks with Maker about his experience as an independent athlete and what he thinks of the IOC decision. Maker&nbsp;is training to compete in the 2016 Olympics.</p><hr /><p><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Interview Highlights</strong></span></p><p><strong>What was your reaction to the IOC&rsquo;s decision?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;I was very happy and hopeful on the decision that IOC made, I could feel how excited those young refugees would feel across the world. I can understand because that&rsquo;s how I was in 2012.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>How did you feel when you qualified in 2012 to run as an independent?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;I was watching from my home in Flagstaff, Arizona, where I was training. My name was there, I was among those three athletes who walked into the stadium. I was there in spirit and I was watching them. I wish I could have been there. I knew at the time, I was accepted three days before, and I was getting ready to get my documents to go to London. It was overwhelming, I was very thankful of all the support and the decision from the IOC. Everyone just came together and put the sport before our differences in races and gender, so it was just showing the unity of the sport and how the Olympics can change and make a difference.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Does competing in the Olympics help you move on from </strong><strong>tragedy</strong><strong> of the civil war?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Well, life loss is something you cannot move on from, it&rsquo;s something you always remember. You have to do something positive to replace that, but it&rsquo;s always there. So going to the Olympics was not something I considered for me, but I considered for the people of South Sudan, and the 2 million we lost in South Sudan. So, my going to the Olympics, I was not ready to go to win, I was not in shape, but I was going to raise awareness and spirit of the youth in South Sudan.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Do you think the European refugees will look to compete in the 2016 Olympics?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Yes I do think if they go to a safe place where they can get the opportunity to work, and these youth can get opportunity to go to school, I&rsquo;m pretty sure they will have the spirit to do their sport. They might not have it for 2016, but hopefully 2020, they will establish themselves to fulfill their dreams.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>The IOC has since recognized South Sudan. Will you run under that flag in 2016?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Of course, I will do it, and I live here now and I am a U.S. citizen and I am very grateful for that. I honor the United States and I put it in my heart as my country. As well, South Sudan I put in my heart as my country, that&rsquo;s where I was born, and the people of South Sudan I love dearly. I&rsquo;m going to do this for them, I&rsquo;m going to raise the flag of South Sudan, and I have a hope that I will be bringing other athletes with me. I hope to go as a team. Right now we are here, about 15 of us, South Sudanese athletes I have on my list, training here in the U.S., in Australia, the U.K., Kenya, and back in South Sudan. We are all training and I am in check with them to make sure they are doing necessary training to get the opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Do you have any words of wisdom to other refugees?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;I hope this&nbsp;would be an example for all the refugees across the world to not give up hope, because there is always the next day. You might be in the darkness today, they might think this is the end of the world for them, but I can tell them that if you keep hope and if you keep it alive with the support of people around you, whichever society you are in, there is always opportunity your dream will always come true.&rdquo;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/29/refugees-can-compete-in-olympics" target="_blank"><em> via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Thu, 29 Oct 2015 12:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-29/international-olympic-committee-allow-refugees-compete-113555 Cubs' Curse of the Billy Goat and other superstitious sports tales http://www.wbez.org/news/cubs-curse-billy-goat-and-other-superstitious-sports-tales-113458 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Billy Goat Tavern owners pose with Billy the goat outside the tavern on Oct. 20..jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res450642633" previewtitle="Billy Goat Tavern owners pose with &quot;Billy&quot; the goat outside the tavern on Oct. 20."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Billy Goat Tavern owners pose with &quot;Billy&quot; the goat outside the tavern on Oct. 20." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/21/ap_685358210548-31d4c2ed7f6a81323eacb1886cc794cd0d2655d7-s900-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Billy Goat Tavern owners pose with &quot;Billy&quot; the goat outside the tavern on Oct. 20. (Paul Beaty/AP)" /></div><div><div><p>The Chicago Cubs have not appeared in a World Series since 1945, when, legend has it, tavern owner Billy Sianis placed a curse on the team in retaliation for refusing stadium entry to his goat.</p></div></div></div><p>Going into tonight&#39;s potentially decisive Game 4 of the National League Championship Series trailing the New York Mets 3-0, it seems the Cubs&#39; &quot;curse&quot; is as strong as ever.</p><p>According to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.billygoattavern.com/legend/curse/">Billy Goat Tavern&#39;s website</a>, which is now owned by Sianis&#39; nephew Sam, the tale goes as follows:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;The Cubs entered Game 4 of the World Series leading the Detroit Tigers 2 games to 1, and needing to win only two of the next four games played at Wrigley Field. A local Greek, William &#39;Billy Goat&#39; Sianis, owner of the Billy Goat Tavern and a Cubs fan, bought two tickets to Game 4. Hoping to bring his team good luck he took his pet goat, Murphy, with him to the game. At the entrance to the park, the Andy Fran ushers stopped Billy Goat from entering saying that no animals are allowed in the park. Billy Goat, frustrated, appealed to the owner of the Cubs, P.K. Wrigley. Wrigley replied, &#39;Let Billy in, but not the goat.&#39; Billy Goat asked, &#39;Why not the goat?&#39; Wrigley answered, &#39;Because the goat stinks.&#39;</em></p><p><em>&quot;According to legend, the goat and Billy were upset, so then Billy threw up his arms and exclaimed, &#39;The Cubs ain&#39;t gonna win no more. The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field.&#39; The Cubs were officially cursed. Subsequently, the Cubs lost game four, and the remaining series getting swept at home and from the World Series. Billy Goat promptly sent a telegram to P.K. Wrigley, stating, &#39;Who stinks now?&#39;&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>Seventy years later, the Cubs have yet to make it back to the World Series, and their fans have adopted the unofficial slogan: &quot;Wait &#39;til next year.&quot;</p><div id="res450642438" previewtitle="Boston Red Sox's Doug Mientkiewicz, left, and catcher Jason Varitek, right, jump into Keith Foulke's arms after the Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Caridnals 3-0 in Game 4 to win the 2004 World Series."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Boston Red Sox's Doug Mientkiewicz, left, and catcher Jason Varitek, right, jump into Keith Foulke's arms after the Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Caridnals 3-0 in Game 4 to win the 2004 World Series." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/21/ap_041027011406-4681bbadadc66eacb3ec3553a63ecd4b808eb445-s900-c85.jpg" style="height: 405px; width: 540px;" title="Boston Red Sox's Doug Mientkiewicz, left, and catcher Jason Varitek, right, jump into Keith Foulke's arms after the Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Caridnals 3-0 in Game 4 to win the 2004 World Series. (Sue Ogrocki/AP)" /></div><div><div><p>The Cubs&#39; curse is one of the most storied and enduring in baseball, along with the Red Sox&#39; since-broken &quot;Curse of the Bambino.&quot; That myth&nbsp;<a href="http://www.baberuthcentral.com/babesimpact/legends/the-curse-of-the-bambino/">goes something like this</a>: Babe Ruth, nicknamed &quot;The Bambino,&quot; had been a star for the Red Sox from 1914-1919; when he was sold to the rival Yankees, the baseball gods leveled their punishment.</p></div></div></div><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;When Babe Ruth was sold in 1920, the Boston Red Sox had won five World Series titles, more than any other major league team. Up to that point, the Yankees had never won one. However, since Babe Ruth arrived with the Yankees in 1920, this fabled franchise has been to the World Series 37 times and has won a staggering 26 times, including four titles with the Babe. The Red Sox, however, have had a far different outcome.</em></p><p><em>&quot;After selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees, the Red Sox did not win another Championship for 86 years (until 2004). It was a period full of heartbreaks for everyone affiliated with the Red Sox &ndash; from the players to the ever-faithful fans. The causes were many &mdash; bad management decisions, unfortunate errors and an almost-ironic amount of incredible bad-luck.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>Much was made of the curse&#39;s end and since 2004, the Red Sox have gone on to win the World Series twice more, in 2007 and 2013.</p><div id="res450642286" previewtitle="Australian national soccer team supporters at the 2006 World Cup in Munich, Germany."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Australian national soccer team supporters at the 2006 World Cup in Munich, Germany." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/21/ap_060618011476-43aa2b754b081c44641a832a7e0f55f6dabd86df-s900-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Australian national soccer team supporters at the 2006 World Cup in Munich, Germany. (Fernando Llano/AP)" /></div><div><div><p>However, lest you think sports curses are just merely a fabrication by desperate and superstitious baseball fans,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theage.com.au/news/soccer/safran-helps-lift-curse-of-the-socceroos/2005/11/19/1132017027452.html">consider this tale</a>&nbsp;involving the woes of the Australian national soccer team, called the Socceroos, and an erstwhile comedian, John Safran:</p></div></div></div><blockquote><p><em>&quot;The story begins in 1969, when the Australians were trying to qualify for the 1970 World Cup. The team had lost a play-off and was to face Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in Mozambique.</em></p><p><em>Safran said: &#39;[Soccer player] Johnny (Warren) told me that after the first game of that series, some of the players heard about a witchdoctor in Mozambique who said he could sort things out by putting a curse on the Rhodesians. They all said, &quot;Yeah, cool, let&#39;s do it&quot; and so the witchdoctor planted some bones near one of the goalposts and cursed the opposition.&#39;</em></p><p><em>&quot;&#39;The team won the next game 3-1 and the witchdoctor told the players he wanted $1000 for his services. &quot;You owe me,&quot; the witchdoctor told them, but the players didn&#39;t have enough money,&#39; Safran said. &#39;He warned them he&#39;d reverse the curse and put it on Australian soccer.&#39;</em></p><p><em>&quot;The players left the country without paying up and Johnny sincerely believed that, ever since, Australian soccer has been cursed.</em></p><p><em>&quot;The national team qualified for the 1974 World Cup but suffered a run of gut-wrenching defeats, topped off by the 1997 Iranian disaster and the tear-jerker in Uruguay four years ago. When Warren told him the story last year, Safran decided to go to Africa to do a story about the curse for his show&nbsp;John Safran vs God. The witchdoctor had died, but Safran found another who could channel him by going to the stadium at which the Rhodesia game had been played 35 years earlier.</em></p><p><em>&quot;&#39;That involved us sitting in the middle of the pitch and he killed a chicken and splattered the blood all over me,&quot; Safran said. &#39;I then had to go to Telstra Stadium with Johnny and we had to wash ourselves in some clay the witchdoctor had given us.&#39;&quot;</em></p></blockquote><p>The antics apparently did the trick, as the team went on to qualify for the 2006 World Cup.</p></p> Wed, 21 Oct 2015 17:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cubs-curse-billy-goat-and-other-superstitious-sports-tales-113458 2 Wild Cards, 2 home teams shut out: Cubs blank Pirates to advance http://www.wbez.org/news/2-wild-cards-2-home-teams-shut-out-cubs-blank-pirates-advance-113234 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ap_926858659682_custom-a6e5f96be8a3b9731474b1c831edc5aaff67250a-s1400.jpg" style="float: right; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo hoists starting pitcher Jake Arrieta aloft after he finished a complete-game shutout of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League wild card game Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Arrieta struck out 11 while giving up four hits and no walks. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)" />Behind a complete-game shutout thrown by right-hander Jake Arrieta, the Chicago Cubs advanced to the Divisional Series on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, beating the Pirates 4-0.</p><p>Kyle Schwarber had a home run and three runs batted in for the Cubs and Dexter Fowler had three hits and scored three times. Chicago will open its series against St. Louis at 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday. The Cardinals won 11 of the 19 games the divisional rivals played this season.</p><p>The win in the wild card game, a recent addition to the MLB postseason, lets the Cubs advance in the playoffs for the first time since 2003.</p><p>Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole gave up all four runs in his five innings for Pittsburgh, and while the bullpen was near perfect, the team&#39;s bats were ice cold. The Pirates, making their third straight appearance in the National League wild card game, struck out 11 times and didn&#39;t draw a single walk off Arrieta.</p><p>The loss capped two rough wild card games for home teams: On Tuesday night the Yankees were shut out against the Houston Astros, 3-0, in New York.</p><p>The Astros start their series against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. ET, following the 3:30 p.m. ET start of the Texas Rangers-Toronto Blue Jays series. Both will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.</p><p><em>&mdash; via <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/07/446741729/two-wild-cards-two-home-teams-shut-out-cubs-blank-pirates-to-advance">NPR&#39;s Two-Way</a></em></p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 09:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/2-wild-cards-2-home-teams-shut-out-cubs-blank-pirates-advance-113234 The high price of being a Chicago Cubs fan http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2015-10-05/high-price-being-chicago-cubs-fan-113171 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/DanS.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>I was born in Chicago. We moved away when I was relatively young, but I&#39;ve&nbsp;always missed my home town, finding any excuse to keep my Chicago&nbsp;roots strong.&nbsp;I frequently accomplish that through&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpL0dL0dXwQ" target="_blank">eating shameful quantities of meat</a>,&nbsp;but most of the time it&#39;s through &mdash;&nbsp;God, help me &mdash;&nbsp;the Chicago Cubs.</p><p>If there are multiple levels of fandom,&nbsp;I fall firmly into the &quot;needs help&quot; category. I&#39;m that guy who gets wary looks when someone comes into my office for the first time and sees &quot;A Beautiful Mind&quot;-like collection of Cubs memorabilia.</p><p>This being Marketplace, I thought it&#39;d be a useful exercise to sum up all the money I&#39;ve spent &mdash; whether I had it or not at the time &mdash;&nbsp;on the Cubbies over the years.</p><p><strong>Thirty-five dollars</strong>&nbsp;is how much I spent on the frame for this rare 45 of the 1969 Chicago Cubs classic, &quot;Hey Hey, Holy Mackerel.&quot;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cQyUhiV_Fdw?rel=0" width="560"></iframe></p><p>I know what you&#39;re thinking: &quot;That&#39;s pure gold!&quot;&nbsp;The Cubs&nbsp;were supposed to win it all that year. They didn&#39;t.</p><p>And then I have about 10 collectable pennants, about&nbsp;<strong>$100</strong>&nbsp;total,&nbsp;including one from&nbsp;1984 that celebrates the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. It was supposed to happen that year too&nbsp;... it didn&#39;t.&nbsp;</p><p>My #23 Ryne Sandburg 1984 throwback jersey:&nbsp;<strong>$120</strong>.</p><p>My Cubs baseball card collection, around&nbsp;<strong>$200</strong>.&nbsp;</p><p>Let&#39;s pencil in&nbsp;<strong>$3,00</strong>0&nbsp;for various tickets to Cubs games, home at Wrigley Field, or away at whichever city I happened to be living in when they came to town.&nbsp;Beer and meat at&nbsp;those games felt like $4,000, but I guess it was really around&nbsp;<strong>$250</strong>.&nbsp;</p><p>And then there&#39;s all the Cubs bric-a-brac: mugs, pens, baseballs, T-shirts, hats, collectible this-and-thats. I&#39;ll estimate all that at around&nbsp;<strong>$750</strong>.</p><p>All told, that&#39;s about&nbsp;<strong>$4,500</strong>. Yeesh.</p><p>And now, here I stand, staring down the financial abyss of a potential championship run.</p><p><em>If</em>&nbsp;they beat the Pirates and advance to the National League Division Series to face the Cardinals,&nbsp;the hated Cardinals, I might just need to plan a trip to St. Louis.</p><p><em>If</em>&nbsp;they beat the Cardinals and advance to the National League Championship Series and play for the pennant, it&#39;s time to raid the savings account.&nbsp;</p><p>And good lord,<em>&nbsp;if</em>&nbsp;they make it to the World Series?&nbsp;</p><p>I&nbsp;<em>will&nbsp;</em>be in Chicago. I&nbsp;<em>will&nbsp;</em>be at Wrigley Field.</p><p>I have no idea yet how I&#39;d afford that.</p><p>Anyone out there want to buy a kidney?</p><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/your-money/high-price-being-chicago-cubs-fan" target="_blank">via Marketplace</a></em></p></p> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 09:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2015-10-05/high-price-being-chicago-cubs-fan-113171 O'Bannon v. NCAA case ends in split decision http://www.wbez.org/news/obannon-v-ncaa-case-ends-split-decision-113132 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/NCAAhurdles_flickr-Phil Roeder 2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>College sports are a big-money business. Top-tier coaches earn millions while television (and gaming) contracts are worth billions of dollars. But the athletes are restricted from earning a cut because they&rsquo;re amateurs.</p><p>A case that many thought might open the door to compensation for college athletes ended in a split decision Wednesday. A federal appeals court ruled that the NCAA cannot prevent member schools from offering scholarships that cover the full cost of attendance. However, it threw out a lower court&#39;s plan to compensate athletes $5000 or more per year in deferred payments. ESPN senior writer and legal analyst Lester Munson joins All Things Considered host Melba Lara to help unpack how Wednesday&#39;s decision may affect future compensation campaigns.</p></p> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/obannon-v-ncaa-case-ends-split-decision-113132 Why women's sports get so little attention http://www.wbez.org/news/why-womens-sports-get-so-little-attention-113118 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/wnba.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>You may not know that the WNBA finals begin this weekend. It&#39;s probably fair to say that if it were the NBA you would know.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>More people pay attention to men&#39;s sports than women&#39;s sports, and one reason for that is inertia. Women are pretty new to big-time sports &mdash; and perhaps the media hasn&#39;t caught up with them.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Also, there aren&#39;t that many women&#39;s team sports. Lots of people tune in to watch Serena Williams play tennis, and this summer, swimmer Katie Ledecky got a lot of attention &mdash; but they play individual sports.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/09/30/444523020/why-womens-sports-gets-so-little-attention?ft=nprml&amp;f=444523020" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></div></p> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 10:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/why-womens-sports-get-so-little-attention-113118