WBEZ | sports http://www.wbez.org/tags/sports Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en New Film Puts Spotlight on Toughest Marathon in the World http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-29/new-film-puts-spotlight-toughest-marathon-world-114644 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Barkley Marathon-Barkleymovie.com_.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>You think the Chicago marathon is tough? How about New York, or Boston? Those runs are like trip on a merry-go-round compared to The Barkley Marathons.&nbsp;</p><p>Based on a failed prison escape, the Barkley takes entrants over 100 miles of the roughest, most mountainous backwoods Tennessee terrain imaginable. 1000 have tried. Only 14 have finished. Filmmaker Annika Iltis talks about the race and the film ahead of two weekend screenings at the Gene Siskel Film Center.</p></p> Fri, 29 Jan 2016 12:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-29/new-film-puts-spotlight-toughest-marathon-world-114644 The Real Goal for These Cricket-Crazy Maasai Men? Ending 'The Cut' http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/real-goal-these-cricket-crazy-maasai-men-ending-cut-114554 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/warriors_custom-c9708124c18ecf8fa20fc38ff5c2c890bb669f4f-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res463709637" previewtitle="A new documentary shows how the young Maasai men in Il Polei fell in love with cricket — and use the sport to send a message to their village elders."><div data-crop-type="">You&#39;ve never seen a sports team like this one.</div></div><p>Dotted across a dusty rectangle of dirt in the Kenyan savanna, bare-chested Maasai men in traditional clothing &mdash; plaid red fabrics and colorful accessories made of feathers and beads &mdash; are playing a sport known for its stiff whites: cricket.</p><p>But winning isn&#39;t the team&#39;s No. 1 goal. It&#39;s putting the practice of female genital mutilation, which has affected girls as young as six in the community, into a permanent time-out.</p><p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Maasai.Cricket.Warriors/">Maasai Cricket Warriors</a>, as they&#39;re called, are the subject of<em>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.warriorsfilm.co.uk/">Warriors</a>,</em> a documentary film by British director Barney Douglas. It follows the Maasai players from their village of Il Polei all the way to London for their first cricket championship.</p><p>The film, which comes out on DVD this month, premiered in Los Angeles last September and has been shown in the U.K., South Africa and Kenya. Forty-five percent of the profits will go toward creating a community youth center in Il Polei.</p><p>Even before cricket came to town, the village knew what FGM meant for Maasai girls.<a href="https://globalcricketcommunity.com/index.php/profiles/international-profiles/142-sonyanga-ole-ngais-captain-maasai-cricket-warriors">Sonyanga Ole Ngais</a>, one of the stars of&nbsp;<em>Warriors</em>&nbsp;and the team captain, witnessed three of his sisters undergo the pain of &quot;the cut.&quot;</p><p>Once they were circumcised, they were considered ready for marriage and were quickly married off. Their education ended abruptly.</p><p>Ngais and the younger generation of Maasai men in the village know the power of an educated female. In the movie, they tell how she can help the men and raise up the community as a whole. But to encourage this behavior, the men know they have to speak up, too.</p><div id="res463809253"><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div><p>&quot;In their society, men are dominant,&quot; says Douglas. &quot;So for this reason, it&#39;s partly the young men&#39;s responsibility to stand up and say, &#39;FGM is not right. It&#39;s unacceptable. We want our young women to go to school.&#39; &quot;</p><p>And how did cricket come into the picture?</p><p><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/aliyabauer">Aliya Bauer</a>&nbsp;introduced cricket to the area in 2007 during a long-term research trip on baboons for the University of California. The South African thought it might be fun, plus she missed playing the sport. Bauer shipped in some equipment, contacted the local chief for his support and taught the villagers how to play.</p><p>They were hooked &mdash; the Maasai found the movements of the game similar to hunting and spear-throwing, a big part of their culture. In 2009, a group of six or seven young men in their teens and early 20s decided to start an official team, the Maasai Cricket Warriors, with Bauer as their coach.</p><p>But they didn&#39;t just want to play. They wanted to use their growing popularity as a cricket team to champion their opposition to FGM.</p><p>The men hoped that by banding together as a sports team, they could gain the clout needed in Maasai society to stand up to the elders against FGM &mdash; and get them to reconsider the tradition&#39;s importance.</p><p>The Warriors also wanted to inspire youth. They taught children how to play cricket and traveled to schools to speak to students about FGM, gender equality and HIV/AIDS, a disease that has affected the Maasai community.</p><p>They led by example, vowing not to marry any woman who has undergone the cut.</p><p>&quot;If you want to join the team, you have to subscribe to the objective of ending FGM,&quot; says Douglas. &quot;And you have to practice what you preach.&quot;</p><p>The elders were skeptical that cricket could make any real impact against FGM in Il Polei.</p><p>&quot;We have not yet seen the fruits that this cricket team has brought to the community,&quot; says one village elder early in the film.</p><p>In 2013, when the team decided to compete in the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lastmanstands.com/usa">Last Man Stands</a>&nbsp;amateur cricket championship in London, things started to change. The community was buzzing with excitement over the team&#39;s trip. Children were clamoring to play cricket.&nbsp;The adults were proud.</p><p>&quot;Their journey to London greatly enhanced their status and allowed them to question their elders,&quot; says Douglas. &quot;This is something a warrior should&nbsp;never&nbsp;do.&quot;</p><p><em>Warriors&nbsp;</em>climaxes with a conversation between the village elders and the players. Perched on a flat rock and staring out into the vast Kenyan savannah, members of the old generation and the new engage in a civil debate about the tradition of FGM.</p><p>&quot;This is your time, this is your life,&quot; says one village elder in the scene. &quot;We old people are through. We need to ask the [young men what they think about FGM]... it is you guys who will marry.&quot;</p><p>The elders give the young men their blessing to stop marrying girls who have been circumcised, which could then discourage families from enforcing the practice.</p><p>Today, the Maasai Cricket Warriors has grown to more than 25 members. A girls&#39; team has formed. Both teams travel to schools in and around the area to teach children how to play cricket and encourage young people to speak out against FGM.</p><p>Ngais, the team captain, now studies communications and electronic media at Daystar University in Nairobi. He hopes to work in the film industry when he graduates.</p><p>&quot;What I hope comes across is that young people can affect change,&quot; says Douglas. &quot;Young people can get a bad reputation sometimes. But the Warriors did it with the right intentions. It&#39;s an inspiring message.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/01/21/463709275/the-real-goal-for-these-cricket-crazy-maasai-men-ending-the-cut?ft=nprml&amp;f=463709275" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 21 Jan 2016 15:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/real-goal-these-cricket-crazy-maasai-men-ending-cut-114554 How a Simple Bump Can Cause an Insidious Brain Injury http://www.wbez.org/news/how-simple-bump-can-cause-insidious-brain-injury-114429 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/0106_tbi-at-home-624x413.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_99335"><img alt="Tom Feild looks at a brain scan with his doctor at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond, Va. Feild had brain surgery after experiencing a low-grade headache that wouldn't go away and difficulty driving. (Matailong Du for NPR)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2016/01/0106_tbi-at-home2-624x426.jpg" style="height: 423px; width: 620px;" title="Tom Feild looks at a brain scan with his doctor at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond, Va. Feild had brain surgery after experiencing a low-grade headache that wouldn’t go away and difficulty driving. (Matailong Du for NPR)" /><p>It&rsquo;s not just football players or troops who fought in the wars who suffer from brain injuries. Researchers estimate that hundreds of thousands of ordinary people in the U.S. get potentially serious brain injuries every year, too. Yet they and even their doctors often don&rsquo;t know it.</p></div><p>One such doctor is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/profiles/results/directory/profile/10000041/Bryan-Arling">Bryan Arling</a>, an internist in Washington, D.C. His peers often vote to put him on those lists of &ldquo;top doctors,&rdquo; published by glossy magazines.</p><p>So it&rsquo;s ironic that the brain injury he failed to diagnose was his own. And he could have died from it.</p><p>Last spring, Arling went looking for some files in his walk-up attic. It was jammed with boxes of Christmas tree ornaments, old clothes and other odds and ends that define decades of family life. After an hour of searching, he found the files in a box, grabbed the folders and stood up. He then felt a shooting pain in the center of his back.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a pain I&rsquo;ve had before,&rdquo; says Arling, who has battled back problems for years. &ldquo;But it was more intense than I&rsquo;ve ever had it before.&rdquo;</p><p>He took painkillers and went back to work. Weeks went by, and his back was still hurting him.</p><p>&ldquo;Then I began noticing that I was shuffling. I was so weak I couldn&rsquo;t carry my plate out to the back deck. I would just drop things. And everybody commented on how I seemed different,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>And gradually, Arling says, his thinking seemed different, too.</p><p>&ldquo;I could make sense of things, I could get things done, I could make decisions,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;But I was slower at what I did.&rdquo;</p><p>Arling thought he was having trouble focusing because his back pain was so intense. So a neurosurgeon, who had treated Arling&rsquo;s back problems before, ordered an MRI of Arling&rsquo;s spine &mdash; and also his brain. When the MRI technician saw Arling&rsquo;s pictures taking shape on his screen, he called the radiologist and said, &ldquo;You need to see this right away.&rdquo;</p><p>The images showed a big, white, lake-like shape where Arling&rsquo;s brain should have been, inside the top right side of his skull. It was a pool of blood that was pushing down on the brain, causing it to shift from right to left.</p><div id="attachment_99336"><img alt="An MRI scan shows Bryan Arling's brain from above. The white-looking fluid is a subdural hematoma, or a collection of blood, that pushed part of his brain away from the skull, causing headaches and slowing his decision-making. (Courtesy of Dr. Ingrid Ott, Washington Radiology Associates)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2016/01/0106_tbi-at-home-624x413.jpg" style="height: 410px; width: 620px;" title="An MRI scan shows Bryan Arling’s brain from above. The white-looking fluid is a subdural hematoma, or a collection of blood, that pushed part of his brain away from the skull, causing headaches and slowing his decision-making. (Courtesy of Dr. Ingrid Ott, Washington Radiology Associates)" /><p>They sent Arling straight from the MRI to the emergency room at Georgetown University Medical Center. He says as they started prepping him for open brain surgery, the medical staff kept asking about his fall.</p></div><p>&ldquo;And I said, &lsquo;I haven&rsquo;t fallen,&rsquo; &rdquo; Arling says.</p><p>Then, just as they were wheeling him into the operating room, Arling remembered: The day he stood up in the attic and threw out his back, he had forgotten he was under the eaves, and had knocked the top of his head against a wood beam. But he didn&rsquo;t even get a cut, so he forgot about it.</p><p>Everybody knows you can get hurt if you fall off a ladder, or slip and bash your head on the ice. But Arling got a kind of brain injury that&rsquo;s usually more insidious &mdash; a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000713.htm">subdural hematoma</a>.</p><p>A subdural hematoma is different from the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129726135">typical blast injuries</a>&nbsp;that affected hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In those cases, shock waves rattled their brains and caused microscopic damage that&rsquo;s hard or impossible to detect. It&rsquo;s also different from the usual football concussions, in which blows to the head damage the brain&rsquo;s electrical wiring.</p><p>The main population at risk for a subdural hematoma is the elderly. To understand why, it helps to picture an aging brain. The brain is wrapped and protected by a membrane called the dura mater. Inside the dura, there&rsquo;s a network of veins that connect it to the surface of the brain.</p><p>Studies suggest that as you get older, your brain shrinks and pulls away from the dura, especially after you&rsquo;re 60 or 70 years old. But the veins keep holding on to both the dura and the brain. So as your brain pulls away, some of those veins become more exposed and more vulnerable.</p><p>Researchers say if you simply bump your head on the eaves of your attic, as Arling did, or if you simply start to fall and then catch yourself &mdash; so your head doesn&rsquo;t strike anything, but it jerks in the air &mdash; that can be enough force to jostle your shrinking brain.</p><p>&ldquo;And those veins stretch, and you&rsquo;ll get tearing in those veins,&rdquo; says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pmr.vcu.edu/Department/Directory/faculty/dcifu/dcifu.aspx">Dr. David Cifu</a>, who runs a joint research project studying brain injuries for the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.</p><p>And because blood from veins tends to ooze, instead of pump as it does from arteries, Cifu says, &ldquo;when the veins tear, we get a very low-pressure ribbon of blood that&rsquo;s layering on top of the surface of the brain.&rdquo;</p><p>As that blood starts to pool over days or weeks, it irritates the brain cells. And if the pool&rsquo;s big enough, it presses on the brain and damages it, much like a tumor.</p><p>Researchers studied the problem a few years ago at a sample of 20 percent of the nation&rsquo;s hospitals. As they&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/documents/2016/jan/rates-of-traumatic-subdural-hematoma.pdf">reported in the Journal of Neurosurgery</a>, those hospitals alone diagnosed almost 44,000 subdural hematomas in one year. So the researchers estimate there could be more than 200,000 subdural hematoma injuries diagnosed annually at all the hospitals across the country.</p><p>They say an unknown additional number of subdural hematomas are misdiagnosed, or simply missed: Half the patients studied have trouble remembering they hit their heads at all.</p><p>Like Arling. And like Tom Feild, a retired computer systems analyst who used to work for the VA.</p><p>Feild says his own medical mystery began with headaches.</p><p>&ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t a constant headache &mdash; it was a low-grade headache. But it wouldn&rsquo;t go away,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>Then he was driving his wife on an errand, and he kept drifting across the yellow line.</p><p>&ldquo;I said, &lsquo;Tom, you&rsquo;re going on their side of the road.&rsquo; He said, &lsquo;I know &hellip; I can&rsquo;t seem to help it,&rsquo; &rdquo; Jody Feild says.</p><p>Tom Feild made an appointment with his local doctor. And the next thing he knew, a helicopter was rushing him to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond. Neurosurgeon Bill Broaddus drilled three holes into Feild&rsquo;s skull and vacuumed out roughly 8 ounces of blood that had pooled since he developed a subdural hematoma.</p><p>Broaddus says before the surgery, he asked Feild what type of accident had injured his head. It took awhile before Feild could remember. He had put a sprinkler away under his porch two months earlier and bumped his head against the floorboards when he stood up before backing out all the way.</p><p>&ldquo;We may see 50 to 100 [similar subdural hematomas] here at this institution every year,&rdquo; says Broaddus.</p><p>Brain specialists say it&rsquo;s important to view these injuries in perspective: Most people who get a subdural hematoma will never know it. The brain will reabsorb the blood, the victim&rsquo;s symptoms will disappear, and life will go on as normal. But for tens of thousands of others, it&rsquo;s serious. Doctors say they often see families who think loved ones are getting dementia, and it turns out they hit their heads and have a bleed. Some victims die.</p><p>Researchers like Cifu say you don&rsquo;t need to consult a doctor the second you get a headache. But they say it&rsquo;s sensible, and responsible, to follow some simple guidelines: Consult a physician as soon as possible if the headaches don&rsquo;t go away, or if you begin to have trouble with your balance or feel weakness in your legs or arms. Also, if the way you think starts to seem &ldquo;different,&rdquo; Cifu says.</p><p>Internist Arling says even if it turns out that you do have a bleed, he&rsquo;s living proof that these brain injuries can be cured if you catch them in time.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s so easy to come away from a story like mine, and to feel fragile, and so to worry unnecessarily,&rdquo; Arling says. &ldquo;The body is phenomenally well-designed, and it has a phenomenal ability to heal itself.&rdquo;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.npr.org/people/4173096/daniel-zwerdling" target="_blank">Daniel Zwerdling</a>, correspondent in NPR&rsquo;s Investigations Unit.</em></p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2016/01/06/brain-injuries-at-home-can-be-difficult-to-detect" target="_blank"><em> via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Fri, 08 Jan 2016 13:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/how-simple-bump-can-cause-insidious-brain-injury-114429 Should kids specialize in one sport? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-14/should-kids-specialize-one-sport-114155 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/kid sports flickr USAG- Humphreys.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Many parents encourage their kids to specialize in one sport in hopes of one day getting a college scholarship, but many top athletes, and doctors, say specializing too early can have detrimental effects. Where do you come down in this debate? WBEZ sport contributor <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Cheryl Raye-Stout</a> shares her take.</p></p> Mon, 14 Dec 2015 10:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-12-14/should-kids-specialize-one-sport-114155 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 Nike opening store with only Michael Jordan items in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/news/nike-opening-store-only-michael-jordan-items-chicago-113461 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/16521749482_5aed601a6f_z.jpg" style="height: 327px; width: 620px;" title="The Jordan Store at 166 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn. (flickr/Maxim Pierre)" /></div><p>Nike is opening a Michael Jordan-only store in Chicago&#39;s Loop this weekend.The new Jordan Brand store opens Saturday.</p><p>The <a href="http://trib.in/1GrWtmt" target="_blank">Chicago Tribune reports</a> it will sell merchandise with the trademarked Michael Jordan &quot;Jumpman&quot; silhouette. Nike also plans stores in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto featuring the former Chicago Bulls star. Jordan Brand offers basketball, training, sportswear and kids&#39; products.</p><div><p>Nike Chief Executive Mark Parker says Jordan&#39;s popularity opens up a &quot;world of opportunity&quot; for the company.</p><p>Nike also said last week that it will report Jordan Brand financial results separately from its basketball division.</p><p>Sarah Mensah is general manager of the Jordan Brand in North America. She says consumers wanted a place to see everything Jordan-related. She says stores also will feature items chosen &quot;specifically by Michael.&quot;</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 22 Oct 2015 10:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/nike-opening-store-only-michael-jordan-items-chicago-113461 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 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 Bears perform as expected, Cubs close in on wild card http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-21/bears-perform-expected-cubs-close-wild-card-113008 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/cutler Mike Morbeck.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>You waited all week, you listened to three hours of pre-game and then you watched the game. And then you wondered if you could sue the Bears to get all those wasted hours of your life back.</p><p>Well, <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Cheryl Raye Stout</a> won&rsquo;t say &ldquo;I told ya so,&rdquo; but two games in, the Bears season is turning out about as bad as the experts predicted, and it could actually turn worse.</p></p> Mon, 21 Sep 2015 12:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-21/bears-perform-expected-cubs-close-wild-card-113008 Bears live up to horror predictions/Sky heads to WNBA Eastern Conference Semi-finals http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-14/bears-live-horror-predictionssky-heads-wnba-eastern-conference <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/chciago skyAPFile.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It&rsquo;s Chicago versus Indiana in the WNBA Eastern Conference Semi-finals. During the regular season the Chicago Sky played the Indiana Fever four times and won all those games. Will history repeat itself? WBEZ Sports Contributor Cheryl Raye Stout is in with her take. We also take a look at the Bears&rsquo; 31-23 loss to the Green Bay Packers Sunday.</p></p> Mon, 14 Sep 2015 12:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-14/bears-live-horror-predictionssky-heads-wnba-eastern-conference