Bill Littlefield is host of Only a Game the syndicated program aimed at the serious sports fan and the steadfast sports avoider. (It airs Saturday mornings at 6:00 on KCUR.)
Littlefield has written several books on sports and two novels so his latest work, Take Me Out, a book of sports-related poems, is a bit of a departure. Bill talks with Steve Kraske about what inspired him to poetry, the history behind Only a Game, and his thoughts on this year's World Series.
Two underdog cities have made it to this year's American League Championship Series. The intensity among baseball fans in both Kansas City and Baltimore has reached a fever pitch. Public radio staffers have caught the bug; hear a little trash talk, public radio style.
After paddling solo 340 miles down the Missouri River, stopping only briefly to catch the teensiest bit of shut-eye, two competitors in the MR340 share their experiences, from paddling through fog to hallucinating on the water.
Last week in a coffee shop, I saw two young men, each with single name emblazoned on his chest. The first one read, “Jesus.” The other? “LeBron.” Because, hey—every savior deserves his own T-shirt.
The biggest sports news of the summer is the second coming of NBA superstar LeBron James—specifically from the Miami Heat back to the Cleveland Cavaliers and his native northeast Ohio. The national media has been giddy over his maturity and grace in trading the Sun Belt for the Rust Belt and a mere $42 million over the next two years.
There will be crowds, cheering and that well-known cry of , "Futbol!" as the FIFA World Cup begins this week.
In the first part of Monday's Up to Date, we talk with Sporting KC's Chance Myers about what to expect from the competition and what U.S. team members-- and Sporting KC players-- Graham Zusi and Matt Besler might face.
After nearly 120 years, jockey Issac Burns Murphy's winning record is still the highest in American horse racing history. Though he won three Kentucky Derbies and set numerous records throughout his career, Murphy had to deal with the harsh reality of being black in the still deeply segregated South.
On this edition of Up to Date Pellom McDaniels III talks with Steve Kraske about his new biography of "The Prince of Jockeys" whose life and career spanned the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow.
For most of his 40-year career, sports representative Leigh Steinberg was on top. The inspiration for the film Jerry Maguire, Steinberg negotiated multi-million dollar contracts for some of the biggest names in sports: Lennox Lewis, Steve Young, and Troy Aikman just to name a few.
In this age of greater access through social media and TV cameras, sports fans are given a peek of what happens behind the scenes more than ever before. But to get a peek inside the meeting rooms of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball committee is another story. Access before the 68-team bracket is unveiled on Selection Sunday is unlikely anytime soon.
For-profit athletic clubs are claiming that tax exemptions for nonprofit organizations like the YMCA are unfair. In order to "level the playing field," two bills in Kansas have been proposed: one would exempt both for-profit and nonprofit sports clubs from paying taxes on property and a portion of sales; the other would simply remove tax exemption for nonprofit organizations like the YMCA.
Chris Hrabik sits behind the wheel of his 1997 Subaru Impreza. The steering wheel is detachable. "The cool thing is when the wheel’s off, I can break my wheelchair down and put it in here so I can go drive around by myself," Hrabik says.
Rally car racing is popular in Europe and Canada, but it has a much lower profile in the United States. It is a dangerous sport where racers thrash through rural, gravel roads at high speeds in street-legal cars as they try to score the fastest time.
Chris Hrabik, from Sedgewickville, Mo., will compete in a nationally-sponsored rally this week in Salem, Mo. And here’s the twist - he’s a quadriplegic.
Before his final football season at the University of Missouri, defensive lineman Michael Sam made the decision to privately tell his teammates that he is gay. On Sunday, Sam went public with it. And if he is selected in May’s NFL draft, Sam will be pro football’s first openly gay player. The first men’s college basketball player to openly declare he’s gay also plays nearby, but Jallen Messersmith took a slightly different approach.
Remember pinball, the coin operated game that flips a silver ball to score points?
During the 1990s in Kansas City, you could easily find pinball machines in arcades, bars and restaurants. But now, pinball machines are harder to find, and they are often out of order. But, the game of pinball is making a comeback with the help of some local competitors.
Some of who will go on to represent Kansas and Missouri in the national championships, after winners are selected at the state championships this weekend.
In college basketball, the Kansas Jayhawks lost 61-57 against San Deigo State, after 68 straight home wins against non-conference opponents.
San Diego State, ranked 21st in the AP poll, knocked off the 16th ranked Jayhawks, at home Sunday afternoon.
The last non-conference team to beat the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse was Oral Roberts in November of 2006, the early stage of a season during which KU ended up only one victory shy of reaching the Final Four.
Northwest Missouri State put the finishing touches on a 15-0 season over the weekend. The Bearcats from Maryville, Mo., captured their fourth national championship in NCAA Division II football with a 45-28 win over Lenoir-Rhyne from North Carolina.
Billy Creason, a Northwest Missouri State senior running back from Grain Valley said it was a memorable moment.
“To go out undefeated is just amazing. It doesn’t happen very often,” said Creason. “A great senior year and I’m glad I’m glad we made it to the top. Man it’s awesome.”
In the late 1940s and early 50’s, Kansas City, Kan., native Tommy Campbell became the world’s number-two-ranked lightweight fighter. He won almost as many fights as Muhammad Ali, but his boxing career was cut short when he stood up against mob-controlled promoters and boxing matchmakers.
Author Phil Dixon, tells Campbell's story in his upcoming book Tommy Campbell: A Boxing Bout with the Mob.
Saturday morning, Northwest Missouri will play in the NCAA Division II football national championship game in Florence, Ala. A Kansas City delegation is in attendance, and not just to cheer on the Bearcats. They’re taking notes because next year the championship game moves to Kansas City.
How did Kansas City land the championship for next year? The answer may surprise you.
The Kansas City Chiefs are now 2-0 in the young NFL season after a 17-16 win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday in the home opener.
Only two weeks into the 2013 season, the Chief's record is equal to last year's entire victory total. They grabbed the lead for good late in the third quarter, and the fans at Arrowhead Stadium sniffed a chance to bask in the Chiefs' second win of the season under new head coach Andy Reid.
"When our fans are going, you can feel that field," said Reid. "It just rumbles a little bit. It's crazy but an awesome feeling."
According to the National Cheerleading Association, more than 3 million Americans participate in the sport. But cheerleading is no longer just about pom-poms and whipping crowd spirit into a frenzy, it has evolved into a bona fide sport where many athletes — as they are now considered — train year-round.
These athletes work on the strength, balance and gymnastic skills they need to stand out and win competitions. I recently visited a gym in Grandview where teaching girl power and the sport of cheerleading go hand in hand.