sports

The Super Bowl is a national celebration of football... and advertising. For one day a year, we all gather around our television screens to watch commercials so we can partake in the sport of reviewing them the next morning. But is this still a relevant platform for advertising? Local ad experts weigh in.

Guests:

When It's From Stuart Scott, A BooYah Can Matter

Feb 2, 2015
Deb Skodack

Stuart Scott, a sportscaster and anchor on ESPN's SportsCenter, died Jan. 4 at the age of 49. Here is one local woman's remembrance of a chance encounter.

Thank you, Mr. Scott. My kid listened to you.

Only once in my life have I ever sought a souvenir from a celebrity. It was in a Phoenix restaurant in 2004 where I was enjoying a girls’ weekend with my husband’s sisters.

Keith Allison / Flickr-CC

The Oakland Athletics confirmed Wednesday that Billy Butler will play for the team starting in 2015.

Despite showing a desire to remain a Kansas City Royal, Butler's $12.5 million option for 2015 was too much for Royals managers.

Oakland approached Butler with a three-year, $30 million contract and $5 million signing bonus.

Some had mixed emotions about seeing Butler leave the only professional team for which he's played. Dean Tangeman posted this response on Twitter:

Zephyr Press

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.

Cody Newill / KCUR

By now, reality has sunk in for most of the Kansas City area.

The team with one of the most dramatic underdog stories in recent baseball history clinched a spot in the World Series Wednesday, when the Royals defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1.  

From crying fans to a photo of a flabbergasted George Brett, here’s a look at how Kansas City tweeted the historic victory.

Kathleen Kunkler / KCUR

Sweeping away 29 years of heartbreak and bringing home an American League pennant to a rejoicing city, the Kansas City Royals clinched a trip Wednesday to the World Series.

Final score after a fast fall game under clear royal blue skies: Kansas City 2, Baltimore 1.

Screaming fans at Kauffman Stadium, on their feet for the ninth inning, counted down the outs until their beloved Royals were in the series.

"Three. More. Outs ... Two ... Strike out! ... One. More. Out ... Sweep! Sweep!"

International Business Times

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.

Guest:

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.

Guests:

  • Doug Jennings, organizer and longtime participant
  • Amy Sevcik, first-time competitor
Daniel Juřena / Flickr--CC

High school athletes in Kansas and Missouri start outdoor workouts for fall sports in August, no matter how hot or humid it is outside. One of the main safety concerns in the heat is dehydration. 

Sometimes it’s not the weather but what the athletes drink that makes the problem worse. A can of Red Bull, Monster, 5-Hour Energy, or any other energy drink before practice can dehydrate an athlete.

Rybass / Wikimedia Commons

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.

Greg Echlin / KCUR

The soccer craze in the Kansas City area wasn’t just captured in the Power & Light District watch parties for the World Cup games.

It’s evident on full-size soccer fields on both sides of the state line. But the metropolitan area's newest soccer passion may be churning up on mini-courts in Kansas City, Kan.

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

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.

Guest:

  • Chance Myers, Sporting KC

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.

Macmillan Publishers

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.

Macmillan Publishers

There are secret rules and pieces of wisdom that most baseball fans don't even know exist. For example, don't ever look an umpire in the eye when you're arguing with him. 

On Thursday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sits down with former Royal and All-Star catcher Jason Kendall and sportswriter Lee Judge to discuss Kendall's new memoir of baseball wisdom, Throwback

Guests:

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Take a look behind the scenes with the Up to Date team on our Day Opening  broadcast at Kauffman Stadium.

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.

Beauty marks and warts

www.skisnowcreek.com

                                                                                    

Jason Myers crosses the finish line at the bottom of the race course at Snow Creek in Weston, Mo., so fast that you almost can’t tell he’s sitting on his ski.

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.

Lourdes Irizarry / paradoxsports.tumblr.com

You wouldn’t think mountain climbing would be an activity a paraplegic person could still enjoy. But one group’s efforts to adapt activities like mountain climbing are coming to fruition.

In the first part of Friday's Up to Date, we talk about how they’re making sports more available to people with disabilities and what inspired them to get involved with this project.

Guests:

Jacob McCleland / KRCU

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.

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, began on Feb. 7 and the world has been enthralled with the incredible athleticism displayed at the games.

Today we talk with professional runner Amy Mortimer, who placed ninth at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials. Later, we discuss what it takes for Olympians to train and compete in extreme winter conditions.

Also, KCUR reporter Laura Ziegler talks about the public's reactions to the Olympic games with this week's Tell KCUR. Finally, we explore what's at stake for Russia in hosting these games.

Guests:

Greg Echlin / KCUR

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.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

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.

Pinball's second generation

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.

Ian Echlin

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.”

Courtesy of Phil Dixon

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.

Greg Echlin / KCUR

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.

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Covering sports in Kansas City can be a real rollercoaster. Often, you’re reporting on a losing season, but sometimes you hit a high point, like the current Chiefs’ season. 

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with Kansas City Star sports columnist Sam Mellinger about what it’s like to write about sports in this town.

Guest:

  • Sam Mellinger is a sports columnist for the Kansas City Star.

From the highs of professional baseball and even the World Series to the lows of drug addiction and bankruptcy, former Royals player Willie Wilson has had quite the journey.

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