sports

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.

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."

Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

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.

Mike Morbeck / Flickr--Creative Commons

The Kansas City Chiefs open the 2013 NFL season with a road game Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla. With general manager and coaching changes this year, hopes are not just resting on a reversal from last year’s 2-14 record. It’s more about ending a drought that has now lasted 20 years.

Ironically, at the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week for the Kansas City Chiefs everyone there enjoyed a full plate, while eight-year veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson shared with the event’s emcee, Mitch Holthus, a rather desperate feeling.

www.usatf.org

In 1959, Bob Lida dominated the Big Eight championship with his time in the indoor 440-yard dash.  More than 50 years later, he's still running-- and still a champ.

Greg Echlin

Because of a hand injury last year, Tom Watson was unable to defend the last tournament he won, the Senior PGA Championship. But he’s healthy now and in the frame of mind to win another championship.

This year’s Senior PGA Championship takes place at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, MO.

Though Tom Watson is 63 now, he’s not ready to give in easily to age. He compares his attitude to another legendary golfer, Arnold Palmer.

"He still thinks he can do it. He goes out there and may not be able to, but he still thinks he can do it," says Watson.

Competition

Apr 1, 2013

It has been quite a week for one of the biggest sports competitions of the year. And just as march madness comes to a end the Kansas City Royals, kick off their season opener in Chicago.

In honor of these events we’ll be taking a look at the psychology of competition. It permeates not just sports, but almost every aspect of our lives as we compete for money, prestige and more.  But, when is it healthy and when does it become detrimental not just to our personal, but social wellbeing?  And how do we tell the difference?

The first bow and arrow is believed to have been used around 12-thousand years ago, but with the rise of guns, archery fell out of favor.  Now, it’s being revived with the help of school programs across the county. Eric Edwards from the Missouri Department Conservation and coordinator for the Missouri National Archery in Schools Program shares with us how archery is helping young people learn discipline, love of sport, and concentration.

Last week, the International Olympic Committee announced it will be taking wrestling to the mat--the 2016 Games will be the last for the ancient sport. But with March Madness approaching and spring training already underway, why should the casual fan care? Commentator Victor Wishna explains in this month's edition of  A Fan's Notes.

For every Arrowhead Stadium, there are a handful more named for banks, cell-phone companies, or airlines. In big-time sports, corporate naming-rights deals aren't just a trend, they are the rule - with millions of dollars at stake. 

But what's in a name? Sometimes more than was bargained for. Commentator Victor Wishna explains in A Fan's Notes

The organ music, peanuts and even that occasional flying hot dog are all part of going out to Kauffman Stadium for a Royals game.

Audio Pending...

As the year comes to close, A Fan’s Notes commentator Victor Wishna looks back on “the year that was” in the world of Kansas City sports… with a glimmer of hope at what could be.

U.S. Department of Defense

Was it wrong for fans to cheer at Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel's injury? What about the scandal of Gen. David Petraeus and his extra-marital affair-- is it any of our business?

Missouri Mavericks

Name the area professional sports team to make it to the playoffs the last two seasons.  Hint: it doesn't play in Kansas City.

KC Sports Report

Oct 15, 2012
flickr / Jeremy Brooks

We’re unfolding the newspaper for a look at the latest headlines from the sports section. Did you miss a game this season? ...or all of them?

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