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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Sports 2015: A Year In Review

Dec 26, 2015

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OK, it's time for sports.

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WERTHEIMER: 2015 is on its way out, but not before NPR's Tom Goldman joins us to talk about sports highlights from the past year. Hey, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hey, happy day after Christmas.

What Were 2015's Biggest Sports Stories?

Dec 19, 2015

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And now it's time for sports.

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Mike Foley

The Memorial Tournament and Columbus-based Nationwide have announced that the company will sponsor the annual golf event in Dublin for another six years. 

I love corny sports terminology. My favorite newspaper word is "tilt," meaning game. Have you ever, even once in your life, heard anybody speak the word "tilt" when they mean game? No, you haven't.

The best term in broadcast is "shaken up." The quarterback could have his throwing arm ripped from his body, and the announcer would say he is "shaken up." Have you ever, even once in your life, heard anybody use the expression "shaken up," when they mean hurt real bad? No, you haven't.

Click the audio to find out Frank Deford's favorite sports word.

Serena Williams, one of the greatest athletes in the world, had one of the greatest years in sports. For this, Sports Illustrated named her the 2015 Sportsperson of the Year. The article highlighted some of her achievements:

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Daily fantasy sports have been getting a ton of publicity. It started with nonstop TV ads from companies that allow you to play fantasy sports for money.

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There are new safety rules this week targeting concussions in youth soccer. As part of a lawsuit settlement, the United States Soccer Federation has announced new restrictions on striking the ball with the head.

U.S. leagues love playing games abroad. At first it was more just to show off our indigenous sports and hope the simpleminded foreigners would see what they were missing and start playing the red, white and blue games themselves.

New York state's attorney general has ordered the two biggest daily fantasy sports companies to stop accepting bets there. He says those games constitute illegal gambling under state law.

In making the announcement, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the games "cause the same kinds of social and economic harm as other forms of illegal gambling" and mislead consumers:

In football, a sport that demands military-style discipline and singular focus, there's ample precedent for speaking out against the status quo.

What happened at the University of Missouri in recent days, with African-American football players calling for a boycott with the support of coaches, is dramatic, but it's the kind of action that was quite common around 50 years ago, according to historian Lane Demas, a professor at Central Michigan University.

I have an idea to help the Republicans solve their presidential nominating dilemma: Let's have a fantasy primary campaign. The Fox network can run it, and the voters will choose which candidates they think will win the various primaries.

After all, fantasy is in, fantasy is fantastic. In sports, fantasy is giving reality a run for its money. Why should sports have all the fun?

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One of the great misunderstandings about college sports, which the big-time schools love to slyly imply, is that other sports on campus must be forever grateful that football and basketball pay for their right to exist.

Moreover, there is the concomitant threat that if ever colleges had to actually pay salaries to their football and basketball players, well, then, the athletic departments would be forced to drop those other "beggar sports" that don't bring in revenue.

This is, of course, utter nonsense.

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.

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.

High school football is taking a hit across the U.S. as mounting research shows that the sport is linked to repeated head trauma and a number of deaths in the country. In St. Louis, a school district has disbanded its football team, citing injuries and waning demand for the sport.

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Time now for sports.

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Remember that Chicago Cubs fan who may or may not have cost his team a crucial out in Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship series against the Marlins?

No? Well, let's take a jaunt down memory lane:

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This is an example of a disturbing scene emerging in high school sports.

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UNIDENTIFIED SPORTS ANNOUNCER: Another - oh - he just hit the referee. He just hit the referee.

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So, maybe you've been having a bad day.

We're pretty sure that one guy — a baseball fan at Tuesday's Yankees game — can one up you.

The man was sitting along the third base line and got three chances to catch a ball. The guy fumbled all of them:

The good news: He eventually did get a ball, and he — and the woman sitting next to him — seemed to get over the mishaps just fine.

Baseball Legend Yogi Berra Dies At 90

Sep 23, 2015

Yogi Berra, known as much for his quotable malapropisms as for his baseball career, has died at his home in New Jersey, according to Dave Kaplan, director of the Yogi Berra Museum. The Hall of Famer was 90 years old.

Berra was a Yankee alongside fellow legends Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle from 1949 to 1965, helping the team win 10 World Series championships. He played in more World Series (14) than any other major leaguer and was named MVP three times.

For those who have never seen the show American Ninja Warrior: Imagine an Army obstacle course, redesigned by Dr. Seuss and a team of rock-climbing acrobats. Competitors have to thread their way through the daunting obstacles, completing a number of stages before they can hope to finish the whole thing.

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Time now for sports.

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"On FanDuel I've won over $62,000 — try FanDuel today."

"This is DraftKings. Welcome to the big time. You can play when you want with the team you want. Just pick your contest, pick your team, and pick up your winnings."

These types of ads have been inescapable on NFL broadcasts so far this season. They are encouraging fans to play a type of fantasy sports game — and bet real money on their performance.

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As an absolutely impossible thing happened to Serena Williams on the way to becoming the absolutely guaranteed Grand Slam champion, it reminds us once again, on the field of play, there is no sure thing. But off the field, some things are, to coin a word: un-upsettable.

At the top of the un-upsettable list is that in American city after American city, either the voters or their elected tribunes will put up oodles of the citizens' hard-deducted tax money in order to fund a new stadium for the benefit of a filthy-rich team owner.

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