Sports in Society

Billions of reasons to be missed

How the games we play shape culture and society

In this episode 3 stories

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Back in the game for bars? MLB Opening Day arrives
One year into the pandemic, Baltimore, Md., sports bars and restaurant owners look forward to the return of Orioles fans and sports regulars as Opening Day of the 2021 MLB season approaches.
Listen 9 mins
The Metaphysics of Big Sausage (…and Little Things)
Boston, known as “Title Town,” is home to some of the most famous food vendors in the world. How has the pandemic impacted them, and what does it all mean? Time for a little help from an unexpected guru: The Sausage Guy.
Read 7 mins
College sports towns are beaten down, but hopeful
In cities like Madison, Wis., Clemson, S.C., and State College, Pa. — the small- and mid-size college towns whose vibrant local sports scenes are part of their lifeblood — the pandemic has rocked entire communities.

Sports in Society

The ongoing push for equality in the press box

How the games we play shape culture and society

In this episode 3 stories

Read 7 mins
This sports journalist is ‘doing pretty good for a girl’
Insider, TV analyst, senior writer, mom — Ramona Shelburne’s juggling act is blazing a path for women in sports media.
Read 14 mins
Pioneering photojournalist proves naysayers wrong
Getty Images staff photographer Elsa Garrison, who goes by just Elsa, leads female sports photographers by example.
Listen 12 mins
Limón Romero: sports, journalism, and mentoring
Iliana Limón Romero has combined her passion for sports and commitment to journalism in a distinguished career of almost 20 years. Recently appointed Deputy Sports Editor for the Los Angeles Times, she talks about engaging readers, collaborating with writers, and mentoring aspiring journalists.

Sports in Society

The bionic body

How the games we play shape culture and society

In this episode 3 stories

Read 8 mins
Medical-tech gains bring the bionic human closer to reality
Humans may be running faster, jumping higher and going longer than at any point in our history, thanks to technology. Ultramarathoner Richard Donovan is leading the way — even after having his knee replaced.
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High-tech prosthetic limb keeps this soldier in the game
Sgt. 1st Class Brant Ireland, who had a leg amputated above the knee after he was injured serving in Afghanistan, trains for the 2021 Warrior Games. Ireland set up a workout room in his garage during the pandemic.
Listen 7 mins
Artificial muscles tech + a 3-D printer = a bionic sports bra
3-D printed cells and wearable artificial muscle fabrics are just some of the ways materials scientists and biomedical engineers are improving human performance. Renowned expert Professor Gordon Wallace discusses his cutting-edge work in the field of medical bionics.

Sports in Society

The indoor games people play

How the games we play shape culture and society

In this episode 3 stories

Read 5 mins
Black puzzles celebrate, affirm children's identities
As the country struggles with Covid, a range of legitimate social and political debates, and a tough economy, young Black entrepreneurs are using the medium of jigsaw puzzles to help Black children see themselves in the world.
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Pandemic play at home is keeping us entertained
People have come up with creative ideas for indoor games to play in-person or virtually with friends and family members to pass the time during shutdowns.
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Netflix and Covid reignite a childhood passion for chess
Nathan Wells enjoyed chess — and even competed — during his youth, but that didn't carry over into his adult years until the pandemic and a binge-worthy Netflix show reminded him how it can bring people together.

Sports in Society

Playing through the uncertainty

How the games we play shape culture and society

In this episode 3 stories

Read 7 mins
Weighing the risks for athletes — and their futures
Big-time sports was one of the first industries to get back to business post-pandemic lockdown. However, Covid-19 continues to spread through the sports world with little information about how athletes are impacted.
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Runner returns to training after recovering from Covid
Danny Cohen, a senior distance runner on the University of Pennsylvania track and field and cross-country teams, was diagnosed with Covid-19 on Dec. 1, 2020. He is assessing his health as he returns to training after recovery.
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Into the ring with Covid: Playing through a pandemic
It took professional wrestler Shaun Ricker nearly 20 years to make his way from a small town in Maryland to the bright lights of the WWE. Now he’s wrestling an opponent he never saw coming.

Sports in Society

Forging new routes

How the games we play shape culture and society

In this episode 3 stories

Read 6 mins
On your mark, get set … go virtual — for a good cause
Road races get creative when the pandemic places obstacles in the way. Many runners are grateful for the chance to keep running for a cause as charities and nonprofit clubs grapple with revenue shortfalls.
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Avid runner finds freedom in virtual races
As the primary caregiver for her husband, Michelle Hodelin says staying healthy during the pandemic is especially important. But so is her passion for running. She’s found an answer in virtual races.
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No crowds, no fanfare, just the miles — and an app
Road race sponsors have taken the mass of runners, spectators and vendors off courses due to Covid-19 social distancing restrictions. Runners now complete races solo or in small groups.

Sports in Society

Game over? The state of college sports

How the games we play shape culture and society

In this episode 3 stories

Watch 2 mins
Thousands of student-athletes sidelined by Covid shutdowns
Hundreds of college sports have been cut, leaving thousands of college athletes with their sports cancelled or suspended.  But there is some good news: The NCAA is granting an extra year of eligibility to players.
Listen 6 mins
College women's swim team fights to keep sport afloat
The University of Iowa cut four sports teams — swimming, diving, gymnastics and tennis — due to lost revenue under Covid-19. But members of the women's swimming and diving team decided to fight back.
Read 6 mins
Some colleges add new sports teams and opportunities
While many universities have ended some college sports programs, a handful of colleges have added teams, including one small liberal arts college in western North Carolina that now offers men’s and women’s lacrosse.

Sports in Society

Posting up

How the games we play shape culture and society

In this episode 4 stories

Read 6 mins
Explainer: Why NCAA is mulling changing the rules
A look at the legal cases and events that have challenged the organization’s long-standing policies prohibiting compensation for student athletes beyond their athletic or academic scholarships.
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NCAA ruling could benefit UConn player, female athletes
Paige Bueckers built her career and social media presence while playing in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Proposed NCAA changes could allow her and athletes like her to profit from allowing use of their names and images, which would be especially significant for female athletes.
Listen 12 mins
Saturdays, athletes, social media: 'Another day, no dollar'
Stephen Good was one of the top high school football prospects from Texas. Congressman Bill Thomas was known as “the hottest temper” on the Hill. On playing fields worlds apart, they’re connected by the rules of the game.
Read 6 mins
These athletes give social posts extra pep
Unlike college athletes, college cheerleaders can take on endorsements and earn cash as social media influencers — but the gig is not as lucrative as you might imagine.

Sports in Society

Chasing opportunities across state lines

How the games we play shape culture and society

In this episode 4 stories

Read 6 mins
The road not taken: Player opts to wait out shutdown
As some high school athletes sought opportunities across state lines to sidestep local pandemic restrictions, this family decided to stay put, but still wonder if that was the right decision for their basketball-playing son.
Listen 8 mins
Football coach: To get to next level, players 'needed to go'
When the State of Illinois canceled the 2020 high school football season, head coach Tim Racki saw some of his best players leave the state to play elsewhere.
Watch 3 mins
High school pitcher makes move to keep dreams in play
When faced with the cancellation of the high school baseball season in Minnesota due to the pandemic, the Ferrell family chose to take a chance. Caideyn Ferrell left home, chasing his baseball dreams in another state.
Read 3 mins
For some, transferring is an avenue to college scholarships
Athletes and their families are asking for transfers and leaving home to pursue a chance to keep playing the sport they love and possibly earn college scholarships.

Sports in Society

Nowhere to play

How the games we play shape culture and society

In this episode 4 stories

Watch 2 mins
Covid closures leave winter sports in the back yard
Like tens of thousands of other young athletes, Logan Schafer, 11, has had to be creative when trying to keep his hockey skills sharp. Pond and lake rinks help fill that gap.
Read 6 mins
Queens family anxious for return of youth sports
Without the right support, youth athletes are leaving sports at an alarming rate. Athletic families and organizations are searching for ways to persevere.
Listen 6 mins
When soccer returned, life felt normal again
Like millions of other teenagers stuck inside during the pandemic, Gabbi Bishop was bored and listless. It was until she returned to the soccer pitch that life felt sorta normal again.
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After-school skate program provides more than bruises
When Covid-19 hit, Skate After School in Arizona still had plenty to give to kids. The skateboarding organization has shifted its priorities to try to support its community during the shutdown.

Sports in Society

Gaining ground

How the games we play shape culture and society

In this episode 4 stories

Listen 6 mins
Beyond the playing field: Equality for women in sports
Cori Frankenberg, community relations manager for the Minnesota UFC, talks about what it’s like to navigate the field of sports leadership — often considered a “man’s world”— and how her passion fuels her commitment.
Read 7 mins
Women are breaking barriers in the NBA, other big leagues
More women are climbing the executive ranks in the male-dominated industry of professional sports.
Watch 4 mins
Curry aims to break glass ceiling in men's basketball
University of Maine’s men’s Division I basketball assistant coach has advice for women who want to blaze their own trails: Stop asking for permission.
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Women in sports positions who are leading the way
These are some of the women who are breaking gender barriers in professional and collegiate sports through their coaching, organizational leadership and advocacy.

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