Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
Being a professional football player can be a brutal life. Nate Jackson spent six years in the NFL, mostly as a receiver with the Denver Broncos, and while he wasn't a star — or even a starter — he did carve out life in the rarefied air of professional sports, and he got just as banged up as any big-name player. But he learned to play through the pain.
The Cubs and the White Socks are both in last place in their divisions. How can one major city have two teams in a race to the bottom? Host Scott Simon asks former Weekend Edition Saturday sports commentator Ron Rapoport, editor of a new anthology, From Black Sox to Three Peats: A Century of Chicago's Best Sportswriting.
Know what gets me through the week? The chance to say, time for sports!
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SIMON: Football season is back with a kathunk(ph). Plus, the first two teams have qualified for the Major League Baseball playoffs, and the WMBA playoffs are on. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Good morning, Tom.
There's big money in fantasy sports. Last year, alone, people paid $1.7 billion to play in fantasy leagues. With all that money sloshing around, a fantasy economy has sprung up, giving rise to real businesses. Here are four of them.
The Insurance Company
Henry Olszewski founded Fantasy Sports Insurance in 2008 — the year the financial system nearly collapsed. And, more importantly, the year New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady suffered a serious hit to the knee.
All right. In this country, women's pro basketball playoffs begin tonight. The contenders seeking a win of intergalactic proportions, as you said a moment ago, Renee, include the Chicago Sky. They've never made the WNBA playoffs before.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Well, a big reason for their success is six foot five inch rookie Elena Della Donne. She's been famous for a while. She was once known as the player who walked away from the best team in women's college basketball.
Soccer was banned in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Today it's fueling a week-long party. Afghans are over the moon since their national team won the South Asian Football Federation championship last week. It was a stunning victory over India, two to nothing, especially for a team of unpaid players who slept in airports on the way to tournaments because they could not afford hotel rooms.
Now, what's novel about this year's Major League Baseball playoffs, and what's the matter with Cleveland? Each league has two wild-card teams these days, in addition to three division winners. The wild cards will have a single-game playoff.