Online competitive gaming is increasingly mirroring the world of professional sports. E-sports are attracting hard-working teams that compete for millions of dollars in prize money.
Generally, gamers wage battles with one another using rapid clicks of a computer mouse. "A lot of it comes down to reflexes, but a lot of [it] is strategy," says David Gorman, a sportscaster for the popular e-sport, Dota 2. "It's very much like chess, except it's in real time. Almost like speed chess."
This week, one-fifth of the biggest boy band in the world made up one-eleventh of an English professional soccer team. In a charity game, the One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson turned out to play for his hometown club, the reserve team of Doncaster Rovers.
South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius goes on trial next week for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Guardian reporter David Smith about the upcoming court case.
The first American athlete to win an Olympic medal in singles luge returned home last night. Erin Hamlin's thrilling runs on the ice track in Sochi earned her the bronze. She also earned a police escort past miles of cheering crowds to her tiny hometown of Remsen. It's in the foothills of New York's Adirondack Mountains. North Country Public Radio's David Sommerstein was there for her homecoming.
Broken noses are part of the game for NBA players. Elbows fly. Bodies collide. Balls ricochet.
Beaks get bonked.
Many nights, you'll see at least one player from across the 30-team league protecting his still-sensitive schnoz with a clear plastic mask.
But not the current best player in the game.
A week ago, LeBron James of the Miami Heat broke his nose. Thursday night against the New York Knicks, King James chose a rather menacing look for his return from the injury: an all-black, carbon-fiber mask.
Olympic snowboarder Sarka Pancochova of the Czech Republic got a flurry of attention when she suffered a nasty crash on the slopes in Sochi that split her helmet. She's OK, the helmet absorbed some of the blow. More than two-thirds of Americans who ski or snowboard now wear helmets.
But as Fred Bever, of member station WBUR reports, there are still the question about how much protection they really provide.
It's time to make home plate smaller. I know: That's heresy; that's sacrilegious. But there are simply too many strikeouts in baseball now, and that hurts the game, because if the ball isn't in play, it's boring.
The size of home plate was not decreed by God. Back when it was an iron plate — where the name came from — it was, in fact, round. It became rubber and a square, 12 inches to a side, but its present distinctive shape was established in 1900 — a full 17inches across.
Norwegians love winter sports. Their haul of 26 medals in Sochi placed them third behind Russia and the U.S., a disproportionate haul. So you might think people in Oslo would be thrilled that their city is a likely contender to host the 2022 Winter Games.
But Sidsel Overgaard found that's not always the case.
SIDSEL OVERGAARD, BYLINE: It's a brisk night in Oslo, a new dusting of snow on the ground. In the city center, mittened children scrape and twirl on an outdoor rink, torn up by a day's hard use.