Sports

Man Versus Science

May 15, 2014
Logo for ESPN. Sport Science is an ESPN TV series
Creative Commons

    

Can an NFL running back muster the same force as a running bull? Does a nine-foot python squeeze harder than a martial arts star?

Former Brazilian Soccer Player Pelé is shirtless and being hoisted up by fans after the 1970 world cup on Cover of Fútbol! Why Soccer Matters in Latin America
http://upf.com/ / University Press of Florida

  

Sports say a lot about a city, state, or nation. Joshua Nadel’s new book explores the place of soccer in Latin America, and how it's influenced national identity in a post-colonial world. Nadel is the author of “Fútbol!: Why Soccer Matters in Latin America” (University Press of Florida; 2014) and a professor of Latin American and Caribbean History at North Carolina Central University. 

Current and former NBA players praised the league's decision to punish LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling with a lifetime ban over racist remarks he made in an audio recording. Commissioner Adam Silver announced the punishment Tuesday, days after the audio emerged.

In addition to the lifetime ban, the NBA also fined Sterling $2.5 million.

We play for each other, for our fans, and for our families — not Donald Sterling.

That was the general message that players for the Los Angeles Clippers reiterated, off-mic, when the Sterling fiasco blew up over the weekend. They were being buffeted by questions about how, exactly, they might respond to allegations that Sterling, the team owner, had been recorded saying that he did not want black people to attend his team's games. Would they boycott? Would they be focused enough to be able to play?

Mary Willingham
Chris Griffin / Daily Tar Heel

The reading specialist who questioned the literacy level of athletes who were admitted to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says she's resigning at the end of the semester. 

Mary Willingham confirmed her decision to WUNC after a closed-door meeting with UNC Chancellor Carol Folt.

Beth Neel, at finish line of Richmond Half Marathon
Beth Neel

The Rock 'N' Roll Raleigh marathon will be held this Sunday. It's a huge event with lots of music, as the name implies. Recently we asked Rock 'N' Roll Raleigh marathon runners two simple questions: "Who Are You?" and "Why Do You Run?"

The very first response we received was from someone telling us why they are NOT running.

Ryan and Rebecca Means with daughter Skyla
Robin Adams Photography / Project Remote

It takes one and a half days to hike there.  It's 5.5 miles from the nearest road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ladies and gentlemen, the remotest place in North Carolina:

Ryan and Rebecca Means are the couple who identified this place. Their Project Remote is one of the coolest things we've come across recently.

The Tar Heel bench
J.D. Lyon, Jr.

In case you've been living under a rock, there's an exciting basketball game happening this weekend. Duke and UNC will play again. The last game, on February 20 was really a nail-biter.

basketball
mvongrue via Flickr/Creative Commons

Daniel Vermeer grew up in Iowa with a passion for basketball. When his academic studies took him to Nepal, he discovered an interesting influence of American cable television: local love for the Atlanta Hawks.

"So you can imagine," says Vermeer, "[I'm] in this little hut in Kathmandu, watching TV and an Atlanta Hawks game came on.  With these enormous guys, jumping through the roof, slamming the ball..." 

Empty speed skating rink at the Sochi Olympics
Heather Richardson / Twitter

Heather Richardson was born to skate. She found success on rollerblades first, and then moved onto the ice. Before the Sochi Olympic games, she was favored to win three medals in speed skating. But she's come up empty.

Sports Illustrated writes:

Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh

The spectacle, ummm...sporting event, that is known as the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon is headed to Raleigh this April. Are you familiar with it?

The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon is a tour. It heads to cities around the U.S. and the world in order to stage marathons. Before they reach Raleigh, marathons will be held in New Orleans, Washington, DC, Dallas, and San Francisco. (They will also hold international events prior to reaching North Carolina, in Nice, France; and Madrid, Spain.)

The Duke Mens Lacrosse Team won its second national title.
Duke University

The Duke men's lacrosse team overcame an early deficit to beat Syracuse 16-10 for its second national title.  The Blue Devils began Monday's game by missing their first 11 shots on goal.  That allowed the Orange to race out to a 5-nothing lead into the second quarter. 

Duke head coach John Danowski said he felt the pressure of the game was a factor.

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