Sweetness And Light

Sweetness And LightSweetness And Light

The Score On Sports With Frank Deford

Know who this gymnast is? You will soon. Seventeen-year-old Jordyn Wieber will compete for the U.S. women's gymnastics team in the 2012 London Olympics. Jeff Roberson/AP hide caption

toggle caption Jeff Roberson/AP

From Obscurity To The Olympics Back To Obscurity

It's time for the Olympics! Which means, at least for commentator Frank Deford, that it's time to cheer for obscure sports that we only watch every four years.

Listen Loading… 3:24
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/157282868/157342122" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Marathon medal winners listen to the anthem from the victory stand during the presentation ceremony at the XXI Summer Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976. From left, Frank Shorter, U.S.A., silver; Waldemar Cierpinski, East Germany, gold, Olympic record; and Karel Lismont, Belgium, bronze. Evidence of doping by the East Germans suggests that Shorter deserved the gold medal. AP hide caption

toggle caption AP

Doping In Baseball: The Needle And The Damage Done

Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are being considered for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Is it fair to other players if Clemens and Bonds receive the honor?

Listen Loading… 3:25
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/156903770/156956191" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Andy Murray returns a shot during the men's final match at Wimbledon. A pair of tickets for the match went for £32,000 (about $50,000). Paul Gilham/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Joe Paterno walks the sidelines during warm-ups before a game between his Penn State Nittany Lions and the Temple Owls in Philadelphia last September. Paterno, who died in January, was fired on Nov. 9, four days after Jerry Sandusky was initially arrested on charges of sexually abusing 10 boys. Chris Szagola/AP hide caption

toggle caption Chris Szagola/AP

The adoption of Title IX has spurred growth in women's collegiate sports, including soccer. But a women's pro league has struggled, cutting its season short this year. Here, Notre Dame celebrates winning the NCAA College Cup in 2010. Gerry Broome/AP hide caption

toggle caption Gerry Broome/AP

Artist LeRoy Neiman, who died last week at 91, signs serigraphs of baseball's Mike Piazza (left) in 2000. Kathy Willens/AP hide caption

toggle caption Kathy Willens/AP

The Man Who Painted Sport, Bright And Beautiful

The recent death of artist LeRoy Neiman calls for remembering a man who was humble with his success, and generous with his help.

Listen Loading… 3:47
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/155801212/155824064" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Pittsburgh Pirates fans reach for a foul ball hit into the stands by Mike Moustakas of the Kansas City Royals in the seventh inning of a game in Pittsburgh. Keith Srakocic/AP hide caption

toggle caption Keith Srakocic/AP

The Language Of Baseball: In Is Out And Foul Is Fair

Why is it called a foul ball? Why not just say it's out? Commentator Frank Deford doth wonder if the language in baseball hath Shakespearean roots.

Listen Loading… 3:54
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/154839159/154839870" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Triple Crown hopefull I'll Have Another is ridden by exercise rider Jonny Garcia during a morning workout at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. Al Bello/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Al Bello/Getty Images

Please Sir, I'd Rather Have Another

In the run-up to the Belmont — the final race in the Triple Crown — commentator Frank Deford explains why he doesn't want I'll Have Another to be the winning horse.

Listen Loading… 3:57
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/154348628/154408251" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Larger Than Life: Tourists pose in front of a UEFA Euro 2012 Cup placard on Kiev's Independence Square in Ukraine. Europe is entering a packed sports schedule — but soccer still reigns supreme, says Frank Deford. Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs have won 18 games in a row as they head into the NBA's Western Conference Finals. But Frank Deford wants to know: Has anyone noticed? Harry How/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Harry How/Getty Images

NBA And NHL Playoffs: Does Anyone Really Care?

The NBA and NHL seasons are coming to a close, but as commentator Frank Deford points out, you couldn't be faulted for overlooking them.

Listen Loading… 3:24
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/153197571/153354596" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Real Salt Lake's Jonny Steele (right) trips Chicago Fire's Sebastian Grazzini during a Major League Soccer matchup. The game ended without a score — one of 11 ties each MLS team is likely to record this season. John Smierciak/AP hide caption

toggle caption John Smierciak/AP

The American Way: Winners And Losers, And No Ties

It's not whether you win or lose — it's how you play the game. But Frank Deford says its downright un-American to have a tie in sports.

Listen Loading… 3:35
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/152737291/152809537" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Attorney William T. Gibbs (left), and Tregg Duerson, son of former Chicago Bears player Dave Duerson, announce the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL on Feb. 23 in Chicago. The lawsuit accuses the NFL of negligently causing the brain damage that led Duerson to take his own life at 50, by not warning him of the negative effects of concussions. Charles Rex Arbogast/AP hide caption

toggle caption Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Mind Games: Football And Head Injuries

Commentator Frank Deford wonders what will happen to American football as concerns over head injuries grow.

Listen Loading… 3:35
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/152250525/152262057" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Hansen, ridden by Ramon A. Dominguez, races to the finish to win the March 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct in New York. Adam Coglianese/AP hide caption

toggle caption Adam Coglianese/AP

A Horse Of A Different Color

The 3-year-old champion colt Hansen is unlikely to win this year's Kentucky Derby, but his white coloring ensures that all eyes will be on him.

Listen Loading… 3:49
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/151756328/151832799" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Yani Tseng of Taiwan hits a bunker shot to the ninth green during the second round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship at the Ko Olina Golf Club in Kapolei, Hawaii. Jeff Gross/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Billy the Marlin cheers during a game between the Miami Marlins and the Houston Astros at Marlins Park in Miami. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Those Wild And Crazy Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins are back in the news. That's no surprise to Frank Deford, who thinks the team is one of the zaniest in baseball.

Listen Loading… 3:25
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/150802733/150859145" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor