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How to Watch-- Race and Sports in America: Conversations airs Monday at 5pm

How to Watch-- Race and Sports in America: Conversations airs Monday at 5pm

On Monday night, Golf Channel’s Damon Hack will host two roundtables with athletes and former athletes for a conversation on race and sports in America. The show airs 5pm Monday on NBC Sports Northwest, as well as NBCSN, Golf Channel, Olympic Channel.

Among the topics discussed are: The conversations they’ve had with family in the last few months, what they hope things will be like in a year’s time, the level of optimism vs. pessimism and their experiences.

The full list of athletes who participated in the “Race and Sports in America: Conversations” roundtables:

• Charles Barkley – 1992 and 1996 Olympic basketball champion
• James Blake – 10-time ATP tennis champion, 2008 Olympian
• Stephen Curry – two-time NBA MVP, two-time FIBA world champion
• Troy Mullins – World Long Drive competitor
• Anthony Lynn – Los Angeles Chargers head coach
• Jimmy Rollins – World Series champion shortstop
• Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings tight end
• Ozzie Smith – Major League Baseball Hall of Famer

Additionally, Hack was joined by Super Bowl champion running back Jerome Bettis for an extended interview that will be published on NBC Sports’ digital and podcast platforms.

The Black Lives Matter movement reached a crescendo in late May, when a police officer knelt on the neck of a Minneapolis man named George Floyd for eight minutes and 46 seconds, suffocating him while knowingly being recorded. The murder, which followed the deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbary, set off weeks of riots and has led to two months of protest across the country and around the world.

“This crap started 400 years ago,” Barkley said during the conversation. “We can’t do nothing about that. We can’t do anything about systematic racism. What I challenge every Black person, every white person to do: What can I do today going forward?

“You have to ask yourself, I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Because if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

“We have to continue to double down and double down and keep people accountable in all walks of life, all industries, all forms of leadership, the judicial system, all those type of things,” Curry said. “And hopefully for my kids’ generation, their kids, we will see change. I’m hopeful and optimistic about, but I understand how much work will need to go into that.”

Race and Sports in America: Conversations airs Mon., July 13 on NBCSNW, NBCSN, Golf Channel and the Olympic Channel at 5 p.m. PT.

Sports Uncovered: The most exciting hockey game was also the longest

Sports Uncovered: The most exciting hockey game was also the longest

So often, as a long-time watcher of televised sports, I’ve been fortunate to have lived my life in the Pacific time zone. Oh my, has it ever mattered.

Particularly because of one of my weird favorite things in sports that likely not many others share -- my love for overtimes and extra innings, long games with no idea of when they will end.

This is the part where my personal life and professional life take opposite turns, by the way. As a writer and broadcaster, those games make you crazy. They are terrible. You need to get your work done and you can’t even start it.

Even as an in-arena spectator at a long game, it’s as if you’re being held hostage. You don’t want to leave, but it’s late and the concession stand is out of food and you have to get up early in the morning or you need to get the kids home to bed.

But at home, watching such a game on TV? Bring it on!

The best hockey game I ever watched was the five-overtime, six-hour and 56-minute playoff game in 2000 between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

And I was so lucky to be watching on the West Coast because with the three-hour time-zone advantage, I was able to stay awake for the finish.

If you never watched that game (or even if you did), NBC Sports Philadelphia is producing this week’s edition of “Sports Uncovered” -- an in-depth look at the incredible event that’s a fun “podumentary.”

There is audio from a good many of the participants and even doctors who had to treat players for all sorts of ailments based on their exertion throughout what’s been called the “Marathon on Ice.”

My mom couldn't watch the game anymore. At around 11:30 she said, I can't take this stress. So she turned it off and she woke up at 1:30. She goes, I gotta go find a score. She turned it on and the game was still going. So you know, they ran out of beer in the Pittsburgh arena. People were sleeping in the stands. It was, it was crazy. — Ron Tugnutt, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender

It was a tense contest and I remember all the great opportunities that were missed that could have ended the game sooner and how fatigued the players got as the thing dragged on. They were cutting their lines down to shifts as short as 10 seconds to try to keep them as fresh as possible.

I had a couple of shifts in the game, where I jumped on the ice and the bench was right near the center ice red line. I took three steps one way and stopped, went back three the other way, stopped and turned to the bench and said “change” and just jumped on, so I can guarantee you I had a couple of shifts that were less than ten seconds long. — Keith Jones, Philadelphia Flyers right wing

It was an amazing happening -- a heart-stopping saga to watch and fun to relive two decades later.

And I remember such a mix of excitement and relief when Keith Primeau, all 6-5 and 220 pounds of him, finally scored the game winner. He had been dominant much of the game and throughout the night was my pick to end it.

And as long as I’m comfortable in front of the tube, I love the drama in those games that could end any time but seem as if they never will.

My favorite, all-time baseball game came on July 4, 1985, when the Mets needed 19 innings and six hours and 10 minutes to beat the Braves in Atlanta 16-13. It was an incredible game full of twists, turns and high drama.

And I think the Trail Blazers’ four-overtime, not-so-instant classic win over Denver in the playoffs last season would have been a lot more fun had I been sitting at home in an easy chair rather than changing my writing focus a dozen times at Moda.

But take a listen to Sports Uncovered and find out about a hockey game that kept even the West Coast up late. And the podumentary is a lot quicker than sitting through the five overtimes.

To never miss an episode, be sure to subscribe to Sports Uncovered and get every episode automatically downloaded to your phone. Sports Uncovered is available on the MyTeams app and on every major podcasting platform: AppleGoogle PodcastiHeartStitcherSpotify, and TuneIn

How to listen to Sports Uncovered podcast and Marathon on Ice episode

How to listen to Sports Uncovered podcast and Marathon on Ice episode

The "Marathon on Ice" between the Flyers and Penguins during the 2000 playoffs was more than just a five-overtime game for the history books.

The 2-1 Game 4 victory for the Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals was not only a series-swinging result, but it may have also swung the future for both clubs in some ways.

Sports Uncovered: Marathon on Ice podcast digs into that storyline and so much more, from the crazy food to the crazy amount of fatigue.

And this isn't the only Sports Uncovered podcast by the NBC Sports family. Sports Uncovered will feature deep-dive perspective and behind-the-scene insight on some of the biggest stories in sports across the regional networks.

Sports Uncovered is available in the MyTeams app and on all podcasting platforms: Art 19AppleStitcherSpotifyGoogle PodcastsTuneIn and iHeart.

You can check out the latest podcasts and what's to come right here:

The Sports Uncovered: Marathon on Ice — NBC Sports Philadelphia

How the Flyers and Penguins survived seven hours of playoff hockey as they battled in the longest game of the NHL’s modern era.

Sports Uncovered: Sean Taylor, the NFL superstar we didn’t get to know — NBC Sports Washington

Untold stories that explain why the NFL’s biggest stars revere Sean Taylor, the Redskins safety who was killed at 24 while protecting his family.

Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football — NBC Sports Northwest

How the University of Oregon ignited a fashion arms race by going from having Donald Duck as its mascot to trendsetting Nike uniforms that attracted five-star recruits to Eugene.

Sports Uncovered: Michael Jordan: "I'm Back" — NBC Sports Chicago

How a two-word fax from Michael Jordan changed the course of NBA history, plus never-before-heard stories about his secret workouts with another NBA team.

Sports Uncovered: The mysterious disappearance that decided a Super Bowl — NBC Sports Bay Area (July 9)

Barret Robbins in his own words — from prison — revealing the real reasons why he disappeared and missed playing in the Raiders’ loss in Super Bowl XXXVII.

Sports Uncovered: The Bill Belichick you don’t know — NBC Sports Boston (July 16)

Bill Belichick’s closest confidants reveal the side of the Patriots head coach the public doesn’t get to see.

More Marathon on Ice coverage

NBCSNW launches campaign honoring local Olympians & Paralympians

NBCSNW launches campaign honoring local Olympians & Paralympians

PORTLAND, Oregon (June 22, 2020) – NBC Sports Northwest has launched a campaign to honor local Olympians and Paralympians from the Oregon and Washington areas, which began yesterday on Father’s Day and runs through Saturday, July 4.

The multiplatform campaign, which kicks off in the same time period that the postponed 2020 Olympic Track & Field Trials were scheduled to take place at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., will highlight local athletes through profiles and vignettes, which is brought to you by your local Toyota dealers.

 

Athletes who will be highlighted throughout the campaign include:

  • - Long-distance runner and five-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp
  • - USWNT player and three-time Olympic gold medalist Shannon Box
  • - Decathlete and 1992 Olympic bronze medalist Dave Johnson 
  • - Fencer and four-time Olympic medalist Mariel Zagunis
  • - Sled hockey player and 2014 Paralympic gold medalist Rico Roman
  • - Goalball player and two-time Paralympic medalist Jen Armbruster

The vignettes and profiles, along with new interviews from the athletes, will appear across multiple NBC Sports Northwest platforms, including “The Bridge,” The Brian Noe Show, Rip City Radio, the Talkin’ Blazers, Talkin’ Ducks and The Bridge podcasts, and NBCSports.com/Northwest.

Ian Karmel, Portland comedian, showcased in 'Game On!', premieres TONIGHT

Ian Karmel, Portland comedian, showcased in 'Game On!', premieres TONIGHT

It’s a big night for Ian Karmel, the standup comic, head writer for “The Late, Late Show with James Corden” and alumnus of NBC Sports Northwest’s “Talkin’ Ball.”

Karmel, a graduate of Westview High and Portland State, makes his debut as a regular on the CBS series, “Game On,” along with Rob Gronkowski and Venus Willliams.

It’s a sports-themed show where a team of panelists is asked to perform challenges, many of them sports-related. Karmel is teamed with Williams and another celebrity guest, while Gronkowski is teamed with comedian Bobby Lee and a celebrity guest.

Karmel variously had to perform sumo wrestling against a 600-pounder, perform a dance routine with the Laker Girls at halftime of a game and be a human bowling ball, among several other stunts.

“When I went to my first open mic like 12 years ago, I never thought I would be in a small room with the head of the Laker Girls and Rob Gronkowski for about three hours while they go through all these dance moves,” Karmel said. “He was struggling as much as I was and we bonded over how hard that was, learning all these dance moves ... trying to throw these moves -- that part was amazing. Learning how to dance was earnestly very fun.”

The eight-show run begins tonight at 8 o’clock.

2020 Oregon Sports Awards finalists announced

2020 Oregon Sports Awards finalists announced

NBC Sports Northwest and Sport Oregon have once again partnered to celebrate local athletes and coaches through the 2020 Oregon Sports Awards!

The 2020 Oregon Sports Awards winner announcements and interviews begin Monday, May 18, and continue daily through Friday, May 29 on NBC Sports Northwest.

Now in its 68th year of existence, NBC Sports Northwest once again will announce all of the awards live exclusively on NBC Sports Northwest and Rip City Radio 620AM.  Award-winners will be revealed on The Brian Noe Show every weekday between 9 a.m. and Noon PT and will also be featured on NBCSportsNorthwest.com and on social media.  Follow @NBCSNorthwest and @ORSportsAwards on Twitter and Instagram for daily updates. 

Twenty-one awards will be presented on-air, including the first-ever Female Prep Wrestler of the Year award as well as the Lou Burge Female Special Olympics Athlete of the Year. 

Unfortuntately, due to the cancellation of spring prep and college sports and the suspension of professional sports in response to COVID-19, the awards list has been modified from previous years. Spring prep sports awards and the Harry Glickman Award honoring an outstanding professional athlete of the year have been eliminated for 2020. 

Finalists were nominated and selected through a statewide voting panel consisting of local TV, radio and sports journalists, and respected sports professionals. To learn more about the vote, the event’s history and each individual award, visit the Oregon Sports Awards website here

Here are the 2020 Oregon Sports Awards Categories and Finalists:

Prep Football Player of the Year:

  • Keith Brown, Lebanon
  • Damir Collins, Jefferson 
  • Casey Filkins, Lake Oswego 
  • Silas Starr, Central Catholic

Prep Volleyball Player of the Year:

  • Ryann Gregg, Corvallis 
  • Rylee Troutman, Ridgeview
  • Izzi Szulczewski, Mountainside 

Prep Soccer Player of the Year (Female):

  • Lindsey Antonson, Wilsonville 
  • Callan Harrington, Jesuit 
  • Nedya Sawan, Mountainside 

Prep Soccer Player of the Year (Male):

  • Edgar Monroy, Corvallis 
  • Carlos Reyes-Aviles, South Albany 
  • Vincent Rose, Franklin

Prep Cross-Country Runner of the Year (Female):

  • Teaghan Knox, Summit
  • Fiona Max, Summit
  • Kate Peters, Lake Oswego

Prep Cross-Country Runner of the Year (Male):

  • Evan Holland, Ashland
  • Ahmed Ibrahim, Parkrose
  • Aidan Palmer, Franklin

Prep Wrestler of the Year (Female):

  • Fiona McConnell, Milwaukie
  • Destiny Rodriguez, West Linn 
  • Nimo Sheikh, Century

Prep Wrestler of the Year (Male):

  • Santos Cantu, Crescent Valley 
  • Blake Larsen, Dayton
  • Beau Ohlson, Mountain View

Prep Basketball Player of the Year (Female):

  • Cameron Brink, Mountainside
  • Sage Kramer, Philomath 
  • McKelle Meek, Southridge

Prep Basketball Player of the Year (Male):

  • Nathan Bittle, Crater
  • Ben Gregg, Clackamas 
  • Nate Rawlings-Kibonge, Jefferson

Prep Swimmer of the Year (Female):

  • Eva Carlson, Catlin Gabel
  • Elizabeth Cook, Catlin Gabel
  • Kaitlyn Dobler, Aloha

Prep Swimmer of the Year (Male):

  • Luke Bachard, Newport 
  • Caden Shanks, Newport 
  • Nick Simons, Jesuit

Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year (Female):

  • Kory Oleson, Linfield College 
  • Amelia Pullen, Warner Pacific University
  • Taylor Ristvedt, Southern Oregon University 

Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year (Male):

  • Mitchell Fink, Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Joseph Gonzalez, Western Oregon University 
  • Mason Koch, George Fox University 
  • Wyatt Smith, Linfield College 

Bill Hayward Amateur Athlete of the Year (Female):

  • Ruthy Hebard, University of Oregon 
  • Sabrina Ionescu, University of Oregon
  • Satou Sabally, University of Oregon

Bill Hayward Amateur Athlete of the Year (Male):

  • Justin Herbert, University of Oregon 
  • Payton Pritchard, University of Oregon
  • Penei Sewell, University of Oregon

Slats Gill Sportsperson of the Year:

  • Mario Cristobal, University of Oregon 
  • Arne Ferguson, Western Oregon University 
  • Kelly Graves, University of Oregon
  • Josh Rohlfing, Southern Oregon University 

 

Check back frequently for updates on this year's winners!

Lamar Hurd hosts NBCSNW's new show "Hurd Mentality"

Lamar Hurd hosts NBCSNW's new show "Hurd Mentality"

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 16, 2020 – NBC Sports Northwest hosts Lamar Hurd and a new, weekly show, “Hurd Mentality,” which shines a light on positivity and acts of gratitude and kindness throughout the Portland-metro community. The second episode of the series, which first premiered last Friday, April 10, airs tonight at 8 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Northwest. 

Highlighting individuals -- ranging from teachers and mentors to youth sports coaches and administrators to leaders in the field of equity and inclusion -- who strive to better their community through their daily work, “Hurd Mentality” aims to promote positivity and inspire viewers to adopt a spirit of gratitude and contagious helpfulness within the Portland area.

Beginning next Thursday, April 23, “Hurd Mentality” will air Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Northwest, preceding Trail Blazers Classic Games encores (6:30 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Northwest).

Last week’s debut episode featured interviews with Oregon Food Bank CEO, Susannah Morgan, and South Meadows Middle School Principal/Director, Justin Welch. Click here for a peak at the show.

Hurd played basketball for Oregon State University from 2002-2006 and currently is an Oregon State University Board of Trustee member.  Hurd joined the Trail Blazers broadcasting team following his time as a college basketball analyst with the Pac-12 Network and ESPN.  Hurd has been closely involved in various youth programs since he moved to the Portland area in 2007.

Watch “Hurd Mentality” on NBC Sports Northwest and on the MyTeams by NBC Sports app. 

About NBC Sports Northwest:  NBC Sports Northwest is the Exclusive Network of the Portland Trail Blazers and your source for in-depth regional sports content covering the Seattle Seahawks, Ducks, Beavs and outdoor programming. In addition to live event coverage, NBC Sports Northwest offers Emmy Award-winning original programming, news, analysis, and compelling digital content offering fans a comprehensive look at the teams and players that matter most in the region.  NBC Sports Northwest is part of the NBC Sports Group. Visit NBCsportsnorthwest.com for local listings and where to watch, listen and follow @NBCSnorthwest.

A big night for those monitoring our local big leaguers

A big night for those monitoring our local big leaguers

I always try to keep track of our state-of-Oregon connections who move on to the top level of pro sports. And Sunday was big for three of them, who won games for their teams. Check it out:

Great job, guys.

Do you share Chris Sale's opinion of throwback jerseys?

Do you share Chris Sale's opinion of throwback jerseys?

Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale, frustrated about a throwback jersey he was going to have to wear for his scheduled start over the weekend, reportedly took a knife to his team's uniforms -- making them unusable for the game that night.

For his tantrum, he was suspended for five days and fined.

And while I don't condone what Sale did -- it reminds me of a five-year-old breaking a toy so nobody else can play with it -- I understand his frustration. The White Sox were to wear those hideous 1976 uniforms, the ones that feature a wide collar reminiscent of a leisure suit. The only redeeming feature of those uniforms was that the shirt was designed and approved to be worn untucked -- the only such uniform I can recall in baseball.

Sale is one of the best pitchers in baseball but I don't think that gives him a right to cut up his team's uniforms like a fugitive from a cheap slasher movie. But at the same time, it must be understood that player uniforms in any sport are work clothes. And in an athletic endeavor, they must be comfortable and inspire peak performance. ANY change in the uniform could cause a change in performance. Remember all the fuss over the NBA jerseys with the sleeves?

I think the idea of having players compelled to switch into something foreign for a game or two during the season is not a big deal -- players in all sports get a share in merchandising revenue and, bottom line, this is all about selling fans more replica uniforms. But if you're an elite-level athlete, having to walk out on a baseball diamond in a jersey with a collar might be as uncomfortable as it is embarrassing. Those things must be an inferno on a humid Chicago night.

The whole topic of throwback uniforms is a controversial one. Some players like them, others don't. Some fans like them, others don't. It usually comes down to a personal viewpoint about how good the uniforms look. For instance, you can't do much better than the San Diego Chargers' lightning bolts. And you can't do much worse than the 1982 San Diego Padres' full-diaper look. But that's just my opinion.

What's yours?

 

 

Oh, that memory of Ken Griffey Jr. sticking his head out of that pile at home plate

Oh, that memory of Ken Griffey Jr. sticking his head out of that pile at home plate

As Ken Griffey Jr. takes his rightful place in baseball's Hall of Fame this weekend, I can't help but think back to the Seattle Mariners' 1995 season -- the year when the entire Pacific Northwest went bonkers for the Mariners.

Yes. even Portland set aside its usual distaste for all things Seattle to pull for a team that just wouldn't quit. It was a team that emerged from years of mediocrity to capture the hearts and minds of baseball fans everywhere. It was a lovable bunch on the field, playing with joy and abandon, constructing big comebacks for miracle late-season wins.

But it wasn't very lovable in their clubhouse, I can tell you. I was dispatched by The Oregonian to cover the M's brilliant late-season run that August and September, the most time I've ever spent following a big-league team around. Griffey was, at least at that time, difficult to cover. He could be temperamental and hard to approach. Randy Johnson, who would win the Cy Young Award that year after going an overpowering 18-2, was intimidating and impossible to approach. But the rest were easy to talk with and cooperative.

On Aug. 24 of that season the Mariners were 11 1/2 games behind the division-leading California Angels and a game under the .500 mark. Griffey had been out of the lineup with a broken wrist through much of the season and even the torrid hitting of Edgar Martinez couldn't keep Seattle close. But the team caught fire and the emotion began to build, the way it can do in baseball, where the season-long soap operas can grow in intensity with each game.

Eventually, the M's caught the Angels and faced them in a one-game playoff in the ancient Kingdome, where Seattle -- behind Johnson -- pummeled California 9-1.

Next up, the playoffs -- a foreign place for the Mariner franchise -- and a battle with the New York Yankees. Seattle Manager Lou Piniella vs. one of his former teams. The Yanks handled Mariner pitching with ease in the first two games in Yankee Stadium, winning 9-6 and 7-5. About all I remember from covering those games was talking to Jay Buhner afterward about New York fans throwing batteries at him in right field.

Things turned around in Seattle, though, as Mariner fans turned the Kingdome into a cauldron of noise. Let's cut to the chase, the best-of-five series went to a fifth game and it turned into an incredible battle. The Yankees, behind David Cone, held a 4-2 lead before the Mariners tied it in the eighth. Then, in the ninth, New York mounted a rally -- getting two on with none out,.

But then the emotion of the game went from 10 out of 10 to about 15 out of 10. Out of the Seattle bullpen came Johnson, the Big Unit, charging to the mound as if he owned it. He had rested just one day since winning Game 3 but was ready for this challenge. He fanned Wade Boggs and got Bernie Williams and Paul O'Neill on popups.

And in my estimation, there's never been a louder sports arena anywhere than the Kingdome was on that night -- a combination of fan loyalty, panic and hope. In the pressbox, I couldn't hear the person next to me even though he was screaming at me. I was getting hand signs from a baseball-scout friend of mine sitting down the third-base line, who was wide-eyed as he signaled me that Johnson was hitting near 100 on the radar gun on one day's rest.

I will admit, for the first time, in that cement-mixer of a domed stadium with all that excitement, the hair on the back of my neck was standing at attention. This was craziness.

The Mariners couldn't score in the bottom of the ninth and then Johnson struck out the side in the 10th. Again the M's failed to score in their half of the inning. By this time, I'm pretty sure everyone in that stadium was dealing with a massive stress headache.

The Yankees finally broke through against Johnson in the 11th, getting a run to take a 5-4 lead. At that point, though, nobody in that stadium figured the home team as being finished. It just wasn't that type of season and not that type of team.

Joey Cora beat out a bunt single (barely) to lead off the bottom of the 11th and Griffey slammed a hard grounder into right-center field for a single to move Cora to third. Martinez followed -- and you probably know this part -- with a line-drive double down the left-field line. Cora scored easily, of course, to tie the game and Griffey -- not fast but a brilliant baserunner -- glided all the way from first to slide safely into home with the winning run.

You can watch that entire bottom of the 11th here.

It was an amazing finish and the lasting image is Griffey's head poking out of the big pigpile at the plate with a broad smile on his face as the entire Pacific Northwest celebrated another Mariner comeback. That moment was and IS STILL magic.

For me, Griffey's successful dash to the plate was a symbol of his career -- daring, bold, confident, skillful and smart. He was a great fielder, terrific home-run hitter and could seemingly do whatever was necessary to win games.

When I think about the Seattle Mariners, I think of Griffey -- the face of the franchise for so many years. And I always see that face, poking its way out of the bottom of the pile, flashing that magnetic smile of success.

Congrats, Junior. And thanks for the memories.