NPR: Tom Goldman

Tom Goldman is NPR's sports correspondent. His reports can be heard throughout NPR's news programming, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and NPR.org.

With a beat covering the entire world of professional sports, both in and outside of the United States, Goldman reporting covers the broad spectrum of athletics from the people to the business of athletics.

During his more than 20 years with NPR, Goldman has covered every major athletic competition including the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals, golf and tennis championships, and the Olympic Games.

His pieces are diverse and include both perspective and context. Goldman often explores people's motivations for doing what they do, whether it's solo sailing around the world or pursuing a gold medal. In his reporting, Goldman searches for the stories about the inspirational and relatable amateur and professional athletes.

Goldman contributed to NPR's 2009 Edward R. Murrow award for his coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and to a 2010 Murrow award for contribution to a series on high school football, "Friday Night Lives." Earlier in his career, Goldman's piece about Native American basketball players earned a 2004 Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award from the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University and a 2004 Unity Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

In January 1990, Goldman came to NPR to work as an associate producer for sports with Morning Edition. For the next seven years he reported, edited and produced stories and programs. In June 1997, he became NPR's first full time sports correspondent.

For five years before NPR, Goldman worked as a news reporter and then news director in local public radio. In 1984, he spent a year living on an Israeli kibbutz. Two years prior he took his first professional job in radio in Anchorage, Alaska, at the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Pages

7:00am

Wed June 13, 2012
Sports

Oklahoma City Rolls Past Miami In Game 1

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Miami Heat 105-94 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

5:23pm

Sat May 12, 2012
History

How Teddy Saved Football

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 6:05 pm

Football is a violent game, but a century ago it used to be a lethal pastime. NPR's Tom Goldman explains how President Teddy Roosevelt stepped in and forced the establishment of new rules that made the game safer.

4:49am

Wed April 25, 2012
Sports

Olympic Stars May Overshadow Other Athletes

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 8:10 am

The Summer Olympic Games in London start in 93 days. Of the 10,500 athletes, the attention is on at least two of them: swimmer Michael Phelps and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.

4:00am

Wed April 4, 2012
NPR Story

Baylor Beats Notre Dame 80-61 For NCAA Women's Title

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The Baylor Lady Bears have their title and a piece of history too. Last night in Denver, Baylor won a women's college basketball championship that many expected. The Lady Bears beat Notre Dame 80-61 to go undefeated and then became the first team in NCAA history to win 40 games in a season. NPR's Tom Goldman reports the player who led Baylor all year was the star once again.

Read more

8:05am

Tue April 3, 2012
The Two-Way

In Women's Title Game, Baylor Goes For History

Baylor's Brittney Griner (42) blocking a shot by Georgia Tech's' Sasha Goodlett on March 24.
Nati Harnik AP

Kentucky is now in the record books as this year's NCAA Division I men's basketball champion after its 67-59 win over Kansas last night.

Read more

6:23am

Sun April 1, 2012
Sports

Finally, The Payoff In Women's NCAA Basketball

Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins goes up during the second round of NCAA women's tournament basketball in a game against California.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

The NCAA Division 1 women's tournament gets criticized for not having enough true March Madness moments, when the Davids rise up and beat the Goliaths in nerve-jangling upsets. Such is the power structure in the women's game, with largely untouchable elite teams.

The payoff comes when all those elite teams gather, as they have in Denver, in such a show of force and talent that a fan tends not to miss the little guys.

Read more

8:00am

Sun March 18, 2012
Sports

NCAA Madness Marches On

Indiana forward Will Sheehey takes the game-winning shot against Virginia Commonwealth in the second half of an NCAA college basketball tournament third-round game in Portland, Ore., on Saturday. Indiana won 63-61.
Rick Bowmer AP

The madness marches on. Sunday holds eight more games in the NCAA Division 1 men's basketball tournament. On Saturday, thankfully, there were no major rip-up-your-bracket upsets. That is, if your bracket was in still in one piece. But there was plenty of drama. Two of the most exciting games were at the sub-regional in Portland, Ore.

March Madness isn't just screaming crowds and grown men and women chanting things like the University of New Mexico's "Everyone's a Lobo, woof, woof, woof." In fact, sometimes there's drama in hushed silence.

Read more

4:25pm

Thu March 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Peyton Manning Is A Hall Of Fame Tipper Too

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 4:52 pm

Peyton Manning during the news conference Wednesday in Indianapolis when it was announced that he's leaving the NFL's Colts.
Joey Foley Getty Images

The tears over Peyton Manning's departure from Indianapolis have dried ... and it's business time as the rehabbing quarterback starts doing 'eeny meeny miney mo' with his suitors (ESPN reports 12 of the NFL's 32 teams have contacted Manning's 'people').

Read more

10:13am

Wed February 15, 2012
The Two-Way

108 Years Since Women Last Boxed In The Olympics, They Prepare A Return

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 1:31 pm

Five-time U.S. national champion Queen Underwood listens to instructions from her coach Basheer Abdullah.
Tom Goldman NPR

Olympic history in the making is going on this week in Washington state. Two-dozen of the best female boxers in the country are in wintry Spokane with a goal of traveling to London in the summer.

That's the site of the first ever women's Olympic boxing competition. This week's Olympic trials help determine who goes.

It's been 108 years since women boxed in the Olympics. At the 1904 Summer Games in St. Louis, boxing for women was a "display event," not one of the counting, medal sports.

Now, it counts.

Read more

4:00am

Wed February 8, 2012
Sports

Like Punk Rockers, Sabre Fencers Are 'Kind Of Crazy'

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 4:18 pm

Mariel Zagunis during a recent training session in Portland, Ore. Zagunis won gold medals in women's sabre fencing at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics.
Tom Goldman NPR

There are three weapons in fencing: epee, foil and sabre. Mariel Zagunis is the best woman in sabre — she won Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008.

To understand the world of Zagunis' weapon of choice, it may be more apt to consult the Sex Pistols rather than a fencing historian. That's because sabre fencers, Zagunis says, are the "punk rockers" of her sport.

"You have to be more aggressive and explosive and kind of crazy," she says. "I think that kind of plays into our personality."

Lesson For A Champion

Read more

6:13pm

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Heartbreak And Victory, Kyle Stanley's Week In The PGA

Professional golfer Kyle Stanley will forever remember Super Bowl Sunday 2012. And not because he's an over-the-top New York Giants — or Madonna — fan.

But because he won the unglamorously-named Waste Management Phoenix Open on Sunday. And for Stanley, there was nothing trashy about his final round 65 that secured a one-shot victory and his first on the PGA tour.

Read more

5:20pm

Mon January 23, 2012
Sports

Cash-Strapped L.A. Dodgers Shop For A New Owner

Los Angeles Dodgers players high-five after beating the San Diego Padres 2-0 at Petco Park in San Diego on Sept. 23, 2011.
Denis Poroy Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of professional sports' most storied franchises. But they're up for auction because much-maligned and outgoing owner Frank McCourt was forced to put the team under bankruptcy protection last summer.

Now, preliminary bids for the Dodgers are due on Monday. The team lost its luster during McCourt's ownership, but estimates for the winning bid range from $1.2 to $2 billion, dwarfing the record $845 million paid for the Chicago Cubs a couple of years ago.

Read more

12:11pm

Sun January 22, 2012
Remembrances

Penn State Football Legend Joe Paterno Dies At 85

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:05 am

Penn State head coach Joe Paterno stands with his team before they take the field during an NCAA college football game against the University of Wisconsin in State College, Pa., on Oct. 13, 2007.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Joe Paterno, the man synonymous with Penn State football, died Sunday after developing complications from lung cancer. He was 85.

Paterno was an iconic figure on the sports landscape. He coached at Penn State for 61 years, though his long tenure ended amid a child sexual abuse scandal.

Read more

4:00am

Mon December 12, 2011
Around the Nation

Sandusky Scandal Casts Pale On Central Pa. High School

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 8:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's come back to this country now, where we're expecting a court hearing today in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal - it comes tomorrow. Among those expected to testify is the man designated by the grand jury as Victim One. His story of alleged abuse prompted a major investigation and brought this case to light.

Read more

4:00am

Wed October 26, 2011
Sports

NCAA Meeting Puts Players' Rights In Spotlight

Originally published on Thu October 27, 2011 12:27 am

NCAA officials meets Wednesday to continue on a path toward what they call meaningful reform in college sports. High-profile scandals over the past several years prompted the pledge for change. Ramogi Huma will be watching the NCAA closely, as he has for the past 15 years. The former college football player has been a passionate advocate for college athletes' rights. For the most part, he has worked behind the scenes. Now, his work has taken on new relevance.

4:06am

Thu October 20, 2011
Sports

World Series Opener: Cards Beat Rangers 3-2

The St. Louis Cardinals won the first game of the World Series Wednesday night. On a chilly, wet evening in St. Louis, the Cards scratched out a 3-2 win over the Texas Rangers. It was a dramatic, hard-fought beginning to what promises to be a close series.

3:03pm

Fri September 2, 2011
Sports

After Scandal, Ohio State To Hit Football Field

Originally published on Sat September 3, 2011 10:17 am

Ohio State's new head coach, Luke Fickell, says he wants the Buckeyes' performance to define the team.
Terry Gilliam AP

12:01am

Fri August 26, 2011
Sports

Female Golfing Phenom Seeks Titles, Recognition

The world's top women golfers are battling it out in Mirabel, Quebec, this week at the Canadian Women's Open. In the field is a powerful, yet little-known player: world No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan.

Tseng has been powering and smiling her way around golf courses — and making history. At the relatively tender age of 22, she's already done something that no one who's swung a golf club has done before: Tseng has won five major championships.

Read more

4:00am

Thu August 11, 2011
Sports

NCAA Devises Rescue Plan For Tarnished Sports Programs

Ohio State, Auburn, USC — the NCAA has been faced with violations at a number of big-time college sports programs. NPR's Tom Goldman reports on efforts to remake the enforcement system.

12:01am

Wed July 20, 2011
Around the Nation

A Memorial For Three Mysterious Sailors

A monument in Seaside, Ore., stands in remembrance of three unknown sailors who washed up on shore on Apr. 25, 1865.
Tom Goldman NPR

This story is part of an ongoing series called Honey, Stop The Car: Monuments That Move You, which checks out memorials across the country that inspire drivers to pull over.

I close my eyes, and I can see the stone monument I'd passed countless times on my short walk to the ocean. How could I not? The monument is across the road from the house my parents owned in Seaside, Ore., for 25 years.

Read more

4:00am

Fri July 1, 2011
Sports

NBA Locks Out Players Over Contract Dispute

The NBA's labor deal has expired, and the basketball league has locked out its players. It's the second pro sports league shut down by labor strife. The other is the NFL.

1:24pm

Mon June 27, 2011
Sports

LA Dodgers File For Bankruptcy

The Los Angeles Dodgers have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Major League Baseball recently nixed a TV deal for the Dodgers that team owner Frank McCourt said would provide financial stability for the team. The bankruptcy filing appears to be a last ditch effort by McCourt to keep baseball from seizing the Dodgers — one of the most storied teams in sports.

Owner: MLB Forced Us To This Point

Read more

6:32am

Wed June 22, 2011
Sports

NFL, NBA Face Tough Contract Bargaining Sessions

Billions of dollars are at stake this summer as the leagues for professional football and basketball try to negotiate new contracts with their players' unions.

8:00am

Sun June 19, 2011
Sports

Finals Might Be The Last NBA Action For Some Time

The NBA finals delivered some great basketball this year, but it may be the last professional basketball we see for a while. The NBA and its players' union are miles apart when it comes to a new contract. As NPR's Tom Goldman reports, parts or all of next season may be in jeopardy due to an NFL-style lockout.

4:00am

Fri June 10, 2011
Sports

Mavericks Are Within 1 Game Of NBA's Championship

The Dallas Mavericks won Game Five of the NBA Finals with a 112-103 victory over the Miami Heat Thursday night. Game Six will be in Miami Sunday night.

4:00am

Wed June 8, 2011
Sports

Mavericks Tie NBA Final At 2 Games Each

Originally published on Wed June 8, 2011 12:22 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

A stellar fourth quarter performance from an ailing Dirk Nowitzki pushed the Dallas Mavericks past the Miami Heat last night. Game Four of the NBA Finals went to Dallas by a score of 86-83. The best-of-seven series is now tied at two games apiece. NPR's Tom Goldman was at last night's game, he's with us from Dallas. Hi Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN: Good morning.

WERTHEIMER: So how did the Mavericks do it? How were they able to break through against the Heat right at the end?

Read more

4:00am

Mon June 6, 2011
Sports

Heat Hold Off Mavericks For 88-86 Win In Game 3

The Miami Heat held on to beat the Dallas Mavericks last night — taking a two-games-to-one lead in the NBA Finals. Miami beat Dallas 88-to-86.

1:57pm

Fri June 3, 2011
Sports

Ohio State Scandal Nothing New In College Sports

It's been an agonizing week for Ohio State football fans.

"Buckeye Nation" was rocked by Monday's forced resignation of popular head coach Jim Tressel after he failed to report NCAA violations. Star quarterback Terrelle Pryor and several other key players are suspended for several games next season for selling memorabilia — and the NCAA is investigating how Pryor got the multiple cars he's been driving at the university.

The scandal is also prompting new questions about one of college sports' oldest problems: breaking the rules.

Read more

4:00am

Wed May 18, 2011
Sports

Cries For College Football Playoffs Get Louder

Originally published on Wed May 18, 2011 7:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Now, the college football season is months away but there's already controversy surrounding the Bowl Championship Series, as there usually is. The BCS is made up of the top five post-season bowls, including the National Championship. Lots of fans would rather have a playoff.

But now, as NPR's Tom Goldman reports, the BCS may be facing challenges far greater than angry fans.

Read more

6:33pm

Fri April 29, 2011
The Two-Way

NFL Lockout: Why Pro-Footballers Keep Showing Up To Off-Season Workouts

In the past, we rarely heard or cared about what NFL players did during the spring and early summer.

Not so now. Since the NFL locked-out players over a labor dispute and a court later lifted the lockout this week, football fans have focused on pro football's off-season much more than in past years.

Consider what we heard recently from Chicago offensive lineman J'Marcus Webb, when he was asked about being locked out of team facilities.

Read more

Pages