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

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.



Wed February 8, 2012

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

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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.

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Mon January 23, 2012

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.

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Sun January 22, 2012

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.

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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



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.

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Wed October 26, 2011

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.


Thu October 20, 2011

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.


Fri September 2, 2011

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


Fri August 26, 2011

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.

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Thu August 11, 2011

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.


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.

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Fri July 1, 2011

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.


Mon June 27, 2011

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

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Wed June 22, 2011

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.


Sun June 19, 2011

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.


Fri June 10, 2011

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.


Wed June 8, 2011

Mavericks Tie NBA Final At 2 Games Each

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



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?

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Mon June 6, 2011

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.


Fri June 3, 2011

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.

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Wed May 18, 2011

Cries For College Football Playoffs Get Louder

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



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.

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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.

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Wed April 20, 2011
Monkey See

The NBA Playoffs: Brandon Roy Isn't Crying, But He's Thinking About It

It's been a great NBA playoff season so far — something for everyone, you might say.

You want nail-biters between classic rivals? We give you the Celtics and Knicks. The C's have won the first two games by a combined five points. Last night, New York's big three — Amare Stoudamire, Chauncey Billups, and Carmelo Anthony — were reduced to a big one. Anthony made the most of it, with 42 points, 17 rebounds and six assists. But it wasn't enough, as the Celtics showed again that the playoffs are all about finishing close games — which they've now done twice.

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