sports

pickleball paddles
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Pickleball has been in South Florida for the past five years or so, but it was just last year that the sport virtually exploded in  popularity Broward County parks. 

Alex Gonzalez / WLRN News

It doesn't have a name or colors, but Miami's long-awaited professional soccer team has an anthem.

Heading into last night's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the San Antonio Spurs, LeBron James needed seven points to reach the 30,000 career point milestone.

He finished the game with 28 points. While that was more than enough to get James into the club, it was not however enough for the Cavaliers to win the game. The Spurs won 114-102 in San Antonio.

James became the seventh player with 30,000 career points when he hit a jumper with one second left in the first quarter.

The defending NFL Champion New England Patriots will face the Philadelphia Eagles at the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 in Minnesota — setting the teams up for a rematch of their 2005 league championship contest and giving Philadelphia a chance to avenge the sting of that loss.

New England quarterback Tom Brady rallied his team in the final minutes for a comeback victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the American Football Conference championship. Brady threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with just 2:48 left on the clock, putting the Patriots at 24-20.

Adam Rippon, a 28-year-old figure skater, will be the first openly gay man to compete for the United States in the Winter Olympics.

Despite a disappointing fourth-place performance at the U.S. figure skating championships Saturday night, Rippon was selected to join Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou in Pyeongchang next month.

Music has long been used as a vehicle to drive social awareness forward. Artists like Bob Marley and Gil Scott-Heron tackled political issues head-on in their lyrics and used their voices to speak for the forgotten, marginalized people. Such artists are found in all corners of the world.

In Haiti, Joseph Emmanuel “Manno” Charlemagne followed this tradition fervently, writing songs about Haitian politics and the circumstances of his countrymen. Charlemagne died Sunday, Dec. 10, in a Miami Beach hospital where he was being treated for cancer.      

The South Florida sun appeals to almost everyone: tourists, snowbirds, even embattled prime ministers looking to unwind after saving a nation from the threat of a Nazi invasion. After the end of World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his Conservative Party lost the elections of 1945, forcing Churchill to resign as prime minister.

Ferdie Pacheco, the ringside physician to Muhammad Ali and TV commentator known in the boxing world as the "fight doctor," died Thursday, his daughter announced on Facebook. He was 89.

The tiny sport plane Roy Halladay was flying Tuesday when he fatally crashed into the Gulf of Mexico was made for entry-level pilots like him, though the plane's chief designer and test pilot died while flying one earlier this year, officials and experts said.

A win or a tie would have done it. Or even one loss or tie by the underdogs in Tuesday night's other two qualifying games.

Or beating Honduras a month ago, or beating Panama in March, or not losing both games to Costa Rica.

A 2-1 loss Tuesday night to Trinidad and Tobago — the only team below the U.S. soccer team in the standings — and wins by Honduras and Panama over the qualifying tourney's best two teams mean the Americans will miss the 2018 World Cup in Russia. They'd played in seven World Cups in a row dating back to 1990.

Nothing like waiting until the last minute — or, in this case, the final game — of World Cup qualifying to see if the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team will make next year's tournament in Russia.

A lot is on the line for the U.S. squad: The team has made the last seven tournaments. When it comes to the world's biggest sporting event, there are a lot of numbers. Consider:

  • The World Cup is played every four years and qualifying takes two years.

The best rowers in the world are converging on Sarasota this week. And over the weekend, the best of the best will compete in the World Rowing Championships.

Some of the spectators came a very long way to watch the action.


The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday night announced it is looking for a Cuban athlete participating in the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota.

Hurricane Irma's looming arrival is already preventing the Miami Dolphins and Florida International from hosting their respective home openers this weekend, with more changes almost certain to happen in the coming days.

The Dolphins were scheduled to host to Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon; FIU was to host Alcorn State on Saturday night. Officials decided on Tuesday that neither of those games will be played in South Florida, though they may be played elsewhere this weekend.

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