When Rio de Janeiro was awarded the Summer Olympics, Brazilians celebrated. Six years, an economic nosedive and a World Cup later, the country’s residents feel very differently. In her new book “Dancing with the Devil in the City of God,” Brazilian journalist Juliana Barbassa chronicles the change.
“It’s a little bit of ‘just like baseball’ and ‘nothing like baseball.'” — that’s how the Wall Street Journal’s Brian Costa describes Pesäpallo, a Finnish version of baseball that features very few strikeouts and a whole lot of running. Costa recently traveled to Finland to check out the sport and he joins Bill Littlefield to share what he learned.
Peter Milligan has run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, for the last 12 years. In his new book “Bulls Before Breakfast,” Milligan explains why he keeps going back year after year.
Spain’s top soccer league, La Liga, filed an appeal to FIFA regarding the timing of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The competition is set to take place in November and December instead of during the summer, as is custom. Bill Littlefield weighs in on the situation.
Sports rivalries often start with the play on the field, but the clash between Peru and Chile began with a war. Elizabeth Trovall has our story as those two teams prepare to meet in the semifinals of the Copa America.
From 1941 until 1979, it was against the law for women to play soccer in Brazil. Now, led by five-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta, the Brazilian women have a shot at winning the World Cup. Gwen Oxenham joins Bill Littlfield to explain what a World Cup win would mean for Brazil.
Sixty-six years ago, Marti Dalmases’ father signed him up as a member of the FC Barcelona fan club. The 73-year-old estimates he’s now seen about 2,500 matches. He talked with Only A Game’s Ian Mount about the politics of soccer in Spain, archrival Real Madrid and next week’s Copa Del Rey Final, which Barca will be looking to win.
American basketball player Mychal Kearse brings “a dose of swagger” to professional basketball in Iraq, Tamer El-Ghobashy writes for the Wall Street Journal. El-Ghobashy joins Bill Littlefield to explain what life is like for Kearse and other Americans playing in the Iraqi Superleague.
After years of speculation and anticipation, American Floyd Mayweather and Filipino Manny Pacquiao have agreed to figh on May 2 in Las Vegas. Grantland’s Rafe Bartholomew once lived in the Philippines, and he joins Bill Littlefield to discuss the country’s devotion to their boxer/actor/singer/congressman.
Afghanistan’s first trip to the Cricket World Cup may be “an early contender for the most remarkable and unlikely sports storyline of 2015,” writes USA Today Sports reporter Martin Rogers. He joins Only A Game’s Karen Given to explain.