Sports news

photo courtesy of the Tri-City Americans

Amid all the hubbub in the legislature last session over school funding and transportation spending, lawmakers also passed a bill that, in effect, exempts Western Hockey League players from state child labor and minimum wage laws.

Shortly after that, the Department of Labor and Industries closed a lengthy investigation into the hockey league without taking any action, a move that is troubling to Mary Miller, who was a child labor specialist with the department for more than a decade before she left last year.

Brian Liesse / Seattle Thunderbirds

Sports have such a powerful hold on our culture that lawmakers are often willing to take extraordinary steps to keep teams and fans happy. Even the U.S. Supreme Court exempted pro baseball from antitrust laws way back in 1922.

Here in Washington state, we have our own exception to the rule when it comes to sports.

Update 4:25 p.m. ET

Some called it unwatchable — and that wasn't just because the Jets and Bills were playing. Thursday night's NFL game is drawing criticism for featuring teams in all-red and all-green uniforms, making them virtually indecipherable to fans with red-green colorblindness.

The uniforms were part of the Nike's new "Color Rush" line, tied to a four-game promotion for the NFL's Thursday night games. But the combination of red and green drew a range of negative responses, on both practical and aesthetic counts.

In football, a sport that demands military-style discipline and singular focus, there's ample precedent for speaking out against the status quo.

What happened at the University of Missouri in recent days, with African-American football players calling for a boycott with the support of coaches, is dramatic, but it's the kind of action that was quite common around 50 years ago, according to historian Lane Demas, a professor at Central Michigan University.

Brandon Wade / AP

The Seattle Seahawks have reached the mid-season point with a record of 4-4. Many fans have expressed a lot of concern over what they have seen on the field so far, especially coming off back-to-back Super Bowl appearances.

But sports commentator Art Thiel tells KPLU’s Kevin Kniestedt that the second half of the season should look significantly better.

The Kansas City Royals fought off the Toronto Blue Jays and two Jose Bautista home runs to win Game 6 of the American League Championship Series Friday and advance to the World Series — their second trip to the series in two years.

The Royals will host the New York Mets in the best-of-seven contest starting Tuesday night.

Last year the team clawed its way to Game 7 of the World Series before finally losing to the San Francisco Giants.

Catching a touchdown pass is impressive.

He was once a vice president of soccer's world governing body, but now Jack Warner, who's under an indictment for corruption charges, has been banned from the sport for life. FIFA announced the move Tuesday, citing repeated misconduct by Warner.

Ousted from the London 2012 Games by the International Olympic Committee, baseball and softball might get a reprieve, thanks to a proposal from Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizers. They'd also like to see skateboarding and surfing — but not bowling.

Baseball and softball were on a list of five sports released by the Tokyo Organizing Committee on Monday, under a new Olympics process that allows hosting countries to propose sports that reflect their own culture.

AP Images

The Seattle Seahawks saw a remarkable turnout for their first pre-season game – a contest that doesn’t count – with a sellout crowd and over fifty percent of all televisions in the market tuned in.

Art Thiel, KPLU sports commentator, said it's the storybook elements this team has that keeps fans from being able to turn away.

AP Images

SEATTLE (AP) — Hisashi Iwakuma became the second Japanese-born pitcher in major league history to throw a no-hitter, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 3-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday.

The right-hander struck out seven and walked three in the fourth no-hitter this season and first by an American League pitcher in nearly three years. Hideo Nomo threw big league two no-nos after starting his career in his home country of Japan.

Two-time Olympian Nick Symmonds has been dropped from the U.S. team for the upcoming world track and field championships in Beijing. U.S. team managers announced their roster Monday.

Seattle Mariners

Join the fun as KPLU celebrates the great American past time at Safeco Field when the Seattle Mariners take on the Texas Rangers on Sunday, August 9 at 1:10 p.m.  We're offering specially-priced tickets for KPLU listeners--$10 off regularly priced seats--in the exclusive Terrace Club on the second level. 

The event is a benefit for KPLU.  Evening Jazz host (and sports fan) Abe Beeson will be hanging out in the Terrace Club Lounge before the game.  Stop by and say hi, and enter to win cool prizes from KPLU and the Mariners.  Get your tickets now!

Jeff Seifert / KBRW

It’s no secret that many residents of Alaska are fans of the Seattle Seahawks. Some residents of Barrow got a surprise when Seahawks Kevin Pierre-Louis and defensive tackle Jimmy Staten showed up to thank fans for their support.

“A lot of us Seahawks fans knew the team was doing their tour throughout the state, but none of us expected them to come up here,” said Jeff Seifert, general manager of Barrow radio station KBRW.

Barrow is 1,976 miles north of Seattle.

AP Images

Mike Trostel is the senior historian and curator at the U.S. Golf Association museum in Far Hills, N.J., and is among the thousands of people in the Puget Sound this week for the U.S. Open.

We sat down with him to talk about the history of the U.S. Open, and about golf's future. Our conversation took us from the first U.S. Open in Rhode Island, to the moon, and back.

Here are five things we learned from Trostel:

1. It took a long time for golf's premiere event to head west.

The first time the U.S. Open came to the west coast was in 1948 – in Los Angeles – more than 50 years after the event began. This is the event’s first time in the Pacific Northwest.

John Mummert / USGA

Pierce County will step onto the national stage when it hosts one of the country’s premiere sporting events. In June, the U.S.Open golf championship will be held at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place.

It will be the first time in the event’s history that it will take place in the Pacific Northwest. The first ever U.S. Open was held in 1895.

Some legislators in Olympia say they're having second thoughts about exempting Western Hockey League teams from state labor laws.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Leading up to the Super Bowl on Sunday, there have been lots of rallies for the Seahawks. One of the most unusual took place in the Burke Museum, a natural history museum on the University of Washington campus.  

Jeff Chiu/AP

For nearly 20 years, Edgar Martinez's double in the 1995 American League Division Series has been considered the greatest moment in Seattle sports history.

But then, last Sunday's NFC Championship happened. The Seahawks' comeback victory over the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 18 is sending Seattle to the Super Bowl for a second year in a row.

Does it trump Edgar?

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The loudest stadium in America was silent. A return trip to the Super Bowl was slipping away.

Time for the Seattle Seahawks to show why they are champions.

"You have the belief these guys have in one another, there is nothing you can't do," coach Pete Carroll said after an implausible comeback for a 28-22 victory over Green Bay in the NFC championship game Sunday.

Ed Ronco / KPLU

Jim Borda of Federal Way and Creig Beckett of Seattle didn't know each other before this past weekend. But they both showed up at the same time outside Century Link Field — at 10 a.m. Sunday — to get in line for tickets to the NFC Championship game between the Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers.

Tom Banse

More swimmers in the Northwest are trading the comfort of the pool for a workout in open water.

The English call these people "wild swimmers." It seems an appropriate description when you consider the chilly temperature of most Northwest lakes, rivers and bays. And yet the popularity of open-water swimming is rising.

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries says it can't disclose at this time whose complaint spurred it to open the hockey investigation. The affected teams are the Seattle Thunderbirds, Everett Silvertips, Tri-City Americans and Spokane Chiefs. Their players fall between 16 and 20 years old. Labor and Industries agency spokesman Matthew Erlich says 16 and 17 year olds are covered by child labor laws.

Andrew Medichini / AP Photo

Organizers of the next FIFA Women's World Cup hope to leverage the unusually high interest in this year's men's tournament in Brazil to their benefit. Group play and the 2015 World Cup final will take place just across the border in Vancouver, Canada.

In a tense match that saw a lot of action but no score for more than 90 minutes of play, Germany was finally victorious over Argentina to take home the 2014 World Cup title on Sunday with a 1-0 win.

In a game that at times seemed more like a rugby match or WWE bout — with head injuries, flying knees and even an eye rake — both teams displayed hardy defenses and a hungry offense.


The U.S. team's dramatic and unexpected run in the World Cup came to an end today in Salvador, Brazil.

For 90 minutes, the score was tied at 0-0. Belgium attacked and attacked, but U.S. goal keeper Tim Howard held them off with save after save in spectacular fashion. By some counts, Howard had the most saves in World Cup history.

But as the game went into extra time, however, Howard couldn't hold back the attacks.

Belgium scored its first goal a couple of minutes in, and then quickly added another one.

Win or go home. Do or die. Lose and you're done. Choose your sports cliche, and for the United States team, it's true. The U.S. takes on Belgium at 4 p.m. EDT today in Salvador, Brazil. It's the Americans' first game in the knockout stage. The victor moves on to the quarterfinals, and the loser books a flight home.

The U.S. men's soccer team has finished second in its World Cup group, after a 1-0 loss to Germany on Thursday. The Americans will advance after Portugal beat Ghana 2-1.

"This is a huge, huge step, and now we can't wait until round of 16," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said afterward, according to ESPN. "Everyone said we had no chance. We took the chance and move on. And now we really want to prove a point."

Anticipation is building for the U.S. Men's National Team's showdown with Germany on Thursday. The Americans need a win or a tie to decide their own fate; a loss would mean they need help to advance to the round of 16.

The game will start at noon ET — when the other Group G match, between Portugal and Ghana, also starts. You can follow the game or just comment on the action here at The Two-Way. For now, we've rounded up analysis and predictions.