Tom Goldman

For NPR Sports Correspondent Tom Goldman, covering sports means more than just talking scores. It's about illuminating the people who make sports happen. As NPR's only sports correspondent, Goldman's beat covers the entire world of professional sports - in the U.S. and abroad. It's a broad assignment for one person, but Goldman admits enjoying the challenge. "It plays into one of my greatest strengths as a journalist: I'm extremely open-minded. I enjoy doing a story about something I know nothing about. It brings a freshness that I hope is conveyed in the final story," he explains. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs.

During his 15 years with NPR, Goldman has covered seven Super Bowls, several World Series, and with Athens, six Olympic Games — and brought perspective and context to each. His pieces are diverse, and often explore people's motivations for doing what they do — whether it's sailing around the world solo or pursuing a gold medal. And his coverage resonates with listeners. He recalls, "I did a short piece on the death of a black high school basketball coach in Ohio who lived among the world's largest population of Amish/Mennonites. It was a story of contrast and love, and what amazed me was the listener response. There was no production in the piece, just a wonderful story. And it said so much about what listeners often want — the kinds of nice stories we in the media often sneer at."

Goldman often searches for the stories about the amateur and everyday athletes whom we all can relate to - and be inspired by. One of his favorites grew out of a conversation he had with NPR sports editor Uri Berliner. Why, they wondered, don't we hear about Native American basketball players succeeding at the college and pro levels, when we hear so much about how important basketball is on reservations throughout the country? The result was a 12-minute report that won two prestigious awards: the 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

Goldman came to NPR in January 1990. He started as an associate producer for sports with Morning Edition, and over the years moved on to report, edit pieces, edit shows, and produce. In June 1997, he began his current assignment.

Before coming to NPR, Goldman worked as a news reporter and then news director in local public radio from 1985 to 1990. In 1984 he spent a year living on an Israeli kibbutz. He held his first professional job in radio in Anchorage, Alaska, at the Alaska Public Radio Network from 1982 - 83.

For Goldman, there's no place like NPR for sports coverage. "For my particular beat, I am reminded why I work for NPR every time I'm forced to go into a locker room or attend a press conference and hear the inane back and forth between most sports reporters and athletes. I think to myself at times like that... thank God I don't have to say things like, 'You HAD to feel good about your performance tonight' or ask 'Those 17 points in the third quarter... were you just feeling it?'"

He admits that his open mindedness combined with an inherited sense of skepticism ("which allows me to zero in on the tremendous amount of BS in the sports world... the hype, the promotion, the image-making") and a real love of sport, motivates him to find the meaningful stories that reveal something about who we are - no matter what our interest or ability in athletics. With significant national media focus on professional sports, Goldman is always looking for new angles on stories "particularly at the mega-events, the absurdly bloated spectacles like the Super Bowl."

While the sports world is his business, Goldman admits he's no stranger to the crack of the bat, the thwack of the racket, or the swish of the net in his personal life

 

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3:20am

Sun September 25, 2011
Sports

For Hockey Player, Prison Saves Two Lives

There are dramatic lives — and then there's the life of Mike Danton. Sports fans remember Danton as a former National Hockey League tough guy, whose budding career came to a stunning end in 2004 when he pleaded guilty to trying to hire someone to carry out a murder.

This week, Danton was back in the news and the subject again was life and death. But this time, Danton, who's out of prison and back on the ice, was on the right side of the story.

From Clean Hit To 'Something Pretty Scary'

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1:03pm

Fri September 2, 2011
Sports

After Scandal, Ohio State To Hit Football Field

Originally published on Sat September 3, 2011 8:17 am

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

10:01pm

Thu August 25, 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.

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10:01pm

Tue July 19, 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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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.

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