sports-desk

Pay to play: Will California prompt congressional action on college athletics?
The norm for college athletics has been steadily rising revenue, and business shifts

Penn State wide receiver KJ Hamler catches a 22-yard touchdown pass during a game against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday. A new California law may prompt congressional action to allow student-athletes to be compensated. (Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images file photo)

For college football fanatics, nothing compares to waking up on that first crisp autumn Saturday morning to prepare for a whole day of game watching. Tuning in to ESPN’s “College GameDay.” Sipping bourbon at the tailgate without facing societal judgment for drinking before noon.

College football’s shared rituals and traditions provide millions with a weekly source of escapism and entertainment every fall. The game offers excitement, frustration and camaraderie on any given Saturday thanks to the dizzying skills of its student-athletes.

Iowa battlefield extends from politics to gridiron
Healthy trash talk is all part of life in Iowa-Iowa State rivalry

Sen. Joni Ernst is a proud Iowa State alumna, and not shy about it. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Iowa is a perennial political battleground, but Iowans know the most intense contest happens on the gridiron every year, when the Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones try to demolish one another in one of college football’s oldest rivalries.

The reward? A move up in conference ranking, bragging rights and the coveted Cy-Hawk trophy. This year, ESPN’s “College GameDay” broadcast from Iowa State territory in Ames for the first time in school history on Sept 14. Iowa won, 18-17. 

LeBron James comments intensify debate over freedom, trade
Hawley joins chorus criticizing basketball superstar during NBA-China controversy

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri had harsh words for LeBron James. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Basketball megastar LeBron James has finally leaped into the NBA’s ongoing controversy over Houston Rockets executive Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of Chinese protesters. Some critics, including Sen. Josh Hawley, find James’s stance sorely lacking. And the full House is also on record, passing a trio of bills Tuesday aimed at helping Hong Kong democracy activists in their fight to preserve political freedoms from encroachment by mainland China.

“I don’t want to get into a ...  feud with Daryl Morey but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand and he spoke,” James told reporters Monday ahead of a preseason game with the Golden State Warriors. “So many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually.”

The Mean Machine celebrates on House floor

The trophy for the Congressional Football Game for Charity sits on the field Tuesday as a team made up of lawmakers and former NFL players faced current and former members of the Capitol Police. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Photos of the Week: Impeachment is in the air, but first recess
The week of Sept. 27 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

A coalition of progressive activist groups, including MoveOn.org, hold a rally at the Capitol on Thursday, calling on Congress to impeach President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Any Given Tuesday: Cops and lawmakers suit up for charity football
Mean Machine, Guards compete for all the gridiron glory

The Guards' Chad Nieto, center, tries to catch a pass in the end zone as Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., left, and Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., break it up during the Congressional Football Game at Gallaudet University in Washington in 2017. The game featured the Capitol Police team The Guards against the congressional team The Mean Machine. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers will be looking for redemption when they, along with a few retired football pro friends, hit the gridiron against the Capitol Police in their biannual football game Tuesday.

The Congressional Football Game for Charity features the Mean Machine, a bipartisan team of members of Congress and former NFL players, against the Guards, a team made up of Capitol Police officers.

We sure hope the Rayburn &pizza has plenty of dough
House-side lunch spot &pizza will honor $3 pie promotion tied to Bryce Harper strikeouts

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts in the dugout after striking out in the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on June 28. Local chain &pizza has a $3 pizza special tied to Harper's propensity to whiff. (Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Update Sept. 24 9:20 a.m. | Bryce Harper struck out twice Monday in the Nationals’ 7-2 win over the Phillies.

The &pizza inside the Rayburn House Office Building will sell $3 pies on Tuesday and Thursday in light of former Washington National-turned-Philadelphia Phillie Bryce Harper’s return to D.C. The catch? He has to strike out against his former home team  for staffers to get a piece of the pie.

Congress responds to an Olympic cry for help with oversight hammer
Sens. Moran and Blumenthal want legislative action this fall

Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, a survivor of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar, here at a July 2018 press conference on Capitol Hill, is among the abuse victims seeking action to protect future athletes. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With less than a year before the world gathers to ignite the Olympic flame in Tokyo for the 2020 summer games, two senators are pushing legislation that would provide the most significant congressional oversight in a generation of the board governing U.S. participation.

Spurred by numerous allegations from Olympic athletes of sexual abuse, a bill by Sens. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, and Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, would make it easier for Congress to effectively fire members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, or to decertify a governing body like USA Gymnastics in response to future scandals.

Grassley talks tailgating Iowa-Iowa State game

AMES, IA - Wide receiver La'Michael Pettway #7 of the Iowa State Cyclones celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Jack Trice Stadium on September 14, 2019. (David Purdy/Getty Images)

Sen. Charles E. Grassley joined tens of thousands of his fellow Iowans in Ames over the weekend at the state’s biggest rivalry football game between the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.

Winter athletes warn Senate Democrats: Climate change is ‘melting away’ our sports
Former New York Rangers goaltender Mike Richter among participants at Democratic panel’s hearing

Professional climber Tommy Caldwell greets Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet before a hearing of the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats heard Thursday from winter sports athletes and adventurers about the consequences of a warming climate on their careers and lives.

“I climb a great deal of glaciers and ice, and there is no doubt increased temperatures are melting away both my sport and my livelihood,” Caroline Gleich, a ski mountaineer and adventurer, told a hearing of the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis.