Becky Sullivan

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

All the hype around the new "Star Wars" movie made us think about the last time people were this excited about "Star Wars."

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Copyright law is complicated to begin with.

But many American companies have run into extra trouble trying to do business in China, where trademark laws are completely different than they are here in the United States.

Take a chain of shoe and athletic wear stores in China, where things might look a little familiar. Looming above the columns of shoes and rows of clothes is the store's logo: a silhouette of a basketball player, midair, his outstretched arm holding a basketball.

As part of a series called My Big Break, All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Before donning polka dots, pencil skirts, plaid and stylish retro hairstyles on Mad Men, Alison Brie was sporting a far less glamorous look.

She worked the children's birthday party circuit as a clown.

A game-winning home run becomes a game loser — and 25 days later, it's turned back into the game-winner.

That alone would warrant an entry in baseball's history books.

But cast it with David and Goliath, include a temper tantrum of epic proportion, and hinge it all on an obscure old rule — and you've got the infamous Pine Tar Game.

That 1983 game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals is recounted in a new book by New York Daily News sports columnist Filip Bondy.

The Context: Rivalries And Rules

It's no secret that cable television is in trouble. With Hulu, Netflix and many networks streaming their shows online, viewers don't have to watch shows like Scandal or American Horror Story live. They can stream it the next day — or the next year.

Nevertheless, one channel had long looked impervious to the trouble: ESPN. Even as other channels suffered losses in subscriptions, the sports network was sitting pretty for one simple reason: People want to watch sports live.

Today, the Kentucky Wildcats sealed a perfect regular season with their 67-50 victory over the University of Florida, putting them one step closer to the first fully undefeated season in men's college basketball in almost 40 years.

Running the table in college basketball is very, very hard. But this Kentucky team has made it look possible.

Before turning the page on 2014, All Things Considered is paying tribute to some of the people who died this year whose stories you may not have heard — including Marion Downs.

Today, like every Sunday in the fall, millions of Americans are tuning in to watch some of the country's most popular sport: football.

And for several million of them, your regular ol' football game isn't fast-paced enough: They're tuning in to NFL RedZone.

NFL RedZone is the frenetic channel run by the NFL Network that, for seven hours straight, switches between football games in an endeavor to show every single score of as many as 12 simultaneous games.

When the Giants' Gregor Blanco hit a home run to lead off the second game of the World Series, millions of viewers heard that satisfying crack of the bat well before watching the ball fall into the Royals' bullpen.

It's baseball's most iconic sound, and it's the No. 1 job for Fox's baseball audio engineer-in-chief, Joe Carpenter.

"The bat crack is really kinda where everything starts for us," Carpenter tells NPR's Arun Rath.