Only a Game-logo

Only a Game


An award-winning weekly sports magazine hosted by veteran NPR commentator Bill Littlefield.

An award-winning weekly sports magazine hosted by veteran NPR commentator Bill Littlefield.
More Information


Boston, MA





An award-winning weekly sports magazine hosted by veteran NPR commentator Bill Littlefield.




Boston, MA 02215 617-353-1860


Football Pioneer, Ron Guidry, Onion Vs. Secretariat

Fred Spiksley was a star footballer for Sheffield Wednesday from 1891-1903. He was also a womanizer and a gambler. This week on Only A Game, the story of a flawed football hero who helped spread the game all over the world. Also, the game that changed the course of pitcher Ron Guidry's career. And, how a horse named Onion upset Secretariat in 1973.


Two Journeys From Sports To Hollywood — And A Hike Gone Wrong

Growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Blondy Baruti and his family had to flee from violence. This week on Only A Game, the story of Baruti's journey to college basketball — and then Hollywood. Also, another sports-to-Hollywood story: Nell Scovell has written for "The Simpsons" and President Obama — but she started out as a sportswriter. And, how a day hike for Victoria Grover turned into four nights in the Utah wilderness with a broken leg. Join us!


Hoops Coach Makes Amends, Don Cherry's Championship, NYMA Baseball

Former college basketball coach Rus Bradburd believed he'd wronged one of his recruits. This week on Only A Game, the story of Bradburd's efforts to re-connect with his former player in a time of great need. Also, Don Cherry never coached a team to a championship — at least, that's what most people think. And a tale of batting practice that almost went horribly wrong. Join us!


Ryan Leaf, Safe Sport Act, Barnstorming Soccer Pioneers

With the 2018 NFL Draft underway, former No. 2 overall pick Ryan Leaf traces his journey from top prospect to prison. Also this week on Only A Game, the stories of Nancy Hogshead-Makar and Arianna Castillo — two survivors of sexual assault who helped pave the way for the recent passage of the Safe Sport Act. And the tale of Dick, Kerr Ladies FC, a women's soccer team founded during WWI that drew huge crowds — and the ire of the Football Association. Join us!


Iceland Vs. Mighty Ducks, Sled Dog Racer, Vertical Runner

In 1994's "D2: The Mighty Ducks," the lovable Ducks take on the big, bad skaters from Team Iceland. But in real life, hockey is not popular in Iceland. How did a nation with just two ice rinks end up as the "D2" villain? Also this week, a dog musher throws herself into danger to save one of her sled dogs. And, a runner moves from the track to the stairs — and becomes the world's top-ranked female vertical runner. Join us!


Marathon Lessons, Soccer Superfan, 'Bullet Man'

This week on Only A Game, a trio of stories acknowledging Monday's Boston Marathon; the lessons of the bricklayer and marathoner who won the race in 1917. Plus, another marathon (of sorts) for one soccer fan who singlehandedly stood behind his favorite team for 90 straight minutes. And, the runner who was shot in the head during a marathon and lived to race again. Join us!


Forgotten NBA History, Soccer In A Divided Town, Goalie Turned Firefighter

There's the story that's been told about the invention of basketball's shot clock. And then there's the true story. This week on Only A Game, an update on the tale of Leo Ferris, the NBA co-founder history almost forgot. Plus, a story about high school soccer in Lewiston, Maine, after the arrival of thousands of Somali refugees. And, a former professional women's soccer goalie who found a second career off the pitch as a firefighter. Join us!


Minor League Woes, 'The Kevin Show,' Comedian Gary Gulman

Paul Wilmet pitched in the pros for almost a decade, including three games in the bigs. But he didn't qualify for a pension or long-term health insurance. We'll have his story, this week on Only A Game. Also, Olympic sailor Kevin Hall describes living with a mental illness sometimes called the 'Truman Show Delusion.' And, Gary Gulman's journey into stand-up comedy, by way of college football. Join us!


Latest Show: Prison Marathon, Father-Son Baseball, Arab-Israeli Tennis Players

The 1,000 Mile Club in Marin County, California, is not a typical running club. Many of its members are serving life sentences. This week on Only A Game, running the San Quentin Prison Marathon. Also, a story about a father and son — and learning how to pass on a love of baseball. And, an Arab-Israeli brother and sister advocate for peace on and off the tennis court. Join us!


Latest Show: Free Throw Record, Homeless Super Bowl Alum, Nobel Prize And Hoops

March Madness is here, and brackets will be busted by shots from the free throw line. This week on Only A Game, the story of a free throw attempt that didn't have any NCAA tournament implications. It mattered a great deal more. Also, the story of a Super Bowl alum who was living under a bridge and the photographer who found him. And, the tale of two Nobel Prize-winning scientists who bonded through sports. Join us!


Latest Show: Hockey Stories From A Goal Scorer, Enforcer And Fan

This week on Only A Game, stories from the world of ice hockey. Wayne Gretzky gets a lesson from an employee at the Hockey Hall of Fame. The story of an NHL enforcer who didn't want to fight. And a retired English professor recalls an encounter 70 years ago with a hockey pro on the neighborhood ice. Join us!


Latest Show: Exercise Pill, Olympic 'Discretion,' Paralympian Oksana Masters

Exercise in a pill? It exists. And New Yorker writer Nicola Twilley recently got hold of some. This week on Only A Game, the quest to make a drug that could replace exercise. Also, U.S. cross-country skier Jennie Bender opens up about life on the edge of Olympic qualification. And the story of Oskana Masters, who went from a Ukrainian orphanage to representing the U.S. at the Paralympics. Join us!


Latest Show: N. Korea's Rival 'Olympics,' Socceroos In Saigon, U.S. Goalie Vs. Hitler

After South Korea was awarded the 1988 Summer Olympics, North Korean leaders decided to boycott and host their own event. This week on Only A Game, the story of Pyongyang's 1989 World Festival of Youth Students. Plus, looking back on the Australian men's soccer team's trip to Saigon during the Vietnam War. And the tale of the U.S. hockey goalie who stood up to Hitler at the 1936 Olympics. Join us!


Latest Show: Women's Hockey Pioneers, Olympians And Depression, More

This week on Only A Game, the story of two sisters who both founded women's college hockey programs — but have very different legacies. Also, a filmmaker sheds light on mental illness among Olympic athletes. And the story of Imogene Fish, who fled from Nazi Germany — and then represented the U.S. at the 1952 Winter Olympics.


Latest Show: Hockey In North Korea, Skiing In Vermont, Curling In Tampa

The 2018 Winter Olympics have begun in Pyeongchang, South Korea — just 50 miles from the North Korean border. This week on Only A Game, the story of an American man who went to North Korea to play hockey. Plus, a third-generation cross-country skier continues her family's Olympic tradition. And, a Canadian curler takes his love for the sport to Florida. Join us!


Latest Show: Lady Gaga's QB, Super Bowl Haiku, Concussions

This week on Only A Game, former college and Arena Football League quarterback Brian Mann relives the most important pass of his life — to Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl LI halftime show. Plus, the 2018 edition of our Super Bowl Haiku. And, the journal of a former high school football player who died by suicide after struggling with symptoms of CTE.


Latest Show: Basketball In Uruguay, Blood Doping, Baseball With Dyslexia

Former Penn State basketball player Tyler Smith knew he wasn't going to make the NBA. So he hoped for the next best thing — a six-figure contract playing overseas. This week on Only A Game, how Smith's basketball journey took him to Uruguay. Plus, blood doping goes wrong for Dutch cyclist Thomas Dekker. And, a former college baseball player who's now dreaming of the pros after learning to manage his dyslexia.


Latest Show: The Life Of Gene Mingo

Gene Mingo was a halfback, kick returner and the NFL's first black field goal kicker. He's one of the few players in pro football history to have scored six different ways. But Mingo's story goes beyond his success on the football field and his Hall of Fame bid. Mingo faced racism, a lack of education and drug addiction. He nearly killed his own wife. This week on Only A Game, Gene Mingo's story.


Latest Show: Fritz Pollard, Tongan Olympian, Running And Mental Health

Fritz Pollard is credited with being the first African-American to play quarterback and coach in the pros. This week on Only A Game, the life of a football trailblazer. Also, the shirtless Tongan from the Rio Olympics who is now trying to qualify for the 2018 Winter Games. And the story of a runner with an eating disorder who learned she needed to slow down before she could speed back up. Join us!


Latest Show: Baltimore And The Colts, Endurance Cycling, Bernard King's Time In Hollywood

For 30 years, the NFL's Colts called Baltimore home. This week on Only A Game, the story of the special connection between the franchise and the city. Plus, the tolls — both physical and emotional — of a life in non-stop, self-supported, ultra endurance bicycle racing. And, NBA Hall of Famer Bernard King shares stories from his summer on the set of a Hollywood film. Join us!


Try Premium for 30 days

Live games for all NFL, MLB, NBA, & NHL teams
Commercial-Free Music
No Display Ads