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Only a Game

NPR

An award-winning weekly sports magazine hosted by veteran NPR commentator Bill Littlefield, Only A Game is radio for the serious sports fan and the steadfast sports avoider. Produced by WBUR in Boston, Only A Game puts sports in perspective with intelligent analysis, insightful interviews and a keen sense humor.

An award-winning weekly sports magazine hosted by veteran NPR commentator Bill Littlefield, Only A Game is radio for the serious sports fan and the steadfast sports avoider. Produced by WBUR in Boston, Only A Game puts sports in perspective with intelligent analysis, insightful interviews and a keen sense humor.
More Information

Location:

Boston, MA

Networks:

NPR

WBUR

Description:

An award-winning weekly sports magazine hosted by veteran NPR commentator Bill Littlefield, Only A Game is radio for the serious sports fan and the steadfast sports avoider. Produced by WBUR in Boston, Only A Game puts sports in perspective with intelligent analysis, insightful interviews and a keen sense humor.

Language:

English

Contact:

Boston, MA 02215 617-353-1860


Episodes

Latest Show: The Players' League, Betty Robinson, 'Great Halifax Explosion'

12/8/2017
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Baseball's reserve clause held until 1975, but players came close to abolishing it once before...in 1890. This week on Only A Game, a retired contractor unearths documents left behind from the Players' League. Plus, the Great Halifax Explosion of 1917 indirectly led to the creation of the most successful college hockey program in U.S. history. And, Betty Robinson, the Olympic sprinter who survived a plane crash and came back to win her second gold medal. Join us!

Duration: 00:50:18


Latest Show: Ryder Cup History, Photos Of 'The Climbers,' Badminton Becky

12/1/2017
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For decades, the Ryder Cup was monotonous and unpopular. This week on Only A Game, how the Ryder Cup has become one of golf's most emotional and intense events. Plus, a photographer's journey to the Italian Alps to track down a climbing legend. And, how an American living in China went from hating sports to playing badminton six days a week.

Duration: 00:50:07


Latest Show: Thanksgiving Leftovers

11/24/2017
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This week on Only A Game, a smorgasbord of "leftover" stories that didn't fit it into past episodes. A world-record paddler takes a detour to meet a rock star. A future boxing champ learns to take a punch on the streets of Brooklyn. An American basketball player bakes bread "with" Van Morrison. NBA journeyman Jason Collins gets some advice from President Obama. And more. Join us!

Duration: 00:50:06


Latest Show: Syracuse 8, 'Sports Miracles,' 80-Game Losing Streaks

11/17/2017
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At the height of the civil rights movement, football players at Syracuse University stood up for racial equality. This week on Only A Game, the story of the Syracuse 8. Also, a former toy company executive collects "sports miracles" and shares an almost-miracle of his own. And, learning how to win from a football coach who lost every game he played in high school and college. Join us!

Duration: 00:48:38


Veterans Day Show: Stories Of Athletes Who Served

11/10/2017
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Jack Sanford was a high schooler when news of the Pearl Harbor attack broke and many of the country's best athletes joined the service. This week on Only A Game, the story of a lesser-known athlete who answered the call of duty. Plus, a World War I veteran who returned from service and saved 28 people from drowning in the Niagara River. And, a tale of two World War II veterans who met on the Rose Bowl gridiron, on the battlefield in Italy and then again after the war.

Duration: 00:49:49


Latest Show: Undocumented Runner, Remote Coxswain, Rod Carew's Heart

11/3/2017
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A year ago, we told the story of Jose Reza, a teenager who fled cartel violence in Mexico. Jose is now a college runner. This week on Only A Game, we have an update on Jose. Also, a blind rower gets the chance to go out on her own, thanks to a new invention. Plus, the story behind a heart transplant between pro athletes. Join us!

Duration: 00:48:26


Latest Show: Auto Racing Dangers, Fixing Ballgames, NYC Hoops

10/27/2017
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Brian Redman left school at 16 and found a career in auto racing during the sport's most deadly decade. This week on Only A Game, Redman tells a story about love in the face of injuries, accidents and brushes with death. Plus, the name "Hal Chase" probably doesn't come to mind when you think of baseball's infamous fixers, but maybe it should. And why do New Yorkers play a different style of basketball from everyone else? Join us!

Duration: 00:50:03


Latest Show: Soccer In North Korea, Former NFL RB Baron Batch, Nika Riots

10/20/2017
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Professional soccer player Soony Saad grew up in the United States, but the Lebanese-American spent a lot of time traveling the world for his sport. This week on Only A Game, one visit he wasn't so eager to make — to North Korea. Also, a former Pittsburgh Steelers running back pursues art — and tests the city's graffiti laws. And a story of politics, protest and chariot races in the Eastern Roman Empire. Join us!

Duration: 00:49:33


Power, Money And Corruption: The Story Of The NCAA

10/13/2017
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This week on Only A Game, we dedicate an entire hour to the NCAA, race and amateurism.

Duration: 00:49:53


Latest Show: World Record Canoe Trip, Former Dodgers GM, Cam Newton

10/6/2017
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Don Starkell and his two sons, Dana and Jeff, set out in a canoe on June 1, 1980, to do something that had never been done before. This week on Only A Game, the dangers they faced while paddling 12,000 miles from Canada to Brazil. Also, Ned Colletti shares stories from his time as Dodgers general manager. And, the cost of NFL quarterback Cam Newton's sexist comments. Join us!

Duration: 00:49:10


Latest Show: 'Stengelese,' 61-Year-Old Rookie, College Hoops Scandal

9/29/2017
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Casey Stengel won seven World Series as Yankees manager. But this week on Only A Game, we remember Stengel for the language all his own. Also, the story of a pitcher who decided to go pro — in his 50s. Plus, the FBI as NCAA enforcers, and the story of an Iranian chess champion who found herself at the center of controversy. Join us!

Duration: 00:50:20


Latest Show: Baseball On Rosh Hashanah, Kaepernick Jersey, Maria Sharapova

9/22/2017
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In 1934, Hank Greenberg was the star of a Tigers team vying for the pennant. This week on Only A Game, Greenberg's struggle to balance baseball and his Jewish faith during a period of intense anti-Semitism in Detroit. And a Sports Illustrated reporter donned a Colin Kaepernick jersey and headed into the thick of a Buffalo Bills tailgate. Plus, Maria Sharapova had to overcome Lindsay Davenport — and fox poop — to win her first Wimbledon title. Join us!

Duration: 00:50:27


Latest Show: 'Deacon' White, Forgotten Gold Medal, Lineman In Vietnam

9/15/2017
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James "Deacon" White recorded professional baseball's first hit and pioneered the catcher position. This week on Only A Game, 96-year-old Betty Jackson helps tell the story of her grandfather. Also, a long-forgotten Olympic gold medal is recovered by a basketball star and her family. And the tale of a former NFL lineman who played a critical role in the bloodiest battle of the Vietnam War. Join us!

Duration: 00:49:43


Latest Show: Ali And The Court Clerk, Competitive Creative Writing, 'WAR' Song

9/8/2017
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In 1967, Muhammad Ali was sentenced to five years in prison for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War. This week on Only A Game, the story of the Supreme Court clerk who helped reverse that ruling. Plus, Ohio middle schools compete for glory in competitive creative writing. And a songwriter uses his music to "WAR" against baseball's most complex statistics. Join us!

Duration: 00:50:13


Latest Show: Vin Baker, 185-Round Fight, First Female MLB Writers

9/1/2017
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After losing nearly $100 million, former NBA All-Star Vin Baker found a job ... at Starbucks. This week on Only A Game, Baker talks about addiction — and why serving coffee was "the upswing." Also, the story behind a bare-knuckle fight that lasted 185 rounds. And a look back at the fight over women in the locker room, as Claire Smith becomes the first woman to win baseball's top writing award.

Duration: 00:50:31


Archenemies: Harrison V. Doubt, Walton V. Pain, Hardy V. Sexism

8/18/2017
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Summer is a time for superhero blockbusters. This week on Only A Game, we have stories about athletes taking on their archenemies. Our heroes: American hurdler Kendra Harrison battles self-doubt. Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton struggles against chronic back pain. And boxer Heather Hardy fights for gender equality. Join us!

Duration: 00:49:04


Latest Show: Race Across America, Beep Baseball, Snowkiting

8/11/2017
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As long as she's been an athlete, Trish Karter has faced adversity. This week on Only A Game, the 60-year-old athlete tells the story of a discouraging high school coach, a traumatic brain injury and the Race Across America. Plus, a baseball player finds his way back to the field after losing his vision. And one thrill-seeker takes on his lifelong obsession with Mount St. Helens using a snowkite. Join us!

Duration: 00:50:13


Latest Show: Jason Collins, George Washington, Gut Bacteria

8/4/2017
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In 2013, Jason Collins became the first openly gay male athlete in any of the the U.S.'s four major sports leagues. This week on Only A Game, Collins tells his story. Also, one of George Washington's descendants tries to get closer to his famous ancestor — through dancing, bowling and other sports. And a former DI basketball player brings sports and science together — by studying gut bacteria. Join us!

Duration: 00:50:30


Summer Vacations: White Dragon Horse, Mini Golf, Remembering Johnny

7/28/2017
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This week on Only A Game — we're telling stories of summer vacations. We follow one cyclist's cross-country search for humanity on the White Dragon Horse. Plus, we meet a Cape Cod couple who won't sell their mini golf course — not even for a million bucks. And, we hear the story of a father who's spreading his son's ashes at all 30 MLB ballparks. Join us!

Duration: 00:50:35


Latest Show: Jim Abbott, Yale's Worst Rower, Rubik's Cube History

7/14/2017
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Jim Abbott was a pitcher in the Major Leagues for a decade. He was also born without a right hand. This week on Only A Game, Abbott tells the story of a teacher who taught him an important lesson. Also, the self-proclaimed worst oarsman in Yale history finds an unlikely rowing partner in Italy. And the rise, fall and rise of the Rubik's Cube. Join us!

Duration: 00:48:38

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