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Only A Game


An award-winning weekly sports magazine for the serious sports fan and the steadfast sports avoider

An award-winning weekly sports magazine for the serious sports fan and the steadfast sports avoider


Boston, MA





An award-winning weekly sports magazine for the serious sports fan and the steadfast sports avoider




Boston, MA 02215 617-353-1860


Jeremy Lin, First Female Hitting Coach In MLB, Upset At The '64 Olympics

Jeremy Lin joins us from China to talk about the COVID-19 pandemic — and his Be the Light campaign. Also this week on Only A Game, Rachel Balkovec shares her story of overcoming gender discrimination to become the first female hitting coach in an MLB organization. And Billy Mills revisits his historic underdog win at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. And a sports writer tries — briefly — to train like an NFL player during the pandemic. Join us!


Korea Baseball Organization, Historic Hockey Stick, Dating As An NBA Beat Writer

While most sports leagues around the world remain shuttered, the KBO returned to play last week. This week on Only A Game, the story of one American man who's been following the league for years. Also, a Vermont couple prepares to part with a very valuable piece of wood. Plus, with the NBA season on pause, a reporter has some time to focus on his personal life. And we-revist one of our all-time favorite stories about hockey and the 1970 movie "Love Story." Join us!


Sports #Hometasking, Unusual Play-By-Play, Search For A Basketball Hoop

Two months into the Almost No Sports Era, we're devoting this week's episode to the creative ways sports fans around the world are still getting their fix. First, a look at the British TV show "Taskmaster," which inspired people around the globe to turn their kitchens into tennis courts, ski slopes and other sports venues. Meanwhile, professional play-by-play announcers are calling everything from chicken feedings to street crossings. And a mother and son embark on a quest to play...


Minor League Baseball's Future, U.S. Gymnast Speaks Out, Sports Columnist Tries Teaching

Last fall, MLB announced its plan to cut ties with dozens of minor league affiliates. This week on Only A Game, how the COVID-19 pandemic makes the controversial proposal more likely to become reality. Also, within two years of becoming the U.S. all-around champion, Jennifer Sey left gymnastics. Now she's speaking out against abuses in the sport. Plus the WSJ's Jason Gay is learning that writing sports columns didn't prepare him to teach his own kids. And we re-visit our story on the birth...


A Solo Marathon, 'Coach Pop' Inspires San Antonio Food Bank, 66-Year-Old Jockey

After what he calls a "wake-up call" on his 55th birthday, author John U. Bacon started training for the 2020 Boston Marathon. But the the race was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This week on Only A Game, Bacon's 26.2-mile backup plan. Also, the San Antonio Food Bank gets a little "halftime coaching" from the Spurs' Gregg Popovich, the story of a 66-year-old jockey who's not ready to quit, and we re-visit one of our favorite stories about a sporting episode of "The Office." Join us!


Virtual NASCAR, Peloton Racing With PGA Pros, Predicting Fan Behavior, And More

With most sports leagues on hiatus, NASCAR is trying to fill the void ... with virtual racing. This week on Only A Game, driver Michael McDowell talks about the transition to iRacing. Also, the story of a GOLF Magazine editor who beat Rory McIlroy ... in a Peloton race. Plus, most respondents in a recent Seton Hall poll said they wouldn't go to sporting events until there's a COVID-19 vaccine. But predicting sports fans' behavior is complicated. And a tale about the "Hot Hand," Steph Curry...


Megan Rapinoe And Sue Bird, 'Jeopardy!' College Championship, Fenway Organist

The global pandemic has put sports on hold, and that comes at an especially bad time for women's sports leagues. This week on Only A Game, Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird talk about the NWSL, the WNBA and COVID-19. Also, the story of one man who split his time between pitching and punk rock. And in a world without live sports, can the "Jeopardy!" college championship fill the void? Plus, there may not be any MLB games, but you can still be entertained by Fenway Park organist Josh ...


Gary Gulman's Tips For Sports Fans, Dr. Anthony Fauci's Athletic Career, And More

It's normal to be feeling anxious during the coronavirus pandemic. Luckily, comedian/sports fan/mental health advocate Gary Gulman returns to Only A Game with some tips for staying healthy. Also, a look at how Dr. Anthony Fauci's basketball career prepared him to lead the U.S. response to the pandemic. Plus, the story of a former Super Bowl champ who's now treating COVID-19. And the City College of New York basketball team used to outdraw the Knicks — until a district attorney got involved....


Olympic Postponement, Spanish Flu And 1919 Stanley Cup Final, Fenway Groundskeeper

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games are officially postponed. This week on Only A Game, a discussion about the economic impact of the delay. Also, lessons from the Spanish flu pandemic and the 1919 Stanley Cup finals. And Fenway Park groundskeeper David Mellor discusses getting treatment for PTSD after being hit by a car three times. And we re-revisit our story of a former Illinois state senator who spent several hours in a car with baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks following the 9/11 attacks.


March Mammal Madness, Duke Poetry Feud, Chess City, Expos Fest

Missing the thrill of the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments? We have an alternative for you: March Mammal Madness, where science and bracketology collide! Also, this week on Only A Game, the story of one family's poetry battles ... about Duke men's basketball. And the controversial origin of Chess City, which is tucked away inside the Russian republic of Kalmykia. Plus, the story behind Expos Fest, an annual celebration that's about more than baseball. Join us!


Sports World Responds To Coronavirus, Hockey And Treason, AAGPBL

The NBA and NHL seasons have been suspended. MLB Opening Day is postponed. March Madness has been canceled. This week on Only A Game, a look at how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting sports. Also, we'll look back 70 years to uncover why 12 members of the Czechoslavakian national hockey team were charged with treason. And the story of a young artist who found her place among the women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.


Texas Football's Long Road To Integration, HS Hoops Stalemate, Olympic Qualifier Upset

In 1969, the University of Texas football became the last team to win the national championship with an all-white roster. This week on Only A Game, the story of Texas football's long road to integration. Also, six years ago in Minnesota, a high school basketball game slowed down ... way, way down. And the story of Chris Clark: the 37-year-old doctor and mother of two who surprised everyone by winning the 2000 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Join us!


Rising Rugby Star, OTQ Near Misses, Chilean Soccer Rivals

Two years ago, Kristi Kirshe was working at a law firm when she decided to join a friend who was playing on a recreational rugby team. Now, she has a good shot of making the Tokyo Olympics. Also this week on Only A Game, the story of the fastest man who won't be on the starting line at this weekend's Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. And the story behind a photo of rival soccer fans that became a "symbol of unity" during recent protests in Chile. Join us!


Div. I Player With Autism, XFL Running Back, Presidential Baseball Collector

When Anthony Ianni joined the Michigan State basketball team, he kept his autism diagnosis a secret from his teammates — including from star Draymond Green. This week on Only A Game, the argument that led to understanding. Plus, we share the story of Darius Victor's journey from the Ivory Coast to Maryland to the XFL. And we re-share — and get an update on — one of our favorite stories: about the man who collects signatures from world leaders ... on baseballs. Join us!


The Flying Fathers, Ashlee Yates Takes The Stage, Astros Scandal

This week on Only A Game, the Flying Fathers, a team featuring a former NHL player, two horses that played goalie, seven frozen toes ... and a bunch of hockey-playing priests. Also, Ashlee Yates' life was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with epilepsy. But her health struggles ultimately led her to stand-up comedy — and to telling jokes about her husband, San Diego Padres pitcher Kirby Yates. Plus the Astros say "sorry, not sorry" for their sign-stealing scandal. Join us!


Sports And The Golden Age Of Hollywood

The Oscars are Sunday night, and we wanted to get in on the fun. So this week on Only A Game, three sports stories with a Hollywood connection. First, the story of the Universal Pictures basketball team, which went to the Olympics — with a little help from Frankenstein. Also, swimmer-turned-movie star Esther Williams and a decades-long game of "exceedingly low cunning and vile stealth." Also, how Major League Baseball's first $100,000 bonus baby helped shape modern baseball. Join us!


Kobe Bryant, Jai Alai, College Football Player Grad Rates, Super Bowl Haiku XXVI

Kobe Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others, died in a helicopter crash. This week on Only A Game, how players, fans and sexual assault survivors are responding. We'll also revisit our 2015 conversation with Kobe's "muse": his former English teacher. Also, the story of a Basque expat who found a home in Mexico City with the help of ... jai alai. And with Super Bowl Sunday coming up, a look at the connection between college football graduation rates and the lack of NFL head...


Anna Horford, Girl Quarterback In Sicily, Baseball Brit

After NBA All-Star Al Horford joined the Boston Celtics, a different Horford became a fan favorite. This week on Only A Game, the ongoing love story between Al's younger sister Anna and the Celtics community. Also, a former high school quarterback remembers her experience as the only girl on the gridiron in Sicily. And what a British baseball fan learned on his mission to attend 162 baseball games and visit all 30 MLB ballparks in a single season. Join us!


Davidson Athletics' Math Edge, Classic Arcade Museum, Girls' Wrestling Grows

The Davidson College men's basketball program is best known for producing NBA superstar Stephen Curry. This week on Only A Game, another story out of Davidson ... about the math-minded students who are helping the athletic department. Also, the story of the American Classic Arcade Museum. And while participation in most high school sports is down, there are a few exceptions ... like girls' wrestling. Join us!


ESPN Editor-Turned-Priest, College Football's Growth, Unified Korean Hockey

In early 2012, New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin became a global star. This week on Only A Game, the story of an ESPN editor whose headline about Lin sparked outrage — and ultimately helped prepare him for the priesthood. Also, high school football numbers are down, but the sport is actually growing at the college level. What gives? And members of the unified Korean national women's ice hockey team share the inside story from the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. Join us!