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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.
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Boston, MA





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




Boston, MA 02215 617-353-1860


Running With A Donkey, Lessons From Rowing, #SaveTheCrew

This week on Only A Game, the story of a donkey and a college student who helped each other heal through running. Also, a writer and artist shares her story of finding her place at an indoor rowing studio. And how the city of Columbus came together to #SaveTheCrew. Join us!


Paralympian Podcaster, Early ESPN Experience, Rugby's Origin In Japan

After losing her right leg at the age of 9, Lacey Henderson says she was in "disability denial." This week on Only A Game, how Henderson came to accept her disability, reach the Paralympics — and start a podcast. Also, looking back at a sports columnist's first time watching ESPN. And the real origin of rugby in Japan, which involves a samurai, British warships and an armed cricket match...? Join us!


The NBA's Real Birthday, Fighting Mike Tyson Blindfolded, Running Ultras With One Leg

The NBA says its first game was played Nov. 1, 1946. But history suggests a different date. This week on Only A Game, a look back at the origin of the NBA — and how one of its founding leagues got boxed out. Also, in the midst of a record-setting snowstorm, a Canadian man decided to challenge Mike Tyson ... blindfolded. And the story of elite ultramarathoner Dave Mackey who lost his leg — and then set his sights on returning to the grueling Leadville Race Series. Join us!


Gov. Gavin Newsom, Black Sox Scandal, LeBron Faces Criticism

Gavin Newsom says he would not be the governor of California if not for college sports. So why did he decide to sign a law that challenges the entire NCAA system? Also this week on Only A Game, the story of Boston gambler Joseph "Sport" Sullivan's role in the Black Sox Scandal. And LeBron James is facing criticism for his response to Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey's tweet about Hong Kong. Join us!


White Sox Announcer, A Special Baseball Card, Joe Frazier's Generosity

Jason Benetti grew up with cerebral palsy and with dreams of becoming the White Sox announcer. But as he got older, he gravitated toward radio because he didn't want to be seen. This week on Only A Game, Benetti's path to his dream job. Also, Keith Comstock was tired of doing the same poses for his minor league baseball card, so he decided to take a ball to the crotch. And Joe Frazier wasn't outspoken publicly. But one writer delves into Frazier's quiet acts of kindness. Join us!


Tight End-Turned-Comedian Gary Gulman And Other 'Curveball' Stories

Sometimes, things don't go as expected. This week on Only A Game, stories about the metaphorical curveball — moments when life takes a surprising turn. There's comedian Gary Gulman, who went from playing football to pursuing comedy. And there's Tori Petry, who went from covering the Detroit Lions to playing semi-pro football. Also: the story of a man who ran a marathon ... in prison. Join us!


UNLV Hockey Coach's Recovery, Dodgers' Fantasy Football, NCAA Scandal Fallout

UNLV men's hockey assistant coach Nick Robone was one of the hundreds wounded during the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, which resulted in the deaths of 58 people. This week on Only A Game, Nick discusses the importance of the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the aftermath of the shooting. Also, the story of a young Los Angeles Dodgers analyst who teamed up with star third baseman Justin Turner ... in fantasy football. And a look at the NCAA's case against Kansas. Join us!


#WearPinkForWendy, Cave Diving ... In An Iceberg, Tommy John's 3-Error Meltdown

After losing his wife, Wendy, to breast cancer, Arkansas State football coach Blake Anderson found support in an unexpected place: enemy territory. This week on Only A Game, the story of why Georgia Bulldogs fans chose to #WearPinkForWendy. Also, cave diver and underwater filmmaker Jill Heinerth's brushes with death as she and her crew became the first-ever to cave dive inside an iceberg. And how Tommy John set an undesirable MLB record in a matter of 12 seconds.


Curtis Granderson, Ballplayer Remembers 9/11, Sports Romance Novels

Curtis Granderson is a 16-year MLB veteran. This week on Only A Game, Granderson talks baseball, community and why he doesn't Instagram photos of food. Plus, the story of former minor league baseball player Pete Murphy who was working in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11. And from "Check, Please!" to "The Bromance Book Club," a look at the popular genre of sports romance novels.


Pohnpei Gets Soccer Back, Fantasy Football Boredom, Crawling To The Finish

Pohnpei is an island in Micronesia with a population of less than 40,000. By 2009, its national soccer team — which had never won an international match — had effectively disbanded. This week on Only A Game, the story of soccer's return to Pohnpei. Also, why listening to people talk about fantasy football is the worst. And the story of the crawl that kept one woman's running dream alive. Join us!


From The NFL To Outer Space, Andrew Luck's Retirement, Clemson's $2 Bills

Leland Melvin went to training camp with the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. And he went to space with NASA. This week on Only A Game, Leland Melvin chronicles how he got there. Plus, what does Colts quarterback Andrew Luck's retirement at age 29 mean for the NFL? And Clemson football fans are known for spending $2 bills whenever they travel to away games. Why? Join us to find out!


From Middlebury To NFL, Fort William FC, Arm Wrestling In Chile

Vermont's Middlebury College is perhaps better known for its Quidditch team than its Div. III football team. But this week on Only A Game, the story of a Middlebury grad who's now an NFL veteran. Plus, the worst team in Scotland's lowest-tier pro soccer league needed help. That's when a local police officer on medical leave stepped in. And the story of a man who is trying to bridge the social class divide in Chile ... via arm wrestling. Join us!


Bud Selig's White House Adventures, Hennessy, LAX Dad

After MLB players walked off the job in 1994, President Bill Clinton intervened. This week on Only A Game, former baseball Commissioner Bud Selig recounts his dealings with the White House. Also, the connection between cyclist Major Taylor and the cognac brand Hennessy. And John Grant Jr. retired from Major League Lacrosse in 2017. Then his daughter made him reconsider... Join us!


Investigating A Track Coach, Team Challenge ALS, Dolphins Owner

ESPN's Outside the Lines recently investigated track coach Conrad Mainwaring, who has been accused of abusing 41 boys and young men over 44 years. This week on Only A Game, the story behind the investigation. Plus, pro basketball player Sean Marshall is helping his former college roommate — and Ice Bucket Challenge inspiration — Pete Frates challenge ALS. And Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills has spoken out against team owner Stephen Ross, who is holding a fundraiser for President Trump....


NBA 2K League Star, Soccer Family, Don Jackson Challenges The NCAA

In 2018, the NBA launched the 2K League, in which elite gamers compete in a video game version of NBA basketball. This week, the story of Albano Thomallari, aka oFab, one of the league's biggest stars.


Scott Hamilton, Pickleball in Jail, Pete Rose's Trip To Vietnam

Long before he won an Olympic gold medal, Scott Hamilton was just a sickly kid, trying on skates for the first time.


A Hockey Sponsorship From A Dictator And Other Sports 'Hail Marys'

This week on Only A Game, we share some stories of last-chance efforts off the field.


Disco Demolition Night, A'ja Wilson Fan, Mascot Successes ... And Failures

In between a 1979 doubleheader at Comiskey Park, the Chicago White Sox took a giant pile of disco records to center field ... and blew them up.


Vlad and Vlad Jr., Wheelchair Tennis Journey, Basketball And NASA

This week on Only A Game, a lifelong Montreal baseball fan remembers Vladimir Guerrero's Expos career — and discusses his excitement for the Hall of Famer's son.


Andre Iguodala, Ultramarathon Origin, 'The Office' Plays Basketball

Golden State Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala started the first 758 games of his NBA career. But when Steve Kerr took over as Golden State's head coach, he had a new challenge for the 10-year veteran.