Only A Game


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

Episode Date
Ray Allen's Holocaust Education, George Carlin On Sports, Sin And Baseball
Ray Allen is known as an NBA sharpshooter. This week on Only A Game, he talks about another aspect of his life: his quest to learn more — and educate others — about the Holocaust. Also, Kelly Carlin — daughter of comedian George Carlin — tells stories of her father's interest in sports. And, a story of forbidden baseball fandom on the week's holiest day. Join us!
Jun 15, 2018
Chinese Player-Translator, Jesse Eisenberg, World Cup Woes
Saiyuan Bian, a basketball player from China, has had dreams of playing pro basketball since he was a child. This week on Only A Game, Bian's journey to the pros as a player-translator. Also, actor Jesse Eisenberg reveals the true cause behind the Phoenix Suns' 1993 NBA Finals collapse. And, reflections on U.S. Soccer's elimination from the 2018 World Cup with former coach Bruce Arena. Join us!
Jun 08, 2018
Overdue Stanley Cup Ring, Vegas Hockey Pioneers, USA Surf Coach
Former Boston Bruin Chris Hayes receives his 1972 Stanley Cup ring ... 46 years later. That's coming up this week on Only A Game. Also, the story of the true pioneers of Las Vegas ice hockey. And, USA surfing coach Joey Buran's journey from king of the surfing world to life as a pastor.
Jun 01, 2018
Role Models: Kareem And Wooden, Jessie Graff And Xena, Ray Flynn And Jackie Robinson
This week on Only A Game, stories about athletes and their role models. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and John Wooden couldn't have appeared much less alike on the surface. How the two men forged a 50-year friendship. Also, we'll learn about the advice that Jackie Robinson gave to Boston politician Ray Flynn when he was just 10 years old. And, Jessie Graff's journey from aspiring warrior princess to Hollywood stunt double to American Ninja Warrior. Join us!
May 25, 2018
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.
May 18, 2018
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!
May 11, 2018
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!
May 04, 2018
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!
Apr 27, 2018
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!
Apr 20, 2018
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!
Apr 13, 2018