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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


Satchel Paige And A Religious Cult, Fritz Pollard, Basketball And NASA

This week on Only A Game, a baseball fan investigates the day his father donned a House of David jersey and caught for the great Satchel Paige. Also, the story of Fritz Pollard, who is credited with being the first African American to play quarterback and coach in the pros. And how Marcie Washington brought lessons from her basketball career to her time as an engineer at NASA. Join us!


Special: Sports, Racism And The Myth Of Meritocracy

Sports are supposed to be the great equalizer. Movies like "Remember The Titans" and "The Blind Side" promote the idea that sports bring everyone together — and offer a path for upward social mobility. But it's not that simple. In a special episode of Only A Game, we investigate the many ways sports actually perpetuate racial inequities in the U.S.


Athletes Fight Racism, Sports Tackle Empty Stadium Problem, And More

Athletes continue to take a leading role in the Black Lives Matter movement. This week on Only A Game, a look at Oklahoma State where players spoke up after football coach Mike Gundy was photographed in an OAN T-shirt. Also, as sports leagues plan their returns, a look back at two attempts to carry on without fans, one involving a giant mural; the other a cell phone app. Plus, we re-air our story on Wyomia Tyus, whose protest at the 1968 Olympics is often overlooked. Join us!


Bonus: A Conversation On Sports, Racism And Police Brutality

Why have most sports teams and leagues stopped short of calling out police brutality? How much hope should we draw from NASCAR's — NASCAR's! — decision to ban the Confederate flag? Could the NFL franchise in Washington D.C. be next? And what's next for Colin Kaepernick?


Hoops Coach Calls Out Colleagues, Sports Leagues' Next Moves, 'Basketball Peaceful Protest'

North Carolina Central men's basketball coach LeVelle Moton recently criticized fellow coaches for not speaking out against police brutality. This week on Only A Game, Moton shares his own experiences with the police. Also, a conversation about what teams and leagues can actually do to combat systemic racism and police violence. And the story of a woman who traveled to Minneapolis with a portable hoop to play basketball with protesters and cops. Join us!


The Black Lives Matter Protests And The Sports Community

Some of the loudest voices condemning racism and police brutality have come from the sports world. This week on Only A Game, Kenneth Shropshire details how and why athletes are taking a leadership role. Plus, we speak with high school football coach DJ Boldin about his family's tragic experience with police violence — and his recent message for his players. Also, a sports writer's open letter to his white friends. And former MLB All-Star Garry Templeton looks back at a moment when he faced...


100 Miles Around A Living Room, Transgender Pro Wrestler, Onion Vs. Secretariat

Since 2018, Michael Henry Ortiz has been trying to run 100 100-mile races in 100 consecutive weeks. So what did he do when the COVID-19 pandemic kept him inside his New York City apartment? Run around his living room, of course! Also this week on Only A Game, the story of Sam Khandaghabadi, the Iranian American trans pro wrestler who created Hoodslam. And, we re-air our story on the horse named Onion who took on Secretariat ... and won. Join us!


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!