Only A Game | Podcast

Reviews For Only A Game | Podcast

I listen every week on my local NPR station, WMRA. Thanks for the stories. Even my wife, who does not like sports, loves your show. Keep up the good work. The only sports show I have ever listened to that thinks that arcade games fit under the topic. The story on the minor league team Savannah Bananas was fabulous.
Karen Gibbon and company provide a wonderful look at the road less traveled in sports, with stories that will make you sometimes laugh, sometimes cry, but that are always interesting and well-reported. Happy birthday, Karen!
Congratulations. You make a great host thanks this is totally not not sports oriented grandmother. Louise in San Diego
What a disappointment, today. A program that earns 4 or 5 stars most weeks started off with a seriously distorted tale about pension "equity" for a pre-1993 16-year NFL-veteran retiree. Sorry to say that as a pre-1993 17-year retiree of Citibank, I'm getting the same payout and also had no post-retirement medical care. That was an industry standard of the era and you could leave to join another firm for a better deal then and now, which is the story OAG should have done about the NFL. The teams are separate companies in one of the few businesses operating as a shared monopoly protected from the Sherman Act (like Major League Baseball). Are we surprised that the story highlighted the industry is now valued at $14 billion and today's players make $2 million/year? What's wrong with that, listeners?! ;o) Then "3 Stories You Should Know" provides another disingenuous rant about a young star "struggling" to choose an NFL career over a great offer from MLB. Hey guys, what happened to the weekly revelation of early brain termination from even subtle, repeated head injuries?! At least the show avoided a Zero Star rating with the Phone Mutesi chess gambit and an interesting "sports art" story. Bottom line: Stick to great sports stories and save the social revolution for private chats with your neighborhood friends.
Every Saturday morning, I drive in for day six of a small business owner’s week. This show is the best start to my day! No matter what is featured, I am entertained and inspired!
I am disappointed with the new host’s left leaning political agenda.
I agree with others who notice how this podcast has abruptly changed. Perhaps because Bill is gone, or for whatever reason. I will miss the Charlie Pierce segment. Goodbye Only A Game.
The December 14 show that included the retelling of the unlikely friendship between Sir Charles and a fan as told to & through his daughter Ms. Wang brought a tear to my eye as I listened on my break at work. Only a Game is so much more than a sports show. It’s a show about humanity.
So a lot of reviews will rightfully point out that only a game offers a nice mix of coverage of all sports big and small. I’ve heard stories from everything to the world cup and super bowl to solo open ocean swims. The oag crew talk about sports on and off the field. The analysis is always well considered and though provoking. The stories can be both tear jerking and bring the funny. Basically, if you like smart, funny people talking about sports this is he show for you. I am particularly fond to only a game because it played a staring roll in my playlist during marathon training. There was more than one occasion I would just bust out laughing on the trail or choke up. But alway only a game helped my churn out that next mile. I am grateful.
Since Bill Littlefield retired this podcast has become a millennial view of sports, politics, racism, and everything they feel is wrong with ‘the game.’ It is jut no fun to listen anymore. Sports is my refuge from the daily struggles of life. After being an avid listener to this show for a long time, I am hitting the unsubscribe button today. I miss what it used to be and I will definitely miss this weekly hour of enjoyment. Or what used to be enjoyment...
Only a game has gone from a light hearted sports show to one that highlights social commentary and injustice each week. No longer entertaining. Too bad.
I used to love this show. The new format and hosts are too irritating to listen to. BORING. Bring Bill back! Unsubscribed.
I loved Bill LIttlefield and I know that it is always hard for a new host to get up to speed but when I turned on the broadcast this AM on VPR, it was a disappointment. Littlefield brought intelligence and thoughtfulness to a media category that is often ruled by hollow banter. Unfortunately, we are back to banter. Maybe I am just not ready for this new age of media!
The podcast has morphed from a presentation of diverse, interesting, and off-the-beaten-path sports stories with wide appeal, to a more militant, agenda-driven collection of sports stories and commentary with an identity-based focus. I’ve unsubscribed, and I’m sorry to have lost what used to be a real treat each week.
I really miss Bill Littlefield . This has gone so far left now . Too political now . Pass
Such a refreshing listen after a week of hype in sport.
I am a long time listener and was really a fan of Bill Littlefield and I was disappointed when he retired but to my pleasant surprise the quality of the broadcast is up to the standards that he set. Three cheers for Only a Game.
LIke the title says, there's more tosports than scores and details, and it's usually more interesting. Great listen!
Love this show! Bill was the best! I hope the can convince Michael Holley to take over. In my 20s I used to try to wake up early on weekends just to listen. On occasion.I even succeeded.
I remember waking up early in the morning for a fencing tournament (to referee), on a weekend in Texas, and turning on NPR out of habit well before 7 am. Hearing Only a Game, I immediately knew this was a show that took odd sports as seriously as mainstream sports. I’ve enjoyed the show ever since, over the four states I’ve lived in since then. Thanks to Bill Littlefield and the team who understand that sports have human stories, no matter how much or how little money attaches to them.
I have loved this show for years. Very entertaining and informative. Interesting perspectives, commentaries, and analyses.
A sports show I can relate to? And such a quality production, with in depth heart wrenching stories! Keep it coming, like six on six girls hoop in Iowa, and never hide the fact that you come from The Hub of the sports universe!
I really enjoy the podcasts, and usually learn something new!! Please continue with the stories.
Radio is a wonderful medium. Hearing the voices you know and love makes you smile. There are certain voices that do that for me and Bill Littlefield’s is one. Don’t even get me started on his laugh! I always feel as if I’m in on a private joke! His proper use of grammar is greatly appreciated as well. Thank you!
I’ve been listening to OaG for years on my local NPR station when one Saturday morning to my horror, they had dropped the show! I was not happy, and expressed my feelings to the station comment line, to no avail. How was I going to get my weekly fix of the best sports show on any medium? To my endless joy, I discovered the OaG podcast. Now I listen to the show on my schedule, and replay some of the best shows to share a good story with friends and family. Thank you, Bill Littlefield and your entire team, for consistently producing the most interesting, poignant and entertaining sports show on earth. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried over the years of listening, and always, so glad to have spent 45 minutes with you each week. Keep up the great work!
I have been listening since the beginning. Told my dad when I was 10 in 1963 I wanted to be a sports caster. He said girls don’t do that. Always been a big sports fan. Love the range of stories! Bill read a letter I wrote back in 2001 about a broken hearted 7 yr old who was a fan of Derek Jeter-NY had just lost the World Series. Cleaning up my language I stated Try being a Red Sox fan kid. Little did I know I would see ‘04,’07,and’13! 5stars!!!
I stumbled onto this show while listening to a local station, and because the story at the time had to do with baseball, which I love, I kept listening. I have learned so much about sports in general, and enjoy sounding like I have a clue when discussing sports with the males in my life, but I also appreciate the stories, many inspirational, about the struggles and personal victories of individuals. Thanks, Bill and team, for presenting a diverse palate of stories, and delivering information with humor.
I was not previously aware that GOATs could be so articulate or informative. That said, Only A Game is no doubt my fav podcast, npr or otherwise. Keeps me in the loop all the way from Berlin! Ps say hi to CPizzle (that’s Charlie Pierce, for all you n00bs) for me; he too is a chiller 🤙
I’m not a typical guy who likes sports. I don’t watch any games, have a favorite team or play. But I love this show! Bill Littlefield is very entertaining and they do a great job at interviewing and bringing out the best of those they interview. If you do enjoy sports, this show is bound to be one of the best for you!

5/5

Great sports podcast.
Long ago I had the pleasure of hosting residencies for Harry Edwards and Murray Sperber at the University of Illinois. Both of these professors of sports sociology were clear: sports mirror society. Only a Game takes this route and adds great insights to the individual human condition of athletes, of the business of sports, and the nature of the craziness of the fans that drive this insitution. I listen to podcasts daily, and, as a high-school coach, tell some of these stories to the athletes I work with to help them understand the context of their endeavors.
For years my routine includes a long jog on Saturdays. ‘Only A Game’ entertains me through the miles. I have been known to laugh out loud or even shed a tear during the miles I listen to the sports stories and random topics. I recommend this podcast to all my friends and family-sports enthusiast or not. When I hear Bill say, “the final word....” I am disappointed as I know the remainder of the run becomes significantly harder without OAG playing.
Many of the stories are well done and very interesting, BUT the host is so bias against football (especially the NFL) that is gets tedious after awhile. OK we get it, you’re hip and so cool because you like soccer but take a break from your high horse will you?
This is my ‘go-to’ podcast whenever I’m feeling happy, sad, excited, down...I could have stopped at WHENEVER! Bill and crew captivate me for the entire 50 minutes every week and, truth be told, I’ve been known to listen to last week’s game a second time if I can’t wait til the next podcast is out. Only a Game tells me stories I never would have known in thoughtful ways that tug at my heartstrings. Oh - and it’s about sports! - my passion, though I’d recommend it to everyone with a heart. Thanks, Bill, for one of the brightest hours in my week, every week.
It's worth your while.
Sports for the critical and creative thinker with a mischievous and witty sense of humor who appreciates respectful, responsible reporting and compelling storytelling, whether you’re a participant or spectator. 10 stars.
When our local NPR station moved Only A Game from 7a Sunday to 7a Saturday I knew I had to subscribe to the podcast so I would not miss an episode and could listen at my convenience. Love listening on my daily walks. Very intriguing. Great stories (well told). Very vivid images. I continue to learn a lot. So glad I found Only a Game and glad it's available as a podcast.
I'm a former sportswriter and appreciate the stories that don't appear in mainstream sports media. I also appreciate the honest appraisal of the machinations of the dreadful NCAA. Thanks for reminding us to look beyond the craven and see the humane.
I enjoy this podcast because it reminds me that “sport” extends beyond the big money, star adoration world of pro and college sports to include ordinary people whose accomplishments could not have been foreseen, and, as in the wizard of Oz, draws back the curtain of myth manufactured by the publicity machines that spin our interpretation of people and events.
This podcast has some interesting stories on occasion, but overall it is not worth listening in my opinion. They spend too much time talking about off-the-field issues, and their conclusion always seems to be the same- the sport in question has something bad going on, and we’re going to whine about it, but keep watching anyways. They seem to talk about these issues for the sake of appearances rather than actually trying to change anything. Bill always seems befuddled. The last straw for me was when he said his favorite things about basketball were “the long shots and the dunks.” This is a sports show hosted by someone who doesn’t seem very knowledgeable about any sports other than American football and women’s hockey.
This is a show that I feel appeals to everyone! Even if you are not into sports, it's the stories that are amazing. Canoeing to South America from Minnesota, dissing Hitler, Tongan cross country skier with other cross country skiers from countries without snow, etc. This is the CBS Sunday Morning except with sports! I went to podcast because I would miss parts getting in and out of the car going to work, now I can listen to the whole show!
I have been listening to Only a Game weekly for years and it is one of my favorite podcasts. Not only do you get updates on the most recent sports events but you get great reporting from host Bill Littlefield and friends. This is a great podcast not only for sports enthusiasts but also for anyone who is interested in seeing how sports are a mirror into our society.
I love Only a Game. It's smart, informed and accessible to anyone. It's great to hear stories from the perspective of those closest to the game -- the athletes themselves, their coaches and family. They're human tales that would resonate with anyone. It is facinating to hear the backstories of different sports and how everything has laddered up to the games as we know them now. The consideration of social influences is intelligent and grounded. I'll tell you, I am a much bigger sports fan myself since I first started listening. Thank you for your great work and giving me some talking points with the sportsfans in my life.
I first started listening to the show in its early days. In those pre-Internet days, you had to be near your radio at the right time, so I missed a lot of episodes. The podcast has solved that, and now I never miss a show!
I teach at a boarding school that has Saturday classes, and one of the only things that makes that okay is waking up with this podcast. My local station in RI plays OAG on Saturdays at 7, so it’s been part of my ritual for years, but I found myself missing bits while I ground coffee or took a shower. Listening to the podcast (and skipping back when necessary) makes sure I catch every word!
This is a sports show that assumes you have a brain and also like sports. Even if you don't normally like sports, you should try it. I try never to miss it.
Thoughtful, funny, entertaining, heartwarming . . . and I don't even like sports! My favorite podcast. Never miss it.
This podcast makes me feel that there can be compelling sports based audio journalism. SPORTS!!!
More wits than hits. A refreshing approach to all things sport. But c'mon Bill, throw a soccer fan a bone every so often...