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April 25th, 2015

This Week’s Show

Are you excited for the NBA Playoffs? Probably not as much as first-year Clippers owner Steve Ballmer. This week on Only A Game, we hear about the team’s new super fan. Also, barefoot-running evangelist Christopher McDougall talks about his latest passion: parkour. And we have the story of the MLB game that attracted fewer than 1000 people … a lot fewer.

Feature
April 25th, 2015
By

The Annapolis Cup: Drinks, Dancing And, Oh Yeah, Croquet

St. John’s College and the Naval Academy have competed for the Annapolis Cup every year since 1982. But it’s not football or basketball that pits these two Annapolis universities against each other — it’s croquet. Thousands show up for the Annapolis Cup and as Hans Anderson discovers, croquet isn’t the only attraction.

In Depth
April 25th, 2015

April 17, 1979: The Night Only 250 Fans Showed Up In Oakland

On a chilly April night in 1979, the Oakland Athletics sold only 653 tickets. (No, we didn’t forget to include any zeros.) And the number of baseball fans who actually showed up was much lower. Reporter Claire McNear joins Bill Littlefield.

Charlie Pierce
April 25th, 2015

Charlie Pierce: The Week In Sports

Only A Game analyst Charlie Pierce address the suspension of Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, the high cost of attending the Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing match, and Tim Tebow’s return to the NFL.

In The News
April 25th, 2015

French Swimmer Leveaux’s Autobiography Stirs Up Controversy

Former French swimmer Amaury Leveaux wrote an autobiography, but it isn’t exactly a hit among members of the French Swimming Federation.

In Depth
April 25th, 2015

In ‘Natural Born Heroes,’ McDougall Leaps Into Parkour

Christopher McDougal’s 2009 book “Born to Run” helped spread the barefoot running craze. In his new book “Natural Born Heroes,” the author explores parkour, a movement with roots dating back to the turn of the century.

Interview
April 25th, 2015

Meet Joe Linta, An NFL Agent In Search Of Overlooked Prospects

NFL agent Joe Linta is known for negotiating what was once the biggest contract in NFL history. He’s also known as the “chief advocate for the NFL draft’s marginalia.” Sports Illustrated’s Emily Kaplan recently profiled the agent and she joins Bill Littlefield.

In The News
April 25th, 2015

Making Sense Of The NFL’s Concussion Settlement

A federal judge has approved a settlement for a class-action lawsuit against the NFL over compensating former players who suffered concussions and other injuries. The deal could cost the NFL $1 billion over 65 years. Sports Illustrated’s Michael McCann explains how it will work.

In The News
April 25th, 2015

In Div. I, Small Gains For Female Athletic Directors

Just 10 percent of athletic directors in Div. I are female, but there have been recent additions at prominent colleges. Is there a bigger change coming? Bill Littlefield speaks with the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Frank Fitzpatrick and Princeton Athletic Director Mollie Marcoux.

Interview
April 25th, 2015

With Falling Numbers, Black College Basketball Coaches Form New Group

A new report finds the number of black coaches in men’s college basketball has dropped three percentage points in the last decade. Merritt Norvell, the executive director of the National Association for Coaching Equity and Development, joins Bill Littlefield to explain what his group is doing to reverse that trend.

In Depth
April 25th, 2015

Steve Ballmer, ‘The Most Normal $24 Billion Owner,’ Lets Loose In L.A.

In former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, the Clippers have a wildly successful businessman — and an enthusiastic fan — as owner. Karen Crouse, who recently profiled Ballmer for the New York Times, discusses the first year of Ballmer’s tenure.

Commentary
April 23rd, 2015

Reds’ Manager Bryan Price Bleeps His Way Through Rant Against Media

Baseball season has only just started, but one MLB manager is already frustrated. Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price had some choice words for the media on Monday.

Only A Blog
April 22nd, 2015
By

Basketball’s Shot Clock: A Brief History

In the early 1950s, the NBA had a serious scoring drought, so on this date in 1954 NBA owners voted to implement a 24-second shot clock.

Featured Book
April 18th, 2015

‘Course Correction’ Details A Title IX Fight, A Naked Protest And An Olympian’s Story

Ginny Gilder fell into rowing at an important moment. The sport gave her an escape from family turmoil, but also thrust her into the fight for female athletes’ rights. Gilder, who won an Olympic medal in 1984, tells her story in “Course Correction: A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX.”

In The News
April 18th, 2015
By

Hecklers Welcome At Big 12 Tennis Matches

With the number of college tennis programs and scholarships dropping, the Big 12 Conference is trying to drum up interest in the sport by allowing fans to yell and cheer during play. The Wall Street Journal’s Tom Perrotta witnessed a noisy match between Baylor and Oklahoma and joins Bill Littlefield to share what he learned — and heard.

Charlie Pierce
April 18th, 2015

Charlie Pierce: The Week In Sports

Only A Game analyst Charlie Pierce makes his NBA Playoff picks, weighs in on Aaron Hernandez’s first-degree murder conviction and explains why Boston should not host the Olympics.