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July 4th, 2015

Our Latest Show: July 4 – 5

In honor of Independence Day, we learn how one MLB team is celebrating former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge (and why First Lady Grace Coolidge would be a better choice). Also on Only A Game, we look at a superhero cartoon and other unusual tools for recruiting NBA free agents. And we hear about Dustin Brown’s journey from living in a camper to knocking off Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon. Plus, best-selling author George Vecsey and Rob Neyer of Fox Sports join us for “3 Stories You Know.”

Feature
July 4th, 2015
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Trap Shooting Hits Its Target In Minnesota High Schools

With more than 8,600 students competing, trap shooting is the fastest growing school sport in Minnesota. Other states are now copying the model. Reporter Dan Kraker visits with the Hermantown High School team to find out more.

Featured Book
July 4th, 2015

‘Fanaticus’ Explores Why Sports Fans Get Unruly

Put a group of people together. Make them overpay for tickets. Add booze. Then give them teams to root for. The result can be a disorderly collection of people — also known as fans. In her new book “Fanaticus,” ESPN producer Justine Gubar explores the phenomenon of fandom around the world.

Charlie Pierce
July 4th, 2015

Charlie Pierce: The Week In Sports

Only A Game analyst Charlie Pierce joins Bill Littlefield to discuss NBA free agency, cheating at Wimbledon, and one very sad own goal at the Women’s World Cup.

Commentary
July 4th, 2015

Commentary: Why Jose Canseco Really Regrets ‘Juiced’

Ten years ago, Jose Canseco published “Juiced,” the tell-all book in which he admitted his own steroid use and implicated others. This week Canseco told Sports Illustrated that he regrets the book. Bill Littlefield offers a list of other things Canseco might regret.

In Depth
July 4th, 2015

Has The Wrong Coolidge Been Added To The Nats’ Presidents Race?

Calvin Coolidge is joining the Presidents Race, the mascot competition held during Washington Nationals home games. Coolidge was in office the last time a club from D.C. won the World Series. Even so, Ben Freed of the Washingtonian thinks a different Coolidge should be have gotten the call.

Feature
July 4th, 2015
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Physical Pain, Emotional Healing At U.S. Army ‘Combatives’ Tournament

Borrowing techniques from mixed martial arts, the U.S. Army combatives program helps military personnel improve their hand-to-hand combat abilities. Reporter Zachariah Hughes visited a military base in Alaska and found that some soldiers believe practicing this violent skill is a way to heal unseen wounds.

In The News
July 4th, 2015

Dustin Brown: A Tennis Man With A Van

Ranked No. 102 in the world, Dustin Brown was relatively unknown until Thursday, when he beat 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon. Now, the tennis world is fascinated by the German-Jamaican player who spent years traveling between tournaments in a camper van. Bill Littlefield speaks with SI’s Greg Bishop about Brown’s unusual road to success.

In Depth
July 4th, 2015

The NBA’s Most Interesting Free Agency Pitches

If you’re an NBA GM trying to lure a top free agent, how do you land him? Pat Riley laid out all of his championship rings for LeBron James. The Magic got help from Tiger Woods to woo Tim Duncan. ESPN’s Arash Markazi joins Bill Littlefield to share some of the NBA’s most interesting free-agency pitches.

3 Stories You Should Know
July 4th, 2015

Flag Exchange For NASCAR Fans; Blatter’s Travel Plans And A-Rod’s Comeback

Best-selling author George Vecsey and Fox Sports Senior Baseball Editor Rob Neyer join Bill Littlefield for this week’s installment of ‘3 Stories You Should Know.’

Only A Blog
July 3rd, 2015
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Trading Jerseys: Luke Ridnour And Other NBA Journeymen

Veteran guard Luke Ridnour was traded four times in less than a week. But Ridnour, who’s played for just five franchises in his 12-year career, still has a long way to go before he reaches the level of some other NBA journeymen.

Commentary
July 1st, 2015

Commentary: La Liga Appeals To FIFA — On Its Own Terms

Spain’s top soccer league, La Liga, filed an appeal to FIFA regarding the timing of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The competition is set to take place in November and December instead of during the summer, as is custom. Bill Littlefield weighs in on the situation.

Feature
June 27th, 2015
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The Battle For The Waves: Surfers Vs. S.U.P.ers

Stand-up paddle boarders are encroaching on surfers’ ocean turf. Saul Gonzalez explains the competition to catch waves.

Featured Book
June 27th, 2015

‘Great Men Die Twice’ Revisits The Writing Of Mark Kram

Mark Kram was a legendary sports writer for Sports Illustrated in the 1960s and ’70s. His exit from S.I. caused problems for his son Mark Kram, Jr., who had the name first and also became a sports writer. Kram, Jr. edited the new collection of his father’s work titled “Great Men Die Twice” and joins Bill Littlefield.

Charlie Pierce
June 27th, 2015

Charlie Pierce: The Week In Sports

Only A Game analyst Charlie Pierce joins Bill Littlefield to discuss loud boos at the NBA Draft, Sepp Blatter’s possible un-retirement from FIFA, and the latest in the long saga of Pete Rose’s attempt to return to baseball.

In Their Own Words
June 27th, 2015

In Chess, The Computer Rival Becomes The Teacher

Chess playing computers have only improved since Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov in 1997. Today, a human player doesn’t stand a chance against a computer. But while researching a new strategy, chess master Dana Mackenzie learned to view the computer not as a rival, but as a partner.