The Pittsburgh Pirates' mascot, the Pirate Parrot, plays with a large bat before the baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds  in Pittsburgh,  Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

The Pirate Parrot, plays with a large bat before the baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

The college football season began with a brawl…after the game between Oregon and Boise State.  Will that be the highlight of the first real week of competition?  SI.com Senior Writer Stewart Mandel hopes it’s not.  He gives Bill Littlefield a College Football Preview.

The Pittsburgh Pirates aren’t having a good year.  To be fair, they’re not having a good decade.  And the decade before this wasn’t exactly hot stuff either.  Michael Bartley of WQED in Pittsburgh reports.

Bill Parcells has been declared the 300 Million Dollar Man by Forbes magazine, but how have folks in Miami welcomed the Big Tuna?  Bill Littlefield talks with Jeff Darlington, who covers the Dolphins for the Miami Herald.

Mike Oriard retired from the NFL at age 26.  Eight years later, after earning a PhD at Stanford University, he authored a book on the subject.  And nearly 30 years after that, Oriard has written a new foreword to that book, The End of Autumn.  Bill talks with Oriard about his book and his life.

On Tuesday, ESPN turns 30.  Only A Game’s media analyst John Carroll looks back.

Bill and Only A Game analyst Charlie Pierce discuss:  keeping an eye on Roger Goodell, electing the Honorable Curt Schilling, and drinking tea while flying loop-the-loops.

Most of our mail comes via the internet these days, so Bill Littlefield opens the Only A Game inbox.

If you’re a fan of baseball and an avid knitter, we’ve got the event for you.  At more than 150 minor league and 20 major league games this season, fans of America’s Pastime can while away the breaks in play with Stitch N’ Pitch.  From a recent LA Dodgers game, Only A Game’s Charlie Schroeder has our story.