Only A Game debuted on WBUR in Boston on July 24, 1993 as a 30-minute, local sports show. Before long it was expanded to an hour, and in 1996, NPR began distributing it nationally. Bill Littlefield has been the program’s host for its entire history. He shared his thoughts about the milestone:
We’ve had a lot of fun with Only A Game over the past 20 years. I love it when people say that’s been evident in the programs.
I’ve enjoyed meeting great athletes, but not as much as I’ve enjoyed meeting great talkers. The great talkers come in all shapes and sizes, and some of the best of them are children, which is one reason why so many of the pictures in the above gallery include children.
For 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to tell stories in the company of lots of dedicated and talented people, David Greene, Gary Waleik, and Jen Loeb at the beginning of the program in 1993, and Gary ever since, and a host of other people whose work I admire and whose friendship I cherish. That’s why Gary, Karen Given, Doug Tribou, and John Perotti appear in some of the photos.
It would be silly to say I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to Only A Game as much as I’ve enjoyed hosting the program, because it’s not possible. But on the occasion of the program’s 20th anniversary, help yourself to the photographic evidence that the first 20 years of Only A Game have been great fun for us.