Thursday, June 19, 2008


A few months back, I got an iTouch. It got me back into iTunes, and I discovered the world of podcasts. At first, I was downloading everything ("Best of ESPN Radio", "Best of Mike & Mike", interviews from "Mike & The Mad Dog"), but quickly learned that there was not enough time in the day to listen to everything. Especially during the school year.

I did, however, have time for a weekly podcast, and made it a point to listen to NPR's "Only A Game", which I knew of, but knew very little about. So I gave it a listen. And I really liked it. Even though my podcast obsession has died down, I still make a point of listening to "Only A Game" each week. Sometimes I save a bunch for the car rides to New York, sometimes I listen as I mow the lawn, sometimes I pop it on iTunes when I'm on the computer. It depends. But I listen to it solely off the podcasts - I couldn't even tell you when it's on regularly. (Check your local listings.)

I thought it was time to write about this, because it's been long enough that I can now tell I really enjoy the show, and it's not just a fluke. (And I apologize if you've been listening for years and you think I'm a dope for just getting this now.) I also wanted to take a break from the Mets mess.

The host of "Only A Game", Bill Littlefield, can be hokey, I guess, but it's all part of what makes the show enjoyable - he's a good hokey, willing to poke fun at what he does not know as well as what he does know, and able to keep everything in perspective. He laughs a lot, too, which is pretty contagious.

The part about the show that impresses me the most, though, is that it offers a take on sports and sports events that I wouldn't usually pay attention to. And I appreciate it. I wouldn't read about women's basketball in the paper or online, but I'll listen to a 7-minute segment on the sport. (I also should pay more attention to the sport, since I'll have two girls at home in a matter of months.)

I also consider myself someone who knows a lot about sports and sports history. But every other week or so, the show features something that I'd never known about, and I appreciate that. I appreciate that it will find something that, not just me, but hardly anyone has ever heard about. It takes work, and it's well done.

Bottom line - the show makes me feel smarter and more knowledgable 90% of the time I listen to it.

Unlike the current news about the Mets, which makes me feel dumber every time I tune in. Yes, that's Jerry Manuel stabbing Willie Randolph in the back on the back cover of the "New York Post". Funny, I don't remember seeing that live. And how did he get the knife through security? (The article is typical 'Post' stuff - don't bother with it. This Tony Bernazard character is a problem, huh?)

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