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Bill Littlefield of NPR's "Only a Game"

Author and host of NPR's "Only a Game" Bill Littlefield to speak Oct. 15

October 1, 2007

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? Bill Littlefield, host of National Public Radio's "Only a Game," and author of the recently published book of the same name, will speak at Middlebury College on Monday, Oct. 15, at 4:15 p.m. His talk is titled "Why We Need Sports (The Opium of the People) Even Though We've Got Beer and Drugs." The lecture is part of the college's "Meet the Press" series and will take place in Room 220 of McCardell Bicentennial Hall. The event is free and open to the public and will include time for audience questions.

Littlefield wrote his first commentary for Boston's public radio station, WBUR, in 1984. Shortly thereafter, his work began airing on NPR's "Morning Edition." In 1993, he became host of "Only a Game," which, according to Littlefield, "tries to keep sports in perspective." With both humor and gravity, Littlefield covers nearly every aspect of sports-from baseball Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett's untimely death to pick-up soccer games among misfit high-schoolers to obscure nicknames and unusual mascots in college sports.

Hear a Vermont Public Radio interview with Bill Littlefield

Check out the 'Only a Game' web site
His most recent book, "Only a Game," published this month by Bison Books, compiles memorable commentaries from Littlefield's show, as well as never-before-published essays. "For me, the problem with sports is sports commentary, which so often combines jingoism, sanctimoniousness, and stupidity," said Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder. "Bill Littlefield is a shining exception, a person I can read and listen to with pleasure. He talks about games with a sense of proportion and an adult's sense of humor."

A graduate of Yale University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Littlefield continues to teach one course each semester in the Humanities Division at Curry College in Milton, Mass., where he began as an instructor in 1976. He also serves as writer-in-residence at Curry.

Previous books include "The Circus in the Woods" (2002); "Keepers: Radio Stories from 'Only A Game' and Elsewhere" (1999); "Baseball Days" (1993); "Champions: The Stories of Ten Remarkable Athletes" (1993); and "Prospect" (1989). He was guest editor for Houghton Mifflin's "Best American Sports Writing" in 1998, and edited with Richard Johnson "Fall Classics," a collection of the best writing about the World Series over the past 100 years in 2003.
Littlefield's talk is part of Middlebury College's "Meet the Press" lecture series and is co-sponsored by several Middlebury College organizations: the English Department, Atwater Commons and the Athletics Department. "Meet the Press" was established in 2004 by author and Scholar in Residence in English Sue Halpern. According to Halpern, the lectures are presented under the auspices of the Middlebury College Institute on Working Journalism, a program designed to bring newsmakers - reporters, editors, critics, photojournalists, bloggers and editorialists - to the Middlebury campus.

McCardell Bicentennial Hall is located on Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125). For more information, contact Sue Halpern at