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Let's get the embarrassment and the apology out of the way early.

During our presentation of the 19th-annual Only A Game Holiday Gift Guide last week, I somehow referred to basketball's three point line as the charity stripe. I know the charity stripe is the foul line. What else could it be? But I goofed, and among those who noticed it was Steve Flammey, who e-mailed to say "this is so VERY wrong." Among the many others who caught the gaff was Eric Anderson, who charitably couched his correction in praise.

"Only because I am a devoted listener as well as a reader of your work in the Boston Globe do I raise this quibble," he wrote. "Back in the days of the two-handed set shot when I was playing basketball, the 'charity stripe' was the free throw line. Was there a 'redesignation' that got past me?"

No, Mr. Anderson. Nothing's gotten past you, and what a gracious man you are.

Lynne Woodard, who hears the program on Vermont Public Radio, was offended when Charlie Pierce and I briefly discussed the Kentucky alum and basketball fan who's also a Playboy model. The young woman's ankle was slightly injured in a melee following a game and she missed a modeling assignment. Charlie couldn't understand why a swollen ankle would matter. "I suggest you drop Mr. Pierce from future shows," Ms. Woodard wrote. "But I won't know if you do, because I plan to be listening to some other station until it's time for Car Talk."

Jeff Tracy of Lockport, New York, wrote to say he was confused that in last week's program we had presented what he termed "an excellent piece on fighting in hockey" and "a story on ultimate fighting," which would have been my conversation with Matthew Polly about his new book, Tapped Out.

"My point is this," Mr. Tracy wrote. "Sport is good. Fighting is bad. Your broadcast created a mixed message: fighting is bad in one arena and good in another one. Let's leave fighting to the Rock 'Em – Sock 'Em Robots."

And finally, Regina Garcia responded to my interview with Buster Olney of ESPN The Magazine about the relocating of Albert Pujols for a quarter of a billion dollars. She posted on our Facebook page: "Glad my team's not stuck with that bill," she wrote. "One injury and…"

Convey to us your opinions though our website or leave a message on the listener line by calling 617-353-1860. You can mail us a postcard at Only A Game, WBUR, 890 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, 02215.

You can also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

This segment aired on December 24, 2011.

Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



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