Letters From OAG Listeners

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Last week I spoke with Richard Anderson and Gerald Purnell, the author and illustrator of a children's book titled A Home Run For Bunny. The book is based on the true story of a team of young baseball players who stood together in the face of racial prejudice in North Carolina in 1934.

A listener identifying him or herself as Dj413 left a comment on the website opining that it was "a powerful story that needed to be told."

Only A Game's Doug Tribou explored the not-always-so-wonderful world of team mascots on last week's program. He paid particular attention to Clark, the new mascot of the Chicago Cubs. Among the reactions to that story was Paul Bellofatto's comment. He suggested that the mascot was entirely too cute, and wrote on our Facebook page that if the Cubs really want to break the string of 105 seasons without a championship, they should create a little bear that looks as if it has rabies.

Bob Minder left a message on the website regarding a mascot from his youth in Shreveport, La., where fans at the minor league baseball team's home field were entertained by "a guy who wore an oversized toddler head and toddled around congratulating the other team for their home runs and tending to the injured because he was a good sport."

Does that sound scary to anybody else? Guy in a toddler head? Maybe it's just me.

Phil Latzman's story about nicknames on the back of the jerseys of some NBA players ran in last week's program. It was just a fun story. You know, nicknames on the backs of some of the jerseys. It's funny. Like a big hat. So we didn't anticipate that it would provoke much in the way of comments. But Katherine Beard didn't like the part of the story in which Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra, who said he didn't know if he liked the nickname idea or not, was described as "nonplussed."

"You misused the word 'nonplussed,'" Ms. Beard e-mailed. "Please look it up and use it in a sentence correctly in your next show."

Then, as if fearing that we might not do that, she went on. "Here's one," she wrote. "This listener, having found your show to be intelligent for the most part, was nonplussed to hear you use the word 'nonplussed' incorrectly."

Register your plusses or your nonplusses … which would be minuses, I guess, on the listener line: 617-353-1860. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Finally, my mention of the fact that we were closing in on Super Bowl Haiku season rattled Anthony Correia, who left the following post on the website: "Basho is rolling in his grave." Basho, of course, wrote some terrific haiku. Here's one:

Wrapping dumplings in

Bamboo leaves, with one finger

She tidies her hair.

Michael Ceraolo felt compelled to suggest that our traditional celebration of the Super Bowl was bogus. "Ah, the result of a lifetime of bad teaching," he wrote. "Haiku are 17 syllables (5-7-5) in Japanese, not necessarily so in English."

Thanks for the lesson, Michael. I'm afraid we're going to disregard it, so as not to disappoint the many listeners who only tune in to Only A Game on Super Bowl Haiku weekend, which, incidentally, is next weekend. There's also a game then, I think. Submit a haiku, bogus or not, for next week's program.

This segment aired on January 25, 2014.

Headshot of Bill Littlefield

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



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