Michael Sam, Women's World Cup And The NBA's Foul Problem

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There are a lot of interesting stories in the world of sports — too many to cover in the hour we have each week on Only A Game. So, we've enlisted some help to bring you developments too good to ignore. This week Bill Littlefield sat down with Boston Globe enterprise reporter Shira Springer and our own Doug Tribou for something we're calling, '3 Stories You Should Know.'

1. The NBA's intentional foul problem:

NBA fans are used to intentional fouls in the waning minutes of a close game, but after the Houston Rockets handed Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan a record 28 free throws during Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals, Bill Littlefield wonders whether something needs to change.

BL: The league should create a rule limiting how often guys can intentionally foul players who are notoriously bad at shooting free throws because without such a rule, fans are going to get tired of witnessing the incompetence of men being paid millions of dollars to put the ball in the basket. There is nobody in front of them and no one waving their hands, and they can't do it, and the fans are going to have to watch something else.

2. There is not enough pre-tournament hype for the Women's World Cup:

SS: The Women's World Cup is kicking off on June 6, and there hasn't been enough pre-tournament hype in my opinion --nothing even remotely close to what we have seen in previous men's World Cups, particularly Brazil last year. And the women are this country's soccer powerhouse...

It is not a question of whether they would advance out of the first round as it was for the men. If the U.S. wins it would be the team's first World Cup title since 1999, which we all remember they played in front of a packed Rose Bowl. There were 90,000 people watching that game. And now the game is better, the players are better, there is more depth across the board and it deserves more attention.

3. Michael Sam signs with the CFL:

Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player, signed with the Canadian Football League's Montreal Allouttes Friday. Sam was cut by the St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys, but Doug Tribou is glad to see he'll continue his football career up north. 

DT: This shows that this is a guy who is smart. There are players who have done phenomenally well by making this move. Most notably, Warren Moon who went on to become a Hall Of Fame quarterback, he couldn't find a starting job, couldn't find a home in the league, went to Canada, came back to the NFL and was dominant. There are other examples as well, Doug Flutie started in the NFL, went to the Canadian Football League, came back and had better success in the NFL. I think Michael Sam is making a smart football move and also — good for the Canadian Football League.

To hear more from Shira, Bill and Doug, click the play button above.

This segment aired on May 23, 2015.


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