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The Asian Cup qualifiers brought the Lebanon men's national team to Pyongyang. "In the back of my mind, I was always thinking, 'North Korea. Like -- that means we have to travel there,'" Lebanese-American player Soony Saad says. (Kim Won-Jin/AFP/Getty Images)
The Asian Cup qualifiers brought the Lebanon men's national team to Pyongyang. "In the back of my mind, I was always thinking, 'North Korea. Like -- that means we have to travel there,'" Lebanese-American player Soony Saad says. (Kim Won-Jin/AFP/Getty Images)
This article is more than 3 years old.

Professional soccer player Soony Saad grew up in the United States, but the Lebanese-American spent a lot of time traveling the world for his sport. This week on Only A Game, one visit he wasn't so eager to make — to North Korea. Also, a former Pittsburgh Steelers running back pursues art — and tests the city's graffiti laws. And a story of politics, protest and chariot races in the Eastern Roman Empire. Join us!

Subscribe to the Only A Game podcast on Apple PodcastsNPR One or Stitcher.


An American In North Korea, Playing Soccer Amid A Bomb Test

Soony Saad is a U.S. citizen who plays for the Lebanese men's national soccer team. Recently, Lebanon was scheduled to play North Korea. In Pyongyang. Soony tells the story of his trip.

Elissa Ely: At The Gym, 'A Moment Yearning For Feminist Light'

Commentator Elissa Ely says it took a lot to get her daughter to come to the gym with her. But while they were there, one conversation with a trainer provided "a moment yearning for feminist light."

3 Stories: NFL Mediocrity, 76ers' Process, Sled Dog Doping

Mike Pesca, host of the daily Slate podcast The Gist, and Michael Lee of Yahoo! Sports joined Bill Littlefield.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers RB Baron Batch On Art And His Arresting Officer

Former Steelers running back Baron Batch's NFL career only lasted a couple of seasons. It was what happened after leaving the game that brought him notoriety.

Charlie Pierce: The Week In Sports

Bill Littlefield and Only A Game analyst Charlie Pierce discuss the World Series-bound Los Angeles Dodgers. Also, why can't MLB can't figure out how to keep postseason games reasonably short, And one athlete's excellent 4-legged motel adventure.

Violence, Sex And Chariot Racing: The Story Of The Nika Riots

Once upon a time, there was an empire that seemed to be on the verge of collapse. Sports had become intertwined with politics. Protests were held at sports stadiums. Political leaders responded to these protests. We are, of course, talking about the Eastern Roman Empire during the sixth century.

This program aired on October 21, 2017.

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