Northeastern University Athletic Director Peter Roby To Discuss Controversial Sports Issues In Dedham Forum

What: Northeastern University Athletic Director Peter Roby will participate in a community forum on the impact of sports on American society, which will be moderated by Bill Littlefield, host of the popular National Public Radio sports magazine “Only a Game.”

The event, titled “Is It Only a Game: Are We Crazy about Sports, or Are Sports Making Us Crazy?” will explore whether our region’s and nation’s passion for sports has gone ‘over the top.’ Panelists will address such topics as the influence of money on youth sports, parental violence at youth sporting events, excessive salaries paid to professional athletes, and whether society favors sports at the expense of supporting the arts and addressing social ills.

When: Tuesday, September 18 at 7:00 p.m.

Where: The Allin Congregational Church, on 683 High Street in Dedham

Event Details: “Is it Only a Game” will feature several notable panelists, in addition to Roby and Littlefield, including:

  • Charlie Pierce, staff writer for The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, frequent contributor to The American Prospect and Slate, and analyst on NPR’s Only a Game
  • Cathy Inglese, head coach of Boston College’s women’s basketball team
  • Randy Vataha, former New England Patriots wide receiver and current president of Game Plan, LLC
  • Nora Mann, Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General

A reception will immediately follow the forum, with Bill Littlefield and Charlie Pierce on-hand to sign copies of their most recent books, “Only a Game” and “Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything,” respectively.

For further information, please visit the Dedham Square Circle web page,, or call the Allin Congregational Church office at 781-326-5050.

About the Sponsors: The Dedham Square Circle, the event’s primary sponsor, is a grassroots civic organization whose mission is to improve historic Dedham Square as a strong, vital, and unique neighborhood where members of the community can live, work, and shop. Dedham Square is the Town of Dedham’s historic town center, the location of the Norfolk County Offices and Courts, and a walkable commercial and residential area with a variety of restaurants, specialty shops, services, professional offices, and civic organizations. The Dedham Community Theatre, which presents art and independent films and hosts live comedy shows, is a prime resident and is celebrating its 80th year in 2007. The Dedham Square Circle hopes that “Is It Only a Game?” will inaugurate a series of public forums concerning important topics in public affairs and popular culture.

Additional co-sponsors of this program include 90.9 WBUR-FM Boston, a local NPR affiliate; Hebrew Senior Life, developer of the continuing care community and multigenerational campus NewBridge on the Charles; the Vanderbilt Club, a Norwood health club; and Jefferson at Station Square, a luxury rental community. Allin Congregational Church, affiliated with the United Church of Christ – and one of the oldest churches in the United States – is the event host and has provided important logistical support.

About Northeastern: Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The university’s distinctive cooperative education program, where students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, is one of the largest and most innovative in the world. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in six undergraduate colleges, eight graduate schools, and two part-time divisions. For more information, please visit