Casey at the Bat: Are There Any Good Sports-based Books?


Sierra, the wonderful reader of Andre Agassi’s Open whom we interviewed on Muni Diaries the other day, planted a thoughtful seed in the arid highlands of my prefrontal cortex that are normally hostile to any such productive use.  After Sierra lauded Agassi’s work at the net forehand? some bad tennis metaphor book, I walked away with a query slowly taking root.  This was really the only sports-based book about which I remember anyone having anything good to say.

[Cut to Carrie Bradshaw voice-over with scene of her looking quizzically off into the distance with blinking cursor on screen]

An obvious photo choice for a post about sportswriting

Are sports-based books just generally bad?

It seems like every sports star has either written a book, or has a biography out there.  Ahem.   But there’s just something about them that never quite gets me to pick one up.  I’m not sure what it is.

Actually, I'm pretty sure I know exactly what it is.

In the movie I Heart Huckabees, there is a scene where Jude Law, who is playing the role of a soulless corporate executive named Brad, attempts to prove his intellectual and spiritual profundity by saying that he is reading Sacred Hoops By Phil Jackson and that the book has some “good questions.”  I was unclear who the joke was actually on though.  I originally believed it was used to show the superficiality of Jude Law’s character, but Phil Jackson is a Buddhist, and a lot of the ideas in the film are loosely based on Buddhist ideas.  So maybe the ultimate irony is that Sacred Hoops would be a good read.

But I don’t want to end my inquiry at nonfiction and athletes’ ghost writers.  Maybe there is some sports-based fiction out there that is worth a gander.

So how about it internets.  Are there any good sports-based books?

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One thought on “Casey at the Bat: Are There Any Good Sports-based Books?

  1. Pingback: De la mano de dios « Between The Lines

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