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Bill Littlefield, NPR's "Only a Game"

There is a Cleveland bias to "The Worst of Sports: Chumps, Cheats, and Chokers From the Games We Love." This is no surprise, since two of the three guys responsible for the book identify themselves as followers of Cleveland teams. So no reader will be shocked when Jose Mesa, the man who pitched the Indians out of a World Series title by throwing hittable pitches to a host of Florida Marlins during the ninth inning of the seventh game of the 1997 World Series, achieves prominent mention in the chapter titled "Great Individual Meltdowns of the '90's."

But Jesse Lamovsky, Matthew Rosetti, and Charlie DeMarco should get credit for showing some range. They recall, perhaps reluctantly, "the worst athletes who tried their hand at acting." Bruce Jenner rates a long, derisive mention, and they remember Michael Jordan in Space Jam. Which is interesting. I wouldn't have thought anybody would remember Space Jam.

The authors of "The Worst of Sports" also examine such categories as worst trade, worst decision by an official, and worst examples of behavior by fans. These are all subjects worthy of passionate discussion if it's so late that you can't go home without risk of attack by frying pan.

The one chapter I'd advise potential readers to avoid is "The Worst of Grotesque Injuries." The damage is described vividly, even with relish. Yuck.

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