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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