Elizabeth and Dave, thanks for reading the book with me! I’ll think we’re in for a really interesting discussion.
To answer your question, Elizabeth, I’m going to ‘fess up and admit that I actually am not a big sports fan. And by that I mean, I usually hate sports. I haven’t played any team sports since junior high. I haven’t watched basketball since the University of Arkansas Razorbacks won the NCAA tournament in 1994 (woo! pig! sooey!).
Which isn’t to say sports doesn’t sometimes interest me. I would have liked to see LeBron James play Kobe Bryant this year, but it wasn’t meant to be. And while baseball hasn’t interested me as a sport, baseball writing intrigues me because it can be more about the people who play than the action on the field. I had a professor once who believed that was the reason Americans liked baseball, and probably explains why I don’t; fans are devoted to the histories and personalities of their teams, and watching the game on the field allows you to take part in the story-telling. I have a friend who goes to as many Mets games as she can, no matter how badly they’re doing, because she and her dad went throughout her childhood.
There are two sports books on my to-read list in addition to the A-Rod book, however: “A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot 8-Inch, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays Football with the Pros” by Stefan Fastis, and “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game” by Michael Lewis.