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A collection of columns from the critically acclaimed sportswriter and author of Road Swing journeys around the world to provide an eating tour of America's baseball stadiums, an account of ice golf with a reindeer caddy above the Arctic Circle, a description of the world's wildest roller coasters, and other entertaining tales. 25,000 first printing.
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Don’t let the word "caddie" in the title fool you—this is not a golf book. In a way, it’s not even a sports book, although it consists of essays, columns and features that Rushin, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, originally wrote for the magazine. Rushin’s real interest is the daring, dangerous and downright wacky things people do in the name of sport and competition. He gets a jolt out of finding thrill-seekers and joining them on their exploits, bringing his wry sense of humor along for the ride. What’s it like to play golf in the Arctic? The answer can be found in the title essay, which details Rushin’s own expedition in the "Land of the Midnight Sun." How can a skinny guy eat 50.5 hotdogs in 12 minutes? Rushin talks to some of the world’s top competitive eaters. Why would someone ride a roller coaster for more than 1,000 hours? Rushin does his best to figure it out. Author of the widely acclaimed Road Swing: One Man’s Journey into the Soul of America’s Sports, Rushin has a gift for spotting absurdities and recording them in witty turns of phrase. Hockey players, he says, have "crossword puzzle smiles," while a man who spends his days in a trailer, journeying from one stadium tailgate party to another, is "the unholy offspring of Homer and Homer Simpson." His writing is so much fun that he can be forgiven for a few groaners, such as his reaction to the man who tells him that in Finland, golf is played in the snow with balls that are purple. Says Rushin: "I imagine they must be." Competition of one kind or another is the backdrop to all of Rushin’s essays, but this book is not just fun and games. Also included is a heartfelt tribute to Rushin’s wife—the basketball superstar Rebecca Lobo—and an insightful look at the people and forces that have shaped modern-day pro sports. Whether you’re an avid sports fan or just looking for an entertaining read, this book will make you both laugh and think.
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Three years out of college in 1991, Rushin became Sports Illustrated's youngest senior writer. His work is imaginative, quirky, and insightful. His folks wanted him to become a doctor, and sometimes, he points out, it seems as if he did; after all, much of his time is spent questioning naked strangers who smell strongly of liniment. In the title piece, he plays the world's northernmost golf course, in which a player can hook a tee shot into another country. In "Beers & Shots," he examines the odd world of competitive darts, and in "I Believe in Basketball," he eloquently states his love for hoops. Elsewhere, he eats his way across America's stadiums, taking time out to profile a man who earns a living tailgating at sports events. Not to be missed is a portrait of a group that rides monster roller coasters for hours at a time. In the often-cynical world of sports journalism, it is a pleasure to encounter a writer who seeks out the humanity and humor in competition. Wes Lukowsky
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