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Andy Roddick Beat Me with a Frying Pan: Taking the Field with Pro Athletes and Olympic Legends to Answer Sports Fans' Burning Questions Paperback – October 2, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An entertaining new book with the best title I’ve ever heard. . . . There are lots of cool and authoritative conclusions in this book, based on empirical evidence.”
—Gene Weingarten, Washington Post
“Asks such burning questions as: Would an all-midget baseball lineup be almost unstoppable? Are pro golfers good at miniature golf? Could a tennis pro wielding a skillet beat an amateur with a racket? Sports fans often pose these kinds of off-the-wall questions—Mr. Gallagher heard many when he was a writer for ESPN.com—and this comic sports book sets out to find the answers by setting up bizarre contests.”
Wall Street Journal
“[George] Plimpton, the patrician, Harvard-educated polymath with a taste for the madcap and presumably the nightcap, would have appreciated the spirit of Gallagher’s new book.”
International Herald Tribune
“Todd Gallagher has a lot on his mind. Like, ‘Could a morbidly obese goalie shut out an NHL team?’ And, ‘Would sumo wrestlers make great NFL linemen?’ And, ‘How easy is the transition from soccer player to NFL kicker?’ To get to the bottom of those burning questions, Gallagher teamed up with players, managers, and coaches.”
Boston Herald
“Gallagher has personally committed to resolving so many of these kind of thinking-outside-the- squared-circle ideas that some have referred to him as ‘Plimpton on acid.’”
Los Angeles Daily News

About the Author

TODD GALLAGHER is a former professional basketball coach, writer for ESPN, and television producer. He became the youngest director of player personnel in pro basketball history when he was appointed to that position in the USBL at the age of twenty-one.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (October 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307352803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307352804
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,031,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By terror firma on October 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
I loved it. The humor, the facts, the writing style... all of it. Very funny, kept me laughing, easy to read. I am in a book club and I'm gonna recommend it at our next meeting. Perfect gift for the sports nerd in your family!
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Format: Paperback
This book is hilarious and written very well. It's nice to see these questions answered in such a straightforward way. It's great that so many athletes and people working in the athletic field were so open to the idea of the book and so forthcoming with what the sports life is like. Great book! Will recommend it to everyone I know!
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Format: Paperback
Like most books of this type, the editor intentionally puts the better stuff at the front and back of the book, because those are the likely places to make the most impact. Often people will start a book, like it after a short while, and recommend it to their friends. Often people will read the first few pages to decide whether to buy it at the book store.

This book has several hillarious and interesting entries in the first 25% or so, and lots of boring drivel after that, till the last couple entries which are once again fairly good.
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By WDX2BB on February 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
Let's start out with a personal story, to show you why I had to read "Andy Roddick Beat Me With a Frying Pan," by Todd Gallagher.

One time I was visiting some friends at a beach cottage, and a ping-pong table was set up on the beach. The problem: we didn't have any paddles.

But -- we did have kitchen utensils. Someone materialized a couple of frying pans and a ball (don't ask why we had a ball and no paddles), and the game was on. The pan certainly put some odd spin on the ball, and consistent hitting was an issue, but we made do.

Roddick has some of the same issues trying to play tennis with a frying pan in this unique book that is extremely well done.

Lots of silly issues come up during the course of a sports fan's lifetime. I've heard debates regarding a goaltender who was four feet by six feet, thus filling the net. Gallagher actually put a goalie in a costume that came close to that size, and put him in the net against the Washington Capitals.

Could an Olympic swimmer be fast by doing the dog paddle? Can major league hitters hit a good Whiffle ball pitcher? How would a pro golfer do at miniature golf?

What makes this book work is that Gallagher actually got some top people to go along with his ideas. Roddick really did play him in tennis with a frying pan. Pete Weber tried to learn how to play skee ball at an amusement park. NBA players were willing to tell if anyone kept statistics in his head while playing (Lots of "I don't, but so-and-so sure does" answers). A pro pitcher tried throwing to midgets, with a limited amount of success.

Some of the 31 questions work better than others, naturally.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This book is suited for someone who is a fan of multiple sports, or just sports in general. If you are a baseball-only or football-only sort of sports fan, you won't like this book. Each chapter addresses a question that almost every fan has either pondered or argued about, but never examined in detail. Some questions contrast the caliber of world class athletes to average people (racing against an Olympic sprinter, mini-golf vs a PGA golfer, etc), or handicapping pros to play at the level of average players (a tennis pro playing with a frying pan, or a pool pro shooting one-handed). Others questions take pros out of their game an put them into a seemingly related game (a pro dart player shooting beer pong vs frat boys, a MLB batting champ trying to hit a wiffle ball, a PBA bowler playing skee-ball). Another group takes a "serious" look at well-known sports hypotheticals (the effectiveness of a batting order of little people in baseball, or a heavily-obese NHL goalie). Also included are well known mythical sports legends (basketball players making change from the board or street ball players in the NBA). Probably the best question was the relative comparision of female athletes to male athletes. It was fact-based, even-handed, and objective, and examined the question from several angles, inlcuding comparision world records, results of head-to-head competition, and personal testimony from the players themselves. At the same time the author was very clear and careful to distinguish "level of play" from the purely athletic perspective, from "quality of entertainment or enjoyment" from the fan's perspective.

The book does contain some mildly offensive language, and makes several references to Pittsburgh, so it is probably not suitable for young kids.
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Format: Paperback
Sports are ingrained in the fabric of America, and whether you're a fanatic or a casual observer, you've often pondered the ridiculous and provaocative questions that fill bar rooms, offices and Super Bowl parties across the country. "Andy Roddick Beat Me With a Frying Pan:..." answers these questions. It is a perfect addendum to the library of any sports fan.

Not only are the questions interesting, but Todd Gallagher has succeeded where so many others have failed. He went out and got the best athletes in the world to test every innane scenario that your typical armchair sportsfan could imagine. Andy Roddick actually playing tennis with a frying pan, Danius Zubrus firing slap-shots at a 1000 pound goalie, and the list goes on. Never before has a book been published that tackles these scenarios in a realistic fashion. Most offer only opinions from D-level celebrities and coaches. I recommend to even the most casual sports fan, to go out and get a copy of this witty, provocative, gripping and ultimately intelligent book.
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