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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

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Editorial Reviews


“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—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: #1,354,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful 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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Greenberg on October 4, 2007
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Flourless on May 2, 2008
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Lutz Jr. on October 10, 2007
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angus on January 14, 2009
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Bowman on October 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
I saw an excerpt for this book in the Wall Street Journal and my interest was piqued. I can't say I'm a huge follower of sports debates but I was a faithful George Plimpton fan and this seemed to be in that vein. However, the attempts I've seen outside of George's work in participatory journalism have always left me a little unsatisfied. Mostly they're self indulgent, lazy, or simply dim witted.

This book is none of these things. Todd Gallagher, the author, sets out to answer sports greatest questions. And to do it, he pulls out all of the stops and gets a number of very popular pro athletes and sports teams to help him. Roddick plays tennis with a frying pan. The Washington Capitols play hockey against a 1000 pound man. The NL batting champ is decimated in wiffle ball to name a few. This is a remarkable feat in itself for a book. To actually answer these questions in a substantial way is impressive indeed.

But the real story in this book is Gallagher. With his boundless enthusiasm, cynical optimism, and pencil thin mustache, he's a character in a Wes Anderson movie come to life. No matter if he's being beaten by a doggie paddling Olympic swimmer, negotiating with Mike Tyson to fight 10 "tough guys" in one night, or cold calling major league general managers to try to get one to sign a midget for a major league game, he's always giving it his all with a level of commitment and humor that is rarely seen. Beyond the amazing accomplishments of getting multi-millionaire athletes to participate in his hair brained schemes, the writing is impeccable. Every line is packed with information, a witty joke, or a combination of the two.
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