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An Incomplete and Inaccurate History of Sport: . . .and Other Random Thoughts from Childhood to Fatherhood [Kindle Edition]

Kenny Mayne
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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"The Worrier's Guide to Life"
In her hugely popular comic drawings, Gemma Correll dispenses dubious advice and unreliable information on life as she sees it, including in her latest release, The Worrier's Guide to Life. Read it and weep...with laughter. Learn more

Book Description

Painstakingly faithful to its title, Kenny Mayne’s book is neither complete nor is it particularly accurate. Ostensibly an A-to-Z encyclopedia of all known sports, many sports are never mentioned. There’s not a word about rugby, volleyball, Roller Derby, swimming, or (shockingly) Basque pelota or shinty. There is a chapter about sliding, but none about skiing. Competitive eating and rhythmic gymnastics will have to wait for another book. However, there are roughly eight chapters about tackle football–“the greatest sport in the world, and everyone knows it”–and a good four or five about horse racing, so quit complaining before you’ve even read the book. There will be plenty of time for complaining after you’ve finished it (about an hour from now–tops).

Those sports that are covered in the book are examined with exhaustive inattention to unretained detail. Many chapters have nothing to do with sport. For instance, the chapter on hunting is about hunting for a hassle-free triple tall Americano light on the water.

So, then, what exactly is this book-like thing you hold in your hands? Part nostalgic memoir (like the summer Mark Sansaver hit 843 home runs in backyard Wiffle ball), part Dave Barry—esque riffs (like explaining bocce to non-Italians), part scholarly tract (includes the origins of tackle football), and part metafiction (see “Time-outs”). . . all with illustrations drawn by Kenny’s daughters, it is what Kenny calls his anti coffee-table book, or Coaster. The publisher calls it $24.95. Reviewers like Michiko Kakutani may call it “insipid,” but because Kenny has included a revolutionary “backwords” following the book’s foreword, she’ll have to call it an “insipid breakthrough” of a book.

So what is this book-like thing? Like the great mysteries in life, you’ll have to decide for yourself.


*That would include a thought I just had. This thought had something to do with Wiffle ball. What a great chapter. But that’s not to say the chapter on hunting is terrible even though it’s mostly about coffee. Plus I wrote stuff about my children. There’s even a chapter on jai alai. This book has both still photographs and still illustrations. It doesn’t have any moving pictures. That would have required the inclusion of a projector and a big white screen in the book, and I’m trying to take a stand on energy conservation. Strangely enough, Ken Griffey Jr. asked me if the book would have video. This will make sense when you read the chapter on him.

I wish I'd written about the Seattle Pilots. I used to go to their games when I was nine. My favorite player was Tommy Harper.  But this isn't just a sports book. It covers all sorts of things. I hope they place it in the Miscellaneous section. That should draw a lot of attention.  I was told that the presence of a sub-title would sell more books. How am I doing with you? Make sure to tell people about this alluring and informative sub-title. This sub-title is longer than some of my chapters.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mayne, known for his sarcasm on ESPN's SportsCenter, submits in his debut a tongue-in-cheek sports encyclopedia, featuring such entries as rock throwing and Wiffle ball, along with facts mixed with dubious statements. For example, dodgeball ends when the PE teacher gets back from hitting on one of the substitutes and tackle football is the greatest sport in the world and everyone knows it. Stories from Mayne's life as a sports-loving kid in Washington State, a quarterback and father to two little girls round out the book. On TV, Mayne might be entertaining; as an author, he is overbearing, often trying to get more play out of a single joke than it can bear. Other comedic observations, such as security lines at airports and the perils of getting the right order at Starbucks, read like stale standup routines. The book's best parts feature Mayne straying from his funnyman persona to reflect on his personal life. Glimpses of the man behind the mockery are far too infrequent within Mayne's relentless, tiresome attempts at generating laughs. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

For decades, Kenny Mayne has hosted ESPN's SportsCenter, as well as announced major events like the Kentucky Derby and delivered his weekly irreverent pregame "Mayne Event" segments for ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown.

David Drummond has narrated over seventy audiobooks for Tantor, in genres ranging from current political commentary to historical nonfiction, from fantasy to military, and from thrillers to humor. He has received multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, including one for his first audiobook, Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1477 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype; 1 edition (April 22, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0015DRODM
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,329,725 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
(19)
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Sports Book May 15, 2008
Format:Hardcover
This book was a great read. With Kenny Mayne's quirky sense of humor, splashes of childhood stories, drawing by his daughters, and touching moments through his life, I couldn't put the thing down. Seriously it took me like 3 or 4 days to finish the book. The chapter about his Dancing with the Stars appearance was one of my favorites.

if you are a fan of his Mayne Event segments on ESPN you will love this book
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, but got a little tired by the end May 26, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Overall, Kenny Mayne cracks me up. I love his Dance Center segments on ABC's Dancing With The Stars. I've long enjoyed him on SportsCenter as well.

I expected more of the same stuff in this book, and that's exactly what I got. Even though it's supposed to be an incomplete and inaccurate history of sport, I honestly expected a little more about the sports themselves. Instead Kenny seems to segue a lot into childhood memories.

While I wanted more of his quirky take on sports, I found myself really enjoying the look back to childhood. His talking about wiffle ball, and it being the second greatest sport of all time really made me laugh because it sparked memories of my own. While I can't claim to have hit 843 home runs in a single summer, I laughed and reminisced about my own childhood while reading through his.

There were chapters in there that seemed a little like filler and nothing more, and frankly, I wouldn't have minded more about the relation to sports growing up.

Overall though, it was a quick, fun read. I was done with it in a day. If you like Kenny Mayne's sense of humor, you'll enjoy the book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GIFT FROM MY FATHER May 31, 2008
Format:Hardcover
My Father bought me the book and warned me that I could not stop reading it once I started. For everyone who loves Kenny's unique sense of humor and that "special way" of reporting sports and other stories at ESPN, the book is every bit written with the same humor only much more. One does not have to be a sports fanatic (although I am) to enjoy the book. It only requires wanting to be entertained for a couple hours and forget about the ills of the world for awhile (especially the election crap) The book tells a lot about Kenny Mayne, his family and his life in a very humorous way. My father who is 61 years of age told me he could identify with almost every sport mentioned. He also said that he (Bob Carper Ashley,Ohio 1958 holds the record (988) for wiffle ball home runs in a summer in case Kenny reads this review. But at 28, I must say, I loved the book. BUY IT! YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT! THANKS FATHER! AARON CARPER.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great bathroom read April 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
And I mean that as a compliment! The irreverent Kenny Mayne, of ESPN fame, writes a book that can be compared to Seinfeld' s television theme : it's a book about nothing. That being said, it is thoroughly enjoyable. If you are expecting keen insight into the world of sports, you may be disappointed. If you like reading books where you have no idea of it's path from beginning to end, much like this review, this one is for you! If anything, you can pick this up and put it down without pain or trepidation. You can then pick it up again and not feel like you missed much. And best of all, you will finish this and think to yourself...I'll never regain the time invested in reading this book. Yet, even after this, you will like this book. Thanks to the author, Mr. Kenny Mayne, who leads us into his personal life through witty anecdotes in a unique and irreverent writing style.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Coaster Ever July 2, 2012
Format:Hardcover
This book is arguably the best coaster in the history of sports-themed coffee table books. If you buy it on audiobook like I did, you have the added benefit of your house guests not feeling obliged to be subjected to it, much less discuss it afterwards.

I'm about halfway through the book - which is probably farther than Mayne expected his readers to get - and I am absolutely loving it. As a daughter of a loving father who also bought me fake earrings and taught me to throw a football correctly (I assume), I find his stories relatable and hilarious, if not completely inaccurate. But that's what the title promised anyway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your loss if you don't read it November 1, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you're a fan of Kenny Mayne and or sports this is a MUST read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Expectations. January 14, 2009
Format:Hardcover
This book is just what you'd expect. Kenny Mayne at his finest. Truely hilarious with no effort at all. Written excerpts describing 60 or 70 sports in his own special way. Best part - hes is not inhibited by 4 letters (ESPN) and has written anything he likes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars More Random thoughts than sports July 30, 2008
Format:Hardcover
I am a Kenny Mayne fan and I enjoyed his book. Parts had me laughing out loud. Other parts made no sense. Much like Kenny's segments on NFL Countdown. The drawings by his kids were a great extra.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Kenny Mayne is being himself!!!
If you like Kenny Mayne's humble humor on ESPN you will enjoy this book.
Published 5 months ago by G Thomas White
4.0 out of 5 stars I thought I saw this guy...
having a drink in a restaurant in Logan International Airport i. I looked him up on the internet and it turned out he had written this book. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Patrick Rankin
4.0 out of 5 stars Kenny teaches all of us.!!
I am a big Kenny Mayne fan. His sense of humor is beyond the usual. In this book, he takes us through sports with giggles and tears in your eyes, ( from laughing.)
Published 18 months ago by Stephanie Spotts
5.0 out of 5 stars hoosier
Kenny Mayne is a funny guy whose sense of humor may not exactly appeal to everyone - my family, however, finds him very entertaining! Read more
Published on July 5, 2012 by hoosier
1.0 out of 5 stars I only gave this a one ...
... because zero is not an option. I picked up the audio book for a drive from the Tampa area to Miami and back and immediately regretted only picking up one book since I was stuck... Read more
Published on September 18, 2009 by Fred Forbes
1.0 out of 5 stars Really Misguided and just plain bad.
I picked this up on audio book loan from Cracker Barrel. For the first time in ten years, I returned it early. Read more
Published on June 15, 2009 by Jo
2.0 out of 5 stars Good for ESPN, not for a novel
I get it, Kenny Mayne is the new cerebral host on ESPN. Well, now that Olberman and Kilborn have left and Dan Patrick is doing who knows what. Read more
Published on October 2, 2008 by Toby J. Randall
5.0 out of 5 stars Kenny Mayne book
I bought this book because I like Kenny's sense of humor. I was right, it was funny and a quick delightful read.
Published on July 25, 2008 by GMA13-2
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