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Matt Wasowski grew up in sports-crazed Cleveland but has lived in Brooklyn, NY since 1999. Matt has worked in a Marketing capacity at Wimba since June 2000 where he most notably created and still hosts the Wimba Distinguished Lecture Series, the only weekly online presentation program which brings experts from education and technology to the desktops of thousands of educators worldwide. Matt has spoken at countless conferences throughout the world and has become a true thought leader about distance learning. A believer in lifelong education, Matt not only boasts a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania (Go Quakers!) and an MFA from The New School, but he also hosts the critically-acclaimed Nerd Nite, a monthly gathering of experts in various fields who give light-hearted presentations about topics as diverse as human parasites, thumb-splitting shrimp, cemetery iconography, and the history of Coney Island. And perhaps most importantly, he's been named to his Central Park softball league's all-star team the last 5 years - and it's arguably one of the best leagues in the country.
It's Okay to Like Sports should be required reading for both sport fans and their non-sporty friends and partners. It's like Men are from Mars, but funny, clever, useful and actually close to real life. Wasowski's engaging writing ranges from intimate insights into his own psychology to helpful tips on how to bridge the sports-liking gap. An excellent gift and a fun read - dare I say, a real home run! (Or better, a fascinating anthropological treatise?)
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I met the author recently and was curious to read his book. I've always admired sports as good entertainment, a worthy challenge, and simply something that makes people happy. I have my own obsessions, not necessarily sports, but I definitely see the value in something that makes you plot strategy, bond with other fans, and allows you to look forward to your Sundays (or Fridays, or what have you.)
As someone else noted, there is a lot about the author in this book, but that's what makes it go down so nicely, like a smooth milkshake. If you like reading Chuck Klosterman's essays on music, you'll like the way Matt looks at sports, and how he weaves them into his life as a native Clevelander (is that the right term), son of two teachers, and sometime Ivy League nerd who prefers to discuss sports over existentialism.
I don't agree with every comment in the book, but I really liked reading it. Two things that I enjoyed: 1. His numbered list of how you can find art and intelligence in sports (this is near the beginning of the book), and 2. His essay on the competitiveness and insularity of the baseball leagues in NYC. I had no idea that it was harder to walk onto a league than it is to get into some of the city's most choosy bars. This was a whole world I had no idea about, and so now I know something new.
I find it hard to believe that so many people have castigated Matt for his love of sports; I know plenty of intellectuals who still go crazy for their favorite team. But who knows? I prefer football to baseball, and I've heard a few derisive comments implying that baseball is a "thinking man's (or woman's) game" and football is just about brutality. I don't agree with this.Read more ›
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