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The Caddie Was a Reindeer: And Other Tales of Extreme Recreation Paperback – September 30, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (September 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802142117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802142115
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,868,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on May 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Rushin goes everywhere in pursuit of a story. My favorite (maybe) is "Beers and Shots" which takes you to the heart of dart world in a London pub, where he measures the pressure that Ted Hankey felt while defending his World Darts Championship (a prize worth a quarter of a million dollars) against all comers. Rushin nacechecks Martin Amis' London Fields, which he praises as the "epic darts novel" but for my money he (Rushin) can say just as much in 4,000 words as Amis can say in 90,000. He's funnier too, asserting that "sometimes the healthiest thing a body can do is get out of the sunshine, off the green grassm out of the fresh air and breathe in the opposite--air that is equal parts smoke, tension, and BO. Only then will you rediscover what first drew you, as a child, to games."

Some of his pieces collected here are a little flimsy, like an essay poking fun at some of the outlandish names of athletes, such as "the insuperable Hannibal Navies, whose name always conjures in my head a fleet of amphibious elephants--in bathing cas and nose plugs--swimming ashore at Normandy en route to the Alps." It's kind of cute, but minor, feels like padding in the context of the other, meatier pieces.

His reconstuction of the 1962 Mets is priceless, even to those of us who lived through the horror. He calls it "Bad Beyond Belief" and reading through the shocking details once again you rest a little bit easy, knowing that no team, anywhere, will ever play as badly as our beloved Mets that year. His profiles of Roone Arledgfe and Jim Brown are razor sharp, and his visit to the Topps Factory plays out the dream of every little boy.

You might have read some of these stories before in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. You'll enjoy them even more in this sharp volume.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary E, Bois on March 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyed the articles. I miss reading Steve in the Sports Illustrated. His humor and vast sports knowledge made the read enjoyable.
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