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Winners & Losers: Rants, Riffs & Reflections on the World of Sports Hardcover – October 2, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

''Bob Latham is an extreme connoisseur of sports, and his insights into seldom seen parts of many sports are accurate, informative, very well written and above all a joy to read. I highly recommend this book. It covers so many different aspects of various sports that it will be rewarding to any type of reader.'' NANDO PARRADO, author, ''Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home,'' Montevideo, Uruguay.

''When I first met Bob Latham and learned he was a practicing attorney, I thought he'd made a mistake in career choices. He's not only one of the funniest people I've ever met, his humor is imbued with insights that are both intelligent and original. We are lucky that he's shared his passion for sports in a way that leads us to contemplate the very nature of winning and losing.'' TIMOTHY SCHNEIDER, Publisher, SportsTravel Magazine, Los Angeles, USA.

''George Orwell said 'good writing is like a window pane.' In his book, Bob Latham gives us a clear view of the inner workings of sport with wit and humor and educates us in the process.'' JIM SCHERR, former CEO, United States Olympic Committee, Colorado Springs, USA.

''Passion, harmony and joy. We love all three, and they're all here in these great stories. When Rolf Jensen said 'the heroes of the 21st century will be the story tellers,' who'd have thought he had in mind a rugby playing Texas lawyer?'' KEVIN ROBERTS, CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, USA.

''The real stories in sports are located somewhere beyond the box scores. This collection of essays enlightens, entertains and spotlights why we care so much about sports: the people involved.'' --JIM COURIER, U.S. Davis Cup Captain, New York, USA.

About the Author

Depending on the context in which you meet Bob Latham, he is either a sports writer disguised in the body of a trial lawyer, or a trial lawyer masquerading as a raconteur and a walking encyclopedia on sports. Clinically speaking, he is a practicing lawyer based in Texas, who moonlights as a columnist for SportsTravel magazine. Bob has never met a sport he didn't like. He has held a number of positions in the world of sports including Chairman of USA Rugby, member of the Board of Directors of the United States Olympic Committee, and member of the International Rugby Board Executive Committee.

Bob's columns in SportsTravel are known for their funny, original, and sometimes poignant perspective on sports. He has examined a curious decision by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, visited Ted Williams's cryogenic resting place, and managed to work Fonzie and Nelson Mandela into the same column.

In his day job, Bob has been ranked as a top commercial litigation attorney and has been included in the Best Lawyers in America in multiple disciplines.

A graduate of Stanford University and the University of Virginia Law School, he is a sought after speaker on legal issues and matters relating to sports.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608323943
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608323944
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,325,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Depending on the context in which you meet Bob Latham, he is either a sports writer disguised in the body of a trial lawyer, or a trial lawyer masquerading as a raconteur and a walking encyclopedia on sports. Clinically speaking, he is a practicing lawyer based in Texas, who moonlights as a columnist for SportsTravel magazine.

Bob has never met a sport he didn't like. He has held a number of positions in the world of sports including Chairman of USA Rugby, member of the Board of Directors of the United States Olympic Committee, and member of the International Rugby Board Executive Committee.

Bob's columns in SportsTravel are known for their funny, original, and sometimes poignant perspective on sports. He has examined a curious decision by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, visited Ted Williams's cryogenic resting place, and managed to work Fonzie and Nelson Mandela into the same column.

In his day job, Bob has been ranked as a top commercial litigation attorney and has been included in the Best Lawyers in America in multiple disciplines.

A graduate of Stanford University and the University of Virginia Law School, he is a sought after speaker on legal issues and matters relating to sports.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sara Holtz on November 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am, at best, a bandwagon sports fan, but I loved this book! It is a world-wide tour of sports for the armchair traveler.

It's hard to imagine that any one person - with or without the help of Google - could have such a comprehensive knowledge of or experience with sports. Depending on which essay you are reading, the book is alternatively laugh-out-loud funny, provocative, informative, inspiring or touching.

Regardless of where you fall on the sports fan spectrum, this book is a great read!
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Format: Hardcover
This book was clearly written by a total sports fan, but one with credentials and with something to say. The writing is excellent. It's divided into 7 chapters with titles including "Places I Remember," "Learning from the Game," "Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind," "Not Your Everyday People" (the baby boomers among us can explain the hidden song titles in three of these to the Twentysomethings) and concludes with "Taking a Look Back." In each chapter are collections of essays on particular events or people related to the chapter title - each about 2-5 pages long.

You could probably read the book from cover to cover but it's really better if picked up from time to time to read several of the essays and reflect on them. Some will leave you laughing out loud and some will leave you in a quiet and reflective mood. If I had to pick my favorite (and it's hard to do) it would be the piece on Muhammed Ali's 70th birthday, perfectly entitled simply "The Champ." It captures with vivid detail what an iconic figure Ali was and is, despite his failing health. To quote the author, "Love him, hate him, be turned off by his chosen trade, but Muhammed Ali is the most culturally consequential athlete of the 20th Century."

But the reflections, and I think there are more reflections than riffs and rants here, are not all serious. There's fun to be had but never at anyone's expense. For you closet NASCAR lovers out there, "My NASCAR Experience" may be your favorite, as Latham goes for a few lap spin in a NASCAR race car. The description is amusing but right on: "Since the hallmark of NASCAR is that you are in a stock car, the view from the passenger's seat is not uncommon. What is uncommon is to be heading toward a wall at 170 mph and not slowing down.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderfully enjoyable book for both the avid and even the less-than-avid sports fan. This book is highly entertaining with moments of profundity. As someone who has never understood the big "to do" about sports, after all it's just a game, I begin to get it. As Bob humorously and poignantly brings to light, through his rants, riffs, and reflections, sports is analogous to life. At its best it can teach us how to deal with life's successes & failures, befriend our adversaries, win graciously, lose graciously even in life's most painful moments, play fairly, and enjoy the journey as well as the outcome. As the author tells his stories, often they trigger memories of our own life's experiences. While the book covers a vast array of sports, I was surprised that I enjoyed the several pieces on rugby - - - a game that has always seemed random and confusing to me. But I now comprehend at least this much: What is so noble about rugby is that it is played without the support of mega dollars, for the sheer love of the game itself; and when the aggressive competition ends all of the players celebrate together, united by their friendship and their love for the game. Ahhh, what politicians could learn from rugby.

This book is meant to be an enjoyable read, but in the process of being entertained we are reminded of some of those lessons we were taught as children and may have forgotten along the way. Attitude and ethics, as learned in sports, can be applied to so much more. But mostly, you'll laugh A LOT!
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By ConcertKatie on October 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Winners & Losers documents Bob Latham's trips to various sporting events as well as his thoughts on some others that he didn't attend. It is broken down in to 5 chapters and each chapter has several different stories that fits into each category/chapter. These chapters are - Places I Remember, Being There, Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind, Learning From The Game, Not Your Everyday People, Happy To Be a Fan and Taking a Look Back.

The first chapter is almost like a bucket list of sporting events - and it is really cool to read his thoughts and experiences at all of them. It's kind of like what I do with the blog, but in book form - a compilation of his articles. There are also his thoughts on some other aspects of the sports - like should athletes try and sing? (It seems like his answer is yes - if it is for charity.) Thoughts on coaches and cheating, etc.

I think pretty much every sport is represented at least once in the book - baseball, hockey, tennis, racing, rugby etc. I have to say I think my favorite story (though they all are great and well written) is the one about his buddy and one of the Texas Rangers players. They had seats in the front row near 3rd and Bob's buddy was heckling the home third baseman constantly. What the player does in retaliation is great. Bob also got the chance to hear the player's perspective on it as well - I don't want to give too much away though!

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in order to write this review.
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