Reading the Sports Guy has always been a mixed experience for me. There are times when he makes me laugh out loud, but for every guffaw, there's an equal feeling that I've just spent five or so minutes of my life that I'll never get back. This book helped me understand why I have these feelings.
The pluses: There are some laugh out loud funny moments. And I enjoyed reading the earlier columns from the pre-ESPN days.
The minuses: 1. the 500 marginal "footnotes." They're not superfluous; in fact, as the book progresses, they're more readable than the original text itself. But the way they're placed along the page margins is very distracting; and more than that, as I continued reading, I concluded that they were an extremely lazy way of putting these columns into context. It's as though Simmons couldn't have been bothered to write short essays introducing each section, where he could have made these marginal thoughts into something special, because it would have required some real reflection and construction in his writing. Which brings me to...
2. Reading The Sports Guy in a concentrated dose in print instead of online two or three times a week is a very different experience, and what works as you're reading online over morning coffee doesn't carry over as well in print. Simmons's writing style can best be described as, "let me just throw everything up against the wall, and if some of it sticks, OK, and if none of it does, that's OK, too." The book made me realize just how much I've skimmed through the online columns.
And I agree with a previous reviewer: the typos, as well as factual errors make we wonder if anyone read galley proofs, or if everything was just downloaded as is.
And Simmons should re-read his own footnote 426 and take his own advice where his copious TV and movie references are concerned. If he is serious about being a good writer rather a purveyor of cheap yuks, he'll take his own advice.
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