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Talk Sports like a Pro: 99 Secrets to…

Talk Sports like a Pro: 99 Secrets to Becoming a Sports Goddess

by Jean M. McCormick

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0399525343, Mass Market Paperback)

Don't let the subtitle--or Boticelli's Venus-in-the-pocket-of-the-glove on the cover--fool you. Talk Sports Like a Pro may be aimed at women, but every fan at any level of expertise could pick up a few nuggets from its pages. Once it gets beyond absolute basics like, "When you discuss a game, know three things. Who won. Who lost. One key play or fact," Talk Sports Like a Pro becomes a versatile and handy reference.

Take the section on baseball. Its opening pitch covers the least you need to know: there are 162 games in a season, each league is divided into three divisions, and the head coach is called a manager. From there you'll quickly pick up on the kinds of stuff fans like to grouse about--the World Series being played at night, for one; the essentials of the pitcher-hitter confrontation (complete with explanations of important stats like ERA, RBIs, and batting averages); a basic reading list; the names and contributions of important players past and present; why the Red Sox, Cubs, White Sox, and Indians seem cursed; even how to decipher the cuneiform of a box score.

All the major spectator sports (plus extreme sports) are addressed here, though track and field is oddly absent. Still, Jean M. McCormick--a former ESPN producer herself--nicely balances cleverness with information, and seasons her sporting stew with useful insights in the form of short essays from sports' interpretive goddesses--Robin Roberts, Lesley Visser, Summer Sanders--and gods--Chris Berman, Jim Nantz, and Bob Costas--alike. --Jeff Silverman

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:14 -0400)

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