6 new sports books for good holiday reading

Amid the blizzard of televised games, sports fans sometimes enjoy settling into an easy chair to enjoy a more reflective, in-depth look at the games, players, and coaches they follow. Here are excerpts from six new sports books, all of which offer some insightful reading.

1. 'You Can’t Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television,' by Al Michaels with L. Jon Wertheim

In his autobiography, sportscaster Al Michaels shares his broadcasting philosophy and countless stories from his four decades working Super Bowls, World Series, and other major events.  

“Some former jocks approach the commentary role with the mentality I played the game, I was on the field and you weren’t. So listen to what I have to say. That’s usually when laziness blends with arrogance. That won’t cut it. I worked with one analyst, a former quarterback, who would constantly say things like ‘This is what the quarterback is thinking here.’ The situation didn’t matter. I always wanted to say, ‘Really? Every quarterback is thinking the same thing on every third-and-four? Just because you once were a quarterback doesn’t mean you know what all quarterbacks are thinking in every situation. This is what you were thinking, not everybody.’”  

1 of 6

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.