Audiobook: Sports From Hell

by Rick Reilly
read by Mike Chamberlain
ages: adult
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Not content with being a writer for Sports Illustrated or ESPN — or perhaps it was bored with being a writer of normal sports — Rick Reilly decided to go on a quest: over the course of three years, he (and his lovely researcher/girlfriend, TLC) searched the world over for the World’s Dumbest Sport.

And because he’s a journalist, he felt the need to share it with the world, as well.

The sports range from the pretty cool (women’s football), to the retro (the Jart; remember those? If not, you didn’t grow up in the 70s and 80s), to the weird (ferret legging; that’s what he’s doing in the picture up there) to the “I wanna try” (Zorbing; seriously looks like fun), to the eye-rolling (his chapter-long rant on baseball), to the certifiably insane (bull poker). Not to be outdone, there’s a chapter on drinking games (did you know there’s a world series of beer pong?), on the world championship Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament, and the Finnish “sport” of Saunaing (or whatever they call it).

It’s a completely useless book — there’s really nothing of value in here, unless you want to impress people with your synonyms for vomit — but it’s entertaining. Or, at least, it tries very hard to be.

See, Reilly’s use of similes drove me completely batty. Literally. I laughed at them at first, but as the book wore on, I grimaced and eventually rolled my eyes. I wish I had the actual book in front of me, so I could write a few of them down; they were literally that bad. And all over the place. Which I found highly distracting.

The second distracting thing was Mike Chamberlain as a reader. He only had two
“voices”, and he would alternate between the two of them. And I have to admit that his inflection grated on me after a while; it was nice and chatty at first, but eventually, I kind of wanted to smack him.

Still, it wasn’t enough for me to give up the rubber-neck value of the book: the sports were so bad, I had to see what Reilly would find out next.

Oh, and for the record, the dumbest sport: chess boxing.

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