Summer is almost upon us. And there's nothing quite better than heading to the beach and kicking back with a good book.
Unless it's one of these recently released sports books.
1. "Cracking the Code: The Winning Ryder Cup Strategy: Make It Work for You"
Possible book pitch: "Hi. I'm Paul Azinger. You know, the coach of the Ryder Cup team? Of 2008? No? Well, yeah, that's what I was. Did I teach them how to play golf? No. No I did not. I was given a team of the top-ranked golfers in the world. They were already great. But — and here's the key — I paired them up together. Yeah, that's right. Said 'you play with him. And you play with him.' Pretty important stuff. Yeah, so whaddaya say you publish my book about how my obvious leadership abilities can help people in all walks of life?"
Not kidding: From the book's promotional materials: "Inspired by team-building techniques used by Navy SEALs, Ryder Cup captain and ABC commentator Paul Azinger divided the 12-man team into small groups, or pods. Then, …". Whoa whoa whoa. No need to continue. Navy SEAL techniques used on pro golfers?
"Phil, I'm going to drop you out in the jungle alone and you need to find your way back. It's what the Navy SEALs do."
"You know, coach, that's a great thought. But I'm just going to sit here and finish my bowl of ice cream. If you'd like to watch the 'Navy Seals' movie later, I'd be up for that. I played in a pro-am once with Charlie Sheen, you know. Good guy."
Why you should maybe give it a chance: There might be some great golf tips in there. For example, do you struggle getting out of sand traps? Consider this Navy SEAL tip: throw a grenade in the bunker.
2. "Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Austrailia Turkey — and Even Iraq — Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World's Most Dominant Sport"
Possible book pitch: "Okay, what are two things your average American loves? Soccer and economics, am I right? So in this book we'll combine them together for bestselling gold! By the way, do you think 'Soccernomicsbrusselsprouts' is too long of a title?"
Not kidding: There is a chapter called "The Economist's Fear of the Penalty Kick: Are Penalties Cosmically Unfair or Only If You Are Nicolas Anelka?" The title of the book is 31 words long. That chapter title is 18 words long. There is a very good chance the actual text of the book is just 336 pages of one run-on sentence.
Why you should maybe give it a chance: You've read the title already. In many books, that many words would put you through a whole chapter. May as well finish it now.
3. "Home Team: Coaching the Saints and New Orleans Back to Life"
Possible book pitch: "Have you noticed the amazing strides New Orleans has made since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005? Don't you think it's time one person takes much of the credit for that? Now, let's just hope nothing else bad happens here before this book's planned release date of June 29th like, say, a massive oil spill off the coast. Because that would make my proposed title seem even more insane."
Not kidding: That is really the title.
Why you should maybe give it a chance: If you buy this book in hardcover and then beat Sean Payton with it, it would be kind of poetic. And you rarely get that in a sports book. (Beating tip: Aim for the top of his head. His visor leaves him completely unprotected there!)
4. "Unplayable: An Inside Account of Tiger's Most Tumultuous Season"
Possible book pitch #1 (December 2008): "So I thought I'd follow Tiger around for the entire 2009 golf season and write a book about it. Seems like a simple enough idea, no? Great! I'll get back to you when it's done."
Possible book pitch #2 (December 2009): "Yeah, soooooooo … bit of a change of plans eh? I honestly saw none of this coming. No one did. And if I did, you better believe we would have rushed the book out. But how about we still publish this book as planned, only I work in some turmoil-y stuff?"
Not kidding: From the book's promotional materials: "Who is the real Tiger Woods? The unbeatable, indomitable, and ultimate competitor? The husband and father who cares more about his family than anything else? Or the supremely confident controller who thought fierce management of his image and those around him would allow him to lead a double life?" No one knows. Not even Tiger Woods. But read on!
Why you should maybe give it a chance: It has to at least be a better book than "Training a Tiger: A Father's Guide to Raising a Winner in Both Golf and Life" by Earl Woods.
5. "The Bullpen Gospels"
Possible book pitch: You know, this book — a memoir of a minor league baseball player's struggles to reach the majors — may actually be good and probably shouldn't be on this list. It's selling well, has good reviews and a ton of big names have given it positive blurbs. So whatever the pitch was, it's good it worked.
Not kidding: One of the positive blurbs from a big name is: "After many minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years spent in the bullpen, I can verify that this is a true picture of baseball." — Tim McCarver. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! The editor that let that get on the book jacket should be fired.
Why you should maybe give it a chance: Reading this could perhaps help you understand a little better what in the hell Tim McCarver is talking about when he's calling games on TV. Although that's not a rabbit hole I'd advise jumping through. It's probably smarter for your overall sanity and safety to climb to the top of a very tall building, take some 'shrooms and have a friend hit you in the face with a baseball bat.