Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday Salon: The Superbowl Edition

If you live in the US, you know that today is the Superbowl. Even those of us who don't follow football at all know it. Heck, the grocery stores have been packed this week and their enormous displays of chips and dips are pretty decimated by now. The tower of cases at the mouth of the beer aisle have slowly dwindled away to normal height. Stores are even running buy one get one free specials on avocados (conveniently placed next to packets of powdered guacamole mix spices for the chronically lazy).

This year's big game (is that supposed to be capitalized or trademarked or something because I just can't bring myself to do it) is not just a football game though, it's haunted by the specter of Deflategate. Side note, do we have to attach "gate" to the end of everything that might possibly be a scandal? Thanks a stinkin' lot, Watergate! Anyway, if you've been living under a rock, this is a cheating scandal. Under-inflated balls and all that jazz. I don't honestly know if this will turn out to be a big thing or not (nor do I care) but let me go on record saying that cheating is wrong. Always. Aside from the moral implications, I am hoping that we continue to get some wonderful jokes out of it. Because how can you not love adolescent boy humor, which is the only kind of humor you can possibly attach to football and deflated balls, right?

In the spirit of the game and the scandal, I pulled a book off the shelf that I've had for a very long time: Drew Magary's Men With Balls. How could I not? Purportedly a handbook for professional athletes and how they should comport themselves once they sign their multi-million dollar contracts, it is clearly not a serious book but it seemed too perfectly topical to pass up. And that got me wondering about other books that I could be reading that would fit too. So here's a sampling culled strictly from my own shelves:

Books on football (not soccer, although I was a bit surprised how many of those popped up when I searched my books for the word football since that indicates I have more European books/authors on sports than I would have thought--oh and fair notice that football really only plays a background role in most of my books because, well, I'm not really a fan):

Number 6 Fumbles by Rachel Solar-Tuttle (New Adult fiction)
Confessions of a Hero-Worshipper by Stephen J. Dubner (memoir)
A Fan's Notes by Frederick Exley (fiction)
Hot Item by Carly Phillips (romance)
Nobody's Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (romance)
Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer by Warren St. John (travel narrative)
The One and Only by Emily Giffin (chick lit)

Books about advertising in some way, shape, or form--most likely with a main character who works in the industry (because let's be honest, the commercials are way better than the game--except not last year; last year they stunk):

The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd (fiction)
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream Home by Eric Hodgins (fiction)
The Ladies' Man by Elinor Lipman (fiction)
The Journal of Mortifying Moments by Robyn Harding (fiction)
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan (memoir)
e by Matt Beaumont (fiction)
Dry by Augusten Burroughs (memoir)
Up the Agency by Peter Mayle (humor?)
Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber by Adele Lang (chick lit)
The Puzzle King by Betsy Carter (fiction)
Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough by Ruth Pennebaker (fiction)

And finally the book that proves I am a complete smart ass (because if you can take something and run with it, I totally will) but truly this might be the perfect novel to read for this year's game given that it's about football and well, just look at the title!:

Balls by Nanci Kincaid (fiction)

Aside from learning the important things about being a professional athlete, my reading has taken me all over this week. I started my week in the English Fenland with a professor who received the heart of a sixteen year old accident victim. Then I traveled to Princeton with an Admissions officer whose carefully constructed life is breaking down just as the application cycle starts getting crazy. I stayed in the general vicinity of Princeton with a woman who marked places and times in her life by food and kitchen implements. Then I went to Bald Mountain, New York as an ad man and his wife discovered the stress of building a house from scratch. Now, in addition to the professional athlete's handbook, I am heading off to a remote island resort with a bunch of misfits. Where have your reading travels taken you this week?


  1. Great post and tie-in to the game. I love football but the Superbowl not so much. Way overhyped and seldom a good game.

  2. My reading travels haven't taken me anywhere this year because I'm waiting for several books to come in on from the hold list. But tomorrow, I'm anticipating that I'll be able to travel in books since I won't be traveling otherwise, due to an expected foot of snow. I like how you're tying in your reading mean, the Super Bowl. I'm normally not into it, but I have a neighbor who invited me and he's been homebound after a surgery so I thought it might cheer him up. I'm only hoping I can tolerate the commercials and that the game is close, even though I really don't care who wins.

  3. Your post is very clever. You certainly have a lot of books! I hope you enjoy the day!

  4. I'm not a football fan but I do hope everyone enjoys watching the game. Have a great week!

  5. Teehee, keep the ball humor coming. ;)

    Happy Sunday!

  6. I confess I've been enjoying the ball humor, too. I have zero interest in football, but I love the fact that there was a legitimate opportunity to publicly debate which team has bigger balls. I have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy.

  7. I've got Why Football Matters on my Kindle and should have read it this week.

  8. I'm all over the place and just reading one book: Bone Clocks. England, Ireland, Bagdad. Switzerland. Iceland. I may have omitted some others.
    Also listening to Rebel Yell about Stonewall Jackson this week which places me right here in Virginia where I live

  9. Fun post :) that's a lot of books with balls in them hehe. I don't think I have any sports related books. Or books with balls in the title.


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