An Incomplete & Inaccurate Book Report


Kenny Mayne has written a book.  The title is An Incomplete & Inaccurate History of Sport.

I thought about ending my book report there but since I was given a free copy of the book and was asked to read it so I could write this, I figured I better turn in at least a few hundred words or so.

In case you don’t know who Kenny Mayne is, he’s the guy on Sportscenter who occasionally yells things like, “Give us your finest meats and cheeses!!!!”  Yes, he yells these things randomly during highlights.

He has also been known to do some interesting stories for ESPN – like the one about Tony Sparano, the new Dolphins’ head coach, who he thought was Tony Soprano.  Yeah, that’s the guy.

So that guy has written a book.

I’m not one of those fancy-shmancy, highly-educated, snooty book reviewer guys who’s going to throw a whole bunch of impressive words at you to impress you with my large vocabulary.  I’m just a blogger who is telling you some stuff about a book that you may or may not want to buy and read.

You could, in fact, just go into a Barnes & Noble and read the book without buying it.  That would be cheaper but not a nice thing to do since authors tend to get upset when you do things like that.  They want to make money from the words they write.  And that manager guy at Barnes & Noble who hasn’t been out of high school long will probably come over with his little badge hanging from his shirt and ask you to buy the book if you’re going to read it.

Manager Guy Who Hasn’t Been Out of High School Long:  Excuse me, sir, would you like to buy that book?

Me:  I’m not sure yet.

Manager Guy Who Hasn’t Been Out of High School Long:  Sir, I can’t let you read the entire book while you stand here in the store.

Me:  This won’t take long.  It’s not a long book.  In fact, it’s like the opposite of War & Peace.

Manager Guy Who Hasn’t Been Out of High School Long:  We don’t like to have people reading the books without buying them.  And you’re blocking the aisles for the kids to be able to get to the Hannah Montana books.

Me:  They’re young.  They can wait.  I’m old.  And this won’t take long.

So, I left the Barnes & Noble.  But I remembered what page I was on and read the rest of the book at Borders down the street.  They didn’t seem to mind and their manager guy looked to be a good five years older than the guy at Barnes & Noble.  He was even wearing a tie.  I think it was a clip-on, but it was a tie.

Books are strange things.  They’re full of words that somebody has written to entertain or inform us.  These days, they write them on laptops and computers instead of on typewriters.  Then they hire agents and get the book published with some big, fancy publishing company.

You can do what I did and have your boss give you a promotional copy, read it online, buy it in a book store or even order the thing from one of those big internet book store things.  They take credit cards and stuff.  I know.  I checked.  (That’s what book reviewers do, I found out.  They do research and get all the details about an author before writing anything about the book they’re reviewing.  These people don’t sleep or something.  It’s like they just read books all day and then write about them.  I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of this whole book review deal.  I could be starting a whole new career.)

Does that make the book reviewer a plagiarist or are they just borrowing the words from the author of the book?  And if they borrow the words how do they return them?  Do they make sure they clean the words up before they take them back to the author?

And how can you really own words anyway?  I mean, if I decided that I owned the words that I’m writing here then nobody else could use them.  That would be wrong.  Because if I did that then other writers did it there wouldn’t be any words left for anybody else to use.  That would be bad I’m pretty sure.  I’m calling my lawyer.

One of the collections of words that Kenny Mayne put in his book (and I’m assuming that this is the first book he’s written and maybe not the last) were in the following order:

Duckpin Bowling

I have no idea how people play duckpin bowling.”

That’s the entire chapter – chapter twenty, I think.  They’re not numbered or anything like in some fancy books.  Numbering them would make it like a lot fancier and, I’m guessing, a lot more expensive.  And the $24.95 price listed on the cover was plenty for this book.  Mayne did us a favor by leaving the chapter numbers out so it didn’t run up the price to something like $34.95.

That chapter I quoted was interesting since I don’t know anything about duckpin bowling either.  I’ve hardly even heard of it so I appreciate Kenny Mayne’s attempt to educate me and all his readers on the topic.  I mean, facts are hard to come by about duckpin bowling.  Research would be hard or something.  I’ll bet it would have delayed the release of the book and his agent would have gotten upset and you know his wife would have been unhappy that he was spending all that time writing and not raking the leaves.

Since Kenny Mayne left all his leaves in his yard and upset his wife (I sure hope they don’t get divorced) it’s a nice thing that people like me are reviewing his book.  It’s like it gives him a reason for writing.  That work and all that research on duckpin bowling was not in vain.  And the incident on the plane involving the loud cell phone talker and even the one where he was gonna ask the lady some questions while he was typing on his laptop – well, those things were all worth it.  (You’ll have to read the book – either by buying a copy or standing in Barnes & Noble – to understand those last two.)

Kenny wrote a very funny, if not completely random, book.  It’s not really about sports at all.  It’s more about his friends, their experiences growing up, his kids, his wife, his appearance (albeit a very brief one) on “Dancing with the Stars,” and about trying to order a special cup of coffee at Starbucks.

I’m sure some of the more (making up a word here or, as some people refer to it “coining a phrase”) egg headier people (I now own the word egg headier!  Or is it two words?  Maybe it’s a phrase.  Either way, I own it now.  Call your attorney if you want to use it.)…wait, I lost my train of though there.  Oh, yeah, those egg headier people (my phrase) would say that Kenny Mayne’s little book (size doesn’t matter in the literary world) was just a waste.  They might say that it was “insipid.”  (One reviewer already did say “insipid.”)

I’m not going to say that.  I actually liked the book.  Though random, it was entertaining.  I sometimes like random thoughts.  I’m pretty sure I threw out some pretty random stuff writing this book report for the boss who told me to write it.  (He’s not a mean boss, by the way.  I like the guy.  He just likes for me to write stuff about things – like books or something.)

Oh, yeah, the book report!

I think you should go buy a copy of Kenny Mayne’s book (the title is “An Incomplete & Inaccurate History of Sport.”  Was I supposed to underline that?  Maybe that called for italics that would make the words look like this An Incomplete & Inaccurate History of Sport.  That doesn’t look right at all.  Maybe it’s supposed to be underlined and italicized An Incomplete & Inaccurate History of Sport.  I don’t like how that looks either and this program I’m writing on doesn’t tell me how to write this stuff.  It doesn’t correct me.  It just sort of lets me write.  This program could be letting me screw up really bad here.  I don’t like this program anymore.  It’s going to make me look stupid.  I’m just going to put the title in those quote things from now on.  I’m almost out of words that I’m going to own that I can write about this book anyway so I guess it doesn’t matter.)

Buy a copy of Kenny Mayne’s “An Incomplete & Inaccurate History of Sport.”  Or go stand in the Barnes and Noble and read it like some people do.  I hear they have good coffee in some of those places.  But keep an eye out for that Manager Guy Who Hasn’t Been Out of High School Long.  He can be kind of mean.

Seriously, though, good book.  It’s funny and if you like random thoughts and reliving part of your childhood (if you’re from Kenny’s generation) then you’ll really enjoy this book.  It’s a much more entertaining read than my book report.