Shelf Life Book news, reviews, trends, and talk

Tag: Sports (1-5 of 5)

Matthew Berry's 'Fantasy Life': Getting in league with Harry Potter, Jon Hamm, and Jay-Z

FANTASY-LIFE

ESPN’s Matthew Berry set out to be the Martha Stewart of fantasy sports, and though he’s never been legally required to wear an ankle bracelet, he’s achieved his goal. Known as the Talented Mr. Roto to millions of fantasy players who read his blogs, listen to his podcasts, and watch him on ESPN, Berry is simply the most-ubiquitous and influential voice in a massive business that has changed the way fans consume and follow sports. In his new book Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports From the Guy Who’s Lived It, Berry intertwines his own personal story and ascension to the summit of sports geekdom with the mainstream proliferation of the fantasy sports that now permeate every corner of our entertainment culture. A former Hollywood screenwriter, Berry also mixes in tales from his days working on Married With Children and his not-so-smooth working relationship with Paul Hogan on Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. Below, he discusses the nexus of fantasy sports and celebrity.

“Call me Meat.”

It was 2006 and holding out his hand, in front of me, was the rock singer Meat Loaf. As we shook hands, I looked around the draft room in Las Vegas, taking it all in. Meat, you see, was there to draft a fantasy football team and I had just started working for ESPN as their Senior Fantasy Sports Analyst. Yes, really.

I was excited to… uh… meet Meat because he was the first celebrity I had heard of that played fantasy sports. And he was hardcore about it too, often ranking among the top players on all of ESPN.com. Fantasy was still considered nerdy back then, so having a celebrity, any celebrity, playing was awesome for those of us trying to change that perception.

Since that time, Meat Loaf has been joined by tons of other celebrities that play. I’ll never forget a call I got last year.

Guy on phone: Hey man, enjoy your stuff. We’re having a fantasy draft in New York in late August and we want you to come host it.

Me: Thanks, but I’m super busy in August and I don’t really do that sort of–

Guy on phone: It’s for Jay-Z’s league.

Me: What time do you want me there?

I couldn’t believe it. We can have different definitions of what is cool and what isn’t, but if Jay-Z is playing fantasy football, I assure you, it is most definitely NOT nerdy. It was a great night and not surprisingly to anyone that’s followed his career, it turned out that Jay is also a very shrewd and successful fantasy footballer.

In doing research for my book Fantasy Life, I came across tons of celebrities who not only play fantasy sports, but love it. Saturday Night Live‘s Seth Meyers is a long time player, as are actors Paul Rudd and Elizabeth Banks. Michael J. Fox plays fantasy hockey. Ashton Kutcher is so into fantasy football that he once hosted an online fantasy sports advice show. Jesse Williams is a frequent guest on ESPN’s Fantasy Focus podcast, and in fact, Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter himself, once told my podcast audience that Anquan Boldin was his “Fantasy Voldemort.” READ FULL STORY

Sports Illustrated investigating swimsuit cover leak

Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 5.49.11 PMThree days after its 2013 Swimsuit Issue cover image leaked online and one day before they planned to unveil it to the world, Sports Illustrated is investigating where the breach occurred that allowed the blog Fashion Copious and other websites to post the alluring image of Kate Upton — SI’s defending swimsuit champ — modeling in Antarctica.

“Instantly, we began to assess the situation and its implications,” says a spokesperson for SI, which like Entertainment Weekly, is a Time Inc. publication. “We are looking into all of our options.” READ FULL STORY

EW Review: The unfortunate timing of Joe Posnanski's biography of Joe Paterno

paterno.jpg

Joe Posnanski is a terrific writer. He also happens to have terrible luck.

The former Sports Illustrated star, who currently writes for a new venture called Sports on Earth, has spent years working on an in-depth biography of the legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. Posnanski reportedly snagged a $750,000 advance from Simon & Schuster for the project. And why shouldn’t he? When he inked his contract, Paterno was arguably the most famous and recognizable caller of collegiate X’s and O’s in the country. Even though it had been clear for some time that the gnomish, octogenarian’s best seasons were behind him, he was still “Joe Pa” — the trusted and revered shaper of young men whose strong moral code had always gone unquestioned. It seemed like an obvious best-seller. Plus, the author had attained extraordinary access to Paterno, his family, and his archives.

Then, just as the book was about to go to print, the unimaginable happened. One of the most respected figures in college athletics was suddenly swept up in a child molestation scandal allegedly perpetrated by one of his longtime assistants, Jerry Sandusky. Worse, the fatherly Paterno (who died from cancer in January) knew about the stomach-turning incidents and didn’t do as much as he could have — or should have — to see justice done. Just like that, Posnanski’s admiring biography had turned into something very different than the book he’d set out to write. The idol was now tarnished. He would have to push back his deadline, scramble like a quarterback staring down a blitz, and get to work on some serious revisions. READ FULL STORY

Protect our youth: Dennis Rodman has written a children's book

All parents who can’t wait to head over to the bookstore to pick up a copy of a Dennis Rodman-penned children’s book for the young ones, please raise your hand and say, “I.”

Not all at once, please.

Okay, so maybe “The Worm” isn’t exactly the best candidate to impart wisdom on our nation’s impressionable youth (ahem, ahem). But that hasn’t stopped the 2011 NBA Hall of Fame inductee from trying his hand at doing just that.

The eccentric Rodman, who became just as famous for doing stuff like this off the court as he did for snagging rebounds during his 14-year career, has announced via his agent that he has co-written (with screenwriter Dustin Warburton) a book for youngsters entitled Dennis the Wild Bull.  Per a release on the book’s official blog, Rodman embarked on the process “with the sole purpose of conveying good lessons to children based on…[his] own experiences.”

The book is slated to debut in September 2012, at what we can certainly deem an interesting time in the ex-NBA star’s own family life. In May he was sentenced to 104 hours of community service for failing to pay child support, and earlier this month, he reunited with his father (himself a daddy to 29 kids of his own!) after 42 years of separation.

No shelf price has been set, but any young adoring soul hoping to perhaps one day party as hard as Dennis did (does?) can receive a pre-ordered, personalized signed copy of the book for $30.

Read More on EW.com: 
The problem with publishing the Joe Paterno biography
Cover and excerpt reveal for Hilary Duff’s third novel ‘True’ — EXCLUSIVE
New biography: Mick Jagger had sex with David Bowie, Eric Clapton, every other famous person

The problem with publishing the Joe Paterno biography

It’s hard to remember these days that once upon a time, Joseph Paterno was above all described as “America’s winningest college football coach, who changed the country one football player at a time.”

Indeed, in the ongoing aftermath of a scandal that rocked both sport and nation alike, Paterno is now more immediately–if not exclusively–recognized as one of several powerful men that for 14 years “failed to take any steps” to protect child sexual abuse victims, some of which were suffering under his supposedly hallowed locker-room roof.

It is in this pickle of epithets that book publisher Simon & Schuster currently finds itself when it comes to the handling of one of its upcoming releases.  That book?  Sportswriter-turned-author Joe Posnanski’s biography Paterno.

READ FULL STORY

Latest Videos in Books

Advertisement

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP