Tuesday, November 10, 2009

100 Sporting Events You Must See Live by Robert Tuchman

4 stars for the depth of info
2 stars for the ranking
Source- review copy from publisher for Virtual Book Tour

Okay first a disclaimer. I am not the premiere audience for this book. I knew this when I got the email and decided that if my husband would go through it with me and help me review it, we'd go for it. Since, after all, he probably IS the premiere audience.

That being said, the 4 stars is from me, the 2 is from him. Actually he might have only given it 1... because the ranking of events drove him nuts.

We both agree that the depth of information is impressive and great. For each sporting even there are sections on local airports, hotels, and restaurants (if it's in a set location), notable athletes involved, records, things to know, on-site hospitality and such, etc etc etc. It is a great amount of information.

Basically if you are interested in any number of the events in this book, it's totally worth the info on how to plan your trip.

However, we both had issues with the rankings. The number one event is golf. Sigh. Nevermind the fact that I'd rather watch paint dry, The Masters is an event that few can afford to go to. And fewer are interested, really. As my husband puts it "it's an event for old rich white men."

There is also not an NBA game to be found-- which if I tell my brother this he will likely steal my review copy and burn it in protest. Okay, so there's the All Star Game, but that's not even a real game.

Which illustrates the problem with the ranking criteria (whatever it is that they were)-- people prefer some sports over others. Even the most die-hard sporting fan has a favorite or two that he or she prefers to see over others. Our conclusion was that we wish Tuchman had done it by sport rather than just a blanket top 100 list.

The top 10 (not in order) includes both Summer and Winter Olympics, the Masters, the World Cup, World Series, Super Bowl, Army v. Navy Football, NYC Marathon, Red Sox v. Yankees, UNC v. Duke Basketball. (That's right, THE BIG GAME for nearly every major American sport... except the NBA finals. And the Stanley Cup, but it's #12.)

My husband's other big peeve-- the Westminister Dog Show is included. It's number 93. Sorry, folks, that ain't a sporting event.

My two peeves-- there were a couple of events I actually had to Google to figure out what sport they were. Now, maybe that's just me, because I'm not that into sports, but it seems like they should say. The other-- while the "things to know" vocabulary was great on many entries, there were a lot of terms that even I knew. Which seems silly. I would be irritated that the author is connected to the companies he promotes for travel packages, but he admits his bias. :D

Like I said, though, if you're interested in these events, or know someone who is, it is a goldmine of information. For events where there are hotels and restaurants listed there are notes about them, even. It's impressive.

If you're wondering if this is for you (or your sports fanatic) here's a breakdown:
5 golf events
5 soccer events
all Olympics (Winter, Summer, Special)
3 NFL games plus the draft and Hall of Fame
11 college football games
4 hockey games
6 men's NCAA basketball, 1 women's
8+ baseball events
4 tennis, 3 marathons, 1 triathlon
2 track and field
6 horse races, 4 car races, 1 boating event
the Iditarod and Westminister Dog Show
3 rugby events
4 bull-related or rodeo events, including the Running of the Idiots... I mean Bulls
3 high school sporting events
several other international events
and the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Championship
plus a few other miscellaneous events.

What would be YOUR top event to see live? I'm going with the World Cup or something Olympic....


  1. What a strange sounding book! I wonder who the author thought he was writing for.

    I think I'd put the Summer Olympics as my top sporting event, followed by the Winder Olympics.

  2. Yeah. In his defense he does talk a little about the difficulty of ranking the events and each event has a couple paragraphs about the significance of the event, but still.