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Based on unique access to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and its rival organizations,Blood in the Cagepeers through the chain-link Octagon into the frighteningly seductive world of mixed martial arts, which has exploded in popularity despite resistance. Wertheim focuses on Pat Miletich, who runs the most famous MMA training school in the world. Single-handedly Miletich has transformed a gritty town on the Mississippi into an unlikely hotbed for his sport. He has also transformed many an average Joe into a walking weapon of destruction. Wertheim intertwines Miletich's own life story, by turns tragic and triumphant, with the larger story of the unholy rise of the UFC, from its controversial, back alley roots to the fastest-growing sports enterprise in America. Blood in the Cagetakes readers behind the scenes, right down to the mat, from a punch in the kidney to the ping of the cash register, as Wertheim brilliantly exposes the no-holds-barred reality of the blood sport for a new generation.
From two senior Sports Illustrated writers comes an explosive, fast-paced satire that will do for today's NBA what North Dallas Forty did for the NFL a generation ago. Just months from his Yale graduation, street-smart whiz kid Jamal Kelly leaves school to take a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join the front office of the Los Angeles Lasers. Once on the West Coast, Jamal gets a quick introduction to a subculture awash in big egos and fast cars, as well as an introduction to the charms of the team's new hard-charging beat writer, Jilly Forrester. In the spirit of Primary Colors and The Devil Wears Prada, Foul Lines peels back the curtain on the trappings of big-time professional basketball. No other sport encapsulates so many cultural hot-button topics, and Foul Lines at once exposes and lampoons this parallel universe.
"A tremendously satisfying road story. What makes Running the Table so special is not the pool prowess of its protagonist but the unlikely bond between two wildly different young men who find each other through an exhilarating, often infuriating game."-Los Angeles TimesRunning the Table spins the outrageous tale of Kid Delicious, an affable skilled pool shark from New Jersey, and his studly if less talented setup man, Bristol Bob. Wertheim follows this mismatched pair of sidekicks as they go underground to learn the art of the hustle while experiencing the highs and lows of life on the road. Their four-year odyssey takes them from podunk pool halls to slick urban billiard rooms across America, some nights taking down as much as $30,000 and others ending up with just enough gas money to get home. With every stop the action gets hotter, the calls get closer, and Delicious's prowess with a cue stick becomes more widely known. Ultimately the Kid sheds his cover, becoming perhaps the biggest sensation in professional pool since Minnesota Fats. Wertheim paints a lasting portrait of an insanely talented and magnetic hustler who is literally larger than life."Renders the trappings of a road player's life . . . readers are taken on a sweet and varied ride."-Sports Illustrated
Moskowitz, a University of Chicago behavioral economist, teams up with veteran "Sports Illustrated" writer Wertheim to look at the hidden influences and subtle biases that shape and sway sports behavior and outcomes.
In the 2008 Wimbledon men's final, Centre Court was a stage set worthy of Shakespearean drama. Five-time champion Roger Federer was on track to take his rightful place as the most dominant player in the history of the game. He just needed to cling to his trajectory. So in the last few moments of daylight, Centre Court witnessed a coronation. Only it wasn't a crowning for the Swiss heir apparent but for a swashbuckling Spaniard. Twenty-two-year-old Rafael Nadal prevailed, in five sets, in what was, according to the author, "essentially a four-hour, forty-eight-minute infomercial for everything that is right about tennis--a festival of skill, accuracy, grace, strength, speed, endurance, determination, and sportsmanship." It was also the encapsulation of a fascinating rivalry, hard fought and of historic proportions.In the tradition of John McPhee's classic Levels of the Game, Strokes of Genius deconstructs this defining moment in sport, using that match as the backbone of a provocative, thoughtful, and entertaining look at the science, art, psychology, technology, strategy, and personality that go into a single tennis match.With vivid, intimate detail, Wertheim re-creates this epic battle in a book that is both a study of the mechanics and art of the game and the portrait of a rivalry as dramatic as that of Ali-Frazier, Palmer-Nicklaus, and McEnroe-Borg.
A behind-the-scenes look at the hugely popular and often controversial world of women's tennis featuring such household names as Venus and Serena Williams and Anna Kournikova. At a time when attendance and TV ratings for women's tennis are at an all-time high, Sports Illustrated writer L.Jon Wertheim, draws on his investigative talents and knowledge of the game to infiltrate the heretofore closed locker rooms of the women's tour and chronicle this remarkable era in the sport's history. With a narrative sweep that rockets along like a Venus Williams serve, it takes the reader from the year's first Grand Slam tournament--where a top player ignited a firestorm of controversy when she decided to come out-- to Venus' epochal victory at Wimbledon to the U.S. Open where Serena Williams defends her title and all the whistle-stop tournaments in between where the Russian vixen Anna Kournikova sent hormonally challenged teenagers, not to mention male sportswriters, into a frenzy, Venus Envy offers the reader the equivalent of a center-court seat and an all-access locker room pass. The book will contain a wealth of previously unreported, inside-the-locker room anecdotes about the marquee names in women's tennis and should engender much off-the-book-page coverage. There are more identifiable stars than ever before and the rivalries are intense and often rancorous. The book will even appeal to those readers with only a passing interest in tennis since many of the players have transcended the sport, appearing on the covers of magazine like GQ, Rolling Stone and Vogue.
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