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Book Review: The Anatomy of Competition in Sports

March 26, 2016 | by Vaney Hariri | Comments Comments Off
The Anatomy of Competition in Sports: The Struggle for Success in Major US Professional Leagues.
The Anatomy of Competition in Sports is an ambitious effort.

Rarely in a book about sports do you find such ambitious subject matter… we mean competition? That’s a heavy lift, and much more so, when you also decide to analyze all of the six major sport leagues. How do you go about understanding competition? How do you unravel the personal and professional motivations that have powered the most defining moments of our greatest sports heroes and franchises? Well in this case the author of The Anatomy of Competition in Sports: The Struggle for Success in Major US Professional Leagues is uniquely equipped.

Christopher B. Doob is an emeritus professor of sociology at Southern Connecticut State University and has spent the better part of his life studying and writing about the human condition, which may not seem like a skill set useful to someone penning a sports book, but after only a few chapters in you will find that nothing could be further from the truth.

The dynamics of competition are vast, perhaps limitless, and are relevant to virtually any endeavour. What this book points to as the primary difference between sports and, say, being an accountant, is how much and perhaps more importantly how long the professional athlete must invest into their respective sport. We know many people in many professions that are extremely competitive, but we have yet to meet a doctor or a lawyer that started training for their profession when they were six.

This, in addition to the public nature of being a professional athlete, coupled with a less than minute chance of making it to a major North American professional league is what makes this book such an interesting read.

What stood out for us though, was the stories, especially the struggles and triumphs of our most heralded sports figures, perhaps most notably Jackie Robinson While his story is well known, this book also deals with the lesser known details of his relationship with then Brooklyn Dodgers President Branch Rickey. It also goes on to tell the stories of many other legends that faced a gauntlet of adversity from racism, to sexism, to disability. This is not the first book to illuminate the way in which sports has provided a proverbial Trojan horse for social change, but it may be the most expansive.

The Anatomy of Competition in Sport is a sports book for the sports fan, but fortunately it pushes beyond that limit and delves into something much deeper — struggle. Why is it that we marvel at these humans? Yes, they are seemingly superhuman, but human nonetheless. Why is it that the comeback is so much more compelling than the blowout? For us, it’s the struggle. It’s knowing what some people are willing to endure to succeed, and the lengths they will go to win. How does you go about understanding competition? Well, this book is a good start.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below what you thought of this book.

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Book Review: Performing Under Pressure

July 14, 2015 | by Dakota Case | Comments Comments Off
Stress is triggered by the needs and demands of everyday life. It’s the reminder to pay the bills, buy the groceries and get the kids to soccer practice on time. Pressure is what we experience in life’s do-or-die moments — landing a plane without landing gear, making a risky business decision that could affect hundreds or thousands of employees, needing an “A” on a final exam to pass a class or needing a goal with your team trailing 3-2 with just 15 seconds to play in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Final. Stress is an inconvenience. Pressure is a need to survive. Both serve a valuable motivating purpose.
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Book Review: Winning Fantasy Baseball

May 16, 2014 | by Josh Johnson | Comments Comments Off
Are you like most Fantasy baseball owners? Do you buy those magazines early on and then chop and decipher your draft strategy? What exactly do those print media items give to you? You probably appreciate having them at your disposal during your draft and it’s always nice to know who is on or off the 40-man roster.
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Podcast: The Larry Schechter Interview Prologue

March 19, 2014 | by Josh Johnson | Comments (1)
On this week’s episode of RotoRob Fantasy Baseball Weekly Podcast (usually heard every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST on Blogtalkradio, but aired at a special time this week), Josh Johnson took the reins as he interviewed Larry Schechter, author of Winning Fantasy Baseball. Once he finishes reading the book, Josh will be doing a complete review and a full interview with Larry. Stay tuned.
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Book Review: How Fantasy Sports Explains the World

October 6, 2011 | by James Morris | Comments (0)
From that point on I noticed that each chapter was a story from the author’s perspective, with a Fantasy fact or opinion seemingly thrown in to keep with the theme of the book. I honestly couldn’t tell you what Chapter Two was about and Chapter Three had little to do with who Jesus would draft, contrary to what the chapter’s title suggested. That was when the book really just became a blur as chapter after chapter had precious few paragraphs about Fantasy sports out of the roughly 20 pages each chapter comprised.
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