What if Book Reviews and Author Interviews Ran Like Football Commentary?

This was long thought to be the only portrait ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I was watching some football highlights and player interviews — okay, I wasn’t watching, exactly, I happened to be in the area when a television was playing. See, I don’t exactly follow football, as I tend to be of the opinion that if these guys are getting paid millions of dollars, they can each afford their own ball and they shouldn’t have to fight over one.

But as I was saying, I overheard some highlight commentary and player interviews, and maybe I just caught a really bad example, but I was stuck by how egocentric the whole thing was, and I was trying to imagine any other career’s press interviews going the same way. What if, say, a writer was interviewed as if he were a football player?

The Player Interview


Hamlet before the body of Polonius (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Well, hey, how ’bout it, yeah? Willy Shakespeare in the house, bringing it down! Yeah, man. So I was just thinking, I gotta flip those hips, flip what they’re thinking, and how I’m gonna do that? I’m waiting until they’re watching Hamlet tackle his mother, see, and then, BAM! I’m gonna make it be Polonius who’s dead behind the curtain. Pow! Didn’t see that coming, didja?”

“Wow, Willy, that’s certainly something! And you know, Chris, this is the first onstage murder of the show, am I right?”

“You are, Howard, though we have had a backstory murder, but you know those are a different kind of play entirely. Apples and oranges!”

“You’re so right, Chris. The Scottish play has a similar streak of on- and offstage murders, though we don’t have a final count of the offstage deaths because no one has a record of how many children MacDuff had. And even here, that’s not counting the almost-murder when Hamlet considered stabbing the king while he was at prayer–”

“Yo, guys, are we here to talk about history, or tonight’s plot? Because I can go if we’re done here.”

“No, no, Willy, talk to us!”

“Yeah, tell us about the moves we can expect. So, Willy, what do you see for the next act?”

Ophelia by Alexandre Cabanel

Ophelia by Alexandre Cabanel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“You just watch, man, ‘cuz I am taking Rosencrantz and Guildenstern down. Like, down, man. And you keep an eye on Ophelia, ‘cuz that b*tch don’t float.”

“You heard it here first, folks! Willy Shakespeare says he has a challenge for the rest of the show and he’s ready to face it.”

And Now, It’s Your Turn

The stakes: a $15 Amazon gift card

The challenge: Write a book review or author interview in the style of sports commentary. Any sportscasting style is legal, so run with boxing, horse racing, golf, or whatever is funniest. Classic titles with well-known plots (and the statute of limitations well expired on spoilers) are preferred.

Leave your entry in the comments below; you have one week. Final decision rests with me, mwa ha ha, but you’re more than welcome to cheer one another on and root for your favorites. Ready, set, go!

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One Comment

  1. Announcer: Well, folks, today’s the day for the big match everyone’s been waiting for. In the ring we have the champ, Doc Faust, and challenger Mephistopheles. Joining us for today’s fight, we have a couple of special guest announcers, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Christopher Marlowe. John, Kit, welcome to the show.

    Marlowe: Thanks, I’m glad to be here.

    Goethe: Ja, und me as vell.

    Announcer: Now, gentlemen, I understand both of you each have differing predictions about how this big showdown will shake out. Can you give our listeners a brief overview of how you anticipate today’s fight

    Goethe: Vell, Faust’s starts can be a bit uneven. He vill start off strong,
    but soon he gives in just a bit, loses some ground, and gives his
    opponent ze advantage. Ve vill see Mephistopheles dominate for ze
    second, maybe third round, but in ze end, Faust vill rally und emerge
    ze vinner. After zis victory, he vill be able to step down from ze ring as undefeated champion.

    Announcer: So you see a favorable outcome and a happy retirement for the Doc. And you, Kit?

    Marlowe: Hmm, I don’t think it will go so well for the champ. I see Faustus
    opening himself up to a lot of damage early on. If he takes too many of Mephisto’s punches, it will affect the rest of his fight, and in the end, there’s not going to be anything left for him to make a turnabout. I think he’ll go down for the long count, if you know what I mean.

    Announcer: Interesting. I guess we’ll see which of you is right in just a few minutes. Now, moving on to a question that has a lot of sports fans
    arguing: There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the challenger, with allegations that Mephistopheles has thrown in with
    infamous promoter Lucifer. Can you comment on that?

    Marlowe: Oh, I don’t think there’s any doubt that Lucifer’s pulling Mephisto’s strings. He’s a relative newcomer, but Mephisto has had some significant victories in his career, and Lucifer has been directly
    involved in arranging all of those high-profile fights.

    Goethe: Ja, everyone knows who signs ze checks for Mephistopheles.

    Announcer: It’s been said that Faust’s fighting style is just a replay of
    legendary prize fighter Simon “The Sorcerer” Magus. Do you think
    the Doc is borrowing The Sorcerer’s moves for this fight?

    Goethe: If he is, I do not think it is intentional. Some techniques are
    successful, und others are not. If he chooses to use certain moves,
    it is not his fault zat Simon Magus used ze same moves first.

    Marlowe: The techniques of many great athletes share superficial similarities. However, some fighters – one might almost call them artists –
    discover perfect combinations, like the juxtaposition of words in poetry, or the ideal slope of a brushstroke in painting, that are constantly rehashed and replicated by those who follow. However, such imitators usually seek to improve these efforts with their own additions, so they are almost always inferior to the original. Personally, I really don’t see the point to replicating something that has already been done. It lacks originality.

    Goethe: …Vait, vat are you saying?

    Announcer: Well, gentlemen, I want to thank you for your time. It looks like our lovely ring girl Gretchen is escorting the champ to his corner, so
    let’s get ready to watch this history-making fight – and as always, may the best man win.

    Marlowe: Right. You… might want to rephrase that.

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