What Sport Tells Us About Life: Bradmans Average, Zidanes Kiss and Other Sporting Lessons

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Customer reviews There are no customer reviews yet. Share your thoughts with other customers. Don't miss it Simon Barnes The Times A terrific book - Smith has distilled into pages things that took me fifteen years of playing to work out Mike Atherton An exceptional book: Ed Smith read History at Peterhouse, Cambridge. He has published two highly acclaimed books: He writes for many publications including The Times and Sunday Telegraph. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App.

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Why will there never be another Bradman? How do you win 33 games in a row? Why did Zidane lose his rag on the world's stage? Foraying deep into sport's leftfield, Ed smith asks the questions we rarely ask of our teams and players. When is cheating really cheating? Is the free market good for sport?


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Can talent be a curse? There are other chapters on amateurism, the curse of talent, the free market, price, champions like Zidane, and Bradman, cheating, why history matters in sport, Moneyball etc, what people see when they watch sport and so on. Smith is a good writer.

He's clear in his prose, thinks clearly, gives appropriate examples, including from his experience. It's an advantage if you know something about his sport cricket but he also talks about rugby, baseball, soccer and other general observations. This isn't two-dimensional like many sport or general interest texts and there are genuine insights even if you know little about it. It's a nice, relaxing read that gets you to think about all sorts of things, in the context of sport.

Mar 22, Caleb rated it liked it.

Sporting Greats - Sir Donald Bradman

A book by an English professional cricket player is a collection of essays on sports' lessons for life. Some are quite insightful, and Smith is both well-read and knows a decent amount about other sports, particularly baseball. That said, the essay for me that would have been the best--whether capitalism is good for sports--was completely off the mark, missing the point that European soccer is pure capitalism, leading to amazing club teams that often hemorrhage money while American sports, parti A book by an English professional cricket player is a collection of essays on sports' lessons for life.

That said, the essay for me that would have been the best--whether capitalism is good for sports--was completely off the mark, missing the point that European soccer is pure capitalism, leading to amazing club teams that often hemorrhage money while American sports, particularly football, are incredibly socialist with salary caps and revenue sharing such that tiny markets like Green Bay and Jacksonville have teams and LA has none.

He seemed to conclude that parity rules in soccer, when it doesn't, and focused too much on baseball and cricket where the money wars are different. Sep 12, Simon rated it really liked it.

I'd give this 3. Sometimes the top-heavy cricket stories, followed by rugby stories in second place, felt a bit relentless when there are so many sports to choose from. However, I check this feeling and decide I'm being harsh; to have a professional sportsman that can write - and express his own thoughts - so well is a rarity! Plus, these are sports I tend to not to watch often baseball gets many mentions too so it was an interesti I'd give this 3. Plus, these are sports I tend to not to watch often baseball gets many mentions too so it was an interesting insight into a different area of team sports.

This was a great choice for a long weekend holiday in Dorset, a quick but thought-provoking read.

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Also, Smith's book references have given me cause to note down three books for future reading, so it's been a definite success. Mar 16, David rated it really liked it. Without wanting to damn with faint praise, it is a really interesting book. Sport is ultimately all about having fun, but Ed Smith adds an analytical and intellectual approach to the meaning of sport which, grafted onto his own experiences as an international sportsman, casts some events in a totally new light.

I love books about sport that also make you think, and this is almost up there with Simon Barnes' book for quality.

Catalogue - National Library board

Apr 03, Huckleberry Bluedog rated it liked it. It was never anything other than an effortless pleasure to turn each page. You obviously have to love sport, and cricket in particular, but Smith has an easy and sincere style which is greatly helped by Smith being a current sportsman, whose been at the top of his game, and who writes his own words. Some of the philosophical stuff tried a little too hard to be profound, but that's easily forgiven and this is a thoroughly recommended read to anyone with a passing interest in sport. Oct 20, Renny Morgan rated it it was amazing Shelves: Very good book in so much detail it appealed a lot to me.

Sometimes it is hard to understand but never the less so good. This book is great for other reasons like if you find a chapter hard or boring you can skip it!


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  5. All you have to read is the intro and the chapters that appeal to you. Jun 05, David Evans rated it really liked it Shelves: Extremely insightful and thought provoking. Very readable chapters on a number of aspects of why we love sport so much. Whether it's talent, luck, cheating or history Smith has a way of explaining the importance of different qualities that combine to make successful sportmen or sportswomen tick.

    Sep 27, Simon rated it really liked it Shelves: I'm in the middle of a very good run of sports books at the moment. Illuminating and entertaining from someone who was also good enough to play for England. Shove it in the Christmas stocking of any thinking sports fan. The early chapters were mostly pop psychology - and really didn't say much at all. A couple of the later chapters were fairly interesting - especially the chapter on his Welsh roots.

    Overall, it was all a bit random and didn't really seem to reflect the statement on the front of the book.

    Jun 12, Steve Cuss rated it really liked it. Right up my street. The book begins well but drags you later on.