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Laptop Dancing and the Nanny Goat Mambo: A Sports Writer's Year [Paperback]

Tom Humphries
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 July 2003
Introducing the Bill Bryson of sports reporting. This is a wry, hilarious insider's account of the sports journalist's life. Tom Humphries is a passion machine according to his colleagues at the Irish Times. Yes, he may sit in the press box, but in his heart, he is in the right place. On the terrace. For Tom is a true sports fan. And it shows in his passionate style of writing, which has won him several awards and thousands of sports fans. This book will contain some achingly hilarious and menacing accounts of his sporting year including: an interview with Clinton Morris at Crystal Palace; waiting with his daughter to try to get an autograph from Roy Keane; the Winter Olympics at Salt Lake City and Lillehammer; World Cup 2002, when he broke the news of Keane's return to Ireland; the time spent with Sergio Garcia at his home in Spain; the Ryder Cup; the Euro athletic championship in Munich and many more sporting occasions.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 19095 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/TownHouse (7 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903650534
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903650530
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 838,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Tom Humphries is the very popular sports writer/columnist for the Irish Times. Having won several awards for his reporting, he has built a huge fan base for his astute and funny observations of the world's sporting events.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read 25 Jun 2003
First of all, I'm not a HUGE sports fan, with only a passing interest in Premiership football, golf etc. The fact that this is so absorbing is down to the quality of Tom Humphries deft talent.
Although golf, the Winter Olympics and more are covered, the meat of the book is the author's various adventures at the World Cup 2002 in Japan & Korea, and the fall-out from his interview with Roy Keane that started a chain of events that culminated in Keane's sensational departure from the Irish team & worldwide headlines.
Humphries' descriptions of his own tumultuous relationship with the formidable Keane are so laugh-out-loud-funny that I ended up embarrassing myself with suppressed laughter on my daily train journey.
But this book is about much more than the Roy Keane fiasco. Humphries is referred to in the blurb as the 'Bill Bryson of sports journalism'. Well he's that, and much more besides...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I picked this up in Shannon airport, where the image of a kareoke goat on the front cover got my attention. Only when I began reading the book did I realise that this was going to be an Irish book. Thankfully the beginning devotes itself to self depracation and Winter Olympics, so it became obvious that only small passages of the book would mean nothing to me. But this didn't matter, as the style is so endearing "Rang home tonight, turns out its my birthday today".
It seems that Humphries, having spent so long always being in the wrong place at the wrong time, found himself in the right place to be writing a journal. One suspects that this book wouldn't be as successful without the Keane saga but, not being Irish, I haven't felt that the book led up to it at all.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Poor condition 25 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having purchased two used books which were described as 'very good condition' I received two books, one which was in good condition and another which was in a pretty bad state. An accurate description of the second book would have been poor and the 'v good condition' sticker on the back would have been amusing if I hadn't wanted to loan the book to other people. Disappointed.
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By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE
Tom Humphries is a sports journalist, who works for The Irish Times. He was born in London, but grew up in Dublin. "Laptop Dancing and the Nanny Goat Mambo" is his second book, and it follows his working life in 2002. Knowing the year's sporting calender, he'd have had some idea how busy things were going to be for him - but he wouldn't have expected things to have worked out just as they did...

As it turns out, it was the Irish soccer team's involvement in the World Cup that dominated the year. Well, maybe not exactly...the Saipan Incident, and its fallout, came to dominate Ireland's sporting year - and Humphries himself can claim the credit for that ! Ireland's team captain leading up to the finals was Roy Keane, considered by many to be the country's greatest ever player. While soccer is a team sport, Ireland simply wouldn't have been capable of qualifying for the Finals without him. The events that led up to the World Cup Finals that year, however, clearly left him feeling disillusioned with the international set-up. The FAI (the organisation in charge of Irish soccer) and Mick McCarthy (the team's manager) had decided that Saipan - an island in the Pacific - would be used as the pre-tournament base. After all, it had a very nice hotel - and the lack of a football pitch on the island at the time of the visit mustn't have been noticed. Unfortunately, when the team arrived, they discovered the FAI had forgotten to pack the soccer balls or training gear - which, obviously, made training a little difficult. Furthermore, Keane, as captain, wasn't too impressed with the attitude of some of his team-mates. (For example, while allegedly preparing for the Finals, the rest of the squad had spent an entire night drinking with the Irish journalists in a nearby English pub).
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The heart beat of sport 13 July 2003
Tom Humphries is a renowned sports writer with the Irish Times newspaper in Dublin. This book takes the reader into his life as a sports writer as he reports on the sports year 2002 encompassing such events as the Salt lake city winter Olympics, the soccer World Cup in Japan/Korea, and a number of events on the local Gaa front in Ireland.
I found Humphries an engaging character as he explained with forthright honesty and hilarity how on many occasions he had to report on events he had little or no interest in and even little or no knowledge of i.e. the Winter Olympics. It is though with events that he is profoundly concerned about that he really makes an impact on the reader particularly with relation to the Roy Keane/ Mick McCarthy affair in Saipan prior to the World Cup. In this case he doesn't attempt to prejudge either of the main participants but allows the reader to establish the facts for themselves and come to their own conclusions. The reader is also allowed to gain an appreciation of how the media can manipulate certain situations to suit themselves with a fair amount of distortion of the truth. The GAA in Ireland is also an area Humphries is happy to discuss and he makes no attempt to disguise his admiration for many of its players who remain strictly amateur, with Dublin Gaa, DJ Carey, Kieran McGeeney and Paidi O'Se coming in for particular analysis.
Humphries is an excellent sports writer with a style of prose that makes this book both easy and fun to read. It should be of interest not just to the serious sports reader but also to the avid reader
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