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on 11 November 2001
Giles Smith experiences his sport the way that 99% of us do - through the TV. This collection of his articles from the Daily Telegraph is a wonderfully funny read, especially for those of us who have shared sports viewing experiences with the author - and several million other strangers at home in their own living rooms.
Often Smith says what we were all thinking. "Cheating Bastard robs Damon Hill" screams the title of one of his 1994 pieces, but there's plenty of balance too. In the same piece he notes "It's disgraceful to confuse the fact that Schumacher is a cheat with the fact that he is a German. The former he need not be; the latter he cannot help."
Smith isn't too bothered with the reality of sport. He lives in the world of pundits and personalities, memorable catchphrases and mind numbing analysis. It's a world where Big Ron's ability to turn attack into defence is as important as the actual game being broadcast. It's a world where Jimmy Hill matters and Sid Waddell is a living god.
As well as the big events we all tuned in to see Smith also he tracks down sport wherever it occurs on our TVs - such as Phil de Glanville's embarrassing appearing on Surprise Surprise - one which, regretably, I missed at the time and was glad to have drawn to my attention.
It's obvious how much Smith enjoys his fantastic job and any UK sports lover would enjoy this book.
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on 22 April 2001
This book is a must read for anyone who is at all interested in sport. Smith is a critic of Sports on television and this book is a collection of some of his finest articles. It covers a wide range of sports from football through to boxing so there really is something for everyone. The articles are witty, clever and tremendously interesting. Buy this book. Now.
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on 16 March 2005
This is a book to read and re-read. Smith's style and humour is very engaging and he has a nice take on events. I preferred this to his music book (good though that is). Highly recommended - goodness knows how long he must spend in front of his TV!
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on 27 December 2000
Television reviewers are a curious breed. They revel in cynicism, outing the ridiculous and plumbing new levels of rudeness. Television reviewers who train their gaze on sport take the genre and turn reviewing into a veritable work of art. And for that we should be eternally grateful. This book is essentially an anthology of Smith's reviews of sports on television over the past five years (though there should be some debate as to whether opening ceremonies can be classed as sport of any description). Year by year, we are brought through the calendar's major sporting events as witnessed by Smith in the comfort of his own living room; we are treated to reviews of everything from Euro 96 pageantry to Formula 1 championship deciders to the truly surreal world that is Kevin Keegan in a commentary box. Acid, sneering and vicious, this is a fantastically entertaining read. May the next five years be filled with such easy sporting targets for Smith to pick off as the previous five.
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on 28 September 2013
If you love to watch sport on tv then this is a must. It is from the early to mid 90's so if you were around then and watching too much sport this book is for you and will make you laugh out loud.
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on 7 January 2015
Brilliantly written and extremely funny. This book is a "must read" if you pardon the expression.
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on 18 March 2015
The wittiest sports columnist in the business.
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on 24 February 2001
Diabolical to mention Evel Knievel in the title of a book and not hardly mention him. And to include a photo of his son on the cover...its sloppy. Perhaps the author thought he'd cash in using Knievels name. Poor all round.
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