LAST DANCE: BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE FINAL FOUR
by John Feinstein
Little, Brown, $25.95
There is only one thing worse than a bad sports book,
and that is a long bad sports book. Having slogged through more than my share
of these, I offer, as a public service, the three questions that every sports
fan should ask before purchasing a book that he or she suspects might be bad as
well as long.
1) Has it been less than six months since the author's
last book came out? Well, in this case it was five, for the prolific
Feinstein's Next Man Up, a probing, sympathetic look at the enormous stress
that NFL players endure, was released in October 2005. It's very difficult to
pump out two books in such quick succession, unless one of them is, well, not
as good as the other. Suffice it to say that Last Dance is not the better
2) If you open the book at random, do you find
passages that seem to have been written by Yogi Berra while he was half asleep?
I mean passages like, "On April 28, 1993, Valvano died. But not before he
finally found the next thing he had been looking for since the national
3) Is the book engorged with saccharine stories about
people's medical problems? Feinstein even grows misty-eyed over Dick Vitale's
You can call it the hat trick, or you can call it
"stee-rike three!" Just don't call it worth 26 bucks.