It’s been said that athletes are the best writers. Ok, so that’s a lie, but when they do write, they tend to have the best biography titles. Just look at Charles Barkley’s 2002 masterpiece, I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It. Honest, hard-hitting and to the point, this title is everything you’d expect from the Round Mound of Rebound. Barkley’s memoir is currently on sale at Amazon for $0.01, in case you were dying to get your hands on a copy.
Book titles, like movie titles, can draw audiences in with a little creativity and a promise of time well spent. A title that promises awesomeness or creates intrigue can be the saving grace of a novel. See: Bad As I Wanna Be, by the incomparable Dennis Rodman. Given that all athletes seem to feel a need to dip into multiple media outlets these days, here are 5 athlete biographies that need to happen:
1. “Juicy” – Alex Rodriguez
The book begins with “It was all a dream.” Yes, A-Fraud would have no trouble selling copies of his autobiography regardless of the title, but aren’t we all yearning for some newfound honesty from the once-beloved, tree trunk-legged Yankee? Personally, I’d love to see a memoir about A-Rod’s career, assuming he’d actually tell the truth. And how poetic would it be for a New York athlete to pay homage to New York’s best rapper? Jay-Z fans are livid with me right now. As for the cover art, I’ve always been a fan of that picture of Alex kissing his reflection it the mirror. I smell a New York Times best seller in the works!
2. “How to Parlay One Huge Home Run During an Otherwise Pedestrian Career into a National Broadcasting Gig” – Aaron Boone
I have nothing against Aaron Boone. Really, even as a Pirates fan, I respected him during his days with the Reds, but c’mon, people! We’re talking about a career .263 hitter who had 555 RBIs over his 12 year career. Jason Kendall had more RBIs. Kendall! Mr. “I only hit singles and throw out base runners once in a blue moon.” I’m not saying Baseball Tonight needs to beat down Griffey’s door for a co-anchor position, but I’d love to see a fellow Hall of Famer at the table alongside Barry Larkin.
3. “Tout Ce Que Je Fais Est Victoire” (All I Do is Win) – Tony Parker
Is it me, or does every man in American probably want to be Tony Parker? What’s not to love? He’s a freakishly good point guard on one of the best teams of the past decade, who was formerly married to a “Desperate Housewife.” Oh, and he has a French accent. I think I’m in love. Tony Parker is a winner, plain and simple. Even off the court, Tony lives a life of awesomeness. He’s dabbled in the art of rap music, and we can’t even say he’s bad at it, because most of us don’t speak French. Who are we to dump on his flow when we don’t even speak the language? Tony Parker, keep on winning!
4. “McNuggets and Lucrative Contracts: I’m Lovin’ ‘Em” – Joe Flacco
Oh, Joe Flacco. So much has already been said about the man who loves McNuggets. It stings my fingers to even be typing about Joe Cool right now, but how can one ignore the amazingness that went down on that fateful March afternoon in 2013? ‘Twas a lovely day in Maryland, and Joe was on his way back from signing a historic contract. Suddenly, there was a rumbling in Joe’s tummy. “Me hungry,” he thought. All of a sudden, like a shining oasis in the desert heat, two golden arches sprouted out through the clouds. “Me want McNuggets – 10-piece,” said Joe to the drive-thru operator. Luckily, Sherry Norman spoke Flacco. One viral photo later, and the rest was history. On second thought, why make this book a biography about Joe? Let’s just recount his epic McDonald’s run and publish this thing already!
5. “When You Try Me with a Sorry Receiver Like Crabtree…And Other Tales of Defensive Domination” – Richard Sherman
Richard Sherman is a wordsmith. Don’t believe me? Just read the epic letter of apology he wrote after of his legendary rant to Erin Andrews. What I find most impressive about Sherman’s eloquence is the duality of it. He is simultaneously one of the best trash talkers in the NFL and one of the best-spoken gents in the league. It’s only fitting that he should capitalize off of America’s obsession with his most infamous verbal outburst by using an excerpt of it as a title for his future best-selling autobiography. And considering how good his grammar is, it’s one of the few athlete biographies that wouldn’t make me cringe.
Athletes are artists. Let’s just hope most of them stick to the art of sports instead of writing. There is no shortage of athlete-authored books in the market, and as long as there is demand for these memoirs, there is no end in sight. One can only hope the brave souls who author their own written works exercise the kind of wit Sir Charles did when it came time to name his book. These just happen to be the books I would dish out 20 bucks for. Might even spring for the hardback edition of that Flacco book.