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Author: Gordon Osmond

Publisher: Wordzworth Publishing

ISBN-10: 1783240423 13: 978-1783240425

With his latest tome, A Hip Pocket Guide to Sports, readers will once again enjoy the writing of the talented raconteur, Gordon Osmond as he merrily lampoons and turns the world of sports inside out with his piercing and hilarious perceptions that are often peppered with provoking philosophical debate.

Drawing on his own personal flashback experiences and his vast expertise of dozens of films where sports has been featured prominently, he delivers wickedly funny commentaries as he examines and evaluates according to his own criteria such sports as golf, tennis, baseball, crickets, basketball, football, soccer, polo, horse racing, bullfighting, hunting, fishing, boxing, swimming, diving, surfing, sailing, ice skating, skiing, track and field and other gymnastics events.

To balance his views Osmond includes contributions from a diverse array of accomplished writers who voice their dissenting opinions, where, as he states, “his disparagement of a particular sport cries out for a bit of balancing.”

Fortunate to be blessed with a comedic gift Osmond dishes out with broad strokes rollicking observations such as his depiction of football referring to it as homoerotic and as he notes: “ Take the hike, who comes up with that? If it were performed in the nude it would be considered pornographic. Only Muslims at prayer are more anally orientated.” No doubt, all of this would not sit too well with football's aficionados or Muslims which may in fact lead to the issuance of a fatwa by an unhappy and spiteful cleric.

When describing boxing, Osmond informs his readers that he has included it in the Man Against Beast category, notwithstanding the difficulty of determining which combatant belongs in which role. Perhaps, as he maintains, “it is really more of a case of beast v. beast like cockfighting, which is not a sport at all, at least when roosters are involved.”

His painstakingly crafted rich language is always alive and this makes his latest tome a delight providing readers with astute and sometimes even malicious fun.

Osmond ends his valuations by presenting a final scorecard and ratings to illustrate how the principal sports stack up against each other using a defined set of guidelines. And if you are wondering, he considers diving to be at the top of the scale while fishing at bottom. In addition, he also includes a humorous short wish list for the future of sports. For example, one of his wishes is that he encourages spectators whose attendance at various sports events is mostly a matter of yielding to social or chauvinistic pressure, to admit openly that they are bored.

It should be mentioned that in addition to Osmond's knack of skillfully stitching farce and social satire into a humorous quilt of literary entertainment, he also displays a serious side to his reflections. This is evidenced in his introductory remarks where he rightfully states how successful various sports have been in giving homosexuals, women, and racial minorities a fair shot.

He furthers his comments when he explains that he will be illustrating this from a gay perspective because it is the only one he has. And by a gay perspective he points out that he sees it as “the greater focus on the body beautiful, the various means of producing it, and an enhanced sensitivity to what's wrapped around it. It's a sprawling, stream-of-selective-remembrance creature that roams and rambles...”

As a Canadian, my only disappointment with this book is that Osmond left out Canada's greatest and most wide reaching export, Hockey. I guess once again an American has fallen prey in ignoring their neighbors to the north and as the late Rodney Dangerfield would say, we get “no respect.”

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