Have you ever wanted to know how to throw a perfect spiral, win at arm wrestling or get on TV at a sporting event?
Gary Belsky, a former editor in chief of ESPN the Magazine, and Neil Fine, the former executive editor, have put together a guide for how to do those things and more called “Up Your Game!” Belsky is appearing Nov. 19 at the Book Festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center.
“Up Your Game!” includes more than 150 quick lessons in total sports mastery. They include sinking a basketball free throw, snagging an autograph, filling out a baseball scorecard and sneaking down to better seats at a sporting event.
The book boasts insights from such pros as Super Bowl-winning quarterback Aaron Rodgers on throwing a spiral, 11-time Gold Glove major-league shortstop Omar Vizquel on fielding a grounder and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson on driving 500 miles.
Switching among obscure sports trivia, useful playing tips and stadium etiquette, the 280-page book is chock-full of quick, informative lessons.
Some pearls of wisdom from Belsky and Fine:
- How to buy a scalped ticket without overpaying — Be patient. The closer to kickoff (or tipoff or first pitch), the more desperate sellers become. Once the national anthem plays, the advantage swings to the buyer.
- How to play pool in a bar — Don’t gamble with strangers. That means never offer to play pool for money with someone you don’t know, no matter how much worse at the game this person might appear.
- How to propose at a sporting event — Don’t.
- How to catch a foul ball — As a rule, most foul balls land in either the upper deck behind home plate or the lower deck down the baselines. Fields with more expansive foul territories offer fewer chances for the ball to reach the stands, so in such cases the upper deck behind home plate is the way to go.
- How to throw a dart — Hold on loosely. There is no proper way to grip a dart. There is a proper grip pressure, however: the more relaxed, the better. Darts is a game of touch, not force.