Mike PescaSep 5, 2023
Upon Further Review
The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History
No announcer ever proclaimed: "Up Rises Frazier!" "Havlicek commits the foul, trying to steal the ball!" or "The Giants Lose the Pennant, The Giants Lose The Pennant!" Such moments are indelibly etched upon the mind of every sports fan. Or rather, they would be, had they happened. Sports are notoriously games of inches, and when we conjure the thought of certain athletes - like Bill Buckner or Scott Norwood - we can't help but apply a mental tape measure to the highlight reels of our minds. Players, coaches, and of course fans, obsess on the play when they ask, "What if?"
Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History (Twelve, 2018) is the first book to answer that question. Upon Further Review is a book of counterfactual sporting scenarios. In its pages the reader will find expertly reported histories, where one small event is flipped on its head, and the resulting ripples are carefully documented, the likes of... What if the U.S. boycotted Hitler's Olympics? What if Bobby Riggs beat Billie Jean King? What if Bucky Dent popped out at the foot of the Green Monster? What if Drew Bledsoe never got hurt? Upon Further Review takes classic arguments conducted over pints in a pub and places them in the hands of dozens of writers, athletes, and historians.
Mike Pesca is the host of the daily podcast The Gist.
Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network.