Best Seat in the House: A Father, a Daughter, a Journey Through Sports

Christine Brennan, Author . Scribner/Lisa Drew $26 (283p) ISBN 978-0-7432-5436-6

Any girl who grew up with a father who told her she could do anything will appreciate Brennan's book as a touching tribute to her own dad. But as a memoir, this book about forging a career as a sports journalist doesn't rise above the ordinary. A lifelong sports addict, Brennan became the first full-time female sportswriter to join the Miami Herald staff in 1981. She moved to the Washington Post in 1984 to cover the Redskins and then the Olympics, and was offered a general sports column in USA Today in 1997. Her account is sprinkled with amusing anecdotes about learning to maneuver through a man's world, such as the secret to interviewing naked guys in a locker room. (Carry a large notebook, so when you look down to write, all you see is paper.) Her father's support is present throughout; when Brennan, along with a crowd of 90,185 girls and their dads, watched Brandi Chastain score the winning penalty kick in the 1999 World Cup, Brennan reached for her phone: "I called someone who... knew exactly what it meant to both of us. Of course I called Dad." Unfortunately, Brennan's book lacks the spirit and imagination with which Brennan accomplished her dreams. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/06/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
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