No Heavy Lifting: Globetrotting Adventures of a Sports Media Guy

Rob Simpson. ECW (PGW, U.S. dist.; Jaguar, Canadian dist.), $16.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-77041-434-1

This memoir from Simpson, cohost of Stellick & Simmer on NHL Network radio, lurches from story to story with nothing really holding it together other than the author’s ability to spin a good yarn. It’s as if Simpson invited readers to join him for a beer and then began telling his best stories, including how he broke into a baseball stadium to steal a sign, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro wearing someone else’s clothes, and survived the New York marathon. The book begins with a moving tribute to the late NHL tough guy Steve Montador, with whom Simpson bonded on a 2007 trip to Tanzania with the international children’s charity Right to Play, an experience “as unique, consciousness altering, and inspirational as any in our lives.” The next story goes back to 1994, when Simpson jumped from a plane in a publicity stunt for the television show he worked on in Hawaii. The stories bounce among baseball, basketball, hockey, and his experiences as a reporter in Hawaii, including accounts of a tense hostage situation and the roller-coaster ride of covering a political scandal. There are brief glimpses into Simpson’s personal life, but he says, “I’m not famous, so I do not warrant a biography.” Readers who don’t mind the scattershot approach will get an entertaining trip through Simpson’s world. (Apr.)