The Life of Reilly: The Best of Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly


Witty, irreverent, opinionated, honest, laugh-out-loud funny -- these are just a few of the adjectives that have been used to describe the writing of Rick Reilly, the six-time National Sportswriter of the Year who has entertained the readers of Sports Illustrated for 15 years with his unique perspective on the world of sports and life in general. Now, in The Life of Reilly, Rick has selected 66 of his finest stories to create a collection that is sure to amuse, inform, and ...
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Witty, irreverent, opinionated, honest, laugh-out-loud funny -- these are just a few of the adjectives that have been used to describe the writing of Rick Reilly, the six-time National Sportswriter of the Year who has entertained the readers of Sports Illustrated for 15 years with his unique perspective on the world of sports and life in general. Now, in The Life of Reilly, Rick has selected 66 of his finest stories to create a collection that is sure to amuse, inform, and provoke sports fans and non-fans alike.

The book is organized around Reilly's seven Rs: Rants, Raves, Reality, Roots, Rough, Wrecks, and Royalty. His subjects range from the sublime -- UCLA coach John Wooden, one of sports' most honorable men -- to the ridiculous -- Reilly's terrifying trip aboard an F-14D Tomcat fighter -- and also include a healthy dose of opinion, on everything from the ubiquity of the Nike symbol to the overpaid brats we call professional athletes these days. There are features on sports greats, rants against high-profile athletic programs, tales of golfing glory in and out of the spotlight, reflections on enduring values and the true meaning of sacrifice, and personal stories about the Reilly family's trials and tribulations.

Evident throughout is Reilly's trademark humor, on ample display in his story of playing golf with President Clinton (whom he finds himself, with horror, calling "Pard"), his discussion of cheerleading mania ("Cheerleaders from all over tried to write me hate mail, but cheerleader hate mail is not terribly scary. They'd write, 'I hope you die!' and put a little heart over the 'i.'"), and his experience as the coach of a quirky Little League team (his players are more concerned with how to eat sunflower seeds without using their hands than with the intricacies of baseball).

Treat yourself to The Life of Reilly -- those who know Reilly's work will be pleased to revisit the master; those who don't will be thrilled to discover an extraordinary talent.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603207812
  • Publisher: Time Home Entertainment, Inc
  • Publication date: 5/13/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Rick Reilly
Rick Reilly
RICK REILLY is the author of the cult classic Missing Links, Slo Mo, and The Life of Reilly, a New York Times bestseller. A senior writer for Sports Illustrated, he has been voted eight times as the National Sportswriter of the Year by his peers. He lives in Denver, Colorado.
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Table of Contents

Foreword 5
Introduction 7
Chapter 1 Rants
"The Swooshification of the World" (February 24, 1997) 13
"Sis! Boom! Bah! Humbug!" (October 18, 1999) 16
"That Signature Moment in Sports" (April 5, 1999) 18
"Glory to the Gridiron" (August 29, 1988) 20
"This One's From the Heart" (May 17, 1999) 23
"Too Many Spoilsports" (January 11, 1993) 25
"Look Out for the Bull!" (March 14, 1994) 28
"Need an Excuse? Take It from the Pros" (March 16, 1998) 30
"Class Struggle at Ohio State" (August 31, 1998) 33
"School Of Professional Athletics" (August 30, 1999) 35
"The Buck Stops Here" (October 25, 1999) 38
"The Team I Love to Hate" (November 1, 1999) 40
"National Bunco Association" (November 22, 1999) 43
"He Needs a Dream" (January 24, 2000) 45
"Save Your Prayers, Please" (February 4, 1991) 47
"Two Men, Two Flips of Fate" (February 7, 2000) 50
Chapter 2 Raves
"Quick, Before You're 30" (June 22, 1987) 55
"Hey, This Turning 40 Ain't So Bad After All" (April 13, 1998) 58
"Superspectator: My Olympic Feats" (August 17, 1992) 60
"Speaking of Class to the Class of '98" (May 25, 1998) 72
"The Heavenly Hundred" (May 22, 1989) 75
"An Easy Choice" (November 4, 1996) 79
"An All-Consuming Hunger for Victory" (July 6, 1998) 84
"What's Not to Like?" (January 10, 2000) 86
Chapter 3 Reality
"The Big Hero of Littleton" (May 3, 1999) 91
"It Doesn't Get Any Tougher Than This" (August 23, 1999) 93
"The Longest Yard for Doak Walker" (May 18, 1998) 96
"When Your Dream Dies" (December 26, 1994-January 2, 1995) 98
"Just Trying to Make an Indecent Wage" (November 9, 1998) 113
"The Inconvenience of Being Human" (November 16, 1998) 115
"Funny You Should Ask" (April 12, 1999) 118
Chapter 4 Roots
"Let's Get World Serious" (September 6, 1999) 123
"Bringing Parents Up to Code" (February 28, 2000) 126
"A Warm Ending to a Cold Story" (March 29, 1999) 128
"Putting It in Writing" (January 16, 1995) 130
"The Lipinski Who Was Left Behind" (March 2, 1998) 133
"The Missing Links" (June 13, 1988) 135
"Answer to a Young Man's Prayer" (March 23, 1998) 148
"A Team with Some Pop" (March 8, 1999) 150
"Get the Message?" (June 21, 1999) 153
"Magic's Greatest Trick" (November 15, 1999) 155
"Now Their Hearts Are in the Right Place" (January 25, 1999) 157
"Seoul Searching" (Time, August 28, 2000) 160
Chapter 5 Rough
"Perfect Pard" (June 12, 1995) 167
"Mon Dieu! Better Safe Than Sorry" (July 26, 1999) 175
"Day of Glory for a Golden Oldie" (April 21, 1986) 177
"Need a Fourth?" (March 31, 1997) 186
"Southern Discomfort" (October 12, 1998) 192
"Give Casey Martin a Lift" (February 9, 1998) 194
"S.O.S. from the AT&T" (February 15, 1993) 197
Chapter 6 Wrecks
"On a Wing and a Prayer" (September 20, 1999) 209
"Next Time, Stop the Freaking Race" (August 17, 1998) 211
"Heaven Help Marge Schott" (May 20, 1996) 214
"Saturday Night Fever" (February 8, 1999) 230
"Locked In with NBA Players" (December 21, 1998) 232
"And the Band Fought On" (October 5, 1998) 234
"A Chauvinist Pig in a Poke" (April 24, 2000) 236
Chapter 7 Royalty
"A Paragon Rising above the Madness" (March 20, 2000) 241
"This Girl Gets Her Kicks" (October 19, 1998) 243
"No Fuss Necessary in Wayne's World" (April 26, 1999) 246
"The Appeal of O'Neal" (June 5, 2000) 248
"The Goal-Goal Girls!" (July 5, 1999) 250
"The Mourning Anchor" (September 26, 1988) 252
"What Would No. 62 Be Worth to You?" (September 7, 1998) 266
"Finest Man I Ever Knew" (August 24, 1998) 268
"'Twas the Fight before Christmas" (December 27, 1999) 270
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  • Posted September 23, 2011

    Two Thumbs Up

    After reading this book, by my favorite sportswriter, I can honestly say it was the best books I have read in a long time. Rick Reilly is without a doubt one of the best sportswriters, and this book clearly shows it. The book is a collection of many of his different stories over the course of his career. He divides them up by seven chapters in which all start with "R". These R's are Rants, Raves, Reality, Roots, Rough,Wrecks, and Roalty. The chapters names represent the theme of each story. The Rants chapter consists of all opinionated and hilarious stories in which Reilly pretty much goes on Rants. The Reality section consists of stories that are more emotional and take a look on life by using sports.The Raves section consists of raves he has such as things you need to do before you're thirty, and the ultimate 40th birthday. So each of these chapters are a different theme of their own. The book covers all aspects of sports. It covers all types of sports and it covers fans,family, and stories of remarkable people. Since it is Reilly, you will be laughing out loud the second you pick it up, but you will also feel like crying too. The book consits of stories that are just down right funny, serious, sad, and insperational. This collection of different types of stories is one of the reasons why I loved this book so much. Not only that, but his use of humor is just great. I don't think I have ever laughed out loud while reading silently. The only dislike I had was that some of the stories in the Rants chapter were a little ofeensive even though they were funny. But hey, everyone is entitled to an opinion. My dad reccomended this to me because I want to be a sportswriter someday. I reccomend this book not just to people pusuing a career in sportswriting, but any sports fan in general. And even if you are not a sports fan, there are pleanty of stories a guarentee that you will love. I have also read "Hate Mail for Cheerleaders" which is also a collaberation of Reilly's famous stories, and I reccomend this one too. Overall, I have to give this book five stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2004

    The Best of The Best

    This collection of Reilly's pieces, organized around his seven R's, is must read material for all who love the best of sportswriting. To have these stories collected in one place is really a treat. His take on sports is truly unique, funny, and informative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2003

    The Good LIfe

    I¿ll admit it¿I¿m a skimmer. If an article or story doesn¿t immediately grab my attention, I lose interest. I need personal asides and jutting statements that will give the piece character, which I find when I flip to the back page of my Sports Illustrated each week. The only opinion columnist in the magazine¿s 40-year history, Rick Reilly delivers his weekly rants and ramblings without fail, and regardless of the topic he is intriguing, he is talented and he is unique¿all of which is amply displayed in his nationally bestselling book ¿The Life of Reilly.¿ After an introductory claim that he fell into this job because ¿The only thing I could do was write,¿ we are given 272 pages to judge for ourselves. What follows is Reilly¿s own selection of 66 of his finest stories¿favorite columns, unforgettable sporting moments and unpublished pieces¿that create a collection that can amuse, inform, and provoke both sports fans and non-fans alike. Organized around Reilly's seven R¿s: Rants, Raves, Reality, Roots, Rough, Wrecks, and Royalty, he covers everything from golfing with ex-presidents (Clinton) to ex-cons (O.J.), the Nike symbol and struggles of both the athletic and human spirit. Almost every story is followed up by a brief postscript, whether it is to explain how that certain column came about, describe the reaction it received or to simply interject a comment on a more personal level. At times, the postscript is found to be more entertaining than the story itself, if only because it leaves you with one final laugh or thought to ponder. It¿s not just Reilly¿s style, but the way he writes from real experience¿such a vast array of unique experiences that no one else can compare to¿that give his writing a credibility lacking in general commentaries. He has flown upside down at 600 miles per hour in an F-14, driven a stock car 142 miles per hour, competed against 107 women for a spot in the WNBA, done three innings of play-by-play for the Colorado Rockies, and played 108 holes of golf in one day, to name just a few examples of where he draws his creative prowess. However, his many adventures appear mild in comparison to the time he spent with the legendarily-hated Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott. Rarely knowing the names of her own players, much less Reilly (¿This guy from Sports Thingy¿), she reduced her high-end executives to dog walkers of Schottzie with hourly reports (¿poo or tinkle?¿) and was suspended from Major League Baseball. Reilly paints this morally corrupt woman as such a surreal character you may wonder if he suddenly switched to fiction. Overall, Reilly hits the target on most attempts throughout the book, providing enough variety to entertain both fan and rookie. While you won¿t love every single story, like sports themselves, he provides something for everyone¿even the chronic skimmer. In the end, this collection proves that although Reilly is famous for his sprint, he¿s also built for distance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2003

    Favorite author

    Rick Reilly in a short period has become one of my favorite authors based on 'Who's Your Caddy' and 'The Life of Reilly'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2010

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