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Sports Illustrated: Hate Mail from Cheerleaders and Other Adventures from the Life of Reilly

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  970 Ratings  ·  120 Reviews
Sports fans and regular readers of Sports Illustrated will already know to snap up this book when they see it's a collection of pieces by award-winning SI columnist Rick Reilly. Others should follow their lead, as this superb, wide-ranging collection isn't so much about sports as about "people who happen to be in sports." Some columns are tearjerkers, such as the story of ...more
Kindle Edition, 318 pages
Published May 13th 2008 by Sports Illustrated (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,361)
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I love Rick Reilly, and his columns fit neatly into the Sports Night category: for the most part, they're about sports the way Charlie's Angels was about law enforcement. Really, they're about the people who play sports, the people who love sports, and the people who live sports.

Now, my only issue with this collection is the state it left me in. The columns are in a pretty steady pattern: one funny, one touching. One minute I'm laughing hysterically, wondering if it would be annoying if I start
Janette Grimshaw
Sep 05, 2011 Janette Grimshaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has some heartwarming stories as well as some pieces that are more like essays and could be used in English classes.
These are the ones I marked that might be good to use in class:
"Worth the Wait"
"Chillin' with the Splinter"
"Four of a Kind" --good to use on Sept. 11th or with a heroes unit
"Scales of Injustice"
"Saved by the Deep"--good to use with a unit on natural disasters
"Spittin' Image"
"Extreme Measures"--good for a unit about adversity
"Getting By on $14.6 Mil"--good to show tone and sar
May 09, 2012 Mayda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, sports
Rick Reilly doesn’t really write about sports. He writes about people who are involved in sports. In this audio book, he selected 100 of his favorite columns written for Sports Illustrated during the last seven years. You don’t have to be a sports addict to enjoy these columns. Indeed, he writes about some people you probably never heard of as well as some who make the sports headlines regularly. Sometimes Reilly was funny and entertaining. Sometimes he was just venting his own slanted opinions. ...more
Jun 06, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know the title sounds odd; what in the world in this book about? The author, Rick Reilly, is a not your typical sportswriter: he's a writer that focuses on life-altering and inspirational stories that just so happen to have sports in the background.

I picked up this book because I love Reilly's writing and want to use it as a model of my own. His clever rhetoric included a plethora of witty metaphors and similes; even some conceits. As a sports fan I loved this book. As a student of writing I
Jun 05, 2012 Samantha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook-own, 2012
I got this book awhile back when it was an Amazon daily deal. I would have never come across it otherwise. I found myself reading it between other books and a couple of long flights. I liked the anecdotes and even though I wouldn't consider myself a sports fan, some of the stories go above and beyond the jargon. There were a couple of stories that even brought tears to my eyes (but I am a real sap, so take it how you will). Pretty darn good for just passing time.
Rachel Rogers
Nov 14, 2015 Rachel Rogers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my usual thing - I'm not a sports fan at all - but my husband grabbed this at work and said it was an entertaining read. Very true. Some funny, some poignant, some infuriating essays written by Rick Reilly for his weekly essay in Sports Illustrated. Dated now since this includes essays dating from 2000-2005 or so but that means it includes essays pertaining to the baseball doping scandals, 9/11, the Boxing Day tsunami and more. If you read it like I do, I wouldn't recommend reading it cover ...more
I read this for book club and was pleasantly surprised that I liked it for the most part. I was really bummed when I realized that I'll miss the next book club meeting to discuss it, though. I even dogeared the stories that I really liked and wanted to discuss! Oh well. There were some really sweet and uplifting stories, some funny ones, & some that went totally over my head (being a non sports fan). I skimmed a few that were TOO much about sports, but enjoyed the majority of them.

I really g
Jul 31, 2009 Angie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book by Rick Reilly that collects the best of his weekly Spors Illustraded back-page column. "Hate Mail From Cheerleaders" (320 pages) brings exactly 100 of those columns, from the last 7 years, in no particular order or chronology. The great thing is that for most of the columns, Reily gives an updated Postscript. In the postscript of his controversial 2004 column on the death of NFL player Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, Reilly writes "I don't write about sports. I write about p ...more
Nathan Mckinney
If you were like me as a child and immediately flipped to the back page of the newest Sports Illustrated issue as soon as it arrived then you will understand why I consider Rick Reilly to be one of the greatest sports columnists of all time. This book is merely a collection of 100 of Reilly's favorite columns ranging from '01-'06. I found just as much joy reading these columns today, a decade removed from these stories, as I did when they were first written. One of the things I appreciate most ...more
May 16, 2008 Tung rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Rick Reilly is one of Sports Illustrated’s – and one of the country’s – most popular columnists. He and Mitch Albom are of the same breed – they are not sports columnists; rather, they’re walking Hallmark cards, human interest storytellers whose subjects have some connection to sports. They’re popular because their writing is schmaltzy and saccharine. This book is a collection of 100 of Reilly’s “best” columns (as chosen by him) from the years 2001-2006. Prediction: you could sit down before you ...more
Jul 09, 2012 Byron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I fished this bad boy out of a dollar bin and decided to copp after consulting the Wiki. Come to find out this guy Rick Reilly is one of the all-time most popular sports writers. Who knew? At the time, he was the only opinion writer in the history of SI - the source of this anthology of columns from circa 2000-2006. Now I think he's on ESPN. As you might suspect, I don't follow sports very closely. But I do find myself enjoying some sports journalism I find on the Internets. There's a lot of goo ...more
Nov 01, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I subscribed to Sports Illustrated for a few years, and reading Rick Reilly's column was always my favorite. He tells some great stories in just a few hundred words. I lost interest in his work after he moved to ESPN, but I really enjoyed this collection from his prime. In one column that wasn't included here, Reilly wrote, "Sports isn't an escape from life--it's woven into the fabric of it." That is the essence of why I love sports and why I love the stories Reilly shares.
May 30, 2013 Ben rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to picture Rick Reilly's column inspiring anyone to write hate mail. He may purport to be politically incorrect, but when viewed in a compendium, his columns are pretty bland. Maybe a third are mild complaints about an overpaid athlete or a frustrating rule of the game, a third profile nontraditional sports, unsuccessful teams or unlikely aspiring athletes, and the remainder are schmaltzy, Make-a-Wish tales about kids with incurable diseases wanting to throw out a major league pitch. S ...more
Oct 24, 2011 Cameron rated it really liked it
I got this book because I dabble in sportswriting. Dabble might be too kind of a word. So, I wanted to learn from what I, as well as many others, consider the best in the business. Rick Reilly has talent in writing, but what makes his columns the best is that they aren't necessarily about sports, but about the people who play them. It is a fantastic angle that works well and can be very entertaining and deeply moving. This collection of 100 of Reilly's favorite articles is full of great examples ...more
Brian Rogers
This was cute. Picked up int he 'take a book' shelves of the office cafeteria I plowed through it on the train and it was great commute fodder. It's dated, obviously (columns from 2000-2007) and some of the people he praises for being Mensches turned out later not to be, but the heartwarming human interest stories are still heartwarming and interesting and most of the jokes are still funny. So it's all good
Nov 09, 2013 Derek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It was interesting to read this book (which is really just a collection of Reilly's weekly columns) a few years after they had been written. Reilly's a good writer and he's able to identify the coolest parts of the story... it's not the big stories he looks for, but the small ones. Reilly's the guy that finds all those special interest stories that warm your heart and make you feel good about yourself.

Of course he's also the guy who at times gets a little sanctimonious when he picks and chooses
Kate L
Apr 19, 2015 Kate L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sports lovers
Recommended to Kate by: spouse
I love Rick Reilly. He generally tells it like it is...even to the point of risking his own personal safety... Lots of sports celebrities hate his guts.
Thanks to my hubby - I never would have read anyone like him, if my husband hadn't introduced me to the great art of sport-writing....

I'll keep reading as long you keep writing...
Rick Reilly can certainly be entertaining and funny, but his sanctimony can get old after awhile. He is so intent on telling his readers how to feel about his topics that often the human-interest story is obscured, and his columns become all about him. Honestly, give your readers a little credit, Rick. You don't have to specifically tell them that the disabled kid on the cross-country team "weighs 90 pounds, 70 of it heart" (or whatever). I mean, just tell the story and let people react to it. H ...more
Jul 06, 2008 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
If you enjoyed Rick Reilly's column in Sports Illustrated, then you'll enjoy this book. Then again, if you liked Rick Reilly's column in Sports Illustrated, you probably had a subscription to SI and you've already read these columns...

Rick Reilly's columns fall into two basic catorgies: feel good stories and sarcastic criticism - you get them both in this book. Unfortunately, in many cases, it feels forced and/or heavy-handed. Quite honestly, I usually enjoyed Reilly's weekly column in Sports I
Mar 24, 2009 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
As Reilly himself puts it, he doesn't write about sports. He writes about people involved with sports.
This collection of his columns has everything from his trademarked snarky pieces (boy, does he not like Barry Bonds and other steroid-taking athletes) to some of the most inspiring stories about people (usually kids) overcoming incredible odds (the boy with cerebral palsy who runs cross country track, the couple who survived the tsunami because they were doing an underwater dive at the time, and
Daniel Judge
Dec 31, 2013 Daniel Judge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books
What a great collection of stories written by Reilly. I'm not a Sports Illustrated subscriber, so I don't regulary read his work. I couldn't stop reading. Just ONE more and then I'll go to work. One more and I'll go to bed. With subjects from youth sports to inspirational topics, each one is wonderfully written.

My favorite quotes (about Tiger Woods): "This man is arguably the most famous person on the planet, and yet, have you ever heard of him acting a fool, even once? In a bar, in traffic, at
Jun 02, 2015 Colink2 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was Amazing! There is a collection of short stories that express the sports life outside of the game. Whether it is running for charity or something other. It shows how good people can be. would definitely recomend
Mar 21, 2015 Eva rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Some charming columns, but ultimately I didn't care for the recurring theme of "Here's an athlete who is bad (steroids, manslaughter, etc.), so I'll pile on." That's easy. Nothing insightful there.
Feb 06, 2012 ABC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of Reilly's best Sports Illustrated columns. I am not a sports fan, and I enjoyed the book. It has insider stuff like what famous sports figures are really like and human interests type stories about those with the odds against them winning anyway.

A few columns here and there were a little annoying. Especially annoying was the column filled lame jokes about the lameness of Canada. (He wrote it in revenge because some Canadian hockey fans booed the American anthem.) I wonder
Aug 18, 2014 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of short articles range from heartwarming and tearjerking to hilarious to boring. There is something in it to suit every mood. Easy and quick !
Jan 04, 2008 Az rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sport
while i'm not really a fan of the formatting (it's a series of expanded magazine columns), i really enjoyed this book.
and those of you who are not sports people should read "Turning Losing Into a Science" (January 9, 2006), simply because it's all true. every last bit.
i could get into most of the stories (i'm a sucker for comeback /nothing could stop them stories), but some of those dealing with larger pro sports (baseball, football, basketball) are miles over my head. i don't have the backgro
Glenn Whelan
Dec 29, 2012 Glenn Whelan rated it really liked it
I have never been a sports page reader, nor am I familiar with Rick Reilly's on-air personality. But, I did read his golf novel "MISSING LINKS" and found it a nice clean read.

This book is a collection of 100 stories, hand picked from many years of Reilly's Sports Illustrated columns. Many are typical, but some are intriguing. A scattered few are even touching, when he kicks off a good personal cause.

I find his writing efficient and sometimes, "laugh out loud" funny.

As the book is a collection o
Jul 28, 2010 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't really know much about sports except that my hubby watches them too much. :) I got this book for him for Christmas, but I couldn't put it down. (He's just started!) I loved this book. There are 100 "chapters" of three pages each so whenever I had a little time I could read just one or 5 or 10. Rick Reilly is hilarious! And even for someone like me, with very little sports knowledge, his topics were interesting and funny. There were only a few times where I had to ask my husband what he w ...more
Batch Batchelder
Jan 25, 2012 Batch Batchelder rated it liked it
This is a compilation of Rick Reilly's articles as originally published in Sports Illustrated.

Reilly is a great writer who has a knack of finding enormously compelling human interest stories that are sports related and relaying them in a moving and often witty fashion. My singular critique of his style - and I recognize the potential irony and therefore hesitate to mention it - is that he has a very strong self-righteous streak that makes many of his stories and anecdotes come off angry, sad an
Apr 11, 2008 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great collection of Reilly's back page editorial pieces that appeared in Sports Illustrated over the past 5-6 years. Reilly does an awesome job finding stories that affect you personally and make you laugh, cry (yes sadly I will admit he has), be angry, and sometimes just plain think. An important note is that YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A SPORTS FAN TO READ THIS BOOK. Every week when I got my Sports Illustrated my wife always has to read Reilly's article, so don't shy away if you think you won't like ...more
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