I was reviewing some of the old pop culture novels from the 1980s on my bookshelf. While some are still interesting, many have not aged well. But what struck me was while I was scanning the old book covers was how many titles could apply to today's sports stories.
Top TEN Pop-Culture Book Titles from the 1980s that are still relevant to sports today:
#10. "Generation X" --A sociological and psychological investigation into the sketchy fringes of American society who called themselves "Fans" of the WWF's unholy offspring --the XFL--, during its single (only) failed season.
9. "Wonderboys" --The story of the team with all the potential and upside -yet that can never quite meet expectations. The 2005-2008 Phoenix Suns.
8. “Slaves of New York” --The heart-wrenching tale of the pathetic losers who wait in line overnight to attend the annual NFL Draft.
7. "The Secret History" The hidden-in-plain-sight explanation for Ben Jonson, FloJo, Marion Jones, Floyd Landis, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte... With a special appearance by Bud Selig as Inspector Clouseau.
6. “Mysteries of Pittsburgh” The investigation into why the hell NFL HOF’er Lynn Swann ran for Governor of Pennsylvania
5. “American Psycho” The Unauthorized Biography of Al Davis –the Man who Destroyed the Oakland Raiders.
4. “Ransom” An investigation into the attempt by new owner Clay Bennett to move the Seattle Super Sonics to Oklahoma City after Seattle refused to give in to Bennett's financial demands.
3. “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” –The Story of the 2007 NBA All-Star Game.
2. “Rules of Attraction” – The Story of Professional Athletes and the Underage Women they “Date”. Featuring such young leaders as Matt Leinart, Boris Diaw, and Roger Clemens.
1. “Less Than Zero” The Story of Roger Clemens’ Credibility. Featuring Brian McNamee, Mindy McCready, one of John Daly's ex-wives, et. al.
Thanks to DRage and Pagondas for two good suggestions. One was a little early (70s) and one a little late (early 90s), but both fit the pop-culture theme. DRage came up with the "Fear and Loathing" update --perfect. And Pagondas suggested "The Secret History". It is actually very early 90s, but as Pagondas points out, it was big with the folks who were into the whole McInerney/Ellis/Janowitz pop-culture thing, so I'll allow it. I still think only east-coast liberals read the damn thing. Also, I had to add "Generation X" since it was such a key book, but it did come out in '91.
Also, if you want to remember what the books were actually about back in the day, click on the book covers to go to a description of the original book. For what its worth, I thought "American Psycho" was garbage when it came out. Don't let the movie version fool you, the book is much worse than the movie.
I can't think of a good update for "Bright Lights, Big City" so if you have one, let me know. Or if I left your "favorite" out, please let me know.
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