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Dark Horses & Underdogs: The Greatest Sports Upsets of All Time    by Les Krantz order for
Dark Horses & Underdogs
by Les Krantz
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Anise Hollingshead

Dark Horses & Underdogs chronicles fifty famous sporting upsets from the last century and this one. The competitions range from events such as the Heavyweight Championship in boxing, to the Olympics Platform Diving competition, from the years 1936 until the present.

The upsets are presented in order from rankings determined by ballots taken from sports professionals. The first chapter relates the U.S. Hockey Men's Hockey team victory over the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics; the last entry is the World Series 2002 match between the Anaheim Angels and the San Francisco Giants. Each event is accompanied by background information, trivia and quotes, along with photos. Most of the events are well known, and have been written about before. However, Krantz's presentation is fresh, with many little-known factoids inserted amongst the more famous details. His writing style is strong and vigorous, with language that accentuates the thrilling nature of the unexpected victories. The photos illustrate the stories dramatically. The icing on the cake is a great DVD, narrated by Jim Lampley, that enhances the book.

I found this volume very interesting (though I wonder slightly at the author's allusion in his Introduction to Hugh Heffner, whose achievements don't belong in the same breath as those of the athletes presented in the book), and my husband and his work pals have been enjoying it as well. It's a classic example of an attractive coffee table book, and will make an excellent gift this Christmas to any sporting fan. Dark Horses & Underdogs makes a nice gift for Christmas, one that will look really good on the table and pique the interest of visiting relatives over the holidays.

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