Here in North Carolina, you either love or hate the Tarheels. But either way, you’re probably going to be watching today’s game against Michigan State on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson. And this event is exactly the kind of thing you would find in Jimmy Tomlin’s Instant Replay: 365 Days of North Carolina Sports Trivia (Bandit Books), just released this month.
Instant Replay covers the state’s entire sports landscape—from tennis and track to football and fighting to hockey and horse racing—with anecdotes for every day of the year that transcend mere box scores.
So if you happened to be so lucky as to get a ticket to today’s game (they aren’t available to the public) and you had this book with you, you’d be able to tell your friends that this day has been important to honorary UNC captain Michael Jordan before–in 1996, to be exact, when Space Jam premiered in Hollywood. The basketball legend starred in the animated motion picture.
While Instant Replay documents the unforgettable exploits of some of the state’s best-known athletes—Michael Jordan, Richard Petty, Catfish Hunter, and Choo-Choo Justice, just to name a few—it also tells the compelling stories of more obscure athletes, such as the high-school baseball player who homered five times in a single game and the slow-pitch softball stud who slugged more than 6,000 homers in his career. Tomlin revisits many of the state’s famous sports moments, like the year the Rose Bowl was played in Durham, but he also includes lesser-known moments, like the time a professional basketball player’s monstrous dunks shattered two backboards in the same game and the day a fisherman caught a record catfish with a Barbie fishing pole. Interspersed throughout the book are interesting sidebars detailing the state’s links to the careers of sports legends like Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Rocky Marciano.
This book is the perfect gift for any sports fanatic, no matter how he or she feels about the Tarheels.
(For those of who still want more info on the game: You can catch it live on ESPN at 7 p.m. EST and get all the details here.)