A sort of Blue Highways for the sporting set, on the one hand, and a prose marathon in which McKee travels 54,000 miles to 55 events in 31 different sports. Like the events themselves, some of his accounts are grabbers, some no contest. Armed with an assortment of free-lance assignments and a decaying van, McKee, for no readily discernible reason, set out in January, 1983, on what might be called a sports odyssey. He covers the two-man bobsled races at Lake Placid, zips to the women's powerlifting contest in Chicago, then figure skating, quail dog trials, skiing, Rugby, horse and auto racing, tennis and golf, jousting, tiddlywinks, juggling, fencing, water-skiing, speed roller-skating, and the ordinary stuff like Super Bowls, World Series, the America's Cup, and the Orange Bowl. Sometimes McKee gets into the sport and its partisans, and the results can be entertaining and informative, a kind of heady little peek behind the scenes at the trade's tricks. Other times (too often, in fact), we get tales of vehicle malfeasance, snippets about his travel misadventures, and over. long explanations of a sport's mechanics. It gets baffling quickly, and without a singular sense of mission, emerges as aimless exercise. Looking at why Americans have such a passion for all their sports might have helped here, but McKee doesn't make that literary big turn at first base. A muffed call.