Over the weekend I finished reading John Feinstein’s latest book, The Back Roads to March: The Unsung, Unheralded, and Unknown Heroes of a College Basketball Season. The book has been out since early March (when the world was very different), but of course I rely on my local library to provide me with a copy (waitlist!) and dang it’s tough to get people to return library books these days.
Though it’s getting better every day, I’ll admit, we still live in a sports-starved world. I’m sure any book I read about college basketball these days would be fantastic. Just an average book that any of us could write.
And that’s what all of Feinstein’s books are, actually. Any of us could write them. It’s just that… he’s John Feinstein, and has a billion percent more access than any of us could dream. If one of us mortals went to a publisher and said, “I’d like to write a book about my experiences over a winter traveling around to a bunch of college basketball games,” he or she would say, “Who the hell are you?”
Well, John Feinstein has an answer to that question.
I’m John Feinstein.
[Publisher: (Sigh.) When can I have it?]
John Feinstein has written something like 40 books and I’ve probably read 30 or 35 of them. Actually most of the books are exactly the same, with passages recycled from one story to another. The Back Roads to March, a story of the 2018-19 college basketball season through mostly small-school lenses, is basically a retelling of The Last Amateurs (with a little of A March to Madness and A Season Inside, etc. mixed in). And yeah, I’m fine with that.
Because he’s John Feinstein.
And hey, I’ve gotta get my college basketball fix somehow.