Colleagues, clients and general supporters recently gathered at Sambuca Uptown for a night in celebration of a Dallas attorney’s new book. Now, before you hit the snooze button on this article, this book is not about the law. I repeat, this book is not about the law.
You see, Bob Latham wears many hats. In addition to his successful legal career, Latham has held a number of positions in the world of sports, including member of the board of directors of the U.S. Olympic Committee, chairman of USA Rugby, and International Rugby Board executive committee member.
Oh, a sports guy? Now we’re getting somewhere. Since 2006, Latham has written a column for SportsTravel magazine. A collection of these stories is now available in Latham’s new book, Winners & Losers: Rants, Riffs & Reflections on the World of Sports, which also happens to be the name of his column.
The book is entertaining yet informative. Latham explains what he sees and feels in such a way that a normal fan can relate. There is no insider talk or lingo that only the sports elite understands. Nope, there is none of that.
Think stripper poles at Jerry World or a minor league team called “The Nads." And if that doesn’t bring a smile to your face, then maybe Latham’s spontaneous search for the cryonics lab where Ted Williams is stored will.
The 58 essays and articles contained in the book chronicle Latham’s treks to prestigious sporting arenas and events both here in the U.S. and abroad. An index helps readers filter the stories based on sporting event, athlete, country, etc.
I wanted to read what it was like to be at Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday party and what Latham was thinking while sitting courtside at Wimbledon. Other been-there, experienced-that stories in Winners & Losers include the Belmont Stakes; Rugby World Cup; the Olympics; Il Palio in Siena, Italy; NASCAR and much more.
As I finished the book, I felt nostalgic as I reminisced about some of the wonderful sporting events I have been fortunate enough to attend. But more than that, the book helped to remind me of the overall good that is still present in sports, despite all the crap that seems to rise to the top of the headlines. Sports bring people together, they make you feel something. And, best of all, they are darn fun to watch.
When chatting with Latham at his book signing, it was clear he has a genuine appreciation for everything he has been able to see and do. However, he was quick to point out that sometimes the best stories are right in your own backyard.
“Being based in Dallas has been a great blessing,” Latham said. “We’ve had two NBA finals here in that time, two World Series and one Super Bowl. In fact, in a span of nine months, we had one of each of those.
“So while I have had many a great sports adventure that I’ve been able to write about, sometimes I didn’t have to look any farther than home.”