In an attempt to attract not only the competitive and determined, but also the eccentric and obscure, authors Michael J. Rosen and Ben Kassoy collaborated to produce a book that proves a little creativity and athleticism can go a long way.
Rosen and Kassoy, both Columbus natives, co-wrote “No Dribbling the Squid: Octopush, Shin Kicking, Elephant Polo and Other Oddball Sports,” a book of some of the world’s most outlandish sports. This humorous yet completely factual book contains the accounts of over 70 competitive sports from all around the world.
Rosen and Kassoy originally teamed up in the spring of 2007 when Kassoy was a senior at Bexley High School.
After researching and learning from Rosen for a few months, Kassoy continued to keep in contact with him into his freshman year of college at Emory University in Atlanta. While Kassoy first served as only a researcher for Rosen’s next book, they slowly began collaborating ideas and eventually Kassoy was named a co-author for “No Dribbling the Squid.” After working together for multiple years, not only does Rosen act as a mentor to Kassoy, but Kassoy also acts as an inspiration to Rosen, he said.
“Both his precocious sense of humor and his willingness to learn make him a terrific and extraordinarily gracious, grateful human being,” Rosen said of Kassoy’s character.
Rosen’s goal to create a humorous book that depicts competition at its peak comes from his idea that the human spirit is always trying to make competing more difficult. Despite their lack of physical participation in the sports, the pair immersed themselves in each competition through hours of phone interviews and reading about the rules, regulations and overall lifestyles of each particular sport.
“Since they are not all American games, it would be extremely difficult to watch each game, unless we were to go country hopping on some sort of world championship, which would be immensely hilarious,” Kassoy said.
“No Dribbling the Squid” combines snowball-throwing athletes with Japanese mud fighters to entice readers from all walks of life to take part in what sounds like an impracticable and unattainable activity. After 30 years in the book-writing business, Rosen believes his general interest in sports has inspired him to write this book.
“I really enjoy watching gymnastics because first it is an individual sport, and second, because I have always loved the idea of what seems humanly impossible come to life. Not everyone can do it in gymnastics,” Rosen said.
Kassoy, on the other hand, notes Buckeye athletics to be his mainstream form of athletic enjoyment. With Kassoy’s love for team spirit and Rosen’s interest in individuality in athletics, the pair worked to create a well-rounded book of obscure, entertaining and offbeat reflections of the world of creative athletics.
Coming up next for the duo is a comical quiz about the human body, called “Any Body’s Guess,” which will be released in May. Rosen and Kassoy hope to write a sequel to “No Dribbling the Squid” in the near future.
“No Dribbling the Squid: Octopush, Shin Kicking, Elephant Polo and Other Oddball Sports” can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or independent booksellers.