Rick Reilly has been knitting warm, comfortable sports columns for a generation now; material that has morphed into several books, television appearances, and even a film (he co-wrote “Leatherheads.”). I’ve always found his writing to be nourishing, if bland; a kind of chicken soup for the reader, Melba cracker on the side.
The worst thing about Rick Reilly is that he pretends to be the everyman he is not — jotting down notes while walking alongside Michael Jordan at a celebrity golf tournament, while the regular journalists look on from behind the ropes. The best thing about him is that that is the worst thing. Some writers can be much bigger poseurs. Trust me.
But here’s wonderful news if you’re a Rick Reilly fan; troubling information if you’re not. One of those books, “Missing Links,” is in the process of being made into a movie. Steve Carrel is attached in the leading role, and this time Reilly seems not to be involved in co-writing the script. Which will be welcome news to anyone who has seen George Clooney in a death struggle with the dialogue in “Leatherheads.”
Warner Bros. will distribute and Carrel himself will produce. Jay Lavender, who wrote “The Break-Up,” is writing the screenplay.
Reilly’s 1997 comedic novel tells of the group of bumblers who, after playing for years at a run-down municipal golf course in a working-class Boston neighborhood, concoct a series of schemes that they hope will lead to them teeing off at a nearby elite club.
The two funniest golf movies ever: “Caddyshack” and the Three Stooges short “Three Little Beers,” do not seem to be in any danger at this time. But what is of concern is a possible “Caddyshack II” or “Who’s Your Caddy?”, the latter also the name of another, unrelated, Reilly book. The world does not need another horrible golf movie.
So anyway, you’ve got that going for you next summer, or whenever they crank this movie out. Meanwhile, enjoy Reilly over at ESPN, writing on Nick Swisher’s colonoscopy. I just pray to God that Warner Bros. doesn’t have any designs on that.