Book Review – Jay Onrait’s “Number Two”

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Onrait promoting his book on TSN’s Off The Record last fall

By: Jefferson Marshall

In the fall of 2015, Canadian sports broadcaster and former TSN Sportscentre anchor Jay Onrait published his second book titled: “Number Two”.

For those who don’t know, the now Fox Sports Live host is not your usual television broadcaster as he has a humour that he displays on-camera that is sometimes too inappropriate for TV. But that’s what we love about Jay Onrait, his extremely unpredictable wit and his tendency to get in trouble with his employers for what he says on-air and in the book you get that and more.

Like his first book he released back in 2013 “Anchorboy”, his newest novel has the same concept of telling different tales from his past and present. Most of them will make you laugh (or cringe), some of them inform you of how he made it into the industry, and others will make you feel his gratitude as he scribes kind words towards some of his colleagues and people that have helped him along the way.

However, you could tell the laughs were going to be plentiful in this one, as the first sentence of the novel goes like this:

“I started masturbating at the age of eight.”

So, it was very clear right from the get-go that Onrait was back with his same explicit and self-loathing humour with embarrassing tales about himself to go along with it. As mentioned before, the various stories that are told in the book are very diverse in subject matter. The book includes the time in elementary school where Jay was almost in a fight with the strongest kid in his grade, to the time he almost got arrested as a teen for leaving a voice message to one of his friends, to the time he had drinks with hip-hop legend Jay-Z in downtown New York.

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Onrait (Left) and his long time co-host Dan O’Toole (right) came up together from the TSN SportsCentre desk in Canada to hosting Fox Sports Live in L.A.

However, the best quality of the novel is how honest he is in his writing. Obviously, not every author would admit to things like getting caught by their parents masturbating or lying to a doctor to receive a medical marijuana licence, but it’s a different kind of honesty that when he is composing these stories he does a great job telling the reader exactly how he felt in that moment with no fear of judgement or backlash. A great example of this is when he tells the story about how he and a person he used to work with went on a MLB stadium road trip, and when things didn’t go as planned he started to think less of this person in the duration of the trip and said there was a point where he was asking himself why did he even go on this trip with this guy. The person he was with didn’t do anything wrong, Jay just felt that he pictured his former co-worker to be a little more out-going and fun to be around. Instead, Jay admitted his slight disdain for his friend with the high possibly of his friend reading that passage.

To sum it up, the book mirrors the personality you see on television with a little extra vulgar added to the mix. The fact Onrait has even more stories to compile onto his last book is amazing, and makes me question how boring my life is. And don’t think for one second that these stories that didn’t make it onto the first book lack quality, because they will have you belly laughing from cover to cover. The book is a great read for fans of the Althabasca, Alberta native and also for people that are just looking for a good chuckle. The other good thing about this book is that even though this novel is written by a sports caster you are not required to be a sports enthusiast to enjoy it, this book is fun for everyone (over the age of 13 at least due to the subject matter) and addresses tales that only few people will encounter.

Overall: 7.5/10

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