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Always by My Side: The Healing Gift of a Father's Love Paperback – May 5, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; Reprint edition (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592404081
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592404087
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,232,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this sentimental look back, Nantz recounts his beloved father's descent into illness during his own rise to success in sports broadcasting. Nantz's early ambition was to announce sporting events, and he got his start by taking advantage of even the smallest opportunity; his first job was driving Houston Open announcers from the parking lot to the clubhouse. Meanwhile, his jolly, curious and encouraging father was fielding the first symptoms of Alzheimers; sadly, as Nance finds greater recognition within the industry, the man who inspired him becomes more distant. Nantz finds father figures in his friendships with George H.W. Bush and golfer/broadcaster Ken Venturi, and turns up charming stories of others he admires like Tony Dungy, Arnold Palmer and former college roommate Freddie Couples. Though it has a saccharine streak, Nantz's on-the-job memoir fulfills his old man's vision ("Good people with good stories... To him, that was what sports-and sportsmanship-were all about") with a gentle, anecdote-heavy tour.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

CBS sportscaster Nantz, who has broadcast every major sporting event from the Olympics to the Super Bowl to the Masters, is one of those rare people who defined his professional goals early in life and set about reaching them. While in college in Houston, he worked his way through a series of low-level jobs, all related to broadcasting, and then, with his businessman father serving as mentor, he negotiated his way upstream in an incredibly competitive field. The elder Nantz, who developed Alzheimer’s just as Jim was entering the most satisfying stage of his career, has served as a constant benchmark for his son, who approaches his life seemingly armed with one question: What would Dad do? This professional memoir works best when Nantz reflects on memories of his father’s irrepressible optimism. When Nantz the elder isn’t a presence, the book devolves into a series of anecdotes—interesting enough but hardly revelatory—about the big events in sports over the last 20 years and the machinations of sports broadcasting. One of Nantz’s best qualities as a broadcaster is his ability to fade into the background while emphasizing the action in front of him. That’s his approach here, too, and if it works slightly less well in a memoir, it does offer a refreshing change from the typical all-about-me celebrity bio. --Wes Lukowsky --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

In conclusion, the book is written in a very pleasurable way.
James T. White
So if you should chose to read this book, and I really think you should, enjoy the stories from the sports world that Jim tells.
Christopher Byrne
Nantz has "the life"... and very touching story about his relationship with his father.
P. Adams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Byrne on May 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Sitting down watching the Master's over the past few years, we have noticed little change in the way Jim Nantz has called the action from the tower over the 18th green. The steady, calm voice would tell the story unfolding for the audience. Ever steady, his voice made you confident that that you were indeed watching a special event. However, things were not really so steady in his life as he has had to grapple with personal tragedy in his life, but who outside of a small circle of people knew.

This year, I was not watching the final round of the Masters. Instead, I was sitting on an airplane headed for Los Angeles. But I could still here Jim's voice in my head as I read his new book, Always By My Side: A Father's Grace and a Sports Journey Unlike Any Other (Jim Nantz with Eli Spielmen,Gotham Books, May 2008, 273 pages, ISBN-10: 1592403611, ISBN-13:978-1592403615). To me, the measure of a good book is not the words that are printed on the page, but the pictures they paint and the emotions they evoke. And as I finished the book, I sat there crying as I thought of the relationship I did not have with my now-deceased father and as I thought of my own mother battling dementia in a nursing home.

You see, Jim's book is a not a typical sports memoir. It is a story of deep love and respect for his father, and the pain of not being able to be with him as Alzheimer's disease stole the father Jim loved so much. It is the story about not being able to celebrate the high point of a career with the man you know guided and nurtured you to that point.

You will notice that I refer to the author of this book by his first name. This is because I first met him when he was starting out on CBS Sports Golf Coverage and was surprised by how he treated everyone with open arms and kindness.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By John R. Linnell on June 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have always thought that Jim Nantz had one of life's greatest gigs. He gets to do The Super Bowl, The NCAA Basketball Tournament and The Masters in sequence as well as covering the PGA and the NFL for CBS. Not bad.

Little did any of us know that he did much of it while dealing with the loss of his Dad to Alzheimer's. This book recounts that episode in his life and tells of the anguish and the pain that this terrible disease inflicts on loved ones.

Before reading this book and learning more about Jim Nantz, his family and his life experiences it has always been clear to me that he is a genuine gentleman and a caring and thoughtful person. After reading it, this is confirmed in spades.

For those who have never had to experience the heartbreaking realization of what Alzheimer's does to it's victims and their families, this book will open your eyes and tug at your heart.

For those that just love to learn some of the inside stories of what it is like to be Jim Nantz and rub elbows with some of the most interesting people around this book delivers on that score as well.

For those who hope to pick up some dirt or gossip about some of the issues and people that Nantz has been associated with during his time at CBS Sports, you will be disappointed. He may kiss, but he dosen't tell. That's not the kind of person he is.

Nantz still has a long career ahead of him and this is not intended to be an autobiography. It opens a window on his life that he wanted to share, to honor his father and tell the world what he meant to him. It does that quite well.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Zep Fan on May 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am sitting here watching the Today SHow this morning and I glance up and see your book being spoken about with some photos, and then I realize how familiar you are.

My husband and I saw you and your dad in Aruba last March, We watched as you took your dads arm and walked along with him thru the sand to the water.
I said to my husband, (who lost his dad in 06' and who had always said he wanted to take his father to our home away from home- ARUBA) "Look at that man, with his elderly father, taking his pictures, watching his every step, What a wonderful place to bring him to. "Lucky Him" was my husbands reply, and as he spoke that , with tears in my eyes, I got up and went over to you and asked if you wanted a picture together. I am not usually that assertive, but I felt that I had to go over to you.
I had no idea if you were his son , a friend or a caretaker..

I am so glad I did..
Best of Luck
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Daniel on November 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Well, based on reading previous reader posts, I guess I need to read the final few chapters. I put this book down in disgust after reading 3/4 of the book. Why? I have read many inspirational, yet sad family stories. This wasn't one of them! Jim seems to focus more on his career aspirations and celebrity worship/influence...rather than the influence of his family.

As the summary states, Dad gets put away in a home, and the surrogate father (GW Bush and others) takes over and fills the void. Photos of wife and daughter, but little mention of wife's influence or devotion. After reading about Jim's recent divorce/affair...and his stated reason that his "wife lost interest in his career," - I kind of get it.

If you want anecdotal professional golf stories - then I wouldn't pass this up. However, looking for inspirational stories that that align with something you would read in TUESDAYS WITH MAURIE,... well, forget it. This book does like one with a more favorable impression of former President GW Bush.. I must add that point.
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