- Mass Market Paperback: 380 pages
- Publisher: Avon Books (June 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0380701596
- ISBN-13: 978-0380701599
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,267,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Never Played the Game Mass Market Paperback – June, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is good and bad. The bad part is that Howard writes it and therefore Howard covers only what he wants. He picks out about 5 themes and covers the story from his perspective while overlaying his importance and how these events may have led to his eventually leaving network sports. For example, the first quarter of the book is an in-depth analysis of the Raiders leaving Los Angeles and Al Davis' fight with the NFL. Howard does a good job covering this issue from an intelligent standpoint but feels compelled to consistently drop names and inform you of his importance in the story. The most compelling part of this subject, which is further covered later with the section on the Jets and Giants leaving New York, is how it plays out in today's culture of sports franchises still successfully blackmailing cities and states. At least in that perspective, Howard was correct.
In addition to NFL franchise moves, the other big story is NFL Monday Night Football. Fans today have no idea how big this was for football to be carried on the weeknight. Howard Cosell was perfect for the role. He was clearly the most hated man in America. Brass, cocky, controversial but always wanting to open his mouth and have everyone listens to him. My fondest memories of Monday Night Football is Don Meredith and his comedy. It was worth watching just to listen to Don. Frank Gifford was the ballast, the middleman compromise between Frank and Don who made everything run smoothly. Howard was like the nerd who never fit in but felt like he needed to lead the show.Read more ›
It is this latter case which I think is the pivotal point of Cosell's hot-and-cold relationship with pro football. He is dead-set against this type of blatant profiteering from a moral standpoint. He feels that the franchises owe something to the cities which have supported them, and he has testified before Congress in support of legislation that would require franchises to show good cause before moving.
At the same time, his former training as a lawyer required that he support the legal right of the Raiders to move. The legal issue in the case involved section 4.3 of the NFL By-Laws, which required the approval of 3/4 of the owners in the league for any franchise move. The owners could block a move without giving any reason whatsoever, and Cosell understood that this was a clear violation of the anti-trust laws. Despite this clear reality, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle stubbornly dug in his heels and fought, instead of simply modifying the rule so that it would no longer violate anti-trust standards.Read more ›
The voice of televised sports through the 1960s and especially the 1970s, Cosell was an original who with his characteristic staccato pontificating and taste for the jugular made even humdrum contests into events. Unfortunately by the 1980s his act had grown tired. Cosell lost interest in sports, especially boxing, where he shone brightest. That boxing was a dangerous sport was nothing new, but suddenly in 1982 Cosell discovered it caused serious injury, and not only walked away from the sport but urged it be banned outright. If he no longer enjoyed it, why should anyone else?
All this is covered in "I Never Played The Game" at sententious, self-important length. Cosell has a point he beats into the ground, and it's not so much the danger of boxing but how the sport's luminaries were shocked at his brave stand and how congressmen like Jim Florio and Bill Richardson listened attentively to Cosell's words.
Earlier in the book, Cosell details walking away from his other key perch, the broadcast booth of "Monday Night Football" in even more self-serving terms. He claims the players are no longer interesting (huh?), that the league is corrupt (especially when their leadership doesn't listen to him), that too many broadcasters are of what Cosell likes to call "the jockocracy," whose ability to call the game is compromised by the fact they once played it, unlike him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book condition was a little less than described but still ok. Worked for me.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was a Great book. Men that like Sports should read it. Tells u everything how crooked sports is.Published 14 months ago by MartiB
An egotistical tome from one of the most dominant sports-casters of yesterday. Throughout this book, Cosell paints himself as hard-working, dynamic, and moral; but never really... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Abedsbrother
I've always been a fan of Cosell! This book speaks for a lot of sports lovers who aren't athletes. It's similar to Mills Lane"s "Lets Get It On! Read morePublished on May 25, 2013 by Anthony Moss
I was hoping for a book about just the actual games he covered. It goes on and on about the politics behind the scenes. Read morePublished on April 29, 2013 by Kindle Customer
I am old enough to remember when, in the mid-1950's, Howard Cosell gave up his job as a successful New York lawyer and began his radio show, "Speaking of Sports". Read morePublished on October 18, 2012 by Jerry Weaver
After many years after his death, it is amazing how many sportscasters
will all of a sudden go into their "Howard" impersonation. Read more
This book was released (inflicted) on an unsuspecting public in 1985, while Cosell's take on sporting matters, for inexplicable reasons, still mattered to many. Read morePublished on October 29, 2010 by Larry Wood