Customer Reviews


14 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Access Pass to the Super Bowl
What a great book for anyone wanting to know what it feels like to be behind the scenes at the Super Bowl! This book should be required reading for any college student in business or special events. Allen St. John as a unique talent for writing that makes you feel that he is just having a conversation with you and his chapter on the man in charge of the Super Bowl for...
Published on January 29, 2009 by Al Mercuro

versus
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Distorted View of the Road to the Super Bowl
This incorrectly-titled book is written by a sportswriter who loves to hear himself "talk" on paper, giving inconsequential details instead of getting right to the point. So what is supposed to be the story of the year leading up to the 2008 Super Bowl ends up being a long-winded project that includes the 1950s Brooklyn Dodgers, the building of the stadium in Arizona in...
Published on August 10, 2009 by Mediaman


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Access Pass to the Super Bowl, January 29, 2009
By 
What a great book for anyone wanting to know what it feels like to be behind the scenes at the Super Bowl! This book should be required reading for any college student in business or special events. Allen St. John as a unique talent for writing that makes you feel that he is just having a conversation with you and his chapter on the man in charge of the Super Bowl for the NFL is right on, makes me feel like I know this man personally. I highly recommend this book!

Al Mercuro
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sucks You In And Builds Anticipation, January 25, 2010
This review is from: The Billion Dollar Game: Behind the Scenes of the Greatest Day In American Sport - Super Bowl Sunday (Paperback)
The subtitle on this book states that it will take you "behind the scenes of the greatest day in American sport...Super Bowl Sunday". Well, author Allen St. John delivered superbly on that promise.

Basically, this book takes you through the lion's share of the preparation that goes into pulling off perhaps the biggest logistical nightmare in sporting history...the NFL Super Bowl. From choosing a stadium (heck, BUILDING a stadium!), coordinating the crowd, throwing the parties, and broadcasting the on-field action, among many other areas, St. John takes you along for the ride as he begins to truly understand the magnitude of the events he is witnessing.

As a lifelong football fan, I have always watched the Super Bowl, but never really researched the kind of work that goes into making it all run smoothly (or at least as close to that definition as possible). St. John actually makes it fun, too, as his interviews with the key orchestrators of the event are always revealing without being pushy or overly dramatic...he's just a guy trying to wrap his head around everything.

There are really only two complaints I have about the book: First, is the prolonged focus on the building of the new stadium in Tempe, Arizona to host the Big Game. It almost seemed as if St. John's original goal was to show the kind of economic impact a new stadium could have on a particular reason, but then decided to broaden his scope. Also, I was left a little bit wanting by the ending; more specifically the fact that so little was actually written about the actual Super Bowl in question. St. John does a remarkable job of showing his readers the build-up to the event, but fizzles a bit when actually describing the events that made it all pay off.

All in all, though, this book is a fun little read for all NFL fans (or anyone in the marketing/advertising/production fields!) that will leave you wondering how it will all come together this February.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Look at "The Big Game" - a little too much playboy party though, February 2, 2010
By 
I enjoyed this look at the Super Bowl. The author focuses on Super Bowl XLII in Phoenix. The book is not about football as much as it is about the cultural phenomenon that is the game. He looks at how stadiums are built and funded since hosting super bowls was how Phoenix justified the cost of the building. Television broadcasting is examined and the author describes in detail how the production is done and of course discusses the commercials. A good portion of the book, more than I cared for, was about the Playboy party. I would have been interested in a chapter about the party, but about 3 chapters are devoted to it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I am a sports marketing teacher and I use it in my class., September 24, 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book helps kids who love sports learn how important marketing is in real life.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative look into Americana's greatest spectacle, January 31, 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A great idea for a book, pulled off nicely by author Allen St. John. I could have used a little less on the Playboy party (which has been cancelled for the 09 game) and more on the broadcast of the game. The director and producer for Fox were fascinating characters; very interesting stuff from St. John.

A thoroughly enjoyable book. Highly recommended for all sports fans!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for football and Super bowl junkies, February 5, 2012
This review is from: The Billion Dollar Game: Behind the Scenes of the Greatest Day In American Sport - Super Bowl Sunday (Paperback)
This is a really terrific behind-the-scenes look at the biggest game in the US. The writing is vivid and engaging, providing a detailed look at every aspect of what it takes to put on the big show. St. John is a really writer, a few other reviewers site the minute details, and I think that's a real draw. From pregame shows, to the actual broadcast, to post-parties and all the way to the guy selling the "World Championship" hats within minutes of the end of the game. No stone goes unturned with St. John. Great book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Billion Dollar Game, January 30, 2009
The Billion Dollar Game has more to do with the soup-to nuts of getting the rights and putting on a show as opposed to the actual SHOW. Allen St. John explores in detail every aspect of what is required once a city gets the rights to host. Th minute details are exhausting in their volume, but so interesting in their application. The focus surrounds last year's NE-NYG game beginning with Glendale's "victory" in being named the host city. Years of planning ensue, with the building of the stadium, naming rights, planned party sites and cities including Scottsdale. What needs to be built, what structures are presently usable. The book is a blueprint of the why's and where's and how's and how much's for a one day extravaganza. You don't need to be a sports fan to understand the impact to the game, but I will say St. John helped me understand and appreciate all that ghoes in to what I watch. Bravo!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect behind-the-scenes on sports' biggest show, January 31, 2009
St. John makes the case (and who could argue?) that the Super Bowl is one of, if not the, biggest day in American culture, judged purely by how many people watch the same event at the same time. The World Series takes place over a number of games, March Madness is even more prolonged, and in any non-Obama year the game way outshines any presidential inauguration or campaign speech. So what he does, very, very well is go into the business deals, the careers, the planning that goes on off-stage. The Super Bowl turns out to be a year-round industry that's almost separate from the rest of the NFL season. Don't buy this for insights into the action on the field...that's not the subject. But for insights into how Fox producers pull off the show, how the architects design about a new stadium, how the parties and the hype come together, this is the book. And it's a good read. Strongly recommend it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Distorted View of the Road to the Super Bowl, August 10, 2009
This incorrectly-titled book is written by a sportswriter who loves to hear himself "talk" on paper, giving inconsequential details instead of getting right to the point. So what is supposed to be the story of the year leading up to the 2008 Super Bowl ends up being a long-winded project that includes the 1950s Brooklyn Dodgers, the building of the stadium in Arizona in the 1990s and behind-the-scenes business dealings that often have little interest to the average reader (much less almost nothing to do with the subject of the book).

The award-winning author takes himself very seriously as he feels the need to describe every detail, including about himself ("As I shoved my iBook and my commemorative seat cushion into my black Targus backpack, I spied the sparkly silver (security) band on the handle.") Why do we need to know he woke up at 7:57 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday? His writing style screams an attempt to justify himself as a significant writer of a "big" book, one that will reveal things never put on paper before. But even though some of it is very interesting, you will often find yourself screaming at him: "Who cares?"

St. John does a poor job attempting to pin down the value of the Super Bowl. Never is it close to a billion dollars. At best it could be $300 million but academics who have studied it put it around $100 milion. There are those that even claim it has almost no impact in these tourist cities because all the Super Bowl does is shift money from other times of the year and makes people spend it in February.

Yet the author slams scholars, claiming they are biased. So what's the deal with the title of this book? It can only come if you go back decades to include a city's willingness to build a Super Bowl-quality stadium to attempt to attract the game, then wait for years before the event is awarded. Then add things like network costs and advertising time. But it's not a billion dollar game. Namely, this writer uses subjective measures to sell his own book with a misleading title.

He hypes the Super Bowl from the beginning, which ultimately feeds his need to hype this book. He claims it's a "billion-dollar economic engine that's bigger than the GDP of many nations" and "the world's biggest single-day sporting event." He repeats two times in three pages that it's an "unofficial national holiday" and "the world's biggest party." But never does he really justify any of that hype. The truth is that if 100 million people in the U.S. watch it, that means 200 million don't watch it! Instead he chooses individual stories that he was allowed access to--and those are very subjective stories so that an entire picture is not painted but rather certain portions of the canvas are colorful while other sections are ignored.

He even writes a chapter entitled "Believe the Hype," where he gives examples of other myths that shouldn't be believed (like there are a billion people watching or toilets all flush during Super Bowl commercials) but he insists on pushing his own hype throughout the book.

Much of the first portion of the book is boring and has nothing to do with the Super Bowl, focusing on the building of the Phoenix stadium. Then he repeatedly covers the parties, mostly the Playboy party (which really has little to do with the game--he just seems to want to brag that he's there). He also skips around so much that one expects he has ADHD, piecing together in a chapter different stories that don't seem to have much to do with each other because he hasn't explained enough to connect the dots. For example, there is a short NFL reference in the stadium building, but those unfamiliar with the details from years ago will not know what this guy is talking about--I reread that paragraph three times and still am unsure what he is saying.

Things improve for the dedicated sports reader later in the book as it gets closer to the playing of the game but even then it's less about the game and more about his experiences. There's also some background information on how the TV coverage is produced. But never does one get the sense that this is an all-encompassing work--St. John writes only about those he is given access to, and instead of building a compelling narrative that is focused on the big game, he has chosen to use a creative writing styles that is more appropriate for a fluff magazine piece.

At one point he notes that Joey Fatone is asked about Britney Spears in the pre-game coverage--to which the author writes, "What does this have to do with the Super Bowl?" I would ask the author the same question about much of this book, since it seems there's a lot that has little to do with the actual game.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare glimpse into sports world's biggest game!, January 13, 2009
Okay, I normally don't pick the behind-the-scenes kind of sports books. I'm a sappy sucker for the cliche sports stories like Notre Dame football's RUDY, CINDERELLA STORY, THE NATRURAL or really anything that leaves me with the kind of goosebumps one feels after seeing ROCKY for the first time. So for me to pick this book up, buy it, read it and enjoy it, that's really saying something.

Typically, when we think SUPER BOWL, we think of the big game, commercials, betting pools, halftime show, and parties, certainly plenty to warrant the most presitigious event in sports title. However, what I mentioned is only a fraction of all that SUPER BOWL SUNDAY is all about.

If you read this book, you will watch the game in a whole new light. Visit the watercooler to play Monday morning quarterback and you will fnd yourself talking about more than just your favorite commericials and new movie trailers.

Much of the aura of the SUPER BOWL can be contributed to the hype. Well, I feel compelled to hype this book because it gives us some insight into the manufactured--and I don't mean that in a negative way--cultural elements that make American sports so unique.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Billion Dollar Game: Behind the Scenes of the Greatest Day In American Sport - Super Bowl Sunday
$15.00 $12.24
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.