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Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN Paperback – December 1, 2011
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"Those who work in the business of sport will devour the book...[readers are] granted the kind of behind-the-scenes access that sports media junkies are rarely given..." (SportsIllustrated.com Richard Deitsch )
"Those Guys Have All the Fun is a de rigueur read for sports fans who wonder how a fired hockey announcer used a $9,000 credit card advance to start a broadcasting empire that changed what we think about sports and how we view them." (Denver Post Woody Paige )
"Packed with entertaining stories of unpleasant people and awful behavior....[Those Guys Have All the Fun is] offers a nuanced look at ESPN, does some top-notch TV-biz reporting on the early days of the cable industry, and offers compelling behind-the-scenes stories...[It is] a serious, impressive, piece of work." (Entertainment Weekly Rob Brunner )
"A revelation: what goes onto the TV screen turns out to be just the glossy tip of an iceberg of ugly backstage drama. Miller and Shales must be extraordinarily talented interviewers, because their subjects are surprisingly uninhibited and frank and willing to dish and slag....[They are] good at zeroing in on a debacle and getting everybody involved to weigh in...by the end of the book you're amazed at the disconnect between the chaos behind the scenes and the relatively slick end product." (Time Lev Grossman )
"Fascinating and compulsively readable." (Wall Street Journal Tim Marchman )
"A fascinating little-engine-that-could tale of money, power and the early days of cable television." (Cleveland Plain Dealer Clint O?Connor )
"As highly anticipated by sports junkies as a Chicago Cubs championship, [Those Guys Have All the Fun] provides painstaking details on how a nutty idea concocted by a father-son team developed into a brand worth more than the NHL, MLB and NBA combined...Shales and Miller manage to create a page-turning document about the ultimate dysfunctional workplace" (Minneapolis Star Tribune Neil Justin )
"...Perhaps the most anticipated book in sports media history." (Newsday )
"Those Guys Have All the Fun delivers a hell of a narrative...[and] an outstanding work of journalism. Easing interviewees into such comfort that they said what they did on record is an enormous achievement for Miller and Shales." (Fortune Daniel Roberts )
"This treat for sports fans has a cast of characters that is huge and varied." (New York Times Janet Maslin )
"What a story: larger-than-life personalities, salacious gossip, backstabbing and corporate intrigue set against the backdrop of the rise of cable television as an economic and cultural force....The quotes flow seamlessly, and the voices are fresh and vibrant...The depth and breadth of the interviews make it not only the definitive account of ESPN's first three decades but one of the best books yet on how cable shaped American culture." (Hollywood Reporter Andy Lewis )
"A rollicking glimpse behind the guys and gals who sport around at ESPN, America's sports church. Amen." (Publishers Weekly ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Tom Shales is America's foremost television critic, having won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1989. His books include On the Air!, Legends and, as coauthor, Live from New York. For twenty-five years, he was film critic for National Public Radio.
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Top Customer Reviews
1) Original founders Bill and Scott Rasmussen's decision to buy a transpounder on RCA SATCOM I in 1978.
2) Getty Oil's investment of $15 million in May of 1979.
3) Creating a dual revenue stream in March 1983.
4) Coverage of the America's Cup Challenge in 1987.
5) Getting TV rights to NFL games in 1987.
6) The $400 million, 4-year MLB deal in 1989.
7) The mid-90s generated "THIS IS SPORTSCENTER" advertizing campaign.
8) The acquisition of a full season of NFL games in 1998.
9) The documentary series SPORTSCENTURY.
The main players behind the scenes receive as much attention as the talent on screen. The Rasmussens have the idea, and negotiate an incredibly unlikely start, but are almost immediately kicked out the door by Stu Evey, the moneyman from Getty, and Chet Simmons, the legendary NBC producer. By the mid-1980s, Evey and Simmons were replaced by Bill Grimes and Steve Bornstein. By the 2000s, the respected and congenial George Bodenheimer was teamed with talented, but utterly brash Mark Shapiro. What didn't change, however, was Bristol, the little Connecticut village that is as much a character as any.Read more ›
To make a long story short it is more of a historical time line of the network rather than an inside peak at the personalities. I'm a huge sports fan so that was what kept me reading. Nothing really "bombshellish" was dropped except for the fact that in the early days Mike Tirico was a pervert and by today's sexual harassment standards he'd be in the unemployment line for life. That was the only revelation that really surprised me. Aside from that, the same arrogance and over inflated egos that are on display regularly on ESPN continually resonate throughout the book.
At the end of the day I let a good marketing and PR campaign bamboozle me into buying this paper weight. You can't really say it's well written because there is no writing. The "authors" (and I use that term loosely) just took quotes from various people about time line based happenings at ESPN, slapped a collage on it and called it a book. Not that I am a stickler for this sort of thing but I found a TON of grammatical errors that I would assume would have been found prior to print seeing as how the authors did nothing more than collect quotes and interject a few lines of back story on every other page.
The only reason it gets a 2 star versus a one star is because it was sports related.Read more ›
People who come off well in the book: All of the female ESPN personalities (especially Hannah Storm, Robin Roberts and Michelle Beadle), John Saunders, George Bodenheimer (current CEO - although Steve Jobs would disagree if you read the book) and beleive it or not, Jim Rome.
People who come off not so well: Keith Olbermann (but although everybody lambasts him, almost all throw in the word "genius" at some point), Chris Berman (a happy guy on camera, but it sounds like a terror off it), Mark Shapiro (former Boy Wonder higher up - pompous beyond belief) and Bill Simmons.
It's a decent book that probably should have been at least 25% shorter and still been good.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a lot like SportsCenter - a few good highlights and updates but too much pointless commentary and commercials. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Michael Stubben
Funny and informative, interesting stories about the history and behind the scenes happenings from ESPN's glory days.Published 18 days ago by Tom
The world of broadcast sports changed utterly on September 7, 1979, when a rough beast slouched towards Bristol, Connecticut to be born. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bill Slocum
I absolutely LOVE this book. Very informative while also being humorous as personal accounts and stories create chapter after chapter of ESPN History.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Pretty good read. I don't particularly care for the format of just interviews....Published 4 months ago by lexy43