- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Sleeping Bear Pr (September 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1886947228
- ISBN-13: 978-1886947221
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,251,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Good Bounces & Bad Lies: The Autobiography of Ben Wright Hardcover – September 1, 1999
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You've got to give this to former CBS golf analyst Ben Wright: he can sure tell a story, and the further he shoves his soft-spiked foot into his mouth, the better the stories. His anecdotal autobiography flits back and forth between idolatry and wickedness, and at times his pen has no governor at all. Case in point: Wright idolized Ben Hogan. He even went AWOL from the British army in 1953 "shamelessly, though without a trace of guilt," he admits, because it was the only way he could get off base to see Hogan win the Open at Carnoustie. (It's hard to quarrel with that.) After teeing up several tales that firmly ensconce Hogan on his pedestal, Wright finally veers off this way: "These stories illustrate the kind of perfection, dedication and respect with which Gary McCord"--Wright's fellow CBS analyst, and a pretty funny guy in his own right--"was wholly unfamiliar." Fore! Wright then proceeds to launch into a tale of introducing McCord to Hogan, Hogan humiliating McCord when he finds out McCord's been on tour for 17 years and has no victories, and Wright, who clearly detests McCord, getting to gloat, "I told you so."
Wright likes to gloat; he does a lot of it in Good Bounces, and he's awfully entertaining--if somewhat small--when he does. He's also entertaining on the intricacies and personalities of CBS's golf broadcasts, and what an analyst must go through when he criticizes a player. When Wright kept chastising Peter Jacobsen's atrocious putting, Jacobsen claimed he'd exorcised those woes by mentally imaging Wright being hoisted from the TV tower by a helicopter and flown into outer space. Which is about where Wright ultimately wound up when he hooked his career into the drink with some out-of-bounds comments about women golfers, breasts, and lesbianism in 1995. He still offers a bagful of excuses for the incident that badly tarnished him, but he does treat it with appropriate seriousness and contrition. He makes no excuses, though, for the alcoholism that actually sunk him. Given the public nature of his disgrace, Good Bounces is something of a mulligan for Wright. As both raconteur and provocateur, he's made a pretty good shot of it. --Jeff Silverman
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Most people who read this book are looking for Wright's version of the infamous Joanne Carner/ Valerie Helmbreck story, but the aftermath was somewhat anticlimatic.
Then there are Wright's vicious attacks on Gary McCord, while all the time claiming to be his friend. I guess fate evened this out, as McCord is still broadcasting and entertaining, while Wright labors in obscurity; accent and all.
A must read for (at least) the golf nut,
The often-baldy tales of Ben and his CBS partners will make you laugh and cringe at times....mostly laugh. He paints himself as a heavy drinker, comedian, golf historian, a pretty good player and an interesting man to be around.....unless he's drunk. I have no doubt all of that isn't true.
While you'll get a lot of laughs, you'll also be a little shocked at some things, and very annoyed at a few people who ruined his broadcasting career. In all, there are tons of golf stories and overall, the book is a fun read and hard to put down.