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Why My Wife Thinks I'm an Idiot: The Life and Times of a Sportscaster Dad Paperback – May 15, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
SportsCenter and ESPN Radio mainstay Greenberg wanted to be a journalist, but changed his mind when he was asked, while working at a smalltown newspaper, to interview the mother of a high school valedictorian who had just tragically died. Greenberg moved on to covering sports and never looked back, believing there's nothing better than "investing everything into something that means absolutely nothing." Indeed, his book resembles Seinfeld, with its lightly humorous yet serious renditions of everyday minutiae. Divided into transcripts from some of Greenberg's radio monologues and journal entries about his family life, the book is another entry in the Men Are from Mars... school of sociological observation. Greenberg's viewpoint on the opposite sex essentially involves his subtitle: describing the things he does that make his wife treat him like an idiot. There's plenty of good material in this alone, as well as in some sidesplitting, borscht belt–style material about his gambling-addicted aunt Ada. Unfortunately, the slightly pompous but desperately charming Greenberg also feels the need to fill readers in on such matters as why he doesn't like going to the supermarket and what designer labels he's wearing.
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.
Greenberg is half of the Mike and Mike in the Morning sports-chat radio show on ESPN radio and is also an occasional anchor and reporter on the same network's SportsCenter TV program. On the air, he is funny, literate, and obviously well read far beyond the narrow borders of sports. Here, examining his public life in the context of his roles as father and husband, he exhibits the same sensibilities that make him an engaging on-air presence. He tackles the inherent absurdity of his job--chatting about sports in a complex, ever-more-troubling world--but also about the perks of his quasi fame and the joy he extracts from his work. It's nice to read about a lucky sports guy who knows he is lucky and unabashedly celebrates it. He also takes many of the things he has observed in a life dominated by sports and explains how he is applying them to the raising of his daughter. There are anecdotes galore that will keep fans reading and laughing. Expect fairly strong demand for this one, especially where Greenberg's morning radio show is available. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The book consists of journal entries he wrote while struggling through some difficult times in his life, mostly revolving around his wife and children. He is very open about his personal life and his feelings about the people that populate it. I found myself often thinking, "He's going to get in trouble when his wife/aunt/neighbor reads this." And I can't help wondering if he did!
This book, I think, is more geared toward parents-to-be and married couples than to hard-core sports fans. There is some discussion of sports, but it is more in the sense of how it affects his personal life. Still, the book is entertaining, Greenberg writes well, and I had a hard time putting it down.
This is a good read for "Mike and Mike" fans, but be prepared to learn a lot more about Greeny's wife and kids than about his radio show and Golic.
Whomever came up with the notion that publishing a bunch of journal postings was a good idea should be fired on the spot. Everything was loosely tied together and most were just ramblings of a man trying to come to grips with his priviledged life. The readers should feel sorry for you because your nanny/maid took the same week off as your wife??!! Suck it up and change a freakin' diaper!
This book is not for fans of the Mike & Mike show, it will ruin the broadcast. Leave the book on the shelf and DO NOT BUY IT FOR THE SPORTS DAD ON FATHER'S DAY. While they can get through it quickly enough, they'll be worse off having read it.
Greenberg obviously plays up the apparently oxymoronic "metrosexual sportscaster" angle, setting a defensive tone early regarding his abilities to discuss sports despite having fabulous taste in clothing, travel, and fine dining. Fine, this is a play on his on-air persona, no problem.
But when he tries to become "everyman," Greenberg demonstrates that he is as out of touch with the common populace as the athletes he covers are (or as Paris Hilton is, hence the title of this review). This is also why his Seinfeldian approach fails: Seinfeld found the common irritants we all face, whereas Greenberg complains that his wife left him alone for a week to raise his children...with their nanny. Excuse me? Are we supposed to chuckle knowingly that he now has to parent two small children with professional assistance? Sorry Greenberg, most of us would actually be single parents in that situation, not pretending. Similarly, he tells a "funny story" about his son's first word being a curse, but it is set up by sharing that this happened in Aspen, in a chalet with cathedral ceilings and chandeliers ("How do they change the lightbulbs in those things" he wonders increduously, as we all do when vacationing in Aspen in gorgeous chalets). Oh, and what used to be six people is now "three couples, three nannies, and seven children." This kind of unnecessary, extraneous detail--which is prevalent throughout the book--reinforces how different he is from me, how unrelatable his experiences are to mine, and breaks any sense of community that good writers are able to develop. For example, he also repeatedly discusses his neighbors--billionaires who throw lavish parties, give him cases of his favorite Vodka, and fly him to Florida in a private jet. Greenberg shares that, if given the option, there is no better way to fly than on a private jet. Thanks for the tip, Greeny, I'll get right on that.
Coupled with his repeated references to $100 ties, Prada backpacks, and expensive clothing, Greenberg comes off as an arrogant, superficial, spoiled little rich brat. His obvious lack of appreciation for what he has, coupled with his assumption that he has anything of relevance to teach a larger audience about parenting ("You cannot get snot off a cashmere sweater" as but one example), makes me view him as completely undeserving of his success and not wanting to contribute to it in anyway. You think your life is hard because your daughter threw up on the tile floor in your spacious kitchen? Try wondering whether you'll have money to pay your bills next month. THAT'S stress.
The title of his book references his belief that ALL women think their husbands are idiots; it's his grand insight into relationships that I guess is supposed to convince us he is thoughtful and has some depth of character. Sorry Greenberg, most women I know--including my wife--have respect for their husbands. Your wife thinks you're an idiot because you are one.
Just like Paris Hilton.
The book is supposedly written as a journal suggested by his therapist. It sounds like a fake gimmick and although he writes well it comes across like the poor man's Seinfeld commenting on meaningless life events. Many of the stories seem either made up or exaggerated to the point that after the first few pages you won't know whether to believe anything he writes.
He proclaims himself a metrosexual and seems to love to talk about clothes (even though he wears a mismatched tie on the cover of the book!) almost as much as he likes to tell the reader how great he is. He rambles on about meeting famous athletes without really giving enough details to make the book interesting for guys wanting to read about sports.
There is way, way too much about his wife getting pregnant and too much bathroom "humor" (changing diapers is a fact of life--get over it!). He creates a caricaturization of his wife that makes her sound like an intelligent shrew. The more he complains about her, the better she sounds and the worse he looks. In the end he paints himself as being very similar to the Ray Romano character on Everybody Loves Raymond--a sports journalist who is pained by having to put up with his wife, parents and kids. Only here it's not that funny.
The fact that he is the son of a successful New York lawyer makes sense because his ego is huge, his lifestyle is a bit elitist and he pushes his opinions on the reader as if they were facts. It's not an entertaining read unless you enjoy self-absorbed jerks that mix sports fanaticism with fashion and fatherhood.