Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN, James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales

those guys have all the fun

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One Response to “Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN, James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales”

  1. Kyle H. Says:

    Summary:
    ESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun is a look inside the world of ESPN told exclusively through interviews with on air personalities and network executives. The book begins with the crazy idea of creating a cable channel focusing solely on sporting events in Connecticut. This idea expands quickly and turns into the concept of providing nationwide sports coverage 24/7. The authors use about 500 interviews combined together to share stories of the creation and successes of ESPN, as well as, scandals, rivalries, and off-scene struggles and triumphs. The book starts off slowly introducing the details involved in initiating a cable channel. It talks about the lean years when the station utilized low grade technology and it explains how the station was rescued from failure with a large monetary endorsement from Anheuser-Busch. The book also details how some of the on air personalities got their positions. The greatest and most recognizable names in ESPN’s history are included in this narrative; names such as Keith Olbermann who by all accounts seems to be an industry genius who is very hard to work with, Roy Firestone, Chris Meyers, Dick Vitale, Chris Berman, Bob Ley, Robin Roberts, and Brent Musburger. The personalities that one would expect to come off badly definitely do and the most interesting parts of the book are those that talk about difficult people such as Olbermann, Simmons, and Kornheiser.

    Evaluation:
    I am not a fan of the format of the book. I think jumping from interview to interview makes the story lines hard to follow. I did find it interesting to read the interview excerpts and put character traits with the names and faces that we see on television. I am curious to know how the authors got these educated, professional people to speak so candidly about themselves and those around them. I found this oral history to be mildly entertaining and somewhat informative as it makes clear that there is a lot more under the surface than what we watch on TV.

    Rating: 3 stars

    Recommendations:
    The Boys In the Boat, Sports Talk: A Journey Inside the World of Sports Talk Radio, I’m Almost Out of Cha: Woody Paige’s Chalkboard Tales

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