Synopses & Reviews
It began, in 1979, as a mad idea of starting a cable channel to televise local sporting events throughout the state of Connecticut. Today, ESPN is arguably the most successful network in modern television history, spanning eight channels in the Unites States and around the world. But the inside story of its rise has never been fully told-until now.
Drawing upon over 500 interviews with the greatest names in ESPN's history and an All-Star collection of some of the world's finest athletes, bestselling authors James Miller and Tom Shales take us behind the cameras. Now, in their own words, the men and women who made ESPN great reveal the secrets behind its success-as well as the many scandals, rivalries, off-screen battles and triumphs that have accompanied that ascent. From the unknown producers and business visionaries to the most famous faces on television, it's all here.
Praise for THOSE GUYS HAVE ALL THE FUN
"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..."--Richard Deitsch, SportsIllustrated.com
"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."--Woody Paige, Denver Post
"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."--Rob Brunner, Entertainment Weekly
"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."--Lev Grossman, Time
"Fascinating and compulsively readable."--Tim Marchman, Wall Street Journal
"A fascinating little-engine-that-could tale of money, power and the early days of cable television."--Clint O?Connor, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"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"--Neil Justin, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"...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."--Daniel Roberts, Fortune
"This treat for sports fans has a cast of characters that is huge and varied."--Janet Maslin, New York Times
"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."--Andy Lewis, Hollywood Reporter
"A rollicking glimpse behind the guys and gals who sport around at ESPN, America's sports church. Amen."--Publishers Weekly
Presents the history of sports channel ESPN based on interviews with nearly 500 current and former employees, featuring announcers and analysts and as well as sports stars including LeBron James, Peyton Manning and Jeff Gordon. 200,000 first printing.
Presents the history of sports channel ESPN based on interviews with nearly five hundred current and former employees, featuring announcers and analysts as well as sports stars including LeBron James, Peyton Manning, and Jeff Gordon.
ESPN began as an outrageous gamble with a lineup that included Australian Rules Football, rodeo, and a rinky-dinky clip show called Sports Center. Today the empire stretches far beyond television into radio, magazines, mobile phones, restaurants, video games and more, while ESPN's personalities have become global superstars to rival the sports icons they cover.
Chris Berman, Robin Roberts, Keith Olbermann, Hannah Storm, Bill Simmons, Tony Kornheiser, Stuart Scott, Erin Andrews, Mike Ditka, Bob Knight, and scores of others speak openly about the games, shows, scandals, gambling addictions, bitter rivalries, and sudden suspensions that make up the network's soaring and stormy history. The result is a wild, smart, effervescent story of triumph, genius, ego, and the rise of an empire unlike any television had ever seen.
About the Author
Tom Shales won his Pultizer Prize for television criticism in the Washington Post
. He is the author of On the Air
and Live from New
, and has written for publications such as Esquire, Playboy, Life
, among others. He lives in McLean, Virgina.
James Andrew Miller is the author of Running in Place: Inside the Senate and Live from New York. He has also written for the New York Times, Life, and Newsweek, in addition to numerous projects for television and motion pictures. He lives in Pennsylvania.