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Over the past 36 months, as he immersed himself in the nation-state otherwise known as ESPN, James Andrew Miller became admittedly obsessed with his subject. Charged with writing a book on one of the great media success stories of all time, Miller found himself struggling to condense a tale of empire building, fierce rivalries, sex and drugs, and self-reverence.
He had enough information for multiple books after interviews with more than subjects. The hardest part, he knew, was letting some of it go. Inside the World of ESPNclocked in at a robust pages, an oral history of how the network morphed from a muddy landfill in Bristol, Conn. It is a long book which hits stores Tuesday and will debut in the top 10 among Amazon. What has drawn headlines -- and understandably so -- are the rivalries produced from working within the world's best-known sports broadcast entity.
The barbs also come from those guys have all the fun ESPN, no doubt fueled by ego, jealously and a desire to be included in the narrative. Nobody can touch them. So that means that Yet somehow, ESPN has convinced cable operators that the people will rise up with torches and pitchforks and storm the castle if they ever take it off the air God bless them. The authors -- Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Tom Shales helped conceive the book but Miller did nearly all of the reporting -- interviewed hundreds of ESPN staffers, including pioneering on-air anchors such as Karie Ross who bravely stood up against sexual harassment in the workplacepast on-air talent Keith Olbermann and present alpha dogs Bill Simmons and Tony Kornheiser.
In one riveting section, Kornheiser accuses colleague Mike Tirico of those guys have all the fun his on-air performance by not engaging him while both were in the booth for Monday Night Football. Kornheiser was ultimately replaced by Jon Gruden in After many conversations, I came to believe that he had little respect for sportswriters and remembers all the sportswriters who wrote bad s about him. He loves it when sportswriters get something wrong.
And I felt he put me in that group, because I'm part of them. It wasn't that I was right and he was wrong. We just couldn't agree. I said, 'He's killing me, and it keeps happening. He was doing it deliberately; anybody with eyes could see it. He just wouldn't engage me. And that's the thing that we have never understood.
Mike Tirico could leave tomorrow and we could replace him with Mike Greenberg or one of 40 other guys, and the rating would not budge. Nobody watches for Mike Tirico. No one. And then you have Jaws [Ron Jaworski] and Gruden. Great throw. What a play. It's a great call. Good timeout. On Friday, SI. The release of the excerpts prompted at least one current staffer to choose a stunning venue for commentary. SportsNation co-host Michelle Beadle did not hide her feelings for Erin Andrews in an interview last week with Deadspin.
Asked how the company felt about Beadle's comments on a website that Miller compared to "crack cocaine" for many ESPN staffers, Soltys said, "She would also fall under the same comment. Those who work in the business of sport will devour the book.
The casual sports fan is likely to find certain parts tedious. The biggest criticism is the sheer size of the narrative. Miller gives certain subjects Kornheiser, for starters far too many pages to whine and dedicates six pages to the horribly conceived Bonds on Bonds show those guys have all the fun two would suffice. While it's great that Lee Corso picked 12 straight winners those guys have all the funhis assessment of it doesn't add much to the oral history of a company.
In a podcast with SI. That will likely be the case here, too. The book would be sharper if excised by pages or so. But these are small quibbles, because the reader is ultimately granted the kind of behind-the-scenes access that sports media junkies are rarely given.
The tense confrontation ended with Knight, who had just been fired by Indiana, insulting Schaap and walking out on camera. I had Digger [Phelps] tell Schaap that there was a question that I'd like for him to ask, and he refused to ask it. He told Digger, 'I can't do those guys have all the fun.
I can't ask something that he wants asked. I thought the guy was a chicken little coc Forget that guy. I have no interest in talking about that. Jesus Christ, enough of this bull In what my colleague Jack McCallum called "an astonishingly self-defining moment," veteran anchor Chris Berman, the standard-bearer of cacophony and all things pro football at ESPN, offered this remarkable take about his network's canceling the controversial drama, Playmakersat the behest of the NFL.
I don't go on the Internet. So I never watched Playmakersbut I knew if the league was pissed, I those guys have all the fun should be pissed. The long-term reverberations of the book are unlikely to be profound. The news cycle will play up the titillating aspects, the author will go on a long book tour and ESPN will continue to broadcast SportsCenter and gobble up sports rights.
Interestingly, the company's current top two executives -- president George Bodenheimer and John Skipper, the executive vice president of content -- come off as the photek modus operandi yahoo ego-filled of all the top decision-makers interviewed.
Both are smart and well-liked among the troops. What should be fascinating, at least, is how the entity covers the book itself. Miller is scheduled to appear on the not-so-hard-hitting Mike and Mike in the Morning radio program on Tuesday morning and the Scott Van Pelt Show later that afternoon. Miller said he has already heard from more than a dozen ESPN staffers, and most of those calls were favorable and complimentary.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other: Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Those Guys Have All the Fun: Tom Shales. It began, inas 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 those guys have all the fun It began, inas a mad idea of starting those guys have all the fun cable channel to televise local sporting events throughout the state of Connecticut. Drawing upon over interviews with the greatest names in ESPN's history and an All-Star collection of some of those guys have all the fun 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.
Get A Copy. Hardcoverpages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Sep 26, Katie B rated it liked it Shelves: I loved the author's previous book about SNL so much I've read it twice. While this book is certainly a comprehensive look at ESPN throughout the years, it's not always the most fun read. There were sections of the book that were boring, particularly when the focus was on the financial side of the network.
There were definitely stories of behind the scenes drama, but to be honest I was hoping there would have been more. Maybe since so many bengali movie video song 3gp the people interviewed still work for the network, th I loved the author's previous book about SNL so much I've read it twice.
Maybe since so many of the people interviewed still work for the network, they weren't as eager to share or something. Overall, some parts were interesting and others rather dull.
I'm still glad I read it though but I would recommend this as more of a library read than a purchase. View all 3 comments. Jun 06, Justin rated it liked it. This was essentially two books in one, and was wildly uneven. The first hundred pages or so were the grindingly slow recap of the origins of ESPN, and the detailed description of chasing down financing and pricing out satellite transponders was less than riveting. Having said that, I am now well prepared to start a fledgling cable company, and am currently finalizing a bid to purchase the rights to broadcast old episodes of Entertainment Tonight.
I am not one to flip ahead in a book that I'm r This was essentially two books in one, and was wildly uneven. I am not one to flip ahead in a book that I'm reading, but even I couldn't help nosing ahead for a few pages as my eyelids got heavier. This section should have been pared down a lot - this section gets 2 stars, and that's being charitable. Fortunately, my patience was rewarded, as the narrative turned to the personalities behind the network. Keith Olbermann is a sociopath! Bob Ley is a blowhard!
Mike Tirico is such a gentleman that he'll follow you home even after you tell him to stay the hell away from you! Michelle Beadle hates Erin Andrews! Chris Berman can't string two words together without one of them being "fuck"! Bill Simmons is surprisingly candid and insightful!
Nobody, and I mean nobody comes off well from this book, and the strength of this section is not only how Shales and Miller were able to somehow get these personalities to admit so much on the record, but to contextualize the quotes in such a way that they paint a much broader picture. This section gets 4 major season 6 anime dub, and that's being conservative.
Shales and Miller wrote one of the best oral histories I've ever read in Live From Saturday Night, and the big difference here is that book is much more personality driven, which appears to play to their strength; by choosing to spend so much time on the relatively dry total annihilation for windows 7 material, this book fell a bit short of that high standard.
View 1 comment. Those guys have all the fun might be five stars, except that authors make fun of the Irish sport of hurling at one point.
Fuck you. Those guys have all the fun 19, Michelle rated it liked it Shelves: A fascinating sometimes more than others look at the lifespan of EPSN.
This works for the most part because you get a sense of the various personalities. The thing that struck me the most, at least at first when my husband asked why the hell I was readi 3. The thing that struck me the most, at least at first when my husband asked why the hell I was reading a page book about ESPN, is this is in a way a business primer, or the story those guys have all the fun any given startup.
Do not! There is a zero tolerance policy for Hilter jokes! There really is nothing like that atmosphere, in good ways and in bad. Now this is a long freaking book so naturally it those guys have all the fun off on subjects I don't really care about, both in terms of sports and people. Ditto for Nascar and soccer. There are some hilarious parts. He was trying to promote it in the least promotable way because he was pissed about something, per usual. A smart and hilarious douche, but a douche nonetheless, which is different from a dick, a la Tony Kornheiser.
The popularizing of poker was an interesting little twist, even if they were helped by the meteoric rise of Chris Moneymaker. Wow, I hate myself those guys have all the fun those words. Television poker makes me nauseous. Thanks a lot ESPN. Basically, this tome is a great combo of business and sports. The early years would make a fantastic television or miniseries think Mad Men plus twenty years and add in Keith Olbermann in a leather jacket and cheesy mustache!
They really are brilliant. All in, a highly enjoyable read. View 2 comments. Jul 09, Kirsti rated it really liked it Shelves: The most interesting stat in this book: You just won't get it. What would they do? That was amazing. This is an extremely entertaining and well-sourced book, although I wish the structure was clearer. The "Those Guys Have All the Fun" title sounds less fun when you read the authors' coverage of the many sexual harrassment suits filed against the company.
Jul 03, Amber rated it liked it. This is an interesting, but flawed, book about the history of ESPN, full of lively stories and good analysis of the network's rise to prominence, but ultimately rather soft. It's an oral history, which I didn't realize going in and found off-putting to those guys have all the fun at first. Ultimately it's an effective story-telling mechanism, but it really limits the extent of distant analysis of what happened, and especially criticism of the parties involved.
Nonetheless, you do get a good feeling for a few of the mai This is an interesting, but flawed, book about the history of ESPN, full of lively stories and good analysis of the network's rise to prominence, but ultimately rather soft.
Nonetheless, you do get a good feeling for a few of the mainstays: Just clear from the way he treats people, and the way he talks about the WNBA. And as far as how the network operates, it seems like a real meat-grinder, actually.