That New ESPN Book ("Those Guys Have All the Fun")

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by TMC1982, May 28, 2011.

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  1. TMC1982

    TMC1982 Registered User

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    The book does go through the ugly divorce between ESPN and the NHL following the 2003-04 season (pages 535-542). There are quotes from Gary Bettman (who pretty much lays it out how ESPN pretty much screwed the league over towards the end), ESPN announcers like Bill Clement, Steve Levy and Barry Melrose (even Linda Cohn, who wasn't even involved in ESPN's NHL coverage), and Fred Gaudelli, who is now the producer for NBC's Sunday Night Football broadcasts. Gaudelli is especially hard on ESPN during the Mark Shapiro era, who according to him, brought a level of arrogance to the table. I would've liked for the book to also go into Disney's hardnosed tactics in obtaining the TV rights from Fox (thus, making ABC the new over-the-air American network partner) in 1999.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  2. jumptheshark

    jumptheshark Rebooting myself Sponsor

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    I have read the book and ESPN comes out looking bad on so many levels on so many things

    there is a graphic descroption of one one air female reporter and her sexual exploits at the channel iand n the a few of the club house and the book also delves into some pretty wild parties they threw
     
  3. LetsGoIslanders

    LetsGoIslanders Registered User

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    I have a friend and a relative who worked for ESPN out of college and they both absolutely hated it. Unless you were on-air talent, you got treated like ****. Very long days, small paychecks, and horrible treatment from management was the norm. I guess ESPN can kind of afford to treat their staff that way. I mean, I'm sure as long as there are people who love sports, there will be people who want to work at "The Worldwide Leader."
     
  4. TMC1982

    TMC1982 Registered User

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    The most depressing account that I've read so far is the destruction of ABC Sports by Disney (e.g. Michael Eisner and Bob Iger) and ESPN. Basically, when Disney came into the picture, they for the longest time wanted to great rid of the ABC Sports brand but couldn't do so immediately due to union issues. Worst of all, anybody who had worked at ABC Sports, had to move to Bristol if they wanted to remain employed. Even so, the ABC people had their roles greatly diminished. The feeling was that ESPN always felt like the ugly stepsister to the ABC Sports. Thus, when it came time in which ESPN and its "bureaucracy" (when compared to the more low key and efficient ABC Sports crew) was in a position of greater power, they didn't waste any time to jump all over it.

    There's also a lengthy account about how ESPN and Disney pretty much "cut off their noses despite their faces" in regards to the NFL TV rights (which took Monday Night Football off of ABC in favor of ESPN). To make a long story short, ESPN paid $1 billion for MNF (after Bob Iger offered $1 billion for the Sunday rights and $500 million for the Monday rights) even though they had no flex scheduling, playoffs, and no guarantee that the defending Super Bowl champion (one of the reasons why Al Michaels decided to leave for NBC, besides the fact that the producer and director whom he had been working with on MNF up to that point, weren't going to be retained due to not being truly "ESPN guys") would be on the schedule. Michael Eisner (who at the time, had been ruining Disney into the ground to the point in which Walt Disney's nephew, Roy started a campaign to get rid of Eisner) firmly felt that he didn't want ABC to have the NFL anymore since they were losing $150 million and they were well off already with shows like Desperate Housewives, Dancing with the Stars, and Grey's Anatomy (ironically, shows that appeal more towards women).
     
  5. TMC1982

    TMC1982 Registered User

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    Michael Eisner Tries to Improve the NHL, An Excerpt From “Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPNâ€

     
  6. jumptheshark

    jumptheshark Rebooting myself Sponsor

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    Reading the behind the scense stuff causes you to ask how they managed to get some shows on the air
     
  7. KeithBWhittington

    KeithBWhittington Going North

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    I believe there is a snippet in there too about how Michelle Beadle watched the Erin Andrews peephole tape....


    Might have to get the book just for that.
     
  8. Confucius

    Confucius Registered User

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    Now I may have to get the book.:help:
     
  9. TMC1982

    TMC1982 Registered User

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    One thing that really disgusts and admonishes me is the apparent stories in regards to Mike Tirico. Mike Tirico is depicted as a pervert/sexual harasser (boarderline predator) not only here, but also in a previous book about ESPN (by Michael Freeman) called The Uncensored History. Sure, Tirico got suspended for three months, yet instead of being outright fired for is behavior, he today is doing play-by-play for Monday Night Football, the NBA Finals on ESPN Radio, is ESPN's lead golf announcer, hosts the World Cup for them, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  10. LetsGoIslanders

    LetsGoIslanders Registered User

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    Bought the book on Monday, read it over a several subway rides, and a round trip with a connection to Dallas over the weekend. Interesting, but I wouldn't buy it if I had to do it again. It's simply quotes from ESPN personalities and executives about their role in "the dynasty." It's name-calling, blame-placing, and excuse-giving. There is absolutely zero interrogation, which makes this book absolutely worthless. The saucy details are glossed over in quotes.

    Someone needed to challenge a guy like Keith Olbermann over his terrible personality off the camera. He needed to be asked if he has been diagnosed with a pyschiatric issue. Someone needed to tell Stuart Scott that he was known as "Urkel" around his UNC dorms and now he's trying to thug.

    The book had so much potential, and could've spanned two or three editions, if someone had sat down and challenged these guys to what they were actually giving the interviewer.
     
  11. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    That's a fascinating excerpt. You have to wonder how much of Eisner's concern was legitimate, considering the nose dive that the league took during that period. Meanwhile, the most TV-friendly player in the league (Mario) was demonized for speaking out against the direction it had taken. Have to wonder where we would be today if not for the "clean break" caused by the lockout.

    Players taking off their helmets on the bench is an interesting idea... I'd like that from a viewership standpoint, but how would you make the players do it? "2 minutes for keeping your helmet on"?
     
  12. TMC1982

    TMC1982 Registered User

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    I'm of the opinion that the NHL's nosedive during the late '90s-early 2000s (and that's a topic worth discussing itself) were because the NHL instead of staying with Fox (who despite crackpot ideas like the glowing puck) actually wanted to promote the league (unlike when ABC took over, who was simply selling time to ESPN and should a very, very small amount of regular season games) and build upon it. Fox apparently, was willing to do what had never, ever been done before by an American TV network at that point, and that's broadcast the Stanley Cup Finals from start to finish. Also, wasn't this around the same time that the New Jersey Devils was dominating with their boring, "trap zone" style of hockey?

    The NHL also blew a golden opportunity (just like when they dropped the ball by signing that contract with SportsChannel America around the same time that Wayne Gretkzy got traded to the Kings) when they had a lockout in 1994-95. This came right after the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 54 years, Major League Baseball was on strike, the NBA was going through some uncertainty because Michael Jordan retired for the first time, and the NHL just signed that huge TV deal with Fox.

    I'm not the biggest Michael Eisner fan in the world, but I will agree from the extent of the NHL being considerably narrow-minded when it came to handling television for casual-viewers. I don't think that having the players remove their helmets would matter much because we still wouldn't really know anything about them outside of what goes on ice.
     

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