By Darril Fosty,
BOXSCORE: Book Review (October 13, 2021) Veteran National Football League writer and reporter Rich Podolsky has been a staff writer for The Philadelphia Daily News, The Palm Beach Post, The Wilmington News-Journal, TV Guide, and ESPN but it is his time with CBS Sports’ NFL Today that is the subject of his latest book, “You Are Looking LIVE! How THE NFL TODAY Revolutionized Sports Broadcasting.”
The book takes the reader from the origins of the show in the early 1960s to when it fully hit its stride in the 1970s, in what Jim Nantz, who writes in the foreward, states Brent Musburger, Irv Cross, Phyllis George, and Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder made up “the perfect cast with an ideal blend of information and entertainment.”
It’s a tremendous read folks. If you love Sports Television and it’s RICH History. My friends book is an absolute MUST READ? https://t.co/hF8lPFXfOL
— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) September 30, 2021
It is officially released to the public this Friday, October 15th and I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of what is a flowing, fun, and easy read I enjoyed from cover-to-cover.
Podolsky discusses the backroom discussions and decisions to hire an unknown in Musburger, the first African-American to be employed full-time as a sports analyst on national television, Irv Cross, the edgy Jimmy “The Greek” who had first made his name laying $50,000 on Truman to defeat Dewey with various New York bookies at 17-1 to 21-1 odds, and the first woman considered to be the first success in sports broadcasting, Phyllis George.
The book takes the reader through the ups-and-downs of the show with contextual reminders of “Time and Place” of events of the day.
Podolsky dives into onset competition between the cast discussing such news-making and controversial headlines ranging from Phyllis George’s widely reported stunningly short two-month marriage in order to marry the next governor of Kentucky, the “The Greeks” racially charged remarks that African Americans were naturally superior athletes at least in part because they had been bred to produce stronger offspring during slavery and later, the firing of Musburger in 1990 as a cost-cutting move and the transition to Nantz, Greg Gumble, and Terry Bradshaw.
In the end, You Are Looking LIVE! is a tribute to a piece of television history that became the blueprint for broadcast sports journalism as Podolsky states, “In the first year, the show became so popular that people rearranged their church-going schedules to be home.” Overall, a recommended read to those who want to relive and learn about a piece of American broadcast history that became a fall and winter Sunday backdrop to millions and generations throughout the United States.
Available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon
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