ESPN25: 25 mind-bending, eye-popping, culture-morphing years of highlights
Hyperion, Sep 7, 2004 - Performing Arts - 141 pages
hen ESPN went on the air in September 1979, the company believed that there was room on television for dedicated sports programming. At the time, sports programming was considered a risk, and ESPN a maverick. Twenty-five years later, ESPN is the leader in sports, influencing the way we think about sports, the way the media covers sports, and how we perceive athletes. ESPN has grown from one cable station into a sports empire. ESPN25, the book, celebrates the people behind ESPN, the sports they cover, the athletes that play their hearts out, and, of course, the fans who care. The book includes the Best and Worst of Everything in Sports Over the Past 25 Years, an illustrated foldout of the Top 35 Athletes of the Past 25 years, the funniest sports quotes of the past 25 years, the DVD, an intro by Berman, Chuck's essay on the Highlights Culture and how it has changed the world of sports over the past 25 years. Bound into the book is a free DVD containing the ever popular, and now classic, ESPN SportsCenter commercials. Beginning in May '04 and running through September '04, ESPN will feature special 25th Anniversary programming, including television and radio specials, magazine features, and website contests. Perfect for both the serious and casual sports fan, ESPN25 relives some of the greatest moments in sports on each and every page.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
A cluttered, goofy brain twinkie of a book. ESPN25 is crammed with fairly good good writing, odd sidebars, charts and lists. It's kind of like a hardbound version of Spy Magazine for sports fans. The book includes a DVD of over 30 classic ESPN ads. Well worth a look.
ESPN 25: 25 Mind-Bending, Eye-Popping, Culture Morphing Years of HighlightsUser Review - Book Verdict
This engaging history of the cable show SportsCenter makes the case that the sports highlight tape is the central artistic-discursive genre of our time. Sportswriter Hirshberg traces the development of the sports highlights tape from its origins in Classical Greek vase painting. In the hothouse climate of a fledgling sports cable network desperate to fill airtime, the highlights tape branched out from the staid, chronological "Who Won?" format and flourished into art. Hirshberg narrates the human drama and pathos surrounding the compiling and editing of the tapes, analyzes their 17 archetypal themes, including "Blowout" and "Turning Point," and ponders their social impact as they reconfigure sporting events into flurries of disconnected, telegenic bursts. Highlights tapes can have an edifying effect, he acknowledges, by, say, admonishing lackadaisical players and revealing the unexpected importance of cleats, but they also distort and debase sports by encouraging players to embrace highlights-worthy individual showmanship instead of selfless teamwork. And what of the pain of athletes who see their most embarrassing mistakes immortalized in flub and goat highlight tapes? Hirshberg's treatment of the subject, sprinkled with trivia sidebars on such topics as great team mascots and historic national anthem renditions, is erudite and thoughtful, but always light-handed. If the goal of sports commentary is to raise the relatively inconsequential to the level of entertaining pseudo-significance, this book qualifies as a small gem. Photos.