Wednesday, November 16, 2011

'Howard Cosell: The Man, the Myth, and the Transformation of American Sports'


When ABC Sports guru Roone Arledge was suggesting Howard Cosell for "Monday Night Football," NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle replied: "Cosell? Why don't you just dig up Attila the Hun?"

Such was the reaction generated by modern broadcasting's first Category 5 hurricane: How-wuuuud Co-sellll. The way he pronounced his own name dripped with chutzpah and self-promotion. In his day, Cosell may have been the most mocked man in America.

If the very memory of his nasal delivery is a form of aural torture, this book 'Howard Cosell: The Man, the Myth, and the Transformation of American Sports'may not be for you. But if you remember Cosell as some sort of broadcasting pioneer, brave and occasionally brilliant, Mark Ribowsky's new tome is worth your time. At 512 pages, it has the heft of a presidential biography, a fact that would not be lost on one of broadcasting's early emperors.

(excerpts from a Book Review by Chris Erskine, Los Angeles Times)

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