Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Review: From Peanuts to the Pressbox by Eli Gold

Eli Gold, a veteran of some 30+ years at sports broadcasting, has written a wonderful book on his life from literally selling peanuts at Madison Square Garden (not for the financial benefits of sales, but just to get into the games) to being the voice of the Crimson Tide and NASCAR Today. Titled, From Peanuts to the Pressbox, Gold describes a world of journalism that spans from the hard-wired mic days and no cell phones to the digital-remote days of today.

His book is filled with detailed, often humourous, stories of some of the more colorful sports personalities with whom he's crossed paths. One exciting story describes the dangers of reporting the Pocono Winston Cup of 1982.

But more importantly, his book is filled with how to take the "fire in the belly" need to broadcast sports and become tops in the field of radio and television broadcasting. From Eli Gold's experiences retold in this volume, the road isn't easy but the journey is worth the sweat, tears and hardships of flea-ridden motels, non-airconditioned buses and too-much time away from home.

This book is perfect for sports fans (especially NASCAR, arena football, hockey and college football and basketball), sports historians, broadcast/print journalism enthusiasts and those just interested in reading about one man's journey from being a Brooklyn high school peanut-stand seller to the Voice of the Crimson Tide!

This is all great stuff.  I do have one small quibble.  The book doesn't flow as well as it could -- some jokes and comments are repeated as if the chapters were separate articles strung loosely together and the text can be a bit rambling.  All in all though, this is a great read and one I'm saving for my seven year old son who loves to practice "sports broadcasting" all the time. 

Also, from a personal side:  we're LSU fans here so comments about the coaching staff at the Crimson Tide were hard to get through.

This review was written as part of the Thomas Nelson Publishers Book Review Program. For information about becoming a book reviewer, check out the BRB website.

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