Like that favorite Christmas present you know you're getting, Those Guys Have All The Fun is being gift wrapped for delivery and released a week from today. Everyone with the book has done an amazing job protecting the content of its 784 pages. Besides the excerpts that are beginning to come out, we know very little about the comprehensive story from inside the world of ESPN. Do they have Bill Belichick running the operation??
As we eagerly anticipate the book's release, AA is getting its own copy from the publisher and we'll also hope to speak to one of the authors (James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales) as well for a Q&A. Yesterday, we were blessed with an excerpt from GQ regarding one of the most infamous ESPN personalities of all-time... Keith Olbermann.
To put it bluntly, Olbermann is a nutjob. An entertaining nutjob... but, a nutjob nonetheless. Olbermann's history is one of a man supremely talented no matter the medium of television, whether it be SportsCenter or his successful MSNBC show Countdown. However, Olbermann's destructive personality has never seen him peacefully remain in one place. Although Countdown ran for eight years, his relationship with MSNBC blew up in January. It's amazing to think that in the course of the last couple decades, Olbermann was transformed from this to this. Those Guys has some great quotes from ESPN personalities that show us the latter, more insane side of Olby. Here's just a few excerpts of the GQ excerpt on Olbermann and ESPN...
Dan Patrick - I remember [producer] Gus Ramsey and Mike McQuade would always say, "Are you still in the life raft?" If they had screwed up with Keith, then they would be excommunicated. You didn't know from day to day if you were on or off, and it was tough for them, because they didn't have the power to say to Keith, "Hey, stop; grow up." Everything he did was personal. And that was what made him great. And if he felt like you had just turned on him, then you had actually turned on him, and that was something that was very, very deep to him
Herb Granath, ESPN exec - I was enraged by Olbermann. Guys like that just piss me off, you know, because there's no loyalty. It's just me, me, me. There was no choice but to get rid of him.
Bob Ley - I saw Walsh in the hallway, and I said, "Our long national nightmare is over, huh?" We felt not so much relief when Keith left as unrestrained f*#$ing joy. And it may not be fair to him, because I don't know what his issues are. Some of what happened with him back then is romanticized, but there are still people there who remember how people were treated, spoken to, referred to, and no amount of subsequent gentle behavior is going to erase that.
Rece Davis - There was a rumor a few years ago that maybe Keith would come back, and one of our coordinating producers said, "I think it would be a good idea but with one caveat. He first has to stand in the reception area, and everybody who wants to gets to come up and punch him in the stomach."
If Bob Ley of all people is dropping the f bomb, this book will be worth its weight in gold. May 24 can't come soon enough. In fairness, Olbermann had this to say in response...