This was pretty much a given from the start, but 20th Century Fox is purchasing the rights to the book “ESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun,” a very candid history of the rise of the World Wide Leader, as told by the famous anchors and reporters who have annoyed us all along the way. While it’s still too early to tell what film style will be used to portray the book, I do know that we’re about to be bombarded by Forest Whitaker/Stuart Scott jokes.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the book…
The book by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales follows a format similar to Live From New York, the oral history they wrote about Saturday Night Live. Here, they use the voices of past and present ESPN personalities and producers to tell the story of how a father and son maxed out their credit cards to scrape together the cash to reserve a satellite transponder so they could show sporting events nonstop on a 24-hour station. The book is a gossipy journey about how that venture turned from a 1970s joke that started with broadcasts of Australian rules football and rodeo, to a dominant brand in the sporting world that broadcast pro football and baseball games and become arguably the most profitable cable network ever created. (Via Deadline)
I’m currently reading “Live From New York” and it’s phenomenal but really long, so I’m excited to get to the ESPN book within the next decade. However, if you’re looking for the abridged version and a general idea of how much the ESPN staff hated each other behind-the-scenes, you can check out Deadspin’s coverage.
As for the eventual production, I really hope that they don’t give us some watered-down version with fake names and misrepresenting actors. I don’t want to see Denzel Washington playing Stu Scott, Brad Pitt playing Chris Berman, or any male actor playing Bill Simmons*.