Wednesday, June 22, 2011
A Sportscaster's Guide to Watching Football: Book Review
Now it's my turn. I don't understand football even though my friends think I do.
In high school it was assumed that we all knew how to play. I remember running around the field in P.E. without having a clue what I was doing or who to tackle. Yes, I found myself on the ground a lot looking up at the sky. This was the pre-Internet 1970's when there was no Google to help or lifeline to call.
Now many years later, and with gray hair that just happened over time, I've decided to correct this deficiency. My goal this fall is to (a) understand the game of football and (b) develop a vocabulary to engage in meaningful dialogue when I find myself watching the sport with friends. This will replace the smile and nod of head.
Author Mark Oristano to my rescue. His (autographed) book, A Sportscaster's Guide to Watching Football, arrived last night and I read it immediately. Right from the start it felt approachable at only 146 pages. This is the book for the novice wanting to understand the game.
Oristano is passionate about football and tackles the topic with an entertaining narrative. He scored a touchdown in my opinion. (See, the vocabulary is already working).
Sprinkled throughout the book are "Cool Things To Say During a Game." And the Ultimate cool thing that ends the book (no spoiler alert!). Here's one example. When someone is frustrated by an incomplete pass I can smile knowingly and say, "I'll have to wait for the films." I love it.
There are also 12 "Time Outs" with interesting side notes. My favorite is the first one about Mike Ditka. He went up to the Ref when a penalty was called against the Cowboys, and calmly asked if the guy was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. After the man said, "No," Ditka replied, "Good" and then screamed,"because that was the worst g--d---- call I've seen in my entire %#*# football career!"
This fall when football season comes around, I'm going to be ready.
A Sportscaster's Guide to Watching Football by Mark Oristano. Copyright 2009. Synergy Books. ISBN 978-0-9821601-1-4.