“Brilliant . . . entertaining . . . a thought-provoking portrayal of the multi-faceted Howard Cosell in all his glory and enmity.”—Don Ohlmeyer, Wall Street Journal
Howard Cosell’s colorful bombast, fearless reporting, and courageous stance on civil rights made him one of the most recognizable and controversial figures in American sports history. “Telling it like it is,” he covered nearly every major sports story for three decades, from the travails of Muhammad Ali to the tragedy at the Munich Olympics. Now, two decades after his death, this deeply misunderstood sports legend has finally gotten the “definitive” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) and revelatory biography he so much deserves. With more than forty interviews, Mark Ribowsky has brilliantly presented Cosell’s endless complexities in the “first thoroughly researched and effectively framed biography of Cosell and his times” (Huffington Post).
Both loved and loathed for his nasal, staccato delivery and polysyllabic self-importance a TV Guide poll ranked Cosell the nation's most popular and unpopular sportscaster Howard Cosell is the braying voice of America's conscience in this engrossing, bombastic biography. Ribowsky (Don't Look Back: Satchel Paige in the Shadows of Baseball) replays Cosell's towering neuroses and insufferable personality; his hammy come-ons to people he could use and his cruelty to those he couldn't; his paranoid feuding with Monday Night Football colleagues; his on-air drunkenness, horrible lewd repartee and desperate, sweaty craving for approval. Ribowsky also credits him with delivering classic play-by-plays of milestone sporting events, bringing tough, outspoken journalism to the mannerly sports casting arena, and offering semi-gutsy support to everything from the Equal Rights Amendment to free-agency and Muhammad Ali's defiance of the draft. (He pegs Cosell's long relationship with the boxer as a counterpoint between genuine respect and mutual exploitation.) The author is well-nigh Cosellian in his grandiloquence ("he was, in the parlance of mythology a realm where he actually belongs Icarus flying into the sun") and determination to wring melodrama from mere sport. Still, Ribowsky's shrewd, evocative color commentary makes Cosell live up to his billing. Photos.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A good book for those of the age group who witnessed the rise and fall of Howard Cosell. It brought back many memories.
A very entertaining book. Great read.