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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Alan Eisenstock's journey through the world of sports talk radio began in 1973 when, bored with Don Drysdale's Dodger Talk radio show, Eisenstock turned the dial and discovered Superfan. Ed "Superfan" Beiler screamed his way into Eisenstock's life, piping through his radio as he defended the common fan -- the fan who can't afford a box seat and doesn't want to overpay for a beer and a hot dog. Superfan wasn't a fair-weather fan, he was Everyfan. And with that, sports talk was born: opinionated, loud, irreverent, and in-your-face.
On a visit to Boston's Eddie Andelman -- whom Eisenstock credits as the "guy who started sports talk radio as we know it today" (a balance of rants, guests, and callers) -- we see how Andelman "prepares" for his show. It begins the night before as he, like so many other men, falls asleep at the end of the day while watching sports on TV. We meet radio personality JT the Brick, who actually got his start as a caller. JT's passion spilled over the airwaves as he called in again and again, and soon he was paying for airtime to get his career off the ground. Mike and the Mad Dog receive the most attention from Eisenstock. He splits up the team and is amazed by Chris "Mad Dog" Russo's ability to recall every detail of a game from memory and learns how Mike Francesa begins every day by watching SportsCenter, simply because: "That's required."
Sports Talk offers a vicarious thrill. Eisenstock not only brings us into the lives of his heroes, but he also makes them our heroes. We see that beneath the heated opinions and sometimes cantankerous personalities, there is a calm that ties all the hosts together. And it makes us want to buy them a beer and talk sports. (Ryan Isaac)