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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Review: A Sportscaster's Guide to Watching Football by Mark Oristano

A Sportscaster's Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America's Favorite Game
by: Mark Oristano
Synergy Books (August 1, 2009) ~ 160 pages
Non-Fiction / Football Guide

Edition Reviewed/Special Thanks: Paperback - many thanks to the publisher and Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists for sending me a copy to review!

Perfect for : Personal Use, Gift for the significant other of a football fan

In a nutshell: I enjoy watching football with my family and friends (although I wouldn't call myself a die-hard fan), and even enjoy hosting get-togethers complete with a nice choice of snacks and drinks! And while I do understand the basics of the game, there were MANY things I was in the dark on. . . until now. A Sportscaster's Guide to Watching Football is both informative and entertaining!

While I am certainly no expert, it was nice to know that I was learning from one. Mark Oristano spent over 30 years as a professional sports broadcaster. With this book, he shares the wealth of information he gained over the years, including everything a novice wants to know about the game, some obscure football rules and funny events that actually happened (some of these are shown in "Time-Out" boxes, so they are easy to find!).

Other bonus items throughout the book: "Cool Things to Say During the Game," diagrams of the positions of the players on the defense and offense, "Question to Trip Up Your Football Friends," and a wonderfully helpful Glossary at the back of the book.

The great thing about this book? My husband (who is a HUGE football fan) saw me reading the book and promptly plucked it out of my hands so he could browse it. Shortly after starting to browse, I saw him nod, then laugh. So fans - even you may find some useful and fun information in this handy little book!

Content: Fun, entertaining, and HELPFUL
Format: Easy to follow
Readability: An enjoyable read with plenty of examples and stories.
Overall: This is a fun and helpful book for people who want to know more about football, or who want to understand and participate in what their friends/relatives are all yelling about. I'd even go so far as to say a true football fan would like the stories and some of the facts provided in this book. Mark Oristan wrote this book with a nice touch of humor throughout, that any fan (new or old) will enjoy.

From the Publicist:
The San Francisco 49ers’ defensive end, Jim Marshall is remembered in NFL history for committing a major blunder: mistakenly scoring a touchdown for the other team during a 1964 game. Outraged fans shouted resounding disapproval, while others shook their heads in disbelief. If a professional player can get turned around, how can a brand new viewer keep up?

A sportscaster for the Dallas Cowboys amidst the glory of the 1970’s, Mark Oristano, shares 30 years of sports wisdom, in his new book, A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game (Synergy Books, August 2009, ISBN 978-0-9821601-1-4, $15.95), which focuses on what new fans need to know about football to keep up with industry pros. Using a back-to-basics approach, Oristano covers the spread giving specifics on the nature of the offense and defense as well as the rules of the game.

As an industry expert, Oristano gives inexperienced fans an inside look at football’s most notorious and infamous moments, strengthening their connection with the sport. In special “time-out” sections that accompany each chapter, Oristano shares anecdotes from his broadcasting days, detailing the hilarious and meaningful interactions he has had with coaches and players. Whether you are interested in the NFL or NCAA, Oristano offers professional sports wisdom that will take you from pre-season to the big game and beyond.

In “A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football,” you’ll learn the answers to questions like:
• What is that yellow line on the field, and why does it keep moving?
• What down is it, and why do I care?
• What is the difference between a “running back” and a “tight end”?
• What are “special teams,” and what makes them special?
• Why can’t Brett Favre stay retired?
[Note - I simply had to include this great excerpt as an example of Mark's great humor]


No, it's not about players who are incredibly good looking. The "hot" receiver is the receiver who has gone into an area vacated by a blitzing defender. (page 56)
About the Author: (From the publicist)

Witnessing the greatness of NFL legends like Roger Staubach, Charlie Waters and Drew Pearson, Oristano saw first-hand how the game was meant to be played as a sports reporter and sideline camera man.

Oristano is best known for his work on both the Houston Oilers and Dallas Cowboys Radio Networks as a successful sportscaster. In addition, he has also served as a television sports anchor, sportswriter and radio producer for NFL Films. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas, home of his favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys. www.guidetowatchingfootball.com
If you have reviewed this book and would like me to add a link to your review, please include a link in your comment!


bermudaonion said...

I love to watch college football but don't understand a lot of the penalties, so I could probably use this.

Allison said...

I was just at my first college football game this past weekend and I was completely lost! This book might have helped!

Well-Read Reviews

Alice said...

I'm not a fan of sports or games... Still, if a book like this comes my way, I'd enjoy it. Thanks for the review!

Mark Oristano said...

Thank you for your kind words about A SPORTSCASTER'S GUIDE TO WATCHING FOOTBALL. If any of your readers would like a signed copy for $10.00 plus postage, they can call me on my actual cell phone number, 214-546-3794, and I'll be happy to hook them up.
Mark Oristano

Zia said...

I have an award for you here.

RAnn said...

I enjoyed it and my husband said not to put it in the discard stack.

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