VITALE: Just Your Average Bald, One-Eyed Basketball Wacko Who Beat the Ziggy and Became a PTP'er by Dick with Curry Kirkpatrick Vitale

VITALE: Just Your Average Bald, One-Eyed Basketball Wacko Who Beat the Ziggy and Became a PTP'er

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Shoot-from-the-hip autobiographical musings from the voice of college basketball on cable TV's ESPN, the all-sports network. Vitale's partner-in-hype here, Kirkpatrick, writes on college basketball for Sports Illustrated. Vitale is one of the unlikeliest of success stories in broadcasting annals. Bald, one-eyed, with a crude ""New Joisey"" accent, he has created a national following for his unbounded energy. From coaching the high-school team in working-class East Rutherford, N.J., Vitale ascended to become coach of the Detroit Pistons. Fired from the job (""the Ziggy"" in Vitale parlance), he found his niche on prime-time cable (PTP'er, again in Vitale-speak). A word of caution: this book is the literary equivalent of riding a roller coaster. But past the humps and valleys (at Detroit, ""I experienced what every coach fears most in his career: the Ziggy, the big Z. Pack the bags. The end. That's all she wrote. Go home. It's over. You're fired. The Ziggy. And then it was ESPN, here I come""), there are plenty of great anecdotes. One of the best relates the time last year when Vitale promised that if Larry Brown stayed on as coach at Kansas for the 1988-89 season, he would do an entire telecast without saying a word. Then, realizing the futility of his promise, Vitale amended it to promising to scrub the floor of Kansas' Allen Field House--Larry Brown actually presented him with a mop on national TV. Peppery basketball fare from a genuine character, sure to appeal to hoop fans.

Pub Date: Nov. 18th, 1988
Publisher: Simon & Schuster