Sports fans couldn't help but notice ESPN's 25th anniversary this year; there was enough programming about it on the network's various television outlets (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, etc.) to start a new channel. The multimedia party also reached bookstores with Charles Hirschberg's entertaining and thoughtful ESPN25 25 Mind-Bending, Eye-Popping, Culture-Morphing Years of Highlights.
Hirschberg argues that the first sports highlight was a drawing of a hunt on a wall of a cave in France that dates back 16,000 years. He takes us through statues and paintings from Greece and Rome, movies of boxing matches from 1900 or so, newspaper accounts and pictures, radio broadcasts and, finally, television programs. ESPN's news show, "SportsCenter," has become famous for its highlights over the years. Hirschberg examines the effects of today's video clips good and bad on the sports culture. It's all done with a tone that mixes a sense of respect with fun.
The package has some bonus material as well. It contains a variety of lists, from best draft picks to worst uniforms, from best sports books to most lopsided trades. ESPN 25 also includes a DVD containing several commercials of the popular "This is SportsCenter" ad campaign. ESPN has changed the way we look at sports during its quarter-century run. This book is an entertaining way of marking those 25 years on the air.