Review: A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football

Sportscaster's Guide to Watching Football

A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football
By Mark Oristano
Synergy Books
August 2009
160pp

Here is the blurb from the publisher:

Want to know what everyone is cheering about? Learn to enjoy and understand the game with the football fanatic in your life. This book is the ultimate football guide for the novice fan. You’ll get answers to such complex questions as:

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 a T Formation?
Whats the difference between a running back and a tight end?
What are Special Teams, and what makes them special?

Laced with hilarious and insightful anecdotes from Mark Oristano’s career as a pro football sportscaster, A Sportscasters Guide to Watching Football will turn you into a football-watching pro, or at least let you fake it.

The Short of It:

Short, yet packed with useful information. This is the guide for those that want to know more about the game yet don’t have a lot of time in front of the TV to figure it all out.

The Rest of It:

When I was asked to review this book I jumped at the chance. Sometimes books just end up in your hands at the right time, you know? The Hub has always been incredibly frustrated by my lack of knowledge in the area of football. When I watch football, I comment on the outfits (uniforms) and during the Superbowl, I choose a team to root for simply by asking who the underdog is. I always root for the underdog. This lack of information began in my high school days. I was on pep squad and during all the games I ran from one end of the field to the other with absolutely no idea what the heck I was doing or why. I just followed the others but felt incredibly silly at times.

However, those days are over! Well, not quite over but after reading A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football, I feel as if I can at least follow the game now. Mark Oristano spent 30 years as a professional sports broadcaster so he certainly knows the game, but what impressed me with this book is that he tells me what I need to know in layman’s terms yet provides all of the vocabulary necessary to talk like pro.

The book is peppered with tips. Here’s an example:

If you’ve been watching football, you’ve probably been watching the football. I’m going to give you an order here: DON’T WATCH THE BALL. I know it sounds odd, since the ball is the whole point of the game, but the ball doesn’t tell you what’s going on.

So true.

The book is also peppered with sections titled Cool Things to Say During Game:

To really make the point, when the two-minute time-out commercial break is over, as your team comes up to the line of scrimmage, and your QB goes under center, swirl your drink, make that ice noise, and say, “Work the sideline, baby!”

See what I mean? Useful stuff. Since I knew nothing about the game, any info is really better than none, so feedback from me may not be that useful in determining if this is the book for you, so I had The Hub read it. You’ll be happy to know that he gave it his seal of approval!

With it being so easy to read and it being so short, I think a lot of folks might enjoy this and it would make a great stocking stuffer.

Source: Thanks to Phenix and Phenix Literary Publicists for sending me this review copy.

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18 thoughts on “Review: A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football”

  1. Not a book I was expecting to see on your blog!

    I root for the Packers, because the fans wear cheeseheads and the players do the Lambeau leap. And because they USED to have a quarterback that looked like he was a little kid having fun…but we won’t go there.

    1. I don’t review much non-fiction but I will if it’s a book that appeals to me. This one came at a good time. My Hub was about to do me in with all of the comments I was making.

  2. I don’t enjoy football, but I did enjoy your review! And I lucked out in marrying someone who’s not into football either. However, my son is into it enough to make up for the entire rest of the family.

  3. I think this book would have been helpful when I was dating my husband and really wanted to impress him! Now, I leave him to his football and I read! I guess I know enough to get by, but have never had the burning desire to know more! Yes, I guess I’m a little lazy!

    1. Oh! I certainly don’t care what my Hub thinks but at SuperBowl parties I am a bit of a drag. You know, with me asking questions every two minutes.

  4. I enjoyed your review. I actually think I know a little more than the average female about football, but I’m still lost as to some things and a book like this might be a nice break for my husband who usually gets peppered with lots of questions while we’re watching.

    And I always watch the ball. Then I wonder why I don’t see the penalties like everyone else does. That’s a good trick.

  5. i LOVE non-fiction!!! it’s one of the most underrated genres, in my opinion. a book like this is so useful–i’m a complete goof when it comes to football–i went to every game in high school but never had a clue what was happening. I understood the general concept of four chances to get to the goal post…but beyond that, zilch!

    glad this book shed some light on the sport for you! luckily, my hubby only likes baseball–a sport i LOVE and played as a kid.

  6. I love it! And I’m sure my husband will love it as well when I ask for a copy in my Christmas stocking. He has long wanted me to show an interest in his favorite sport.

  7. I’m going to have to look for this one. I love books that tell me how to understand sports, it makes me feel like I’m trying to participate in M’s world. Now if only he’d read craft books.

  8. Thanks to all of you for the comments. If you’d like a signed copy of A SPORTSCASTER’S GUIDE TO WATCHING FOOTBALL direct from me, call me on my cell at 214-546-3794 and for ten bucks plus postage, I’ll send you an autographed book.

    Enjoy the game.

    Mark Oristano, author

  9. This sounds like a great book for those who don’t know a lot about the game! I’m glad you enjoyed it. As an avid football fan/watcher, my whole life, I think I know the game pretty well so I won’t be reading it, but it’s nice to know there’s a book like this out there. Football season is my favorite season of all.

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