One thing that stuck out to EW'sRob Brunner: that "the biggest villain in the book [is] quite possibly the town of Bristol, Conn., which is apparently so isolated and dull that it drives ESPN execs who work there to all sorts of boorish behavior." One former executive, Steve Bornstein, called it "one hundred miles from real civilization," while another, Bill Creasy, was more succinct: "What a s—hole." Bornstein said the dullness of the surroundings drove "the kind of testosterone, jock mentality, frat house approach" that led to stories like this:
– “The company would have Christmas parties up at some horrible place in Bristol [Conn., where ESPN is based],” says former general counsel Andy Brilliant. “A couple of them were drunken orgies…. It became like a big frat party. There were a lot of drugs being done in the bathroom. There was quite a bit of screwing going on afterward, a lot of it extramarital. But everybody went back to business the next workday.”
“There was screwing in the hallways,” says onetime reporter Sal Marchiano of ESPN’s early days. “Okay, maybe not in the hallways, but there were a couple of stairwell stories…. There were drugs in the building, that I knew. There was one guy who dealt pot.”
We're not sure we find "one guy who dealt pot" as scandalous as Marchiano apparently did - we like the screwing tales better (as will a whole bunch of people who eventually read this book, we reckon). Additionally, we find it interesting the number of references to the "jock mentality, frat house approach" we're seeing, and look forward to seeing if it's as common a theme throghout the whole book as it was in EW's preview.
Oh, and Chris Berman could apparently be difficult to get along with:
I was introduced to [Chris Berman], and my title was mentioned,” recalls marketing senior VP Lee Ann Daly. “He was like, ‘Oh, goddammit, do we need another vice president?’ And I just said, ‘Nice to meet you, too, Mr. Berman.’ ….there was really no need to be a jerk. But that kind of stuck with me. I noticed that Chris Berman was rarely happy. He was always very difficult to please.”
Needless to say, that makes us think of this. And while we're sure that most of the book won't be this filled with details of seediness and screwing...well, we're looking forward to seeing the whole thing, we'll put it that way.
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