Sports Perspectives:Bill Mercer began broadcasting in 1949, just after graduating from the University of Colorado; but his love of sports began on the playground in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Too short and skinny to try out for the team in junior high, he settled for the position of manager. “Those were the days of heavy canvas pants, heavy shirts, heavy leather helmets, heavy shoes—heavy everything. I grew muscle just lifting that stuff,” he writes.
In Play by Play: Tales From a Sports Broadcaster Insider (Taylor Trade, 240 pages, softcover, $16.95, 978-1-58979-224-1), Mercer goes on to describe his rodeo of broadcasting engagements: sometimes the field had grass, sometimes not, sometimes a phone, sometimes the announcer booth was a bucket full of pigeon poo. Play by Play is a fascinating account of the conditions, politics, and promotion of everything from football to boxing over the last fifty years. Check out the gruesome photo of Kox and Muroco from 1978. Ah, the good old days.