The secrecy surrounding a 770-page oral history of ESPN is serving to heighten interest in the book’s content, with some wondering how many salacious details are included in the publication, reports The New York Times.
And no wonder the folks at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, are worried: The book is by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales, the team behind the eye-opening bestseller "Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, as Told by Its Stars, Writers and Guests."
Shales is a Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic, who is also a former columnist for TVWeek.
"Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN" will be published May 24 by Little, Brown, but no advance copies were sent out and magazine editors interested in buying an excerpt had to sign confidentiality agreements and read it in the publisher’s office, the story notes.
The book’s tight security has prompted questions about whether it includes enough dirt on ESPN to cause resignations, the article notes.
"We could have filled every page with salacious details–every page,” Miller said, according to the story. “But that doesn’t explain how ESPN got to be as big as it is."
The story adds, "Miller is as enamored of the serious reporting as he is about the gossip, all of it gleaned from 560 interviews. He chuckles three times before relating an incident about a FedEx driver ‘who acted as the pimp to secretaries who were looking to pay for their coke habit,’ but also reveals how an ESPN executive tried to pull the WNBA off the air in a screaming argument with NBA Commissioner David Stern."