At The Top of Their Game

PLAY BY PLAY: A History of Sports Television; HBO

Sportscasters are an odd breed. They try to impress us with their expertise and calm authority, yet they are remembered best for the moments when they totally lose it. Some of those moments are famous, like the time Al Michaels hit the roof as the U.S. hockey team beat the Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympics ("Do you believe in miracles?!"). In fact, every ecstatic "holy cow!" and "oh my!" is a reminder of the sheer childlike emotion that sports at its best can evoke.

That emotion is what makes Play...

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