"Hello, Sweetheart? Gimmie Rewrite!": My Life in the Wonderful World of Sports.
Contains Photos, Index
Ian A. Andrews is a high-school social sciences teacher and editor of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association’s Focus.
Sports reporter Jim Taylor spent his journalistic career writing for the Victoria Colonist, the Vancouver Sun, and the Vancouver Province, a career he’s subtitled “My Life in the Wonderful World of Sports” in this his 12th book. Although athletes and sporting events provide the backdrop, this is essentially an autobiography of the scrappy, athletically challenged wordsmith from the West Coast. Spanning a period from when pounding out copy on typewriters and communicating on dial phones was in vogue to contemporary computer-driven newsroom, Taylor still maintains that “beyond question, the guys with the best jobs in newspapers are the sports columnists.”
To expand upon this claim, Taylor describes his experiences behind the scenes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Sapporo, Japan; the Canada-Russia super series in Moscow; swim meets in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and Cali, Colombia; soccer matches in South America; fights in Las Vegas; and, especially, football games covered from the British Columbia Lions press box. He depicts his media associates as either “egoists” or “people who lie about being egoists.” He claims that his successful journalistic career resulted from either “good timing” or “luck.” And being chosen to chronicle athletic achievements of iconic figures like Wayne Gretzky (Gretzky: From the Back Yard Rink to the Stanley Cup) and Rick Hanson (Man in Motion) speaks highly of Taylor’s skill and integrity.
Reprinted are interesting portions of Taylor’s eclectic mix of popular columns that extend from the sexual prowess of basketball player Wilt Chamberlain and athletic sperm banks to America’s Cup sailing, women’s golf, and chess matches between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. But behind the veneer of reporting on major sporting events, Taylor also provides glimpses into his personal life, one deeply affected by family disaster and the idiosyncrasies prevalent in the old time newsroom—always in a reader-friendly manner.