Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Creating an Empire by Stuart Evey

Creating an Empire by Stuart Evey, Triumph Books, 2004

In Creating an Empire, Stuart Evey, a former Getty Oil executive and ESPN Chairman, provides a history of ESPN.

The cover bills the book as "The No-Holds-Barred Story of Power, Ego, Money, and Vision that Transformed a Culture."

A more accurate description would be "The Self-Aggrandizing and Poorly Written Story of a Former Yes Man Looking for His Share of Recognition."

For those picking up the book, I woud suggest starting with Chapter 17, in which Evey details his stay at the Betty Ford Clinic and admits he has an over-inflated view of himself.

Having worked for ESPN, I will say it's a great company with great people. I'm also a huge fan and watch it more than anything else on TV. But I am so tired of people looking to revel in the succes of sports' most recognized brand.

Here's the book in a nutshell.

Evey started out being an errand boy for the Gettys. Because he was a loyal friend, they allowed him to give his input on bigger and bigger projects.

One of those projects turned out to be ESPN.

Evey said "yes" to it, and Getty footed the bill.

From there, Evey hung out around ESPN from its inception in 1979 to 1984 when ABC bought ESPN.

Aside from eye-popping stories about the Gettys that I didn't know about, the book is a snore.

I recommend skipping the book and Evey and checking out the Wikipedia entry on ESPN.
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