October 22, 2009

Let The Games Begin by Ralph Mellanby with Mike Brophy

In 2007, Ralph Mellanby released an autobiographical book about his life behind the cameras at Hockey Night In Canada called Walking With Legends. It was an interesting memoir from the man who is recognized as the man who has made Hockey Night In Canada the Saturday night institution it currently is.

But Mellanby was much more than just the brains behind Hockey Night In Canada. He's a five time Emmy Award winning producer who has done football, baseball, golf, tennis, horse racing, non-sports related programming, the Pan-Am Games and most importantly, the Olympic Games.

With so much more than just hockey to talk about, Mellanby is back with co-author Mike Brophy another new book, Let the Games Begin: My Life with Olympians, Hockey Heroes and Other Good Sports. The book features a foreword by Canada's face and voice of Olympic television coverage - Brian Williams.

Buy the Book: Amazon.ca - Chapters - Amazon.com

Don't worry hockey fans. The book has plenty of hockey, opening with chapters about HNIC and and his run-ins with hockey legends and hilarity. It is a bit of a re-hash of Walking With Legends, allowing new readers a strong introduction to the man for what he is known for best. For those who have read Walking With Legends, there is plenty of new material here to keep you entertained. There is also lots of hockey content in chapters about Don Cherry, fighting in hockey, the business of sport and of course the Olympics.

The Olympics are every bit of an important part of Mellanby's resume as is HNIC, and are ultimately the focus of this book. Having worked for several networks on both the winter and summer games, he earned five Emmy nominations, most famously for his coverage of the 1980 Miracle on Ice.

Much like his original book, this book is a fun read with some nice insights. In fact it is essentially a carry over title, as Mellanby has just too many stories for one volume. It is an opportune marketing decision by HB Fenn to have a follow up book to the original bestseller, especially given the Olympic content and the Canadian Olympics just weeks away.

It is not the must have book of the season by any means, but it is a fun, enjoyable read, with surprising twists and turns. I personally enjoyed the chapter on the Winter Olympics most, with unexpected stories of Howard Cosell, O.J. Simpson, The Fonz, and John Denver. And it is amazing to read just how much has changed in Olympic television coverage over the years.

By the way, Walking With Legends is available at Chapters in the 80% Off section. Hurry and get your copy now!


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