Talking to GOATs: The Moments You Remember and the Stories You Never Heard (Hardcover)

Talking to GOATs: The Moments You Remember and the Stories You Never Heard By Jim Gray Cover Image
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 “As a sportscaster and sports historian, Jim’s career genuinely stands the test of time. . . . This book is sports history about some of the greats by one of the greats, who was taking it all in on the sidelines, in the stands or the dugout, by the eighteenth green, courtside, or in the broadcast booth.”  —Tom Brady, seven-time NFL Super Bowl champion GOAT

A riveting, insightful memoir of never-before-told stories from Jim Gray, twelve-time Emmy Award-winner, Hall of Fame sports broadcaster, and renowned interviewer— that explores the author's career and the inside stories and memorable moments of the famous legends he has covered including, Muhammad Ali, Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Mike Tyson.

In Talking to GOATs, award-winning broadcaster Jim Gray looks back at his four decades of sports reporting from the unparalleled perspective of one of the world’s most respected and skilled interviewers.  A journalist who many iconic athletes have trusted to tell their stories (of both triumph and disgrace), Jim has had unprecedented access to the people, places and extraordinary events in the world of sports. Asking tough but fair questions, he has broken numerous stories, and landed squarely in the middle of others, from the Ben Johnson and Barry Bonds steroid scandals, to Michael Jordan’s surprise retirement, to the off-the-court Kobe/Shaq feud which led to their on-the-court break up, to being part of the live broadcast for twenty-two Super Bowls.  He’s climbed into the ring to interview Mike Tyson after he bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear, and stood next to Ron Artest when the  “Malice at the Palace” melee erupted, and was on site at the bombing of the Atlanta Olympics.

Anyone who has watched Jim effortlessly engage his subjects at the precise moment of triumph or tragedy has little idea what it takes to secure the interview, or what actually happens when the camera cuts away.  These are real, mesmerizing, and previously untold stories.  Talking to GOATs features numerous world-class athletes, including Muhammad Ali, Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Floyd Mayweather, Michael Phelps, Mike Tyson and Tiger Woods, and world leaders George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Mikhail Gorbachev, and many more. On each page, Jim gives the reader a coveted all-access pass as he reviews the best interviews, the best athletes, and the best games in modern sports history. It’s like a personal introduction to the characters and careers of these heroes and villains we’ve known since childhood. He examines how money, celebrity, the media, and power interact, and how sports, more than any other institution, has led to momentous transformations in American society.  

About the Author

Jim Gray has won twelve National Sports Emmy Awards, been inducted into four Sports Hall of Fames, including the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He was named Sports Reporter of the Year three times by the American Sportscaster Association. Currently he works for Showtime, Fox and Westwood One Radio.  At Westwood One, he is the studio host for NFL Monday Night Football and the Super Bowl, with broadcast partner Tom Brady, the most decorated quarterback in Super Bowl history. Jim lives with his wife, Frann, in Los Angeles, California.

Praise For…

"Gray had a front row seat to some of the most indelible games, fights, and moments in sports history. [He] knows how to tell a story...the narrative abounds with fascinating tales." — Kirkus Reviews

“If I had one word to describe Jim Gray, I would say, honest. It’s very tough for reporters to be honest in the media business. He’s not afraid to ask the tough questions, even if they’re uncomfortable ones. He’s transparent and direct about it. And that’s why I have always had respect for Jim and what he does and how he does it.” — Kobe Bryant, NBA Hall of Fame GOAT

“I know Jim Gray the man. He stood up for me with tremendous integrity and principle. He suffered the consequences for doing what was right on my behalf and for others for a just cause. Integrity is what matters, and I will never forget his honor and honesty. Jim tells our story in the book, and I appreciate it. I will always hold him in high regard with great respect and admiration.”
Hank Aaron, MLB Hall of Fame GOAT

“The first interview Jim ever did was with me. From his first to my last (many years later), we have had a very special relationship. I’m The Greatest and he’s The Latest. Jim is the me of his profession. Just don’t tell Howard (Cosell).” — Muhammad Ali, THE GOAT

“Jim interviewed me after my prolific fights. We were a sensational duo. Out of the ring, Jim became my most trusted friend. He’s there no matter what and never afraid to give it to me straight, as he does in this book. He’s always coming from a place of love and compassion. You know where you stand. Jim talks to GOATs because it takes a GOAT to know a GOAT. I’m so proud he wrote this book to share his legacy and, as you will learn, Jim is the goat whisperer.” — Mike Tyson, Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World GOAT

Talking to GOATs captures so beautifully the stories that my husband, Muhammad, shared with Jim. It brought back to life so many great memories and was very moving. I loved it, and I highly recommend this book.” — Lonnie Ali, Mrs. GOAT

“A good sports reporter conveys the story of the day; a great one senses stories that will unfold over time and has the conviction to share them with their audience, nonetheless. Jim Gray is one of the greats!” — Michael Phelps, Olympian GOAT

“Jim will ask the questions, and he will calibrate your answers and they better not be silly or off the facts. That’s why I nicknamed him Scratchy a long time ago. He keeps that mic in people’s faces, as he’s always digging and scratching for the story. Jim dug them all out for this book, which I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did.” — Jack Nicholson, three-time Academy Award–winning GOAT

“I cherish the moments that I’m alone with a good book, and Talking to GOATs certainly qualifies. I love the great interviews that Jim has done throughout his career and the storytelling he captures on these pages. So please pull up a chair and enjoy this fascinating narrative that details his life with so many of the icons, just as I have.” — Vin Scully, Hall of Fame broadcasting GOAT

“Jim Gray is as good at his profession as the countless Hall of Famers he has interviewed were at theirs. Every time I did an interview or watched one with Jim, he was well prepared and wasn’t afraid to ask tough questions. That’s what made them so interesting and informative, leading his audience to remark, ‘I didn’t know that’ when the segment ended. And when people read Jim’s book, I’m sure they will be saying the same thing.” — Don Shula, Hall of Fame winningest-coach-in-NFL-history GOAT

“Forty-plus years of exchanging stories, creating memories, and experiencing moments of a lifetime together with Jim Gray—I would call that the very definition of ‘friends for life.’ Congratulations for successfully sharing your special story with the world. This book is a must read, and I’m looking forward to our next chapter together.” — Julius “Dr. J” Erving, NBA/ABA Hall of Fame GOAT

“I found so much to learn in these chapters. If there is an art to an interview, then believe me, Jim Gray is Michelangelo and Talking to GOATs is a masterpiece. Why is he so good? Because he asks tough, hard, fair questions that you have to answer. He could have played for me, because he’s tough, and he’s a winner. So is this book.” — Mike Ditka, NFL Hall of Fame player and coaching GOAT

“Jim Gray’s riveting and powerful Talking to GOATs is a rare and different masterpiece for the ages. It’s a poignant, personal, passionate, and purposeful reveal of what really happened everywhere in the world of sports in the past forty years. As a giant of the profession and the galaxy’s most connected human, Jim has delivered a staggering festival of light that is comprehensive in its breadth, depth, currency, and relevancy.” — Bill Walton, NBA and NCAA Hall of Fame GOAT

“I got to meet my heroes growing up: Muhammad Ali, Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio, and Ted Williams. Then I was able to spend time with the guys in my era that I admired including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Mike Tyson, Joe Montana, and Tom Brady. We all shared the same dream: wanting to win titles. All of us have been interviewed many times by Jim Gray, as he has shared our stories. Now, he shares them with us, and it’s a compelling, riveting, and insightful read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.” — Wayne Gretzky, NHL Hall of Fame GOAT

“In this fast-moving account, the big moments, big names, and occasional big controversies that have marked Jim Gray’s long and eventful career are revisited with insight and a dose of humor. Sports fans will recall many of these moments but may be surprised by the details and stories Jim provides on these pages.” — Bob Costas, Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame GOAT

“If you love sports, and you love this country, and you love father-son stories, you will love this book.”  — Brian Kilmeade

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062992062
ISBN-10: 0062992066
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: November 10th, 2020
Pages: 336
Language: English

How to read more
( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.


And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.


15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.


50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.


Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.


Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.


Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.



Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.


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