Book Review Archives

From Peanuts to the Pressbox: Insider Sports Stories from a Life Behind the Mic

By: Eli Gold with M. B. Roberts; Foreword by Verne Lundquist
Reviewed by: Don Alexander
Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2009
$24.99, Hardcover

One may know Eli Gold as the radio voice of The Crimson Tide, of NASCAR, of the Birmingham Bulls, or of regional Ford advertisements. But how about the Long Island Ducks, the Roanoke Valley Rebels, World of Outlaws races, or Arena Football? From Peanuts to the Pressbox is a delightful collection of stories about broadcasting, from the recollections of a man whose mom (primarily because of excessive absences) negotiated his high school diploma: “He knows what he wants to do. Give him his diploma, and he won’t bother anyone.”

If one reads this book hoping for an abundance of Crimson Tide tales, he should read one of Gold’s earlier books, Crimson Nation or Bear’s Boys. Rather, From Peanuts to the Pressbox is about his sportscasting career—the skill, timing, luck, perseverance, and tenacity of Eli Gold.

The “sports crazy kid” from Brooklyn begins his stories even before his selling peanuts in Madison Square Garden, and they run through the beginnings of the current college football season. His tales—ghosted by M. B. Roberts from hours and hours of dictation—flow easily and span a wide range of topics, sports venues, and personalities. While the stories focus more on aspects of broadcasting (and broadcasting personalities) than on the events themselves, both sports fans and communications aficionados will enjoy this collection. The reader will certainly be impressed by Gold’s continued diverse and incredibly busy schedule. He continues the active and tenacious schedule of his early years, and he tells great stories about this career.

The light, casual style, the myriad of topics, and the brevity of most tales make From Peanuts to the Pressbox the perfect book for a travel bag, a bedside table, or lawn chair escape. It can easily be put down and more easily picked up. It is truly a fun read. Dec 2009

Don Alexander, a stay-at-home dad, is a retired Professor of Mathematics.