From February to April 2007, starting with his play-by-play call of Super Bowl XLI, Jim Nantz had a historic 63-day broadcasting run as he became the first commentator to broadcast the Super Bowl, the NCAA Final Four, and the Masters?, all in the same year. Yet the man who inspired him to pursue his broadcasting dream, his father, was unable to share the voyage with him.
In Always By My Side: A Father's Grace and a Sports Journey Unlike Any Other, 2007 Sportscaster of the Year Nantz recounts how he felt his father's presence every step of the way - and through this championship journey, he celebrates the people and moments that tap into all the goodness that his dad - and his dad's generation - represent.Always By My Side traces Nantz's career, from creating his own imaginary TV studio he created as a boy to his college days rooming with future PGA Tour golfers to his chance meeting with NBC Sports producer Don Ohlmeyer that started him on a path that led to a successful CBS network audition at the age of 26. Along the way, he remembers his friendships with such sports royalty as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Peyton Manning, Tony Dungy, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Mike Krzyzewski, and Bill Walton - as well as Hollywood A-listers like Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery, all the time remaining humble and grateful for the opportunity to be afforded such an amazing life.
Nantz also recalls father-figures he found throughout his life when his own ailing father was unable to be physically with him: George H. W. Bush, Ken Venturi, Jim McKay, Pat Summerall, Billy Packer, Frank Chirkinian, and others.
Ultimately, Always By My Side is a collection of poignant stories that explore the theme of fathers and sons who have bonded through a common love of sports. It turns every day into Father's Day.
©2008 Jim Nantz (P)2008 Penguin