Book Review

‘Role Of A Lifetime’

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The Bookworm

By Terri Schlichenmeyer

It’s Sunday afternoon, and there’s nowhere else you’d rather be than in front of your TV. You’ve got chips, liquid refreshment, the remote and you’re wearing your lucky slippers. Gotta support the team, you know.

But as you reach for a snack, you miss the game for just a second and something happened. You didn’t catch it. Argh! You’re momentarily lost. Thank goodness for sportscasters, right?

But what do you know about the folks who bring you the nuances of the game? Learn about one of them by reading “Role of a Lifetime” by James Brown (with Nathan Whitaker).

From almost the moment he was born in 1951, James Brown says he was a “mama’s boy.” Mrs. Brown ruled the family with an iron glove covered in velvet; she demanded excellence from her five children; and she raised them with Bible verses on her lips. Mr. Brown worked hard for his family at various jobs, and likewise expected results. James Brown’s parents’ high examples, moralities and life-lessons are the ideals that James still carries with him.

Despite that he’s most famous for his work with FOX and CBS football games, Brown’s first love was basketball. He was fortunate, he says, to have had good and honest mentors during his teenhood, and he worked hard to make them proud. His athleticism garnered attention from several colleges, but, with the idea of a “fall-back career” in mind, he attended Harvard. Following a disappointing summer in Atlanta when he was turned down by basketball’s Atlanta Hawks, he took his degree and stepped into the corporate world. And while he was there, he learned the lessons that sustained him through his career, first on local TV stations in the Washington, D.C., area; later, with FOX; and now with CBS Sports.

There are seven “ingredients” that make success, says Brown: Good communication skills, appearance, personal relations, punctuality, thirst for knowledge, being a team player and overcoming adversity. Put them all together, and you’ve got a winning combination. Wow.

I didn’t much like “Role Of A Lifetime” at first. The first few pages made me think this was just going to be another look-at-me sports bio and I’ve had enough of them. But I kept reading. I’m glad I did.

Brown has written a book that goes beyond sports, although there’s plenty of that for any fan. This book is part motivational for any young person who wants to be a success. It’s part business, for anyone who needs a cautionary tale or two for advice. It’s part testimony to faith, which makes it an easy gift.

“Role Of A Lifetime” offers relationship advice as Brown talks about his parents’ marriage as well as his own. And it’s, of course, a biography about the friendly face you see each week on the TV but might not know a thing about.

Pick up “Role Of A Lifetime” and enjoy. If you’re a businessminded sports fan, this is an unbeatable book.

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