The Guy on the Left: Sports Stories from the Best Seat in the House

James Duthie. Penguin Canada/Viking, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-0670067695
Sportscaster Duthie (The Day I (Almost) Killed Two Gretzkys) describes this memoir as more of a collection of the kind of sports stories that "take on legendary status in our business." Written in a breezy, entertainingly self-deprecating style, the book has many in-jokes and asides. Readers who aren't familiar with Duthie, his work on local TV in Ottawa and Vancouver, or, in the last decade, his career as one of the most prominent sportscasters in Canada on TSN and CTV, may be lost. But sports junkies will love great behind-the-scenes stories, such as the one about the TSN monkey, fans invading live sets, delivering Pop-Tarts to NHL star Daniel Alfredsson, and anecdotes about other TV personalities, such as Bob McKenzie and Chris Schultz. The set-ups to the skits and music that made the NHL on TSN so memorable are terrific, and will send readers off to YouTube to find them. A few poignant chapters, such as the one about murdered sportscaster Brian Smith, abruptly interrupt the levity of the rest of the book. Through it all, Duthie recognizes that he has been truly privileged to see sports history in person, and these stories share his close-up view of it. Agent: Brian J. Wood. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/2016
Release date: 10/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-14-318969-5
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