ESPN founder, former Enfield resident releases new award-winning book

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. – Wednesday marked the forty fifth anniversary of the Hartford Civic Middle roof collapse. Within the early morning hours of January 18, 1978, the highest of the 3-year-old runway gave means underneath the burden of heavy snow and ice. fallacious design He was lastly judged because the perpetrator.

Only a few hours earlier, greater than 4,700 spectators had been within the constructing to observe a UConn males’s basketball sport. Had the meltdown occurred then, it will have probably been one of many biggest lack of life in a single day – greater than the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the terrorist assaults of September 11, the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, and solely after 1900. Galveston Hurricane when it comes to human devastation.

Invoice Rasmussen, a former Enfield resident whose son Glenn had performed ice hockey at Enrico Fermi Excessive Faculty, was additionally concerned in sports activities on the time, serving as communications director and radio announcer for the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Affiliation. His son Scott, later often called the founding father of polling agency Rasmussen Studies, was the workforce’s public tackle announcer, situated in a small sales space between the 2 penalty bins.

“Once we had been allowed to come back again after the crash, an enormous piece of metal destroyed the broadcaster’s station and penalty space,” Rasmussen instructed Patch in a telephone interview Thursday. Upstairs in [team executive] Dave Andrews’ desk, an enormous metal beam resting the place his desk and chair had been.”

The workforce moved to the Springfield Civic Middle for the rest of the 1977-78 season, and performed there till the Hartford Constructing reopened in February 1980. By that point, the Rasmussens had lengthy been gone from the group, having been let go. Proprietor Howard Baldwin with a number of “non-essential” entrance workplace personnel over Memorial Day weekend in 1978 after the Whalers had been swept in 4 straight video games by the Winnipeg Jets within the Avco Cup Finals.

Left needing to seek out work, and caught in a site visitors jam at Waterbury, the Rasmussens started brainstorming, ultimately deciding to kind a small tv firm, ostensibly to cowl Connecticut-based groups such because the Whalers, Bristol Pink Sox, and UConn Huskies. Their firm was known as the Sports activities and Leisure Programming Community: ESPN. The community launched on September 7, 1979, and the remaining is historical past.

The story of the Civic Middle’s roof collapse and the early days of the world’s first 24-hour sports activities cable community are amongst Rasmussen’s fascinating memoirs in a brand new e-book. “ESPN: One Big Leap For Fankind” is an 184-page journey by historical past – not simply sports activities, however Americana.

“The intertwining themes of sport, historical past and expertise take you thru the modifications which have taken place in my life over 10 a long time and nonetheless proceed,” Rasmussen, who turned 90 in October, wrote. web site devoted to the e-book. Have a look inside to see who gained the World Collection the yr you had been born. Discover out who gained the Heisman Trophy while you had been in highschool. Tremendous Bowl winners, NCAA ladies’s basketball champions, and a lot extra are right here for each decade. From World Collection on radio to TV first, then Broadcasting through satellite tv for pc after which connecting the whole lot wirelessly, My life has been thrilling – thus far!This journey by the evolution of sport, primarily based on modifications in tradition and advances in expertise, is the story from my life over 10 a long time.Stroll with me with intentional optimism as we discover the huge expanse of the world And we make a constructive distinction.”

Writer Headline Books describes the work as “a very superb and superb journey, fantastically offered. Among the finest books of the yr.” Regardless of solely being launched in early December, the e-book not too long ago took residence high honors on the 2022 New England Guide Pageant.

“The e-book provides a tour of the historical past of sports activities with the person who modified it, combining his private journey with what was occurring on the time in our nation,” in line with the e-book competition. web site. “Known as by USA In the present day because the ‘Father of Cable Sports activities,’ Rasmussen talks in regards to the struggles, triumphs, and improvements that made ESPN a powerhouse in sports activities journalism.”

The founding and evolution of ESPN modified the historical past of sports activities, propelling Rasmussen to a twenty ninth place in a Sports activities Illustrated particular in 1994 titled “40 in ages”. Within the record of the 40 most influential sports activities personalities for the reason that journal’s founding in 1954, he has ranked forward of such legendary athletes as Pele, Bobby Orr, Sugar Ray Leonard, Nolan Ryan, Peggy Fleming, Julius Irving.

“I could not beat a horse, although,” he laughed, referring to the 1973 Triple Crown-winning No. 17 of Secretariat.

Co-authored with Donald T. Phillips, who has collaborated on works with Cal Ripken, Phil Mickelson, and different legendary athletes, “OGLFF” took high honors within the literature/anthology class earlier this month at 2023 Southern California Guide Pageant.

Rasmussen moved again to Florida final yr after spending quite a lot of time in Washington state close to his daughter and grandchildren. He’s nonetheless in nice demand as a public speaker, however he has scaled again his actions in consideration of his age and age 2019 Prognosis of Parkinson’s Illness.

“ESPN: One Big Leap For Fankind” is offered by Rasmussen’s web site, espnfounder.comAnd throughout Amazon.

A groundbreaking, award-winning new e-book by ESPN founder Invoice Rasmussen. (Courtesy of Invoice Rasmussen)
Invoice Rasmussen with Enfield Excessive Faculty hockey coach Amy (Bartholomew) Novak on the opening ceremony for the brand new Enfield Sports activities Corridor of Fame in 2019 (Tim Jensen/Patch)

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