Flashing Before My Eyes
50 Years of Headlines, Datelines & PunchlinesBook - 2001
Muhammad Ali stretched out on a brown couch, a towel across his waist, while an air conditioner fired cool air across his body. It was a scorching Manila morning, and in thirty minutes Ali would go to war with Joe Frazier for the third and final time. Ali yawned and stared at the ceiling of his dressing room. "Just another day's work," he said. "Just gotta go beat on another man." The reporter did what a reporter is supposed to do. He listened and wrote down Ali's words.
And so began just another day's work for Dick Schaap, who in the past half-century has carved out his own legend, not with his fists but with his reportorial verve, his indefatigable curiosity, and his irrepressible wit. Now, in Flashing Before My Eyes, the longtime ABC correspondent and host of ESPN"s The Sports Reporters recounts a charmed career in which he has met almost everyone and seen almost everything. He has played golf with Bill Clinton, tennis with Bobby Fischer, cards with Wilt Chamberlain. He has written books with Joe Namath and Joe Montana. He has taken Brigitte Bardot to dinner and Lenny Bruce to a World Series. He saw the Baltimore Colts beat the New York Giants in sudden-death overtime, and the Green Bay Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys in the Ice Bowl. He saw Bill Mazeroski end a World Series with a home run, and Willis Reed lift the New York Knicks to an NBA title. He has covered murders and riots, presidential campaigns and Broadway openings. He introduced Muhammad Ali to Billy Crystal, and Billy Crystal to Joe DiMaggio. He walks with sluggers and senators, cops and comedians, authors and actresses, and he shares the sights he sees and the words he hears in stories that make you laugh and cry.
With an introduction by Tuesdays with Morrie author Mitch Albom, Schaap's memoir gives the reader the ultimate highlight reel of the last fifty years and makes a compelling case that if Dick Schaap wasn't there to see it, it didn't happen.