How Jack Nicklaus created an ESPN/SportsCenter institution

Next week sees the publication of "Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the world of ESPN," a book that's setting off shock waves in the sports media world for its complete and total takedown of the ESPN mystique. Assorted tales of SportsCenter anchors behaving badly and other horndoggery are dominating the headlines over at Deadspin, but there's a very small golf presence as well. (Come on, golfers! Do something worthy of gossip pa -- oh, wait. Right.)

We got our hands on an early copy of the book, and here, we present an excerpt on how Jack Nicklaus ended up creating an ESPN mainstay.

Scott Ackerson, Coordinating Producer
In the late eighties, SportsCenter was an hour show on Sunday, the only SportsCenter that was an hour long. One week, I had a hole in the show that was about seven minutes long, because it was the British Open and we had just that and baseball. So I said, "Let's have Cliff Drysdale interview Jack Nicklaus, and talk to about anything besides the British Open. I don't care about the British Open, I just want to talk to him about the state of golf." And the interview was really good. He talked about the state of the game and where he thought golf was going in the future. I called it "the Sunday conversation," because I think you ought to title everything so it resonates with the viewer.

Also included: Norm McDonald's thoughts on Tiger Woods as a target of jokes (a good sport). Arnold Palmer and Phil Mickelson didn't even make the cut. Shame. Still, check out the book for enough sports-dirt knowledge for the whole summer.

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