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THE INSIDE TRACK | THE HOT CORNER

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

December 23, 1996|LARRY STEWART

What: 'The Babe in Boyland'

By: The Fabulous Sports Babe

Price: $24 (ReganBooks)

This book is anything but fabulous. Bad to the bone, a la Dennis Rodman, is what it is. It's mostly obscenity-laced ramblings of a loud, obnoxious, rude, crude radio sports talk-show host.

That description fits most radio sports talk-show hosts who are carried away with their own importance and come across as mad at the world. The difference here is, the Babe is a woman. Her real name is Nanci Donnellan, but don't call her Nanci. We made that mistake once. "It's Fabulous Sports Babe" was the curt response.

"Sorry," we felt like saying. Only trying to be polite.

Polite is not a word in the Babe's vocabulary. A lot of other words are, though, and they're all in this XXX-rated book. They're also unfit for a family newspaper, which brings up a point.

The Babe works for Disney-owned ESPN. If there was ever an antithesis to Snow White, the Babe is it. The Disney people reportedly weren't real pleased with this book.

Southern Californians may not be too familiar with the Babe's daily radio show, which is syndicated by ESPN Radio. It's not on any stations here, although it used to be on KMAX-FM, which is now a rock station. It can, however, be seen on ESPN2, which televises it much the same way E! televises Howard Stern.

In her book, you begin to feel a little sorry for the Babe when she talks about her childhood. An only child, she was an Air Force brat. Her stepfather was always moving, and she never developed any friendships. She says she is now estranged from her family, that her radio co-workers are her family now.

But mostly, throughout the book, the Babe is on the attack. Of sportswriters, she says, "I've observed so many so-called professional reporters ask the stupidest, most asinine questions of athletes that I sometimes wonder if idiocy is a job requirement."

She may have a point. You'd have to be an idiot to read this book.

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