As a fan of the NBA, I’ve watched and listened to Ernie Johnson host Inside the NBA on TNT over the past several years. A few months back, I watched a special about Johnson on ESPN called Ernie Johnson: My Story. Ever since I heard more of his story, I’ve been intrigued by his life and the decisions he’s made. I’m so thankful Johnson captured more of his story in the new book by Baker Books called Unscripted: The Unpredictable Moments That Make Life Extraordinary.
I must admit, I didn’t have high expectations coming in. While I love his story, I thought I would like the book but not really be entertained. Instead, I found myself completely engrossed in his story as told in this book. He’s as likable as they come, and the book revolves around a collection of “blackberry moments” in Johnson’s life.
The concept of the “blackberry moment” comes out of a story from Johnson’s past when he played little league baseball. I won’t retell the story, but he defines a “blackberry moment” as “an unpredictable moment that makes life extraordinary or an unforeseen moment that catches you off guard and marks you forever” (Unscripted, pg. 189).
Johnson, who is likable on tv and in this book, starts off by saying that his “life away from the TV cameras has been one unscripted, unforeseen, unforgettable moment after another.” He challenges the reader to not fear the unscripted but to embrace it. With six kids (2 biological, 4 adopted), cancer, and other challenges along the way, Johnson truly lives an unscripted life. Below I share a few of my personal highlights/takeaways:
- Take the high road – at those times when you’ve been criticized or wronged, and another person tries to take you down, choose to take the high road.
- The way he esteems and speaks highly of his wife. He says he’s just a sportscaster, but she’s a world-changer. What would happen if we all learned to speak so highly about our spouse?
- They’ve adopted four children (domestic and international). They saw a special on TV about an orphanage crisis in Romania. They heard about a need, took a risk, and adopted a son from Romania to help meet that need.
- Some of the stories from Inside The NBA are priceless! The story of Charles Barkley and the diaper changing contest… genius.
- Ernie has his priorities in the right place. He knows his primary roles are husband to Cheryl and father to his six kids. “I never want my son to think he came in second to a basketball game” (Unscripted, pg. 113).
- He admits when he falls short. At one point, he found a suspicious bump on his face. He held off from telling his wife. She reminded him that as a married couple, they don’t keep secrets from each other. He admits in his book that he missed it in not sharing sooner with his wife. I respect his humility and willingness to admit when he’s wrong.
- He shares his testimony of when he trusted in Christ as his Lord and Savior. He’s bold in sharing his story and doesn’t hold back or water down his faith or his decision to follow Christ.
- He gives some good advice for married couples. He says, “Guys, here’s a word of unsolicited advice: Date nights don’t have to involve dinner reservations or movie tickets. They just need to be times when you’re intentional about spending time with your wife…. The key is that your attention is focused on one thing: your bride” (Unscripted, pg. 179). This marriage pastor says Johnson gives some good advice here! Check out 124 Killer Date Night Ideas for a bunch of ideas on how to best date your spouse.
Ernie makes an impression on others. This is why his wife said yes when he asked her out, and this is what he does with us on TV. His story of the unpredictable moments that make life extraordinary is one worth reading.
- Read the book Unscripted: The Unpredictable Moments That Make Life Extraordinary.
- Watch the ESPN Special they did on Ernie – you can watch it in less than 23 minutes. I dare you to watch it and not be encouraged and inspired!
Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.