Unscripted

The Unpredictable Moments That Make Life Extraordinary

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"Unscripted is unforgettable!"--Jim Nantz, CBS Sports

"In Unscripted, you will enjoy some wonderful sports stories, but more than that, you will learn some invaluable life lessons."--Tony Dungy, bestselling author of Quiet Strength and Uncommon

"Unscripted gives everyone a glimpse of a life well lived and a man with tremendous perspective, humor, and class."--Cal Ripken, Hall of Famer and baseball's all-time "Iron Man"

"If you know Ernie only as the man behind the microphone, you are in for a treat. Here is Ernie Johnson, a great man of our time."--Max Lucado, pastor and bestselling author

"Ernie quite simply is one of the best people on the planet."--Charles Barkley, Inside the NBA on TNT

"I have known Ernie for almost two decades, and he has had tremendous influence in my life and in my thinking."--Jeff Foxworthy, comedian and author

"Unscripted best describes this uplifting book . . . and Ernie himself. Despite the many challenges my friend has faced, you'll be in awe of his faith and desire to be of service to others."--Robin Roberts, Good Morning America on ABC

"Unscripted is a must-read, and I know you will be as captivated as I was when you read it."--from the foreword by John Smoltz, Hall of Fame pitcher, Atlanta Braves


Ernie Johnson Jr. has been in the game a long time. With one of the most recognized voices in sports broadcasting, he is a tireless perfectionist when it comes to preparing and delivering his commentary. Yet he knows that some of sports' greatest triumphs--and life's greatest rewards--come from those unscripted moments you never anticipated.

In this heartfelt, gripping autobiography, the three-time Sports Emmy Award winner and popular host of TNT's Inside the NBA provides a remarkably candid look at his life both on and off the screen. From his relationship with his sportscaster father to his own rise to the top of sports broadcasting, from battling cancer to raising six children with his wife, Cheryl, including a special needs child adopted from Romania, Ernie has taken the important lessons he learned from his father and passed them on to his own children.

This is the untold story, the one Ernie has lived after the lights are turned off and the cameras stop rolling. Whether you're a sports fan, a person touched by cancer, a father or son, an adoptive parent, a caregiver to a person with special needs, or just someone who loves stories about handling life's surprises with grace, Ernie's story will illuminate the beauty of the unscripted moments in your own life.


Ernie Johnson Jr. is a three-time Sports Emmy Award winner and host of TNT's Inside the NBA with Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O'Neal. He is the studio host for NBA TV's popular Fan Night and a studio host for Turner and CBS's NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship coverage. He is the lead play-by-play announcer for Turner's coverage of Major League Baseball and the PGA Championship, and has also covered the National Football League, the British Open, Wimbledon, and the Olympics. In 2007, Johnson was presented with the first-ever honorary John Wooden Keys to Life Award, presented by Athletes in Action, which is awarded to individuals who exemplify Wooden's "Seven Keys to Life," including character, integrity, and faith. In 2015, he was recognized with a Musial Award, presented in honor of Stan Musial's legacy by celebrating iconic "good sports" and the year's greatest moments in sportsmanship. In 2016, his alma mater, the University of Georgia, honored him with the Grady College of Journalism John Holliman Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Bill Hartman Award for Lifetime Achievement from the UGA Athletic Department. Johnson lives in Braselton, Georgia, with his wife, Cheryl, and their six children, four of whom are adopted.


Endorsements

"Ernie has been an example to me of how to balance the demands of work with those of your family. He has remained humble in an industry that doesn't reward humility. Most importantly, he has truly put the Lord first in his life. In Unscripted, you will enjoy some wonderful sports stories, but more than that, you will learn some invaluable life lessons."

Tony Dungy, bestselling author of Quiet Strength and Uncommon

"Most people know Ernie as a guy who has been broadcasting for four decades. I am one of the lucky ones who know him as an extraordinary man and a friend. Unscripted gives everyone a glimpse of a life well lived and a man with tremendous perspective, humor, and class."

Cal Ripken, Hall of Famer and baseball's all-time "Iron Man"

"If you know Ernie only as the man behind the microphone, you are in for a treat. Here is Ernie Johnson, a great man of our time."

Max Lucado, pastor and bestselling author

"Ernie quite simply is one of the best people on the planet."

Charles Barkley, Inside the NBA on TNT

"I have known Ernie for almost two decades, and he has had tremendous influence in my life and in my thinking. His is a faith that is simple but very deep. And you see it lived out in every relationship in his life. When he speaks, you'd be wise to listen. I know I do."

Jeff Foxworthy, comedian and author

"Just thinking of Ernie Johnson puts a smile on my face. For as long as I've been blessed to know him, he has been a source of inspiration. I admire his devotion to his beautiful family and talented colleagues. Unscripted best describes this uplifting book . . . and Ernie himself. Despite the many challenges my friend has faced, you'll be in awe of his faith and desire to be of service to others."

Robin Roberts, Good Morning America on ABC

"I promise you will be moved and inspired by Ernie's story. This book could quite possibly transform your attitude as well as your heart toward all of life. As I read it, I found myself wanting to be a better man. Unscripted is a must-read, and I know you will be as captivated as I was when you read it."

from the foreword by John Smoltz, Hall of Fame pitcher, Atlanta Braves

"Ernie Johnson is an extraordinary man. He has lived an amazing life, absent of ego but bountiful with experiences that are soulful and warmhearted. Stories about family, faith, and fellowship. He said one of the driving forces behind this book was to make his father proud. He has done that a thousandfold . . . and has shined a light on both our industry and goodness in the world. EJ has introduced me to an important new phrase, a 'blackberry moment.' If you are not inspired after reading this, you are not human. Unscripted is unforgettable!"

Jim Nantz, CBS Sports

"Great to see Ernie putting his thoughts to paper with Unscripted. His life and insight are unparalleled, and it's time the world sees what we see daily."

Kenny "The Jet" Smith, Inside the NBA on TNT

"Unscripted has it all . . . sports, high-wire pressure, behind-the-scenes-secrets, winning and losing, pain and hope, life and death, family and faith, and what matters most. Ernie blends this into a fabulous story that will for sure grip your imagination and just might change your life. Turns out there may be a script after all."

John Ortberg, senior pastor of Menlo Church; author of All the Places to Go

"I have known Ernie since I was starting off in the business over thirty years ago, and have come to admire and appreciate him as a member of the sportscasting "family" . . . and as a family man. With Unscripted, Ernie captures the challenges of building a singular career in the public eye, while devoting himself to his job as a spouse and parent. His snapshots of pride, fear, joy, sadness, compassion, and hope will resonate with readers, no matter their industry or family structure. "Unscripted" moments are the stuff of our lives, and Ernie offers a personal and lasting triumph in this regard, far from the bright lights of sports television."

Hannah Storm, SportsCenter on ESPN; award-winning producer and director

"One of the most genuine voices I've encountered. Ernie's contribution to sports and media is noteworthy, but his investment into the lives of others is a story all its own."

Lecrae, Grammy Award-winning rapper and songwriter

"Every time I've had the privilege of hearing my friend Ernie share parts of his story, I've been encouraged, blessed, undone, challenged, and amazed by the remarkable faith and trust that has marked his life and his journey. I'm so thankful that he has written his story and given us this incredible gift of Unscripted so many others can be inspired the way I've been by knowing this great man, friend, husband, and dad."

Steven Curtis Chapman, five-time Grammy Award winner

"Ernie Johnson is one of the finest men I've ever known. Not just in sports. Not just in sports television. He's one of the best men I've ever met. Period. I treasure his friendship."

Verne Lundquist, sportscaster for CBS Sports

"Ernie Johnson is a living example of the truth "It's not what happens to you but how you handle what happens to you." He is exceptional and inspirational, a person I highly respect."

James Brown, CBS Sports & News

"Whether a sports fan or not, you will find this book to be a complete delight. I will never look at blackberries the same. Read it!"

William Paul Young, bestselling author of The Shack, Cross Roads, Eve

"Ernie Johnson has been sportscasting exciting games for decades, and yet no moment about barreling into home plate, sinking the putt, or hitting the game-winning shot compares to the true story of his family. We love Ernie and his family for the same reason we love sports; something about us resonates with the broken hero just trying to find home. This book has more glory in it than a thousand World Series, and the characters are no less enticing."

Donald Miller, bestselling author of Blue Like Jazz

"Unscripted is how all of our lives begin. Some choose to do more with their lives. Ernie Johnson is one of those people. Although Ernie and I are about the same age, I always feel as though he is the older brother I never had. Ernie makes everyone feel related or connected in his own gracious way. When we are working together for Turner Sports, he will always pay homage to his father by saying "We are zipping right along here in the 6th inning," and I will turn to him and we exchange a quiet nod. That phrase will be etched in my brain forever. Simply every minute I spend with Ernie makes me aspire to be a better man."

Ronnie Darling Jr., Turner Sports

"Ernie Johnson is one of the most talented and versatile broadcast journalists in our business. He's knowledgeable, personable, and generous with his time. I'm so happy to finally see his journey to the top recorded in Unscripted."

William C. Rhoden, author of Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of the Black Athlete

"After having the honor of personally knowing Ernie for many years now, and seeing his faith and heart lived out in his words and deeds, it is such a pleasure to read more stories and insights into the life of my good friend EJ!"

Mac Powell, lead vocalist and songwriter for Grammy Award-winning band Third Day


The Author

  1. Ernie Johnson Jr.

    Ernie Johnson Jr.

    Ernie Johnson Jr. is a three-time Sports Emmy Award winner and host of TNT's Inside the NBA with Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O'Neal. He is the studio host for NBA TV's popular Fan Night and a studio host for Turner and CBS's NCAA...

    Continue reading about Ernie Johnson Jr.


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