It Makes Up For The Lucky Beard Commercial

I see a lot of this while reading art books on Sunday afternoons:

This article redeems him:

When Andrew Luck looks like the best quarterback in the NFL—as he often has in previous seasons—the Indianapolis Colts are a playoff team. When Luck throws interceptions and takes sacks—as he often has this season—the Colts are mediocre.

It’s possible no group of players in the league is more dependent on one individual than the other 52 members of the Indianapolis roster.

They’ve even come to depend on Luck when choosing what books to read.

“He’s always saying ‘I read this great book,’ ” said backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. “He’s recommended books on concrete architecture, Rob Lowe’s autobiography or ‘Mountains Beyond Mountains,’” a 2003 account of a doctor working to fight tuberculosis.
More on the NFL

In the same way that Oprah Winfrey has become known for vaulting books she likes to popularity across the country, Luck can make his favorite reads become the talk of the Colts locker room. Some of the books he recommends are for inspiration, players say, if a teammate is going through a tough time. Others are passed on simply because Luck enjoyed leafing through them. “He’s a voracious reader and he likes talking about it,” said center Khaled Holmes, a beneficiary of Luck’s penchant for recommending his favorite titles.

Now, he has to overcome the DirecTV commercial.

Book Report: Boogar Hollow’s Scraps of Wisdom by Nick ‘n Willann Powers (1972)

Book coverThis book is a cross between the southern language dictionaries I’ve been reading of late How To Talk Pure Ozark and How To Speak Southern) and Poor Richard’s Almanack: Benjamin Franklin’s Best Sayings which I read earlier this year. As such, it’s a pithy collection of observations about life and advice.

A couple of the items made me chuckle, a couple made me want to quote them (minus the vernacular spelling), and one led indirectly to a tweet. So it was worth browsing for sure. It’s make a better gift than the aforementioned Southern dictionaries, although a Southern dictionary with a Southern variant of aforementioned might be interesting. For one definition.

The book itself is in chapbook form, which is what I think when I think cardstock cover over photocopied and saddle-stapled booklets. Instead of typewriting them or using Microsoft Word on them (which Dan Rather insists is truthy for the time period), someone hand-lettered the pages and hand-drew the graphics and images therein. That’s a lot more work than we have to go through in 2015 to do professional quality work, my friends.

Apparently, this was one of a series of Boogar Hollow books; the front material lists several titles in the series. I hope the couple that put these together about the time of my birth broke even at least on them. At the very least, I’ll bet they had fun.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: How to Talk Pure Ozark by Dale Freeman (1961)

Book coverThis book is very similar to How To Speak Southern. It was written by a newspaperman (in this instance, a Springfield newspaper editor) based on some columns or essays, and this one dates back to 1961. It did not get nationwide distribution, though: this is a chapbook and was probably only locally distributed and not for very long.

It also collects phonetically spelled Ozark accent words in a dictionary form; however, this one had thinner, less humorous definitions, so it was a bit less enjoyable to go through. It has a lot of overlap with the later collection (not directly–nobody’s plagiarizing here), but enough so that it was not fresh. Sometimes I had to read the words a couple of times because in some instances, instead of giving a definition, the word would include a sample of it in an Ozarks sentence. Which was full of other Ozarks words, so I had to read it a couple of times to figure out what word it was supposed to be. You know, having to work for the punch line doesn’t make humor more rewarding.

As in the previous book, this one includes something I didn’t think was a particular Southernism: The word mull meaning “to think over.” Of course, in this instance, it only identifies the definition of the word and not its etimology, so I have no idea why this is particularly Southern.

So I didn’t really learn anything from the book, and I’m not sure how true-to-life it is 50+ years after it was written. Much of the Pure Ozark sounds a lot like South City Hoosier. Of course, the line of my family that lived in Lemay a long time and pronounced the French invisible R in toilet and wash originated in the Ozarks anyway. So there I go.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: The Libya Connection by “Don Pendleton” (1982)

Book coverYou’re forgiven if you think I’ve read this book before–after all, the immediately post-Pendleton Executioner books have a single plot with different locations and, if you’ll pardon the pun, different execution by the different house authors. But, no, I was remembering that I’d read a book called The Libyan Contract. Which was written about eight years before this book (and I read it five years ago, if we’re really into historical records). It shares a certain element of plot that I’ll get to in a moment.

At any rate, it has a similar complaint to the others I’ve read this year: The plot is basically the same. Bolan has to go somewhere exotic to rescue someone and defeat some terrorist plot in the midst. In this case, he’s going to Libya to track down a Puerto Rican agent he’s worked with along with a military shipment of a biological weapon. As in The Libyan Connection, the American agent helps to preserve Khaddafi as the ruler as Bolan thwarts a Soviet-backed coup in the process.

As I read these forty-year-old thrillers, I can’t help but wonder: What if there’s a conspiracy amongst thriller writers to keep the world in an agitated state of turmoil which is why the same places keep boiling up time and again? It’s either that, or history marches at a pace of decades, which means it’s too long for myopic modern audiences to understand or to support when it comes to cultural and military conflict. But, sadly, that’s a very reality-centric view that gets no truck from modern American consumers.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: Ernest Hemingway: A Critical Essay by Nathan A. Scott (1966)

Book coverThis book does not appear to have been a library book; however, it is of the time period (1966-1968) of the last few books I read. So there’s that.

Like the 1959 booklet Ernest Hemingway, it’s a short pamphlet, targeted to college students perhaps, that discusses the work of Ernest Hemingway. This book is from a series called Contemporary Writers in Christian Perspective, so it has a little bit of that going on.

There’s a short bio that captures the highlights of Hemingway: A child who liked the outdoors, a veteran(ish) of World War I, a newspaperman who lived in Paris and began his writing career there, and the time frame of his major works. Then this author describes a couple threads in Hemingway’s work, the ethics of the man living up to an ideal, the piety, the belief in the healing powers and almost sacred nature of, erm, nature. Then the author goes onto a little rant about people who find fault with Christians finding Christian themes in books that are not found in the Christian fiction section of the book store (well, that’s a contemporary thing, but you get the idea).

Overall this author approves of the work of Hemingway, as do I. So I’m going to start saving up for those complete collections of Hemingway that cost thousands of dollars. All I need to do is forego book sales for the next two hundred years.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: The Story of Silent Night by Paul Gallico (1967)

Book coverThis book is a little remaindered book from the Hillcrest High School library. It didn’t have to travel far; Hillcrest is in Springfield.

As the title indicates, it’s a little biography of the Christmas song “Silent Night”. It discusses how the two composers, a teacher with a guitar and an assistant pastor with a poem and an organ inoperative for the Christmas Eve service came together in a little Austrian town to compose it for one performance only. Some months later, a traveling organ repairman stuffed the sheet music in his pocket and shared it with some traveling singers, and the composition was attributed to anonymous or author unknown until one of the authors told the story some decades later.

A nice little book. It might have gone on a bit long for the story, but it was an informative story that is helping me get ready for the Christmas season.

How did it do as a library book?

Better than The Medium Is the Massage. On this card, it was checked out for the first time when I was an infant and for the last time when I was seven years old.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: The Medium Is The Massage by Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore (1967)

Book coverNo, it’s not a typo: The word in the title is really massage.

This book is an ex-library book from El Camino Real High School. There’s not an El Camino Real High School nearby; as a matter of fact, the only one I found on the Internet is in Los Angeles. There might be another one in Arkansas or something (let’s face it, the Spanish Camino Real was akin to highway numbering/designation–in St. Louis, it’s known as Kingshighway still and encompassed part of Lemay Ferry Road).

So, what do we have here? We have a mixed media style presentation where McLuhan continues to develop his theory of cognition and his errant philosophy of life in the digital age. As he spins his theory of how electronic media circa 1967 are altering brains and freeing the youth from the old, square ways of thinking, we get visual elements like like a series of close-ups of a foot with toenails zooming out throughout the book, repeated words making the prose into a concrete poem, and approximately six visible womens’ breasts in various images. Counting them makes me feel prudish, but this was a high school library book, and I’m hearkened back to a local controversy vis-a-vis Slaughterhouse Five.

At any rate, I thought McLuhan gets some of his prognostications correct in how immersive electronic media would become (remember, he’s writing this before home computers, smart phones, and the Internet). He does understand a bit of how that will alter the thinking of youth–fifty years later, it has continued, but not beyond his imagination. Kids have the ability to do greater and greater mash-ups. But.

Unfortunately, he suffers from a big bunch of Platonic thought in that he thinks the concepts described in electronic media are primary and more important than the things being described and conceptualized and seems to indicate that everything that happens (happenings, he calls them, in that sixties way) are instantiations of something else.

But that’s not the case, and the freedom he loves about electronic media is unmooring youth from the concrete aspects of the world so that electronic media and the people who learn cognition from it seem to be all idea and little attachment or understanding of the underpining reality of concrete things that drive that world of ideas.

Maybe the reprinted advertisement for developing a powerful memory on page 115 or the picture of a face stretched horizontally across the top 56-57 where the text is printed upside down in the book refute me on this.

It’s an interesting, thought-provoking essay in a history-of-philosophy sort of way that calls the youth of the Boomer era to some inchoate protest and to open the doors of perception or something. Unfortunately, the essay is couched in a collage of images, goofy printing and design tricks that must have seemed paradigm-shattering at the time (and perhaps reinforced the message, again, at the time) that detract from the staying power of the volume.

How did it do as a library book?

Either nobody borrowed it, the book was remaindered after a card had been filled up and before anyone else borrowed it, or the book was immediately stolen by a teenaged boy.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: How To Speak Southern by Steve Mitchell (1976, 1980)

Book coverThis book was written by a Palm Beach Post columnist and illustrated by a cartoonist at the same. It’s funny, but you don’t tend to think of Florida as the south probably because it was really not much but swamp and heat throughout much of our nation’s history and because it was not a big part of the Civil War (although, undoubtedly, there are Florida Civil War buffs who will testify that it really was–as many Missourians will tell you about all the firsts of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek just up on that hill over there). Although the author himself is from North Carolina, which is the most north you can be in the south.

At any rate, the small book is mildly amusing; it’s written in glossary style from Ah to Zat. If you liked Jeff Foxworthy twenty years later, you’ll like this book. A lot of his schtick and even a bit of his about how Southerners talk mirror its content, but I guess that would have to be the case with Southern comedians with accents. You never hear about comedians from Wisconsin and Minnesota doing bits about the northern accent, do you? I don’t.

The book was a bit educational, too, as it explains the etimology of the phrase spittin’ image, which is a corruption, pardon me, Southerners, correction of “spirit and image.” I see, that makes sense.

At any rate, I got this as part of a bundle I bought last Thursday, and I was so eager to look through the titles within that I put on a meaningless football game just so I could flip through books during it.

So it’s not a bad waste of 30 minutes unlike some of the things I flip through.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: George Washington Carver by Sam Wellman (2013)

Book coverI received this book as a gift at my mother-in-law’s birthday party. She was giving away things which came with a request; in this case, I got this book and information about the George Washingont Carver National Monument just south of Joplin, Missouri, and a request that I take my children there this summer. So I started reading this book in the beginning of August, and I took my children to the historical site as requested, but the book sort of fell to the bottom of the stack on my side table.

The book itself is a young adult faith-based biography of the plant doctor. As such, its chapters are short and punchy and it features a lot of Carver talking to God or reflecting on scripture. As Carver was a devout Christian and often lead prayer groups in his various colleges, it’s probably not out of place, but I’m sure there are plenty of 21st century readers who would take issue with it. If you’re such, this is not the biography for you. But as a young adult book, it’s probably a good starter and high level overview.

I won’t recount the fascinating life of the fellow who was born a slave, lived in southwest Missouri during the aftermath of the Civil War, and became an artist before going to school for biology and agriculture. I will, however, note that he walked all over Missouri and Kansas to find a better life for himself and to take advantage of various opportunities and that he did all this and homesteaded for a couple of years in Kansas before going to the university. He did a lot before he was thirty and then his life and fame took off.

That is what fascinates me: how self-reliant young people were in the ninteenth century. I can even tell tales about my father hopping a train with a gun at thirteen to go hunting in northern Wisconsin, but it’s so far from my late twentieth century urban childhood that I cannot imagine that sort of thing without reading about people who actually did it.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (1820, 1982)

Book coverI remember this book being mentioned explicitly (well, not that explicitly) in George Carlin’s comedy routine in his album What Am I Doing In New Jersey?. The bit is the driver behind him has his high beams on, and Carlin says that’s great because he just happens to have his copy of this book with him. At any rate, it’s taken me a long time since listening to that bit over and over on my monthly trips back from Missouri to Milwaukee right after I graduated the university, but I finally read this book (although, in my defense, I only got it last year).

The book is the story of a son of one of the few remaining Saxons in post-Norman Conquest England returning home from the Crusades. His father has disinherited him for supporting the Norman king (Richard II). He helps a Jewish moneylender and merchant and, as a reward, gets armor and a horse so he can enter a tournament, wherein he beats the best of the Normans along with the Black Knight. A Templar is smitten with the daughter of the money lender, and…. Well, there are some nefarious plots afoot, and it involves Prince John and Richard II. Of course, if the story takes place during the time of Robin Hood, one expects Robin Hood to appear. So he does, but he remains a secondary figure.

As I was reading, I confused Sir Walter Scott with Sir Walter Raleigh, so I thought the book was written 200 years before it was; as such, I was very impressed with the treatment of the Jews within the text. Although the characters curse the Jews, they’re treated well by others and are not the villains of the piece; the Normans and some of the clergy are. A bit of post-reading research (I read the Wikipedia entry) put the book in its proper historical context.

Still, in the 21st century, I can see collegiate English papers beginning with the thesis that the book is anti-Semitic (at least until the researcher gets to the Wikipedia entry). Or maybe not.

At any rate, it’s not a bad read. It’s in relatively modern English, although the style is a little more florid than modern readers expect (see also Frankenstein). However, it’s still only 212 pages. How do modern thrillers get three times that large without florid prose? I’d tell you, but I don’t read much modern stuff.

And the edition: This is a 1982 Legendary Classics edition, which means someone grabbed the public domain copy, introduced a couple of typos to protect their copyright, and printed this cheaply. The book identifies a number of others in the series (of which I’ve read only a few). But this edition is blessedly free of introductory essays explaining what you’re about to read (and throwing in spoilers) before you get to the actual novel. My goodness, the middle-of-the-twentieth-century editions of classics are worth more than the modern Penguin editions just for the freedom from interruption and pretension of telling you what you should think about what you haven’t even read yet.

So if medieval romances are your thing, this might be the book for you. I certainly recommend the edition.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: The Art of the Impressionists by Janice Anderson (1994)

Book coverThis book is a quick little sampler of Impressionist and sort-of impressionist paintings. It gives a bit of text describing the history of the Impressionist movement and then goes to the images. The book covers painters like Monet and Renoir, but also other people who exhibited with them, including van Gogh, Vuillard, Morisot, Cassatt, Gaugin, Gonzales, Sisley, Cezanne, Bazille, and others. As a matter of fact, the book gives a little more weight to the other painters as opposed to Monet and Renoir.

It shows a lot of breadth and variation in the school–and the nearby styles–so it’s a touch more educational than some of the other Impressionist picture books I’ve looked through (see also Treasures of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism and The Impressionists).

But I still like Renoir the best, although my beautiful wife might someday convince me to decorate our home in something other than Renoir prints.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: Wisdom in Rhyme by Nora O. Scott (1980?)

Book coverYou know, there was a time when I might have made fun of a collection of poetry like that contained in this book. Probably a time when I was younger and more cocksure, a bit arrogant, and impatient with the mediocre in life. I was destined for greatness, and anything less than greatness was worth mocking. That’s what youth does, and growing older gives us a little better perspective on life and the pursuit of greatness.

So I’m not going to mock this book. The poems within it are not bad poems. I’ve read bad poems. These are merely common. They have end rhymes and a decent sense of rhythm. The subjects are domestic and landscapish and Christian, with a couple of little ditties about people she knows thrown in. She’s got a couple little poems about her children growing up or having grown up from being little babies. She writes about the landscape of Arkansas, her native state. It’s the sort of thing you see a lot of in small writing groups and clubs.

The poems span a number of decades; the book was prepared and maybe published by the pastor of her church ahead of her 92nd birthday in 1980. This volume was inscribed as a gift in 1984. So that’s what it’s circa. But it represents a woman of the ninteenth century, probably with limited schooling, writing poems for most of her life and not doing badly at it. So I’m going to appreciate that for what it is. She was reaching higher and giving it her effort, and her goals might not have been more lofty than having something to show her friends and family. And here it is.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: The Toilet Zone by Dan Reynolds (1999)

Book coverThis book is pretty much what you would expect from the title: toilet humor.

It’s a collection of cartoons featuring toilets and bathrooms for the punchlines.

Heaven help me for buying it, but I did; not only that, but I chuckled at some of them because some of them are more clever than modern sitcoms.

Even my beautiful wife, who does not like scatalogical humor at all, snickered at one or two of the cleaner jokes amongst them.

So this is worth the price, which in my case was probably a quarter.

And no doubt it will keep my boys entertained for a far longer time than an adult would enjoy the book.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: Peacemaking: On Dusting the Wind by David P. Young (1989)

Book coverThis book was published by some arm of the Presbyterian church at the end of history (which was right after communism fell in the Soviet Union, for those of you children too young to remember, before history clawed its way out of the grave and began shambling around and moaning again).

This is not supposed to be a pure poetry collection; instead, it’s said (in its introduction) to be a sourcebook for musing about interacting with the world, other cultures, and other faiths. So it includes some doggerel thoughts about different cultures, a lot of indictment of personal comfort and wealth while there are so many poor in the world, and, dare I say it, a lot more equivalence between the religions than I would expect from a book published by a Protestant church. The very first bit is about how Christians, Muslims, and Indians are all holy or something. Perhaps it’s meaningful to remember that all people are people, but if you’re going to be a church, I should expect if not an overt pitch as to why one’s particular flavor is the best then at least an implicit understanding that not all paths are the same.

But that sort of thinking probably explains why Presbyterian numbers are declining and little schisms are happening.

Ah, well. The book didn’t make me much more thoughtful about the poor. But it did have some colorful photographs.

Undoubtedly, I got this in a collection of chapbooks and whatnot from the Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library book sale. Which is coming up next week just in case you missed my "Good Book Hunting" posts.

Book Report: Distant Replay by Jerry Kramer with Dick Schaap (1985)

Book coverThis book comes fifteen years after A Farewell to Football and details the first reunion of the Super Bowl I Packers in Green Bay. Kramer discusses what each player at the reunion has done since his football days ended. It’s a wide variety of stories: Max McGee founded the ChiChi’s restaurant chain and then cashed out for $18 million. A couple players went onto other teams, but never had anything like the Packers even if they won Super Bowls with other teams (and many did; the league was smaller then). Some have beaten cancer. Many are on their second wives (including Kramer), which is strange, because those of us latchkey kids from the 1980s thought our parents invented divorce.

It’s chock full of some good trivia, including the first player to play for both the NFL and Major League Baseball (Tom Brown, not Deion Sanders or Bo Jackson) and the first player to play in a Super Bowl and to coach a team in the Super Bowl (Forrest Gregg).

The tone of the book kind of makes you feel a little sympathy for Kramer, though. His optimism from his previous book seems a little forced in this book, and he does seem a little envious of those who have done better than he did since he mentions their net worth a lot. He’s not unconscious of the scorekeeping though, and he’s not done bad for himself, but he’s a six-hundred-acre guy (the size of his ranch) and knows although some people are sixty-acre-guys, a couple are six-hundred-thousand acre guys. And it rankles a bit.

So it’s a bit of a melancholy read being a retrospective of sorts and because it comes right on the heels of the previous book. That fifteen years vanishes instantly. And fifteen years after they stopped playing, all of these guys are a little older than I am and they’re far ahead of me in Krameresque scorekeeping. But in 1985, none of them had blogs with ten years of archives generating dozens of Google search hits a day and twenty cents annually in ad revenue. WHO’S WINNING THE 21st CENTURY? ME!

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: The Shakers by L. Edward Purcell (?)

Book coverThis book is a bit thicker on content than many of the photo-centric books I spend my Sunday afternoons with. The book contains a pretty good history of the Shaker movement, from their leaders being expelled from the Quaker movement to the different communities established in New England and the east to the eventual thinning and dying out of the sect–after all, they were not allowed to reproduce, only to convert to the religion.

As to the photos, they’re professional and whatnot. They highlight the design of Shaker furniture and crafts as well as some of the buildings in the various communities. Many of those communities, as they declined, effected transfers from the Shakers to nonprofit organizations that transitioned them into museums, sometimes while a few elderly Shakers remained in residence.

At any rate, a good enough coffee table book to flip through and to learn something.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: Magnificent Hearst Castle

Book coverThis book is a little program guide from Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Florida.

It’s a lot shorter than Hearst Castle< and probably predates it by a couple of decades–although the booklet itself does not include a copyright date. It does, however, contain the then-current prices for admission to the attraction along with parking instructions. Were I more curious and a real Hearstophile, I suppose I could look up the prices to determine the exact era of the book. But I’m not.

At any rate, it contains a number of photos and descriptions of the rooms, but none of the real detail the other, thicker hardback has. Of course, this book was probably far less expensive initially and it’s not too expensive now.

Worth a quick browse to get a quick summary of the mansion and complex, I suppose. Or to pass a part of a football game’s men-in-jerseys-walking-around and commercials bloc of time on a Sunday afternoon.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: Whispers of Love by edited by Deborah Gaylord (1980)

Book cover

Apparently, the Internet does not know that this book exists. But it does.

This is a 1980 magazine or book published by Scholastic Magazines, a division of Scholastic Book Services. It is 32 pages containing a single quote about love and a large photograph of happy 1970s people, presumably in love. I mean, here’s what we’re working with here:

Apparently, this was targeted to school children. That’s Scholastic’s ballwick, isn’t it? Or did this appear on the drugstore shelves for a quick gift for a loved one? Who knows?

All I know is it took me less than an offensive series in a football game to flip through it, and I’m going to count it in my annual tally. The book is more interesting for the photographs than the quotes, and not because the photographs are spectacular. It’s because the photographs remind one of the 1970s, and I was alive in the 1970s, so I knew people who followed the fashion and tried to look like this. Because it is cool. Frankly, it’s why I’ve never followed current fashion: It leads to photos of one like these. Also, I am cheap.

Also, I can’t help but wonder how many of the people from this book went home to furniture from this book.

Book Report: Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel by Anthony Horowitz (2006)

Book coverThis book is apparently the graphic novel adaptation of the screenplay of a young adult book (or so the Internet says). So it’s a graphic novel, but with a plot of something other than a tournament of magic, pocket monsters, or whatnot. So it’s not manga.

Alex Rider is the nephew of a secret agent, and when that secret agent dies, the controlling agency takes an interest in Alex who has been groomed as a secret agent from an early age. Out of options, they insert him into the mansion/complex of a wealthy technology entrepreneur who is offering to donate thousands of new virtual reality computer systems to schools across the UK. Although initial clues indicate each machine might include a computer virus, the plot is to release an actual virus into the schools to kill hundreds of thousands of children. Because, evil.

Alex stops the plot and gets the girl.

It’s about par for the graphic novel course, and were I inclined to share this with my children, there’s apparently a whole series of books out there with Alex Rider as the hero. Young adult books without wizards, vampires, or some other supernatural element that sets the hero apart from mere mortals? I was not sure such a thing was done in the 21st century. Maybe I will share these books with my boys after all.

Books mentioned in this review:

Book Report: A Farewell to Football by Jerry Kramer with Dick Schaap (1969, 1979)

Book coverJerry Kramer wrote this book a little more than a year after Instant Replay. The year after that book, the first year after Lombardi (who retires from coaching at the end of Instant Replay), the Packers cratered and lost more games than they won. Kramer’s Instant Replay became a best seller and he was quite in demand as a speaker and television guest. So he decided to give up playing football and to be a businessman since he has quite a few irons in the fire already.

So this book is a bit musing along those lines and a bit more detailed biography than Instant Replay. It doesn’t hold together quite as well as the first book as it had a unifying theme, and this one does not as much. It also might have been rushed out to capitalize on the success of Instant Replay.

At any rate, as I was reading it, I couldn’t help but wonder if Kramer’s optimism in his post-football life and business dealings were a bit optimistic. I wondered whether a lot of deals and opportunities came his way simply because he was a champion professional football player. I was pleased to see toward the end of the book that Kramer himself acknowledged this doubt.

So it’s not as good as Instant Replay, but it’s a pretty quick and easy read.

The books might also explain why Jerry Kramer is not in the football Hall of Fame: both of these books have a perspective about playing football that the industry might not want expressed. Kramer sees football as a job that he knows will end someday and, honestly, might not be the job he focused on in his last years in football. That might have stung some of the league officialdom at the time who might have wanted more focus on football, if not exclusive focus on football. Oh, how they might wish nowadays that the outside life of football players merely included business deals and hunting instead of lawbreaking.

Books mentioned in this review: