3rd Down and Forever: Joe Don Looney and the Rise and Fall of an American Hero

J. Brent Clark, Author, Barry Switzer, Illustrator St. Martin's Press $21.95 (247p) ISBN 978-0-312-07870-6
This is a curious sports biography in which Clark, an Oklahoma lawyer, approaches a seemingly unworthy subject with a reverence bordering on hero-worship. Born in 1942 to a demanding, distant football-star father and a none-too-bright Southern belle mother, Joe Don Looney was indulged throughout his life--as a boy by his mother and as an adult by his increasingly well-to-do father. Joe Don was a singularly talented halfback, playing for the New York Giants, Baltimore Colts, Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins, but his hatred of authority figures extended to coaches, so his gridiron career was largely a tale of unrealized potential. Personally, he was handsome, outspoken and irresponsible, with a short temper and a brief attention span; he experimented with Eastern religions, drugs, body-building, marriage (twice, maybe thrice) and finally motorcycling, which killed him in 1988. He emerges here as a child who grew only in body and talent. Photos. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-96148-0
Paperback - 978-0-312-11234-9
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