The Dark Side of the Game: My Life in the NFL

Tim Green, Author Warner Books $19.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-446-52033-1
A former player for the Atlanta Falcons and now a TV broadcaster on the Fox network, Green (Titans) has an enduring love for football, but that does not prevent his seeing the unlovelier aspects of the sport. Chief among them are the physical tolls the game exacts: every player, he stresses, suffers discomfort in every game of every season. The injuries are usually temporary but are sometimes permanently disabling, including concussions (Green had 12 during his career). There are the hardships of training camps and exhibition games, which sap athletes' energies even before the regular season starts, violent players and team doctors who urge even wounded players to stay on the field. Enemies may be teammates, since offensive and defensive units each have special bonds. Other obstacles include performance drugs, artificial turf, rowdy fans and the media, resented because reporters have never played pro football and, in Green's view, don't know what they are writing about. The author also provides insights into good and bad venues, superstitions, agents and the realities of play: ""If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'."" Eye-opening for grid fans. Available as a Time Warner AudioBook. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996
Release date: 08/01/1996
Genre: Nonfiction
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