The Fireside Book of Pro Football

Richard Whittingham, Editor Simon & Schuster $12.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-65996-7
Sports fans will enjoy this eclectic theme anthology of more than 50 works, ranging from bawdy anecdotes narrated by former players to wry reflections of well-known writers, including Ogden Nash, Gay Talese and Hunter S. Thompson, that capture the excitement and mystique and provocatively depict the mores, personalities and humor of professional football. Whittingham ( What a Game They Played ) introduces each piece and presents such sportswriting greats as Quentin Reynolds, Red Smith and Jimmy Cannon. Particularly notable is Larry Merchant's ``Tale of Two Cities,'' from his 1971 book . . . And Everyday You Take Another Bite , an amusing and insightful examination of the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants. Not all the essays are as strong; anthropologist William Arens's observation that football symbolically exaggerates American maleness is rather trite and those unfamiliar with the sport may not appreciate anecdotes about some of the game's most colorful players. But articles like former Temple University player Bill Cosby's droll 1969 Look piece ``On Chicken Football'' will appeal to a wide audience. Illustrations not seen by PW. (September)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
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