The Year of the Cat

Scott Fowler, Author, Charles Chandler, With Simon & Schuster $23 (304p) ISBN 978-0-684-84448-0
This title might more accurately be called the Year of the Expansion Teams, because both the Carolina Panthers and the Jacksonville Jaguars (see Jags to Riches, by Scott Fowler and Charles Chandler, in Forecasts, August 11), who entered the National Football League in 1995, came within one game of going to the Super Bowl in their respective divisions. But while the Jaguars barely squeaked into the playoffs with a 9-7 record, the Panthers went 12-4 and, including their playoff win against Dallas, ended their year with eight straight victories. Fowler and Chandler covered the team for the Charlotte Observer, and, although they present the requisite game-by-game analysis knowledgeably and fairly, not hesitating to identify a flub as such by one of the hometown players, the book's greatest strength is showing the role ego plays among top athletes. Some are openly cocky, like linebacker Lamar Lathon and quarterback Terry Collins, while the authors maintain that others cloak their hubris behind a show of introversion or religiously inspired humility. But there lies a key to the Panthers' success: they submerged their egotism for the good of the team, stress the authors. Their unusual take will give fans an interesting read. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Hardcover - 978-0-684-00621-5
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-4165-7798-0
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