cover image Bringing the Heat

Bringing the Heat

Mark Bowden. Alfred A. Knopf, $25 (512pp) ISBN 978-0-679-42841-1

This look at the Philadelphia Eagles covers both the tenure of coach Buddy Ryan, which began in 1986 and ended with his firing in 1991, and the next three years of current coach Rich Kotite's regime. The 1992 season is the focal point, but Bowden, who covered the Eagles for the Philadelphia Inquirer, deals in depth with the years leading up to that season. Of particular interest are Bowden's profiles of many of the Eagles' colorful characters, including Ryan, owner Norman Braman (who sold the team to Hollywood producer Jeff Lurie in 1994) and players Jerome Brown, Seth Joyner and Randall Cunningham. Bowden pulls no punches, documenting the stormy off-the-field lives of several team members including Joyner and Wes Hopkins, as well as describing the players' dislike of star quarterback Cunningham. Although a bit melodramatic at times, this is as thorough an account of a sports franchise as any fan, even Eagles fanatics, could want. Photos not seen by PW (Oct).