By Tony Dungy, with Nathan Whitaker
I just got around to reading this book last week, and I really blew through it...and I really enjoyed it. I have to thank Dave in Brighton, and Mrs. Dave in Brighton, because it is through them that I got this book. They were nice enough to get me a gift on my big 29th birthday party this year (7/7/07!), but unfortunately, I already had the book they got me. (I guess they didn't read the blog carefully enough.) But I exchanged that book for this one over the summer, and now I've finally read it. So everything worked out.
This book started out rocky (the italics are direct quotes):
"...before we begin, I want to make sure we're starting at the same place. The point of this book is not the Super Bowl. In fact, it's not football."
"This book is not only about me, either."
Well, then what is this book about? Football and Tony Dungy were the reasons I bought it!
"It's about the things I've learned, the mistakes I've made, and the heartaches that have made me lean into the Father's presence. I hope that when it's all said and done, you'll see that it's really all about Him."
Oh no! I've been tricked into a book about religion!
But not totally, and really, it was a good book.
Now, I have a pretty high tolerance for the religion piece, so I don't know that I can be a fair judge of whether or not Dungy beats the reader over the head with religion throughout the book. I will say he mentions it a lot, but not overwhelmingly so. The man's religious, and that comes across loud and clear. But he's also a good guy, who treats people the right way, and that makes anything he says more tolerable.
The best parts of the book were some of the inner workings of the NFL. There's a really good part when Dungy talks about the 1996 draft with Tampa Bay, when they end up 'settling' for Mike Alstott. The Jets were actually involved, screwing up the Bucs pick by taking receiver Alex Van Dyke when they had previously agreed to trade the pick so the Buccaneers could get Texas A&M running back Leeland McElroy. He went to the Cardinals, and Tampa ended up with Alstott. I'd say that non-trade worked out OK for Tampa, not so well for the other teams involved.
The connections between all of the coaches was pretty interesting too. Dungy worked with a number of people on different levels of different staffs. He didn't have the kindest words for the type of workhorse Marty Schottenheimer is, and of course, Dungy and Herman Edwards are close friends, so the former Jets coach features prominently in the book. If you can stand the religious talk, or at least be able to scan through the football portions of the book while skipping the religious parts, I'd really recommend the book.
HOW BAD ARE THE JETS RIGHT NOW?: Here's how bad the Jets are right now - the Jets, 2-9, are 1-and-a-half point underdogs at the 0-11 Miami Dolphins. Ouch.
COMMENT ON THE COMMENTS: Southern Bureau is not alone thinking that Shea is a dump...and he's entitled to his opinion, but for me, it will always be a special place. I can never categorize it as a dump, and that's not me being 'politically correct', it's just the way I feel.
HOW I SPENT PART OF THANKSGIVING WEEKEND: Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, Boston University took on Cornell in what was billed as "Red Hot Hockey: A Rivalry Renewed". My brother came through big time, using a connection to get me and Justin From NYC two tickets in a luxury box. For a while we thought we'd have the box to ourselves, but then other people showed up. Wildly - not only were they BU fans...they were also people Justin knew from BU - one was a guy who he and the Southern Bureau took under their wings and helped grow from radio intern to someone who now does something for a Redskins radio network. BU, having a terrible season so far, won the game, 6-3. This was our view from the suite: