This past winter, after four tumultuous years with the Houston Oilers, Glanville was named head coach of the Atlanta...


ELVIS DON'T LIKE FOOTBALL: The Life and Raucous Times of the NFL's Most Outspoken Coach

This past winter, after four tumultuous years with the Houston Oilers, Glanville was named head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. As evidenced here, he takes pride in his growing reputation as the National Football League's answer to the late Billy Martin: his success on the field is overshadowed by his combative, grating personality. Glanville boasts that his athletic scholarship to Northern Michigan enabled him to attend college for four or five years without buying any books. ""Sociology. . .was more boring than [Pittsburgh head coach] Chuck Noll."" Glanville was hired as a defensive coach at Western Kentucky in 1967 and the following year joined Bud Carson at Georgia Tech. His first job in the pros was as special teams coach for the Detroit Lions, from 1974-77. He spent the next several seasons as a defensive coach for the Atlanta Falcons, moved on to Buffalo for a season and then to Houston in 1984 as defensive coordinator. Of those early years with the Oilers, he says, ""If we had been a college team, everybody would've scheduled us for homecoming"" When head coach Hugh Campbell was fired near the end of the 1985 season, Glanville took over. His brand of ""living on the edge; reckless, smash-mouth football""--the team set a 1988 goal of 100 broken face-masks--turned the franchise around. By 1987, the ""House of Pain"" Oilers were in the playoffs, and Glanville's ugly feuds with Noll and Cincinnati's Sam Wyche were in the headlines. Noll protested the Oilers' ""cheap shots"" and brawling style and complained to the league; Wyche exacted a pound of flesh in 1989 by embarrassing the Oilers, 61-7--which led, along with a playoff loss to Pittsburgh, to Glanville's resignation. Glanville claims here, however, that owner Bud ""Adams got tears in his eyes"" and practically begged him to stay. His propensity for leaving tickets at the ""will call"" window for Elvis, James Dean, and The Phantom of the Opera notwithstanding, there is apparently painfully little charming or humorous about Glanville--or his book.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1990


Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1990