Ex-jock and TV commentator and novelist (Titans, 1994, etc.) Green offers a mostly cautious and apologetic look at the...

READ REVIEW

THE DARK SIDE OF THE GAME: The Unauthorized NFL Playbook

Ex-jock and TV commentator and novelist (Titans, 1994, etc.) Green offers a mostly cautious and apologetic look at the behind-the-scenes world of pro football. Green offers many stories about a whole raft of ills plaguing the sport he loves--such as AIDS, drugs, and violence. But rather than study the problems in a detailed manner and propose solutions shaped by his unique vantage point, he dismisses many kinds of indiscretions by players, coaches, reporters (and even referees) as mere examples of ""boys being boys."" He admits that, yes, as a result of football's ever-present physical pounding and psychological pressure, even he used and misused painkilling drugs and sleep aids--""but nowhere to the point of abuse."" Other examples of pulled punches include a mash piece to the widely disliked coach Jerry Glanville. He admits that individual and institutional racism still exist in the NFL; he insists that groupies aren't as common as we believe them to be (and, besides, he asks, what kind of guy would want to go out with a groupie, anyway?). Green is more persuasive in describing the day-to-day toll the game exacted from his body, although his description waffles between the pedantic and the folksy. But when he chooses a safe target (as, for instance, the league's arcane and silly uniform policy), Green really lets loose, and the results are truly amusing. Green the football raconteur is tempted to bite the hand that fed him--but Green the television sports commentator doesn't seem to want to draw blood.

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Warner

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1996