THE NIGHTMARE SEASON by Arnold J. Mandell

THE NIGHTMARE SEASON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is the story of a university research psychiatrist acting like ""Sigmund Freud in shoulder pads"" in order to help the hapless San Diego Chargers. Engaged by the club's owners in 1973, Dr. (M.D.) Mandell was asked to gauge the mood of a cellar-dwelling football team beset by low morale, drug problems, and disciplinary hassles stemming from ""troublesome or dissatisfied veteran stars"" such as Deacon Jones and Duane Thomas. What appears to have been a good idea went sour when San Diego sank to a 2-11 record and their coach, Harland Svare, was fired at mid-season. Although Mandell gave sound advice to the players besides trying to curb their amphetamine use, he wound up being ""banned from the NFL"" in the wake of the Chargers' highly publicized drug scandal. Amazingly, the oversealous NFL Commissioner, Pete Rozelle, used bugged hookers to get some hard evidence against the athlete users. An unclinically readable study even if its observations are at best random and its psychiatric findings inconclusive.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1976
Publisher: Random House