MAD DUCKS AND BEARS by George Plimpton


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One is tempted to say that it's time George Plimpton put away childish things. Another book about football, OK. But another book about how he quarterbacked a pro team, this time the Colts (cf. Paper Lion)? insipid replay. Actually this rambling collection of huddlebutt -- book it isn't -- began as a manual for linemen: John Gordy and Alex Karras (both Lions, now retired -- current it isn't) were to talk into George's machine about ""How to Brash-Block,"" etc. and afterward they'd market the result as The Pit or In the Trenches with a grabber of a subtitle like ""Or How to Bite Through a Helmet."" But when they all got together little ""technical"" discussion emerged -- instead the old footballers gassed about Alex's ""capers"" and their women and other players and memorable tackles and their business ventures (Gordy's Lionburgers flopped even in Detroit -- ""Maybe they thought we were offering them exotic cuts from big cats"") and so on till you don't care, if you ever did. For some unexplained reason, an interview with Bobby Layne, a star quarterback decades ago, appears a third of the way into the text (perhaps to break the monotony -- he's from Texas and talks funny, ""sumbitching right""). And of course there's a lengthy account of Plimptom's second effort as QB -- he made 22 yards this time. At one point, the author calls this a ""lighthearted study of football."" Heavy-footed is more appropriate.

Pub Date: Nov. 20th, 1973
ISBN: 1592281168
Publisher: Random House