ONE GIANT LEAP by Jeff Hostetler


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 After his sterling performance in 1991's football classic, New York Giants quarterback Hostetler doesn't have to win another Super Bowl right away--and he doesn't need to write another book for a while either, because this autobiography packs more punch than one might expect. Hostetler's tale is one of a very long uphill fight, of frequent bad luck, and of a certain kind of plain faith that is so manifestly positive and workable that cynicism dies on the vine. It's not about football, really; it's about a family not giving up. Chicken-farming in Appalachia afforded Hostetler a uniquely funky start in life, and with it came a rural hell of misfortune for his family--loss of crucial land to an intrusive highway and of a barn to fire, along with his father's sudden, inexplicable loss of strength in midlife and his mother's serious illnesses. The bad luck continued for Hostetler: after he left Penn State as ``a passed-over quarterback,'' he spent seven long years on the Giants' bench, sent into oblivion by the grindingly effective traditional football-style of coach Bill Parcells and the sparkling talents of consummate quarterback Phil Simms. Meanwhile, Hostetler fathered a son with a near-fatal cardiopulmonary birth defect. And even after the 1991 Super Bowl, a few knocks came: not until the next day did Parcells allow that it had been a ``nice game,'' and when Hostetler's mother died shortly thereafter, Parcells said nothing. Hostetler's life echoes a vintage America where you go to church, don't drink, work real hard, and mind your parents--and, at least in his inspiring case, eventually attain the golden ring. (Eight pages of b&w photographs--not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 7th, 1991
ISBN: 0-399-13707-6
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1991