HARD NOSE: The Story of the 1986 Giants by Jim with Hank Gola Burt

HARD NOSE: The Story of the 1986 Giants

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A tasty, junk-food account of a Super Bowl season by the nose tackle of the N.Y. Giants football team. Prior to 1986, the Giants were the Boston Red Sox of pro football--they always found a new way to blow a lead. But last year was a different story, one that Burt (who offered two of the premier images of that championship season--climbing a ten-foot wall to high-five the fans after the NFC playoff victory, and hoisting his five-year-old son on his shoulders after the ultimate triumph in the Rose Bowl) narrates in typical locker-room language. Burt was the first player to institute the tradition of dousing coach Parcells with the Gatorade vat after each victory, and it is that same sense of mischief that pervades his book. Each chapter carries as its title the name of a town that provided the setting for a crucial Giant game--Dallas, when a disappointing first-game loss seemed to be the harbinger of a typical Giant season; Minnesota, where a crucial, late-game fourth-and-seventeen situation signalled that perhaps the Giants were a team of destiny; and, of course, those thrilling playoff cities. But aside from the nostalgia for a great season, this is a book full of low humor: Sean Landeta scalps tickets in the stadium parking lot, and his teammates build a miniature ticket booth around his locker; Burr empties out a fire extinguisher under Phil Simms' hotel door, and Simms retaliates by stuffing the bottom of Burt's bedsheets with toothpaste and shaving cream; Landeta, again, walks onto a practice field prior to the Super Bowl and within minutes has seven of eight phone numbers of a local junior-college cheerleading team. Burr comes tongue-in-cheek to every subject, as when he writes of his position: ""Nose tackle is a little like being a fire hydrant at the Westminster Dog Show. You've got all those pedigrees around you and all you do is get pissed on."" Great reading for Giant fans, and more fun all around than Giants coach Parcells' autobiography (p. 978).

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1987
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich