JOE NAMATH AND THE OTHER GUYS by Rick Telander

JOE NAMATH AND THE OTHER GUYS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Telander, once drafted by the KC Chiefs, had access to the Jet locker room through a friend, and his work combines the player's familiarity with the onlooker's detachment. These are his observations and the statements of players about Joe himself, the Jets as a team, and football as a profession--not a penetrating study but a broad look at the current formation. Namath here seems no different from profiles in a thousand other books and articles although Telander does show how Joe as a high-priced commodity affects those around him, like Lou Piccone, almost the lowest-paid player in pro football, or Al Woodall, third-string quarterback with a career spent in the shadow, or the New York sportswriters who have both praised and buried the superstar. What is mentioned but never seriously tackled is the enduring paradox of professional sports, the peculiarity of grown men held to Saturday night curfews and similar rules that seem alien to the gregarious Jets (""Win or lose, we booze"") and many others. Namath of course tested all the rules from the beginning--a source of anger to many teammates--and his adolescent ways, like his salary, seem just that much more exaggerated than those of his teammates. Lots of locker room chatter, strictly one-dimensional replays.

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 1976
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston