TOTAL IMPACT by Ronnie  Lott


Straight Talk from Football's Hardest Hitter
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 Revealing autobiography of football defensive-back Ronnie Lott, written with Sports Illustrated staffer Lieber. Lott is king of defense for the San Francisco 49ers--ranging behind the line, breaking up pass plays, playing ``good old fashioned smash-mouth football''--and an incredible asset for coach Bill Walsh, though Lott never feels close to him. Lott studies San- Tzu on the art of war and envies Mike Tyson (``The violence turns me on...if you're a true professional you should be able to bring forth the rage no matter what is at stake''). Here is the Lott tackle: ``I visualize a spot on the other side...and run full speed straight knees fly into a receiver's helmet...hands whip into his facemask.'' He rejoices in helmet-first ``runaway freight train massacres where I [plow] through some sucker who didn't see me coming.'' Teammates in the way are smashed aside. When Lott runs amok and a teammate calms him, he turns on him. Where does the rage come from? That's never quite explored here, but Lott pays a high price for his playing style. Despite a remarkable and well-described training regimen directed by a karate instructor, the toll is awesome, with Lott a connoisseur of pain. He experiences repeated and serious concussions, his hamstrings are ``nubby, knotted, full of divots,'' and his knees will never be the same. A pair of sophisticated physical therapists tend him via massage, liniments, ice, amino acids, herbal casts, and electrical muscle stimulation; he also uses acupuncture, Scientology, and the advice of a little old Chinese man he met in San Francisco herb shop. One of the frankest books yet about the realities of pro sports under the influence of major money, TV, steroids, and painkillers. (Twenty-five b&w photographs--not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-385-42055-2
Page count: 390pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1991


NonfictionUNSTOPPABLE by Anthony Robles
by Anthony Robles