A dawdling, largely colorless chronicle of a casual football fan and professional writer's season with last year's Superbowl losers. After books on neurology and the American West (Matters Gray and White; Writers of the Purple Sage), Martin makes this less rigorous assignment seem the leisurely vacation it likely was--but he also seems to hover above, rather than blend in with, the Bronco squad from his first days in training camp in June to the season's grand finale in the Rose Bowl. Seemingly incapable of more than superficial insights into both the players and the game, Martin strains to evoke the ""carnival"" atmosphere of professional football as secular ritual, as civic pageant, as grandstand for everyone from beer corporations to professional politicians. Worse, however, is his failure to explore or investigate any of the issues confronting pro football today. About racism he is mute, noting that black and white players seem no different from each other. On drug use he is shallow and flip: after a Bronco tight end tests positive for drugs after a mid-season car crash, he offers no insight on the player or team's drag policy, and later takes at face value a claim by the Bronco head trainer that his team is ""steroid-free."" Compromising and lackadaisical, Martin's book will no doubt feed and appease ""Broncomania"" in Denver. But it is in most other respects a blown opportunity on a potentially revealing subject.