RUNNING TOUGH: Memoirs of a Football Maverick by Tony & Harvey Frommer Dorsett

RUNNING TOUGH: Memoirs of a Football Maverick

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Slow-footed autobiography by the fleet-footed running back. Despite the help of veteran sportswriter Frommer (Throwing Heat: The Autobiography of Nolan Ryan, etc.), this remains pedestrian throughout. Dorsett, who twists and spins and scurries on the field, simply has no style as an autobiographer. ""There's an awful lot I love about football,"" he tells us at the start. ""I love the crowds, I love performing, I love excelling. . .""--establishing a bald, boring voice that never varies. We get the early facts--childhood in a Penn. steel-mill town, amazing native skills, a sympathetic college coach, a brilliant college career (Dorsett was the first college player ever to gain 6000 yards). But we never get the flavor--this is press-office stuff. Things improve a bit when Dorsett hits the pros, mainly because his volatile temperament--he adored parties and liked to scrap--mixed so poorly with the rigid conservatism of his team, the Dallas Cowboys. Sparks fly as Dorsett rakes over Coach Tom Landry (""more like a computer than a human being"") and the Cowboys' obsession with regulating their players. However, when Dorsett turns to his own wild life-style, he offers only a coquettish tease (""if people only knew what went on at those parties--man, it was unbelievable""). He recounts his career without passion, and his comments on fellow players surprise only in their banality (of Roger Staubach: ""an officer and a gentleman""; of Lawrence Taylor: ""a great athlete""; of Joe Thiesmann: ""A fiery, intense kind of player""). For football freaks only.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1989
Publisher: Doubleday