Award-winning sportswriter Mike Freeman goes beyond day-to-day newspaper journalism and ESPN highlights to take us deep inside the game and reveal the NFL in ways that will surprise the most avid football fans. He travels to the sidelines and into the locker rooms to interview hundreds of players and coaches on their expertise. Breaking the game down to its essential elements -- coaching, offense, and defense -- Freeman profiles in depth three of today's football elite: Jon Gruden, head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Michael Strahan, defensive end for the New York Giants; and Emmitt Smith, the legendary running back.
Bloody Sundays goes behind the scenes of the "secret society" of gay players who play in fear of their lives and careers, studies how the violence of the game ravages the bodies of players, and takes us into the owners' offices to look at the darker side of the sport.
Part tribute, part exposé, Bloody Sundays is a vivid portrait of professional football that "gives you so much to think about that you might find yourself switching off a game to read" (New York Times Book Review).
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Mike Freeman is an NFL Insider for CBSSports.com. Before that, he was an NFL writer, investigative reporter, and columnist for the New York Times; a columnist for the Florida Times-Union; and a sports reporter, features writer, and investigative writer for the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Dallas Morning News. He lives in New Jersey.From Publishers Weekly:
Using a structure similar to George Will's Men at Work, Freeman dedicates sections of his new book to coaches, players and executives, employing their stories as jumping off points to discuss the inner working of the NFL. Employing his insider connections and investigative journalism skills, Freeman, who covers football for the New York Times, doesn't shy away from the critical issues facing the league, such as a financial system that can leave players with little money and tenuous job security or the high-profile domestic abuse cases that have become all too common among the league's players in recent years. He explores not only the health risks to players who use their bodies as battering rams but also the health issues facing workaholic NFL coaches. Given America's obsession with celebrities' personal lives, the book's most stunning revelation comes from Steven Thompson (an alias), a gay NFL player who claims there are currently "100 to 200 gay and bisexual" players in the league. Freeman reports on all these issues with passion and compassion, almost always giving thoughtful consideration to both sides of the story while also suggesting viable solutions to the league's problems. Freeman's only fumble is his "99 Reasons Why Football Is Better Than Baseball," an indication that ubiquitous list journalism has made the jump from magazines to books. Still, Freeman's courage to tackle the sport's biggest issues and his insider's expertise make this a must read for football fanatics coast to coast.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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