Saturday, February 21, 2009

Book Review: Sunday Morning Quarterback

There was this one episode of Cheers, in the early years, where Coach mentioned that his nickname was "Red." Diane asked if that was because his hair had been red once upon a time. Coach replied that that wasn't the case-he had instead earned the nickname "Read" by reading a book, a practice with which his baseball teammates were acquainted only vaguely and not from personal experience. If you think this little story presages a negative review of a book, you'd be write. By reading Sunday Morning Quarterback by Phil Simms and Vic Carucci bears the promising subtitle of "Going Deep on the Strategies, Myths, and Mayhem of Football," then completely fails to deliver on that subtitle. It is, thankfully, less aggressively inane and stupid than Simms' normal game commentary, which he freely admits is dumbed down because anything marginally more complex than the number of rushers and zone or man defense is considered too difficult for viewers by the people whose job it is to produce games. That does not mean, however, that glimpses of intelligent commentary are anything other than few and far between in Sunday Morning Quarterback. I'm hard-pressed to think of anyone to whom I can recommend this book. One possible audience is people completely unacquainted with football and who perhaps have read the fairly decent Football for Dummies and want another book to learn more but who don't want to trouble their mind with significantly more complexity.

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