This was the world into which the United States Football League desired entry. But Donald Trump drove the league off the rails, and Pearlman explains how that all went down. But then it died beneath the weight of a particularly egotistical and bombastic owner—a New York businessman named Donald J. And of cours, looming over everything is Trump, who in his self aggrandizing way ruined the leauge much like he is doing to the country in my opinion. Magic Johnson, Wayne Gretzky, Kareem.
Every story needs a villain and Trump was this one. . It spanned three seasons, 1983-85. He develops this fascinating story with meticulous research and an incredible eye for detail. No, seriously, the Chicago Blitz roster was transferred to Arizona for the entire Arizona Wranglers roster.
This is sports as high entertainment—and a cautionary tale of the dangers of ego and excess. All in all, while I have a few hangups, I quite enjoyed reading this book, and would recommend it to anyone interested in the esoterica of American sports. I knew the fate of the league going into the book, but as I got near the end I somehow hoped Donald Trump hadn't ruined the league and it was still going today. A lot of fun for a life long football fan. Trump, then as now, was larger than life, becoming a de facto commissioner with a swagger that has become all too familiar.
The league had a basic premise: spring football. After graduating from the University of Delaware, he was hired as a food and fashion writer by The Tennessean in Nashville. Football for a Buck tells the league's story in all its doomed glory. Some teams lavished riches on college players, resulting in elite talents like Herschel Walker, Steve Young and Jim Kelly joining the league, while others went bargain hunting. Great collection of humorous anecdotes that can be found on almost every page. Fascinating and hilarious reading on a half-dozen levels.
One player who had a dismal tryout with the Chicago Blitz walked toward the general manager, as all of the successful hopefuls had done, and signed a contract. He figured that the chances of Brady agreeing were a Hail Mary at best, but Brady returned Mark's call in summer 2014 and kept on returning his calls through epic Patriots Super Bowl victory and defeat, and a scandal involving Brady--Deflategate--whose grip on sports media was as profound as its true significance was ridiculous. Another prospective player demanded permission to climb a fence to try out. This last idea was a terrible one, but he won over many owners anyway. And that was before Donald Trump. I felt confident given Pearlman's track record and ability to draw stories our of interview subjects and I was not disappointed.
Arizona had a dormant owner, so he took over there and the league took over the Blitz. The league had other problems. It also included some high profile stars such as Steve Young and Herschel Walker. And in some ways, Trump was a symptom, not a cause. When Pearlman got a nibble from a publisher, he took a deep dive into reporting and research. Great book and highly recommended. Football for a Buck is a fascinating, entertaining and fast read.
Pearlman is also a top-notch reporter and talented writer. The threw that policy out the window. Seems he jumped from the first season, 1983, to the last season, 1985 with bits and pieces of the '84 season thrown in. Fascinating and hilarious reading on a half-dozen levels. For fans of Terry Pluto's Loose Balls or Jim Bouton's Ball Four and of course Pearlman's own stranger-than-fiction narratives, Football for a Buck is sports as high entertainment--and a cautionary tale of the dangers of ego and excess.
It drew millions of fans and launched the careers of legends. There is a ton of content to cover and Jeff Pearlman does a wonderful job of covering it all. The had a longstanding, unwritten rule against recruiting underclassmen. One year later, my favorte team got traded, yes traded for a completely diffferent team, the Arizona Wranglers. In recent years, the has been mired in numerous controversies, from players who kneel during the national anthem to the long-term health effects of concussions on players.
Above all, Pearlman is a master storyteller -- he draws the reader in with his vivid descriptions of the league's wild games and wilder players. And in chronicling the ways Trump delivers less than he promises, then leaves other to suffer the fallout, Pearlman has also written a playbook to the current presidency. I haven't read everything Jeff has put out, but of what I have this is by far my favorite. You will not be disappointed. Yes, traded for each other.
Then again, maybe it was just me. Not only is this book somehow topical, it serves as a retrospective a generation later that only the passage of time allows us to truly appreciate. Ali: A Life is a story about America, about race, about a brutal sport, and about a courageous man who shook up the world. And oh, yes, there are the stories on Donald Trump, who owned the New Jersey Generals and basically helped run the league into the ground when he got big-headed and thought about himself. Regardless of political position or affiliation, any reader will realize that sounds very familiar to something that Trump stated later in his second career.