Friday, June 20, 2008

sports book review

Enough with Politics, luggage repair shops and shidduchim. Now it's time for a book review.

Recently, I rented The Paolantonio Report, by Sal Paolantonio of ESPN and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Go to for more info.
It's a book about overrated and underrated NFL players, coaches and moments.

I don't agree with every one of his choices, but it makes for good debate.

One of my favorites is the overrated Quarterbacks section. Number one is Joe Namath, Namath is in the Hall of Fame because of the guaranteed upset of the Baltimore Colts 40 years ago. Outside of that game and 1967, in which Namath was the first professional quarterback to throw for over 4,000 yards, his career was pretty much pedestrian. Sorry Joe Benigno and other Jet fans, Joe Willie Namath is number one in overrated quarterbacks.

Bear fans will love this next selection and Cheeseheads will hate this. Brett Favre is #2. Yes he has 3 MVP's, won a Super Bowl in 1996-1997 and broke Marino's records for TD's and yards. However, he has also come up small in the playoffs, like the game in St. Louis when he threw 6 interceptions. Imagine if Grossman or Chris Chandler did that. But he's Brett Favre, the recipient of EVERY WHITE SPORTSWRITER'S adulation in the last ten years, and he's an American icon. Listen to Frank Caliendo, Fox's funnyman when he does his John Madden impression.

Running backs, Tiki Barber was #2 and Shaun Alexander was #4 in terms of being overrated. Barber was a decent back who got a lot of attention because he played for the Giants, not the Chiefs. Alexander has come up short in big games. However, I don't maintain that Alexander is a HOF-Caliber back. That being said, he's the best back in Seahawks' history. It's too bad that he won't be able to attain the heights of a Payton or Barry Sanders.

Most underrated backs: Ottis Anderson, former St. Louis Cardinals back who later played in NY and won a ring in Super Bowl 25 against the Bills. Also underrated was Roger Craig, back on the 84, 88 and 89 title teams of the Niners.

Sal, don't agree with everything, but it's a thought-provoking book and for that, me and other pigskin fans are grateful.


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