You used to turn on a television set and you'd see Reggie White in a green uniform and you'd say, "Oh, the Eagles are playing." Or you'd see Joe Montana in a red uniform under the center and you'd say, "Oh, the 49ers are playing." But now you have to remind yourself that Reggie's with the Packers. And you had to check to see if Joe was in a 49ers uniform or a Chiefs uniform. You don't know who's playing for which team. Or who's going to be back next season.
Once when I was a kid I was walking by John Henry Johnson, the 49ers' fullback, after a game. A woman ran up behind him and squealed, "John Henry! John Henry!" and went to kiss him. He turned around, all sweaty and dirty, but his teeth were in his locker. "Arrrggghhh!" she screamed and ran away across the field. But he looked like John Henry to me, like the toughest guy I'd ever seen.
Everything comes to an end, but Don Shula deserved a classier way to exit. He took too much ridicule in Miami his last few seasons. He stood for everything that was good about football, everything that was good about being a coach, everything that was good about being a man. I hated to see him stripped of all that.
A Cowboys defensive end, Daniel Stubbs, came to practice every day with this huge sandwich made of two fried eggs, sausage, bacon, and cheese on Texas toast. When we took it to a clinic to be analyzed, one of their doctors wouldn't even touch it. He used tongs to pick it up. "It's got more saturated fat and cholesterol, " he said, "than just about anything we've ever analyzed here!" So, of course, I made it the All-Madden Sandwich.
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Football's a game and it's meant to be fun, which is what I hope this book is for you. You'll be reading stuff that's in my head, but that I don't really have enough time to talk about during the games. I'll take you around the NFL, from the sidelines to the Fox broadcast booth. I'll look at the players and coaches and owners and talk about broadcasting -- about what I do and how I do it.
What does it mean to be "All-Madden"? It's a whole range of things. For defensive linesmen and linebackers, it's about Jack Youngblood playing with a busted leg, Lawrence Taylor wreaking havoc on the offense and Reggie White making the other guy wish he put a little more in the collection plate at church. It's about a guy who's got a dirty uniform, mud on his face and grass in the ear hole of his helmet.
It's also the offensive genius of Joe Montana and the guts of Emmitt Smith playing a monster game with a painful separated shoulder. It's style and substance, like Jerry Rice, who feels, "If you don't look good, you can't play good." It's candy wrappers flying out of Nate Newton's pockets. It's Deion Sanders and Rod Woodson playing for Lonnie Lott's mantle. It's Bill Bates, the special teams expert who was a mean tackler even at 12 years old -- just ask his coach.
Then there are the guys who lead them -- like Jimmy Johnson, who loved the game so much he came back to take over the Miami Dolphins from the best coach in the NFL, Don Shula. Don and George Allen were the men I looked up to when I was head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Not to mention Vince Lombardi, who showed me there was a lot about football I still needed to learn when he gave an eight-hour lecture on one play.
So when you're not watching a game, crack this book open and enjoy!From Library Journal:
TV sports announcer Madden has waited seven years to write this follow-up to his three New York Times best sellers, so it had better be good.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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