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4th and Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream Hardcover – September 18, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

We all like to dream big when it comes to pursuing our goals, but the truth is, the real world too often gets in the way. That's why Joe Moglia's story is so fulfilling. Joe dared to chase his dreams, and this wonderful book captures his story in a way that is both gripping and unforgettable.
--Jim Nantz, CBS Sports


The story of Joe Moglia is equal parts sports, business, and family. In 4th and Goal, we clearly see that the common denominator is passion, and we end up rooting for Joe as he gets one last shot at his dream.
--Jeffrey Marx, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Season of Life


Captivating . . . Burke combines snappy magazine prose with the natural drama of Joe Moglia's unlikely career arc.
--Publishers Weekly



No one should ever be ashamed of letting practicality and responsibility take their dreams away. But what an inspiration Joe is to never let his dream die. After reading his story, I remind myself I still have my own unfulfilled dreams to pursue.
--Steve Young, NFL Hall of Famer

For many of us, coaching football is more than a way of life. It's a calling. Joe Moglia clearly understands this, and his story is both powerful and inspiring. If you're a football fan, this is a book you must read."
-- Bill Cowher, legendary coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers



A winning story for fans of Friday Night Lights and believers in the American dream.
--Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Monte Burke is a staff writer at Forbes magazine, and has also written for the New York Times, Outside, Men's Journal and Town & Country, among others.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455514047
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455514045
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #660,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Admittedly I am not a huge football fan, but I read Monte Burke's first book "Sowbelly" and when I saw he had come out with a new book I had to get it. "4th and Goal" on the surface is a book about a man who comes back to chase a dream of coaching football, a dream he abandoned more than 30 years ago. Burke details the life of Joe Moglia's rise out of the streets into athletics and how he set that life behind him to support his family. Decades later, his fortune made, he grinds his way back into the game.

While Moglia's life is the centerpiece of the book, his return to the game sets a stage for Burke to examine pro football and it's practitioners in a detail that is enthralling. We meet many struggling players that have come to the UFL for much of the same reasons Moglia has, for one last shot to see if they have what it takes. The profile of Maurice Clarett could be a book in and of itself. We meet a vast swath of rookies, aging veterans, and wild card call ups from civilian life. As quickly as the team is assembled we see it slowly taken apart. From game to game the casualties mount and Burke is methodical in cataloging the physical decimation. From destroyed knees to severe concussions, the games brutality is laid to bare. This was something I wasn't necessarily prepared for when I started reading, but it brought me into the story more effectively.

The book does start out at less than a jog as Burke lays the foundation for this story, but things quickly pick up he and keeps things going. His summary breakdown of the games demonstrate an effective economy, capturing the 4 quarters succinctly and with pace. The switch backs between Moglia's business life and his current coaching struggles weave well. Burke has made it a book that does not require an avid love of football to enjoy, and it has a tale to tell that applies to pretty much everyone out there that has a dream.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It never gets old seeing the gleam, the original spark in someone's eye when they realize their dream. Being a middle school coach and AVID teacher, I get this privilege often as we learn about colleges, careers, and my students contemplate their futures. One of my favorite lessons to teach deals with dreams verses goals, and the kids begin to lay out practical steps to achieving their great futures. We talk about obstacles and determination and prioritizing, but often I just tell them stories of real people who, against all odds, actually achieve their dreams.
Joe Moglia's story in Monte Burke's, 4th and Goal , is one of the best stories I've read. People who take magazines like Forbes or follow CNBC, know Moglia as the former CEO that took TD Ameritrade from the brink of extinction to the top online investment firm. In 2008, Moglia retired from the corporate world to pursue a deferred dream: to be a head college football coach.
Monte Burke tells of Moglia's steady climb from high school coaching to the high stakes, consistently moving, win-or-lose-your-job ranks of college football. Mogia had made it as high on the totem pole as defensive coordinator for Dartmouth. Yet, because of family financial need, Moglia left a meager coordinator's salary for Wall Street, beating the odds again and finding a rare spot as a broker at Merrill Lynch. With promotion after promotion, he eventually reached the highest level of CEO of TD Ameritrade. Nevertheless, Moglia wasn't satisfied and when most men would retire and enjoy their wealth, he began bolstering his resume for re-entry into the college coaching ranks: first as a volunteer intern at Nebraska and then as the head coach of the Omaha Nighthawks in the now defunct United Football League.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book! Since I am a football fan and an older guy, I have often thought about trying to recapture or live some of the dreams of my youth so Joe Moglia's
endeavor to do so was inspirational and brought me to realize that to reach back to do so so is very possible. Since my son is currently a redshirt quarterback for Coastal Carolina University and chose CCU over many other schools that recruited him, Coach Moglia was his primary reason for committing to Coastal! Coach Moglia's personal philosophies of preparing student athletes for a life after football and taking responsibility for being a man resonated greatly with my me and my son. May I wish the best of luck and much success to Coach Moglia and his staff!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Monte Burke is able to show us a man with the strength of character to give up on the one dream he'd pursued his entire adult life when his life had seeming prepared him for no other option, and then the force of will to return to that dream late in life when even the thought of it seemed an utter absurdity.

Joe Moglia, Burke's protagonist, is a driven, intense and very capable. One could say he's obsessive. But not so obsessive that he is controled by it to the point where, Ahab-like, he lets the attainment of that goal subsume the rest of him. Burke shows us enough of his childhood influences, his parents, his rough adolescence in the gritty Inwood section of Manhattan, that we can understand how Moglia is able to step back from himself at a critical juncture in his life and make a very difficult decision, not only for himself but for his family.

Moglia's return to football after his retirement from Wall Street will interest any sports fan. The vignettes about the UFL, and particularly about Maurice Clarett, the former Ohio State running back whose personal problems led him to flame out before he had a chance to reach the NFL, are compelling. And seeing Moglia essentially will himself into the ranks of NCAA college head coaches is a lesson in perseverence. The book is well written and enjoyable on several levels. It's inspiring without being intentionally inspirational and moving without making overt attempts to appeal to your emotions.

While the game of football is a lens into Moglia, I would recommend "4th & Goal" to anybody, whether they like football or not. That said, given the subject matter of football, fatherhood and family, 4th & Goal would make a great father's day gift.
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