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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chasing the Dream
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...
Published on October 20, 2012 by S. Williamson

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2.0 out of 5 stars Business man and coach !
Joe Moglia is an interesting man and has led a dynamic and highly profitable life. Interesting story. Wish I had played football for a man like that. My coach could care less about his players.
Published 8 months ago by Chuck Snowden


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chasing the Dream, October 20, 2012
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This review is from: 4th and Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream (Hardcover)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story Worth Reading and Retelling., November 27, 2013
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This review is from: 4th and Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream (Hardcover)
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.
I first experienced Monte Burke's storytelling while reading, Sowbelly: The Obsessive Quest for the World Record Largemouth Bass, and I wasn't disappointed. Burke has an uncanny ability to find the unknown and often unconventional story, weaving various perspectives and interviews in such a way that a non-fiction work reads more like a page-turning novel. And Burke does it again with Moglia's story of gritty determination. At times I caught myself gasping and cheering out loud as the plot twisted and turned, and through the entire book, Moglia's life theme, "Be a man," resonated. It is a story I will definitely tell and retell to my students and athletes and Burke will definitely continue his reign on my shelves as one of my favorite writers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4th and Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream, November 5, 2012
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This review is from: 4th and Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Surprisingly Entertaining Read, July 4, 2013
By 
Liebo (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 4th and Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream (Hardcover)
This is probably the only time I will ever be grateful for the dearth of quality football books offered by my local Brooklyn library branch. Its limited gridiron selections forced me to choose between Monte Burke's lamely-titled and generically-covered 4th and Goal and Michael Strahan's Inside the Helmet. Given that the latter was penned on the heels of a very nasty and financially-destructive divorce settlement, I decided to take a chance on a book that, if its cover was any indication, seemed to be a cliched inspirational chronicle of some kind of football executive. I feared it might even have an appendix about applying the general philosophy espoused by this mysterious executive to the boardroom to help businessmen move cheese and tip points and all of that other stuff. Thankfully the book is actually a fast-paced and engrossing account of a pretty incredible story and is mercifully free from any silly appendixes.

4th and Goal focuses on Joe Moglia, the 2011 coach of the UFL's Omaha Nighthawks and the circuitous path he took to wind up with such a position. Burke opens in 1983 with Moglia serving as Dartmouth's defensive coordinator. Recently separated from his wife and kids, Moglia is living in an unheated storage room within the team's field house. While he will be offered an assistant position with the Miami Hurricanes at the end of the season with the understanding that he would eventually become their defensive coordinator, Moglia resolves himself to leave coaching and pursue a job on Wall Street to better provide for his family. He somehow becomes a ridiculously successful executive at Merrill Lynch and then TD Ameritrade. Moglia was intensely passionate about his coaching pursuits and he forced himself to avoid attending any football games for the sake of his own emotional stability. At age 60, almost thirty years after his career epiphany, Moglia leaves his post as CEO of TD Ameritrade to rekindle his dreams of becoming a college head coach. Several years later he finds himself heading a UFL team and competing against the likes of Marty Schottenheimer, Jim Fassel, and Dennis Green. 4th and Goal chronicles Moglia's hardscrabble youth in New York City and early coaching history, his unlikely Wall Street ascendancy and whirlwind return to coaching, and the Nighthawks' 2011 season.

Moglia's ultimate goal upon leaving TD Ameritrade was to land a college head coaching job. After some understandable trepidation from athletic directors, he took a job as an unpaid coach for the Nebraska, where he was hamstrung by NCAA regulations. Essentially barred from performing any on-field instruction, he still spent long hours with the coaching staff studying film and soaking up everything he could from head coach Bo Pellini and the rest of his staff. After two years with the Cornhuskers where he remained unable to attract any college head coaching offers, he got the Nighthawks head job. Initially recruited for his managerial expertise as someone who could save the cash-strapped team and league (from financial ruin, Moglia eventually demonstrated that he would make a capable coach for the team. Moglia treats his stint with the Nighthawks as one of his final opportunities to prove that he is worthy of a college head coaching job. While I still hate the book's title, it is a rather fitting description of Moglia's circumstances.

Moglia has a great story and his personal narrative could certainly carry a book on its own. The sense of stubborn determination that he brings to coaching and business is just mind-boggling. For someone to parlay sixteen years of coaching football and an economics degree into a job with Merrill Lynch is just mind-boggling. Its not like he started out in the company's mail room or anything either, he persistently dogged anyone tangentially connected with the firm and landed a job as a trader. He additionally impressed his superiors enough to land in a fast-track leadership program for MBAs (Moglia was the only person in the twenty-four person class missing such a degree). I found myself legitimately rooting for Moglia to succeed in his coaching quest and I had to vigilantly avoid googling his name while reading to "spoil" the book by seeing where he ended up. That being said, 4th and Long is full of colorful characters beyond Moglia. UFL rosters were populated with a variety of former college stars and NFL castoffs who will be familiar to anyone who followed football in the early 2000s. The Nighthawks' speed option offense was led by the two-headed attack of former Heisman winner Eric Crouch and troubled Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. While 2010 Nighthawks Jeff Garcia and Ahman Green did not make the cut in 2011, Moglia did bring in Maurice Clarett (who actually made the team) and Burke recounts Clarett's troubled life after leaving Ohio State. As someone who intensely followed the NFL ten years ago it was cool to see where players like Dominic Rhodes, Angelo Crowell, and Stuart Schweigert ended up (spoiler alert: the UFL).

Burke is a staff writer at Forbes (the book actually grew out of a 2010 feature he wrote on Moglia for the magazine) and the book reads like an extended magazine article. Thankfully there is enough substance in Moglia's story to engage the reader for most of its 271 pages. Many football books that cover one particular season can degrade into a rote game-by-game format that read like a collection of newspaper recounts. Burke is able to avoid this through moving back and forth between on and off-field action. The only I really hit a snag while reading was when Burke delved deeply into Moglia's tenure at Merrill Lynch and TD Ameritrade, but I suppose that is to be expected from a Forbes employee. And as someone who doesn't generally read about finance, Michael Lewis is the only point of comparison I can use on the genre, and I don't think that sets a pretty high bar. On the football side, Burke never goes all Mike Mayock-technical on the reader (which is fine because its not really appropriate for telling this story) but he does offer up cogent explanations of concepts like Nighthawks coordinator Tom Olivadotti's pattern read defense and Burke thankfully never dumbs down his prose to cater to the less football-savvy, which is appreciated given the main audience of the title. The writing can be overdramatic and cheesy at times but as far as football books are concerned Burke shows a mercifully high level of metaphorical restraint and his prose does not detract from the compelling story.

In Sum

4th and Goal features a unique story about a captivating figure and its written in a breezy and entertaining fashion that is ideal for a football fan with a long subway commute. Its probably the second best football book I read this year, narrowly losing out to Warren St. John's Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer.

8/10

Observations/Interesting Things Learned

I was already aware that the Canadian Football League is full of strange happenings, but I did not know that its regular seasons lasts 19 weeks and teams play 18 games.

Bart Andrus, the Nighthawks' offensive coordinator, was once the quarterbacks coach for the Tennessee Titans and tried to convince Jeff Fisher to employ the read option with Steve McNair. Fisher briefly considered it and ran some read option plays for McNair in training camp but ultimately tabled the idea much to the delayed dismay of the late-1990s football watching public.

Drafts for the UFL were held remotely 2 days after the NFL draft with picks being announced on Twitter. Owners and coaches were actually faced with walking the difficult line between picking talented players and those who would not have enough skills to latch on with an NFL franchise.

NFL Europe was used as a testing ground for several proposed innovations such as overtime rules and one-way radio communication for coaches and players. I was not aware the the NFL's European cousin also awarded 4 points for field goals over 50 yards, something that has not yet been imported across the Atlantic.

Maurice Clarett (who according to Sports Illustrated is now playing rugby and is hoping to gain a spot on the 2016 Olympic team) wore the number 13 in memory of the time he jumped out of a second-story window while robbing a house at age fourteen, which left a gash on his head that required 13 stitches.

The card game bourre was incredibly popular and conflict-inducing among Nighthawks players and both qualities apparently extends across the professional sporting universe. Gilbert Arenas' gun-in-the-locker-room stunt in 2009 was triggered by what I imagine was a very contentious game of bourre with Jarvis Crittendon. Wikipedia tells me that in 2011 bourre was behind a fracas between Memphis Grizzlies players O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen on the team plane.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4th and goal is an inspiring true story of Joe Moglia, a NY City kid with the dream of becoming a head college football coach., April 30, 2013
This review is from: 4th and Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream (Hardcover)
Heard 4TH & GOAL: ONE MAN'S QUEST TO RECAPTURE HIS DREAM (Hachette Audio), written by Monte Burke and narrated by George Newbern.

It is the inspiring true story of Joe Moglia, a New York City kid who dreamed of someday becoming the head coach of a college football team. By the time he was in his early 30s, he was well on his way--having risen through the high school and college football ranks to become the defensive coordinator at Harvard. Yet he wasn't making enough money to support his growing family, so he walked away from football and went to Wall Street to find a job that would pay more money.

He became quite successful, eventually becoming CEO of TD Ameritrade. And he did very well in this capacity until some 25 years later, he walked away from his high-paying job to pursue his oriiginal goal of becoming a college football head coach.

The only problem: He'd been out of football for three decades, and he was being told that nobody would ever hire him. So at the age of 60, he became an uppaid intern with the Univeristy of Nebraska. In 2011, he was named the head coach of the Omahha Nighthawks of the UnvitedFootbal League--a professional league on the verge of financial collapse.

As to what happens next, you'll just have to read this book yourself. I will tell you that you'll be glad you did--even if you're not a football fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hate to read...but loved this book, March 16, 2013
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This review is from: 4th and Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream (Hardcover)
I am one of those that hear people say "I couldn't put it down" but I have no idea what they mean. Now I do. I am a sports fan and the engaging remarkable story of joe moglia painted by monte Burke was inspiring, real, and transcendent. This guy is a damn good writer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all about "The Dream", March 2, 2013
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This review is from: 4th and Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream (Hardcover)
Monte Burke's thorough and thoughtful book about Joe Moglia, following his lifelong dream to coach a Division 1 college football team, is a great testament to the perseverance of the coach and the empathy of the author. Congratulations to both gentlemen for reaching their goals and along the way creating a treasure in "4th and Goal" for readers of all ages.

As a fan of the author's financial and outdoor sports writing, I feel that Mr. Burke is at his best when writing about people's personal quests as he did in his previous book "Sowbelly" and again here in "4th and Goal". He not only shows great range in subject matter along with his usual attention to detail and understanding of the motivation of his subjects like Joe Moglia....a coach who knows sacrifice and for whom any athlete would love to play.

Great story well told!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book about LIFE, February 16, 2013
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This is not just a book about the great sport of football. Monte Burke has written an intelligent and insightful book about a man's passion and dream aligned with his duty to family. And this man has succeeded at both. This is an inspirational journey through Joe Moglia's life, its ups and downs, twists and turns and by far the best book I've read this year. "4th and Goal" should be required reading for every girl and boy, no matter the career path they wish to follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What motivates someone?, January 11, 2013
By 
Daniel Kruger (Brooklyn, New York United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 4th and Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, November 24, 2012
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Book is insightful and actually rises above partisanship, providing a view through the eyes of his both snobby and characters of how the structure of our economy and the great recession are affectin the middle clad. I live easterbrooks weekly column and am pressed i like his non sports writing just as much.
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4th and Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream
4th and Goal: One Man's Quest to Recapture His Dream by Monte Burke (Hardcover - September 18, 2012)
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