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Boys Will Be Boys [Kindle Edition]

Jeff Pearlman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)

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Book Description

They were America's Team—the high-priced, high-glamour, high-flying Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s, who won three Super Bowls and made as many headlines off the field as on it. Led by Emmitt Smith, the charismatic Deion "Prime Time" Sanders, and Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin, the Cowboys rank among the greatest of all NFL dynasties.

In similar fashion to his New York Times bestseller The Bad Guys Won!, about the 1986 New York Mets, in Boys Will Be Boys, award-winning writer Jeff Pearlman chronicles the outrageous antics and dazzling talent of a team fueled by ego, sex, drugs—and unrivaled greatness. Rising from the ashes of a 1–15 season in 1989 to capture three Super Bowl trophies in four years, the Dallas Cowboys were guided by a swashbuckling, skirt-chasing, power-hungry owner, Jerry Jones, and his two eccentric, hard-living coaches, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer. Together the three built a juggernaut that America loved and loathed.

But for a team that was so dominant on Sundays, the Cowboys were often a dysfunctional circus the rest of the week. Irvin, nicknamed "The Playmaker," battled dual addictions to drugs and women. Charles Haley, the defensive colossus, presided over the team's infamous "White House," where the parties lasted late into the night and a steady stream of long-legged groupies came and went. And then there were Smith and Sanders, whose Texas-sized egos were eclipsed only by their record-breaking on-field perfomances.

With an unforgettable cast of characters and a narrative as hard-hitting and fast-paced as the team itself, Boys Will Be Boys immortalizes the most beloved—and despised—dynasty in NFL history.



Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his latest effort, Pearlman (The Bad Guys Won!) tells the story of how the Dallas Cowboys went from being a league doormat to a Super Bowl–winning machine. It's the cast of characters that makes this story a page-turner, starting with controlling owner Jerry Jones; all-business coach Jimmy Johnson, who would cut a player without blinking; and star players Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith and Deion Sanders. Pearlman explores the many other people who bought into the philosophy that if you were going to be a Dallas Cowboy... you needed to live the life—and that meant, in the early '90s, plenty of infidelity, cocaine, nightly trips to gentleman's clubs and hangovers at practice. Pearlman interviewed nearly 150 members of the Cowboys organization for the book, but much of the terrific detail comes from such tangential folks as journalists, players' wives and staff at the local Cowboys restaurant. The anecdotes range from uplifting (the heartwarming story of quarterback Troy Aikman granting a wish to a dying boy) to raunchy (defensive end Chris Haley, while playing for the 49ers, often masturbated in the locker room). In the end, Pearlman has produced a narrative that is as entertaining as it is insightful. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In February 1989, Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys, immediately fired the iconic Tom Landry, and hired Jimmy Johnson from the collegiate ranks. The team would end the 1989 season with the worst record in the league. In a city that lives and breathes the Cowboys, the natives were restless. But in short order all was right in Big D as the team, led by future Hall-of-Famers Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman, and Emmitt Smith, won three Super Bowls in four years. The on-field success was paralleled by off-field excess. Drugs, strip clubs, orgies, fights, marital infidelities, and, finally, one player stabbing another in the neck with scissors. Pearlman, who seems to revel in the seamy side of sports—his The Bad Guys Won! (2004) was an account of the equally lecherous 1986 New York Mets—interviewed players, coaches, and others while also plumbing print sources. Yes, he dishes the dirt, but he also catches the team dynamic that fostered success as well as the infighting that led to disaster. Informative as well as titillating. --Wes Lukowsky

Product Details

  • File Size: 2485 KB
  • Print Length: 420 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (October 6, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001F76U0G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,520 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When the first chapter of a non-fiction football book starts off with future Hall Of Fame receiver Michael Irvin stabbing a teammate in the neck with a scissors... and blood is shooting all over the room... and the intensity of the lurid details... on and off the field... regarding the famed "dynastic" Dallas Cowboys of the 1990's... never lets up for the next three-hundred-fifty-eight pages... you know you've got a great book in your hands. Any true football fan, regardless of what team you root for will want to read this book. There are so many riveting... outlandish... insider... stories... that you will constantly want to stop reading for a moment or two... just to call one of your buddies to tell him what you just read!

This book has it all. From the "humble" beginnings (as far as wins and losses that is... nothing about any of the key individuals in this story could ever be considered humble!) concerning the 1989 Cowboys who had a one-win fifteen-loss season... to the three-time Super Bowl Champions. The author smoothly gives you detailed background information on everyone from owner Jerry Jones to coach Jimmy Johnson to Troy Aikman/Emmitt Smith/Michael Irvin/Nate Newton/Charles Haley/Deion Sanders... and every Cowboy large... small... or in between... who effected the team on or off the field... good or bad. Absolutely no punches are pulled.

From drug busts, that included Michael Irvin and teammate Alfredo Roberts being caught with 10.3 grams of cocaine, more than an ounce of marijuana, assorted drug paraphernalia and sex toys... and oh yea... two strippers... to shocking exposes regarding eventual FIVE-TIME-SUPER-BOWL-CHAMPION Charles Haley who would expose himself... and "pleasure-himself"... in front of teammates in the locker room... training room...
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! January 3, 2009
Format:Hardcover
I highly recommend this book to anyone who: a) was a big fan of the early 90's Cowboys, b) is curious about what goes on behind the scenes in the NFL, or c) is interested in the impact leadership has on organizations. This book comes up juicy in all three categories.

This book is great because it avoids the common mistake made by authors documenting certain teams. Instead of going through the boring minutiae of old games, Jeff Pearlman gives gripping, inside stories that no fan ever knew about. For example:

- Michael Irvin was the heart and soul of the team. Period.
- Nobody liked Emmitt Smith.
- Charles Haley, WTF?
- The players, for as much as they hated Jimmy Johnson, respected the heck out of him. How he shaped them psychologically and then kept them on the edge was stellar.
- Jerry Jones is a prideful retard, sure. But I never knew he was that big of one.
- Switzer was actually a pretty likable guy with whom you can really empathize. But, man, he really had no business being there.
- Skip Bayless is a massive dork.

I had a blast reading this book. Highly recommend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boys SHOULD sometimes not be boys September 16, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Almost 35 years after Peter Gent's seminal "North Dallas Forty" showed us what untamed beasts football players could be, Jeff Pearlman delivers "Boys Will Be Boys," which, not coincidentally, is also about the freewheeling, demented, and fiercely determined Dallas Cowboys, once and always dubbed "America's Team."

Except Pearlman's Cowboys are those of the 1990s, the ones who followed the firing of legendary coach Tom Landry, and who make the men of "Forty" look like altar boys.

The dean of Dallas decadence was wide receiver Michael Irvin, known as The Playmaker. "Did he love snorting coke? Yes. Did he love lesbian sex shows? Yes. Did he love sleeping with two, three, four, five (yes, five) women at the same time in precisely choreographed orgies? Yes. Did he love strip clubs and hookers and house calls from exotic dancers with names like Bambi and Cherry and Saucy? Yes, yes, yes."

But because Texas is football, Irvin's antics, including an arrest for cocaine possession and stabbing a teammate who Irvin believed dissed him by cutting in line to get a haircut, were waved away with a smile. And when Irvin helped turn the hapless Cowboys around, from 1-15 losers in 1989 to multiple Super Bowl champs by the mid-'90s, well, hookers were practically handed out with the after-game painkillers.

Pearlman, a former senior writer for Sports Illustrated and a contributor to [...] Page Two, also wrote "The Bad Guys Won!" about the 1986 Mets and "Love Me, Hate Me," about Barry Bonds. So he has some experience with talented villains you love to hate.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for any CFFL December 25, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Great read. The first chapter will grab you. The next 100 pages will keep your attention. And after that you probably won't want to put it down. The book brilliantly fills in a lot of the gaps between the various headlines over the years (Jimmy's firing, the White House, Emmitt's holdout, bringing in Deion, Irvin's arrest(s), etc.) as well as providing a glimpse into the rather salacious lifestyles of many of America's Team's finest (Irvin, Harper, Haley...) Highly recommend it - especially for the Cowboy fan for life like me. GO COWBOYS!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars must read for a Cowboys fan.
Great insight of a dysfunctional team that was able to built a winner. A must read for a football fan. How bout' them Cowboys.
Published 11 days ago by vicmendes
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read For Fans Of The 90's Dallas Cowboys
I have been a fan since the mid 80s and watched the whole 90s era unfold.

Little did I know what happened behind the scenes. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Joe Z
5.0 out of 5 stars How "Bout Them Cowboys
It was a great read for all Cowboys fans that want to hear the stories of what really happened.
Published 1 month ago by Jay G. Mccolister
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to hear...Hard to put down
I've been a Cowboys fan since Tony Dorsett ran wild. I cheered through the horrible 1980's. When they started winning in the 90's, I cheered louder than anyone. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jody Patanjo
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book!
The Cowboys are my favorite team and reading about the seedy side is eye opening. The feuds and in fighting were a constant with this team, but they made it work. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Farah
1.0 out of 5 stars Dirty and gross
This book was sent to me with writing on the pages, also stamped by the library several times and someones receipt in it. Dirty and gross! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stephanie Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars America's Team
It's a good, quick read and it sheds a lot of light on a team that I followed very closely. I enjoyed reading the book as a fan, especially years after the team's height.
Published 2 months ago by sun also rises
3.0 out of 5 stars football, you're kidding!
At least I now know that Dallas football was just a diversion from all the fun. No wonder the team deteriorated. Short term gain, long term pain.
Published 3 months ago by mark berg, lt Col USAF (ret)
5.0 out of 5 stars Although I thought I knew the disgusting, lurid
Although I thought I knew the disgusting, lurid, pedantic, lunatic, criminal details -- you'll be surprised to learn there is much, much more. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael W. Stewart
3.0 out of 5 stars Great inside look into the fucked up world of the NFL
This book emphasizes how little Football players care about their wives and girlfriends. The Author is right there with them lowlifes. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Jeff Pearlman is a columnist for SI.com. He has worked as as a columnist for ESPN.com and Yahoo.com, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, a features writer for Newsday and -- amazingly -- as The (Nashville) Tennessean's food and fashion writer. He is the author of two New York Times best-sellers--Boys Will Be Boys, a biography of the 1990s Dallas Cowboys, and The Bad Guys Won, a biography of the 1986 New York Mets. He is also the author of a pair of, ahem, non-New York Times' best-seller, Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Anti-Hero, and The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality. Pearlman lives in New York with his wife and two children, and enjoys Kirk Cameron films, T-shirts and the taste of gum.


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