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Going Deep: How Wide Receivers Became the Most Compelling Figures in Pro Sports Hardcover – July 30, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Before he became one of ESPN's innumerable NFL analysts, Carter was a Hall of Fame wide receiver with the Minnesota Vikings. Readers might expect prideful boasting disguised as analysis in this book, but never fear. Carter, with an assist from ESPN journalist Chadiha, lays down solid support for his claims in the book, mixing interviews from players and coaches (both current and former) with his own experiences. According to the author, during the 1990s, football changed. Teams needed to find ways to beat talented defensive players like Deion Sanders, who eliminated half the field, calling for a different kind of receiver. This produced a breed of tall, athletic players who were influenced by basketball, which fed TV coverage that was hungry for stars. The change affected teams (who invested money in busts like David Boston) and players (like Chad Johnson, who became consumed with his image). Carter devotes some space to his own career—describing his relationships with two legendary receivers: Randy Moss, his temperamental teammate with the Vikings, and the mature Larry Fitzgerald, whom Carter first met as a teenager—but ultimately this is a well-constructed, insightful look at the modernization of pro football. Two 8-page b&w photo inserts. Agent: Peter Steinberg, Steinberg Agency. (Aug.)

From Booklist

Let’s just forget that hyperbolic title so we can approach this book with an open mind. Carter was an NFL wide receiver for 16 years and will be inducted into the football Hall of Fame in August 2013. He’s been an outstanding studio analyst for ESPN’s football programming since his retirement. He knows football, and he really knows wide receivers. His basic premise is that wide receivers are so uniquely talented and their duties leave them so exposed that they are different from other players. Of course, he gives his own career plenty of space, and he doesn’t shy away from his midcareer addiction issues. He also profiles such wide-receiver bad boys as Randy Moss, Keyshawn Johnson, Terrell Owens, Plaxico Burress, and Chad Johnson. But he takes a look, too, at solid-citizen wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Sam Horn. Carter dons his pop-psychologist hat and ponders the effects of poverty, single-parent childhoods, and subsequent trust issues on the wide-receiver mindset. Readers will be left with some interesting football anecdotes and profiles of great athletes with often oversize egos and a talent for self-promotion via bad behavior. Expect considerable interest. --Wes Lukowsky

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (July 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401324851
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401324858
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,045,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Read: 8/13
Rate: 4/5

8/13: Having seen many great wide receivers since mid 80's, I have witnessed the evolution of the wide receiver position. Jerry Rice is the man credited with the biggest influence over it. When he played, he was breathtaking. There was nobody like him. When the 90's came, I saw an increased growth of marquee wide receivers, aiding many teams in their runs to Super Bowl. Michael Irvin of that decade is probably the brashest that played the position. Soon thereafter will follow the most controversial group of wide receivers ever assembled. Cris Carter does an excellent job in his book summarizing what had occurred per decade to the wide receiver position and how each corps helped or damaged its reputation. And he makes an salient point that the current corps of wide receivers have done a great job by bringing maturity and calmness to restore the tarnished reputation left by the previous corps. However, Cris Carter, as biased as he is because he works for the network, should have put the blame on ESPN for aiding these controversial wide receivers, most notably Terrell Owens, and leading them to disrepute the position and the NFL overall. Once upon a time, as hard as it is to believe, ESPN ran a unheard-of marathon the day that Terrell Owens "attempted suicide."

As interesting as it was for me to read the history of the wide receiver position, I couldn't help but be really surprised at the omission of Bob Hayes, the all-world sprinter for the Dallas Cowboys. Really, he single-handedly changed the game by bringing speed to it and forcing offense and defense coordinators alike to rethink their game plans. Somewhere in the book, Cris Carter could tell the difference between the good ones and the great ones but couldn't between the elite and the transcendent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jojopuppyfish on August 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm surprised I am the first review as its been out for over a week.
Obviously it's Cris Carter's inside and Jeffri Chadiha actually writing this book, but the combo is very good.
The book takes you through the career of CC and also explores the evolution of the WR position.
Bottom line: If your a fan of the NFL, this is well worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LSmith on August 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Rating:
3 of 5 stars (good)

Review
The position of quarterback has long been considered the most glamorous in professional football, but in his new book, Cris Carter makes the case that the position of wide receiver is now the most compelling position. He uses anecdotes from his 16-year career to illustrated how the position evolved from players who simply caught passes to becoming key parts to a well-tuned offense and the players who make the biggest plays that are exciting for not only the scoring on the field, but also for television.

Carter doesn't just limit the book to his own career. This is not a memoir of his life and career. Instead, he also shares how he mentored two receivers who became superstars at the position, Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald. It is worth noting that both have Minnesota connections as Carter, a long time Minnesota Viking, guided Moss when they were teammates and Fitzgerald, a Minnesota native, was participating in camps and practices with the team. These two individuals are noted to be very different in their mannerisms, yet both illustrate that wide receivers are now the focus of attention for teams who need to improve, for television highlights, and even for their places in history.

Wide receivers such as Terrell Owens, Michael Irvin and Chad Johnson all are given prominent spots in the book as they are the best examples of talented receivers who not only were All-Pro quality, they were also individuals who craved the spotlight and each of them received a great deal of it. They each had both positive and negative experiences with that recognition. Carter uses that craving to make his case of how the wide receiver is now the most compelling player on any pro football team, regardless of who is the quarterback.
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Format: Hardcover
Going Deep by Cris Carter with Jeffri Chadiha is a conventional player memoir with some additional analysis of the recent evolution of the receiver position. While the second half of that premise may sound appealing, Carter's NFL reflections fall firmly into the realm of David Foster Wallace's mass-market "sports-star-'with'-somebody-autobiography and the sections on the position in general contain little original insight. There were a few interesting sections and the book was a quick and rather painless read but there is little for me to recommend for the general football fan because Carter is treading on very familiar territory.

Despite being subtitled "How Wide Receivers Became the Most Compelling Figures in Pro Sports" the book is primarily focused on Carter's playing days. He begins by noting the increasing prominence of wide receivers beginning with rule changes in the late seventies but then follows the rather generic template of the athletic memoir. Carter guides us through his youth career, college career at Ohio State, and sixteen years in the NFL with the Eagles, Vikings, and Dolphins. Thee are some candid passages on his dealings with agent Norby Walters that caused him to leave Ohio State before his senior year and enter the supplemental draft and dealing with substance abuse, but unfortunately even these portions are marred by pedestrian prose and cliched athlete platitudes common to the genre.

Carter does intersperse his life story with some analysis of the position in general.
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