According to the punchy start of this sprawling, in-depth account of the 2004 Baltimore Ravens' season, you can forget about all the other pretenders to the throne: pro football is (at least in and around cities that have a franchise) America's sport. Furthermore, Feinstein, bestselling author of A Good Walk Spoiled, persuasively argues that pro football is the most dramatic American sport, with its many deeply religious players, limited media access and comparatively low number of games, which are all then accorded life-or-death status. Given excellent access to the Ravens operation, Feinstein is, not surprisingly, very generous with his subjects, painting evenhanded portraits of the players (many of whom, like Jamal Lewis and Deion Sanders, have had plenty of bad press over the years) and even more neutral portrayals of management, especially coach Brian Billick. The runup to the first game of the young franchise's ninth season is so assiduously documented, the season itself is almost an afterthought, though the games are smartly and excitingly rendered. Feinstein wisely avoids the grandiloquent hyperbole often found in sportswriting; there are no references to deities or Greek heroes here. This hefty tome will surely keep football fans happy between games.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* Through 16 books in his genre-defining, year-in-the-life style, Feinstein avoided tackling pro football, feeling that the legendary lack of access granted the media by the NFL's powerful owners and general managers made his approach impossible. That changed when fortysomething Steve Bisciotti bought the Baltimore Ravens, and Feinstein was able to convince him, as well as Ravens coach Brian Billick and general manager Ossie Newsome, to do the unthinkable: allow a writer complete access to the team and its management throughout an entire season. The 2004 NFL season looked to be a good one for the Ravens, who had won the Super Bowl in 2001 and seemed primed to return to the top. It didn't turn out that way, which gives Feinstein's account an extra dimension of tension, on top of the fly-on-the-wall fascination of sitting in on coaches' strategy meetings and listening as decisions are made on who to start and who to cut. To most fans, who mainly see football players encased in helmets and pads, it's hard even to project the human side of their lives; Feinstein offers us this opportunity, showing the day-to-day rigors of the marginal player, hoping only to avoid being cut. The specter of injuries, an ominous inevitability in football, gets a human face, too, as the Ravens suffer debilitating blow after blow. Football has never seemed as personal as it does here, in one of Feinstein's most involving books. Best-sellerdom is a foregone conclusion. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A nice inside look at the NFL. Football fans will know the players even if you aren't a Ravens fan(I am not). Read morePublished 14 months ago by T.L.
The book was conventional and superficial. "Collision Low Crossers" is far better as a chronicle of the season of an NFL team.Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
“Next Man Up” is a book based on the year that author John Feinstein spent “inside” the Baltimore Raven’s NFL football operations. Read morePublished 18 months ago by WryGuy2
Although there is too much information about the politics of the beaurocrats of the league,the stories of the players,and their challenges are fascinating. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Dr. Noel Hershfield
This is an great book for any nfl fan,personally im a panthers fan but still enjoyed the inside look at how teams operate and the way things are done. Read morePublished 19 months ago by jimmy hill
Provides a great story about coaching and managing a nfl team. Game story lines were just ok. I skimmed those pages.Published 19 months ago by Phillip J. Ardoin
This was the first book by John Feinstein I ever read and he is know my favorite author. I felt like I knew everyone in the book, so when I met the owner of the Baltimore Ravens at... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Rodney Meeks