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Out of Their League Paperback – October 1, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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$17.45 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In 1969, Meggyesy, a hardworking outside linebacker for the St. Louis Cardinals, abruptly quit the NFL after a successful seven-year career. A year later, he published this memoir, both a chronicle of his growing disillusionment with the sport and a searing critique of the football factory. Writing that “football is one of the most dehumanizing experiences a person can face,” he describes alumni boosters providing financial incentives to college players, players pushed to play hurt, unethical use of painkillers, institutionalized racism, and a lot of bad behavior by the players themselves. What Jim Bouton’s Ball Four (1970) was for baseball, Out of Their League is for football—though the latter is darker, angrier, and more political by far. Though NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle was savvy enough to ignore the book and avoid fanning the flames of controversy (unlike MLB’s Bowie Kuhn’s response to Ball Four), its contents were still incendiary and the book was widely read. After a soul-searching hiatus from the game, Meggyesy returned to football—not as a field player but as a players’-union organizer. Some aspects of this book will strike modern readers as dated, but its core critique is as valid as ever: players are still paying with their bodies for the fans’ viewing pleasure. --Keir Graff

Review

"The University of Nebraska Press deserves a high-five for re-releasing this classic. . . . The book was an important milestone—innocent, then angry, but always fearless—and its sheer honesty exposes other sports books of that era as cheerleading fluff."—Rus Bradburd, Sports Literature Association
(Rus Bradburd Sports Literature Association)

"The first critical look at the dehumanizing aspects of pro football."—Mercury News
(Mercury News)

"Thirty-five years ago, a journeyman Cardinals linebacker shocked football fans with his explosive account of a league riddled with violence, drugs, and inequities against its players. . . . His book offers opinions and analogies that eerily apply to both the contemporary sports world and to America’s current political scene."—USA Today Sports Weekly
(USA Today Sports Weekly)

"Meggyesy's book, almost as much as his person, is a most moving instance of a man’s search to be honest and to find a decent alternative for this way of life."—New York Review of Books
(New York Review of Books)

"Dave Meggyesy is an articulate, eloquent spokesman for his cause."—New York Daily News
(New York Daily News)

"In a league of its own in its provocative view of the mentality and morality of American football. . . . Meggyesy rips through most of football's myths to find only a frightening and deliberate inhumanity."—Newsweek
(Newsweek)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803283148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803283145
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #932,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just finished reading this book and found it to be quite insightful about the exploitation of professional football players. As a pro-football player, Dave Meggyesy is one of the rare players who not only finishes college but constantly questions everything that's going on around him. ... Dave is pretty articulate and has a lot of character substance. Against the backdrop of the 60s, Dave traces his intellectual and political development which is cool. This is the 6th sports autobiography that I've read for my professor at UH and it's so far my favorite. When is the last time you heard a white football player make a political statement about racism in the 60s?
The book left me wondering what Dave Meggyesy is doing today.
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Format: Paperback
Buy this book and understand the September 2014 NFL abuse and violence headlines. Dave writes from the heart and I am sure he loves the NFL so maybe now we will listen to his words more deeply and with a healing change in mind.
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By MDcares on February 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
wonderfully-written book about the dark side of sports. highly recommended for people who care about football and want to know the inside story. also, be sure to read --out of control - by hollywood henderson.
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Format: Paperback
David Meggyesy is one of America's true unsung heroes. Working as a pro athlete at a time when the pay was less that of a trash hauler, with no benefits or job security, and the only guarantee a lifetime of pain and disability, Meggyesy exposed deep hypocrisy in America's hero worship at a time when the nation was at war, and the rich were getting richer at everyone else's expense, and to speak out was to be condemned as a pariah. In other words, things haven't changed one iota except for the salaries of the players, and this, ironically and significantly, is also Mr. Meggyesy's doing, in large part. As founder of Athletes Against the War back then he took on the establishment. As co-founder and Western Director of the NFL Players Association he continues to take it on to this day. A great book by a great man, for all its rough edges.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great deal and very fast shipping.
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