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The Paolantonio Report: The Most Overrated and Underrated Teams, Players, Coaches, and Moments in NFL History Hardcover – October 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

As the football season gets underway, so does the outpouring of lists, as sports commentators, radio hosts, and pundits offer their takes on who ranks where in every category imaginable. Paolantonio's spin on list-making is to assess the most overrated and underrated teams and players in various categories from Super Bowl teams to tight ends. Naturally, it's the overrated picks that will fire up the most heated responses: Are the 1985 Chicago Bears truly the most overrated Super Bowl team? Don't make that claim in a Chicago sports bar. Fans across the country will enjoy debating both overs and unders (Is Deion Sanders underrated as a defensive back?), and of course, that's the whole point. Each category lists a single most overrated and underrated entry and a few runners-up for each. Witty postscripts to many sections show Paolantonio second-guessing his own choices or commenting on the potential for certain picks to generate controversy. This little gem offers something for every football fan. Wilkens, Mary Frances

From the Inside Flap

When the New England Patriots pulled the shocking draft-day trade for Randy Moss, they got one of the most overrated wide receivers in NFL history. Yes, that's right--overrated. The record-setting 1985 Chicago Bears, one of the most celebrated collections of superstars and oddballs in all of American sports, is one of the most overrated Super Bowl teams of all time. The worst Super Bowl ever? That would be Super Bowl XLI, played in rain-soaked Miami in February 2007. Welcome to The Paolantonio Report. Enter at your own risk. Written by award-winning writer and broadcaster Sal Paolantonio--a national correspondent at ESPN who covers pro football for SportsCenter and Sunday and Monday NFL Countdown--The Paolantonio Report is guaranteed to challenge some of your long-held beliefs about America's most popular game. In collaboration with award-winning writer Reuben Frank, who appears regularly on, Paolantonio pulls back the curtain to reveal a new perspective on the most over-hyped aspects of the greatest sports empire on the planet. In this book, nothing is sacred. Read the tale of two quarterbacks-- one a Hall of Famer who is the eternal poster child for the modern game, the other who will be enshrined in Canton soon after retirement. Both have been outrageously deified and vastly overrated. You want blasphemy? It's here. Len Dawson is compared to Joe Montana. Michael Vick to Brett Favre. Maybe Marv Levy shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame. Certainly not Dan Fouts. And why not Bob Hayes? This is Monday Morning Quarterbacking: Extreme Edition. But much more. You want unique insight? It's here. It was an often-overlooked interception return for a touchdown by a defensive end that kick-started a pro football renaissance in New York in the 1980s. Why did the Minnesota Vikings lose all those Super Bowls with all that talent? Tom Brady didn't start the championship dynasty in New England--a field goal did. You want a fresh look at certain indelible, cinematic moments in NFL history? That's here, too. Dwight Clark's "Catch": it's overrated and misnamed. And don't blame Scott Norwood for losing Super Bowl XXV; it wasn't his fault. One of the most underrated and overlooked moments in NFL history? The day Vince Lombardi was allowed to leave the team he always wanted to coach in the town he truly loved. The Paolantonio Report includes chapters analyzing the most underrated and overrated quarterbacks, receivers, running backs, defensive backs, defensive linemen, offensive linemen, linebackers, and specialists. There are also chapters about the most underrated and overrated coaches, teams, offensive and defensive units, Hall of Famers, and Super Bowls. The Paolantonio Report considers decades of stats, trends, and historical data. And fantasy football freaks, don't put this book back on the shelf. There is plenty of statistical analysis here to keep you engaged and, hopefully, outraged. The Paolantonio Report is certain to start many arguments and settle many more. Let the debate begin.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Triumph Books (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600780253
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600780257
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mickey on August 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I picked this book up because I recognized Paolantonio from ESPN and liked his work. I hope that others won't make the same mistake.

Paolantonio offers up his opinion on a variety of topics, and at times it seems as if he's throwing out wild ideas just to get attention. He can't seriously believe some of the stuff he writes here, like saying that Barry Sanders was overrated and much of his success was due to playing indoors. Paolantonio argues that playing in warm weather makes it easier for running backs to rack up yards. Of course, that argument is weakened by the fact that the Hall of Fame is overflowing with backs who played in cold weather climates.... Jim Brown, Walter Payton, OJ Simpson, Jimmy Taylor, Marion Motley, Franco Harris, Thurman Thomas, etc, etc.

The book is overflowing with these kinds of dubious arguments. As a reader, you have to wonder whether he just doesn't know anything about football, or whether he simply made these arguments off the top of his head without thinking about them. Either way, this is a terribly disappointing book.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Samuel B. R. Monson on November 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book has an interesting premise, but its content is shallw, ill researched, and clearly written by a guy who analyses stats rather than actual game-play.

Some of the players in his lists are just foolish suggestions, backed up by little more than flawed statistical analysis. He often contradicts himself or misses obvious alternative causes for the stats he uses, and has clearly written the book just to promote controversy and get a quick buck.

Nothing in here you won't find on your average NFL internet forum, but this guy expects you to pay for the privilege of reading it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patrick L. Randall VINE VOICE on July 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Sal Paolantonio seems to have good insights to provide when he's covering the NFL. That would make one think that "The Paolantonio Report" would provide equally good views on professional football. Instead, it is one of the most poorly written, badly edited, laughably argued pieces of sports writing I have ever read.

It is almost like he wrote this in one afternoon while downing some beers at the local sports bar. There is no effort to do any fact-checking whatsoever. Some examples:

-.) Says Dan Fouts was the 1982 MVP. It was actually Mark Mosely. Fouts never won the MVP in his career

-.) Marv Levy lost to Barry Switzer in Super Bowl XXVIII. That was still Jimmy Johnson's Cowboys

-.) New England was the first team to win 3 Super Bowls in 4 years (the Cowboys were the first)

-.) Kurt Warner in 2001 (101.4) and Jim Kelly in 1990 (101.2) had highest regular season passer ratings of any Super Bowl starters. They actually have 7th and 8th highest, respectively.

This is the type of material you expect from the 10pm local sports talk radio shows that have former jocks and local wannabe radio personalities who just want to talk really loud and care nothing about actually knowing the facts about what they are ranting about. This may pass in that medium, but in a book like this, there is no excuse. 10 minutes of research would have corrected all of these glaring errors.

Alas, the poor facts are not where the failures end for this book. Paolantonio also enters fray on sports debates and comes up with some pretty atrocious arguments, such as his `overrated' and `underrated' players.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kdiggs on August 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am normally not an insulting person but since this Mr. Paolatonio was insulting to some of the greatest players of all time I fell Ok about it. To be brief Barry Sanders had over 1,000 yards negative yards in his career which is higher than any of the other great running backs Smith, Payton. Yet after A 10 year career 3 shorter than Payton 5 shorter than Smith he amassed over 15,000 yards rushing which is still 3rd in the NFL it doesn't matter if he ran on turf, grass, snow or marshmallows you cannot do that and be overrated. Not to mention The Lions was and still is a sub par team. I could write a book just about this guys Barry Sanders comments. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion but then there's facts and if you can say a man with 15,269 yrds carrying, 5 yrds per game carrying, 2,921 yrds receiving and 109 total touch downs after only a 10 year career is over rated you are either a genius because you are trying to sell books by infuriating people into thinking your and idiot or your an idiot.
Just so people a
have something to compare to the number 4 all time rusher is Curtis Martin he has 14,101 yrds carring,4 ypg, 3,329 yrds receiving, and 100 total touch downs in 12 years. But he's probably overrated also.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Seese on November 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book but, as the reviewer from Texas noted, there is at least one glaring error and it is repeated 2 or 3 times. The Patriots were not the first team to win 3 Super Bowls in 4 the Cowboys (unfortunately!) managed that feat in the 1990's which makes the error all the more shocking and inexcusable: ie. How can someone who covers the NFL for ESPN miss something so incredibly obvious that occurred within the last 15 years? I could understand if it happened in the 1930's or something but damn...
Anyway...I enjoyed reading the book even though it does seem at times that he has personal grudges to exact, and specific players to promote...I did learn some stuff and I would definitely recommend it as some great, light reading for diehard NFL fans...
one minor complaint from a native Pittsburgher
How can the 2005 Steelers be overrated? On the one hand no one ever compares them to the '72 Dolphins or the '85 Bears or states that they belong among the all-time great teams and I'm sorry but any team that wins 3 road games, something that had never been done, just to get to the Super Bowl CANNOT be overrated...I'm sure that had the Eagles or Giants done this they would have wound up in the "underrated" section
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