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 SI.com, 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.