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Big Play: Barra on Football Hardcover – December, 2004
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"We need Allen Barra to reflect, examine, and give us his singular point of view." -- Steve Sabol, NFL Films
From the Publisher
Top Customer Reviews
Over the years, I occasionally read his articles in INSIDE SPORTS and other publications, then in the early 1990's, I picked-up a Village Voice because of the blurb on the cover "Barra on Tyson," and we've renewed our friendship. But, please don't think that this review is merely the writing of an appreciative friend.
From the early 1990's, I've read his works in a variety of publications and webzines, such as Slate.com., and the New York times: sometimes agreeing with him, sometimes not, but always enjoying his way of cutting through the bull. Allen sometimes has a way of over-analyzing situations that drives some folks nuts, but he actually developed, with the assistance of an economics professor at the UAB whose name I forget, a great way of using statistics to compare two players from different era.
With regards to this collection of articles, I cannot tell you if these 38 articles, covering 20+ years of writings, are the cream of the crop, because there are some I've read that aren't included that were terrific, too. However, I will tell you that these are written by someone who knows how to write about sports in a way that tries to place it in perspective to the society that we live in. Usually when a writer tries to do that, they end up in a fourth and inches situation and then get caught behind the line of scrimage, and the ball is turned over. In BIG PLAY, though, Allen gets the first down everytime and succeeds on such a scale that I am truly puzzled why he has not won a Pulitzer Prize.
This is an excellent book for anyone who loves football and appreciates great writing.