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The GM: The Inside Story of a Dream Job and the Nightmares that Go with It Hardcover – September 18, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“It's a terrific narrative of the ebb and flow of a football season through the eyes of a general manager, Ernie Accorsi of the Giants. Accorsi, in his final season before retiring, gave Callahan access to everything he saw with the Giants last year, including the raw emotion that flowed from GM to coach. In so doing, Accorsi illustrated the real tension that exists in front offices, the kind you so rarely read about In the mainstream press. So don't think this is just a Giants book. It's not. It's an NFL book, and a book that helps you understand some of the complex relationships that define the game today.”
—Peter King, Sports Illustrated

“A vivid, focused account of a New York Giants season filled with hope but ultimately tainted by disappointment…Callahan also paints a wonderful portrait of Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi, [filling] the book with wit, wisdom and great stories.”
Miami Herald

“Callahan’s book about the last year of Ernie Accorsi’s reign as general manager gives unusual insight into how a football organization is run.”
Chicago Tribune

“A fascinating look at an NFL season by a true insider. Great tidbits abound.”
Dallas Morning News

“The most interesting and topical [of the recently published Giants books] by far. The author was given extensive behind the scenes access and emerges with many juicy tidbits…Callahan deftly handles a poignant chapter on trainer Ronnie Barnes’ role in Wellington Mara’s final days.”

“Many surprising revelations…shocking.”
New York Daily News

The G.M. is perhaps the best book ever written about a pro football executive…Accorsi is a terrific subject.”
—Allen Barra, Washington Post Book World

“THE GM is one of the great sports books to come along in recent years, and that's not just a tribute to Tom Callahan, who wrote it, but also to Ernie Accorsi, the book's subject. It says a lot about someone when they have the confidence and self-esteem to open their lives that completely for published consumption. Good for Ernie. Better for us.”
—Mike Vaccaro, New York Post

"A compelling chronicle of Accorsi's career written adroitly by Tom Callahan, who was allowed to be a fly on the wall of the Giants' inner sanctums during their tempestuous 2006 season."
—Dave Anderson, The New York Times

About the Author

TOM CALLAHAN, a former senior writer at Time magazine and sports columnist at the Washington Post, is a recipient of the National Headliner Award. He has spent three decades covering everything in major league sports, from Sarajevo to Zaire, including hundreds of pro-football games, preseasons to Super Bowls. Callahan is the author of the New York Times bestseller Johnny U.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (September 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307394131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307394132
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,137,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Baker VINE VOICE on September 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being the General Manger of a National Football League team has to be one of the most fascinating and unique jobs. I suspect if you did a story on all 32 General Managers (some of which are also the head coach, some of which have a different title) you would end up with 32 fairly unique stories with similarity in themes. This particular book focuses on Ernie Accorsi, recently retired GM of the New York Giants.

I love reading about professional football because it is fascinating to me so I did really enjoy this book, for the most part, but frankly the book is somewhat of mess. It seems the author had a lot of material and didn't quite know how to put it together.

This book really is a mini-mini biography of Ernie Accorsi and a recap of the New York Giants 2006 season. The title is very misleading. It is not about "the inside story of a dream job" because it really does not give us a lot of inside stories about being a GM. There is really very little about the real nuts and bolts of being a GM, from player evaluation, hiring and firing head coaches, managing up (the owners) and managing down (coaches and players), trade and personnel strategy, drafting strategy, et cetera. There is, of course, a little bit on these things, but noting in-depth nor particularly enlightening. It's simply a book about Accorsi and the Giants 2006 season.

The book is also somewhat disjointed, jumping around in time or topics without a nice, steady flow. In fact, while the book follows the 2006 Giants season, the drama of it beyond player, coach, and Accorsi comments gets somewhat lost.

The good thing about this book is it is an inside story of the players and coaches and Accorsi but nothing in the book is particularly revealing for surprising.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The GM" is an interesting, albeit fairly short, story about Ernie Accorsi, who was until his retirement last year, the General Manager of the New York Giants and the longest serving GM in the sport. Tom Callahan, the talented author of several other sports books, was granted unfettered access by Accorsi to follow him and the Giants around throughout the star-crossed 2006 season. In the end, the book is not so much about the day-to-day duties of an NFL General Manager, as it is about the long football life and experiences of Accorsi, and the many fascinating people he met along the way.

I think Callahan got a lot more than he had envisioned, as the Giants endured a massive collapse during 2006, falling from title contender to also-ran in a matter of weeks. But this book goes beyond chronicling a NFL season in turmoil, and is filled with hundreds of short stories and anecdotes from many conversations with Accorsi, who has spent a lifetime in the NFL. Accorsi's tales about his long tenure in the NFL are probably the best parts of the book. Throughout his career, Accorsi got to work with and learn some of the biggest names in the history of football: Johnny Unitas, Pete Rozzelle, Joe Paterno, Wellington Mara, and others.

Part of what makes this book good is Accorsi's witty and humanistic retellings and Callahan's seamless writing and recounting. It is obvious that Callahan spent many hours just listening to Accorsi's great stories, and has sprinkled them liberally throughout the book with ease. Callahan is a great writer, and his descriptions of people, places, and events that have shaped football in recent history are a joy to read.
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Format: Hardcover
My obsession for all things New York Giants is the only motivation I had to continue through this book. Knowing that juicy nuggets of information were buried in the pages ahead was what kept me going. Because, in my opinion, the writing was horrific. I do not know who Tom Callahan is, but he is probably the on of the worst writers I've ever read. Or perhaps his copyeditor is to blame. I've never seen anyone use prepositions so haphazardly, that they leave you scratching your head. Also, many passages in the book lack coherency. He will just jump from one subject to another with no apparent reason. I found this incredibly frustrating, as I searched for "why," and there was no answer. There were some other glaring factual errors, for instance, fullback Jim Finn went to Bergen Catholic HS in New Jersey, not "Burton Catholic." There is no such thing as Burton Catholic, it is not as if the two were confused.

Anyway, I still recommend purchasing this if you are a Giants fan. You will find incredible stories about Parcells, Tiki, Eli, Wellington Mara, Coughlin, Plaxico, Shockey, Reese, Fassel, Toomer, and more. Information that sports media outlets like ESPN cannot hope to report in their wildest dreams. This is the inside story from an inside man.

So, my final thought is it is worth the read, you will learn a ton of interesting things, learn more about the character of certain players and management, but bring a couple of Advils with you as the writing style will give you a headache.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There were plenty of adjectives used to describe Tom Callahan's book, "The GM." The one that comes to mind is "much-anticipated."

After all, it was said to be something of a diary about the final year of Ernie Accorsi. The New York Giants' general manager started his professional life as a sportswriter, and has always been considered one of the good guys in the business. Accorsi let Tom Callahan move into Giants Stadium and take over an office in 2006, a bizarre year if ever there was one.

After actually reading the book, the description has to go from "much anticipated" to "slightly disappointing." While "The GM" has its good points, mostly in the form of interesting stories about the past, it doesn't come off as particularly memorable.

Accorsi grew up in Pennsylvania, eventually working his way into pro football with the Baltimore Colts. He was around for the John Elway debacle, when the franchise QB forced a trade to Denver. Accorsi went on to a GM job in Cleveland and eventually New York.

While in New York, Accorsi made the decision that he knew would make or break his legacy -- he traded a package of draft picks for the rights to Eli Manning. Accorsi thought Manning would be the franchise quarterback ever team needs to be great, and he was willing to go out on a limb to get him.

Manning is one of the major characters of the 2006 season, but probably not the main one. That description goes to Tom Coughlin, the Giants' head coach. Coughlin won games in New York, but he wasn't exactly a "players' coach." The Giants limped down the stretch, partly because of a long string of injuries. Could they make the playoffs? Could they do anything once they got there?
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