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A Good Walkthrough Spoiled: The Best of Mike Tanier at Football Outsiders Paperback – April 30, 2014
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About the Author
Mike Tanier covers the NFL and occasionally other sports for SportsonEarth.com and contributes to the annual Football Outsiders Almanac. In the past he has written for The New York Times, ESPN.com, and FOXSports.com. He also wrote The Philly Fan's Code, about the 50 most important figures in the history of Philadelphia sports.
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It's also fun to watch what started as railing against the idiocy in sports announcing and writing, essentially a reaction to empty talking heads, evolve into a well-respected style of football writing. Tanier went from a lunatic raving on an obscure football analytics website to writing for the New York Times.
There's another point that gets made here by Mike, that the only way for his wacky, inside humor, non sequitur writing could ever find the light of day was on the fringes of the internet. This never would have passed a serious editor. In some ways the book is a lesson in one of the crucial ways that the internet killed professional editorial... basically that the job of a professional editor was to make the article as safe (read: boring) as possible. So the editor as accounting auditor died in parallel with Mike ascendancy.
Mike's writing sparkles and pops today as it did in 2006. This is a steal for $11 and Prime.
This book is filled with essays I never got to read from last decade and they hold up well. He writes historically about crazy seasons, like Randall Cunningham and the other 1986 Eagles QBs breaking of the sack record that can never ever be topped, because nobody is as crazy as Buddy Ryan, to throw experiments every other down on live regular season NFL games.
I hope this book earns him enough to stay out of teaching High School, a job I know too much about. The Internet, which gave Tanier the chance at a writing career, also made journalism a low paying job. The only $$ generated, comes from page clicks which brings the advertising $. This is why today, the headlines and content are nonsense. Informed great writing like Tanier's isnt lucrative enough.
Often, 'breaking' updates are totally false just to bring a million visitors to rant in the comment boards: "Giants moving on from Eli Manning?" - "Tony Romo Can win the Big One" followed two weeks later with "Tony Romo Can't win the Big One" . Espn unleashed a turd last August, that just illustrates where things are: "Colin Kaepernick is Better than Joe Montana", with millions of people clicking and cursing on the comment section, earning actual revenue from all the banner ads that make up the majority of the screen.
You will learn a lot about football (not having grown up in the US, I am especially fascinated by Tanier's articles on the history of the sport), but you will also be laughing out loud. A lot. Whether it's a detailed review of Jason Elam's first novel, the letters written from the McNabb siege, or - my personal favourite - Tanier's play diagrams from when he goes shopping with his two young kids on Black Friday, this book is wildly entertaining and incredibly informative. Go ahead and support one of the best football writers on the planet and buy this book!