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Sports Illustrated Monday Morning Quarterback: A fully caffeinated guide to everything you need to know about the NFL Hardcover – October 13, 2009
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
About the Author
Peter King joined Sports Illustrated as a staff writer in 1989 after spending nearly a decade as an award-winning newspaper journalist. Now a senior writer at the magazine, he is Sports Illustrated's primary NFL expert and is one of the country's premier pro football writers. King is also a key contributor to SI.com, which includes his popular column, "Monday Morning Quarterback."
King has also served as an on-air reporter for ABC's Monday Night Football, NBC's Football Night in America, CNN's NFL Preview, and as managing editor for HBO's award-winning "Inside the NFL'' show. He hosts a show on Sirius NFL Radio.
Following graduation from Ohio University in 1979, where he earned a B.A. in journalism, King covered college athletics and professional football for the Cincinnati Enquirer for five years. Following that stint, he covered pro football for Newsday, in New York, from 1985 to 1989.
King has won two Associated Press Sports Editors awards for excellence in sports journalism.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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If you've never read Mr King, as a sportswriter he typically treads the middle ground between the purely cerebral analysts and the unabashed fan-boys, leaning slightly toward the fan side of the equation. He enjoys wide access to players, coaches, general managers, and team owners, in part because he's very good at what he does, in part because he typically doesn't bash anyone unless they've truly well earned it, and in part because he's enthusiastic about what he does and I think it shows. His columns, while primarily about professional football, tend to regularly wander over into other topics that are of interest to him, such as good coffee, travel, baseball, and (until they graduated from college) his daughters' sports careers. Although some people may disagree, I find this digression from strictly writing on football to be entertaining, and after you follow Mr King's writing for awhile, it almost seems like you're reading a letter from a good friend or relative letting you know what he's been up to.
You don't have to be familiar with Mr. King's work to enjoy the columns in this book. Because of the wide access he has with the teams and players, he's able to give you behind-the-curtain views of many big stories, such a discussion with former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi on the drafting of Eli Manning. Mr. King writes with wit, style, humor, and warmth, so the book is a very easy and entertaining read. I suspect that the book will primarily be bought by fans of the column, but as I mentioned above, it can be enjoyed by all.
I did find the book rather entertaining though. I particularly liked where he makes lists, my favorite being his ranking of the greatest 100 football players of all time, and his list of the smartest coaches of all time. Lists are always fun because there is plenty of room for disagreement and prompts you think what your own list would look like. Who do you think King considers the greatest receiver of all time? It's not Jerry Rice.
Given that King is all over the map in this book I'll suffice it to say he does have some rather nice pieces in here. My favorites are where he talks about a particular person in the context of their character or an event. For example, the opening article on Ernie Accorsi, former General Manager of the New York Giants, and the story behind the Eli Manning for Philip Rivers trade during the 2004 draft is intriguing. His insights into Tony Dungy and Brett Favre are also insightful.
This book also includes asides about King and his love of his kids' sports, which are really totally unrelated to the topic at hand, but worthwhile reading nonetheless.
And despite that I find King a blowhard, he is self deprecating at time, like when he admits his prognostications that were utterly wrong.
The aspect of the book that is the most bothersome is his articles about Brett Favre. King admits he became good friends with Brett Favre when he stayed with Favre and his wife while writing a story on him. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. But, he is so close to Favre that he even brokered a phone call between Favre and an agent when Favre was contemplating coming out of retirement and was looking to sign with another team. I know in sports journalism the line is often crossed between being an unbiased reporter and a participant in the events. And while I will take King at his word when he says he has some insight into what Favre is thinking, his opinions about the drama king are not worth quite as much. He is no longer an objective observer on that topic.
That said, overall this was a worthwhile read and mostly entertaining.
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