Archie and Peyton Manning
go for the end zone with new book
Harvey Frommer's Sports Book Review
Title: "Manning: A Father, His
Sons, and a Football Legacy"
Authors: Archie and Peyton
Manning with John Underwood
Publisher: Harper Entertainment
The football season is in full swing
all across America and in the world of publishing. One of the newest and
most unusual football-related books is "Manning."
Peyton Manning became the highest paid
rookie in the history of the National Football League -- $48 million over
six years -- when he was the No. 1 draft pick of the Indianapolis
Colts in 1998. His father, Archie, selected second in the NFL draft in
1971, had signed the largest contract ever given a rookie to that point --
$410,000 over five years.
The difference in the NFL from
father's time to son's time is far greater than the huge difference in
That is just one of the subjects
Manning tackles. He also his say about the modern game -- the pouting and
posturing on the field, the end-zone celebrations and the money madness
that affects the NFL and other major sports.
But the book is much more than an
outspoken and well thought-through look at the world of pro football. It
is a uniquely organized retrospective on the family Manning from the
perspectives of father and son.
We learn about Archie, whose father
We learn about Archie's days in the
1960s at Ole Miss, where he became, in John Grisham's phrase, "a
legend larger than life."
We learn about how Archie married the
university homecoming queen, about the three sons they had (Peyton was the
middle one) and about his incredible 14-year NFL career with the New
We learn about Archie's thrill seeing
Peyton lead Tennessee to 39 wins in 44 games, graduate Phi Beta Kappa and
transform the Indianapolis Colts from a 3-13 loser to a 13-3 winner in
just two seasons.
We learn what it was like for Peyton
to grow up as the son of a fabled football father, memorizing audio tapes
of Archie's games and Ole Miss, repeating the play-by-play in practices
under his breath.
"People ask me," Archie
Manning says, "if I knew all of this would happen. Or any of it
would. If in my wildest dreams I thought that Peyton would be so good, and
that right on his heels would come his little brother (Eli) with similarly
developing skills and credentials ... "As proud as I am, I didn't
know. And wouldn't have dared."
"Manning" is truly about
daring. It is about the stuff of dreams that do come true. Like a couple
of All-Pro quarterbacks sharing time in a big game, Archie and Peyton
alternate chapters telling their stories. It makes for inspiring and
Author John Underwood deserves praise
for shaping "Manning" and dealing with essentially a dual
autobiography. But you should skip the introduction or read it last.
Underwood gives away too much of the book's content in its 11 pages.
Another football book: "The Pain of Glory," by Jim Otto
with Dave Newhouse (Sports Publishing, Inc., 215 pages, $22.95). This is
in many ways a grim and inspirational read about the man whom many call
the greatest NFL center ever. Otto never missed a game for the Raiders. He
played in 210 straight.
-- "Bump and Run" by Mike
Lupica (Putnam) is being touted as an inside look at professional
football. Scheduled for November publication, the book will have a 100,000
# # #
You can reach
Harvey Frommer at:
About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath,
The Sporting News, among other publications.
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Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz Frommer are the authors of
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