I think it’s pretty hard in this business to write anything new or fresh or really different about the biggest stars that play in the NFL. But I’ve got to hand it to Gary Myers of the New York Daily News. He’s done it with his new book, “Brady vs. Manning: The Untold Story of the Rivalry that Transformed the NFL.”
Crown Archetype released the book a little over a month ago.
These are gift-giving times and few sports fans enjoy anything better than something interesting to read.
In “Brady vs. Manning,” there are stories from on the field, from all the games Brady and Manning have played against each other. There are stories from their relationship, and they are fairly close. But the best chapter in the book, at least for my money is “Boys Will be Boys,” the chapter on Brady and Manning the practical jokers – and the victims of practical jokes.
One of the few players to play with both Brady and Manning is center Dan Koppen, who, having started at center and had both men’s hands under his rear end for a time, is uniquely qualified to discuss both quarterbacks in depth.
You should’ve bought it before Nov. 29, which is likely the last game between the two legendary shooters, Patriots and Broncos.
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More Brady, though. This could be something. There’ve been Vince Lombardi-Bart Starr, Chuck Noll-Terry Bradshaw, Bill Walsh-Joe Montana – multiple Super Bowl champion coaches-quarterbacks.
Then there’s Bill Belichick-Tom Brady. “Inside the Belichick-Brady Relationship” came out in September or October. It’s by Gary Myers, a veteran NFL scribe since 1989.
Wrote Myers: “If Brady had been picked by the Browns, a quarterback graveyard, he would not have been the same player.”
It’s NFL history, folks.
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Here are a few quick ideas:
“Every Day I Fight” – A memoir by ESPN anchor Stuart Scott and commentator who died of cancer in January.
“Raw” – Ever listened to “The Herd?” ESPN-turned-Fox sports caster Colin Cowherd can drive you nuts sometimes, but this could be worth a read. The man understands ratings, which is why football’s his main topic on the air.
“I Feel Like Going On” – Normally, I wouldn’t recommend this. I didn’t like former All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis, who played on two Super Bowl teams, because of that one great blemish he had early in his NFL career (connected to a murder investigation), but youth around these parts might benefit from his story.
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If you’re a rabid L.A. sports fan that dates back to, say, when the Rams came west in the 1940s – and left for back east 20 years ago – then you might be interested in a November release called “Los Angeles Sports Memories.”
At age 72, veteran Los Angeles-based sportswriter Doug Krikorian has come up with this one after decades of covering the Rams and Dodgers, Angels and Raiders, Kings and Lakers, with plenty of horse racing, boxing, auto racing and golf thrown into the mix.
Krikorian’s part of the fabric of SoCal sports, having worked for the old L.A. Herald Examiner (which closed in 1989) and the Long Beach Press Telegram. It’s 40 years of sports memories in one book.
He called it a “savage firing” of George Allen by Rams’ owner Carroll Rosenbloom after two exhibition games in 1978, “in the worst move Rosenbloom made in his ownership of the Rams.”
We’re talking – or at least, he’s talking – Wilt and Kareem and Shaq, Georgia and Al, Koufax and Drysdale, Magic and West, Howie Long, John Robinson, Isiah Robertson, Merlin Olsen, Fred Dryer.
If you read Krikorian during his days on the beat, then you know what you’ll be getting.
Here’s one I wouldn’t give as a gift – and why:
“Above The Line” – Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer, who also coached at Utah and Florida, left this one out there. My misgiving is that a current coach can’t be totally candid in his pages. Gotta say this, though: It’s a best seller.
(Obrey Brown’s Twitter account is @obreybrown.)