“Tales From the Minnesota Vikings Sideline: A Collection of the Greatest Vikings Stories Ever Told” by Bill Williamson
Football (American), Vikings, history
September 7, 2012
2 of 5 stars (not so great)
As a longtime Minnesota Vikings fan, I am always on the lookout for books on the team, especially those that would have good stories on the great Viking teams of the 1970’s. I was able to obtain a copy of this book, but I was sorely disappointed with it. A collection of the “greatest” Vikings stories ever is a stretch, to put it kindly. Most of the stories could be written by most fans with either long memories or a little research.
Not all of them are bad – some are downright entertaining, such as Bob Lurtsema’s party habits during training camp or some of the Randy Moss antics. But overall, the stories about the great players for the Vikings during the entire history of the team are very short and not very entertaining. They come mostly from other people’s recollection of them, such as coaches or teammates. This does a disservice to great players of the team’s history. How does a Hall of Fame player like Carl Eller get only a short six-paragraph mention lumped in with other defensive linemen?
There are also several editing errors or typos that could easily be caught but somehow made it into the final copy. One example is a 2001 story on Ron Yary that mentions a grass roots campaign led by then-owner Red McCombs “who both the team three years age.” Another example is when talking about defensive lineman John Randle, a play “just con apses on John.” Huh? Collapses?
The stories and chapters, such as the one on the death of Korey Stringer, seem very choppy and there are either abrupt endings to short stories or confusing breaks in longer ones. There is not a good flow for continuous reading, nor are many good stopping points for those who like to read just a few pieces at a time. It just feels like the book was quickly put together in a rush to beat a deadline. This is how I felt for both the main section of the book which was published in 2004, and the extra chapter added in 2012 for the 2005 to 2010 seasons. I could not get into a good rhythm for reading, which in turn decreased my enjoyment of the book.
Did I skim?
Pace of the book:
This was a quick read, but because of the poor editing and sudden breaks in the stories, I had to stop every now and then to get back on track.
Do I recommend?
Fellow Vikings fans may enjoy some of these tales, especially those with old time players like Bob Lurtesema and Bill Brown. However, I don’t recommend this book for those strolls down memory lane as there are books with more complete stories.
Book Format Read: