Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Review of "Brady vs. Manning"

It's getting to be that time of year football fans are awaiting.  Training camps have opened, the games will be starting in a few weeks - and the new books are coming out soon as well.  One of the more eagerly anticipated books coming in September is about the two biggest stars of the game today.  I was fortunate enough to obtain an advance review copy and I couldn't wait to start it.  It is one that should be in a football fan's library once it is on sale.  Here is my review of "Brady vs. Manning"

“Brady vs. Manning: The Untold Story of the Rivalry That Transformed the NFL” by Gary Myers

Football (American), Patriots, Colts, Broncos

Publish date:
September 22, 2015

272 pages

5 of 5 stars (outstanding)

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are the two biggest names in professional football today.  They have matched up in some memorable games over the years, are fierce rivals on the field and have the utmost respect for each other.  Their careers took different paths.  Manning, after a stellar college career at Tennessee, was the first draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts and immediately was a professional starting quarterback.  Tom Brady, on the other hand, had limited time as a starting quarterback at Michigan, was a sixth round draft pick of the New England Patriots, and began his professional career as a backup to All-Pro quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

What happened before and afterward to both of these men is the subject of this excellent book written by well-respected football reporter Gary Myers.  Utilizing not only his access to Brady and Manning, but also his connections around the game, Myers covers the story of both men as only someone who knows football as well as he does.

Not only are the individual achievements and recaps of their NFL careers covered, both men are shown to have a playful side as their interactions with their family members and teammates reveal the true people both of them are.  It helps the reader to see their personalities beyond the accomplishments Brady and Manning have achieved.

Another aspect of the book that shows Myers’ knowledge and talent for writing is how well the book covers other issues that affected the two quarterbacks.  Whether it is talking to former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr on why Brady was not the starter during his entire time at Michigan, Colts owner Jim Irsay on the somber departure of Manning to the Denver Broncos, or the saga on how Manning could have been the quarterback of the New York Jets had he left Tennessee a year earlier, Myers writes in a manner that is both intelligent for hard-core football fans, yet simple enough so that non-fans or casual fans can easily understand what was happening.

The Brady-Manning era of football is compared to other eras in other sports where two legends would be rivals, such as Larry Bird – Magic Johnson, Joe Frazier – Muhammad Ali and Ted Williams – Joe DiMaggio.  Myers is careful not to tip his hand as to his opinion of who he believes is better and instead lets others talk up the one they prefer.  Seeing this balanced coverage and praise for both quarterbacks made the book an excellent source of information on both men and is one that I would highly recommend for any football fan, no matter his or her level of interest in the game.

I wish to thank publisher for providing an advance review copy of the book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Pace of the book:
It was a quick read, as it wasn’t too much about the intricacies of the game and read like a collection of stories that illustrated both men in a positive manner.

Do I recommend? 
This book would be enjoyed by readers who enjoy football as the two most recognizable players in the game are both portrayed in a manner that is easy to read and entertaining.

Book Format Read:
E-book (Kindle)

Buying links (pre-order at time of review):

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