Sunday, July 17, 2016

Review of "Pigskin Rapture"

With training camps soon to open around the NFL and college football starting its season soon as well, it is time to get in the mood for the gridiron.  What better way to do so than by reading a book about four game in four days in the most football-mad area of the United States, Texas.  Here is my review of "Pigskin Rapture."

“Pigskin Rapture: Four Days in the Life of Texas Football” by Mac Engel and Ron Jenkins

Football (American), professional, college, high school, Cowboys, Texans

Publish date:
August 26, 2016

240 pages

4 of 5 stars (very good)

Football is as much a part of the culture of Texas as are oil rigs, barbecue, and cowboys (the kind in the Western novels). What the game means, at every level of play, to the state and its fans and teams is illustrated in this book that is well-written by Mac Engel and illustrated beautifully by Ron Jenkins.

The premise of book is a four day, four game trip taken by the authors in which they cover two professional games -Houston Texans on Thursday, Dallas Cowboys on Sunday - as well as a high school game on Friday and a college game on Saturday. The high school game featured Odessa Perriman, the school featured in the best-selling book “Friday Night Lights.” The college game was one of the biggest rivalries in the sport, Texas against Oklahoma.

The book is divided into four quarters, one for each game. While there are sections in which game action is recapped and Engel writes about the game with knowledge, the book is at its best when it is about other topics.  Examples are memories of the Houston Astrodome and the Houston Oilers from long-time fans in that city, what it takes to become a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, what it is like inside AT&T Stadium at a Cowboys game and the spirit of the students and fans of the Texas Longhorns, especially with this particular game in which the Longhorns upset the heavily favored Sooners. The reader will really feel what it is like to be part of Texas football.

The photography is just as important to this book as the words. Jenkins has many pictures that not only complement the text, but add additional images and emotion beyond what is being communicated.  The reader will feel the emptiness of current pictures of the deserted Astrodome, be inspired by the cheering Longhorns students and cheerleaders and feel overwhelmed at the sheer size of the mammoth videoboard at AT&T Stadium. Often pictures in sports books will be accompaniments – in this book, the pictures are just as vital to the story as the words

Football fans will enjoy this book on the culture of the sport in Texas, covering the game, the people, the towns and the food. One does not have to live in the state or be a fan of a Texas team to appreciate what the game means to residents of the state after reading this book. A very enjoyable and entertaining read.

I wish to thank Lone Star Books for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Format Read:
E-book (Kindle)

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

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