“4th and Goal Every Day: Alabama’s Relentless Pursuit of Perfection” by Phil Savage
Football (American), college, coaching, Alabama
August 29, 2017
3 of 5 stars (good)
With the recent long run of success by the Alabama Crimson Tide football program, this book looked like the perfect source of information on why the Tide has been the most successful it had been since the days of Paul “Bear” Bryant. The author, Phil Savage, certainly has the pedigree to write about this. His long career in football as a coach, scout and general manager, as well as his current position as a radio analyst for the Crimson Tide certainly places him in a position to intimately know the workings of the football team.
The reader will learn about Coach Nick Saban (for whom the author worked as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Browns) and his involvement of every aspect of the football program. From recruiting to practice to film sessions to game day, the reader will be given a guided tour inside the program, learning about it from coaches, players (both current and former) and Savage himself as he has been connected to Alabama football since he was a very young fan.
My reservation about the book is that Savage’s style of taking the reader on this tour comes across to me as arrogant and elitist. Throughout the book, Savage reminds the reader of Alabama’s recent string of championship and near-championship seasons and whatever part of the program is being discussed, well, it is just the best way to approach the task. For a comparison, living in an area where there are a lot of New York Yankee fans, this sounds much like them – we are successful and we will constantly remind you. There is no argument that Alabama has been the best college football program for the last decade. I was just hoping to learn why it was, not to have this fact be constantly repeated through the book.
Despite my misgivings about this writing style, I do give the book a passing grade for the insight, the knowledge and the details that Savage shares with the readers. This book is one that every Crimson Tide fan will want to read – but Auburn Tiger fans may want to think twice before buying.
I wish to thank St. Martin’s Press for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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