Thursday, September 24, 2020

Review of "Curtis, Buoniconti, Butkus Lanier," by Bill Gutman

 Review of

Curtis, Buoniconti, Butkus Lanier, by Bill Gutman ISBN 0448057123

Four out of five stars

Profiles of four of the most prominent NFL enforcers

 In football, the middle linebacker is generally considered to be the player that needs to make their presence felt by punishing the opposition. While they don’t have to do it every time, they need to hit the opposing players hard enough on occasion so that they become skittish when in the area. Four of the players that are known for this attitude are profiled in this book.

 They are Mike Curtis, Nick Buoniconti, Dick Butkus and Willie Lanier. It is a common misconception that football players in general and linebackers in particular are not the brightest of people. That is dismissed by the descriptions of these players. Buoniconti earned a law degree, Lanier took graduate courses and served as vice-chairman of a securities firm, and Curtis was an academic All-American. It is also pointed out that while these men were vicious on the field, they were generally mild and soft spoken otherwise.

 The descriptions are laudatory in nature, what one would expect from such books published in 1974. It is an interesting look back at pro football to a time when many of the more brutal tackles were still legal hits.

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