Monday, June 7, 2021

Review of "The Whole Ten Yards," by Frank Gifford and Harry Waters

 Review of

The Whole Ten Yards, by Frank Gifford and Harry Waters ISBN 0679415432

Four out of five stars

Story of a two-way star, football and broadcasting

 Frank Gifford was a great football player at a time when pro football was just beginning to gain prominence. He was also one of the first players to make the transition to an entertainment star as well. One little known fact is that Gifford was one of the founding members of the NFL Players Association, the first effort to band together for better pay and conditions. Given the modern state of the game, the initial requests of the players as recited by Gifford are extremely modest.

 Given that Gifford’s life spanned the days from when the NFL was a minor sport until it became the monetary powerhouse it is today, his memoirs are interesting reading. A short time after Gifford retired, he joined the broadcasting team for Monday Night Football, remaining there for 27 years. It was in this role that he truly became a household name.

 Like so many athletes driven to succeed, Gifford came from deep poverty, when he was young his family sometimes resorted to eating dogfood. Therefore, his story is both a rags-to-riches story as well as a historical recapitulation of the NFL going from a minor sport to arguably the most popular one in the United States.

 As a final note, after he died, an examination of Gifford’s brain revealed that he suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

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