Monday, January 31, 2022

Review of "The Pros," by Robert Liston

 Review of

The Pros, by Robert Liston

Four out of five stars

Thoughts from pro athletes from several sports

 Published in 1968, this book appeared before the salaries of professional athletes soared to their current heights. The highest paid athletes were golfers and even then the prize money for the entire pro tour was $4.5 million. Baseball, football and basketball players routinely took other jobs in the off season in order to make ends meet.

 Therefore, when these athletes talk about their games, they are generally talking about a sport they love. It is interesting that Liston includes an interview with Daniel F. Reeves, the owner of the Los Angeles Rams professional football team. When Reeves offered to buy out his fellow owners, the price was under ten million dollars. While this was big money in the sixties, it is nothing compared to the billions sports franchises are worth today.

 The most interesting person interviewed for this book is Joe Don Looney, a football player with incredible physical talent and nothing to psychologically match it. Looney bounced around the NFL with a deserved reputation for being an unsolvable problem. His career never came close to what it could have been. Once, when his head coach told him to go in on offence and give the quarterback the play, his response was, “If you want a messenger boy, call Western Union.”

 The players profiled in this book were just as serious and dedicated as those that play today. The only real differences are the vast amounts of money in the modern game and how that alters the approach all involved in the sport have.

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