“My First Coach: Inspiring Stories of NFL Quarterbacks and Their Dads” by Gary Myers
Football (American), professional, history, family
August 22, 2017
5 of 5 stars (outstanding)
There are many stories of fathers playing catch with their sons with either a baseball and mitts or tossing a football back and forth. Many of those catches with a football are mixed with fantasies by the son (and sometimes the father) of that youngster becoming an NFL quarterback. This excellent book by Gary Myers tells the stories of some of those youngsters whose dreams of becoming a professional quarterback and the experiences they had with their fathers.
The quarterbacks selected for this book are not all Super Bowl winners or even stars in the game. There are plenty of the former (Phil Simms, John Elway and Eli Manning just to name a few) but there are also quarterbacks who are early in their professional careers (Jameis Winston, Derek Carr) or journeymen (Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jim Harbaugh). No matter the level of success or experience obtained, the stories of their relationships with their fathers made for fascinating reading. Myers is considered to be one of the best football writers in the country and the manner in which he captures the stories shows why.
While the majority of the tales shared do reveal many of the traits expected, such as the many sacrifices and moves made by the fathers to help their sons achieve gridiron success, there are some that took a different path. Simms recalls that his relationship with his father was not a close one during his youth. Winston tells how his father stressed academics over football, and Harbaugh’s story goes well into his coaching days as well as his playing days. All of the chapters reveal heartfelt reflections by both the fathers and the sons about their relationships.
There is one more twist to the type of story told and that is the one on the chapter about Joe Montana. This is because that chapter talks about Montana as the father to his two sons who both played high school and college football but did not play professionally. The pressure they felt as the son of a legend was extraordinary, enough to the point that they put their mother’s maiden names on the backs of their jerseys so they did not have to try to live up to their famous father’s performance. This chapter was my favorite one in the book.
Football fans of all levels, from casual to die-hard, will enjoy reading these personal stories about the most visible players in professional football. Myers has once again scored a touchdown with a book about quarterbacks and it is one the comes highly recommended.
I wish to thank Grand Central Publishing for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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