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Best of Rivals: Joe Montana, Steve Young, and the Inside Story behind the NFL's Greatest Quarterback Controversy Kindle Edition
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Both Montana and Young come across as good guys who have their faults. There is no hagiography, while at the same time the author doesn't spend his time trying to unfairly rip into either quarterback for what they do on-field and off-field. With each of them, he briefly talks about their younger years, and spends some time reviewing their impressive college careers. The majority of the book, though, is focused on their professional careers and their eventual coming together as 49ers. It was interesting to read some of the comments from both players regarding their respective roles, to see Montana's willingness to play through injuries and to see Young's deep desire to get on the field while still respecting Montana's greatness. The other main players in the book are the quarterbacks' teammates and the the 49ers' coaching staff, and again Lazarus' unbiased presentation of their comments and actions makes for an excellent read.
There's a real shortage of excellent football history books out there, with notable exceptions like McCambridge's America's Game or Bissinger's Friday Night Lights, while baseball has a whole pantheon of great historical works. Hopefully with efforts like this one from Lazarus, America's most popular sport will one day have the rich review of history that it deserves.
For me, I knew all the details I needed to know about this story so I was curious as to what the book would provide me. Inside, it's filled with quotes from newspaper writers, film interviews archived over the past 30 years from key figures in the story. From coach Bill Walsh to teammates Jerry Rice and Dwight Clark, this book made you feel like you were living through the entire experience in the locker room in under 300 pages.
It read like a history book to me. And I like that. Instead of a storyline, it was more of pages filled with details on Montana's injury and quotes from teammates on the QB battle. That's what it gave me. But instead of reading through it like a documentary, the book instead gave me facts and details. I learned a lot more about Montana's injuries and it gave me perspective on the challenge the coaches had to deal with for both players.
Would this be a book I recommend for 49ers fans? Absolutely. But is this a must read book for them? Not necessarily.
I think the best way to describe this book is that it gives you the history of the rivalry. Plain and simple, the book takes you back to 1979 and from there, you're watching 15 years of 49ers history unfold before your eyes. From there, you're seeing all the action and emotions from all angles in the quarterback battle.
If you've seen the story before, then you can pass on it. But if you want to go down memory lane one more time and relive the glory and pain of the 49ers and the cornerstone of their success, the book is worth a read. There, the myth and legend of these two quarterbacks' struggle becomes a reality.
The book spends most of its time detailing the careers of Joe Montana and Steve Young. You'll find out what the TV announcers never knew. Its quite a human interest story. And you will read about other great quarterbacks and coaches.
the games and the characters. I had been a fan of Steve Young's before reading this book, even more so
after. The competition between two super quarterbacks fighting for the same job is gripping. Lazarus gives
us a fair story from the Joe side and the Steve side. Highly recommended for any football fan but certainly
for 49er fans.