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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2012
Firstly I am a Bears fan, but I am also a massive NFL follower and we keen to give this book a chance once someone I was training recommended it to me.
so glad I did. The author sucks you in to the goings on during one year of the Baltimore Ravens season, from the end of one year, through the draft and training camp, all the way to the conclusion of the season.
Feinstein writes with grounded pose, choosing not to become a fan or suck up to the men he observed. He fleshed out peoples back stories, helping the reader to understand where the stress were coming from. I was surprised how quickly I finished the book and I was sad to put it away afterwards. (still a Bear fan though!!!)

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in what the real world of running a sport business is like.
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on 30 November 2013
A good "fly on the wall" insight into the world of an NFL team. It covers all aspects from owners, coaches and players points of view. The author spent a year with Baltimore Ravens and had unfettered access to all levels of the organisation; to all player/ coach/ owner meetings; the draft process and what goes on behind the scenes; training camp; player contract negotiations and the "cut" process and how this is done. My only criticisim is the author seems too close to the star players and is far too deferential to them and with them, especially star linebacker and team leader, nos. 52, Ray Lewis. More detailed questioning and analysis is needed of his involvement in the infamous and brutal "Atlanta Superbowl Slayings" of two men in which Ray Lewis and his friends were allegedly invloved but which "the truth the whole tuth and nothing but the truth" has not emerged. However it is a must read for any NFL fan.
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As a Steelers fan I previously baulked at reading this. But after giving in I found it an enjoyable and informative read. We could do with a few more like it
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 8 November 2006
Next Man Up is a fascinating insight into the NFL. It takes a year in the life of the Baltimore Ravens franchise and exposes it from top to bottom. Everything about the team, the players, the management, and events like the NFL draft are brought to light. The personalities behind the facemasks are detailed, and the struggles that each of them faces to continue to thrive in the cutthroat world of the NFL are laid bare.

For anyone who wants to peek behind the gridiron curtain, this book will be fascinating. Any fan of American football will rightly be interested in this tale.

However, it is by no means the best book on its subject matter and it's almost certainly because of the repetitive and somewhat bland writing style. The book comes across as very bitter when discussing the admittedly objectionable Washington Redskins leadership. The worst flaw in the book is surely the continued and un-interesting references to TV networks and their impact - the media obsession is not one I share with Feinstein. The second key flaw is that Feinstein just doesn't seem to love the game. The account pales compared to the passion of You're Okay, It's Just A Bruise which is the stand-out book in the genre.

In many ways this book is like the written media that Feinstein is so self-referencingly a part of, it's fascinating and full of facts and insights you will not find elsewhere but it's not gripping and just doesn't feel passionate in any way.
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on 5 August 2014
Dated in regards to the latest CBA, but still a great insight into how the bizarre world of an NFL team actually operates. Incredibly interesting.
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on 21 July 2014
A great insight into the world of the NFL and what makes this interesting is it's following a team that had a disappointing year
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 September 2006
John Feinstein is one of the best sports writers around. This book is so typical of him. He manages to gain access where often it is denied. Spending a season with the Baltimore Ravens he manages to give us tremendous insight into the workings of the NFL and in particular an NFL team. We see everything, warts and all (though I am sure they would deny the warts part!). Everytime that Feinstein writes a book I buy it. His other works on Golf and Basketball are amazing also.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2008
I am big fan of John Feinstein, enough to know that College Basketball and Golf are the two sports he loves to write about. So i was mildly surprised when 'next man up' about pro football appeared, but no need to worry as this is Feinstein at his best. I love football and this book is everything I hoped it would be, a thoroughly revealing, informative and entertaining insight into a season with Baltimore Ravens. Feinsteins gift is that he gives you so much insight into the people he writes about, and has an innate gift for making you care about them. You find out so much in this book about the Ravens, a little bit of knowledge about who the likes of Brian Billick, Chris McCallister, Kyle Boller are may increase your enjoyment, but its not essential. A previous reviewer said this book has re-read potential, I have read it 4 times. If you have any interest in american sports this is a must read.
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on 30 October 2014
This purchase was a gift
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2007
A fantastic account of a year behind the scenes with an NFL team. Feinstein appears to have an access all areas pass with the Baltimore Ravens and enlightens the reader to attention to detail and the year long planning for the events that unfold in a three month season. Whether you are avid NFL follower or casual fan you will find this book enlightening and engrossing, and you need not be a fan of the baltimore Ravens. My onl;y criticism would be that at times the coverage is a bit partizan towards the Ravens, but you expect that given the access granted.

The best sports book I have read in a long time.
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