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4.0 out of 5 stars19
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on 2 December 1998
The NFL, National Football (Felon) League is the most popular, exciting sporting enterprise in the country. It is also the most revolting.
This book shines a bright light on the reality of players who have committed very serious, violent crimes, even murder. Many are household name superstars, some have committed horrible crimes that you do not know about.
The best thing about this book is the police reports that are included. If you simply heard that Cornelius Bennett plead guilty to "sexual misconduct," and did not read the police report, you would not know that he raped, beat, and sodomized a young fan of his. He did. He got two months in jail and is now making millions of dollars on a sucessful team.
This book will make you think twice before you cheer again.
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on 29 December 1998
Once you finish this book you'll know why the Minnesota Vikings drafted Randy Moss after several teams passed him up in the NFL Draft. After initially believing that Moss would corrupt the Vikings, this book shows how it is almost the other way around. While the chapter on the Vikings and their problems was revealing, other chapters, particularly the ones including interviews with Art Schlichter and Darryl Henley from their respective prisons, helped the authors make two key points of the book. Schlichter is imprisoned because he committed the one crime (gambling) the NFL won't tolerate and Henley is in jail as long as he is because he, like many other NFL players, really believed he was too privileged to be limited by laws. These chapters were very important to the book and made up for the chapters which include sex-related crimes where no charges were made. I had a slight she-said, he-said problem with these parts of the book. However, the book stands out as one of the best Sports books ever written due to the ability of the authors to suggest a point of view and then prove it with actual situations and factual information. You'll never view the NFL the same after you read this book.
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on 3 August 1999
This is a book that every sports fan with a conscience should read.
No. It doesn't say that "all football players are criminals," but it does say that the behavior of male athletes off the field is not highly scrutinized before they are in the professional ranks and even when iniscretions of players or coaches (often an understatement of some of the acts described in the book) are made public while an athlete is professional, the team wants the incident swept under the rug.
Parents of star high school male athletes need to see this book so they know what's going on in their students' high schools.
The stories hit you one after another. They may shock you, but after the shock wares off, you'll realize you're reading a classic investigative masterpiece that could bring about change, if the forces in the NFL are willing to listen to the authors.
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on 2 February 1999
If reading this book doesn't make the typical NFL fan shocked and appalled at how athletes get away with serious crimes because of their athletic talent, then something is definitely wrong with our society.
Sure, we all knew from high school on that jocks are treated differently, but to read the horrifying stories that Benedict, Yaeger, and Yaeger carefully and thoroughly detail and to know that it could just be the tip of the iceberg is frightening.
I'll never look at pro football the same again. And even though I'm a Bills fan, I'll never buy another game ticket as long as they employ someone like Wayne Simmons.
Given the facts in this book, it's not a surprise that a case like OJ's happened, but that it didn't happen sooner.
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on 15 June 1999
I once heard a coach say to one of his players "I want you to play for Penn State not the State Pen". That could have been another sub-title of this book.
I could not put this book down. It describes in graphic detail the misdeeds of some of the famous and some not so famous players of the NFL. Everyone who has ever bought a football jesrsey for a youngster should read this book and see if the jersey purchased represented one of the animals described by the authors.
The book is not great literature (hence no five stars) but it has been well researched and documented.
I would recommend it for all armchair quarterbacks and their spouses.
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on 3 January 1999
This is the book the NFL doesn't want you to read. You don't have to be a football fan to be captivated by the depravity of our role models for our children. You'll never look at the NFL the same way!
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on 9 June 1999
This book is statistically sound. When nationwide opinion or election polls are conducted, usually somewhere between a thousand and fifteen hundred participants are polled. That's not even close to 1% of the population. Yet if the poll is representative, the margin for error is only + or - 4%. Meanwhile, Yaeger is ridiculed for his "sampling technique" when he investigated 28% of NFL players, a much higher percentage than any opinion poll. A previous reader review concludes that the heinous criminal acts committed by some of these players are "not nearly as disturbing" as Yaeger's sampling technique. I find THAT disturbing.
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on 23 February 1999
What the athletes have done it is not nearly as disturbing as the sampling technique that was used to come up with the figure of 21%. Only 500 of the 1800 atletes in the NFL were reviewed and the author certainly knew who to go after to find criminal records. For scholarly literature, this would not hold in front of a review board. In fact, scholarly literature tends to favor that the percentage of those in the NFL that get in trouble is no different than in any other industry. Shame on you two for your misleading information in your Jerry Springer type approach to "scholarly literature".
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on 3 February 1999
Although NFL players are relatively few in number, the percentage of criminals in their ranks is appalling. Even more distressing however is the fact that many of these players have consistently gotten special treatment from authorities to make sure they never have to do any significant jail time. Anyone who has read this book certainly shouldn't be surprised at the failure of the Minnesota Vikings in the playoffs. Clearly discipline and character are not important traits to that organization. The only reason I haven't given the book 5 stars is that it's a bit of a boring read.
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on 29 December 1998
The NFL loves to portray its players as gladiators on the field, but gentle giants off. Benedict and Yeager let us in on the truth, which is that the brutality doesn't end when the whistle blows. I was disgusted not only by the crimes revealed, but also by the lack of adequate punishment in most of the cases. This book is not always a page-turner, as the authors document many players' criminal histories in great detail, but it's a must for professional football fans who want to know the truth about Sunday's heroes.
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