Top critical review
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Absolutely fascinating, just not always fun
on 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.