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Book Review: Born Fanatic – My Life in the Grip of the NFL

February 9, 2018 | by Vaney Hariri | Comments Comments Off
Michael McCormack has authored Born Fantatic - My Life in the Grip of the NFL.
Michael McCormack covers a lot of turf in his new book.

Author Michael McCormack has a unique perspective on the game of American football and its influence on the country as well as those that reside in it. In this memoir largely centred around the relationship between him and his Hall of Fame father of the same name, football — more specifically the NFL — serves as the backdrop for a story about family, passion, teamwork and fanaticism.

It is rare for the average fan to ever gain insight into the life and times of a Hall of Famer and it may be as rare to gain those insights from one of their children. What type of men sacrifice time and engagement with their families to play a game that requires strategies with the complexities of war yet a willingness to partake in violence with the simplicity of a car crash?

The complicated kind.
 
While chronicling the life and Hall of Fame career of his father, McCormack also offers us a glimpse into his own coming of age experiences. One of the most interesting elements of the book is that beyond the reflections on life as an NFL child, it also explores the many intersections between sports and social life in America from civil rights and the integration of football to the cloud of consistent losing and the depths of addiction.  
 
Born Fanatic – My Life in the Grip of the NFL touches on many notes. You could argue it tries to tackle a few too many, but it always stays connected to the theme that truly matters: father, son and football. Through many stories of interactions with his father whom he refers to as “Mike” as well as other tales from behind the scenes, we learn a great deal about fanaticism and what it means to commit to a team — as a player, coach, fan and family member.

It would be hard to imagine that many NFL fans spend much time thinking about the experiences of the wives and children of professional football players. To be fair, why should they? For most, professional sports serve as an escape, an increasingly rare opportunity to step away from what they are going through.

Therein lies the value of a book such as this — it reminds us that the NFL, and professional sports in general, is more than shields, logos and ratings. These sports are made up of people with families and play a pivotal role in our social discourse. It’s something we may all benefit from remembering from time to time.

Now it’s your turn. Read this book? Let us know what you thought about it in the comments below.

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Book Review: The Anatomy of Competition in Sports

March 26, 2016 | by Vaney Hariri | Comments Comments Off
The dynamics of competition are vast, perhaps limitless, and are relevant to virtually any endeavour. What this book points to as the primary difference between sports and, say, being an accountant, is how much and perhaps more importantly how long the professional athlete must invest into their respective sport. We know many people in many professions that are extremely competitive, but we have yet to meet a doctor or a lawyer that started training for their profession when they were six.
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Book Review: Performing Under Pressure

July 14, 2015 | by Dakota Case | Comments Comments Off
Stress is triggered by the needs and demands of everyday life. It’s the reminder to pay the bills, buy the groceries and get the kids to soccer practice on time. Pressure is what we experience in life’s do-or-die moments — landing a plane without landing gear, making a risky business decision that could affect hundreds or thousands of employees, needing an “A” on a final exam to pass a class or needing a goal with your team trailing 3-2 with just 15 seconds to play in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Final. Stress is an inconvenience. Pressure is a need to survive. Both serve a valuable motivating purpose.
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Book Review: Winning Fantasy Baseball

May 16, 2014 | by Josh Johnson | Comments Comments Off
Are you like most Fantasy baseball owners? Do you buy those magazines early on and then chop and decipher your draft strategy? What exactly do those print media items give to you? You probably appreciate having them at your disposal during your draft and it’s always nice to know who is on or off the 40-man roster.
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Podcast: The Larry Schechter Interview Prologue

March 19, 2014 | by Josh Johnson | Comments (1)
On this week’s episode of RotoRob Fantasy Baseball Weekly Podcast (usually heard every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST on Blogtalkradio, but aired at a special time this week), Josh Johnson took the reins as he interviewed Larry Schechter, author of Winning Fantasy Baseball. Once he finishes reading the book, Josh will be doing a complete review and a full interview with Larry. Stay tuned.
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