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Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

George Plimpton

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Through the course of a long and distinguished career in letters, George Plimpton has crafted an art form from participatory journalism, and Paper Lion is his big touchdown. In the mid-'60s, Plimpton joined the Detroit Lions at their preseason camp as a 36-year-old rookie quarterback wannabe, and stuck with the club through an intra-squad game before the paying public a month later. What resulted is one of the funniest and most insightful books ever written on the game; 30 years later it remains a major model of what was then blossoming into New Journalism. Plimpton's breezy style wonderfully captures the pressures and tensions rookies confront in trying to make it, the hijinks that pervade the atmosphere when 60 high-strung guys are forced to live together in close quarters, and the host of rites and rituals with which football loves to coat itself. Of course, Plimpton didn't make it as a football hero; he barely accounts himself with dignity on the field, which is just as well. You don't have to be a lion when you've got a typewriter that can roar. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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16 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A timeless classic in participatory journalism. 19. August 2004
Von Brad Cooper - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
George Plimpton was the first, in the sports world, to employ "participatory journalism" in order to produce a story, or in this case a book. Over the years, Plimpton put himself in several different positions for the sake of his readers... hockey goalie... prizefighter... pitcher... he even tagged along on the PGA Tour. However, none of those really hit home on a large scale quite like PAPER LION, the story of Plimpton's trials and errors in training camp with the Detroit Lions prior to the 1963 season. It even led to a movie starring Alan Alda by the same name.

When PAPER LION was published in the mid-1960's, it was a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at professional football. Before the days of constant national television coverage, Monday Night Football, hour after hour of pregame shows, or the NFL Network, this book was truly the first look at what goes on before a season for the players that you'll be cheering for when fall rolls around. Plimpton's premise was that he was coming in as an unheralded rookie just trying to find a position to play, but it wasn't long until his secret was out.

The beauty of this book is that Plimpton was anything but an athlete. He came into this setting having never played a down of organized football in his life. That being said, the strides he made in a four week period were astonishing. Granted he wasn't going to make the team as a 36-year old rookie, but he certainly made progress leading up to his time in the intrasquad scrimmage. More important than the actual time on the practice field is the look he provided into the inner workings of the Detroit Lions program; the life in training camp after the day's practice had ended and everyone was back in their rooms or out on the town. As passionate as fans can be, some of them tend to forget that their gladiators of the gridiron have lives outside of the playing field. Reading about the lives of the Lions players, from the well known names of Alex Karras and Night Train Lane to the relative unknown players like Lucien Reeberg, adds a dimension to the league that went uncharted until this was published.

What makes this work so great is the fact that it is truly timeless, despite the fact that is was written 41 years ago, 4 years before the first Super Bowl! When it was first unleashed in the mid-1960's, PAPER LION was a great behind the scenes look at an NFL team in training camp. Now, a reader is treated to an amazing commentary showing the progression of professional football from then to now. Gone is the innocence and the flat out passion of those years, replaced by steroids and money hungry athletes. Are there players now who remind the reader of the players from that era? Look at Brett Favre. But that's become rare. If PAPER LION was being written today, Plimpton may have had an entirely new perspective. He may have been granted a roster spot because five different players were holding out for "contract reasons". He may have spent his time writing about unnamed players using illegal performance enhancers or engaging in other illegal activities, not writing about the team going out to a club for some dancing after practice or initiating the rookies with Fright Masks. My how times have changed. The offensive and defensive schemes have changed, and the overall attitude of the players has done a 180. Yet, football is more popular than ever.

It doesn't matter if you're a football fan that remembers that era of the game, or if you're a young fan taking a look back, PAPER LION is an enjoyable read for football fans and non-football fans alike.

Just don't try to imagine George Plimpton doing an endzone celebration dance. It just doesn't make sense!
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Hear The Lion Roar 30. August 2006
Von Best Of All - Veröffentlicht auf
Back in the 1960s, writer George Plimpton began "covering" a variety of sports through participating on/with pro teams/athletes and reporting on it through books, magazine articles and TV specials.

Perhaps his most famous was in the early 1960s when he was "signed" by the Detroit Lions as a 36-year-old rookie trying to make the club as a third-string quarterback. Plimpton - wearing jersey number 0 - practiced with the team for one month.

His quarterbacking culminates with his appearance in a scrimmage where Plimpton calls a number of plays under game conditions.

The book leads the reader through the highs and lows of Plimpton as a player, along with great anecdotes on the teammates and coaches.

A reprint is slated for publication in September 2006. I hope the TV special on Plimpton's training camp and QB play gets dusted off during the upcoming NFL season. Anyone reading this inside that large campus in Bristol, Conn.?
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Stray notes on a classic book 7. März 2004
Von Mark Cannon - Veröffentlicht auf
This classic book is the story of a "regular guy" who was allowed to try playing professional football (sort of) and lived to tell about it. Some stray notes:

(1) He wasn't really a "regular guy." Firstly he was someone who was in a position where he could actually get the opportunity to work out with a pro football team and get into an intra-squad game. And he could REALLY PLAY, a fact that is rarely recognized. It's not that he was exactly on the NFL level -- he wasn't. But, he was good enough that he could sort of play with those guys, which very few of us could, and good enough that the "real" players couldn't tell that he wasn't legit. (They didn't know his real story for a while.) They could tell he wasn't great and they didn't think he was going to stick with the team, but nobody thought he wasn't for real or that his presence was ridiculous. And this despite his being 35 years old, an age at which even most "real" players can't hang in there any more.

(2) However, from the book it is clear that there were times that the players regarded his utterances as ridiculous, without there being any indication that Mr. Plimpton realized it. I wonder if he ever did. A good example is some of the things he was prattling about on the bench during the intra-squad game.

(3) This book is perhaps the first such intimate portrayal of the life and routine of pro football pre-season camp.

A great and classic book. Thank you, Mr. Plimpton, and rest in peace. And by the way you really could play football.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Great Read that Evokes a Different Time and Place with Humor 22. März 2008
Von Scott Billigmeier - Veröffentlicht auf
Hopefully there is a worthy biography of the late George Plimpton coming soon but in the meantime, the Paper Lion is a great place to start. Alan Alda played Plimpton in the movie adaptation of this book and that should give you some sense of its humor and playfulness. It is a very enjoyable read and evokes a different time (the pre-radical 60's), place (NYC, etc.), lifestyle (Ivy League "preppie" before the word preppie entered the larger lexicon) and era in professional sports (pre-tattoo, dreadlocks and the need for drug tests). Plimpton, who was very slight and not overly athletic, eventually had a series of these books where he put himself in the midst of large, skilled professional athletes with predictable results. He was looking for a good story and hoping to come out alive - he achieved both. If you enjoy humor and have even a mild interest in sports, you will like this book very much.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Last String Quarterback Scores Touchdown 28. April 2000
Von Robb McCoy - Veröffentlicht auf
Plimpton's book, which was made into a boring movie starring Alan Alda, is a great read for anyone who has ever dreamed of playing professional football. Plimpton joins the Detroit Lions and gains access into a world that few have ever entered. The book is full of humorous anecdotes and interesting insights about what goes on during football training camp. His exploits culminate with his playing in a live scrimmage in front of thousands. While his skill as a player never develops much, his skill as a writer is clear. Although the season happened 30 years ago, and many of the names and characters will not be recognized by the average fan, the book is timeless. I highly reccomend it to anyone who has more than a passing interest in football.
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