Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback

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9781599218090: Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback

With his characteristic insight and wit, the Harvard-educated Plimpton recounts his experiences in successfully talking his way into training camp - not as a reporter but as a player - with the Detroit Lions, practicing with the team, and actually taking snaps behind center in a preseason game.

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Review :

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.

From the Back Cover :

An author, journalist, editor, actor, and modern-day Renaissance man, George Plimpton (1927-2003) was perhaps best known for Paper Lion. Originally published in 1966 and today considered a classic, the book set the bar for participatory sports journalism, if not literature in general. With his characteristic insight and wit, the Harvard-educated Plimpton recounts his experiences in successfully talking his way into training camp - not as a reporter but as a player - with the Detroit Lions, practicing with the team, and actually taking snaps behind center in a preseason game. This special 40th anniversary edition, featuring photos not seen in any previous edition, provides a classic look at the gridiron game through the lens of a true literary giant.

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George Plimpton
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