DO YOU LOVE FOOTBALL? - Jon Gruden
An autobiography written in 2003.
The BUCPOWER.COM review
A book that was obviously produced to capitalise on the Buccaneers' Super Bowl victory and one that hence appeared in the middle of 2003. It is the autobiography of coach Jon Gruden from his earliest days following his coaching father around the States, to his own trials and tribulations on his way to lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy in January 2003.
"I'm not a scratch golfer. I don't know how to bowl. I can't read the stock market. Hell, I have a hard time remembering my wife's cell phone number. But I can call FLIP RIGHT DOUBLE X JET 36 COUNTER NAKED WAGGLE AT 7X QUARTER in my sleep."
And so he writes about his relationships with Buc players and coaches, of becoming head coach of the Raiders, and of fighting off the rats in the cellars of Veterans Stadium when Offensive Co-Ordinator of the Eagles.
It's an excellent book to give you an insight into the life of Jon Gruden and totally recommended for any Buc fan to have in their collection.
Just another book by a football coach about winning and hard work? Hardly. Gruden's story is different for two reasons: First, at 39, he was the youngest head coach to ever win a Super Bowl. Second, prior to that triumphant year, he was traded--yes, traded--from Oakland to Tampa Bay in an unprecedented move worth four draft picks and millions of dollars. So there he was, in front of the Buccaneers, who barely had a chance to say good-bye to their beloved ex-coach Tony Dungy. Talk about expectations!
Gruden met the challenge by winning the 2003 Super Bowl (Tampa Bay's opponent? Oakland, of course). Gruden, aka Chucky for his scowl, which brings to mind the horror-movie doll, takes us with him on a romp through his past, starting with how his dad, also a coach, instilled in him the love of football and extending through his playing days and rapid rise as a coach. Gruden has lived life like he coaches: there's no sense being there if you don't give it your all. Booklist
Gruden traces his transformation from pigskin letdown as a player to gridiron triumph as a Super Bowl-winning coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He avoids charges of nepotism (his father was a successful coach and trainer in his own right) simply by chronicling his own determination. He devotes a good deal of space to the importance of assembling highlight reels for the team to study-and captures all the wacky vocabulary of offensive and defensive plays, "Waggle Right Double Out Waggle Right Drag Hook" being just one of many.
Gruden gleans wisdom from the colorful likes of Bobby Knight, Bill Walsh and other legendary coaches with whom he has worked. Players, too, are sketched vividly and personally-from Steve Young and Joe Montana to Randall Cunningham and Ricky Watters. It's not often that one reads about what it's like for a gifted QB like Young to have to just cheer on while another gifted QB like Montana leads a team to glory. But it's Gruden's own portrait that emerges most sharply: he's the scrappy private who almost imperceptibly becomes field commander.
An insomniac who has the face of "Chucky," he's also funny and self-deprecating, telling such stories as George Seifert balling him out for sharpening the famed 49ers coach's playwriting pencils. The point of it all is that football isn't about winning, but about learning how to win. Publishers' Weekly