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Sack Exchange

The Definitive Oral History of the 1980s New York Jets
Narrated by: Bob Dunsworth
Length: 15 hrs and 44 mins
Categories: Sports, Football
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Comprised of exclusive interviews with Jets players, coaches, and other figures surrounding the organization, Sack Exchange: The Definitive Oral History of the 1980s New York Jets is an eye-opening account of a memorable era in one team's history, which also takes a step back and looks at the state of the National Football League as a whole during the 1980s.

From the events that shaped the 1980s Jets, such as the legacy of Joe Namath, to their multiple playoff appearances during the decade, each triumph and disappointment is chronicled and supplemented with insider information. Other highlights include examinations of the beginning of the Jets' rivalry with the Miami Dolphins; the controversial firing of head coach Walt Michaels; the defensive line, given the nickname 'The New York Sack Exchange' and steroid use by certain players and throughout the NFL.

Featured are original interviews with Joe Klecko, Mark Gastineau, Marty Lyons, Abdul Salaam, Wesley Walker, Al Toon, Ken O'Brien, Richard Todd, Pat Leahy, Walt Michaels, and Joe Walton, among many others.

©2011 Greg Prato (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

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Delusions of Grandeur the Novel!

Greg Prato has constructed a monument to suspect player narratives, built entirely by the 1980s New York Jets football players. Many of whom seem to be completely without an self awareness or at least clinging to their view that they were an 80s football powerhouse done wrong by their management & coaches, mother nature, dumb penalties, player strikes and other various nods from the football gods that all went against the Jets and in many cases them individually.


Some Key non-spoilery highlights:
-Wesley Walker may be more detached from reality than you can possibly imagine. He's an integral interview throughout the book and you will laugh and shake your head several times. Don't ever change, Wes, not that you could.
-The entire Jets team clings to narratives over and over again that are simply not supported by facts. Which if it was a couple dudes or one particular game, would just be fun and sour grapes kinda stuff. But every single major loss and failure, and there are excuses and what ifs to last a lifetime. Has to be difficult to believe you are part of a powerhouse football team, only to look back at the end of a decade and see a total of 3 playoff wins and zero division titles.
- The 1983 draft will never run out of storylines. Perched right in the middle of this story and the Jet spin on getting the 4th best QB in a 3 Hall of Fame QB draft is a true testament to how deep narratives hold.
- Walt Michaels is a fascinating dude. Every story he's involved in is fantastic and has so much humanity.
-There are some at times Jarring interviews with Super Jet Fan. Some of his stories are great, sometimes you are thinking "Can we get back to the games?" But they do add some color particularly in the move from Shea to the Meadowlands/Giants Stadium and the Jet fan reactions.

Highly recommend this book to 80s NFL fans NOT of the New York Jets. If you're an 80s Jets fan, this should be both repetitive and painful. Would have liked a little more game detail in the 15 hour narrative, but the completely entertaining comments of Jet players and coaches keeps this as a solid A/A- listen.


Not recommended for: People under 30, non football fans and anyone trolling for a lurid tale of 80s/90s football jock culture. There are plenty of Oklahoma Sooner, New York Met, Miami Hurricane, Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders stories out there to get your soap opera on. Mark Gastineau is obviously a character football fans are familiar with, but he tends to stand out more on this team as just goofy and aloof. For as much as these Jets are a little delusional, they seem to be really likeable and compelling men who mostly stayed out of trouble. If you are desperately in search of a political or social narrative to attach to this, it's not there.

On the technical side: The Narrator is pretty clean and fades into the stories and interviews properly and handles the slang and jargon pretty well. A couple hiccups but not many. Most of the errors in the players' memory are corrected with a few exceptions that probably don't mean anything to anyone but the biggest football dorks, like me.

Cheers!

Here's a vote for a book on the 80s Browns, Eagles, Falcons, Bengals and Oilers all of whom have similar stories that haven't been explored.