Book Review (Posted on 12-03-2015)
Let's get the first thing out of the way: I bought this off of eBay and was autographed. I couldn't care less if a book was signed or not, but I wanted to ask one question: fans of Tuohy, or Tuohy yourself, is this your real autograph? Whether it is or it isn't, contact me
to clarify. Not that it's that important but my skeptical mind can't ignore it. Onto the review:
Another book released just in time of the opening of NFL's 2015-2016 season. Never have I placed an order for a book ending up opening the package and reading the first few chapters on the very spot, while the open package was lying on my lap (perhaps because I've been praising author Tuohy's work since). For the record, I've been a huge NBA basketball fan since I was about 9 years old and became a huge PBA Bowling fan since I was about 12. Occasionally, I'd peak in to venture into other sports, such as baseball, martial arts, drag racing, hockey, curling, and yes, football. Of all sports, football is the national pastime, and so I thought, because it's fun and exciting, it's time I become a football fan.
The release of this book couldn't have arrived on time. With fans talkin' football, wanting to join in on the talks, and even applying for employment with the NFL, perhaps I had to rethink it all over. Speaking of employment, I have worked in customer service before, and nothing pains me in sympathy when a customer doesn't get his/her way (exception of rude, snotty customers). That's how I feel if I ever worked for the NFL: keep secrets to make money hand over fist. Personally, I'm not a great liar but I can't work with a company like that.
All that realization is why I cracked open this book so fast. Instead of chapters, the contents are titled in a way similar to the NFL's league schedule. The Preface is titled "Preseason," the Chapters are called "Week x
" emulating the weekly schedules the NFL assigns for teams to play that week, and the Epilogue/Afterword is titled "Postseason." For the NFL fan, everything should look familiar to you. As for the contents of the chapters themselves, it's a different ball game.
Think of this book as the big matchup we've all anticipated for: a showdown between Sports Gambling versus the NFL's Integrity. Hosting and commentating on the game (or "event") is author Brian Tuohy. The cameramen, the audience, the ball is set (not deflated) and we're underway with the opening kickoff! Here we go:
Weeks 1 to Week 10 feel like personal accounts—memoirs—of Tuohy's venture on the various searches and curiosities of sports gambling, even talking about his shot in doing so. He has spoken with gambling experts and along the way, informs the reader on new gambling terms, all about bookies, the people behind these "businesses" and even talking about his *amazing* trip to the M Resort & Casino
in Las Vegas (humorous stuff!). You also learn about the real nature of DFS, "Daily Fantasy Sports," Tuohy's very own fantasy sports talk—his javelin hurled at DeMarco Murray. Having to know that you have better odds in winning at slot machines than in fantasy sports gambling is a huge wake-up call to gamblers of all levels. Speaking of fantasy sports, you realize that with websites like FanDuel
, younger sports fans are more likely to possess a higher amount of gambling addiction than most adults do. "Touts?" They're everywhere now, even on ESPN's website to lure the least knowledgeable, gullible and unsuspecting fan who wants to jump in on the action but doesn't know a lick of what s/he is doing, nor what s/he should be aware of. Tuohy also took the time to respond to the detractors of the people who commented on his VICE article
(they're probably still butt-hurt over that article that they'd likely be unaware of Tuohy's response on this book). More on explanations about sports gambling and everything in it, Tuohy recommends not to pursue offshore gambling websites. Let's say you do: If you happen to win big, will the folks overseas pay off your winnings? If so, how soon? It's one of the dangers of gambling from websites hosted outside the US, and because you have to share part of your personal information, it's a tragedy waiting to happen. However, people still do it anyway. Sometimes, words can't stop people.
After "BYE Week" are discussions on the NFL's side of this so-called "matchup," or should I say, Tuohy's 'commentating' on NFL's integrity, from Week 12 to Week 17. Everything written here shouldn't be new to you if you've read Tuohy's previous books The Fix Is In
and/or Larceny Games
, both of which were proudly reviewed here on The Seeds of Books™. Only thing I felt was better elaborated, perhaps due to the advancement of television technology, let alone my personal favorite "week" (chapter), was all about TV. During the NFL's 2015-2016 season, they have aired one football game played in London on Yahoo's website via streaming. Result? About 2.4 million viewers watched, and knowing everyone tuned in to watch a measly matchup between the Bills and the Jaguars, puts this sports live streaming-only into perspective. I have read an article how cable-cutting also affects production studios and their investments/budgets. If the leagues are working into bringing in live streaming-only games, knowing the result of the NFL's game featuring the Bills and Jaguars, then cable companies' days will be numbered. (It is anyway, unless you need to keep up with the TV news and or, my personal favorite, local public television shows aired on TV and not available for streaming on their websites. Yes, I'm a fan of public TV.) Tuohy states that leagues and networks need each other to survive, and by golly, generate profit/revenue to keep above water*.
*Let me get this straight: if us sports fans have turned into "gamblers" and whatnot, knowing we also can stream games into our smartphones and tablets while away from home and/or at work, then it's only a matter of time before cable calls it quits. While leagues can barely hang on financially via ticket sales, the advertising business done online is very different from receiving contract deals from big TV networks. With the technology, and paying the right employees to do so, eventually the leagues will catch up with stream-only airing of their games, let alone the streaming quality and the improvement of better Wi-Fi connections strengthening in time, allowing for cleaner, smoother signal.
Another chapter that hooked my attention was about pain—the physical struggles NFL players go through in managing numerous aches and how one simple game can wreck all sorts of havoc on the body. Having read that one player needed his wife's help in simple tasks like getting out of the car was something I felt through the book. Chugging all those painkillers game after game, while the audience cheers on....it's too much. I sympathize these men, and with Tuohy mentioning that playing for the NFL is "just another job," it's really not worth it. Concussions? Too much. Maybe now I know why I never made the football team during my senior year high school, otherwise I wouldn't be here and be hanging out in the sunset watching the world turn in this Universe. Sure, others are better and more dedicated and highly skilled, but the consequences that come with it in the long run aren't worth all that effort. The closest one I know of known for overcoming pain is NBA's great Kobe Bryant. While we all can't argue about his real love of basketball, his body has taken a toll along with age causing him to officially announce his retirement from the league. However, since basketball isn't as physically taxing as football, one can only feel the immense pain an NFL player has to lay through before running out prepping for the next game. As Stephen A Smith would say, "It's too much, man. It's just too much!"
Besides admitting to some typos and spelling errors throughout, there's a lot to take from this book. One reviewer said this book was "too conspiracy theorist for me" but it never felt like that at all. Like I said earlier, think of this book as a game and Tuohy commentates on what's going on behind, on and off the field. No touchdowns and/or field goals were waived off during this read; Some "calls" (points/facts) may be questionable but certainly up for review, even though the calls already have/were made.
Overall, the book almost feels like Tuohy's first book The Fix Is In
, chocked full of sourced information. The difference is, of course, this book is fully focused on professional football and the various aspects of sports gambling, but other than that, you'll come away with something brand new and updated on this book. And while Tuohy states that the legalization of sports gambling will give folks a time to revert back to this book when he discussed why sports gambling was illegal at the time, he thinks it'll come through and everyone will be able to openly gamble without authorities sniffing up "unusual behavior."
It's only early December, as this was posted in, but watch folks search online high and low and find this book review of Tuohy's book on this website, urging them to dig up as to why the anticipated Super Bowl 50
turned out the way it did.
Finally, check out your favorite books at discount prices at eBooks.com
! Always there for your new semester: