The culmination of first semester law school final exams has afforded me the opportunity to begin reading through some of the interesting sports-related books that have been sent my way for review. I just finished reading Game Time – Inside College Football. The book is a compilation of short stories that reveals parts of college football that are often overlooked by the common fan.
I could not have asked for a more perfect time to start reading Game Time. With college bowl season already underway and the major BCS bowl games quickly approaching, many a fan has glued himself/herself to the couch with remote in one hand and favorite drink in the other. But as we get lost watching the spectacle known as college football, athletes are busy smacking each other in the trenches, giving up their bodies so that they may one day make a healthy living. There has to be a lot more that college football players deal with outside of suiting up every Saturday during Fall semester, right?
Game Time is a collection of Ted Kluck’s interviews with various football players, coaches, and even an agent. Those interviewed include Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel, NFL Draft Expert Todd McShay, and many lesser known people who have extremely interesting stories to tell. Many stories happen to be about athletes in the state of Michigan.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Game Time. It started off very slow and had too much of a religious overtone for the first few chapters. In fact, I would have rather skipped the first five chapters and started on page 67, which has an in-depth look into The Senior Bowl. Held annually in Mobile, Alabama, Kluck calls The Senior Bowl the NFL’s de facto annual convention. Agents are buzzing at the game, and they surprisingly do not don a horn and tail and tend to not be slimeballs. Here is a short passage from The Senior Bowl chapter:
Around the fence, there are hopefuls of all kinds. There are a few recognizable agents, but by and large there are thirty-somethings with leather jackets, cell phones attached to their ears, and sunglasses, hoping to embody the look that they think a sports-agent should employ. Their badges are emblazoned with names of companies you’ve probably never heard of, and probably never will – usually starting with a word like “momentum” or “elite” and always ending in the word “sports.”
I found those lines to be quite humorous. On a more serious note, Kluck mentions later in the book that agents need a healthy bank account if they want to have any shot at gaining a football client in today’s world where athletes are shipped to world-class training facilities in preparation for combines and Pro Days. While Game Time is mostly not directed at the sports agent industry, a ten page chapter is dedicated to interviewing a NFLPA agent.
Ted Kluck revitalized his love for the game of college football after writing Game Time. Reading the book may do the same for you. We are reminded day in and day out about all of the terrible aspects surrounding football. It is nice to forget about Nick Saban/Rich Rodriguez type stories and learn about a Greg Schiano and his passion for Rutgers football.
Bottom line: if you are interested in reading a book that takes a look behind the scenes of college football that will leave you feeling good and a fan of lesser known players like Dan Bazuin, Cullen Finnerty, and Max Pollock, then Game Time is the right book for you.
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