I’m in the process of wrapping up Gunslinger by Jeff Pearlman. I’ve read enough of the book to give a synopsis and say it’s one of the greatest football books I’ve ever read. It’s not surprising that I enjoyed it; as Pearlman is my favorite sports author and being 34 years of age, Brett Favre was the guy I grew up watching my entire childhood. His career defines my golden era in NFL football.
One of the things about this book that was eye-opening but not different from that of most Pearlman books, he didn’t sidestep dirty and unknown details.
Within the book you’ll learn of Favre’s dalliances with women and alcohol. It didn’t go quite into the pill abuse as much as I would have been interested in, but it left little to question in all regards of the Quarterback’s life.
I found myself chuckling during the chapter about Irving Favre titled “Big Irv”.
I found myself remembering a lot of the moments that Pearlman describes in great detail. Like that Sunday afternoon I was in Cincinnati and I; like the rest of the world learned who Brett Favre was. I will never forget it.
The book dials in on every single aspect of Favres career, although it is a quick read. It doesn’t give you great details into each week, game by game. Things like that are glossed over rather quickly and before you know it, you’re through the Green Bay years and into Favre’s unfortunate divorce with the Packers. You’re onto his forgettable year with the Jets and then into the final years with the Minnesota Vikings (where I currently am).
I like reading this book because – as much as I want to say someone like Derek Carr is my children’s Brett Favre – there will truly never be another or anything even close.
One thing really shines through in this book: Brett Favre is perhaps the toughest athlete to ever play the game. You gain that perspective through the words of his teammates and the tales of his bravado. Playing with bent fingers, broken bones, bad ankles, taking hit after hit and then using only ibuprofen to shrug it off and play the next week. It’s astutely amazing in every aspect and you’ll be left with a new appreciation of Favre’s toughness when you set this one down.
I would say I enjoyed this book as much as I did Boys Will be Boyz about the Dallas Cowboys, my other favorite football read of all time along with Sweetness, the biography of Walter Payton.
I sincerely hope that Pearlman finds something else in the NFL world that interests him to write about. The guy never fails to deliver an incredible read.
You’ll enjoy the chapter about Jerry Glanville hating Favre right out of Atlanta and the former GM of that team placing blame square at the ignorant feet of the former head coach. You’ll be right in the meeting room at times with Mike Holmgren and General Manager Ron Wolfe’s office, all the way until the Ted Thompson years. You’ll be in the Favre family home and learn the inner most secrets of Brett and Deanna Favre and the somehow amazing everlasting love she has for her not always easy to love husband.
You’ll get a full, comprehensive look at the game’s gunslinger like never before. I give this a solid 10/10 and will probably pick it up someday and read it again. I’ll be proud to have it in my personal sports library forever.