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Out of Their League
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Out of Their League

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  54 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Dave Meggyesy had been an outside linebacker with the St. Louis Cardinals for seven years when he quit at the height of his career to tell about the dehumanizing side of the game—about the fraud and the payoffs, the racism, drug abuse, and incredible violence. The original publication of Out of Their League shocked readers and provoked the outraged response that rocked the ...more
Paperback, 255 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Bison Books (first published July 1st 1971)
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Basically this book is about the shady side of American Football in the 1960s.

I confess, I was drawn by the cover blurbs:

"The Roughest Sports Book Ever Written" and "...exposes the dehumanizing quality of the game - the fraud, payoffs, racism, drug abuse, and violence."

I couldn't help myself after seeing the hyperbolic phrase "ever written".

Meggyesy is truly a passionate bloke, and an entertaining writer to boot. He starts out in life an extremely poor farmer, finds an escape through sport, and
Paul Schulzetenberg
A great, if dated analysis of professional sport as a social phenomenon, and the role of the athlete as commodity. This is exactly the kind of intersection between sports and highbrow analysis that I love, so it's certainly no shock that I liked the book.

Many sports books claim to give an insider's look, but this one truly does so. Rather than devolving into chest-pounding autobiography, this one blithely covers the abuses of sport when such abuses were not realized to be commonplace. The 1950s
This may not count as "reading for fun" since I will certainly use it in my dissertation. But, damn, it's a pretty compelling story and really well written. And, he wrote it immediately upon leaving the NFL in 1969 (or '70). I wouldn't call it a "tell-all" because it's not full of juicy tabloid stuff, but at the same time, he doesn't hold back much either. He talks openly about his drug use. He lobs a tough (but, I'm sure complete legit) criticism at the racism present during his time in the gam ...more
A really groundbreaking book when it was written that could have just as easily been written in 2012 as in 1971. Coaches who are completely out of touch regarding head injuries and unable to comprehend why a player who LOOKS fine might have some issues that mean he should not be playing at that time....sounds like the current NFL. Interesting to hear the side of a player as he struggled with his role in the massive football complex and his complicated feelings regarding his professional and pers ...more
Oliver Bateman
An intense, interesting early broadside against organized athletics by a well-read former player. Although Meggyesy's commitment to social causes seems misguided in retrospect, his sentiments about the game--the barbarism of coaches, the greed of owners, the phony amateurism of college athletics, rampant and underreported homosexuality and drug abuse--are still relevant today. As memoirs of this sort go, Out of Their League ranks ahead of Jim Bouton's Ball Four and behind Samuel Fussell's Muscle ...more
Read this book years ago. I ran into the author once at National Football Hall of Fame. I'm a huge reader of sports themed books. Its probably not in print anymore but if you can find a copy of it at a used book store pick it up.
Chris Gager
More pro football reality but not as good as "North Dallas Forty". Date read is a guess.
Craig Cunningham
Interesting look at the dark side of college and pro football in the 60's and 70's.
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