Spiros's Reviews > The Genius: How Bill Walsh Reinvented Football and Created an NFL Dynasty

The Genius by David Harris
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's review
Jan 03, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: gifteduponme
Recommended for: people who dont read football books
Read in January, 2009

I don't actually give a shit about football: I am pretty sure the last book I read about football was BRIAN'S SONG, back when I was in elementary school. I find that I lack the attention span for the NFL, as it is currently constituted; it lacks a narrative arc. Every year, your team plays 16 games, then tries to figure out who it can resign, who it has to cut, which superstar to overpay, which unproven free-agents to sign to fill the gaps in its roster. For the ultimate team sport, this is extremely ill-conceived; somebody wake me when every team finishes the season 8-8. I realize that there is probably a degree of old-fogeyism in this attitude, but only to a small extent.
At one time, I cared very much about football: it was what was happening when Baseball wasn't happening. I lived and died every Sunday with my Niners, and died a lot. To this day, I have a far better sense of players such as John Brodie, Cedric Hardman, Jimmie Johnson, Ted Kwalik, Tommy Hart, Milt Willcox, Cleveland Elam, and Ray Rhodes, then for anybody on the current roster. I guess old-fogeyism.
The advent of Bill Walsh obviously did nothing to diminish my enthusiam for my team, and this book does an excellent job of evoking the thrills and despairs of that glorious time in Niners' history. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and feel that I have been given insight into the agon of "the Genius" who made it all possible.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Marc (new)

Marc Horton I'll confess a fond familiarity with the 80's Niners, especially names like Dwight Clark, Tom Rathman, John Taylor. Randy Cross may well remain the only offensive lineman I'll ever remember by name. Good times...

Spiros Obviously, me too; I retain an absurd fondness for some of the more peripheral figures from those years, like Chet Brooks, Riki Ellison, Jeff Fuller, John Franks, Dan Bunz, and Bill Ring.

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