Non-Fiction: Sports

Inside the Helmet

Life as a Sunday Afternoon Warrior

Written by: Michael Strahan with Jay Glazer

Published By: Gotham Books

Reviewed by Dorothy Doremus

            I saw Inside the Helmet Life as a Sunday Afternoon Warrior in the bargain section of Barnes & Noble and realized I had never heard of it.  But for $3.98, I thought, Heck, go ahead.  Itís probably going to be an interesting read and, if it isnít, at least you didnít lose your shirt buying it.  So, I purchased it and, to my surprise, found that I would have paid the entire $26.00 original price for it.

            This enjoyable read by NY Giants defensive star Michael Strahan and Fox Sports writer/reporter Jay Glazer really takes you into the whole NFL experience.  From pranks to plays, it is loaded with information from people on the inside who really care about their comrades.  The chapters are chock full of goodness, such as Mr. Strahan describing how he played his heart out for 14-plus years in the league and might end up not being able to live without pain in his retirement.  The book speaks very candidly about the injuries Michael has endured and his lack of privacy with the press Ė mostly during his divorce from wife Jean Ė his strong presence on and off the field, and how much he loves the game.  If I thought I had respect for him before this book was written, I have nothing but respect and admiration for him now.  What a class act Ė someone I hope sticks around for a long time, even after retirement.

            I wish more players would give us the inside view like Michael did.  He is open about the monotony of workouts, meetings and training.  Itís not all glitz and glamour for these warriors; itís a lifetime of hard work and pain that never goes away.  While I enjoyed sitting on the sofa watching the Sunday ball games, I never thought that players went through this much suffering.  I knew pain was part of the game as well as injuries, but that is just the beginning.  Some of these men, Michael included, donít have the ability to touch their toes.

            I absolutely love the chapter on the pranks of the NFL players.  What a way to pass through the monotony of a boring day.  It was so hilarious.  I donít think Iíll be able to look at a tube of Icy Hot cream again without laughing.  Reading this book just brings home to you that these men are a family, like brothers who get together to battle for a common cause Ė the Super Bowl.  In that battle, however, there is love, understanding, mentorship and caring.

            In later chapters, Michael also addresses nutritional supplements and steroids.  If baseball had taken an approach similar to football on this matter, it would not have hurt the sport as much.  Michael tells us that the team takes this on at the player level, brothers looking out for brothers and making sure they donít get into trouble by ďcheatingĒ

            I enjoyed this read so much, I finished it in three days.  Chapters are just the right size.  Topics are excellent and, with Michael talking Ė well, if you have ever seen him meeting with the press, you know you just have to love this man.  Donít let Inside the Helmet pass you by.  Go out and get this book!  Regardless of the price, you will get a players' eye view of the NFL worth every dollar.  Thank you, Mr. Strahan and Mr. Glazer.


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