Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Review: Men of Sunday by Curtis Eichelberger

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson as a part of their BookSneeze program.

Because we are a "football family", I was intrigued by the idea of Men of Sunday:  How Faith Guides the Players, Coaches & Wives of the NFL by Curtis Eichelberger so I quickly selected it.

The back cover promises that the book "reveals how Sunday's greatest rely on God to face issues such as drug abuse, family crises, injuries, and temptations resulting from fame and fortune."

While the book was able to put people in the NFL on the same playing field, so to speak, as an average person by showing how they suffer from family deaths, miscarriages, injuries, etc. too, the more I read the less I enjoyed the book.  

The introduction states that "the primary tenets of Christianity--discipline, self-sacrifice, courage, and love for one another--aren't just elements of a righteous life; they are the building blocks of good teams and winning franchises" (xiv).  I was interested to see how this would all play out among the people interviewed and the stories told, however, there was a lot that I felt was missing.  Often, a story would stay a person went through something difficult, but got through it with God, yet there was no explanation as to how this happened.  Or, the same idea that God is in control of everything and that injuries, miscarriages, etc. are His plan is repeated multiple times.

The biggest strike against the book came in chapter 5, "Temptation", in which the author basically blames Eve, Delilah, and Bathsheba for the downfall of their respective men (2nd paragraph, p. 109).  

Overall, it's an okay book that many people in Evangelical Christianity would probably enjoy reading in order to learn about the struggles and the faith of various athletes and coaches.  Not all of them express their faith the same way, and it's interesting to compare why one coach may share his faith in the locker room while another coach does not.  I did find it amusing that Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles thinks that Jesus would be a middle linebacker if he played football.  It is good to have a book like this to help people see athletic celebrities in another light, that though they may have more than others, they are still a human being journeying through life like everyone else.  


theTRu said...

I was glad to find this. I felt like I was the only reviewer who didn't LOVE this book.

Kelly J Youngblood said...

Oh, I'd love to read your review too then. I suspect that when books are given for free, reviews tend to lean towards the positive side (I know I struggle with that at times). I just felt like this book didn't have much depth regarding the faith of the people it talked was all so surface and nothing really new.