In the latest installment of the Autumn Thunder Book Club, I will be reviewing "Every Week A Season," a book by Brian Curtis that chronicles his journey across America during the 2003 football season while he hung out for a week with some of the biggest programs in the nation, such as Wisconsin, LSU, Georgia, Tennessee (you can see all the teams on the cover!), and a host of others. Lloyd Carr wrote the forward - that's probably the most appealing part of the book to a Michigan fan, since Michigan was not chronicled during any of the weeks. I wonder why ([cough cough] Lloyd Carr hates the media [cough cough])?
The potential for this book was huge - but it fell short of what I hoped it would be. I wanted interesting team gossip, a really good description of what the players were like, and something other than the usual cookie cutter "this team is great - rah rah rah" writing that most sports writers are forced to do in exchange for inside access. Every week is presented in the same predictable order:
1) Intro about team and season for team thus far.
2) Talk about coach.
3) Talk about University and surrounding areas.
4) Describe what coaching staff does for a week in meetings and practice
5) Throw in some colorful quotes from media or players.
6) Really boring game recap
7) Conclusion with moral from the coach at the end.
There was nothing really notable in this book, and nothing of substance stayed with me after I finished reading it. It was a literary version of an ESPN "inside look" they play during halftime - semi-interesting for the time being, but completely forgettable when its through.
After the third week, I was ready to put this book down because it was so pedestrian. But dammit, I paid a nickel for it, and I was going to get my money's worth. I chugged through it for a few more subway rides.
Buy or skip? If you're a commuter, are missing football as much as I am, and have a nickel, it can't hurt. Don't buy it if it costs more than a buck.