Third in an occasional series of posts that explains why I didn’t finish certain books
Title: Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything. By Charles R. Pierce. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 256 pp., $23.
What it is: A portrait of the quarterback who led the New England Patriots to three Super Bowl victories, written by a member of the staff of The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine.
Where I stopped reading: I read the first chapter and skimmed about half of the rest of the book.
Why I stopped: The Patriots lost the American Football Conference title, so no Super Bowl this year, and I was looking for a game tie-in. And while this book is better than many by or about football players, such as Brett Favre’s dismal autobiography, this is like saying that a restaurant has better food than Hooters. Moving the Chains has much less going for it than the best sports books of recent years, which include Seabiscuit, The Perfect Mile, and Little Girls in Pretty Boxes. Many quotes are filler. (“Quarterbacks,” the Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick informs us, “are going to get hit.”) Tom Brady comes across as a really nice, smart guy who’s a little dull off the field, a hazard of premature appreciations like this one.
Most bizarre line: Pierce reports that “the greatest college fight song of all” is the University of Michigan’s. Would somebody send this man a CD of “On Wisconsin” or the “Notre Dame Victory March” fast?
Furthermore: Despite my reservations, Moving the Chains may appeal to die-hards who can never read too many passages like this one about a drive in Pittsburgh in 2005: “It began with a deep out to David Givens on the left side for 14 yards. Then, Brady waited just long enough for Deion Branch to clear and hit him for eight more. A deep crossing route to Troy Brown got the Patriots into Pittsburgh territory at the 45-yard line, and then Brady hit Brown again for five more. The Patriots ran Corey Dillon up the middle, and then, with Brady in the shotgun, Dillon flattened a blitzing Steeler linebacker and gave Brady enough time to find Givens deep down the left side for 30 yards at the Pittsburgh 7. Dillon cracked over from there to give New England a 17–13 lead.”
Caveat reader: These comments are based on the advance readers’ edition. Some material in the finished book may differ slightly.
Published: October 2006
© 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.