I wanted to take a quick time out this morning from talking about the season to review a book. That book is called “Collision Low Crossers”. Why am I taking the time to do this? Because the book is a must-have for any Jets’ fan.
Nicholas Dawidoff is the other, and he has been the other of books such as, “The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg”, “In The Country of Country: A Journey to the Roots of American Music”, and “The Fly Swatter: A Portrait of an Exceptional Character”, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in biography.
In this one, Dawidoff was given access to all things New York Jets, for the entire season of 2011. When I say everything, I mean everything. From the off-season, through the draft, the lockout, and all through the season, he was a fly on the wall for everything. The Jets did give him the opportunity to assist in player interviews at the Combine, but other than that, Dawidoff simply observed. And he observed a lot.
The most interesting parts of the book were not the football action. No, the author went deeper than that. He was able to get into the hearts and minds of the players he was writing about. THAT is what made the difference between your run of the mill football book, and an outstanding one. He talked in a literary style rather than as a sports reporter.
For example, he talked about listening to Rex Ryan talk, and being able to clearly understand why players wanted to go to bat for him. He used the term “seductive”, not for its sexual meaning, but it’s more general meaning of how a person can bring others in, get people feeling the same way they do. They way they can make others like them. His excitement about football, his passion for it is “seductive”. It’s a profound thought if you really give it some thought.
Spending time with Rex’s staff, Dawidoff was able to get inside the hearts and minds of the coaches. He was able to feel what they felt, with every game that went by. He was able to understand how personally every loss was taken, as well as the excitement with every win.
He was also able to learn things we learned about later on. Towards the end of the season, for example, he was able to hear Tannenbaum talking about something “going wrong” between Mark and Schotty. He was aware that Mark was getting worse, and something was talked about being done weeks before it happened. He also talked about how they became infatuated with Tim Tebow after the game they played against him in Denver. I don’t want to talk about that part.