This is a fantastic take on a subject that demanded good research and good writing. Pearlman provides both. Though keep the kids away, it’s definitely X-rated (and not for the squeamish). Some notes on Boys Will Be Boys:
1. Can you think of a more intriguing subject in NFL history than the 1990s Cowboys? I still remember how in awe I was of them at seven-years old when they were beating up the Bills back in Super Bowl XXVII.
I never thought that team could lose, it was so loaded. I also remembered how much I hated them (and Deion Sanders) in Super Bowl XXX. Maybe these recent Patriot teams were better coached, but few teams, if any, could match that Dallas squad for sheer talent.
2. Jeff Pearlman (famous for the John Rocker interview), an excellent writer, has gradually gotten better. His first effort, The Bad Guys Won, on the 1986 Mets was good, not great. It got good reviews and was a bestseller, but there was something missing (or perhaps I’m nitpicking).
He followed that up with his surreal take on Barry Bonds, Love Me, Hate Me. In my opinion, this is the best Bonds book ever to be written, unless someone shoots him up with truth serum, records his thoughts on everything and he allows it to be on the record.
And Boys Will Be Boys is just a masterpiece. If I have one big criticism of Pearlman, his long-running analogies suck (someone else has to know this). Otherwise, a superb job.
3. Gave a fantastic in-depth look at the triplets. For instance, Troy Aikman was probably the Tom Brady of his time. Nice guy, hard-working, country boy, wants to win a championship.
Emmitt Smith was exposed as an insecure man who craved personal attention more than anyone else. And yet, when the chips were down, he came through (like his performance in the ’93 Giants game, running hard with a separated shoulder).