Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback

Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback


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The book that made a legend — and captures America's sport in detail that's never been matched, featuring a foreword by Nicholas Dawidoff and never-before-seen content from the Plimpton Archives.

George Plimpton was perhaps best known for Paper Lion, the book that set the bar for participatory sports journalism. With his characteristic wit, Plimpton recounts his experiences in talking his way into training camp with the Detroit Lions, practicing with the team, and taking snaps behind center. His breezy style captures the pressures and tensions rookies confront, the hijinks that pervade when sixty high-strung guys live together in close quarters, and a host of football rites and rituals.

One of the funniest and most insightful books ever written on football, Paper Lion is a classic look at the gridiron game and a book The Wall Street Journal calls "a continuous feast...The best book ever about football — or anything!"

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316284509
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 04/26/2016
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 800,815
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

George Plimpton (1927-2003) was the bestselling author and editor of nearly thirty books, as well as the cofounder, publisher, and editor of the Paris Review. He wrote regularly for such magazines as Sports Illustrated and Esquire, and he appeared numerous times in films and on television.

Date of Birth:

March 18, 1927

Date of Death:

September 25, 2003

Place of Birth:

New York, NY

Place of Death:

New York, NY


B.A. in English Literature, Harvard University, 1950; Master's degree, Cambridge University, 1952

Read an Excerpt

"I still think quarterback. It's the position everyone would want to read about."
"You'll be standing right at the edge of the pit—just teetering there," said Wilson, grinning.
"I'll back away quick enough," I said. And I'm not going to run into it. What's that fine dictum of Van Brocklin—that a quarterback only runs out of sheer terror?"
Wilson did not give me much time to change my mind. On the fourth or fifth day or practice—the backfields running  throu play patterns without contact from the defense—Wilson suddenly called out: "OK George. In you go. Let's have the twenty-three roll. You've got it in your playbook. You know how it works."
I dropped my notebook.
I did know what to do from the class the nght before—that is I knew how the play was supposed to be run, but I had no idea where my hands were supposed to go, exactly—as I stood up behind the center to receive the ball. I had never stood in against a center, my hands groping under his backside, in the odd near-coupling stance of the T-formation quarterback.

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