Author(s): Jeffrey Marx
Report Published: On Launch
Similar to Ben Smith’s Journeyman: One Man’s Odyssey Through the Lower Leagues of English Football Pulitzer prize winning journalist Jeffrey Marx wrote The Long Snapper with the pure sport fan in mind – the one that enjoys the unique insights into the game they love, but who is not particularly enthralled by the off-field antics of overpaid and self-obsessed famous personalities.
It is an interesting sport memoir because it focuses on the ultimate sign of success for anyone deemed to master the long snapper position, anonymity. Strange criteria for any sportsperson, and particularly so for any player fortunate enough to partake in the world’s most watched sporting event, which is now just as much about fame, fortune and excess as it is about touchdowns and sacks.
Just about everyone roots for the underdog, if in doubt ask any English football fan which team they support in 2016 and they will undoubtedly tell you Leicester City. As unlikely as their climb to the top of the Premiership pile is, so is the account of 38 year old veteran and schoolteacher, Brian Kinchen who came out of retirement to play the most obscure role in American Football, for the NFL’s New England Patriots whose Superbowl winning drive came down to you guessed it, a field goal attempt.
In a nutshell, The Long Snapper is a heart-warming tale of second chances and the role faith, friends and family play in living a life of significance. It represents the struggle of the everyday man or woman striving for excellence, and even if it never gains the popularity of more famous sport star biographies, for that reason alone it is a worthy addition to the QUAKE Books library and your bookshelf.
“You never need to have enough. You need only to look within yourself to figure out whether you are enough.”
“His entire career in athletics was about to be forever defined and branded for good or for bad by one upside-down backward toss of a football.”
“If the long snapper does his job well he will routinely perform before millions of people without ever being noticed. Total anonymity is considered perfection.”
I really enjoyed reading this book – it had all my favourite ingredients mixed in and was told in a way that I couldn’t put it down. My football knowledge improved and I have a new found affinity for long snappers everywhere. I dedicate this review to each and every one of you, and to Kevin Gold for all his good work at longsnap.com.
When I visit Jacksonville Jaguars’ stadium for my 30th birthday in October, an opportunity I have waited literally half my life for, I will be sporting the long snapper’s jersey – so keep an eye out for me Carson Tinker, who incidentally co-wrote A Season to Remember with Tommy Ford, after he and his girlfriend were sucked out of their house by a tornado.