CheeseheadTV Review of New Brett Favre Book - Gunslinger...

Jeff Pearlman's new Brett Favre biography, "Gunslinger: The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre," (link to Amazon) comes out this week. We got a sneak peek at the book here at CheeseheadTV and are offering up this review:

I remember being 17 years old, laying on my parent’s couch and reading Jeff Pearlman’s now (in)famous profile of John Rocker, the loudmouthed Atlanta Braves closer, in Sports Illustrated in 1999. When I finished the piece, I had two thoughts:

1.That was different.

2.That was awkward.

Fast forward 16 years and Pearlman is a unique and accessible presence in the world of online sports journalism and one of the most underrated sports biographers on the market. Pearlman’s resume includes outstanding books on the Dallas Cowboys' 1990s dynasty, the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers and Walter Payton. He’s

a personal favorite author and journalist, one of those writers whose work you immediately click when it pops in your Twitter feed regardless of what you’re doing.

So why wasn’t I more excited to learn that Pearlman would be writing a book about Brett Favre, my favorite athlete?  Two reasons:

1.I consumed anything and everything Favre-related since the day he became the Packers quarterback. Print profiles, TV features, radio interviews, John Madden gushing over No. 4 during broadcasts -- I read/viewed/listened/loved them all. What else is left to be said about Favre that hasn’t already been said? Does the world of sports media need more Brett Favre?

2.Like Pearlman’s Rocker piece, I was worried about things getting…awkward. Deep down I knew there was probably plenty more to be said about Favre than what had already been said. Because Pearlman is good at what he does, I knew he’d unearth a lot of this stuff and it was likely to be awkward. I know Favre, like all of us, is a flawed human being. But did I really want to know just how much more flawed my favorite athlete was than I originally thought? Part of me just wanted to remember the touchdown passes, the Super Bowl, the hiccup with addiction, the Iron Man streak and leave it at that.

That’s a long-winded personal intro to what is supposed to be book review. Alright, enough of me blabbing. How’s the book?

Good. Really good. A definite must-read for Packers fans, Favre fans, football fans and fans of good books and exhaustive reporting.

Within the first 20 pages it hits you just how much research Pearlman put into this effort. This isn’t a compilation of information on Favre one can easily find from existing sources. Pearlman conducted nearly 600 interviews and dug through all kinds of other sources to paint a fresh picture of Favre that includes new revelations and insightful perspectives on information that already exists.

My first concern – that the book would be a simple rehash of anecdotes and facts any diehard Favre follower was already familiar with – was laid to rest almost immediately.

How about that second concern? Did things get awkward? They sure did.

When Pearlman dives deeper into Favre’s addiction issues, his marriage to Deanna, the car wreck that nearly ended his career, how he treated Aaron Rodgers, and even how Favre’s father, Irv, treated the opposite sex, Favre fanboys might be tempted to cover their ears and scream “LA LA LA LA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! LA LA LA!"

I would encourage you not to do that. And I’m one of the bigger Favre fanboys around.

Pearlman tackles the difficult topics surrounding Favre fairly. He doesn’t gloss them over. He doesn’t rub it in your face that your hero could be an a$$hole at times. Favre’s shortcomings and indiscretions are weaved into the overall narrative to paint a more complete picture of Favre than ever before. That’s not an easy task when you’re writing about a guy who legitimately saved a NFL franchise and also texted a picture of his wiener to a young NFL female reporter (yes, this incident is covered in the book).I

If I had to nitpick the book, I'd say that not much new ground is covered in the Favre divorce from the Packers. But again, there were literally thousands of journalists reporting on the ordeal and nobody has been able to siphon the full story out of any cracks in the walls at 1265 Lombardi Ave. Besides, the details and anecdotes about Favre's childhood and early career more than make for any lack of new info from the divorce.

People often complained about Favre saturation when he played. All Favre, all the time was just too much Favre. But today, NFL ratings are down and the on-filed product is slipping. Maybe if the league still had a "Gunslinger" as the face of its league, things would be different.
Final rating 4.5 out of 5.
You can purchase "Gunslinger: The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre" here. (Please insert Amazon link.)
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Comments (7)

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Oppy's picture

October 24, 2016 at 06:30 pm

All I know is, I can't wait for Rodgers to retire and MM to move on, so someone will write a book about how bat-shit crazy the behind closed door stuff with those two really was.

I got a sneakin' suspicion that stuff gets real wacky at 1265.. and any real insight into that wackiness is going to be a real eye opener for everyone.

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stockholder's picture

October 24, 2016 at 08:21 pm

I'll settle for TT.

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Point-Packer's picture

October 25, 2016 at 01:05 am

I don't think it's much crazier than #12 being pissed about MMs lame, predictable static offense.

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egbertsouse's picture

October 25, 2016 at 09:19 am

This is one book that I will skip. I'm one of those Packer fans that never could stand Bert Farve and his phony good ol' boy image. I have to admit that I didn't mind the early years when Holmgren was able to keep his ego in check, after that all the INTs and diva crap drove me up a wall. And then he sticks it to GB fans by orchestrating a move to Minny, well, good bye Bert!

I wish the guy would go black to Kiln and ride his tractor and get off my TV. You got your Jacket and HOF ring and that's all that matters isn't it, Bert? It was always about you.

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 25, 2016 at 09:36 am

With so much already spoken, written and televised about Favre, how much more can be said.
I have no desire to get a deeper look into the life if a football player, his marriage or how his dad may have treated women since he is no longer here to defend himself.
I would be more anxious to read this about a person who effected the country as a whole or specific issues.
Though I'm passionate about football, the deeper part of their lives are of no interest unless it involves something more important than the sports world.
Lastly, I find it hard to admire those in sports, no matter how talented, when they prove too often to be crap human beings or criminals believing to be above the law. As like in Hollywood, who can believe what any say and ignore what they do. : )

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fastmoving's picture

October 25, 2016 at 04:22 pm

NFL ratings are down and the on-filed product is slipping?????????????

I know its pretty cool to complain about everything right now, but how much has the NFL to come down to be at the 1997 level? this is the greatest sports league in the world and its sooring every year for 30 years now. you cant grow forever. But even if it gets down a couple of year this will still be the biggest thing in sports and every other leage would like to be up there. the NFL did a good job over the last couple of decades and the product is much better today (probably near an all time high) than it was at Favres relevant days.
But after a couple of years the past always looks like the golden age.

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ConnorLee's picture

November 25, 2020 at 04:19 am

This is a great book. I even used some references from it writing about college football with since I talked about famous figures in football. The book is very cool and although I don't like reading biographies, I liked it.

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