I Dream in Blue: Life, Death, and the New York Giants

Overview

I Dream in Blue is television producer Roger Director's up close and personal chronicle of the 2006-2007 seasons spent with Eli Manning, Plaxico Burress, and the rest of the New York Giants, from the first snap of summer camp to the final touchdown of a tumultuous, heart-stopping journey.

Throughout it all, Director's got only one end in mind: the Super Bowl. He guts it out with Big Blue, refusing to let anything sideline him—not his fumble-prone television career, not even the ...

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I Dream in Blue

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Overview

I Dream in Blue is television producer Roger Director's up close and personal chronicle of the 2006-2007 seasons spent with Eli Manning, Plaxico Burress, and the rest of the New York Giants, from the first snap of summer camp to the final touchdown of a tumultuous, heart-stopping journey.

Throughout it all, Director's got only one end in mind: the Super Bowl. He guts it out with Big Blue, refusing to let anything sideline him—not his fumble-prone television career, not even the strain of occasionally having to act like a responsible husband and father. Along the way, he tells the story of this great sports dynasty's origins and traces its rise to become the heartbeat of New York City and, finally, the world-shocking, Patriots-beating king of pro football. Director was there in Phoenix with his Big Blue heroes as they pulled off the greatest upset in Super Bowl history. In this edition, featuring brand-new chapters that take Giants fans along for the ultimate joy ride, Director continues to dream in blue—and this time watches his dream come true.

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Editorial Reviews

Frank Gifford
“A giant of a Giants book. Worthy of a Super Bowl ring.”
Booklist
“A funny, perceptive, and humble examination of why we’re fans. Don’t miss it.”
Sports Illustrated
“Director [writes] with a humanity and humor that even a Redskin fan could appreciate.”
New York Post
“Part comical personal struggle, part sports history, this is a book that will resonate with anyone who has loved a team till it hurt.”
Sports Illustrated
“Director [writes] with a humanity and humor that even a Redskin fan could appreciate.”
Booklist
“A funny, perceptive, and humble examination of why we’re fans. Don’t miss it.”
New York Post
“Part comical personal struggle, part sports history, this is a book that will resonate with anyone who has loved a team till it hurt.”
Publishers Weekly

The 2006 New York Giants were a team whose victories, though not plentiful, offered much hope, and whose ugly losses, far too plentiful, seemed oddly uncharacteristic for a team with such evident talents. Few teams were so frustrating, few talented teams had such poor chemistry, and few playoff teams made so many pivotal mistakes. If they weren't the championship team rabid fan Director clearly hoped for when he commenced this seasonlong memoir, the combination of the author's past Giant-related tribulations and the interest of a team imploding result in a diverting read. A fan of Jeremy Shockey and Tiki Barber, lukewarm but hopeful on Eli Manning and positively brutal on coach Tom Coughlin, Director suffers his way from the Albany training sessions through the promising 6-2 start and the bewildering 2-6 second half to the playoff loss to the Eagles. A more apt title might have been Director's frequent plea of desperation, "Someone make a play." In his narrative, Director, a onetime editor of Sportmagazine and coproducer of the sitcom Mad About You, combines the hangdog obsessive who is an axiom in such books with an otherwise cool veneer of a Santa Monica entertainment veteran. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061209147
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/18/2008
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

A screenwriter and television producer, Roger Director has been nominated twice for both the Emmy Award and the Writers Guild Award for such shows as NCIS, Mad About You, Moonlighting, Arli$$, and Hill Street Blues. His award-winning journalism has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Sports Illustrated, and on ESPN.com. The author of the novel A Place to Fall, Director lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

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First Chapter

I Dream in Blue
Life, Death, and the New York Giants

Chapter One

Amazing Grace

The most important decision you're going to make here today is . . . if, for whatever reason, something terrible happens . . . who do you want to be your daughter's legal guardian?"

The lawyer, Newmark, sits opposite me with a blank lined yellow legal pad and a pen. He looks nothing like what I always imagined the guy putting my affairs in order ought to look like. That lawyer is gray at the temples, somber and distinguished. But Newmark has these little vegetative clumps in odd spots on his pale, scaly scalp; all the groomed gravitas of a vacant lot. Also, he has smallish hands. The capper: He keeps sucking back the saliva he overproduces when he talks.

But I didn't pick Newmark, my wife did. Petite and dark-haired, with a smile the wattage of a ballroom chandelier and a bite like a fer-de-lance, Jan has been trying to get me to sit down with Newmark for months. She's the one who says we need a will.

She wants to make sure our daughter's education is taken care of.

Check. No disagreement there.

Then, understandably, there's making sure that the assets we have will not be taken from her by some humpbacked villain in a black cloak straight out of a silent movie.

No disagreement there. Check.

But a will? Why not hang a sign around my neck saying, Come and Get Me?

So what finally got me here in this conference room looking west over the Pacific Ocean? Maybe it would help to understand if I described how I felt listening to the bagpipes echo on Fifth Avenue that October morning two yearsago. How the crowd had gathered outside St. Patrick's Cathedral watching the procession approach.

The crowd was like that for Babe Ruth.

The crowd was like that for Joe DiMaggio.

This crowd was here for a man called the Duke. Wellington Mara. And one could be forgiven for recalling Barbara Tuchman's description of the august funeral procession of Edward VII: "The sun of the old world was setting in a dying blaze of splendor never to be seen again." Gathered in somber pageantry outside and within St. Patrick's were the heads of the varied principalities that made up the world from which the man they honored, Wellington Mara, the owner of the New York Giants football team, had recently departed.

They were the crowned heads from the empire known as the National Football League. They were bent in sorrow and, in some cases, wrinkled and spotted with age. The field marshals and knights-errant who'd ridden to war between the goal lines. The Hall of Fame New York running back Frank Gifford. The unforgettable quarterback Y. A. Tittle. The Giants' former Super Bowl–winning head coach, Bill Parcells, now coaching the Cowboys. Andy Robustelli, the team's Hall of Fame defensive end from its halcyon squads of the '50s. Harry Carson, the Hall of Fame middle linebacker who was instrumental in the Super Bowl XXI victory. Lawrence Taylor, outside linebacker and Hall of Famer, King Kong talked down off the Empire State Building and given Giants' jersey no. 56. And so many more. Five other owners. Four other head coaches. A former mayor of New York. All 2,200 seats were filled.

The New York Giants stepped off seven chartered buses escorted by a New Jersey state patrol car that pulled up in front of the church. And Wellington Mara's immediate football family, the current New York Giants, solemnly stepped off. They filed up the steps and into the cathedral.

"Amazing Grace" was playing. There's a rose window over the Fifth Avenue door and the door was opened and they carried Mr. Mara's casket down the nave. They placed him before the altar, surrounded by bouquets of red roses.

Mara's son, John, spoke. The kingdom's aging prince, Frank Gifford, looking ashen, offered a eulogy. Frank said, "I know we are all suffering from the loss of this great man. But I know, too, we can celebrate one of the incredible lives, and know, too, where he is. He is at the right hand of his longtime head coach in the heavens, his Lord and God."

Afterward, in the silence, flanked by his players, his family and thousands of lifelong fans like me, the people he liked to call his "customers," Wellington Mara's casket was loaded into a hearse, and a horse-drawn carriage led the funeral procession away down Fifth Avenue as the wail of bagpipes rose to the heavens.

That's when I asked myself, as Mara's bier passed from view: What am I leaving behind?

"I presume you two have discussed who your daughter Chloe should live with in the event of your untimely death," Newmark says, prompting us.

"Sure," I say.

We're silent because my wife and I are at loggerheads.

We should have hired RAND to solve this problem. Within minutes of any discussion we had started, we got to calling each other's brothers' and sisters' and mothers' and best friends' homes—places where we regularly enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas and holiday fun—hotbeds of pederasty and sexual abuse. And the argument was just starting. After one late-night session I hit the wall and told my wife I was dropping out of the discussion. It had gotten too contentious. So I wasn't going to make any more suggestions. I'd just have my one candidate in mind and wait until the time came. I told my wife to go ahead filling up notebooks with lists of qualities and pluses and minuses.

Today, she's brought her own legal pad containing a long list of candidates, in order, with multitudes of well-worked-out reasons pro and con and an accompanying point system. If Chloe goes to my mother-in-law she wouldn't have to change schools. If it's my sister-in-law, she would. If it's my brother or sister she could live on the Upper West Side. One has a nice spare bedroom but there would be no other children in the house, although there's a nice private bathroom. My sister-in-law has kids, but all boys. And poor bathroom door lockage. I got more and more confused evaluating my death in terms of the quality of plumbing facilities it might yield my daughter.

I Dream in Blue
Life, Death, and the New York Giants
. Copyright © by Roger Director. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    Wassssssssssssssssssssssuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuupppppppppoppppppp

    The book is good but I only care about the big bules winning) another super bowl :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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