The Whole Ten Yards

Overview

"Eloquent testimony not only to the fragility of the human body but to its durability as well." The Washington Post Book World.
He was the handsome golden boy out of USC, the star running back for the New York Giants, and — for the last twenty-two years — the stalwart voice of ABC's "Monday Night Football." But for Frank Gifford, the road to success did not come easy — whether on or off the field.
Now, for the first time, this intensely private man tells his inspirational story,...
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Overview

"Eloquent testimony not only to the fragility of the human body but to its durability as well." The Washington Post Book World.
He was the handsome golden boy out of USC, the star running back for the New York Giants, and — for the last twenty-two years — the stalwart voice of ABC's "Monday Night Football." But for Frank Gifford, the road to success did not come easy — whether on or off the field.
Now, for the first time, this intensely private man tells his inspirational story, providing an insider's look at the NFL replete with shocking and humorous anecdotes. A classic memoir of a true American gridiron hero.

One of football's greatest players and most popular announcers--and Kathie Lee's husband--recounts the exciting story of his life, on the field and off. Here is the story of the poor boy who became the golden boy of the NFL and the stalwart co-star of Monday Night Football.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Much like the Gifford we know from Monday Night Football , this autobiography, written with Newsweek journalist Waters, is easygoing, informative and anecdotal. Gifford's father, an itinerant oil field worker, led the family on an existence which was right out of The Grapes of Wrath (Gifford estimates that he lived in 47 towns before he started high school). Finally settling in Bakersfield, Calif., Gifford's life was turned around by his high school football coach, Homer Beatty. Beatty made Gifford into a star tailback and got him into the University of Southern California. Drafted by the New York Giants of the NFL, he was a member of the 1956 world champion Giants; was a participant in ``the greatest game every played''--the Colts-Giants championship game of 1958; and he played with, or was coached by, some of the heroic names of pro football: Charlie Conerly, Y. A. Tittle, Kyle Rote, Sam Huff, Tom Landry and the legendary Vince Lombardi. He relives the nights with Toots Shor and Jackie Gleason (``a great talent but a tragic man'') and provides funny and insightful profiles of his teammates in the booth: Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Roone Arledge. Inevitably, there is his wife, the infatigably upbeat Kathie Lee (of Live with Regis & Kathie Lee fame). A good, solid sports autobiography that will be enjoyed by football fans--maybe even fans of Kathie Lee. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Ilene Cooper
Okay, so maybe he's best known today as Kathie Lee's husband, but Frank Gifford is also a broadcasting fixture and one of the game's all-time great halfbacks. And he's got the stories to show for it. Probably thanks to Gifford's cowriter Waters, this turns out to be an eminently readable autobiography, and even those who aren't sports fans are likely to enjoy Gifford's name-dropping anecdotes featuring everyone from Howard Cosell to Bobby Kennedy, with a couple dozen sports figures in between. Gifford himself comes across as one lucky guy who knows it. The son of an oilfield worker, Frank moved all over the country with his family, learning early that the most frequently heard words in the Gifford house were "we can't afford it." Gifford was headed for expulsion from high school when his football coach helped get him to USC, the first step to his legendary pro career in the 1950s and 1960s. Gifford's later life has been pretty much an open book thanks to Kathie Lee's penchant for spilling the beans about their personal life on her morning talk show. Because of all her chatting, old ladies used to come up to Gifford on the street to ask him why he wouldn't give the much younger Kathie Lee Frank's third wife a baby. That's all over now, of course, since the couple has added two new Giffords to the family, the ubiquitous Cody and a recently arrived sister, Cassidy, both younger than several of Gifford's grandchildren. If Kathie Lee promotes this book on her show half as many times as she's displayed her baby pictures, expect plenty of demand.
Kirkus Reviews
Like the man himself, this long-awaited memoir by football Hall-of-Famer and broadcaster Gifford is a measured, straightforward, good-natured piece of work. With the help of Newsweek's Waters, Gifford (12 years in the NFL, All-Pro at three positions) looks back on 40 years of football and celebrity with "awe and gratitude." He opens characteristically, with a humbling experience: the New York Giants' loss in the 1958 title game to Baltimore, when he fumbled twice, both fumbles leading to Colts touchdowns. Despite his NFL achievements, short-lived acting career, and longtime marriage to TV-star Kathie Lee Gifford, the author's 23 years on Monday Night Football are of greatest interest here, and he devotes ample space to them. Gifford writes compassionately of Howard Cosell despite the elder sportscaster having "bad-mouthed me" and "carved me up in his books," and he calls his good friend Don Meredith "one of the most intelligent creatures on the planet" in spite of Meredith's TV-cultivated image as a good ol' boy. Gifford names current partner Al Michaels as "the best play-by-play man in the business," and Dan Dierdorf as "the only former lineman I've ever met who knows the entire game" of football. Looking back on his playing days, the author cites as highlights his 1956 MVP season, when the Giants won it all, and the championship teams of the early 1960's. He also provides an amusing recounting of the famous hit laid on him in 1960 by Philadelphia linebacker Chuck Bednarik, which resulted in "a deep brain concussion." Profiles of Vince Lombardi, Paul Brown, and former teammates Sam Huff, Y.A. Tittle, Charlie Conerly, and Kyle Rote paint a vivid picture of the era, as do Gifford'sreminiscences of late 1950's New York nightlife. Charming and appealing...nicely done, with barely a touch of vitriol. (Photographs)
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