A few days after becoming head coach of the Buffalo Bills midway through the 1986 season, Marv Levy made his first personnel decision, claiming Houston Oilers reserve wide receiver Steve Tasker off the waiver wire. It seemed like an afterthought at the time, but in retrospect, proved to be one of Levy's most prescient moves.
Over the next 11 seasons, the diminutive 5-foot-9, 175-pound Tasker was a huge contributor as the Bills strung together an unprecedented four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the early 1990s. Along the way, Tasker earned seven invitations to the Pro Bowl, and during the National Football League's 75th anniversary celebration, he was named the greatest special teams player of all-time. In Steve Tasker's Tales from the Buffalo Bills, the football star turned network television analyst takes a behind-the-scenes look at the franchise's most glorious era.
With the assistance of award-winning sports columnist and author Scott Pitoniak, Tasker provides readers with insightful vignettes of colorful Bills personalities such as Levy, Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, and Ralph Wilson. He details the euphoria following the Bills' miraculous comeback from a 32-point deficit against the Houston Oilers in that 1993 Wildcard game, and the devastation after Scott Norwood's kick sailed wide right in Super Bowl XXV. There are humorous moments-like the time Ray Bentley nailed Fred Smerlas' cleats to the locker room floor- and the time Hall of Fame coach Hank Stram mistook Tasker for a caddie. And there are poignant moments-like the morning Levy told his players he had to take a leave of absence to undergo surgery for the removal of his cancerous prostate. Tasker takes the reader inside the helmet of NFL players, describing for them the deadly efficiency of the Bills' no-huddle offense ("There were times when we felt like we were unstoppable") and the effects of a jarring hit ("It's like being in a violent car wreck").
|Publisher:||Sports Publishing LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I grew up with the Buffalo Bills of the 1970s and 80s. (OK, it was more like the 60s and 70s, but I'm really too young to remember the AFL days.) I found “Steve Tasker's Tales from the Buffalo Bills” to provide a really fun look at some of the best days of the franchise. Sure, they may not have actually WON the Super Bowl (“wide right” was no one else's fault but their own) but they DID manage to make it into the game 4 consecutive years. Tasker tells some of what happened during those days. If you're a Bills fan, you will absolutely love this book. If you're a football fan (but not a Bills hater), ditto – you'll love the look back. Non-football fans should stay away, BUT then, I'm sure that non-football fans aren't bothering to read this review, either! RATING: 5 stars.
Former Buffalo Bills special teams players extraordinaire Steve Tasker has moved from the playing field and the broadcast booth into the role of author in Sports Publishing L.L.C.¿s latest Western New York entry, ¿Steve Tasker¿s Tales from the Buffalo Bills.¿ The work is written in the first person with Rochester Democrat and Chronicle columnist Scott Pitoniak. Like the special teams phenom Tasker was on the field, at times, his tales book is also all over the place. Instead of running full-tilt towards ball carriers or on coverage teams, Tasker appears to have taken a list of rosters from his Buffalo Bills days and played word association with Pitoniak. While it sounds confusing, it works, as Tasker doesn¿t leave a stone unturned as he reminisces about famous Buffalo Bills players, hall of famers as well as those who made a difference in the Buffalo organization. Tasker was one of the first players signed by Buffalo coach Marv Levy, his signing was first a practical joke, before it became a reality. Once relocated from Houston, to Buffalo, Tasker found a home with the former special teams coach in Levy along with the brutes and backs in red and blue. Tasker begins his 171-page tribute to his former teammates with glowing and humorous comments about Levy, owner Ralph Wilson and general manager Bill Polian. Tasker moves on to his teammates, beginning with stars Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Andre Reed, Kent Hull, Don Bebee, Darryl Talley and a host of others. The author doesn¿t mince words about his former teammates, but does stay on their good side with primarily positive comments. He doesn¿t shy away from addressing the ¿Bickering Bills¿ moments during the 1990¿s and skirmishes between Kelly and Thomas. Tasker, has tremendous insight into the Bills offense and defense, giving credit to Kelly for changing plays at the line of scrimmage from a pass to a run, looking for the best way to win. Tasker writes of the evolution of the no-huddle offense in Buffalo and Kelly¿s desire to convince Levy and Ted Marchibroda after its late-season success versus the Cleveland Browns. Before launching into a re-hash of the four Super Bowl losses, Tasker takes time to write about the greatest comeback in NFL history, orchestrated by Bills back-up Frank Reich. The author underwent knee surgery where the muscle from a cadaver is stapled to the top and bottom of the athletes MCL, it re-invigorated his career, including seven Pro Bowl appearances as well as being the only special teams player to receive the Pro Bowl MVP in the 1993 contest. The pro bowl special teamer includes all the names that your fan will fondly remember as well as prod some smiles from those they are reminded of. Before the 2006 season gets underway, make ¿Steve Tasker¿s Tales from the Buffalo Bills¿ the playbook for your red and blue fan.