The Blood and Guts: How Tight Ends Save Football

The Blood and Guts: How Tight Ends Save Football

by Tyler Dunne
The Blood and Guts: How Tight Ends Save Football

The Blood and Guts: How Tight Ends Save Football

by Tyler Dunne


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The definitive guide to the real men of the gridiron: NFL tight ends.

There is no profession in sports like the NFL tight end. None. You must mash 320-pound defensive ends in the run game. You must twist your torso at impossible angles to make acrobatic catches downfield in the pass game. You must have a certain element of crazy to you, too. The tight end is a blend of brain and brawn and bruises…so many bruises. BLOOD AND GUTS tracks the fascinating rise of this position one tight end at a time, from Mike Ditka and John Mackey in the '60s to Rob Gronkowski today. As much as football has changed over the years, there has always been one glorious constant: the tight end.
None of this is by accident, either. There’s a reason all of these players were magnetically drawn to the position.
In BLOOD AND GUTS, Tyler Dunne interviews the greatest tight ends ever, whose stories reveal why they were uniquely qualified to serve as the blood and the guts of football—the players keeping this sport alive and well. There’s a reason Mike Ditka epitomized true toughness in pro football through the 1960s. Ben Coates, the son of a World War II vet, put an entire childhood spent building roofs to use by smashing defenders in the open field. Tony Gonzalez matured from a kid terrified of bullies to an absolute beast terrifying defensive backs. His entire life, Jeremy Shockey has been hellbent on sticking it to anyone who doubts him. And from afar, a young “Gronk” idolized Shockey and took his approach to a whole new level.
Here, great American tight ends share countless harrowing, never-before-told stories. One moment, a tight end (Gonzalez) nearly socks a coach in the eye. The next, a tight end (Shockey) is breaking the orbital bone of someone in a bar fight.
There’s no one in sports like them. BLOOD AND GUTS brings them to life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538723746
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 10/18/2022
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 624,861
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Tyler Dunne is the founder of Go Long, a newsletter publication dedicated to longform pro football journalism. He has covered the NFL since 2007 for various outlets, including Bleacher Report, the Buffalo News and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. His writing has been acknowledged by APSE, PFWA and his story on the Green Bay Packers in 2018 drew the most reads for any story in Bleacher Report history. He graduated from Syracuse's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and lives in Western New York with his wife, Gina, and two children. The Blood and Guts is his first book.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Chapter 1 The Blueprint 1

Chapter 2 "Superman" 19

Chapter 3 A Mindset 28

Chapter 4 Calm in Chaos 54

Chapter 5 The Matchup Nightmare 71

Chapter 6 Club Shay Shay 90

Chapter 7 Country Strong 114

Chapter 8 The Twelve-Round Fight 137

Chapter 9 Evolution 147

Chapter 10 Shock to the System 175

Chapter 11 "Be Where Your Feet Are" 206

Chapter 12 Iowa Made 215

Chapter 13 Know Your Worth 245

Chapter 14 Yo Soy Fiesta 271

Chapter 15 The New Standard 300

Work Cited 323

Acknowledgments 333

About the Author 335

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