When I first read this book back when it was new it began with a couple of missed typos, and a feeling that you’re just reading an extended sales pitch for NFL Network, but by the time you reach Sunday during the first chapter in Rich Eisen’s year-long NFL journey, you find yourself forgetting all that, and becoming totally engrossed in the view of the NFL’s media circus, from a man who is at the very centre of it all.
Rich Eisen really is as lucky as it gets – a reporter, and football fan, with behind the scenes, front row view of it all.
Eisen is something of an enigma in today’s world of NFL TV coverage – a reporter, surrounded by a Who’s Who of past NFL players and coaches, anchoring NFL Network’s premier TV shows – and in this book he takes the reader not only on a journey inside the NFL’s media circus for a year, but on the trip of experiencing what it’s like to be thrust into the same surroundings as past NFL legends, Rolling Stones, Beatles, and even ex-Presidents of the USA, all in the course of his day job.
Naturally, Eisen gets major bonus points for his use of the terms ‘Bejesus’ and ‘hootenanny’, and that kind of language helps to illustrate the real-world style in which the book is written. It comes across very much as one of the guys telling you a story about the NFL and its inner workings, and as such works very well for the average fan. Eisen is educating casual fans about a year in the NFL, from his perspective inside it all on set and behind the scenes on NFL Total Access.
The book has dozens interesting tales from each stop of Eisen’s year-long ride around the NFL Calendar, and as many as not come directly from NFL Network shows. Whether they’re things that have aired, or just anecdotes from Eisen’s life, they’re welcome stories especially to a sucker for anecdotes like me. In the end this book comes across just as Rich Eisen does on the NFL Network – of which you can make what you will – but I for one am a big fan of that style and personality. Any book that is as full of interesting NFL stories, pranks and anecdotes as this book is will always be a winner in my eyes.
At the time I read this book I had no access to NFL Network, and perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay it is that by the end of reading, I really lamented that fact. Maybe it is an extremely good sales pitch for the network, or maybe over the course of the pages, Rich Eisen draws you in to the world in which he lives, and sells it as the dream job it is.
The final thought you’re left with after reading the book is that Rich Eisen has possibly the best job in the world, and really does have Total Access.