QB or not QB

Those who love to meld mind with movement will spend many happy hours tackling the new “Sports Illustrated NFL QB: The Greatest Position in Sports.” It’s a book that satisfies on many different planes, first and foremost as a coffee-table book. The photos by some of the best in the business at action shots capture the brutal, balletic beauty of the game. The pix of Tampa Bay Buccaneer Warren Sapp taking down onetime San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback (and Super Bowl MVP and Greenwich High School star) Steve Young has the exquisite dynamic agony of a sculpture like Giambologna’s “Hercules and the Centaur Nessus.”

And yet, one of the best photos is a study in stillness – a bust portrait of current Niners’ quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, sans shirt, looking into the camera and smiling. It’s worth the price ($29.95) of the book, which you may want to display on your coffee-table during your Super Bowl Party. It’s that gorgeous.

Images may get you into a book or magazine. Words keep you coming back. The essays – many of which were culled from SI – take you into the mind, heart, body and soul of the quarterback, a position that is the quintessence of masculinity. In Tim Layden’s introduction and former Cincinnati Bengals’ QB Boomer Esiason’s foreword, you come face-to-face with the aloneness and terror of a job that often defines a team and a city like no other. Whoever takes the Super Bowl on Sunday, this book is a winner. — Georgette Gouveia’s forthcoming novel “The Penalty for Holding”, is about a gay, biracial quarterback’s quest for identity in the NFL. Read more about it and her musings on sports and culture on her website, thegamesmenplay.com.

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