Warriors B2G1 Free

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006
Voice your opinion about this review by
posting a comment on the Powells.com blog


Instant Replay: The Green Bay Diary of Jerry Kramer

by Jerry Kramer and Dick Schaap

The Greatest Football Book of All Time

A review by Charles P. Pierce

In the beginning, before there were as-told-to's and the snoop-o-ramas of the Internet, the late great sportswriter Dick Schaap convinced Jerry Kramer, an All-Pro offensive guard for the Green Bay Packers, to write a diary of a season under Vince Lombardi. The result was Instant Replay, a peek into the guts of professional football that 40 years later remains one of the most essential sports books of all time.

Of course, Instant Replay was helped when Kramer threw the most famous block in history, wedging a hole for Bart Starr to fall through in order to win the "Ice Bowl" NFL championship game. That play -- and, ultimately, this book -- made Kramer the most famous offensive lineman ever. But more, for the first time, Kramer took us through the intolerable grind of training camp, waxing rhapsodic about how good one sliver of ice tastes after a morning of grass drills. Yet the most singular figure is Lombardi, who, at a distance, seems an almost comical martinet. Kramer manages to see beyond the iconic bluster to someone who produced a kind of collective grace. It is a description that can be called loving in all the best senses of the word.

Click here to subscribeSubscribe to Esquire and Save 75%

Get 12 fantastic issues of Esquire magazine for only $8. The best culture, entertainment, style, financial advice, women and more delivered right to your door every month ? at an incredible 81% savings off the newsstand price! What could be better... or easier?

Click here to subscribe now!

  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.