- Philadelphia Eagles – Where Have You Gone?
- by Fran Zimniuch
- Publisher – Sports Publishing
- Copyrights 2004, 2015
- 200 pages
Rating – 5.5 out of 10
Way back in the late 1970s, I started watching pro football with my father. One of the exciting, young team’s was Coach Dick Vermeil’s Philadelphia Eagles. I remember watching the Eagles lose a heartbreaker to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC wildcard game on Christmast Eve in 1978. Vermeil never took the Eagles to the Super Bowl title, but his teams were fun to watch.
Fran Zimniuch’s Book
A month or so ago, I was loafing on Edward R. Hamilton’s website (hamiltonbook.com) and saw that they had a remainder of Zimniuch’s Philadelphia Eagles – Where Have You Gone? I’ve always been a sucker for those “Whatever-Happened-To?” Stories. Back in the day, athletes didn’t make that much money, so they had to get jobs like the rest of us when their playing days ended. It was an easy choice to order to the book.
Unfortunately, I thought that the book was only OK. There are many good points. Zimniuch covers a ton of ground in less than 200 pages. I particularly enjoyed reading about Eagles who played before I started watching football.
Also, the book is very easy reading. It consists of about 30 profiles of ex-Eagles that can be read in any order you like. You can easily read a bit of the book, then pick it up again in six months without missing a beat. It would be a perfect beach read or something to enjoy in a hammock with a cold one.
At the same time, the book has many shortcomings. Most of the profiles are very short – perhaps two pages without many words on each page. There’s just not a lot of good information in those profiles; too many of them are like reading something from Wikipedia – “In 1975, Billy Bob caught 36 passes. In 1976, he grabbed 48. But then he fell off to 33 catches in 1977.” In other words, too much space is wasted repeating information that is already on the Internet.
The title of the book is also misleading. Most of the profiles tell very little about what the ex-players are now doing – often, no more than a paragraph. The main focus is on what happened while the player was with the Eagles.
The Final Gun
How you look at this book depends on whether you are a “glass-half-full” or glass-half-empty” sort of person. If you judge the book by what’s between the pages, it’s nice, light reading. But if you judge the book by “what might have been,” you will feel disappointed. These ex-Eagles must have some great stories that they could have told.