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.
Pub Date: 10/2022