#31- Meat Market by Bruce Feldman

Not a chronicle of slaughterhouses or pornography, this book is about college football recruiting.

Feldman spent a year following Ed Orgeron, then coach of the Ole Miss Rebels, through the gamut of recruiting experiences. We go from Orgeron challenging his players to a fight, to him watching illegal rooster fights, to him recruiting some of the guys who have made Ole Miss a great team over the last two years. Of course, Orgeron didn’t survive to see that happen. Not literally. He’s alive, he’s just a defensive line coach at Tennessee. When his players didn’t deliver overnight, Coach O got canned. Probably best for everybody, as he certainly was not a master strategist or tactitian. That said, Orgeron is/was a tireless recruiter, and a guy who seems to love the thrill of the hunt as much as the victory of the catch.

This was a very interesting book. It chronicled the insane inner working of a college football program, the immaturity of young athletes, and the pressure cooker of SEC football. It told all about a Cajun wildman and his quest for glory, and the bedraggled assistant coaches, who sounded about as confused as I am on a normal day in my work. I liked it, and would recommend this one. It’s a quick read and is rather educational.

Joe

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