The Boz

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

As a result THE BOZ is no typical sports book, filled with anecdotes about game exploits, tributes to coaches and adversaries, and so on. Quite the contrary, it is an exercise in building up an image of Bosworth as “football’s most outrageous superstar” and a “modern anti-hero,” as the book’s cover boldly proclaims.

The contours of Bosworth’s image have not yet been fixed, though, and THE BOZ turns out to be a kind of dance through many possible variations. He starts off describing himself as a tough guy, someone with a “physical need to hurt people,” someone who would be in jail if he were not on a football field. Reading his comments about inflicting damage on opposing players is sometimes chilling rather than awe-inspiring, especially for anyone who can recall Jack Tatum’s paralyzing tackle of Darryl Stingley and other such consequences of this kind of kamikaze mentality.

Bosworth is not content with being only a tough guy: He also imagines himself as the ultimate nonconformist. His punk hairstyle, shades, and pierced earrings set him apart from the majority of football players, and it is refreshing to see him stand up against the mindless mass-mentality of typical team-sports players. His jibes at the N.C.A.A., which he rightly describes as the fussy, arrogant, and often incompetent custodian of a multimillion dollar “amateur” empire, coaches (such as Joe Paterno) who play up their “good guy” image too much, and...

(The entire section is 475 words.)