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Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty [Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged] [MP3 CD]

Jeff Pearlman , Arthur Morey
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 12 2009
They were America's Team—the high-priced, high-glamour, high-flying Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s, who won three Super Bowls and made as many headlines off the field as on it. Led by Emmitt Smith, the charismatic Deion "Prime Time" Sanders, and Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin, the Cowboys rank among the greatest of all NFL dynasties.

In similar fashion to his New York Times bestseller The Bad Guys Won! about the 1986 New York Mets, in Boys Will Be Boys, award-winning writer Jeff Pearlman chronicles the outrageous antics and dazzling talent of a team fueled by ego, sex, drugs—and unrivaled greatness. Rising from the ashes of a 1–15 season in 1989 to capture three Super Bowl trophies in four years, the Dallas Cowboys were guided by a swashbuckling, skirt-chasing, power-hungry owner, Jerry Jones, and his two eccentric, hard-living coaches, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer. Together the three built a juggernaut that America loved and loathed.

But for a team that was so dominant on Sundays, the Cowboys were often a dysfunctional circus the rest of the week. Irvin, nicknamed "The Playmaker," battled dual addictions to drugs and women. Charles Haley, the defensive colossus, presided over the team's infamous "White House," where the parties lasted late into the night and a steady stream of long-legged groupies came and went. And then there were Smith and Sanders, whose Texas-sized egos were eclipsed only by their record-breaking on-field performances.

With an unforgettable cast of characters and a narrative as hard-hitting and fast-paced as the team itself, Boys Will Be Boys immortalizes the most beloved—and despised—dynasty in NFL history.

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From Publishers Weekly

In his latest effort, Pearlman (The Bad Guys Won!) tells the story of how the Dallas Cowboys went from being a league doormat to a Super Bowl–winning machine. It's the cast of characters that makes this story a page-turner, starting with controlling owner Jerry Jones; all-business coach Jimmy Johnson, who would cut a player without blinking; and star players Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith and Deion Sanders. Pearlman explores the many other people who bought into the philosophy that if you were going to be a Dallas Cowboy... you needed to live the life—and that meant, in the early '90s, plenty of infidelity, cocaine, nightly trips to gentleman's clubs and hangovers at practice. Pearlman interviewed nearly 150 members of the Cowboys organization for the book, but much of the terrific detail comes from such tangential folks as journalists, players' wives and staff at the local Cowboys restaurant. The anecdotes range from uplifting (the heartwarming story of quarterback Troy Aikman granting a wish to a dying boy) to raunchy (defensive end Chris Haley, while playing for the 49ers, often masturbated in the locker room). In the end, Pearlman has produced a narrative that is as entertaining as it is insightful. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Jeff Pearlman has written a rip-roaring book filled with terrific reporting and vibrant prose.... It's a flat-out winner." ---Jonathan Eig, New York Times bestselling author of Opening Day

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good inside look at the Cowboy's Dynasty Feb. 9 2011
Format:Hardcover
Jeff Pearlman give a good inside looks at the highs and lows of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty of the 1990s. This book give a decent amount of prelude to the conditions that gave rise to Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson taking over the Cowboys at the end of the 1980s, and details the inside workings of their rise to three Super Bowls. There is much detail of the off-field misdoings, sometimes given in hyperbolic detail, and certainly not suitable for a younger audience.

One aspect of this book that should be noted is that Pearlman, rightly or wrongly, comes down in favour of the Johnson/Aikman side of many stories, while showing little favour to Jones and coach Barry Switzer. However, given the pains Pearlman goes to lay out his case, he seems entitled to that opinion. All in all, a very good read and a must for any Cowboys fan.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Velvet Hammer Dec 25 2008
Format:Hardcover
Pretty solid and eye opening book. If I was a little older, 23 now, when these events were taking place I might be giving this book a 5 star review.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  116 reviews
48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RICK "SHAQ" GOLDSTEIN SAYS: "SCORING ON THE FIELD... SCORING OFF THE FIELD... *COWBOYS-STYLE!*" Sept. 20 2008
By Rick Shaq Goldstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When the first chapter of a non-fiction football book starts off with future Hall Of Fame receiver Michael Irvin stabbing a teammate in the neck with a scissors... and blood is shooting all over the room... and the intensity of the lurid details... on and off the field... regarding the famed "dynastic" Dallas Cowboys of the 1990's... never lets up for the next three-hundred-fifty-eight pages... you know you've got a great book in your hands. Any true football fan, regardless of what team you root for will want to read this book. There are so many riveting... outlandish... insider... stories... that you will constantly want to stop reading for a moment or two... just to call one of your buddies to tell him what you just read!

This book has it all. From the "humble" beginnings (as far as wins and losses that is... nothing about any of the key individuals in this story could ever be considered humble!) concerning the 1989 Cowboys who had a one-win fifteen-loss season... to the three-time Super Bowl Champions. The author smoothly gives you detailed background information on everyone from owner Jerry Jones to coach Jimmy Johnson to Troy Aikman/Emmitt Smith/Michael Irvin/Nate Newton/Charles Haley/Deion Sanders... and every Cowboy large... small... or in between... who effected the team on or off the field... good or bad. Absolutely no punches are pulled.

From drug busts, that included Michael Irvin and teammate Alfredo Roberts being caught with 10.3 grams of cocaine, more than an ounce of marijuana, assorted drug paraphernalia and sex toys... and oh yea... two strippers... to shocking exposes regarding eventual FIVE-TIME-SUPER-BOWL-CHAMPION Charles Haley who would expose himself... and "pleasure-himself"... in front of teammates in the locker room... training room... and meeting rooms... to famous quotes from players, that truly thought they were above the law, are provided... such as when three-hundred-sixty pound Nate Newton said: "WE'VE GOT A LITTLE PLACE OVER HERE WHERE WE'RE RUNNING SOME WHORES IN AND OUT, TRYING TO BE RESPONSIBLE, AND WE'RE CRITICIZED FOR THAT, TOO."

Did you know that when former Cowboy owner Bum Bright sold the team to Jerry Jones... that one of the conditions of the sale was that Jones had to fire Tom Landry? Landry was probably the most popular man in Texas, but Bright couldn't stand him. How did the Cowboys code of ethics compare to other big name NFL teams? One Cowboy said: "WHEN I WAS WITH THE REDSKINS COACH GIBBS WOULD SAY, "OK FELLA'S, DON'T MESS WITH STREET DRUGS OR STEROIDS, BECAUSE THAT'S NOT HOW WE DO THINGS HERE." COACH JOHNSON ON THE OTHER HAND, WOULD SAY, "DON'T MESS WITH STREET DRUGS OR STEROIDS, BECAUSE THE DRUG TEST IS IN A WEEK AND YOU DON'T WANNA GET CAUGHT." "IT WAS OBVIOUS JIMMY LACKED SOME CHARACTER IN HIS PURSUIT OF GREATNESS."

It's all here in exquisite detail. Nothing is held back. The way players... coaches... and owners... really feel! Who they think is stupid... who is smart... who had courage and who didn't. One Cowboy whose valor won over his team was Troy Aikman, of whom linebacker Garry Cobb said: AS A ROOKIE AGAINST THE CARDINALS AIKMAN "WAS KNOCKED COLD FOR NEARLY FIVE MINUTES BEFORE BEING HELPED OFF THE FIELD. TROY EARNED ALL OUR RESPECT. HE GOT KILLED AND REFUSED TO CRY. I'VE BEEN ON THE FIELD WHEN QUARTERBACKS CRY, AND IT AIN'T PRETTY. DAN MARINO WAS A CRIER - "WHOSE MAN WAS THAT! WHERE'S THE BLOCKING! WHAH!" "BUT AIKMAN - NEVER. AIKMAN WAS A MAN."

The author, Jeff Pearlman, magically, and seamlessly, weaves a story that gives you equal servings of statistical game information... unwavering disections of diverse psychological profiles... including Jerry Jones's jealousies and Jimmy Johnson's insecurities... and the sensitive human backdrop's... such as Michael Irvin... the third youngest of SEVENTEEN CHILDREN... who never had his own bed until college.

I recommend this book highly to any football fan.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! Jan. 3 2009
By Roberto H - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I highly recommend this book to anyone who: a) was a big fan of the early 90's Cowboys, b) is curious about what goes on behind the scenes in the NFL, or c) is interested in the impact leadership has on organizations. This book comes up juicy in all three categories.

This book is great because it avoids the common mistake made by authors documenting certain teams. Instead of going through the boring minutiae of old games, Jeff Pearlman gives gripping, inside stories that no fan ever knew about. For example:

- Michael Irvin was the heart and soul of the team. Period.
- Nobody liked Emmitt Smith.
- Charles Haley, WTF?
- The players, for as much as they hated Jimmy Johnson, respected the heck out of him. How he shaped them psychologically and then kept them on the edge was stellar.
- Jerry Jones is a prideful retard, sure. But I never knew he was that big of one.
- Switzer was actually a pretty likable guy with whom you can really empathize. But, man, he really had no business being there.
- Skip Bayless is a massive dork.

I had a blast reading this book. Highly recommend.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boys Will Be Boys, great title for an exciting read Oct. 18 2008
By David W. Atkinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'm a huge Dallas Cowboys fan, have been since 1989--the first year of the Troy Aikman era. I had followed the media hype between Aikman vs. Rodney Peet, his school (UCLA) vs. Peete's school (USC) the previous college season. This turned me into a huge fan of his in the NFL as well, making my favorite squad the Dallas Cowboys. It was a new era with Tom Landry being fired and replaced, and then the excellent trades and drafts made by Jimmy Johnson and Co. This book is a behind closed doors type of account of how this era was ushered in and, ultimately, ended. People seem to think they know it all about teams when they're winning...only to discover through this book that there is a lot of stuff going on that does not make its' way to the general public. It has made me more comfortable with the current squad in spite of how the media portrays this ultimate demise waiting to happen due to TO, Pacman, Tank Johnson, etc. Especially frustrating is having people like "MeShawn" Johnson and Cris Carter (who had his own troubles in Philly) trying to critique TO's every move when they, too were no unselfish players. Knowing that if every team were to have a book written about their respective seasons, the public would see just how normal the current Cowboys are in comparison. For anyone wanting a great read that is hard to put down, look no further. This book will open your eyes, make you laugh, and keep you entertained from start to finish.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boys SHOULD sometimes not be boys Sept. 16 2008
By Martha Frankel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Almost 35 years after Peter Gent's seminal "North Dallas Forty" showed us what untamed beasts football players could be, Jeff Pearlman delivers "Boys Will Be Boys," which, not coincidentally, is also about the freewheeling, demented, and fiercely determined Dallas Cowboys, once and always dubbed "America's Team."

Except Pearlman's Cowboys are those of the 1990s, the ones who followed the firing of legendary coach Tom Landry, and who make the men of "Forty" look like altar boys.

The dean of Dallas decadence was wide receiver Michael Irvin, known as The Playmaker. "Did he love snorting coke? Yes. Did he love lesbian sex shows? Yes. Did he love sleeping with two, three, four, five (yes, five) women at the same time in precisely choreographed orgies? Yes. Did he love strip clubs and hookers and house calls from exotic dancers with names like Bambi and Cherry and Saucy? Yes, yes, yes."

But because Texas is football, Irvin's antics, including an arrest for cocaine possession and stabbing a teammate who Irvin believed dissed him by cutting in line to get a haircut, were waved away with a smile. And when Irvin helped turn the hapless Cowboys around, from 1-15 losers in 1989 to multiple Super Bowl champs by the mid-'90s, well, hookers were practically handed out with the after-game painkillers.

Pearlman, a former senior writer for Sports Illustrated and a contributor to [...] Page Two, also wrote "The Bad Guys Won!" about the 1986 Mets and "Love Me, Hate Me," about Barry Bonds. So he has some experience with talented villains you love to hate.

Nowhere is this clearer than in the story of Charles Haley, who came to the Cowboys when they most needed "a disruptive, no-holds-barred defensive lineman - the type of player who put fear in the hearts of rival quarterbacks."

Haley "quickly earned high praise as one of the league's dominant quarterback killers. And as one of its most imbalanced."

A lot of it had to do with Haley's exceptionally large penis, which he liked to expose to players, trainers, management and reporters. Sometimes he would take it out and stroke it inches from another player's face; the players tried to laugh it off but Haley was relentless. He would masturbate during meetings, all the while trash-talking other player's wives. Once Haley wrapped an Ace bandage around it and strolled through the locker room, screaming, "I'm the last naked warrior!"

How, you might be asking yourself, did the team's coach, Jimmy Johnson, or it's owner, Jerry Jones, allow this to go on? Simple - Haley, who had helped the San Francisco 49ers win two Super Bowls in six seasons before coming to Dallas, "knew the game better than any of us," said former teammate Antonio Goss. "He could pick up little patterns and cues that nobody else would see. Charles might have been odd, but he was intelligent and incisive."

The drama between coach and owner was equally fascinating. Jones and Johnson had come to the Cowboys together, but despite appearances, had little love for each other. In fact, the coach learned he was being fired from a local Dallas reporter. "It's not always pleasant," Jones told a reporter. "But leadership means making tough decisions."

The Cowboys kept taking chances on players that other clubs were thrilled to cut from their rosters. And what did they get for their troubles? Hoodlums, nutcases and out-and-out psychopaths, who somehow managed to pull it all together on Sunday afternoons, piling up more and more winning games and seasons. So what's a little coke and hookers?

Hats & Eyeglasses: A Family Love Affair with Gambling
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Oct. 30 2008
By C. Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Boys Will Be Boys is a very interesting look at the Cowboys who won three Super Bowls in the early '90s, despite their complete lack of discipline and self restraint. Pearlman wisely follows the stories of Charles Haley and Michael Irvin, showing how being dysfunctional in life doesn't necessarily translate into dysfunctionality on the field. The Cowboys played with a kind of bravado that only America's Team could play with, and they won a hell of a lot of games.

The best thing about this book are the insane stories about the Cowboys. There is the story of Michael Irvin stabbing a teammate with a pair of barber scissors. Another story is about a few teammates buying a house in a suburban neighborhood called the "White House", used to do drugs and have sex with women. The stories go on and on, and they are always interesting.

Pearlman did a great job researching this book, and doesn't let anyone off the hook. He goes into great detail on Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson's good and bad sides. He doesn't pull any punches but also doesn't take any cheap shots, unlike the despicable journalist known as Skip Bayless.

I highly recommend reading this book if you are a football fan. It shows how a team can still compete while having a myriad of problems. The entire book is fascinating and draws a surprising amount of parallels with the Cowboys of 2008.
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