Eat My Schwartz

St. Martin's Press  2016

 

Try this on for size, super size that is. Two Jewish brothers, children of two Los Angeles power brokers, ascend to fame and fortune. What are they? Lawyers, doctors, Indian chiefs? Wrong. They’re pro football players.

Eat My Schwartz documents the journey of brothers Geoff and Mitch Schwartz, the first Jewish brothers to play in the National Football League in almost 80 years. The Schwartz brothers’ story offers a glimpse into the efficient pipeline of NFL player development. True to the title's description, a mouth-watering walkthrough of their discovery and love of food shadows each stage of the journey. A dead-simple and delicious latke recipe, alongside other non-kosher options such as shrimp pasta, offers readers the opportunity to eat their way through the story. Further, the brothers outline various other scale-shifting delicacies such as gourmet pizzas and flank steak. Balancing these rich recipes are more health conscious, lower calorie salads, wraps, and desserts.

From early encounters with college scouts, marveling at the Schwartz brothers’ size and natural athleticism, to the highly structured schedules of NCAA student-athletes; we learn and grow with the Schwartz boys on their journey to the NFL. Rarely is this a smooth transition. The transactional and business-first relationship between teams and players hints at the strains developing within the NFL.

This story is recommended for big fans of football. The book dives deeply into the form and physical tools of offensive lineman. The detailed focus on football tactics, outlining the punches, shifts, and schemes of successful line play may not resonate with casual fans. But for those conversant with the sport, the analysis is deep and rich.

The book does not dive deeply into the established long term health risks of NFL play, which keeps the tone light and conversational. This is an unfortunate oversight as a broader national debate continues about the risks that high school, college, and professional players are taking on a daily basis. It would be enlightening to hear a more thorough evaluation of tradeoffs that a player must make, on the path to professional play

For readers with a love of professional football and food (two interests which frequently overlap) Eat My Schwartz is a perfect pairing.

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