Eat My Schwartz

Geoff and Mitch Schwartz, with Seth Kaufman
  • Review
By – March 31, 2017

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. 

Relat­ed Content:

Justin Petril­lo hails from Chevy Chase, MD. The city is not named for the actor, so stop ask­ing. He resides in Brook­lyn and spends time play­ing ten­nis, read­ing books by Jew­ish and non-Jew­ish authors, and scream­ing at the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins through the tele­vi­sion. He is a grad­u­ate of Emory University.

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