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Recommended Reading: "Mark May's Tales of the Washington Redskins"


Cool Hand Loki

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Killed some time during work yesterday in a Barnes and Noble near my office. Wandered over to the sports section and noticed a recently-published book co-authored by Hog Mark May: "Mark May's Tales of the Washington Redskins." I spent about 30 minutes flipping through it, and can say without reservation that it's one of the more compelling reads a Redskins fan can enjoy.

May talks with candor and bias about the front office, Gibbs, Bugel and Co., his teammates, his opponents, and includes a final section ("Talefeathers") of miscellanea describing various occurences during his time in the league. The book provides unique insight into the dynamics and behind-the-scenes workings of the team (and the entire organization) during the Hogs' era, including numerous detailed anecdotes about Riggins, Theismann, and the rest of the crew.

The book expands on many of the stories Bill Simmons recounted in his feature on the Hogs a few years ago, and adds many more. May and his co-author write of the 5 o'clock crew, Gibbs' rare outbursts, Bugel's near-physical confrontations with his O-line troops, Riggins' nightlife, the history and atmosphere of RFK, and other points of interest with detail and sometimes-brutal honesty.

My only qualm with the book (besides May's embarrassingly obvious jealousy of Notre Dame, and no, I didn't go to college there) is its conclusion, which consists of a nasty and personal screed against Dan Snyder. It includes several disturbing and trenchant stories of Snyder's behavior and business practice (as it relates to the management of a football team), and finally expresses May's opinion that the franchise will be doomed and "classless" for as long as Snyder is in charge. While the stories included (if true) certainly demonstrate Snyder's peevishness and pettiness, May ignores the importance of the Gibbs hire and Snyder's subsequent willingness to let the football people take care of the football matters. Insert trite analogy about bitter aftertaste following a sumptuous feast here.

But overall, the work represents a vivid trip down memory lane, and offers numerous entertaining tales that will flesh out one's impressions of the first Gibbs era. I recommend it most highly to all Redskins fans, but especially those my age and younger, who might not have been fully cognizant during the first go-round. May dedicates the work to us, the fans, and it's for us that he wrote the book.

Addendum: Mods, if you pick up the book and know what I'm talking about, can I use Riggins' chill-inducing pre-game playoff speech about Gibbs as a sig, or would too many ****s render it inappropriate? And please forgive the rampant hyphenation; it's easier to combine words than to think of a more concise equivalent. :)

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I saw this and read trough some of it in the store.I'm just pissed at what Mark May has become.I know when you accept a check from the"WorldWide Leader" that it seems Skins bias is part of the package.But from what some of my friends who were in the skins nightlife at the time he was not a choirboy he made himself out to be.

I'm wait for the paperback and want feel as bad giving some cash to Mr. Mark "USC is just not that good " May.

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Addendum: Mods, if you pick up the book and know what I'm talking about, can I use Riggins' chill-inducing pre-game playoff speech about Gibbs as a sig, or would too many ****s render it inappropriate? And please forgive the rampant hyphenation; it's easier to combine words than to think of a more concise equivalent.

got to read that :laugh:

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Thanks for the review.

I think I'll pass though. I'm not interested in what a bitter ex-Redskin has to say about anything. If I'm feeling nostalgic, I'll just pop in a DVD of a game from that period I don't need self serving stories from a former 1st round draft pick who couldn't make it as a left tackle (enter unknown free agent Joe Jacoby) and so they had to move him to guard. Imagine what we'd be saying if Chris Samuels stunk at left tackle and the Skins had to move him to left guard after spending a first on him.

Also, isn't "Washington Redskins" copyrighted? If Dan Snyder were as "classless" as May claims, couldn't he have stopped May from using "Washington Redskins" in his book?

If the Redskins are so awful May, stop trying to make money off of them.

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I decided to pass on purchasing this book due to the negative spin, May has no 1st hand knowledge of Snyder or how the Skins front office is ran besides him being in the media.

I would be bitter too if I had to end my career playing for the Cardinals

He mentioned serval times how proud he was to retire as a skins when the resigned him, i found this to be a very enjoyable read, pretty light reading, but still work the dough and the time

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An excerpt:

http://www.cindrich.com/103005markMay.htm

I was able to fool Bobby in one aspect of my contract negotiations. For years, Bobby thought it was my agent, Ralph Cindrich, who was the bad guy, holding out and needing Bobby for that extra little incentive of Bonus.

It was me the whole time. I always orchestrated it with Ralph on what I wanted, what I was and wasn't going to do. Ralph accepted the bad-guy role. It was never, "Mark wants this or Mark wants that." It was, "WE gotta have this, WE gotta ave that."

Bobby used to get so ticked off at Ralph. He'd come up to me and say, "May Day, I love the way you play, and it's great to have you around. But that SOB Cindrich is tough to deal with."

Bobby, if you only knew.

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As a fan of the IRISH, it pained me week after week to listen to Mark downplay the truly remarkable resurgence of ND Football under CW. The fact that he is one of the hogs was the only thing that made it tolerable. With that said, I cant wait to pick up the book. I had read an online piece on the hogs and apparently the negative sentiment towards the Snyder regime from former players (specifically the hogs) is a common theme. That really doesnt surprise me, two incredibly large groups of ego's. The HOGS vs THE Danny. At least the Hogs have some street cred.

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Thank you so much for the recommendation. I had no idea that book just came out. I will def go purchase that. It sounds like a no holds barred recount of the glory years, the good and bad parts of it. I can't wait to read it.

thank you as well, I too will go out to get this book. Not many things out there I enjoy reading but I think this will be something I can't put down ..

Thanks again Hail !

:notworthy

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Virtually every "fact" and "incident" May dredges up in his final chapter is flat out untrue. He revisits urban legends without any attempt by him or his editors to check out the accuracy. Snyder should sue him.

Is the rest of the book pretty much true than? Besides his obvious bias and bitterness.

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Mark May is a prick. Im not going to put my money in his pocket as he tries to make a dollar off of the man that he portrays as a cancer to his own organization. And I hate that term, cancer, its lame, but you guys can relate to it. Snyder is a genius business man and wants nothing more than a championship back in the nations capitol, and is willing to do whatever it takes to see this happen. Thats such a terrible thing, how dare him. And Mark May of all people is bashing him for that, screw him. I'll urinate all over that book if I ever see it.

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An excerpt:

http://www.cindrich.com/103005markMay.htm

I was able to fool Bobby in one aspect of my contract negotiations. For years, Bobby thought it was my agent, Ralph Cindrich, who was the bad guy, holding out and needing Bobby for that extra little incentive of Bonus.

It was me the whole time. I always orchestrated it with Ralph on what I wanted, what I was and wasn't going to do. Ralph accepted the bad-guy role. It was never, "Mark wants this or Mark wants that." It was, "WE gotta have this, WE gotta ave that."

Bobby used to get so ticked off at Ralph. He'd come up to me and say, "May Day, I love the way you play, and it's great to have you around. But that SOB Cindrich is tough to deal with."

Bobby, if you only knew.

On this one issue, what some people may see as shrewd negotiating, I see as duplicitous and deceitful. Misleading someone you have a personal as well as a professional relationship with as described here is something I don't admire. Perferably, have the integrity to be up front about what you want and believe you're worth.

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Wow, I just read the reast of the thread. Figured I'd get sacked by some folks for saying something critical about May. Guess I'm not alone in my less than enthusiastic response to what I've heard (only heard, in fairness) about the book so far.

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