Just finished reading "Boys Will Be Boys", the glory days and party nights of the Dallas Cowboys dynasty, by Jeff Pearlman. Now most of these "tell all" books follow a familiar pattern. Dig up all the gossip and dirt you can on your most famous subjects and lay it all out in salacious detail in order to move the merchandise off the shelves. "Hell Bent", Skip Bayless' version of the Cowboys fits that description.
This book strives to be more than that. Yes, there's plenty of the wild stuff but it's clear that Mr. Pearlman makes an effort to balance this by delving into other aspects. True, he confirms all the crazy things about Mr. Michael "Playmaker" Irvin and does not hold back on adding plenty of more details. (Wow! I didn't know that the dreams I had during puberty would actually be acted out!) However, he also tries to be fair by pointing out Michael's upbringing and makes sure the reader understands that Irvin was the hardest working member of the Cowboys, if not the entire NFL. Nothing in his Hefneresque night life kept him from being the first one at practice and the last to leave. His example kept everyone in line. Of course, some players had the nightlife part down and didn't bring the work ethic. (After reading about Alvin Harper's escapades, I can only conclude that he spiked his cornflakes with Viagra).
"After the Super Bowl ended, nobody wanted to leave the locker room. It was like being a marine at sea for seven months. You come to land and think everyone wants to run off the ship. But no one wanted to leave. They knew it was the end and they wanted it to last."—Robert Bailey, Cowboys cornerback
When the Dallas Cowboys prepared to leave Texas for Tempe, Arizona, the site of Super Bowl XXX, they made certain every necessary item was packed and loaded for the 1,056-mile journey.
Yes, you read that correctly. Skanks. Lots of skanks.
Being a veteran team with a wealth of Super Bowl experience, members of the Cowboys had learned what they needed to survive—and, indeed, thrive—in the week before the big game. Leading up to the first two Super Bowls, Cowboys players combed the streets, clubs and bars of Los Angeles and, to a lesser extent, Atlanta. Yet such an approach comes with risk. The women, for example, could be stalkers. Killers. They might have STDs. Or older brothers with a quick fingers and loaded XM8 lightweight assault rifles.
Hence, the skanks. Knowing that the wives and family members would not arrive in Tempe until the Thursday or Friday before the big game, several Cowboys—ranging from Emmitt Smith and Charles Haley to Erik Williams and Nate Newton—paid for a fleet of 11 white stretches from the First Impression Limousine Service to drive 16 hours and 1,000 miles from Dallas to Tempe, many with their special skank, uh, female friends along for the ride. The price: $1,000 per night per limo (Far from objecting, Jerry Jones brought along his own party vehicle, the six-bed tour bus that once belonged to Whitney Houston). By the time the Cowboys arrived for check-in at The Buttes, the team's first-class, $285-per-night hotel, on the Sunday before the game, the lobby was filled with tacky high heels and legs that stretched from Minneapolis to Mahopac.
The author understands that it's easy for us to look down our noses at their behavior even as we rather hypocritically envy them. Pearlman does not fall into that trap of being judgemental; he lays out the facts in a fair manner. In my opinion, Nate Newton steals the show with his quotes. Regarding the White House, he says, "we were trying to be responsible and run around with whores in private and we get ripped for that". On the eve of Super Bowl XXX against the Steelers he remarks, "the police met with us and told us which places to stay away from. We wrote them down and made sure we hit those spots".
Because it's not merely a sex and drugsfest dialogue and includes plenty of football, I can recommend this book to NFL fans. It's a must read for members of Cowboy Planet.