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Exley, Almond, End Zone, and a 3rd round pick for Frank Gifford and future considerations

On Sunday, fittingly, I read that Frank Gifford passed on, and soon after that I googled to learn that many were commemorating Fred Exley's A Fan's Notes for helping keep the legend of Frank alive. Dylan Stableford's piece for Yahoo News captures many of the tweets that recognize Exley's contribution to Gifford lore, and quite possibly, of course, vice versa.

Earlier this summer I read Steve Almond's Against Football and learned that his favorite football novel was Don DeLillo's End Zone (I briefly evaluated the Almond at Goodreads). It's a very understandable selection, and it's also a shame DeLillo's "big books" often crowd out this early slim volume when it comes to shelf or blog space, but I was also disappointed Almond didn't mention Exley in the back section with DeLillo and other writers he acknowledged. So it was with some relief, even satisfaction, when I did see consideration of Exley in the middle of Almond's book. As you might imagine, I recommend all three books.

Since Gifford's passing, I've also considered how there is somewhat of an analogy between Exley's narrator (fictional Ex)'s relationship to Gifford and "Frade Killed Ellen"'s narrator Alan's relationship to Roger Frade (although Alan is no Alex, and Alex no Alan, not even in their dreams). In case that's not clear, what I mean is that Alan is to Frade as Exley is to Gifford. Anyway, I'd recommend my story too.

I may return to this to edit and add more.


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