Book Review: Facing the Blitz
Title: Facing the Blitz
Author: Jeff Kemp
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
[Disclaimer: I was provided a readers copy of Facing the Blitz via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and unbiased review.]
So, since I'm required to be honest in my review, let me start the honesty in this way: I didn't finish this book. Frankly, the book was boring and it is just not my kind of read. I wanted to like the book and I wanted to enjoy the book, but it just never took off for me the way I had hoped it would. And Tony Dungy's praise notwithstanding, this is not a book for everyone.
I think the thing that bothered me the most about the book was the metaphor. I think the word 'blitz' must appear on every page about 50 times. OK, that's a wee bit of an exaggeration, but seriously, I think the readers will get the metaphor without being reminded of it on every page. By the time I got through the first few chapters, I was worn out–kind of like a quarterback who has faced too many blitzes in a game by a crazed linebacker. A metaphor is good as long as it is not overused or overworked. He wore me out with his constant reference to my struggles as a blitz.
Another problem I had with the book is that there is nothing unique or distinct at all about the advice in the book. I have read a lot of books, sadly books like this one, and all they ever amount to is exactly what the subtitle says: Turning trials into triumphs. But let's be honest: trials do not always turn into triumphs and no amount of strategizing (that may not be a word) is going to change that. I'm always skeptical of people who write books and have quick, easy answers–especially athletes whose struggles tend to be things us mere mortals cannot understand.
This book was too quick; too easy. I think there are better ways to deal with trials and better books to guide us to those ways. And I don't know if this book was intended to be a particularly christian strategy or not. So if you are looking for a particularly christian point of view, you might find this book to be a bit shallow.
In my opinion, this book tried too hard. The truth is that life is not a game, and if it is a game, it is certainly not a game of football. I understand Kemp went through some rough times as a football player–the son of a former football player, politician, etc. But I would venture to say that this is all relative: getting traded from one football team to another might be traumatic for him, losing a game might suck, but it is not the same–no matter how much we want it to be–as losing your career, losing your house, losing your family, and not having the benefit of millions of dollars from contracts to get you through. So in this regard, nothing he says is relevant to everyone even if it is relevant to a few–like some of his athlete friends. I think this is a fine example of a book that is simply out of touch with 'real' people. Like I said, he tries too hard because he comes across as that super pumped up and positive athlete who views everything in life as strong safety he must avoid or a defensive end he must out think.
So as much as I wanted to like this book and as much as I wanted to recommend it, I just can't go too far in my recommending and liking. I'm not going to deny that this is a book some will find helpful and encouraging. I'm just not one of those people because I don't see the struggle. When you have walked a day in my shoes, then you can tell me how to turn my trials into triumphs.