Tim Green is not an idiot, and he does not hate football. He played eight years as a defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons, after which he missed the sport enough, and was smart enough, to write three decent page-turner novels about football. The Dark Side of the Game is Green's first attempt at serious sports writing, and it's serious indeed. Every fan wants to know how common the use of steroids has become, how high racial tensions run within a team, and what goes on at the bottom of the pile after the whistle blows. Green addresses dozens of questions like these, including some the most eager fan might never have thought of, such as the correct method of shaking a football player's frequently broken hand. He tries to explain some things that don't need explaining; one of the book's many small chapters is titled "Why NFL Players Lose Their Money." He occasionally makes enormous leaps in logic, such as "Why Jerry Glanville Is Good for the NFL." But Green's love of football comes through even in his most awkward sentences. So does his frustration at the way professional football, the world's greatest team sport, is often cruelly and criminally mishandled. The Dark Side of the Game is for fans only, but it's even better than thatit's for thinking, caring fans only. Every one of them should own this great little book.