Five out of five stars

5 of 5 Stars


Dan Pastorini was my crush

5 of 5 Stars   January 5, 2012

Dan Pastorini was my crush and I love him even more now after reading his autobiography.

I love reminiscing the Luv Ya Blue days (it will never be the same) and not only did Taking Flak bring back such great memories, the behind the scenes stories made it that much better. Dan was and still is one of the best storytellers — my husband and I always enjoyed listening to him on the radio when he was interviewed or was a guest commentator on a local station.

But, I was not aware of his deep honesty and amazing story. Thank you for such a self-revealing and deprecating look at a fascinating man.

Luv Ya — always.

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Quick, captivating read

5 of 5 Stars   January 1, 2012

I received this book as a Hanukkah gift last week — I read through the entire thing in only two days. Dan’s story is captivating and fascinating, in addition to being inspiring. I found myself wishing that the book lasted only a bit longer, as I would have liked to learn even more about this incredible story. This is an honest memoir of someone who has an important story to tell.

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Taking Flak — a GREAT read!!!

5 of 5 Stars   January 1, 2012

I want to thank Dan Pastorini for writing such a profound and wonderful autobiography. I’ve read many many books by athletes over the years (love football!), and have always been disappointed in the arrogant “me, me, rah, rah” that goes on & on. Dan, on the other hand, grabbed my heart. Not so much in the beginning - just thought it was going to be more of the same — but halfway through the book, I realized he was truly writing from the heart. He’s a man of integrity, and it most certainly shows in his willingness to share such intimate details of his life with all of us. His story touched my heart to the core. I would recommend his book to ALL sports fans!!!

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What an excellent book!

5 of 5 Stars   December 22, 2011

Wow. I picked this book up earlier this evening and couldn’t put it down until I had finished it. Dan Pastorini has written perhaps the finest sports autobiography I have encountered.

Whether a sports fan or not, I feel confident the reader will enjoy this book. Dan recounts his story in a hard-hitting, straightforward style that attests to the characteristics that made him the kind of player whose name still evokes a smile of recognition from Houston sports fans that were privileged to experience the days he played for the Oilers.

I noticed many positive reviews before I purchased this book. I was not disappointed. Dan shares with the reader the experience of playing in the NFL during what many will consider the “golden age” of the league. You are taken behind the scenes to an extent that is both refreshing and enlightening. He talks about the game itself, describing the chess-match aspect of offensive football. It was refreshing to read about a quarterback who called his own plays. As he talks about playing with pain and injury, as a reader, it was quite interesting to learn about the life experiences that inspired this kind of mental and physical toughness.

The reader will be taken through the trials, both professional and personal, of a football player, race car driver and team leader, and man navigating his way in the world. In telling his story, Dan Pastorini teaches us that the game continues throughout life and that you may not always be able to control the things that happen, but you can control the way you respond to them.

I highly recommend this book!

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Excellent for any Oilers’ fan

5 of 5 Stars   December 21, 2011

Great book. It exceeded my high expectations and left me feeling different than I expected it would. Dan and John hook up on a book that is brutally honest, profoundly sad and exciting and that delivers a redeeming message in the end without seeming cliché. (Five stars. Agassi’s “Open” is the only other sports bio I’ve read that’s in the same league.)

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Taking Flak: My Life In The Fast Lane

5 of 5 Stars   December 20, 2011

It is not often that we hear from an athlete or an ex-athlete without all of the hyperbole or pre-arranged cliches. This is a tale told from the gut as well as the heart — Mr. Pastorini puts it all out there — the good, the bad, and the ugly, and does it in a way that lets the reader draw his own conclusions. As an avid football fan that lived in Houston during the 1979 season, I can remember what the atmosphere was like with regards to the Oilers — they were demigods and they were visible. I was lucky enough as a 22 year old to get to know some of the players on the defensive side of the ball personally — I can say without fear of contradiction that there was no doubt as to who the leader of that football team was and although I will never understand the dynamic of an NFL locker room, there seemed to be something special about that 1979 team. I say this because Mr. Pastorini was the lightning rod for that team — he was the face, and on many occasions that was not a good place to be. I can also remember that the Houston media was not his best friend — blaming him for the losses — and he didn’t get much credit for the wins, as good leaders do. The public never saw him lash out at these individuals. This book shows his human side, and I for one, was glad to see that side of him. This book taught me that celebrity is not all about flashbulbs and champagne — that even sports heros are human beings and have flaws. There was an occasion in 1977 that Mr. Pastorini spoke to us at school; he was inspirational then as most sports heros are. I truly hope that writing this book was therapeutic for him. I think reading it will give many of us the courage to face our own demons — and even if it doesn’t — it gives the reader an opportunity to get to better know a man that many of us didn’t know at all and many of us had misjudged!

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Review From an ex-NFL Player

5 of 5 Stars   December 16, 2011


I thought I had seen some fast times as an NFL player ‘69 to ‘76, with 2 years as an L.A. Ram and on a K.C. Super Bowl team. But not like Dan lived it. I never met him, but knew Dan was a tough, talented QB and great team leader. His book made me laugh out loud, slap my forehead and wonder how he could fit all that action into one lifetime.

Pastorini’s inside view of NFL teams, coaches, players and owners is candid and insightful for fans interested in what it was really like.

Pastorini’s inside view of NFL teams, coaches, players and owners is candid and insightful for fans interested in what it was really like. The injuries, the playing with pain that would keep the average person in bed, were part of the NFL life I have rarely seen described so well. And Dan’s romantic escapades, even in the wild 1970’s, were off the wall. It was interesting for me to learn about the auto and drag boat racing life from his insider perspective, too.

I recommend the book and bought a dozen for friends and family after I read it.

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A Fan’s Review

5 of 5 Stars   December 13, 2011

When Dan airs it out, like on the field he really airs it out.

This no holds barred recount of his life growing up, as a professional football player and as a professional drag race driver is a must read for any Luv Ya Blue fan.

This is the real Dan Pastorini, from booze to brownies, from the candy store, to fast women. Antics from on the field to off the field, nothing is sacred.

You will laugh, and you will feel the pain, he is after all just like you and me, with the same problems that we all have, or have had to deal with in our lives.

You will laugh, and you will feel the pain, he is after all just like you and me, with the same problems that we all have, or have had to deal with in our lives.

His candor about everything is refreshing, it isn’t sugar coated, and it is real.

You find out the truth about owners, trusting family, and loving your parents... you find out Dante is real...

Is the book a good read? Yep... it really is... Thanks Dan and John for being real!!!

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An honest book deserves an honest review

5 of 5 Stars   December 13, 2011

I have not had a good year. I was diagnosed with cancer in April, and most of the rest of the year is a painful blur. Fortunately, a few good things did happen to me this year ... a couple in particular stand out. God was kind enough to give me a break... a recent CAT scan showed no signs of cancer, and a month or so ago a friend of mine in Houston sent me a copy of this book.

I have read many biographies/autobiographies of sports figures I have admired over the years, but I have never read one that was more honest and “from the heart” than this one.

It’s basically a story of a very talented and lucky man who lived life, made his share of mistakes as we all do, and isn’t ashamed to come clean about it. This man bravely tells us what God only knew before. I laughed and cried, and laughed and cried some more, because the pure honesty made me. It was uplifting and restored my faith in the human spirit. We all get knocked down, make mistakes and have regrets, but if you just keep trying and do the right thing you will eventually rise above.

This book is not a “tell all” story ... it’s a “success” story.

Thank you Mr. Pastorini !!!

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Baby-Boomers, Fasten Your Seatbelts!

5 of 5 Stars   November 21, 2011

This was the golden age of hard-knock football and full-throttle living; and Dan Pastorini was at the center of it all! Pastorini gives us an unflinching view of his world as a larger-than-life figure in a decade of fast cars and faster women (...and you thought MADMEN was wild?!).

Good times, bad times, high highs and low lows, Pastorini tells the whole truth and a lot more.

Both a celebration of a life lived pedal-to-the-metal (literally and figuratively), and a cautionary tale about the temptations and excesses of celebrity, this book is a must-read for young athletes who don’t realize how fast things can spin out of control. Coaches, buy this book for every promising athlete on your team ...and get a copy for yourself!

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A true autobiographical perspective on the life of Pastorini

5 of 5 Stars   October 19, 2011

Many authorized biography books hit the market with the majority of the storyline and recollections told by third parties. Not so, here. Dante Pastorini tells his entire story straight from the heart and directly from his personal, “matter of fact” recollections at his remarkable life. With the expert assistance of respected Sports Illustrated writer, John P. Lopez, Pastorini pulls no punches as he gives a refreshing, illuminating account of his childhood and the driving forces behind his competitive nature, his storied athletic prowess, both from a football and baseball perspective, but also on land and water from a racing perspective and an unflinching look back on the National Football League as it was in the 1970’s. Also, Dante Pastorini was one of the most recognizable and most beloved players in 1970’s around the NFL and his prowess with women, fast cars, and tough, gritty football play are the stuff of legend. Any sports fan around in the 1970’s was well aware of the impact the NFL Houston Oilers “Luv Ya Blue” era had on America with such “larger than life” personalities such as coach O.A. “Bum” Phillips, Earl Campbell, Carl Mauck and Dante himself.

Dante Pastorini tells his entire story straight from the heart and directly from his personal, “matter of fact” recollections at his remarkable life.

Pastorini’s candor in telling his story is refreshing in a day when athletes seem to go for the easy quote or the rewriting of history to perhaps “varnish” and polish their legacy, regardless of the truth. Not so here. This, ultimately, is a story of victory and a very honest look at the ups and downs of celebrity, even within one’s own family. It is very clear that Mr. Pastorini used great restraint in telling many of his stories, as I got the feeling that I was wishing the book was at least 500 pages or more just to have him expound upon some of the many varied, yet brief, “to the point” recollections throughout the years. Believe me, this guy’s life was that rich and full of experiences and I finished the book wanting even more. I got the feeling from reading this story that Mr. Pastorini has evolved greatly from his early legendary wild days, found peace and happiness and is in a good place in his life.

Highly recommended!

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The book was well written, entertaining, easy to read and truly enjoyable, and I was mostly impressed with your frank and candid openness about both your good and tough times. I don’t know if I have the courage and confidence to share the same about me in a public arena. You have lived a unique, interesting and exciting life, and I admire your desire to share all of it with us — the good, the bad, the ugly, and most important, the life lessons learned.

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Dan Pastorini with John P. Lopez Original Jacket Design by KC Morse

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